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Pagan News Beagle: Watery Wednesday, March 30

A manuscript detailing Isaac Newton's alchemical pursuits is revealed. Controversy erupts in the Pagan community over political activism. And we take a look at how coloring has taken over as a hobby among Pagans. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Isaac Newton has been called both the first scientist as well as the "last of the magicians." While his work in physics and mathematics are by far his most substantive accomplishments in academia, his interest in magic went well beyond a hobby. A newly uncovered manuscript reveals the extent of Newton's interest, detailing his proposed recipe for the legendary "philosopher's stone."

Many Pagans are many political. Many are not. But does Paganism and particularly polytheism have a political quality in of itself? Not according to Tess Dawson, who argues that polytheism is not attached to any particular political ideology and it is a mistake (and potentially problematic) to argue that it is.

Hobbies are a very personal thing and vary significantly from one person to another. But some hobbies are more popular than other. As coloring books rise in popularity across the United States, Crystal Blanton looks at coloring as a hobby within the Pagan community and how it can be spiritual as well as artistic.

Are we facing a new era of authoritarianism and political violence? Gods & Radicals founder Rhyd Wildermuth writes about the rise of the so-called "new right" and its connections to portions of the Pagan community. You can read his full analysis here.

Not everyone, however, appreciated Rhyd Wildermuth's assertion that some movements within Paganism, like so-called "hard polytheism," are more vulnerable to infiltration by racism and sexism than others. At Patheos, John Beckett fields his rebuttal to Wildermuth's argument, which he calls "guilt by association."


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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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