Caroline Tully on Pagan Art and Fashion

Caroline Tully is an Australian scholar of Classics, archaeology, and esotericism with a background in fine arts:

I am an Honorary Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Monash University, Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas in Classics and Archaeology and a PhD in Aegean Archaeology from the University of Melbourne. From 1996 to 2010 I worked as a professional tapestry weaver at the Australian Tapestry Workshop, during which (from 1999 to 2005) I also worked as a feature writer, reviewer and news and events editor at Australia’s Witchcraft Magazine. I returned to university study in 2004, started PhD research in 2009 and was awarded my Doctorate in 2017. My PhD, which is on tree worship in the Late Bronze Age Aegean and East Mediterranean (primarily Crete and mainland Greece, with comparative material from Cyprus, the Levant and Egypt), is currently in press with Peeters Publishers and due out this year. I also work on the reception of the ancient world, particularly the ways in which ancient Egyptian and Minoan (Bronze Age Crete) religions have been interpreted by late nineteenth century British magicians such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and their spiritual heirs, the 20th and 21st century ceremonial magicians, witches and Pagans.

Last year she waded into the job of guest-editing an issue of The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies on Pagan art and fashion, which she is now assembling.

The Wild Hunt had a short interview with her last year, but here is a long version of her interview by Rick de Yampert.

I think Paganism is inherently creative because of its this-worldly, rather than other-worldly, focus. There is a wide spectrum of aesthetic expression that manifests in the materiality of Paganism; in the ritual objects we use, the way we design rituals, our robes (or lack thereof), direct – bodily – contact with deities, ecstatic expression, sexuality, and the general artistic legacy of all forms of ancient pagan religions that we are able to draw upon in order to create our religion and rituals. However, the initial impulse to create this special issue came from the creativity, often aligned with business savvy, of Witches on Instagram; the sex-positive feminist collective website, Slutist.com; and the fact that Witchcraft was appearing in high fashion contexts such as catwalk collections and featuring in magazines like Vogue. Witchcraft has become glamorous – and I’m not talking about its traditional faerie glamour, but fashionista glamour. Bloggers, Peg Aloi (“The Young Ones:Witchcraft’s Glamorous New Practitioners”), and Thorn Mooney (“The HipsterWitch: Aesthetics, Empowerment and Instagram”), have already noted that this is a new kind of Witchcraft, less focussed on deities, Pagan history and community, and more focussed on self-care and characterised, to quote Mooney, by “a strong entrepreneurial streak”. These Witches are also politically active, more multicultural than Paganism has traditionally been, and read magazines like Sabat and Ravenous, and books like Kristen J. Sollee’s Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive. This issue of The Pomegranate is interested in research on these new slick Witches – who are they? Are they really so new after all? What does it mean for Witchcraft to be so distinctively stylish?

Read the whole interview here at her blog Necropolis Now.

New Issue of ‘Pomegranate’ Journal Published

Some people are perplexed as to why this issue carries a 2012 date, although the articles are copyright 2014. We got behind schedule a couple of years ago and have been slowly catching up. The 2013 volume will be a double issue published during the first half of 2014, d.v., followed by the first 2014 issue. Full subscription information here.

Table of Contents

Articles

Introduction: Paganism, Initiation and Ritual PDF Open Access
Christian Giudice, Henrik Bogdan 181-183
How to Become a Mage (or Fairy): Joséphin Péladan’s Initiation for the Masses PDF Restricted Access
Sasha Chaitow 185-211
Pagan Rome was Rebuilt in a Play: Roggero Musmeci Ferrari Bravo and the Representation of Rumon PDF Restricted Access
Christian Giudice 212-232
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness, But Oaths are for Horses: Antecedents and Consequences of the Institutionalization of Secrecy in Initiatory Wicca PDF Restricted Access
Léon A. van Gulik 233-255
The Law of the Jungle: Self and Community in the Online Therianthropy Movement PDF Restricted Access
Venetia Laura Delano Robertson 256-280
Meeting Freya and the Cailleich, Celebrating Life and Death: Rites of Passage beyond Dutch Contemporary Pagan Community PDF Restricted Access
Hanneke Minkjan 281-303

Review Articles

“Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year” PDF Restricted Access
Ethan Doyle White 304-308

Book Reviews

Melissa M. Wilcox, Queer Women and Religious Individualism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 276 pp., $24.95 (paper), $65 (cloth). PDF Open Access
Rachel Morgain 309-312
Catherine R. DiCesare, Sweeping the Way: Divine Transformation in the Aztec Festival of Ochpaniztli (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2009), 248 pp., $60 (cloth), $45 (ebook). PDF Open Access
Susana Perea-Fox 313-316
Carole M. Cusack, Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction, and Faith (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2010), 179 pp., $89.96 (cloth), $79.96 (e-book). PDF Open Access
Christine Hoff Kraemer 317-320
Philip West, The Old Ones in the Old Book: Pagan Roots of the Hebrew Old Testament (Winchester: Moon Books, 2012), 128 pp., $16.95 (paperback). PDF Open Access
Stephanie Lynn Budin 321-324
Kristy S. Coleman, Re-Riting Woman: Dianic Wicca and the Feminine Divine (Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Press, 2010), 257 pp., $35.00 (paperback). PDF Open Access
Michelle Mueller 325-328