Posts Tagged ‘American religion’

North America’s Four-Footed God

When I was new to Paganism, I thought about pantheons. Should I be signing with Team Celtic, Team Roman, Team Germanic, or whom? Now I don’t really care. Sometimes you don’t come to the pantheon, the pantheon comes to you — and it may be a motley crew at that. My own pantheon includes Hermes, […]

Kicked Back in Time

I was contacted a couple of months ago by family members of  the two defendants in a Wicca-related murder case. It was big news in the American Craft network1)I prefer that word to “community”—especially for that era. circa 1977–80. If you remember it, fine. If not, I am not going to summarize it now because […]

Why Pagans Aren’t at Home in “Interfaith” Groups

In 2009, the CESNUR organization for the study of new religions held its annual international conference in Salt Lake City. The panels, papers, and speaker events ended with a dinner at the historic Alta Club, which is drippingly gorgeous in a sort of late Victorian/Arts & Crafts style. I would have skipped the roast beef […]

“Witches of America”: Sitting at the Cool Kids’ Table

I finally read Alex Mar’s Witches of America, and it is better than I thought, based on some of the reviews that I had seen, like this piece of negativity, for example: “[a] sordidly pornographic and self-aggrandising narrative” or this one: “extremely judgmental,” or the Complete Hurt Feelings Wrap-up here. First, this is not a […]

Still Enchanted After All These Years

The Guardian, a British newspaper, profiles Enchantments in Manhattan,  which “after 34 years in business in the East Village, with the recession and the rising rents of gentrification claiming so many small businesses . . . might make anyone believe in magic.” Read the whole thing. (Thanks to Mama Fauna.)

Spirits, Photography, and the Burned-Over District

Why was the Eastman Kodak Company founded in Rochester, New York, not far from the town of Hydesville (now part of Arcadia Township), where the Fox sisters birthed the American Spiritualist movement? Is there a connection between photography and spirits? Esoteric photographer Rik Garret tof Chicago says yes, and he has launched a YouTube video […]

Thoughts after a Funeral

A member of my little rural volunteer fire department died last week at the age of 47.1)It was not a line-of-duty death; other causes So the chief, the treasurer, and I put on our rarely worn dress uniforms for the funeral — M. came too — and we went off to a little rectangular funeral […]

More Links — Hand-Forged Ones At That

• At Fay’s Forge you may buy “knives, swords, and do castings from the Celtic, migration, Anglo Saxon, and Norse cultures.” Support your local shieldmaiden. • Probably it would be more accurate to say that the planned Black Mass terrifies some Christians in Oklahoma. And before you dump on Oklahoma, remember that Harvard University backed […]

“Religion Watch” Available Online, Open Access

I am putting in a plug for Religion Watch (slogan: “Looking beyond the walls of churches, synagogues and denominational officialdom to examine how religion really affects, and is affected by, the wider society”), published at Baylor University and a good source for scholars of contemporary religion. The current issue leads with a short article, “Religion […]

Grappling with Workshops and Festival Culture

Earlier this week I sent in my workshop descriptions to the Heartland Pagan Festival, whose organizers kindly invited me to present. Now I get to be anxious for two months — can I do it? My experiences with turning my own writing into festival material has been, let’s say, sort of mixed. My last piece […]