Vol 13 No. 10 (2011) Issue Number 10, November 1999

Notes from the Underground

According to Edward Whitmont, in Return of the Goddess (NY: Crossroads, 1989), our newfound interest in the magical and the matrifocal is causing material which has long laid dormant in our unconscious to now be brought to the surface. For the most part this is a good thing, but Whitmont cautions us that the “free-floating impulses from the magical layer are powder charges waiting to be ignited by the sparks from the torches of the returning Dionysos and his menadic retinue”. Many of us seem to be aware of this, at least intuitively, and are concerned about the implied potential for violence in Nature Religion and Neopaganism, especially about their fringes.

Readers' Forum

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University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
the martial symbolism and apocalyptic worldviews found within radical environmental subcultures has not and probably will not yield widespread or proliferating terrorist violence.
University of Central Lancashire
A survey of popular Pagan texts …turned up an arrestingly unproblematic relationship with ethnic, historical, national, social and political boundaries
University of Guelph
Celtic society was a stratified, hierarchical society that by no means bore all of the egalitarian and democratic features that Neopagan Celts often ascribe to it.
Anthropologist Ashley Montagu considers Gimbutas' findings to be as important as Schliemann's excavation of Troy, while others, like Brian Hayden, are highly critical.
Those who engage in pseudoscience want it both ways. They want the authority of science but are unwilling to abide by the rules by which the scientific community earned its authority in the first place