Category Archives: Other

Orlando

Cloth has historically been an important vessel of magic and symbolism in both Pagan and Christian times, and that still holds true today. My scarves are a source of power and an act of rebellion against mainstream society, and I will be using them to honor the queer victims of the Orlando Pulse massacre.

The Mantled Fox

When I first heard about the Orlando massacre I didn’t have an emotional response. The numbers weren’t revealed yet, and the only information I knew was that it was a shooting at a nightclub. Another one. It’ll get a few moments on the 10 o’ clock news and people will simply not care like they always do.

Then I discovered that it was at a gay nightclub and the shooter was a homophobe. People on facebook and twitter commented on how incomprehensible the violence was. Incomprehensible? When it happens all the time in this culture of violence? How privileged and isolated you must be to think this is incomprehensible. Exasperation and cynicism began to bubble up in me.

Not even 24 hours passed when articles everywhere began discussing how the shooter was an ISIS supporter, acting on behalf of the terrorist organization. Suddenly it turned into a terrorist attack on…

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Update on “The Mantled Fox”

If you don’t remember a while back last year I created a headcovering blog to join the few pagan headcovering blogs out there, but I haven’t actually put it to good use due to suddenly getting cold feet about having my face be exposed to the public internet. I detail this in an update post on the blog but long story short I’m getting over that fear and will finally be using the blog for its intended purpose. I also updated the look of the site, let me know how you like it!

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Light the Beacons – May 1st

Hello everyone, after another stretch of not posting anything I’m starting to ease back into blogging, starting with a brief notice about this heathen event occurring worldwide.

Heathens United Against Racism has organized an event on facebook called “Light the Beacons” set to occur on May 1st, 2016 (May Day).

On this coming May Day we call on all Heathens around the world who stand for inclusive, tolerant, and diverse practice to light a beacon in solidarity with all other Heathens who stand for these values in our spirituality. Whether you are lighting a candle in your home with your loved ones or are hosting a bonfire party open to the public we ask you help us shine a light on all the good work, good practice, and good people in Heathenry across Midgard.

Using the hashtags #LightTheBeacons and #Havamal127 on social media you can link your photo and/or stories of activism to connect with the group and event.

If you choose to participate please take a picture of your beacon, whether it is a candle or a roaring bonfire, send it to HUAR with the number of people who participated and where, in terms of the nearest major city or region, it took place. If you want to organize a public bonfire event please send us the information and we will help promote it. Together we will ignite a fire in our hearts and homes that will push back the shadows of fear & ignorance, shine light on our honor, and rally the hopes of Heathens everywhere.

 

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Because apparently this tripe is being regurgitated again into the blogosphere…

You can be a polytheist, a pantheist, a monotheist, and an atheist, and still be pagan too. Because paganism isn’t just what contemporaries attempt to define it as, it’s all possible things when you take historical paganism into account.

Anyone who wants to argue and gatekeep can take their useless piss somewhere else. You’re never going to settle this mental masturbation until you can provide objective proof of the gods existing as you think they do. Trust me I know what it’s like to see people take a label that you think means one thing and others do something completely opposite to it (to the point where you’re just disgusted by them), but the fact of the matter is that you can’t control it, and there’s always a chance that you’re the one going about it wrong.

 

 

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New Blog!

Hello everyone!

As some may recall I have started covering my head back in March 2015 and since then I’ve been involved in headcovering groups and the concept of modest dress as a whole. It’s been a rather transformative experience and I’m glad that I started doing it.

However, being from the USA most headcovering and modest dress forums and blogs are Abrahamic in nature (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim). Naturally their reasons for modest dress and covering are rooted in their religious beliefs, beliefs that I and most pagans do not share. On top of that, I’m not even a “typical pagan”, so the rare pagan resources for headcovering do not resonate with me either.

In response I decided to start my own blog to share my experiences as a headcovering pagan, at a new blog called The Mantled Fox. I would really appreciate if my viewers here would have a look and tell me if the general theme and layout is legible and relatively easy on the eyes, and if the site actually works for you in the first place (i.e. comments can be left for instance).

I debated whether or not to have headcovering be separate from this blog or to be one category among others, as I’m not entirely sure what direction I’m going to go with the headcovering blog. Unlike the Abrahamic traditions there’s not a whole lot of philosophy or religious debate to headcovering and modesty in pagan religions, as there’s no broadly fundamental texts or old, continuing tradition to make interpretations from. Instead (speaking from an European-centered viewpoint) what we have are historical examples of pagan headcovers, and the creation of new traditions that may or may not be in line with the older forms, separated by thousands of years of Abrahamic religions overlaying the cultures and giving context to clothing styles. Some styles may resemble those found in ancient pagan cultures, but the reasons for the styles can be different. Besides, all of the pagan headcoverers I’ve seen do not follow any pagan European style of headcovering for daily wear, they follow contemporary Jewish or Muslim traditions due to the materials and resources that are available (as do I).

As a result I decided that a headcovering blog would not quite fit the theme of “Along the River”, as it would likely be rooted in opinion and personal experiences rather than historical and cultural religious exploration. Some overlap will occur, but I don’t think enough of an overlap will exist to justify a combination. Hence, the Mantled Fox was born.

(Now whether I actually keep the site active will remain to be seen lol)

 

 

 

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There are no dead cultures.

There’s an idea that has been bothering me a lot lately when I make my rare forays into the Neopagan blogosphere, and that’s the idea that supposedly dead cultures are up for grabs for everyone to take just because they’re considered dead. Egyptian and Greek being a common example, but there’s also Aztec and other indigenous ways that have been considered dead since the Europeans invaded the Americas. Even European religions are considered dead despite having records of up to 50 years ago in some cases.

To me that’s unacceptable.

For starters, cultures are created by people. They cannot truly die if the people are still alive, and in all the cases I’ve seen so far, they are most definitely still alive. There’s still Aztec, Mayan, and Egyptian people around who are the descendants of those who practiced the old religions. Hell, there’s even Taino people still, despite US history classes’ insistence that Columbus wiped them all out. Even if the Egyptians are mostly Muslim, that doesn’t mean their ancestor’s ways aren’t still a part of them and their current culture’s manifestations, or that they don’t have pride and ownership of their ancestor’s culture. That connection and that ownership should be respected.

Furthermore, even if a culture actually is dead, that still doesn’t mean everyone else can have at it. Do you rob graves to take the dead’s jewels and clothes? Hopefully not, that would just be plain disrespectful and gross. Dead cultures, and the people who used to live them, deserve respect too. There are ways to incorporate various symbols and ideas into a syncretic religion, but putting Bast, Thor, and Baron Samedi onto an altar with a smudge stick, a dreamcatcher, a pentacle, and Buddhist prayer beads and chanting from the Tibetan Book of the Dead ain’t it. That’s just making a fetishistic collection of exotic-looking items to fill a spiritual void in your life.

Cultures are not a free-for-all, dead or alive. Cultures are not meant to be “shared” by random people all over the world. That is a lie perpetuated by Western colonialism to turn exotic cultures (and the people within them) into commodities to own and exploit. Taking exotic sacred items and ideas and reducing them into something else is not true sharing. Thinking that a god from a foreign culture “called” you is not an excuse.

At the VERY least, if you’re that insistent upon worshiping a god or using an idea from a foreign and/or “dead” culture, put some effort into understanding the context of the culture(s) and the various reasons for why the god or the idea is what it is. Don’t just collect things for your personal benefit, actually learn all that you can learn about them. Put effort into showing respect for the culture(s) you’re taking from.

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“Hey, why haven’t there been any posts lately??”

Sorry guys, I’m on temporary hiatus due to how crazy busy my life has become lately. A good crazy busy, but still. I just graduated with my Master’s in Environmental Science (yay!) and will be defending my thesis later this summer, probably sometime in August. I’m also presenting a portion of my thesis at a conference in late June (so I gotta scramble to get that put together and polished) and I’m starting a new job around then running an invasive species program for my region, bringing me up to full-time hours. All while trying to write my thesis (yea I’m nuts, but I gotta make it work, it’s a huge opportunity to advance in my field).

So yea, that’s why it’s been so quiet here again. I have quite a few drafts made for this blog so it’s not like there’s no content, but due to my goal of returning to more academic articles with accessible references means each one needs to have extra time devoted to research. Those usually takes a bit longer to double check than a UPG-focused post, but I feel the extra care is worth it.

I’ll most likely be able to return to a more normal schedule once the fall rolls around. Meanwhile the posts will be few and far between. Well, fewer and farther than usual. I’m still able to be contacted and I get comment notifications right away on my phone so if there’s questions or topic requests send them my way 🙂

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