Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Magic Earth Lines 2: The 37th Parallel

The ranch was owned by a man named Howard Munsell (now deceased). Unlike a lot of Southern Plains ranchers who are, shall we say, standoffish toward strange visitors, he had previously run a trail-ride business, and so he was able to handle several dozen campers on his land, providing water and basic sanitary facilities. (After […]

Magic Earth Lines 1: “Discovering” Ley Lines

At Bad Archaeology, a skeptical look at Alfred Watkins and the “discovery” of ley lines: According to a later account, all this [discovery of a hidden web of straight lines in the English countryside] came to him “in a flash” on 21 June 1921 during a visit to Blackwardine; according to his son Allen, this […]

Pentagram Pizza with Layers of Woo

• Lydia Crabtree not only knows “woo,” she can organize it into a ten-part scale and a four-part diagram. Fascinating. And there is a Part 2: “Parenting to the WooWoo.” • Where did “the humanities” come from? Come travel back to the good old days of “philology.” • Philology is not old enough for you? […]

The Scholar’s Mistress: The Speckled Bird

As an English major at Reed College, I experienced a semester-long combined seminar on William Butler Yeats and T. S. Eliot. To be honest, I probably liked Eliot’s poetry more, and I wrote a just-slightly-tongue-in-cheek paper on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, although I did not have the chops to turn it into a […]

The Scholar’s Mistress

I learnt a new expression late last year: “the scholar’s mistress.” What it means is the pile of books that accumulate beside the bed, books that you are reading, plan to read, ought to have read, might read again. At my house, the dog’s kennel does for a nightstand. Note highlighter pen at the ready. […]

New Pomegranate Published

Issue 16:2 of The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies has now been published online, with print copies coming soon. The publisher does charge for articles (but try to see if your library can get them), although book reviews are free downloads. Contents “Deepening Conversations between Ritual Studies and Pagan Studies” Michelle Mueller “Becoming […]

New Poems by Sappho

The possibility of deciphering the carbonized papyrus scrolls from the Villa of the Papyri is exciting. One friend hopes that some day an Etruscan/Greek or Etruscan/Latin dictionary will be discovered. (The Etruscan language used Greek letters, but we cannot completely read it, beyond some kings’ names, etc.) Me, I hope for a complete edition of […]

How Halloween Came Back to Derry

A short video (Irish with subtitles; English) describing how a large public Halloween festival in the Northern Irish city of Derry began in a pub in the early 1980s and grew from there. And while some speakers, including folklorist Jenny Butler, do discuss the ancient festival of Samhain, you will see that the Derry festival […]

Was Lugh a Comet?

Here is the trailer for an Irish television “documentary,” (in Irish with English subtitles), “Gods from the Sky,” which argues that celestial events changed ancient Irish religion. And if that sounds a bit familiar, perhaps you are remembering Immanuel Velikovsky’s (1895–1979) somewhat similar thesis that the planet Venus entered our solar system twice: “Periodic close […]

A Billion-Candles Candlemas

By the Sun, Candlemas/Imbolc happened this evening, between 8 and 9 o’clock, Mountain Time. And I was watching an episode of PBS’ American Experience called “The Big Burn.” Coincidence, I think not. (You can find it streaming on their site.) Ten minutes in, there must have been smoke in the room or something, because I […]