Pomegranate https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM <p><em>Pomegranate</em>&nbsp;is the first International, peer-reviewed journal of Pagan studies. It provides a forum for papers, essays and symposia on both ancient and contemporary Pagan religious practices.&nbsp;<em>The Pomegranate</em>&nbsp;also publishes timely reviews of scholarly books in this growing field.</p> Equinox Publishing Ltd. en-US Pomegranate 1528-0268 <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> Who Is, and Who Is Not a Pagan? Struggles in Defining Contemporary Paganism https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20922 <p>The article deals with Pagan studies’ attempts to define contemporary Paganism and claims that definition-building is not a fruitful way of getting to a better understanding of the phenomenon. The article (i) introduces the ways that Pagan studies have tacked the issue of defining contemporary Paganism, (ii) providing particular examples, and (iii) scrutinizing them with a help of classificatory and referential optics. Some scholars in the field have suggested employing family resemblance and polythetic definition for solving the definitional issues. The article (iv) analyzes these propositions and argues why these proposals are not feasible ways of conducting the inquiry. Instead, (v) it proposes a completely different research approach: to formulate a hypothesis, pick a point of reference of contemporary Paganism and test its self-representation against the hypothesis, together with scrutinizing the history of Paganism conceptualizations during the centuries to find out how much these conceptualizations influence our present inquiries and insider self-representations.</p> Pavel Horák Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 125–145 125–145 10.1558/pome.39673 Where Are There Sacred Mountains and What Makes Them Magical? A Material Religion Perspective https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20923 <p>The persistent notion of the holy mountain, both as a special place infused with divinity and as a pilgrimage or tourist destination, is to be included among the physicalistic foci of material religion as an emerging study. The mountain is not only a feature of the natural world but also a material object that intersects with worship throughout the world’s diverse religious and spiritual traditions. It also is increasingly becoming a concern of the environmental movement in terms of both ethical arguments and considerations of embodied enchantment. Among the selected axes mundi surveyed in the present article are those found in the Himalayas, North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Greece, and Japan. What constitutes a mountain’s alleged sacredness, where are such mountains to be found, what awe and wonder associations might they have with earlier religious understandings as well as present-day spiritual beliefs, and what are some of the social consequences of mountain veneration in terms of today’s ecological awareness? These questions belong to the remit of material religion as it examines the interface of corporality and divinity.</p> Michael York Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 146–173 146–173 10.1558/pome.39052 The Native Faith Group Veles https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20924 <p>The Slovenian Rodnovery (Native Faith) group Veles blends contemporary Pagan influences from outside Slovenia with elements of more native Slavic Paganism or “Old Faith,” including elements that have supposedly survived in western Slovenia until the middle of the twentieth century. Our analysis is based on a survey questionnaire administered to members of the group as well as a field survey and participant observation conducted on holy days.</p> Nejc Petric Mirjana Borenović Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 174–195 174–195 10.1558/pome.41141 Hellenismos https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20925 <p>The article explores worship of ancient Greek gods among three contemporary Pagan groups in North America. The main focus is on how the groups use texts, both ancient and modern, in their theology and rituals. The groups’ approaches are explored through interviews, analyses of websites, and the texts referred to. How do the groups approaches differ from each other and what can we learn from their different reconstruction strategies?</p> Stian Sundell Torjussen Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 196–220 196–220 10.1558/pome.40056 The Shaymaran https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20926 <p>This article analyzes the myth of Shaymaran, represented as a half-human and half-serpent. The significance of this representation is, I argue, two-fold: it is significant for her recognition as a goddess, and it is an important testament to the existence of polytheistic religious traditions of goddess-worship among the people of Kurdistan. I analyze the content of such myth that supplies us with important non-material archaeological evidence, particularly relating to the ideology and practice of goddess-worship. By deconstructing this representation and analyzing the content of this myth using a comparative approach vis-à-vis the Abrahamic genesis, I offer important information on the often-overlooked parts of unwritten history of goddess worship, which is continuously sustained through the circulation of this myth and the image. The myth of Shaymaran can therefore also be considered as a counter-narrative, one forged by the oppressed, to a post-colonial dominant monotheistic history and philosophy.</p> Dilşa Deniz Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 221–248 221–248 10.1558/pome.38409 Roger Canals, A Goddess in Motion: Visual Creativity in the Cult of María Lionza https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20927 <p>Roger Canals, A Goddess in Motion: Visual Creativity in the Cult of María Lionza (New York: Berghahn Books, 2017), 202 pp., $120 (cloth).</p> Jip Lensink Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 249–252 249–252 10.1558/pome.38940 Peter Levenda, The Dark Lord: H. P. Lovecraft, Kenneth Grant, and the Typhonian Tradition in Magic, Henrik Bogdan, ed., Servants of the Star & the Snake: Essays in Honour of Kenneth and Steffi Grant https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20007 <p>Peter Levenda, The Dark Lord: H. P. Lovecraft, Kenneth Grant, and the Typhonian Tradition in Magic (Lake Worth, Fl.: Ibis Press, 2013), 352 pp., $35 (hardcover).</p> <p>Henrik Bogdan, ed., Servants of the Star &amp; the Snake: Essays in Honour of Kenneth and Steffi Grant (London: Starfire Publishing, 2018), 360 pp, photographs, £25 (hardcover).</p> Richard Kaczynski Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 253–258 253–258 10.1558/pome.20007 Thomas Hatsis, The Witches’ Ointment: The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic; Psychedelic Mystery Traditions: Spirit Plants, Magical Practices, Ecstatic States https://journal.equinoxpub.com/POM/article/view/20502 <p>Thomas Hatsis, The Witches’ Ointment: The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions 2015), 304 pp., $19.95 paper; Psychedelic Mystery Traditions: Spirit Plants, Magical Practices, Ecstatic States (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 2018), 288 pp., B&amp;W illustrations, $19.99 softcover.</p> Chas S. Clifton Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 22 2 259–261 259–261 10.1558/pome.20502