Today is Wednesday, July 10, and in two days I leave New Orleans to begin my summer tour. First stop: Brushwood!!
The Brushwood Folklore Center is a sprawling campground that houses several yearly Pagan festivals, the two largest being Sirius Rising (July 16-21) and Summerfest (July 23-28). Of all the Pagan festivals I do, and have done (which are many) these are my favorites. Part of that is Brushwood itself. Nestled in the hilly farm lands of the New York/Pennsylvania border (near Erie PA), the site is beautiful. It features two cafes, a hot tub, a pool, a kid's area, and a fire circle roundhouse that's bigger than your home (unless you live in a mansion).
Many Pagans, especially those with a presence on Facebook, followed with interest the battle being fought earlier this year between well known resource site Wikipedia and the Pagan community. Pagan efforts were lead by a prominent Pagan festival organizer, who saw numerous Wikipedia entries of Pagan notables up for review and deletion (see one article here on the situation). The deletion reviews charged that these Pagan leaders were "not notable enough" and had no secondary sources linked to their pages. Indeed, my own Wikipedia entry was called out for deletion: fortunately I am cited as an expert on Mythology in several journals including that of the American Film Institute, and I have played fiddle on numerous recordings by well known musicians: so my own entry was spared. Other Pagan notables did not fare as well. In fact the entry for Starwood, one of the oldest and most respected Pagan-oriented festivals in North America, was deemed unworthy and was taken down.
One of the leaders who was spearheading the movement to stop Wikipedia from its war on Pagans noticed one particular editor's name appearing again and again in the criticisms of Pagans, an editor calling himself Qworty. The Pagan leader suggested several times that this Qworty had a vendetta against Paganism in general. In fact, Qworty made statements in his criticisms of Pagan pages like these:
1) People who promote "witchcraft" are either charlatans or severely mentally ill
2) A good number of these Strega folks are Satan worshippers, for whatever that's worth
3) The rest of them are a bunch of New Agers who have gone way, way, way over the deep end, spending too much time sucking on water pipes in Santa Cruz and imagining that their deceased Italian forebears are going to drop down out of the sky (or rise up out of Hell) with advice on imagined medical problems, real financial problems, horrible self-created relationship problems, etc [bullet points are part of quote]
When challenged for these statements, Qworty responded:
This is a quick post to announce the release of a book I wrote for Spero Press, A Teen's Eye View Of Mens Spirituality. Spero is currently publishing an entire series of books on spirituality for teens and for children; mine is the first book in the series aimed at teen boys.
I was doing a photo session recently for Lauren's Blog, in which we were portraying the archetypes seen in fairy tales, and experimenting with how they function magically. The shoot, and Lauren's blog, got me thinking about the same subject, something I have written about many times.