Latest News and Relevant information on Wicca,Witchcraft, Druidry, Paganism and more

Latest News and Relevant information on Wicca,Witchcraft, Druidry, Paganism and more

Latest Witchcraft, Wicca and Pagan News

All the latest witchy news from around the world. On this page you can find the latest news and relevant information for Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Heathens and all walks of the Pagan Community.

  • Winter fire festivals in the UK celebrate Viking heritage
    UNITED KINGDOM — Winter in the UK is often a dull and dreary affair. The winds are cold and biting, the skies are grey and loaded with drizzle. Any snow, with its temporary sense of wonder and magic, tends to be short-lived. So what do we have to get us through the Winter Fire festivals! Up Helly Aa © Copyright Anne Burgess Britain, Scotland in particular, has a long history of winter fire festivals to mark the end of Yuletide and welcome the returning spring and days of more sun. Two well-known festivals are the Burning the Clavie and the world famous Up Helly Aa. Burning the Clavie takes place in the Moray region and harkens back to the old custom of tar barrelling. Up Helly Aa is described by Bryan Peterson of Shetland Arts as “36 hours of lawlessness, where by-laws are bypassed, marital vows are suspended and health and safety becomes very subjective.” Peterson adds: “For many Shetlanders, it’s bigger than Christmas and New Year put together.” Over recent years, the Up Helly Aa festival has seen an explosion of popularity. The event, whose name roughly translates as “End of Holy/holiday time for all,” marks the end of Yuletide on the Shetland Isles. Its date can alter as it is celebrated on the last Tuesday in January. The Up Helly Aa tradition is an old one and originally involved the practice of tar barrelling, where barrels of tar were set alight and rolled around the streets in a procession with accompanying mischief making. This is likely to be a nod to the Lord of Misrule antics that often traditionally accompany festivals around such as this time. Since Christianity’s arrival, these traditions have been more associated with Epiphany. Tar barrelling was phased out during the mid 19th century, and the more modern ceremony slowly evolved over that period. By the turn of the century, the galley ship and torchlit precession were firm fixtures of the Up Helly Aa festival. Today, the procession consists of roughly 1,000 torchbearers, known as guizers, making their way to a central spot where a huge Viking galley awaits. The guizers form different squads, and the whole event is led by the Guizer Jarl, who has his own squad of between 50 and 70 men. This group has formed the Jarl Squad for Up Helly Aa since the 1920s. The squad dresses in Viking regalia and calls themselves Vikings for a day. A new galley is custom built every year for the festival. As the procession gathers, the guizers move around the boat in a spiral with each member throwing their torch into the boat. As the boat catches fire, wishes for the new year are taken to the gods. The current Up Helly Aa celebrations are held at 10 different locations on Shetland. The festival is also a celebration of Shetland’s Viking roots.The Norn language, directly related to Old Norse, only died out in the mid 19th Century, and the current dialect (Shetland Scots) spoken there ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-23By Claire Dixon
  • The Shekinah – She is the Serpent…
    Right now I am deeply engaged in research, and I have found myself revisiting old research along the way.  Today, whilst working on the final edits for my forthcoming book Circle for Hekate, I found myself re-reading sections of The Cosmic Shekinah, which I co-authored with David Rankine (Avalonia, 2010).  I thought I would share [Read More...] ... read more
    Source: Adamantine MusingsPublished on 2017-02-23By Sorita d'Este
  • No 135 creating spells and learning to help
    Source: Tylluan Penry – Youtube ChannelPublished on 2017-02-22By Tylluan Penry
  • President Trump attracts magical ire
    UNITED STATES — President Donald Trump continues to raise hackles among progressives — as well as some conservatives — during these first hundred days of his term in office. Some of his opponents in the Pagan and polytheist communities are working magic against the 45th president, and in the tradition of hexing Brock Turner, some of that work is being done very publicly. Witch’s Bottle [Wikimedia Commons] Gala Darling broadcast a “bind Trump” ritual on President’s Day, capitalizing on the holiday to focus energy on the effort. Based on the participant locations she rattled off, the effort was an international one. Binding is a form of magic that is less ethically problematic for practitioners who subscribe to the threefold law or similar injunctions against manipulative magic. “Binding spells are traditionally used to prevent someone else’s energy from interfering with yours,” she wrote on her site, “and when there’s a dangerous narcissist dictating the direction of the USA, I think it’s high time to employ a powerful binding spell.” Last Monday was not the only opportunity to get involved in such a public effort, however. Another binding spell is scheduled to take place on Feb. 24, the start of the waning crescent moon. It’s been popularized by author Michael M. Hughes, who wrote, “It was allegedly created by a member of a private magical order who wishes to remain anonymous. I make no claims about its efficacy, and several people have noted it can be viewed as more of a mass art/consciousness-raising project . . . . but many are clearly taking it very seriously.” Both of those binding spells are broadly intended to keep the current president from doing harm, and they share components, such as thread, candles, and pins. Where Darling’s spell provides only general guidelines regarding the casters’ intentions, the spell shared by Hughes is quite specific, including such details as: Bind him so that he shall not break our polity Usurp our liberty Or fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair And bind, too, All those who enable his wickedness And those whose mouths speak his poisonous lies There are witches, root workers, and other magical practitioners who don’t believe that a binding is the only alternative. A trend to refer to Trump simply as “45” to undermine his perceived ego has more extensive magical expression in a hex of obsolescence, for example. However, many of the online examples were written before the election, which is itself may be a commentary on their effectiveness. What many of these spells offered do have in common is a rich variety of symbolism. Carrots and orange candles are used to evoke Trump’s hair. The fact that tarot decks have a trump called the Tower is too tempting to ignore. And, in the tradition of political advertising, unflattering pictures of the president are sometimes incorporated. The result of decades of self-branding provides a wide variety of icons and images for use in such magical work targeting him, including ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-22By Terence P Ward
  • Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine
    Sometimes it takes sharing a space to remember that we are all generally far more alike than different. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-02-21By Jason Mankey
  • Going Deeper: Spinner of Fate Retreat
    “I [Hekate] come, a virgin of varied forms, wandering through the heavens, bull-faced, three-headed, ruthless, with golden arrows; chaste Phoebe bringing light to mortals, Eileithyia; bearing the three synthemata [sacred signs] of a triple nature.  In the Aether I appear in fiery forms and in the air I sit in a silver chariot”  [Chaldean Oracles] [Read More...] ... read more
    Source: Adamantine MusingsPublished on 2017-02-21By Sorita d'Este
  • New Nature’s Spirit Conference unites science, religion, activism
    NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. — In late January, the newly created Nature’s Spirit Conference brought together scientists, activists, and spiritual leaders from various religious traditions to raise awareness for and address the critical water and environmental challenges facing South Florida.The goal of this day-long conference was twofold: to provide scientific information about the environmental challenges facing Florida and to explore interfaith and spiritual opportunities that will invigorate environmental activism. Everglades National Park [Public Domain] The conference took place January 28 and was organized by the Pagan Environmental Alliance and the Justice Action Ministry of the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches, and it was held in the Congregation’s sanctuary. Under near perfect weather, activists and others gathered to strengthen their understanding of the connections between science and their various religious paths with the goal of helping Florida’s ailing environment. The criticality of the moment was not lost on the morning panelists who focused on educating the forty or so conference attendees on the vital issues facing the state and her waters. After a brief welcome and opening blessing by Rev C.J. McGregor of the UU Congregation, Marty Baum, the Indian Riverkeeper and member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, began the morning panel discussion by immediately raising the immediacy of action required to foster a sustainable relationship with the environment and the accessibility of fresh water. Baum exhorted that “you have a right to clean water.” In that talk, Baum said that, when a government fails to limit contamination of water, which he called “our most vital resource,” it is more than negligence or political expediency. “Half the state, in one direction of the other is drying for lack of water,” he asserted. Baum added that we should understand water to be a national treasure not merely a national resource to be exploited. Other panelists agreed. Mr. Drew Martin of the Sierra Club Loxahatchee Group underscored the critical role that fresh, unpolluted water plays in sustaining the complex ecology of the Florida Everglades, where even small amounts of contaminants may have far-reaching consequences across both distance and time. Each of the panelists noted the recent algal blooms in South Florida as indicative of the need for more activism, vigilance, and regulation. Agal bloom around docks in Florida [Photo Credit: By John Moran / Public domain] However, the main thrust of the conference was on religion-based action. Citing the struggles of the Great Lakota Sioux Nation and their allies resisting the North Dakota Keystone pipeline project, more commonly known as DAPL, and the lessons of the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s, the conference’s book made clear that “faith is a potent mover for human action”. Dayan Martinez, one of the conference founders and member of the Pagan Environmental Alliance, explained his personal motivation for wanting to create the Nature’s Spirit Conference. “I organized the majority of the conference myself. I had some help from members of Palm Beach Pagans, our local social network of Pagan folks.I organized it to make two points. ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-21By Manny Tejeda-Moreno
  • Pagan Community Notes: Dana Eilers, Oroville Dam, Holli Emore and more!
    Dana Eilers [courtesy photo] CAPE COD, Mass. — Word spread quickly this weekend that Pagan and Witch Dana Eilers had died unexpectedly. Born Sept. 15, 1956 in North Chatham, Mass, Eilers spent much of her adult life using her knowledge and skills to assist the growing Pagan community in its quest for religious freedom. Eilers held a law degree from the New England School of Law and spent more than 17 years practicing in the states of Missouri and Illinois. Over the past three decades, she also applied her extensive knowledge of constitutional law and her passion for religious freedom to help Pagans facing religious discrimination. Included in that work was the writing of the essential guide book, Pagans and the Law. “Dana was a cherished and dear colleague at The Wild Hunt. Whenever I personally needed assistance working through court documents for an article, Dana would drop everything to help. No matter how long it took or how arduous it was, she did it. Her influence and support knows no bounds in our communities. She will be missed.” said Heather Greene, managing editor of The Wild Hunt. At this point, the exact details of her death have not been made public. We will have more on that in the coming week, as well as more details on her life and her work. What is remembered, lives. * * * [Courtesy state of California] GEYSERVILLE, Calif. — After a devastating drought, the rains are now coming in California and have led to a very different set of consequences. The dams now need to hold back water again. The Oroville Dam, in particular, was in such dire straits that evacuations were ordered last week, affecting many thousands of people including local some Pagans.Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) member Rachael Watcher shared some recollections about her experience, which began with an evacuation notice. “The only spillway for the entire Oroville Lake Reservoir, the second largest reservoir in California, had suddenly begun to spew chunks of cement, and they immediately closed it down to view the damage.” Closing the spillway led to the lake filling too fast, leading the Feather River to flood quickly. “We had just enough time to grab the cat, the dog, the computers and our meds and beat feet out of town. … By Sunday evening the highway patrol had closed all of the roads both north and south of Oroville.” The spillway ultimately did not fail, and while they were able to return home, concerns about more heavy rain this week hang over her and her family. As concerns over the Oroville Dam’s condition mounted, leaders of the Temple of Isis offered sanctuary to anyone evacuated from the dam’s vicinity. “With 180,000 evacuees potentially overwhelming existing resources, I thought we had an obligation to open up if we could possibly be of help,” said temple director deTraci Regula, particularly since the temple grounds have room for evacuees’ pets and larger animals. The temple is three hours’ drive from ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-20By The Wild Hunt
  • DruidCast – A Druid Podcast Episode 119
    Shownotes for DruidCast Episode 119 Seven Gypsies - Stick in the Wheel - http://www.stickinthewheel.com Deep Awake - Presented by Timothy Freke at AnderidaFest 2017 - http://timfreke.com The Devil & the Feathery Wife - Mike Gulston - http://www.rowengulston.co.uk OBOD on social media - Facebook - www.facebook.com/druidry. Twitter - www.twitter.com/druidry. Damh the Bard on social media - Facebook - www.facebook.com/damhthebard. Twitter - www.twitter.com/paganmusic. Instagram - www.instagram.com/paganmusic. DruidCast theme - Hills they are Hollow - Damh the Bard - www.paganmusic.co.uk For more information about the Druid tradition - www.druidry.org   ... read more
    Source: DruidcastPublished on 2017-02-20By Order of Bards Ovates and Druids
  • Power of art: an interview with artist Laura Tempest Zakroff
    SEATTLE, Wash. — Laura Tempest Zakroff, known to many by the name Tempest, is a Pagan artist and Witch from the Seattle area. She travels the country attending festivals and conferences, sharing her work, teaching, and performing. Her art incorporates her visions of the world as well as creating powerful connections to her spiritual beliefs, to Witchcraft, to healing, and more recently to her own brand of political activism. Laura Tempest Zakroff Raised in the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, Zakroff was the youngest of three children in a mixed-religious family.Her father is Jewish and her mother is Catholic. Zakroff’s two brothers, as she said, were much older and so she felt as if she was “practically an only child.” In addition, Tempest added that many of her childhood friendships didn’t last. Children in her school or her neighborhood would move away or go to a different school. Friendships were hard to maintain, and she was often alone. Zakroff said, “I remember spending a lot of time outside in the back yard, turning over rocks, collecting moss, playing with plants, and gathering them to dry in the little wooden play cottage my parents built for me. When I wasn’t outside, I was inside drawing, painting, and building things […] I learned to amuse myself, keep my attention occupied by nature and art.” We spoke with Zakroff more about her childhood, her influences, her spiritual beliefs, and how it all comes together in the very varied modes of artistic expression for which is she is known. *   *   * TWH: Coming from a household with a multi-faith background, how were you reared?   LTZ: My brothers and I were all raised Catholic, and went to Catholic school from kindergarten onward. TWH: As a child, how did you experience this Catholic upbringing specifically? LTZ:   I remember finding priests fascinating at a very young age, and I loved the beautiful churches. Ours had large amazing stained-glass windows, and my grandparents’ church in Philadelphia is the oldest Italian church in the U.S. [It is] filled with murals, stained glass, and mosaics.  But very early on, it did not sit well with me that women could not be priests, girls could not be acolytes (now they can, but not back then). With the exception of the rituals that focused on the adoration of the Virgin Mary, I found going to mass to be extremely boring and lacking energy or purpose. But I got dragged to mass every week with my mom until I was 18. I went through all of the sacraments up through confirmation. I think every sacrament there was actual concern that I’d let loose or somehow otherwise get rejected, especially during confirmation. Despite my internal leanings, I was an excellent student, so I was driven to do well on all of the things – including religion. TWH: Let’s talk about the arts. When did you first experience the arts? LTZ:   My parents are both creative people who majored in journalism. My father ran ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-19By Heather Greene
  • Column: Oshun on the Altar of Pop Culture
    With the her announcement of twins and her recent Grammy performance, Beyoncé has become the center of media attention once again. Not only is Queen Bey trending this week, but she has been trending throughout the entire month of February. With her Instagram announcement of her pregnancy Feb 1, Beyoncé broke the record for the picture earning most likes on the social media platform with 2.4 million likes in one hour. As is usual, the fans and the haters are all over the interwebs weighing in on the topic. “I have three hearts” [Beyoncé.com] With all the hype about what’s next for Beyoncé and the loud group of people vocalizing how much they do not care, I couldn’t help but focus on the strong spiritual significance of the imagery on display. This isn’t the first time that Bey brought forward strong spiritual connections and images associated with Oshun and the spirit of the Orisha; we saw this in the visual album Lemonade released in 2016. Once again Beyoncé appears to be capturing overt messages and imagery that connects to the spirit of African Diaspora and peaking the interest of those in Orisha spirituality. On her website Beyoncé posted the poem “I Have Three Hearts” from Warsan Shires specifically naming Oshun, Yemaya, and Nefertiti among the pictures of her pregnant belly. With Beyoncé wrapped in golden yellow materials, immersed in water, and showing the fullness of her belly pregnant with twins, the connections made within the photos show deep spiritual meaning beyond the glitz and glamour of this Queen. And just when we thought we were looking at this concept at it’s peak, Beyoncé graced the stage at Sunday’s 2017 Grammy Awards in a golden dress, adorned with a crown of gold, and her belly showing through. The stage flooded with flowers and beauty, and that moment she took the stage the internet exploded. Video blog personality, and Ifa and Osun initiate Alafia posted online shortly after the Beyoncé performance on the Grammys. So who is Oshun and why should it matter what Beyoncé is doing in her latest social media explosion? Oshun is one of the most revered Orisha in the African Diasporic religions. She is known for her beauty and grace through many cultures and lands. Usually shown in her yellow clothing, golden jewelr,y and associated with the rivers and honey, Oshun is often a force to be reckoned with. She has many variations of her name within different regions and practices (e.g. Ochún, Oxúm, Ọṣun). Folk stories say that as one of the wives of Chango, Oshun gave birth to the sacred and divine twins Ibeyi. It has been said that the Ibeji bless people with happiness, abundance, and joy. They are said to drive out the devil and uncover secrets. While there are some that have hinted at the thought that Beyoncé is appropriating Oshun imagery, others firmly believe she is channeling Oshun in a very public way. Despite where people may fall on the spectrum of ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-18By Crystal Blanton
  • Column: Dowsing Rods
    The beautiful thing about England, I thought, was that with a rail pass you could get just about anywhere in the country within a few hours. That was before I got there, of course. I hadn’t plotted the courses to the places I needed to visit in any great detail; I assumed that England, having an actual public transit system, would lead me anywhere I liked with no great effort on my part. Experience had proved otherwise. Two weeks into my trip, I had learned that if a map could be misread, I would misread it, and if a timetable could be missed, I would miss it. And for some reason, although I had loved every moment of riding the red buses around London, the buses outside of London — such as this one, boarding from Stratford-Upon-Avon — set me ill at ease. So it was with some trepidation that I asked my question of the driver as I counted out my change for a day ticket. Midwinter sun on the road to the Rollright Stones. [Photo Credit: E. Scott.] “Is this the bus that goes to the Rollright Stones?” He frowned, but before he could speak, an elderly woman spoke up from the middle of the carriage. “It goes past the Rollright Stones, yes. But there’s no stop there.” “Right,” said the driver. “We’ll pass by the road, but it’s probably a half mile walk to get to the stones themselves from that intersection. But if you’re okay with that, I can drop you off; just stay down here so I don’t forget about you.” I felt a little disappointed; I tried to spend every bus trip I made on the upper deck, preferably in the front row, so I could have a look at that authentic English countryside everyone brags about. But I took a seat behind the woman, who turned around in her seat and smiled at me. “What are you studying, then?” she asked, already knowing that I was a student of some kind. Given that I finished my bachelor’s degree a decade ago, I’ve always been surprised by the assumption, but then I suppose it’s a safe guess for an American with a backpack better suited to books than camping gear. “History?” “English, actually,” I said. “Doing research for my dissertation.” “Really? Then what on earth do you want with the Rollright Stones?” The answer, like everything else on this trip, had to do with Deryck: Deryck Alldrit, the civil engineer from Birmingham who founded the coven that eventually birthed the coven I had been born into, who had disappeared from our lives before my birth. According to my coven’s legends, Deryck had been part of a group that worshiped at the Rollright Stones before he came to the United States in the 1970s, and sometimes the stories even said the name of the group was “The Rollright Coven,” or the “Coven of the Rollright Stones.” All of that information came to me ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-17By Eric O. Scott
  • Australian Pagans express concern over pending release of convicted predator
    VICTORIA, Aus. – In 1998, Robin Angas Fletcher, also known as Timothy Michael Ryan, The Red Druid, and Balin, was sentenced to ten years imprisonment with a minimum of eight years, for a series of sexual crimes committed against two 15-year old girls. Adding to the sensationalism of this already brutal and shocking case were Fletcher’s claims that he was a Witch or Wiccan, and that his crimes were merely an expression of his Pagan religion. Over the years, newspaper headlines have capitalized on this point, referring to Fletcher as, for example, “an Evil witch,” “ a self-proclaimed black magic sex witch,” and “a notorious pedophilia witch.” Robin Fletcher [Photo Credit: Craig Abraham] In the mid-nineties, Fletcher was based in Melbourne, Australia. He was working as a youth counselor, using hypnosis to help his clients. It was this professional position of trust that enabled Fletcher to meet his two female victims and eventually manipulate them. Further complicating the issue was the fact that, in 1998, a law against Witchcraft was still on the books. As David Garland, president of the Pagan Awareness Network (PAN) since the early days, explains: “The community was very much in the shadows in 1998 […] Witchcraft was still illegal in two states in Australia, Victoria and Queensland, so no one was in any great hurry to report anything, along with the fact that if you were lucky or unlucky enough to find a so-called teacher in the craft, regardless of if they were legitimate or not there was a tendency to let some things slide as you did not want to lose the opportunity at gaining knowledge that could not be gotten anywhere else.” “It was and still is in some ways the perfect place for a predator to hide,” Garland adds. Fletcher was arrested in 1996 and eventually convicted in 1998. In court he pleaded guilty to two counts of committing an indecent act with one of the girls, committing an indecent act and sexually penetrating the other girl, one count of child prostitution, and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Throughout the trials it was repeatedly reported that Fletcher used hypnosis, drugs, money, and other mind-altering techniques to coerce the two girls. According to the prosecution, Fletcher advertised one of the girls on the internet as a “schoolgirl prostitute” and subjected both of them to torture, bondage, flogging, and rape, all under the pretense of a Witchcraft “initiation.” Fletcher served a total of ten years in Ararat Prison (now called the Hopkins Correctional Centre), a facility for sex offenders in the Australian state of Victoria. His talent for causing controversy continued as he unsuccessfully attempted to sue Corrections Victoria and the Salvation Army in 2004, under Victoria’s religious vilification laws. His attempts at gaining parole were refused at least twice when it was discovered that he had used the internet to seek “BDSM slaves” and to position himself as a “Master of the Dark Path.”  Additionally, it was ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-16By Dodie Graham McKay
  • Pagan chaplains and others share views on the death penalty
    TWH –On June 17, 2015, violence ripped through a South Carolina community in one of the worst ways imaginable: the perpetrator joined his victims for a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and then shot nine people dead, wounding a tenth. The shooter, a white man, hoped to bring about a race war through his execution of his black victims. He was sentenced to death in federal court for those actions, but is now seeking a new trial. The case has received a significant amount of press coverage, and the nature of the crimes themselves — targeting victims during a religious service in the hopes of igniting further racially-motivated violence — appears to typify one of the most serious cultural problems in the United States today. It is in the context of these recent stories that we decided to speak with a number of Pagans to examine views on the death penalty. Like members of the overarching society, those interviewed had varied and nuanced positions on this complex topic. Is taking a person’s life ever appropriate, and if so, under what conditions? [Pixabay]  Donna Donovan, of Appalachian Pagan Ministries, has cultivated her views while working with condemned prisoners. “I try [to] make it a point not to know the charges of the inmates I work with,” she wrote, but on death row “that proves difficult, as most of their cases are very public, especially if execution is upcoming. I have to suspend my personal feelings and do what I was called to do by my gods and ancestors, and give that inmate spiritual service. It’s hard.” It’s not hard for Artemisia Barden; she’s opposed to the death penalty across the board. According to Barden, the prospect of innocent people being put to death, which she asserts is 10% of all those executed in the U.S. even with a lengthy appeals process, is too high a price to pay, and particularly given that the sentence is given disproportionately to people of color. Barden’s concern about wrongful convictions is echoed by Aline “Macha” O’Brien, a longtime prison chaplain. In a guest post for the California Correctional Crisis blog, she wrote, “One of those so sentenced, a man named Carillo, who was convicted by no fewer than 16 eyewitnesses, later was exonerated by DNA evidence in testing that was not available at the time of sentencing. However, DNA exists in only 20% of homicide cases. How many other innocent people may have been executed? Is there any justification for executing an innocent person, no matter how convincing the evidence? No.” Byron Ballard, who serves as elder priestess of the Mother Grove Goddess Temple, recognizes that misuse of the death penalty — intentionally or not — is its biggest limitation. “My study leads me to think that some crimes should not be forgiven, and some people who perpetrate these crimes cannot be rehabilitated. In an ideal system, most of these people could be housed in a humane way and kept from the general public. ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-15By Terence P Ward
  • No 134 creating ritual some thoughts and ideas
    Source: Tylluan Penry – Youtube ChannelPublished on 2017-02-15By Tylluan Penry
  • Love actually: Lupercalia and St. Valentine’s Day
    TWH -Feb. 14 marks the secular holiday St. Valentine’s Day, complete with chocolates, hearts, roses, and all things that symbolize love. While this contemporary holiday is mired in overly-commercialized products and is considered inconsequential in some circles, the celebration does have spiritual roots and ties to deeper religious meaning. In ancient Rome, Feb. 15 marked the traditional festival of Lupercalia, which was an observance of fertility and the coming of spring. Lupercalia is considered a holiday sacred to the god Faunus, and the mythical she-wolf who reared Romulus and Remus, the semi-mythical founders of Rome. Lupercalia was considered an important holiday of religious observance and purification. There have been many written accounts of what went on during Lupercalia, and some of these make it seem like simply an excuse for copulation and frivolity. One description comes from W. J. Kowalski’s Roman Calendar page. The rites of this day included the sacrifice of a goat or a dog at the cave-grotto known as the Lupercal. With the sacrificial blood wiped across their foreheads, the youth partaking in this ceremony would then run the circumference of the Palatine hill, perhaps about 5K, tracing the traditional route of the city boundary traced by Romulus the day he founded Rome. In the process, girls who approached the runners would be brushed or splattered with the februa, thongs of sacrificial goatskin, presumably bloody, symbolically blessing them with fertility. Red is the color of the day as it is with Valentine’s Day, the day invented to replace the Lupercalia. Fertility and sexuality were likewise replaced with the puritanical pipe dream of sexless love. In a recent article on NPR, professor Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, was quoted as saying, “The Roman romantics ‘were drunk. They were naked.’ The article then goes on to explain that there was also “matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.” In a 2011 blog post, P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, a modern expert on the ancient festival of Lupercalia and its celebration, stated that the two holidays – St. Valentine’s Day and Lupercalia – actually have little in common: The fertility here involved is not necessarily sexual fertility in women, though it was often thought to be such when the origins of the festival were eventually forgotten. It was fertility represented by the goat skin itself, a fertility of an agricultural and livestock sort. The young men running the race were symbolically committing themselves to the protection of their communities, thus their race around its boundaries which indicated their area of influence and the “home territory” they were protecting. The young men who were Luperci underwent a part of the ritual earlier in which the blood from the sacrificed goat and dog were mixed together, dabbed on their foreheads with a knife, and then wiped off subsequently with wool dipped in milk, signifying their transition from ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-14By Heather Greene
  • Beyond the Bubble
    I remain friends with people who disagree with me because I don’t think we will ever change the world by only talking to and interacting with those that agree with us. It’s not the choir that needs to hear the message, or even the people in the immediate audience, it’s those outside the coliseum. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-02-13By Jason Mankey
  • Pagan Community Notes: Patheos, PantheaCon, the awen and more.
    TWH – The tensions between bloggers and the Patheos company continued this week as former Patheos writer John Halstead announced that he and others would be demanding that their material be taken off the site. Their joint letter begins: “We the undersigned former and current Patheos Pagan contributors hereby request that you remove our names, likenesses, and our intellectual property, including our writing, art, and images, from your site. We previously gave Patheos license to publish our writing, but Patheos is no longer the company that we contracted with.” The letter continues on to list the writers’ grievances and detail why the group feels that Patheos is no longer the company that it once was. In its conclusion, the letter says, “We should not be forced to affiliate with or be seen to support, through our work, organizations which are inimical to our values and which, in many cases, are hostile to our existence…”  Currently eighteen bloggers have signed the document. Halstead says the letter will be sent to Patheos Monday after a few more people confirm their support. *   *   * SAN JOSE, Calif. – The annual Pagan conference PantheaCon begins this week. Pagans, Heathens, and polytheists from all over the country are preparing to descend on the Double Tree Hotel in San Jose, California for this annual indoor event. It is the largest conference of its kind, boasting “more than 200 presentations that range from rituals to workshops and from classes to concerts.” The event attracts everyone from newcomers and children to seasoned veterans and tradition elders. For those who can attend each year, the journey to San Jose is consider almost a religious pilgrimage. As we reported in 2015, PantheaCon began as a small, local event, but quickly expanded under skilled, experienced management and teamwork. Today, the conference fills nearly the entire hotel, including 48,000 square feet of “function space,” guest rooms and hospitality suites. There are only a few people roaming around the hotel, outside of the staff and personnel, who are not with the conference. The 2017 event theme is Pagans of All Ages and Kinds. The programming book is available online as a schedule maker. PantheaCon begins on Friday, Feb. 17 and wraps up Monday, Feb. 20. *   *   * BARNVELD, Wis. — As we previously reported, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has accepted the awen for use on headstones and other memorial markers. The Druidic symbol, now #65 on the official VA list, has a variety of meanings for those Druids who use it, such as the triple aspect of deity or body, mind, and spirit. This weekend, the first stone displaying the awen was installed in Dallas-Fort Worth National Veterans Cemetery located in Texas. It marks the grave of Air Force Captain Wayne Laliberte. As noted by Circle Sanctuary, Wayne was “not a member of any Druid organization, but he was a Bard, and the Awen, the flowing spirit of inspiration, was central to Wayne’s spirituality and life.” His wife Dr. ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-13By The Wild Hunt
  • The Top Five Country Superstars Who Soared Up The Supernatural Charts
    Country music can affect us deeply, and some experts on the supernatural say there is way we can measure the powerful spiritual effect of country music: the number of stories about ghosts and spirits that are told by country musicians andandmdash;maybe more importantlyandmdash;the number of country music stars who are said to still live on even after they have left the mortal stage. Matthew L. Swayne, author of the new Ghosts of Country Music, explores a list of five country music celebrities who might just be country music's most supernatural superstars. ... read more
    Source: Llewellyn JournalPublished on 2017-02-13
  • An American political cocktail: nationalism, religion, and nostalgia
    WASHINGTON D.C. – On the first Thursday of every February, religious dignitaries, politicians, and other guests are invited to Washington, D.C. to attend the annual National Prayer Breakfast. It is sponsored by the Christian organization called The Fellowship Foundation and has been an American tradition since 1953. This year was no exception. On Feb, 2. President Trump attended his first breakfast, held at the Washington Hilton. During that morning event, Trump addressed the crowd, saying: “America is a nation of believers. In towns all across our land, it’s plain to see what we easily forget — so easily we forget this, that the quality of our lives is not defined by our material success, but by our spiritual success.” [i] [Photo Credit: unknown / public domain] In those words, he defines U.S. society by a specific standard of religiosity: we are believers and we must remember that fact. The language corresponds with the administration’s ongoing branding effort to Make America Great Again – a slogan built on two assumptions: America is not great now, and America was great at some point in the past. Together with the embedded religious rhetoric, which is exemplified in Trump’s words noted above, the administration’s marketing campaign has created a uniquely American cocktail containing a mixture of religion and nationalism with a hearty splash of undefined romantic nostalgia. In the prayer breakfast speech, Trump suggests that, as Americans, we must remember a time when religious pursuits preempted the consumerist impulse. While many may agree with this feel-good statement, it can appear ironic coming from an American real estate tycoon who, during the same annual religious event, asked for prayers to boost the ratings of a reality television program of which he’s still listed as the executive producer. That aside, it is this very style of religious rhetoric that is thriving in the current political scene, and even tipping the balance of power. Later in that same speech, Trump talks about the importance of religious freedom and its enemies. He says: “We have seen peace-loving Muslims brutalized, victimized, murdered and oppressed by ISIS killers. We have seen threats of extermination against the Jewish people. We have seen a campaign of ISIS and genocide against Christians, where they cut off heads.” In these sentences, he acknowledges the multi-faith world more than in other speeches and tweets, and he even hints at the complexities of religious politics with regard to global terrorism. However, at the end of his speech, he returns to the idea of America being defined as a “nation of believers” using an even more specific religious framework. He says: America will thrive, as long as we continue to have faith in each other and faith in God. It’s that faith that sent the pilgrims across the oceans, the pioneers across the plains and the young people all across America, to chase their dreams. They are chasing their dreams. We are going to bring those dreams back. As long as we have God, we are never, ever alone. Whether it’s the soldier on the night watch, or the ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-12By Heather Greene
  • No 133 Creating rituals and spells : what’s the difference?
    Source: Tylluan Penry – Youtube ChannelPublished on 2017-02-11By Tylluan Penry
  • Column: Conjured Bodies, Transgressive Witchcraft, and the Politics of Resistance
    [This month’s featured guest columnist is Lou Florez-Tanti. Also known as Awo Ifadunsin Sangobiyi, Florez-Tanti is an internationally known Spirit worker, medicine maker, priest, activist, and artist who has studied with indigenous communities and elders throughout the globe. Florez-Tanti grounds his teachings and practice in the idea that connectedness to ourselves and our physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental landscapes is a fundamental necessity for any long lasting change to occur. He holds that through creating these living, dynamic relationships we become conscious of the inherent power available to us in every second of our lives.] Finding a movie for a group of leftist, working class, gender queer, Latin American witches is a challenging task on a good day, but with five bucks between us and no working transportation, it meant that we were sneaking into the UC Boulder student union while trying not to get caught. The choices were limited to either Mona Lisa Smile (2003or The Examined Life (2008) [i], which is a documentary by Astra Taylor comprised of interviews of eight current philosophers and the central concepts that inspire and animate their work. Needless to say, The Examined Life was the best fit and gave us endless hours of discussions and debates over a plate of french fries at the twenty-four hour IHOP next door. Judith Butler, who is one of those eight philosophers interviewed, has been at times both an intellectual crush and an unhealthy obsession. Her work challenges the essentialized notions of gender and sexuality, as well as gesturing toward a methodology for the interrogation of cultural signs and symbols that are taken as innate reality when unquestioned. As a witch, rootworker, priest, and diviner my world is the semiotic, the study and uses of signs and symbols, and their interpretation. Magic as a practice and discipline is, at its most fundamental, a vehicle through which semiosis occurs. It offers a multitude of tangible, elegant possibilities that unfold through the subtle construction of relationships between interdependent entities and energies – signs and symbols that when aligned become a new manifested reality. On screen, Butler paraphrases another philosopher, Deleuze, who has asked “what can a body do?”[ii]. This concept has been an ongoing theme in my own work and practice over the last decade. It throws into question not only what is a body, in terms of the intersectional and multidimensional nature of identity, identity politics, and the physical boundaries between the self and “others,” but also how these numerous bodies, which we have within our singular selves, enact their existence in the worlds we inhabit. Since the election and its after math, the question of “what can a body do?” has been at the forefront of my thoughts; not only in terms of accessibility and privilege within the current political climate, but also in what roles our magical bodies play in resisting the normative discourse of who we are as American peoples. The roots of earth-based spirituality and specifically Pagan and Neo-Pagan teachings center themselves in the practices ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-11By Guest Contributor
  • Column: Red and White
    The water in the Chalice Garden stains the rocks red. It falls from a tap in the shape of a lion’s head down onto a stone dais, and flows from there down a series of channels down the hill – and it runs red for the whole length of its course. Someone has left a glass beneath the tap, and so I take a drink, and then another. The flavor, a strange iron musk, overtakes me. I restrain myself from a third glass – in part because I imagine the iron I’ve already drunk will cause me problems on an empty stomach, and in part because, as I realize only after the second glass, I have no idea how many other lips have touched that glass since it last saw soap. At least the Red Spring is known for healing. The Lion-Head tap at the Chalice Gardens, Glastonbury, UK. [Photo Credit: E. Scott.] The Chalice Well has deep roots in legend, like so much else in Glastonbury – and like most of the rest, the legends are distinctly Christian. The red waters come, they say, because Joseph of Arimathea brought the Grail to England and hid it in the well, or because of exposure to the nails of the true cross. For me, and the other Pagans who make their pilgrimages to the Red Spring, of course the scarlet water recalls the Goddess and the blood of the moon, but that’s a 20th-century interpretation. The sites that bring travelers to Glastonbury — the abbey, the spring, the tower atop Glastonbury Tor — are all steeped in medieval Christianity. Yet we seem to have adopted them as our own, and now Glastonbury Abbey is flanked on both sides by rows of shops selling occult books and witch supplies. It reminds me of what I’ve heard of Salem, back in the United States — I’ll admit I’ve never been, but my parents have — but whereas Salem adopted the trials of the 17th century as the basis for becoming a city of witches, Glastonbury seems to have simply been absorbed by the Pagans. Is it that the King Arthur legend has somehow become part of Paganism? Can we blame this on Marion Zimmer Bradley? I remain unsure, but the contradictions intrigue me. Claudia, my friend and guide for the day, takes me across the street from the Chalice Garden, promising a surprise. The building she takes me to looks unassuming: a square of white bricks with four buttresses rising from the sidewalk. But that’s just the outside. Claudia leads me to the threshold, and when she sees the look on my face she smiles with satisfaction. “Wonderful, isn’t it?” The building houses the White Spring, smaller and less famous than its red counterpart across the way. Where iron fills the Red Spring, calcium fills the white. Neither of the springs provides water to Glastonbury anymore; the iron makes the Red Spring unsuitable for everyday drinking, and the buildup from ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-10By Eric O. Scott
  • So You’re Going to an Indoor Festival (What to Bring & How to Survive)
    What to bring, what to do, and most important how to avoid the con-crud. It's an all in one survival and travel guide for those braving indoor spaces this Winter/Spring. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-02-09By Jason Mankey
  • Sisters toast 25 years of rekindling Brigid’s fire
    KILDARE TOWN, Ireland — Revered by Pagan and Christian alike, the Irish figure of Brigid is perhaps the perfect symbol of the spirit needed in our troubled times. She left an inspiring legacy as a spiritual leader, peacemaker, woman of the land, advocate for the poor, and giver of hospitality. And in her native County Kildare, Brigid is honoured at the Solas Bhride centre, run by the Brigidine Sisters. In 2017, the centre has just used its annual Feile Bride festival to celebrate 25 years of work spreading her message to people of all faiths and none. The order was founded in County Carlow in 1807, under Bishop Daniel Delany, as a restoration of an old order of St. Brigid that was started in the 5th century and ended in the Reformation. In 1992, the order returned to Kildare, where Brigid had her last order.   They opened Solas Bhride (Light of Brigid) with the aim of reconnecting with their Celtic roots and reclaiming Brigid in a new way for a new millennium. The next year, the order hosted an international conference with Action from Ireland (Afri) to mark the 10th anniversary of Afri’s St Brigid’s Peace Cross Campaign. During its opening, the Flame of Brigid that had been maintained by the old order was re-lit, and the sisters have tended it in Solas Bhride ever since. The annual festival of Feile Bride, celebrating St Brigid’s Day on February 1, also grew out of that original conference. Solas Bhride seeks to honour Brigid’s legacy and stresses its relevance in the modern world by making the centre a place of welcome, tranquillity, and peace where people of all stripes can deepen their spirituality with reflection, prayer, ritual, education and culture. In its mission statement, the centre says: “There is mystery at the heart of what holds us together, expressed in shared faith, symbols, stories and experiences. We engage with the issues of our time, stand in solidarity with the oppressed and seek to build a more inclusive community.” The crowds that joined the celebrations of this year’s milestone festival were proof of its success. Hundreds turned out for the week-long Feile Bride schedule, which included rituals, prayer, reflection, talks, and St Brigid’s cross workshops. Performers entertained crowds with poetry, music, song, and ceili (Irish dancing), while schoolchildren dramatised the legends of Brigid. Overall, there was a mix of pilgrimage and peace issues with a blending of the secular and the sacred. [Photo Credit: Culnacreann / Wikimedia] Contemporary subjects on the agenda included war, climate change, and forced migration – a subject that Féile Bríde has addressed throughout its 25 years and is still as relevant today, if not more so. Once again, the festival incorporated a peace and justice conference in collaboration with Afri and put a focus on the experience of refugees in Ireland. One of the performers at the festival was popular folk singer Luka Bloom, who said: “Since 1993, at the start of every February, I have ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-09By Claire Dixon
  • 5 Non-Witchcraft Books for Witches
    Pagan and Witch books are great, but sometimes, getting outside that bubble can be really inspirational. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-02-08By Jason Mankey
  • Pagan temple planned in Poland
    WROCLAW, Poland –Followers of the Slavic tradition known as Rodzimowiercy announced in December that they hope to build a temple according to historically accurate plans that will also serve as a cultural center. A crowdfunding campaign has received donations totaling six percent of the money needed to make the project a reality, using a pitch video that includes lively music and images of stockade buildings. Dorota Solega, a representative of the group Watra which is behind the scheme, was pleased to answer questions about the project. Her responses were translated from Polish, and have been edited with her permission for clarity. Architectural rendering of the temple and cultural center [Courtesy Photo]  The Wild Hunt: Please give some basic information about your religious tradition: what it’s called, how long it has been practiced (including whether this is a “broken tradition” due to Christian rule), and a brief description of the kinds of rituals involved and the gods or spirits you honor. Dorota Solega: We call each other ‘rodzimowiercy,’ which can be translated as ‘native faith believers.’ The reactivation of our religion has begun in 20th century, mostly in ‘90s, however some exhorts for the revival has existed in the beginning of last century. The direct link of pagan tradition from the medieval times until now has been broken after the spread out of Catholic religion in Poland, but folk tradition has preserved lots of beliefs such as names of gods and demons with their main features, pagan rites, and magical practices. Although is it said the Christianity came to Poland in 966 and from then our country became Catholic, the native faith stayed much longer in lesser areas, like villages, and still in the 15th century there were some places where people followed two religions at once. Slavic native faith is based on nature and its seasonal transformations, similar to other Pagan traditions. We are worshiping gods who create the nature, and who are nature themselves, and the process of how they change across the wheel of the year. Our main gods are the two divine creators – Perun (the thunder) and Weles (god of the underworld), Mokosha – the mother goddess and goddess of the Earth, Svarog – the divine smith, Dadzbog – the sun, Svarozhyc – the fire, Stribog – the wind, Rod – the head of the tribes (gods and humans), Jarylo – god of fertility, Mazhanna and Dzievanna – goddesses of stars, water and vegetation, Dola – fate, and several others. Our worship is based on celebration of annual festivals, like solstices (‘Kupala’ in summer, ‘Gody’ in winter) and equinoxes (‘Jare’ in spring, ‘Plony’ in autumn), but also few more rites between the main ones – ‘Dziady’ (which can be compared to Samhain), ‘Zapusty,’ which is the day of Weles, as well as the day of Jarylo, day of Perun, and day of Mokosha. Items laid out during ritual [Courtesy Photo] TWH: Is this tradition handed down orally, or are there written ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-08By Terence P Ward
  • Activist T. Thorn Coyle helps build a wall (of safety)
    PORTLAND, Ore. – Pagan author and activist T. Thorn Coyle helped build a wall Sunday separating Latino, Hispanic, and Mexican Catholics from their fellow Portland neighbors. This wall, however, was an interfaith effort aimed at sheltering attendees of a dual language church from harassment. On January 29 several persons shouted insults as parishioners entered St Peter Catholic Church before the Spanish language Mass. Attendees of this church are mostly Latino or Hispanic. According to reports, the persons yelled ethnic slurs and called the women whores.  Several people reportedly yelled, “You’re going straight to Hell.” After that incident, a call went out over social media for church supporters to help form a human wall of protect around the church during following church service February 5. Volunteers were asked to place their bodies between the church and anyone who would attempt to interrupt the services or taunt parishioners as they entered or exited the building. Father Raul, of St Peters Catholic Church, speaks to the crowd and thanks them for coming out in the rain.[Courtesy T.T.Coyle] When that Sunday arrived, approximately 200 people showed up to create a protective wall of bodies. The Wild Hunt talked with one Pagan who answered the call for support: T. Thorn Coyle. The Wild Hunt:  How did you hear that the church needed protecting? T. Thorn Coyle: I first heard about the attack on the church while on the bus coming home from a rally in support of immigrants, Muslims, and refugees last Monday. The woman next to me saw my signs and told me a church in her neighborhood had been targeted by people who disrupted services with racist shouting the day before. Then I saw a call for support on Facebook. At first, there seemed to be confusion: Did the church actually want our support? Once it was confirmed that yes, the church welcomed community assistance, folks decided to show up last Sunday. TWH: Do you know the people who organized the call for support? TTC: I did not. Since I’ve only been in Portland for 9 months, I’m still building my networks. I did the usual – double checking associations on Facebook as best I could. TWH: Were other Pagans present? TTC: Not that I know of or that I saw – though in a crowd that size, I’m sure there were some others! My decision to attend in support was last minute, so there wasn’t any organization around getting other Pagans out. TWH: Why did you go? TTC: It felt important to show solidarity with people under racist attack. That has always been important, but these days, with hate incidents increasing, it feels ever more vital. For people to enter a church and disrupt a worship service by spewing hatred? That is unacceptable to me. It needs to be stopped. The community is trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This was not an isolated event. Several of us gathered talked about strategies to help other churches and places of worship who ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-07By Cara Schulz
  • Ozark Witchcraft, Superstition, and Folklore
    The folklore and superstitions of the Ozarks are full of genuine magical practice, along with many tales of witches. ... read more
    Source: Patheos – Raise the HornsPublished on 2017-02-06By Jason Mankey
  • Pagan Community Notes: Anne Lenzi, Patheos Pagan, Lady Sara Cunningham and more.
    [From Facebook Memorial Page] PORTLAND, Ore. — It was announced on Feb. 1 that Druid Anne Lenzi (1974-2017) had died suddenly due to a heart defect. Born in 1974, Lenzi had become a pillar in ADF’s Druid community. She was a founding member of Abhainn Glas Grove, ADF, and she also served terms as Member’s Advocate and the ADF Northwest Regional Druid.  Along with her spiritual work, she was trained as a doula, loved children, and worked in various position as an advocate for people in need, even going so far as to speak in court sessions and hearings. Longtime friend Amanda Giles had this to say in part: “Anne placed great value on each human soul. She was a safe haven for the downtrodden. She was a mother figure to many and friend to more. She was an excellent listener and a willing sharer. She was loyal and forgiving. She was fierce and maintained forward momentum. She nurtured growth: in herself, in her family, in her community. Thank you, incomparable Anne, for everything. You are still shining for us and ever will be.” In Amanda Giles’ full memorial write-up, she shares the depth of Lenzi’s interests, and her spirit. That memorial piece is published in full on a crowdfunding campaign page, which has been set up to raise money to help cover Lenzi’s final medical expenses. In two days, the campaign has raised over $3,000, which is a testament to the number of people that Lenzi touched over her life. Lenzi leaves behind a loving husband and two young children. As noted on the funding page, she never let her heart defect slow her down, despite living under a “mysterious deadline.” In the end, “Anne fought valiantly, but there was nothing to be done, not by the surgeons earlier in her life, and not by her husband Ron, [who] he fought right along-side her.” What is remembered, lives. *    *    * TWH – In an update to the Patheos Pagan story, the bloggers involved in the contract negotiations did receive a response and an updated contract. The new agreement addressed several of the Pagan bloggers’ concerns. The updated contract states that posts may not disparage “Patheos and Beliefnet,” rather than “Patheos or any of its related companies.” In addition, the section on editing has been adjusted to remove the words “without limitation.” Patheos still “reserves the right to edit” posts, as the contract reads, “for the purpose of correction or clarity without altering the intent of the piece, as well as the right to take down any of your posts that it deems offensive.”  Most of the contract remained unchanged. Reaction to the new contract, which went into affect Feb. 1, has remained mixed. Some writers refused to sign either contract and will be taking their work elsewhere, whether that be independent sites or to larger blogging venues like PaganSquare. Other writers will remain with Patheos until, and if ever, the time comes when the Patheos business model no longer fits with their goals ... read more
    Source: The Wild HuntPublished on 2017-02-06By The Wild Hunt
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