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The 18th Conference on Current Pagan Studies

TWH –  The 18th annual Convention on Present Pagan Research came about from January 15 to 16 over Zoom. The convention is likely one of the few alternatives for Pagan lecturers or Pagan-friendly lecturers to have interaction in scholarly discourse on trendy Paganism. The convention had 25 periods. Some had been experiential.  Under are temporary summaries of ten periods from the weekend convention.

Pagan Tradition

Orion Foxwood mentioned “The River of Blood: The Faery Follow to Heal Cross-Generational Ancestral Trauma.” He described the Pagan motion as an ancestral motion, unearthing ancestral gods. Foxwood spoke far more poetically and graphically than is common in an instructional convention. He mentioned, “We’re boats of flesh on a river of blood.” We solely see entanglements and attachments. Till we clear the good river, we’re simply recycling trauma. Not solely ought to we honor the ancestors, but in addition we should heal the ancestors, as we have gotten them. Cleansing the stream honors the ancestors. Foxwood then led the convention in a strong guided visualization about cleansing up that river of blood.

Francesca Tronetti, Ph.D. spoke about “Creating Pagan Neighborhood Out of Numerous Practices.” She famous that Pagan communities encompass numerous solitaries. One would assume this could result in fragmentation. That fragmentation, nonetheless, has not appeared to happen. Her presentation targeted on why that has not occurred. Tronetti argued that Paganism is a artistic faith. Pagans don’t debate who holds the ”Reality.” This pluralism of beliefs permits folks to work collectively. Often, solitaries transfer out and in of teams and again into solitary work. Pagans are folks of the Library, not the E book.

Jeffrey Albaugh, Ph.D., mentioned “The Battle Between: Up to date Pagans, Divine Inspiration, and Participation in Late-Stage Capitalism.” It was extra like an essay with observations than a typical tutorial paper with conclusions. He mentioned that Jung thought-about creativity as one of many main psychological drives. In distinction, up to date US capitalism has yoked creativity to materials acquire. Faith has develop into a commodity for consumption. Albaugh linked that idea to YouTube influencers advertising Paganism on the web.

Jeffrey Albaugh – courtesy

Pagans and Pop Tradition

Movie historian and journalist, Heather Greene mentioned “The Use of Pop Tradition in Magic and Ritual.” She spoke in regards to the growing intersection of popular culture and Pagan observe. She in contrast the connection of followers to their star to that of non secular devotees to their god. Some popular culture media have given rise to what appears to be like like a faith. Jediism from Star Wars will be the most well-known. At first, fundamentalists attacked the Harry Potter books and movies. Now, some fundamentalists view them as telling a Christian story. Oberon Zell has additionally used Harry Potter books and flicks as Pagan instructing instruments. Pagans steadily use pop music in rituals. Disney has even produced two or three Tarot Decks. Notice: throughout Greene’s presentation, the zoom “Chat” appeared significantly vigorous and engaged, validating her argument.

Murtagh AnDoile spoke about “People Horror Revivals and Pagan Revivals: Cultural Touchstones, Interweaving Threads.” People Horror re-enchants the world. In doing so, nonetheless, the previous methods take their merciless revenge. People horror depends on the uncanny, Fortean occasions, and concrete wyrd. The latter refers to “the sense of otherness inside the narrative.” People horror started within the nineteenth century with E.A. Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorn and continued into the twentieth century with H.P. Lovecraft. Movies on this style embody The Wickerman (1973 Robin Hardy). and The Village (2004, M. Night time Shyamalan), amongst others.

Pagan Historical past

Caroline Tully spoke about “Creativeness, Creativity, and Unsubstantiated Private Gnosis in Up to date Pagan Relationships with Historical Gods: The Case of Hekate.” She mentioned how the worship of Hecate modified all through the 1,200 years of her lively cult. Worship of Hecate first seems round 700 B.C.E. Archaeological proof depicts her as a single or triple goddess, however not as a crone. In 425 B.C.E., the Athenians positioned a statue of Hecate on the Athenian acropolis. In that stature, she had the type of a triplicate goddess surrounding a column. Through the classical interval, Hecate was a goddess of transitions. Within the Hellenistic interval, she grew to become linked to canine. Solely within the Roman interval, did she develop an affiliation with the moon.

Denny Sargent spoke about “Animistic-Pagan Werewolf Cults within the Historical World.” Sargent linked werewolves with human-animal shapeshifting and the extra Dionysian aspect of Paganism. Sargent argued that amongst Indo-European tribes, roving bands of warriors recognized as werewolves. Herodotus reported that werewolf cults had been extant in his time. Mount Lykaion in Arcady had temples to wolfish Pan and Zeus Lykaios, each werewolf gods. A she-wolf sucked Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Within the Roman Lupercalia ritual, the clergymen of the Wolf God, the Luperci, would run via the streets of the town, putting folks with the pores and skin of a sacrificed animal.

Getting ready for Demise and Dying

Herleena Hunt, a loss of life midwife, spoke about “the Function Creativeness and Creativity Performs in Dying and Demise.” She gave sensible tips about making ready for loss of life. Folks can depart their tales within the type of a memento video, legacy letters, or treasure containers of necessary objects. She recommended having a house funeral. Inexperienced burials embody compost burials, inexperienced coffins, and shroud burials. She referred to as for Pagans to reimagine loss of life.

Kat Reeves spoke about “Demise & Dying: Artistic Transformation.” She burdened that embalming pumps the physique stuffed with harmful chemical compounds, together with solvents. Burial places these harmful chemical compounds into the earth. The sanitization of loss of life modifications it from a pure course of to an unnatural and shedding battle for all times. Presently, folks have a tendency to enter hospice after they have few days left. Reeves argued for six months in hospice to present folks time to organize and say goodbyes to family members.

Man Frost spoke on the theme of “Inspiration in Preserving Up to date Pagan Historical past.” Archiving preserves and shops the information of latest Paganism for analysis. People donate their papers and different information to be archived. A number of libraries at the moment are amassing this materials to be used in learning trendy Paganism. With digitalization and the web, this materials can go browsing. As soon as on-line, these information could be obtainable to anybody with an web connection. Folks can block some materials from turning into public for a given time frame. Objects of curiosity embody ephemera, receipts, notes, and media in addition to each revealed and unpublished materials. Heirs could also be unaware of, or hostile to, the worth of Pagan materials. These unaware or hostile heirs have already despatched components of Pagan historical past to landfills.

If anybody would love extra info on donating their information to the New Age Actions, Occultism, and Spiritualism Analysis Library, they need to contact Man Frost at gfrost@valdosta.edu.

The convention introduced that sooner or later it’s going to provide each face-to-face and zoom parts. For individuals who have an interest within the scholarly understanding of Paganism, the convention offers a novel alternative for neighborhood and discourse.

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