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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Kerr CuhulainKerr Cuhulain is an influential Canadian Pagan author. The first openly-Pagan cop in North America, Kerr’s work with the Vancouver Police Department, and his regular column at Witchvox, “Witch Hunts,” along with his book, “The Law Enforcement’s Guide to Wicca,” probably did more to help eliminate the systematic persecution of Pagans from the Satanic Panic than any other source. Recently retired from his involvement with the law enforcement to the Sunshine Coast, Kerr has retreated into a quiet life of writing and contemplation. I caught up with Kerr when discussing Vancouver Pagan Pride Day:

Question: Thanks for agreeing to do this interview! Tell us a little about yourself. Who is the man behind the story?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Unchurched

Though my people are Methodists on one side and Baptists on the other, I was not raised in either church. I got formal religious training from a parochial Lutheran elementary school and my own intellectual curiosity. Friends and neighbors invited me to visit their churches with them and I sometimes did--giving me an interesting smattering of all kinds of ceremonies and observances.  My grandmother sang in the choir of a small Methodist church and I sometimes went to church with her and my grandfather. I sat in the second row between him and a former mayor of our little town and I was very well-behaved. Of course.

I have never been christened or baptized because I grew up "unchurched," as we say in the South. One of the best parts of that sort of upbringing is that I don't carry around a load of anger or fear or resentment for my treatment at the hands of a monolithic institution like The Church. And I got to make macaroni picture frames in vacation bible school and I was a sure winner at the Sword Drill.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Obviously so.
  • David Polllard
    David Polllard says #
    There are some Pagan traditions which come closer to the social aspects of churches, like the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, or if yo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In 2011, I launched the Pagan Pathfinders' Podcast, which got some attention at places like the Wild Hunt Blog and the Canadian National Pagan Conference.  My vision was one of a panel of knowledgeable Pagans of various traditions and locations, discussing a topic online as panelists do at conferences.  As I say in the preview video, people were really quite accommodating and friendly and open to the possibilities.

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  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    I'd be interested in participating. I'm the managing non fiction editor for Immanion press and author as well.
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    If the live stream causes any problems, Google Hangouts can be done and then uploaded seamlessly to YouTube to create a show-like
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Thank you very much for the offer! Expect that I will take you up on it. Certainly the Google Hangouts thing would also be excel

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Sun Wheel Pagan Arts Festival 2013

On the July 1st long weekend, I celebrated Canada Day by driving 10 hours to Drayton Valley, Alberta, to pitch a tent in a mosquito-infested field.  I left late, of course; I never seem to get out on time.  I didn't want to be late because even though the Sun Wheel Pagan Arts Festival didn't officially begin until the following day, on the Friday evening there was a firewalk scheduled and I had never done such a thing.  I came with my husband Erin and my young boyfriend Chad McLeary, also scheduled to perform on the stage.  I was quite honoured to be part of such a prestigious line-up; the roster included Vanessa Cardui, current bardic champion of the Kingdom of AnTir, an up-and-coming artist who also does medieval music like me; my friends from the Edmonton Pagan Choir and Chalice and Blade; the legendary Sharon Knight; and the indomitable Heather Dale.

But I shouldn't have worried.  Pagan Standard Time being what it is, things were running about the two hours late that I had left the house by, so I had just enough time to set up camp before hurrying off to the ritual.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Thanks for sharing your experiences! It's nice to see some of our neighbo(u)rs to the north here. I'll definitely check out the Ca
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Pleased that you enjoyed it, Jamie! And it looks like things are coming together, I am happy to say. I will write about it as t
25 Most Influential People in the Birth of Modern Paganism (Canadian Wing)

A lot of people have been reading and circulating the recent articles that were written by my fellow Patheos.com blogger, Jason Mankey, about the “25 Most Influential People in the Birth of Modern Paganism”.  He wrote an “American Wing” article and a “European Wing” article, and I thought they were excellent, but the sum total of his mention of those of us north of the 49th Parallel was “sorry, Canada!”  Well, naturally that got my dander up a little.  It gives the impression that what goes on up here is an appendix to the greater American scene.  But in the founding of modern Paganism, in many cases it was the other way around.  Here’s my list of 25 Canadians who helped mold the modern Pagan world; without whom, nothing would be as it is.  If you ranked them along with the members of the other two lists to create a list of “The 25 Most Influential People in the Birth of Modern Paganism (All-Time Champions,)” some wouldn’t make the cut . . . but many of them would.  Just as Mankey did, I’ll list them in alphabetical order, since prioritizing is very difficult.  Mankey said that the American list was harder than the European one because everyone was “second generation”; I find that my list consists of either proto-Pagan contributors, or people who are doing very interesting things right now; perhaps a third generation, still active.

Runners-up:

 

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Howdy, Hobbes -- yup, you are certainly in that article. Cool! Any list like this (or the one in the article "True North: Pagan Co
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Interestingly, they are interconnected! I began working on an article about Paganism North of the parallel not long after Brendan
  • Hobbes
    Hobbes says #
    And by recent, I mean in the most recent issue of Witches & Pagans.
  • Hobbes
    Hobbes says #
    I was recently named one of Canada's best Pagan storytellers, I've helped organize a bunch of Pagan events, and I annoy all the be
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Oh Hobbes, like I could forget you! But you know, we don't know you out West at all. Come out and do something in our neck of t

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