Today, a general plethora of links on things of potential interest to readers of this blog…
First, the nest “Queer I Stand” column by me has been posted on Patheos.com’s Pagan Portal: it’s called “A Matter of Pride.” Not unlike my entry yesterday, I took Stonewall and LGBTQ Pride festivals as my theme for this column, with results that are perhaps a bit cynical, but nonetheless needed, in my opinion. Feel free to comment over there, or here, as you may prefer.
Also at Patheos.com, Star Foster at the Pantheon blog has posted a very interesting piece, “Minorities are Always Wrong.” While she’s specifically addressing the stance of paganism within interfaith activities, and how it is a definite persecuted and maligned minority, the same could easily be said about racial minorities, sexual minorities, and any number of other situations where discrimination of a minority group can and does occur. Thank you for addressing this, Star!
Also picking up on another thread I posted about a few days ago, Melissa Murray has written a follow-up response on the transgender-exclusionary issues at Pagan Spirit Gathering this year, which I would suggest everyone who is interested in this issue go and read! Thank you, Melissa, for your continued advocacy and work on this very important matter!
In archaeological news, two things from the area of Britain which may be of interest: first, a multi-million dollar hoard of Celtic coins was recently discovered on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands off of the coast of Britain. It’s the largest such hoard ever found, and is bound to give numismatists, as well as wider Celtic Studies scholars, a great deal of material to add to their considerations–who knows what iconographic wonders may lie waiting to be explored therein? And second, an archaeological group working on Stonehenge now believes it was a kind of monument to a “united Britian” in late neolithic times. While it’s certainly an interesting suggestion, I don’t know if I’m quite satisfied with it; I’m certainly not of the opinion that Egyptians, UFOs, Celts, or any other wild and nonsensical theories are the reason behind the site, but I don’t know if I buy that far more mundane explanation as a satisfying one either. It’s obviously a religious structure, and while the team’s conclusions include those considerations, still…one hopes for something better and more interesting than something along those lines, especially considering there’s absolutely no way to prove that finding based on anything other than the archaeologists’ opinions (which seem to me a bit lacking in imagination). Anyway…
I want to also draw your attention to an interview that was done in the newest Eternal Haunted Summer with William McGillis, who is editing an anthology on actual experiences of pagans with deities. As paganism is an experiential religion, and there’s really no reason to be doing it unless one has had, or wants to have, direct contact with deities, ancestors, land spirits, and other noncorporeal or other-than-human persons, it’s good that now there is a project that is going to highlight some of these experiences. I hope to contribute something to it myself!
Finally, I had a dream about this earlier today, and thus it is obviously on my mind as something significant, so I had better share it. Today, the original/main Capitol Hill shop of Travelers is closing. Not only is it a great shop, with wonderful food and chai and other things, it was also the unofficial hub of the greater Seattle area esoteric, pagan, alternative, and generally-good-weirdos community, and the lack of it is going to be a huge hole in the heart of our local community for a long time. I will never forget all of the treasures, quite literally, that it contained, all under the watchful three eyes, four arms, and dancing feet of Shiva Nataraja. My own devotion to Hanuman would be greatly impoverished if it weren’t for Travelers. In 2009, Travelers was the host of our local Foundation Day ritual, and thus it has a particularly dear place in my heart due to its direct history with the Ekklesía Antínoou. I’m really upset that this is the case, but I understand why…and, I plan to do something to assist in the effort of helping Alan and Leon out, which I’ll be reporting further on in the next week or two. Meanwhile, I want to say a personal thank you to Alan, Leon, Mary, Shannon, and the grand rotating cast of many others who worked there and made it a wonderful place of refuge, meeting, and enjoyment for me in the last five years, and for countless others over the last two decades.
I prostrate myself at your feet, O Travelers!
And look, even Antinous is sad about this.
But, may Leon and Alan go on to greater successes in the future with their restaurant on Beacon Hill, which I hope to visit in the near future!
Jai Leon! Jai Alan! Jai Jai Jai Hanuman! Om Namah Shivaya!