Tag Archives | Paganism

The Terror Of Stagnation: Gaahl Of Wardruna Interviewed

via The Quietus Gaahl_1369834444_crop_550x498

Dayal Patterson speaks to the enigmatic and iconoclastic Gaahl about the Runes, the difficulties of creativity and why he actually likes open-mindedness

With the majority of its key protagonists operating under pseudonyms and layers of monochromatic face paint – not to mention working within a genre that is inherently esoteric, fiercely independent and often vehemently opposed to mainstream exposure – it’s not surprising that black metal produces very few household names. Indeed, even within the parameters of the wider metal community only a handful of participants have really become anything close to recognisable – Varg Vikernes of Burzum for example, those larger-than-life characters from Immortal and, if we’re pushing the definition of ‘black metal’, perhaps the ever-provocative Dani from Cradle Of Filth.

Vocalist, clothes designer and occasional actor Kristian ‘Gaahl’ Espedal may not be likely to grace the covers of Q, NME, or even Metal Hammer any time soon, but there’s no doubt that his profile has been steadily on the ascent during the last decade.

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Disgraced New York City Councilman’s Pagan Rituals Exposed

Queens Republican Dan Halloran is at the center of a scandal involving an attempt to influence the New York City mayoral race with bribes.

Bizarrely, he may also be the most influential pagan politician in city history, with the press now carping on the odder beliefs and activities of his faith, Theodism, including a time when he was stripped, tied to a tree, and whipped as punishment for improper actions toward a female slave. The New York Post attempts to wrap its head around it all:

Halloran – arrested Tuesday as the suspected bag man in state Sen. Malcolm Smith’s alleged plot to buy his way onto the mayoral ticket — has been publicly flogged as part of his Theodish punishments.

Halloran converted in the 1980s from Catholicism to the pre-Christian Germanic religion, whose believers drink mead or whiskey from horns and dress like characters in a Renaissance fair. He learned about their tough disciplinary code when he committed an undisclosed act against a female “thrall” — or probationary servant.

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Witchcraft, Spells, Curses, And Exorcisms Thriving In The Welsh Countryside, Reverend Claims

Are the picturesque towns of rural Wales a hotbed of the occult? The Telegraph on a scenario recalling the late nineties Sandra Bullock classic Practical Magic:

Witchcraft is thriving in the Welsh countryside, a church minister has said, as he described stumbling upon an increasing number of effigies, users of the evil eye and exorcisms. Rev. Felix Aubel claims occult practices in rural Wales have been increasing during the two decades he has been working in the area.

The minister spoke out after latest figures in the 2011 census has revealed 83 witches and 93 satanists are living in Wales. He said there was an “unusual connection” between Christianity and witchcraft in some chapel circles in Wales.

Rev. Aubel, who is the minister of five Congregational chapels in rural Carmarthenshire, said he has called out an exorcist after a witch placed a curse on one of his parishioners. He said: “This is not a joke and I would warn people not to get involved in the occult…I have been told that a coven of witches still meet locally.

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Utah Town Burned 16-Foot Mammoth Effigy For Winter Solstice

This is my kind of Christmas — shades of The Wicker Man in a remote Utah town.  Salt Lake City’s KSL reports:

The town is relying on the wooden mammoth to hopefully catch the attention of researchers. The effigy, built to scale, was built over the course of three weeks by Pachak and Bluff residents, using only sticks and two support poles. The 8 p.m. ceremony will include drumming, and Gulliford said the effigy won’t be set on fire with just matches.

The mammoth is meant to celebrate the winter solstice and draw attention to the historical significance of the area. Mammoth petroglyphs [were discovered] near Bluff, a town of a few hundred people located on the San Juan River. Rock expert and local artist Joe Pachak first discovered the petroglyphs in 1987, but they have been a source of controversy ever since.

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Swiss Santa Claus’s Terrifying Alter-Ego Schmutzli

The harsh Germanic Santa Claus equivalent known as Krampus has seen his celebrity rise in recent years, but he’s not Northern Europe’s only the only psychologically scarring Christmas figure. Switzerland’s black-cloaked Schmutzli, also known as “the Whipping Father,” arrives each December 25th to beat and abduct children. Swissinfo says:

Known as Schmutzli in the German part of the country and Père Fouettard (from “whip”) in French, Samichlaus’s alter ego usually carries a broom of twigs for administering punishment to children.

Kurt Lussi, curator at Lucerne’s History Museum, says that the St. Nicholas custom in Switzerland became interwoven with a festival of masks dating back to pre-Christian times. Schmutzli, he says, was a symbol of the evil spirits which these ancient festivals sought to drive out with a combination of noise and light.

He gives the example of an illustration from 1486 that depicts a demon who abducts children. “This child-stealing motif returns again in Schmutzli,” he said.

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On The Hidden Pagan Meaning Of Santa Claus

Via Verso Books, McKenzie Wark defends Christmas in fantastic fashion:

Xmas is pagan, and this is what places it outside of Jewish and Christian understandings, of gifts, of aesthetics, of time. Christians understood its power and tried to coopt it. But the Christian version distorts it by tying it to the birth of their sacrificial savior. The pagan way is about understanding excess in and of itself, not as compensation for sacrifice.

What is essential to Xmas: there is a tree, and a gift for a child under a tree, that is “from Santa.” For the child, Xmas has nothing to do with ‘consumerism’. The gift just appears. Its a bit of what the surrealists called the marvelous. For the adult, it is a way to give to the child without expecting the child to be grateful to the parent. Rather, it is so the child can know that world itself could be generous.

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Witch Coven Members Deny Charges of Ritual Child Abuse

Two members of a Cornwall “white witch coven” have been accused of molesting young girls over the course of 30 years. Authorities say that the the two men, Peter Petrauske, 72, and Jack Kemp, 69, molested girls as young as three years-old during ceremonies in which the men wore robes and wielded daggers:

The Guardian:

Children were plied with alcohol before being made to undress in front of a crowd of men wearing robes, it was claimed.

The alleged victims, the youngest of whom aged three to five, were then abused by their tormentors before being given money and sweets to buy their silence, Truro crown court was told.

When Petrauske was arrested last year, detectives discovered daggers, candles, incense and lavender at his home, the court heard.

A case like this would have been a televangelist’s wet dream during the “Satanic Panic” of the eighties. What I find particularly odd about this story is the line about the detectives finding daggers, candles, incense and lavender in one of the suspect’s homes.… Read the rest

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Gods and Aliens: The Infinite and the Beyond (Podcast)

The Infinite and the BeyondPodcast: Episode 026 — Gods and Aliens

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Alien Pope

In the latest episode of The Infinite and the Beyond, discuss gods and aliens and the ideas surrounding Ancient Astronaut Theory. Do you believe in extra-terrestrials? Do you think they visted and helped ancient human civilizations? Are you a supporter of Ancient Astronaut Theory? If your answer is a resounding YES, then this episode is not for you, because I take a look into some of the propositions made by Ancient Astronaut Theorists and offer my thoughts on the matter which may not jive with you and your alien putty, but do not worry there is always Stonehenge! Later in the episode, I discuss the only alien abduction case I have helped with as a paranormal investigator. Hear the details as I share my diagnosis and methods of addressing the issue in my effort to help a friend. In A Corner in the Occult we learn about Lam, Aleister Crowley’s favorite martian, as well as the Typhonian Order which focuses on working and communication with extra-terrestrial entities, The Great Old Ones, as well as some of the darker aspects of metaphysics. We hear a track from our featured artist and future guest Alka, an electronic music composer who incorporates magick, occultism, and estoric practices and systems into his music making process. We discuss evocation in the Essence of Magick. I read listener email and talk about James Randi. We see which two lucky listeners won copies of Etched Offerings, and to close we ponder the origin of deity. This episode is really out of this world!

To message the show please go here.

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Witches: An Ecofeminist History Lesson

Magic CircleAlison Parker writes in Bitch Magazine:

To me, witches are the quintessential ecofeminists.

“Witch” is a word that was sullied by various groups of long ago, but it’s been reclaimed by herbalists like me. Witches and the word “witch” have many meanings in many cultures, but for the purposes of this post, I will touch on just one context, one dark moment of history: The suppression of witches—or healers who were mainly women—in medieval Europe that went on for centuries, and the themes behind those witch hunts that still appear in society today.

My mind began to swim with this idea of witch-as-ecofeminist while working at a medicinal herb farm as a farmhand long ago. I had been seeding herbs in the greenhouse alongside another worker, who was semi-complaining about the job, but then finally shrugged. “This one is way better than my last job at an herb farm,” she said.

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British Men Convicted For Nude Wiccan Fire Ritual

burninghellhouseThis is what can happen when you go too far trying to combat negative vibes. But as a believer in the power of burning sage, I’m sympathetic. The Telegraph reports:

Aftab Mughal went to see Terence Williams for advice and the pair decided to burn away the negativity using lit newspaper as part of a Wiccan ceremony.

A neighbour became concerned after seeing thick smoke coming from the flat. He climbed on a roof at the front of the house and, looking inside, could see Williams standing next to a fire completely naked and throwing things on to it, the court was told. He banged on the window to get Williams’ attention and shouted at him to get out. “The flames were licking around Mr Williams’ ankles at that stage. He was staring right through him.”

The pair had been burning white sage leaves and a candle as they meditated. But when Mughal said there was a “negative vibe in the air”, they decided to burn it away.

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