Why I Support the Wild Hunt

Nobody asked me to write this, but The Wild Hunt is in its fundraising cycle right now. Unless something has happened to my autopay, I support them with a small amount of money each month. Here’s why.

The Wild Hunt started in 2004 while I was still in high school, and I found it soon after its launch. When I was 16/17, the only reasonably regular source for pagan/polytheist news online was WitchVox’s sidebar column, which had a news feed of all of the stories streaming in from the USA, Britain, and elsewhere. My family didn’t have a subscription to a pagan magazine in the house.

I’d been aware since the beginning of my teens of anti-pagan/polytheist discrimination due to my own personal experience. My morning routine before school consisted of showering, pouring a bowl of cereal, and connecting to dial-up (and after 2003/4, broadband) to see if WitchVox had any news updates. Because of this, I learned early on that the religious discrimination and intimidation was systemic and pervasive in the USA.

Most of what I remember are the stories about religion-based firings or the ACLU stepping in, apart from the occasional eccentric British politician and the annual Pagan Pride Day and Samhain news cycle. It was really depressing, especially for a teenager raised Neopagan/UU who had an active interest in being religious. I had very few role models in the international or national community, specifically active polytheists who were professionally successful beyond clergy or other religious group leadership roles. My mother was/is professionally successful, but she is my mom. Besides, in Missouri, she always kept her jewelry under her shirt.

One of the reasons I floated for so long before figuring out what I wanted to do was the sense that if people knew, I would be just one more ACLU story, that people would make snide comments and deny me opportunities to succeed because they couldn’t reconcile how one could be a thinking, cognizant person while practicing a polytheistic religion. It’s important to me that my generation has role models for young pagans/polytheists in addition to religious specialists.

The Wild Hunt made a big difference to me as a teen, especially after I transitioned into college and started practicing Hellenism. It was broader than WitchVox in its coverage, and it captured more of the positive news. At 30, I still check it several times a week, and it’s always the first place I go to check the pagan/polytheistic news and community updates beyond the religious orgs I’m involved in.

That’s a long-winded way of saying that I’m extremely grateful that The Wild Hunt exists. Thank you to its founder Jason Pitzl, its current Publisher/Managing Editor Heather Greene, and to the many contributors who have made it what it is today. No news source is perfect, but they’ve all done a fabulous job attempting to meet our communities’ extremely heterogenous needs. If The Wild Hunt has made a difference in your life and you feel that you can spare a few dollars in the short or long term, please support them.

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