The Ohio State University
Pagan Student Association
An Interview with Author Jennifer Hunter
Jennifer Hunter has been practicing the Craft since age sixteen. She works as a magazine editor and free-lance writer and lives in the Northeast with her husband Orin and their two cats. She is the author of 21st century Wicca and runs the website www.jenniferhunter.com. She was interviewed by SilverPeace via email.
Where did you go to school?
I went to college at SUNY New Paltz for the first 2.5 years, and then to Montclair State University for the next 2.5. Yes, I was on the 5-year plan, because I changed my concentration. Originally I was going to get an English/Education degree, but then I switched it to just English when I realized what I really wanted to do was write, not teach (or preferably teach through my writing!).
Were you a member of a Pagan Student Association?
Yes; I started two, actually! (This was all at New Paltz - MSU was far too mundane for such an organization to take off.) First I formed the Pagan Student Union (in probably 1990 or thereabouts). It went well for a time, but then there was a schism in the group. We wanted to receive funding from the school. But in order to do that, we had to be a "cultural" organization rather than a "religious" one. We thought about how to do that, but eventually about half of us decided that didn't make sense--of course we were a religious organization! The rest of us started spouting this hoopla about how the group had actually formed "to study ancient pagan cultures" (small "p" used there intentionally). So a bunch of us broke off and formed The Wiccan Grove, which, as far as I know, is still there. I don't think the PSU is, anymore.
What issues do you consider at the forefront of the Pagan Community and where do you stand on those issues?
Our place in the larger community, religious and social. Advocacy. Educating folks who have erroneous ideas about Paganism. Internally, I think we're doing okay. We have Witch-wars and such, but I think the larger problem is revising our image in the minds of people who don't understand. People are still losing jobs and child custody for being Pagan!
Do you have a chosen Pagan Tradition you practice?
Judeo-Paganism. Because I identify strongly with the Jewish tribe, but I also have leanings toward polytheism, sacred sexuality, and magic. I'm trying right now to learn more about the pagan origins of Jewish holidays and traditions, and also more about the pre-monotheistic Hebrew and Caananite Gods and Goddesses.
Do you have any advice for Student Pagans?
Within the group, try to find your common ground, rather than looking for differences. Use your spirituality and your magic to help in your schoolwork and personal lives- that's what it's for. Outside your group, try to get involved in some sort of charity activity - environmental ones are appropriate. I wish we'd done that sort of stuff when I was still in school.
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