Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, January 4

We take a look at novels that helped popularize Paganism. The history of Abrahamic religions' flirtation with magic is examined. And one writer explains what the popular series The Legend of Korra taught her about self-worth. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment of magic and religion in pop culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Vertigo Comics, DC's special imprint for more "mature" titles, is perhaps best known for Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Alan Moore's Hellblazer. But now a new supernatural comic is debuting with the imprint: Red Thorn, which draws inspiration from the rich tradition of Scottish mythology.

It's little secret that Paganism and fantasy fandom have a long and mutually fruitful relationship. But what are some of the most influential books on the public perception of Paganism and Pagan ideals? At Patheos, Sable Aradia shares 22 cases.

In the Harry Potter series the students of Hogwarts were famously divided into four different houses based on their personal traits. Of the four, three drew the lion's share of attention: Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw (and in particular the former two). But what about Hufflepuff? That's the focus of this new play from New York City.

Today, there is a strong impression that the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (among others) are overwhelmingly anti-magic. But was that always the case? Archaeological evidence suggests that, at least among common worshipers, the aversion to magic wasn't always so strong.

Although not as well-known as its predecessor The Last Airbender, the Nickelodeon animated series The Legend of Korra has nonetheless inspired a great degree of discussion, debate, and affection since it first went on air several years ago. At The Mary Sue, writer Latonya Pennington describes how the show taught her a valuable lesson about valuing herself through external struggles and spiritual turmoil.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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