Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Links: Exorcists, Vampires, Shamans, and the New Gothic

So many links, so little time to comment. Pick one, two, or three of these to read. Mix and match. Fill your plate. Come back for more. • Sexy vampires threaten Catholic youth, thus encouraging — you guessed it — “dabbling.” • Witchy craft: I am building these. • Another interesting article on the revival […]

Contemporary Pagan Studies at the AAR, 2015

All of the evaluating and negotiating is completed, and the Contemporary Pagan Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion will be presenting the following sessions at the annual meeting, held November 21–24, 2015, in Atlanta: 1 Joint session with the Indigenous Religious Traditions Group: “The Problem of ‘Religion’ in the Study of Indigenous and […]

Wicca Again as the “Designated Other”

Pasque flowers blooming in a thin layer of pine duff atop a boulder. I love them for their precarious and improbably habitat. Spring is slowly coming to the forest, and within it the offer of new chances, a feeling that you might get it right this time. Travel and editorial crises have killed my blogging […]

Fairies Infest British Woodland, Control Measures Planned

From the BBC: Hundreds of fairy doors have been attached to the bases of trees in Wayford Woods, Crewkerne. It is claimed the doors have been installed by local people so children can “leave messages for the fairies”. Can something be too twee? Yes, it can. And remember, fairies are not always your friends.

Polyamory and the Secret History of Wonder Woman

Snow is falling, and I am elbow deep in putting together the next Bulletin for the Study of Religion, which among other things carries an article called “What is a Superhero? How Myth Can Be a Metacode,” by Kenneth MacKendrick of the University of Manitoba. So, with comics on the mind, here is “The Surprising […]

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. […]