OCTARINE VALUR. The Pagan-Vampyre Dispute – this is the name the SAVA has given to the crisis which came about in August between the VC and a faction of the Pagan community in South Africa. In all, it involved groups who were both pro and anti Vampyre, as well as the SAVA. By late August, it became known that this faction was apparently dissatisfied with the tolerance and welcome being shown to Vampyres by Pagan leaders and groups. It soon became clear that the emerging VC in South Africa had unwittingly become embroiled in what seemed to be a pre-existing internal dispute between different factions of the Pagan community, and which threatened to divide the Pagan community.
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NATHALIE BEULAH. The concept of being suppressed in South Africa and trying to break free from our suppressors is far from a new one. South Africans in general have been fighting for their rights for decades and as a result the current generation has been instilled with the idea that if you believe in something and others try to suppress you, then you must shout and make your voice heard.
EDITOR. In my recent interview with Penton blogger, Helen Riding, Helen asked me whether Penton’s readers could expect more controversial posts in future, what criteria I set for Penton bloggers and blog posts, and what types of new bloggers I am keeping an eye out for?
CHRISTINA ENGELA. I drive a Mazda, but I still know what a Mercedes Benz looks like. I have had Beetles, a Kombi, a Renault, a Toyota and a Golf as well. I realize they are all cars, and I at least have an idea of what makes each of them different from the other, and about the thing that makes them go. I also know that cars make traveling from one place easier and better. It doesn’t mean I have to hate the other makes, or refuse to drive in whatever car my neighbor drives.
HELEN RIDING. In 2008, HBO produced a short documentary True Bloodlines: Vampire Legends to promote the True Blood television series. Charlaine Harris, the author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries on which the television series is based, states in it that she is “using the vampire community as a metaphor for larger things”. The show’s storyline is considered to be an allegory for the struggle for minority rights. As real as such fictional vampires may seem to some people, that is not the type of vampire that I interviewed.
ANITA BLACKROSE. Ek het in die laaste paar weke verloor. Gewig – en dit is fantasties vir ‘n meisie wat haar troue beplan en ‘n skepping wil dra, ‘n boetie – wat my hart gebreek, en ‘n geveg – in die hoop op ‘n verhouding met oop en earlike kommunikasie. Al drie het seer gemaak en was moeilik op hul eie manier. Tog het al drie vrede aan my siel gebring op hul eie, en obskure, manier.
CHRISTINA ENGELA. From the outside, bigots who hate all of us and wish us all dead, regardless of what letter we hang round our necks, are watching one group which they think are scum, discriminating against another group they also call scum. Fighting in a burning house never made sense to me. I hope it no longer makes sense to you.
HELEN RIDING. I read about aligning with and plugging into the universal power source that we are all part of in Positive Magic by Marion Weinstein. This clever imagery appeared again several times in Dancing Under an African Moon: Paganism and Wicca in South Africa by Donna Vos, that I have just finished reading. While this book published in 2002 is a bit out of date already, it is the only book I am aware of about Paganism in a South African context and for that reason alone it is worth reading by anyone interested in Paganism in South Africa.