Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Get the Harvard Classics, Free

The Harvard Classics, also known as  “Dr. Eliot’s/The Five Foot Shelf of Books,”  are available as a free download. From a time when university presidents actually cared what people read, as opposed to just the size of their donations: What does the massive collection preserve? For one thing . . .  it’s “a record of […]

Sexuality and New Religious Movements

Sexuality and New Religious Movements, a collection edited by Henrik Bogdan (associate editor of The Pomegranate) and Jim Lewis, an American teaching in Norway, has been released by the academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan. So far it is only in hardback, hence expensive. Jeffrey Kripal, a noted scholar on sex and spirituality, has this to say: […]

A New Investigation of Fairy Encounters

This request for help with a compilation of contemporary Fairy encounters and lore comes from Simon Young of the re-launched Fairy Investigation Society. The FIS was founded in 1927, died in the early 1990s, and in late 2014 it came back to life. The survey (‘the fairy census’) is split into three parts: (i) for […]

The Viking “Blood Eagle” Never Happened, Says Historian

A Swedish archaeologist reviews a new book, Anders Winroth’s The Age of the Vikings, and makes this observation: Myself, I was intrigued to learn that the infamous, messy and impractical “blood eagle” murder method may just be the fruit of High Medieval writers misunderstanding one of the countless references in Viking Period poetry to carrion birds […]

Jesus [Heart] Mary Magdalene (Again)

Let’s get this out of the way first — yes, the source is the Daily Mail, which, I strongly suspect, occasionally makes up “news” articles from scratch. And I cannot speak to the quality of research in this new book, The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene. […]

What is Your Spirit Animal (Internet Version)?

A piece in The Atlantic takes note of the proliferation of online quizzes devoted to helping you find your “spirit animal.” Sadly, it does not really fulfill the promise of its subtitle: “How did the concept of the spiritual guide leap from Native American tradition to Internet irony? With the help of Tumblr, the Times, […]

Burning Alex Salmond

The neighborhood celebration of Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night happened last night, three nights past the canonical date, but we are southern Coloradans, not necessarily up to date. The hostess is emphatically Scottish. Although she has lived here more than twenty years, raised two kids, and stayed employed, she retains her British citizenship—and when the 18th of […]

Egypt Has the Pyramids; Siberia has the Shigir Idol

Why the comparison between countless tons of quarried stone and “the oldest wooden statue in the world,” estimated at 9,500 years before present? In each case, there are those who believe that the structures (particularly the Great Pyramid) and the sculpture from the Ural Mountains contain secret codes. The tall statue is made from larch […]

The Occluded Life of an “Occult” Photographer

If a phrase like “famous early twentieth century California photographer” makes you think of Edward Weston or Ansel Adams, then you probably have not heard of William Mortensen, known “as ‘the Antichrist’ by Ansel Adams, a tag that stuck after Anton LaVey dedicated The Satanic Bible to him. Primarily known as a Hollywood portrait artist, he developed […]

Passing of Pete Pathfinder Davis

From the Aquarian Tabernacle Church: Today at [October 31] 6 p.m. Pacific Time, Pierre Claveloux ‘Pete Pathfinder’ Davis was taken across the veil. He was surrounded by loved ones, and went peacefully in his bed. Today, on our most holy day, when the barrier between the Worlds was at its thinnest, and on the 35th […]