PMP: 2013 in Review

On this week’s edition of Pagan-Musings, KaliSara and RevKess reviewed some of the highlights of 2013. Not just from the series, but some of their personal highlights. Late in the show they talk about some of their plans for 2014.

The following list is some of our favorite shows from 2013, and favorites from our listeners, in particular order.

  • Theisms – In which RevKess and KaliSara attempt to give brief descriptions and conversations regarding many of the “theisms” of modern Paganism.
  • Native/Indigenous Gender Attitudes and Issues – In which KaliSara talks with Scott Marker of Turtle Creek Reservation, and his wife, about some of the issues and attitudes of gender in some of the Native American cultures.
  • PWN #79 – The most popular episode of Pagan Weekly News for 2013. Unfortunately, RevKess was not very good at show descriptions for PWN in January 2013, so you will have to listen to the show to know why it was so popular.
  • Officers of Avalon – In which KaliSara speaks with Amber Moon and Tim Flanagan of Officers of Avalon, a Pagan networking and support group for police, paramedics, firefighters, etc.
  • Wendy Rule & Living the Magick – In which RevKess and KaliSara talk with Wendy Rule about her music and her online class “Living the Magick.”
  • Crystal Blanton – In which RevKess and KaliSara speak with Crystal Blanton about her books and issues that are unique to Pagans of color.
  • Heathenry Panel – Not as much of a panel as it was supposed to be, but a good conversation nonetheless.
  • Kari Tauring – In which RevKess and KaliSara visit with Kari Tauring about Heathen magic.
  • Sacred Sexuality Pt 6 – In which KaliSara and RevKess are joined for a while by Stormcrow to talk about polyamorous relationships.
  • Dark Goddesses – In which KaliSara explores the Dark Goddesses of various pantheons and shares how they are not “evil” or always “negative.”
  • Walking Through the Dark – In which KaliSara and RevKess discuss facing our darkest fears and coming through at the over end.
  • Origami Condoms – An episode of Lavender Hill from October.
  • Civil Divisiveness – An episode of Lavender Hill from December.
  • Kyrja & Tonia – In which KaliSara talks with Kyrja and Tonia about authoring and illustrating Pagan Childrens books.
  • Kyrja & Attacking Religion – In which Kyrja talks openly about the various attacks she and her family dealt with from December 2012 into the middle part of 2013.
  • Kyrja follow ups….
  • Environmentally Conscious Pagans – In which RevKess and KaliSara visit with Shauna Aura Knight on how to be more environmentally aware as Pagans.
  • Telergy & the Legend o Goody Cole – In which RevKess has a conversation with Robert McClung, composer and musician with Telergy.
  • Heartland Panel – Live recording of the 2013 Heartland Speakers’ Panel, moderated by Barbara Criswell. Ed Hubbard, Janet Farrar, Gavin Bone, and Mike Nichols participating.
  • Norse Mythology – KaliSara has had several episodes regarding Heathenry in 2013, most of which RevKess was not available for. Here’s a primer on Norse myth.

We spent a little time discussing Peter Dybing’s “Ten Pagans Who Made a Difference in 2013“, more as a wish list of guests for 2014.

Music from this Edition

  1. Anima – Ancient Future – Light of Aluna
  2. Kari Tauring – The Wheel – A New Yuletide Celebration
  3. Emerald Rose – Freya, Shakti – Bending Tradition
  4. Robert Linton – Seasons of Years Past – Throughout the Autumn Light

A Messy End to 2013, MMM on KZUM

drunk_dragon_drunkon_by_sssilver_c-d32orug2013 is drawing to close, and has already done so here on Murphy’s Magic Mess. Sadly, *K8 was not in studio with us this morning. She was off celebrating the winter holidays with her family. But, while the *K8’s away….. Murf and Phil had a blast and infused the latter portion of the show with a great collection of songs about drinking. See the whole list of music below (and please, if you spot an error, let us know so we can fix it!).

You can find much of the music from the second half of the show for free download thanks to Pandora Celtica, SJ Tucker, Sharon Knight and dozens more wonderful musicians who got together and decided to give their fans 79 tracks of music as a holiday gift. This free download is available through Valentine’s Day 2014. We’d suggest that you download each track individually. May be time-consuming, but definitely a lot less time than it takes to download them all as a ZIP file. (Phil tried twice and both times the file came up as empty.) Here’s the download page.

Music from the Mess

  1. Buffy Sainte-Marie – God is Alive, Magic is Afoot – Up Where We Belong
  2. Forrest Smithson – Dreaming I (radio edit) – Dreaming Time
  3. Akasa – Return to Our Innocence – Portal
  4. Ricky Kej – Longing – Shanti Orchestra
  5. God of Drum – Donnar, Norse – Get Tribal
  6. Betsy Tinney – Light Heart – Release the Cello!
  7. Andre Feriante – Sweet Nadine IV – Novella, Ukulele Mosaique
  8. Cheshire Moon – Snow White, Red Road – Crowes & Consequences
  9. Alexander James Adams – Winter Tide – Winter Tide
  10. Burning Sky – Out from the Darkness – Enter the Earth
  11. Annbjorn Lien – January – Baba Yaga
  12. Cynthia McQuillin – Darkness – Witches Dance
  13. God of Drum – Loucetious, Gaelic – Get Tribal
  14. Corvus Corax, – Gimli – Gimli
  15. Tuatha Dea – Bagabi – Kith & Kin
  16. The Bringers – Banish Misfortune – Ramblers & Rovers
  17. Frank Remar & His Orchestra – Clydesdale Polka –
  18. Brobdignagian Bards – Jedi Drinking Song – Brobdignagian Fairy Tales
  19. Coven XIII – DRINK – Live
  20. Tom Smith – The Cthulhu Colada Song – In Concert: ConTemporal 2013
  21. Talis Kimberley – Xlibris – About Damn Time
  22. Professor Elemental – Cup of Brown Joy – Rebel Without Applause
  23. Whiskey Bards – Holiday Cheers – The Knight at the Inn
  24. Bob Rivers – Carol of the Bartenders – Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire
  25. Marc Gunn – I’ll Drink from Dusk Till Dawn – Happy Songs of Death
  26. Pandora Celtica – Santa Claus Got Eaten by the Kraken – On Thin Ice
  27. Elder Oldhands – Stuck in the Smoke Hole of Our Tipi
  28. North Sea Gas – Auld Lang Syne – Dark Island

As the Bird Flies

The Duck Dynasty boys, Phil Robertson pictured center. Photo from GQ

I’ve tried my damnedest to steer clear of this internet conversation. I’m not a fan of Duck Dynasty, I’ve never even watched the show. I haven’t had cable in years and enjoy being able to pick and choose what I watch when I want to watch it through various online streaming sites. That means that I have been pretty much blissfully ignorant of the whole Duck Dynasty thing. I hear bits and pieces from friends, relatives and customers who watch the show. Usually comments about some of the marketing ploys developed by A&E and advertisers on the show. Chocolates? Wine? Jerky? Really!? Okay, the jerky makes sense….. Frankly, I am getting a little sick of all the camouflage I’ve had to deal with at my bills-paying-job, year round. But that has nothing to do with what I am going to address in this op-ed for Pagan Weekly News.

Phil Robertson is an educated man, as he claims in his exclusive interview with the Daily Mail. He graduated from Louisiana Tech with a bachelors in physical education and a master’s degree in education. Over 40 years ago. He’s business man, a hunter, and a(n) (in)famous reality TV star along with the rest of his hunting family. He and his family struck it rich with a line of duck hunting accessories (Duck Commander). Bully for him and for them! The American dream come true, or something like that.

I’m not going to bore you with the history of the family, nor detail anything about the TV show. You can read all about that on Wikipedia or A&E’s website. If you happen to be someone who watches the show, you probably already know much more than I do. What I am going to do is address the issue that came to the fore front of the American audience’s collective conscience Wednesday the 18th of December, 2013.

On the 18th the January 2014 issue of GQ magazine came out on news stands. In this issue Phil Robertson did an interview with Drew Magary. Of course the interview talks about Duck Commander, Duck Dynasty and some of Robertson’s life not revealed in the TV program. Along the way Robertson voiced his opinion on homosexuality:

Magary asked Robertson: “What, in your mind, is sinful?” Answering, Robertson said: Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” He added, paraphrasing a Biblical passage from First Corinthians, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” Robertson also questioned the appeal of same-sex relationships, particularly amongst men; saying: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” Robertson went on to say “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Sign in West Monroe, Louisiana. Photo from Associated Press

The public cried out and A&E suspended Phil Robertson from the show for an indefinite period, with one episode for the current filming season left to go. And the public cried out again, this time not out of offense for the words and sentiments shared by Phil Robertson, apparently his family, and (unfortunately) millions of Americans. No, this time it was with calls of oppression on the part of A&E, accusations that they were violating Robertson’s First Amendment right to free speech by removing him from the show, even for a short period of time.

Claims of Robertson’s 1st Amendment rights being violated are bull. According to a summary of the 1st Amendment by Cornell Law, “The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.” A&E is not the government. They are a private corporation. They can and will decide when an employee (contract or otherwise) will be suspended, terminated from employment or otherwise disciplined for public comments made as a representative of the company.

Since I became a somewhat known public figure, I’ve made it a point to not specifically talk about my bills-paying-job, to not name the company that I work for. I’ve hinted by saying that I work for one the leading retail companies in the United Sates, but I do not name the company. I avoid doing so because I am well aware that my opinions, life choices, and political stances could interfere with my continued employment – I live in Nebraska, after all. A state in which it is perfectly legal to fire someone because they are gay. I host a local news and talk program for the LGBT community, I have to be careful in what I say regarding the radio station as well as what I say on the radio station. Not because I am afraid of reprisals from the station, but because my views and opinions may be offensive to listeners who cannot separate personal views and opinions from those of the board of directors of that station.  I, and my cohost, stress when we are expressing our opinions that they are our opinions. We’ve even gone so far as to play a recorded disclaimer when we think that something we are going to say on the air is liable to ruffle some feathers.

Why did I just detail the above? To show that I am aware that as a public figure who works for a private company, as well as one who volunteers at a community radio station, that what I say as a perceived representative of those two entities can lead to my termination of employment or removal from the radio station. Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, he’s the central figure of the program on A&E. It is reasonably of the public to perceive him as a representative of both Duck Commander (the company he and his family owns) and of A&E whenever he is speaking in public or talking to the media.

Phil Robertson. Photo from A&E

That being said…..

Phil Robertson has every right as a private citizen to say what he said. I may not agree with him, but I can still support his right to freedom of expression. If he had said it as a private citizen. But he did not. He said what he did in an interview with GQ about Duck Dynasty. He was interviewed as a representative of the show, and thus as a representative of A&E. I support the network in suspending him from the show as discipline for giving them a black eye. Frankly, I think it is too little.

One comment to the GQ article I read hints that perhaps it is time for Duck  Dynasty to come to an end, and this might just be the beginning of the end for the show. On the 18th, GQ released the article. On the 19th, A&E suspended Robertson. On the 20th, the rest of the Duck Dynasty family said that they would not participate in the filming of the show without their patriarch. However, A&E has said that Phil Robertson will be returning to the program in January and the show will go on … for now.

I welcome your thoughts.Phil in Studio

RevKess is the host of Pagan Weekly News, co-host of the Pagan-Musings Podcast, minion on Murphy’s Magic Mess, co-host of Lavender Hill and content manager for PMPChannel. He blogs for Hail Columbia, Pagan Activist and Off the Beaten Path. He reviews books and music for RevKess’s Reviews. Follow him on Facebook.

Small “p” Pagans & Pope Frank

RevKessPhil in Studio

Since Wednesday, December 18th, I have seen many Pagans on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere express their disappointment and sometimes anger at the words of Pope Francis I in his weekly public address in Rome. You can read/hear what the Pope had to say in the video below. The whole clip is worth watching, as it gives context and perspective on what he meant.

“It’s a bad thing when one sees a Christian that does not want to come down, a Christian that uses everything to show off. Not nice, eh? That is not Christian, that is paganism,” Pope Francis said. His comments on greed, luxury and the unwillingness of some Christians to embrace their less fortunate brothers and sisters can be heard around the 1:53 point in the video. These statements came the day after Pope Francis celebrated his 77th birthday with four homeless men, a dog, and his staff.

Clearly this Pope is making a reputation for himself as the Pope of the People, not just the rich and influential. I’d dare say that he values the less fortunate, the less wealthy, the less powerful more than he values those who hold sway over the banking industry or the governments of the world. He has repeatedly pointed out the hypocrisy of those who promote themselves as God-fearing Christians yet refuse to reach out and help the poor, the sick, the elderly; call homosexuals the Devil’s own and turn a blind eye to the mistreatment of other nationalities, creeds, or races.

From the outset, Francis I has been different from previous Popes. He eschewed the fancy dress of most other pontiffs in favor of the simple white suits and ecclesiastical gowns that we have come to expect of him. He’s spoken more leniently on homosexuality than any of his predecessors and spoken out on the Church’s apparent obsession with abortion and birth control. All of this and more makes Pope Francis I a leader of today, not just within the Catholic Church, but on the world stage. Even The Advocate has declared him Person of the Year.

I’ve seen many Pagans, of many flavors, say that they are impressed and pleased with the words and actions of this Pope. But now, after his statement on Wednesday, many of those same Pagans are angrily expressing their disappointment in the Pope. Out of respect for those who have expressed such anger, I am not going to quote them or even name. They know who they are and may well choose to make their thoughts known through me in the future. For now, I am going to leave the particulars out.

Now that I have laid out that Pope Francis I speaks out against things, or in favor of things, that his predecessors did not; that he puts off the affluent robes of the pontiffical throne; that he has called upon Catholics everywhere to be kinder to their less fortunate brethern, it is time to point out concerns over his quote from the 18th, “It’s a bad thing when one sees a Christian that does not want to come down, a Christian that uses everything to show off. Not nice, eh? That is not Christian, that is paganism.”

Putting the argument aside of whether “Pagan” is the term that is generally accepted by the various religions, belief systems, philosophies and individuals that practice some kind of Earth-based honoring system, the media has plainly imparted that Pagan encompasses Wicca, Druidry, and many other flavors of Earth-centered spirituality. Whenever a person of note uses the term “pagan” to describe something or someone that is unlike them or something or someone that they find to be immoral or debased the followers of Wicca and other “Pagan” traditions react. Often with negativity.

Small “p” pagan is a much different thing than big “P” Pagan. Webster defines the word “pagan” to mean primarily two things. The first definition is of the religious use that many who walk an Earth-centered or non-Abrahamic path would use, “a follower of a polytheistic religion” while the second definition is the more generally accepted use of the word by media, politicians and most likely the Pope himself. “One who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods :  an irreligious or hedonistic person.”

Francis’s use of the term “pagan” to describe Christians who are unwilling to come down to the level of those who are in need, Christians who are unwilling to help the sick or the poor or the elderly, Christians who value their wealth and position above their beliefs and the teachings of their Christ. This use of the word is more in tune with the definition from Webster describing people as hedonistic, delighting in the sensual pleasures of the world and in material goods. His use of the word “pagan” has nothing to do with our religions or spiritual beliefs. In the Catholic world, anything that is not Catholic is “pagan”. (Note, I am using big “C” Catholic here, not small “c”. Again, there is a difference.)

Long before we began to use the word “Pagan” to describe our modern religions and spiritual beliefs, even before we used the term to describe the religions of our ancestors, the ancient Romans used the term to describe the unsophisticated, the people who lived outside the city. Even our word “Heathen” comes from the old term for a country dweller, one who dwells on the “heath” or is a “heathen”. In that context, it is easy to see that many within the Catholic Church are still using the word “pagan” to mean those who are not Catholic, those who do not believe as they do. Even Protestants used the term to describe the beliefs of indigenous peoples in their missionary work.

A recent petition on Change.org may help remedy the issue, at least in print. We may never be able to determine in conversation if someone is saying “pagan” or “Pagan”, but with a concerted effort by journalists, bloggers, authors and other text based commentators we can help to clarify what it is that we are talking about with proper capitalization. It is clear to me that Pope Francis was using “pagan”. It is clear to me that he was not comparing hedonistic Christians to Wiccans or Druids or Native Americans. It is clear to me that he was comparing them to those who have found more value in things and position than in their own faith.

Take this all as you will. I welcome comments and discussion on this article.

Selections from the Mess, 12/8/13

Wow, would you look at that. Been falling WAY behind on doing anything on here this winter. Time to do a little catch up.

Michelle 120813

Michelle from the Order of the Red Grail, Church for Transformational Wicca

Sunday 8 December 2013 on Murphy’s Magic Mess we were joined by Michelle from the Order of the Red Grail, Church for Transformational Wicca. She was telling us and our listeners about the upcoming Yule celebration in which the Red Grail has partnered with Nebraska Heathens United. Should be a lot of fun!

The play list is based on the notes Phil entered live during the show. You can view the whole play list on Facebook. Kate was at the players, Murf on the boards, and Phil was trying to keep up on the play list. Any errors are Phil’s. If you have a correction to the play list, please comment here or on Facebook so we can fix it ASAP.

Play List

  1. Bill Leslie – Gaelic Soul – Scotland: Grace of the Wild
  2. Peter Sterling – A Mother’s Love – Twilight Serenade
  3. Patrick Landeza – Puanani Slack Key – Slack Key Huaka’i
  4. Peter Sterling – The Glass Globes – The Angels Gift
  5. Louis Colaiannia – Dancing Snowflakes – Origins
  6. Paul Spaeth – The Moment After – Redemption
  7. Paul Speer – Vortex – Ax Inferno
  8. Tom Carleno – Child’s Play – Perfect Imperfection
  9. Hox Vox – Jord – Mjollinar
  10. Anne Hill – Tree Wassail – Circle Round and Sing
  11. Brobdignagian Bards – Santa Lucia –
  12. Gaia Consort – Every Sacred Thing – Gaia Circles
  13. Annwn – The Cutty Wren –
  14. Blackmore’s Night – Winter – Winter Carols

Of the 29 tracks we played on the air, we only have permission to share 13 of them with you in this format. Jord was played as the “bed” of our conversation. We do hope to be able to add Hox Vox to our permissions list at some point in the future.

A Snowin’ and a Blowin’ on the Mess

Murphy’s Magic Mess

Sunday 8 December 2013

Michelle 120813

Michelle from the Order of the Red Grail, Church for Transformational Wicca

ad bannerMichelle from the Order of the Red Grail, Church for Transformational Wicca, joined us again this week. This time to talk with us about the Yule Party co-hosted by Nebraska Heathens United. The Yule celebration is Saturday 14 December 2013 at the Unitarian Church at 6300 A Street in Lincoln. Ritual is at 6pm with the Sumbel and Cauldron Luck to follow. Please arrive no later than 5:45 so that everyone can be ready for ritual. You are encouraged to bring a White Elephant gift, wrapped, a dish to share (and/or beverage) and your own feast gear.  Children welcome. As always, an old fashioned Yule tree decorating will occur. This year’s tree will be gifted to the Memory Unit at Summer’s Place (formerly Milder Manor).

Tune in live every Sunday 9am Central to hear the Mess on KZUM’s website or on 89.3FM in Lincoln. Also available on the TuneIn app.

You can hear an edited version of the show here. The music included in that edit is what we have podcast permission for.

 Play List

  1. Inkubus Sukubus – Wytches’ Chant ’98 – Away with the Faeries
  2. Brave Combo – Snowflake Reel – Sounds of the Hollow
  3. Bill Leslie – Gaelic Soul – Scotland: Grace of the Wild
  4. Peter Sterling – A Mother’s Love – Twilight Serenade
  5. Patrick Landeza – Puanani Slack Key – Slack Key Huaka’i
  6. Peter Sterling – The Glass Globes – The Angels Gift
  7. Louis Colaiannia – Dancing Snowflakes – Origins
  8. Paul Spaeth – The Moment After – Redemption
  9. Paul Speer – Vortex – Ax Inferno
  10. Celtic Woman – Nil Sen La – Songs from the Heart
  11. John McCutcheon – Winter Song – Winter Songs
  12. Tom Carleno – Child’s Play – Perfect Imperfection
  13. Hox Vox – Jord – Mjollinar
  14. Femme M’Ami – Circle Chant –
  15. Chorus of Life – Angel of Bells – Gaia’s Voice
  16. Anne Hill – Tree Wassail – Circle Round and Sing
  17. The Bringers – The Scandinavian Set – Ramblers and Rovers
  18. Brobdignagian Bard – Santa Lucia -Brobdignagian Fairy Tales
  19. The Dolmen – Stag Lord and Queen – Winter Solstice
  20. Gaia Consort – Every Sacred Thing – Gaia Circles
  21. Those Darn Accordians – Grodno in the Moonlight – Squeeze This
  22. The Dolmen – The Oak & Holly Kings –  Winter Solstice
  23. Jessica Radcliffe & Martin Simpson – The Holly Bears the Crown – Beautiful Darkness: Celebrating the Winter
  24. Annwn – The Cutty Wren –
  25. Blackmore’s Night – Winter – Winter Carols
  26. The Andrew Sisters (Jim Reeves) – The Merry Christmas Polka – Twelve Songs of Christmas
  27. Los Straitjackets – Sleigh Ride – Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets!
  28. Frank Remar – The Clydesdale Polka –
  29. – Abraham’s Lament –

There is some missing track information, as you can see. If you know the missing information, please leave us a comment or drop us a note on Facebook. We’d love to be able to give FULL information on these lists. Sometimes Murf’s computer, or Phil’s or *K8’s decides it doesn’t want to share all the information

MP #19: New for December 2013

At least for now, RevKess seems to be on a roll. Here’s another fun episode of Musica Pagani. This time 15 new pieces of new age music. With the exception of a two part piece, each track is a different musican or band. Most of it does come from new releases for December, but some are earlier releases just arrived or new releases that arrived for October and November of 2013.

Starting off with a wintery mix for the holiday season, moving into inspirational and then some drumming and vocals, winding down with more instrumentals and closing out with a sampling of Celtic music.

We do hope that you enjoy the combination of musics!

Play List

  1. Kathryn Kaye – Brightest and Best – What the Winter Said
  2. The Morgan Sisters – Deck the Halls / Winter – Winter, Snow and Strings
  3. Isadar – Sing We now of Christmas – In Search of the Meaning of Christmas
  4. Paul Spath – Reflections – Redemption
  5. Akasa – Sky Children – Portal
  6. Forrest Smithson – Dreaming I (radio edit) – Dreaming Time
  7. Get Tribal – Indra, India (Endless Reflection) – God of Drum
  8. Irinushka – Genie in a Bottle – Roads Traveled
  9. Ricky Kej – Shanit, pt1 – Shanti Orchestra
  10. Ricky Kej – Shanti, pt2 – Shanti Orchestra
  11. Peter Sterling – Isle of Light – Twilight Serenade
  12. Uwe Gronau – Night Train – Flight 14
  13. Cosmo Frequency – World of Light – Soundtrack to Life
  14. David Nevue – Dark Afternoon – Open Sky
  15. Bill Leslie – Gaelic Soul – Scotland: Grace of the Wild