I can listen to Andras Corban Arthen all day. He has a rich, low voice with the gentle cadence of caring. He has a lifetime of experience in the Pagan community, and the depth of perception and the wisdom of his words keeps you riveted. He is presenting and performing all next week at Sacred Harvest Festival, near Geneva, Minnesota. Advance registration closes today, gate registration is available during the event Aug. 6-12th.
You are just back from Europe, what were you doing there?
Andras: I go to Europe fairly often, since I have family and friends across the pond (I’m from Spain, originally), and a big part of my work is focused there. This trip served several purposes, the main one being related to a book I am writing, based on one of the presentations I will be doing at Sacred Harvest Festival (SHF) entitled The “Indians” of Old Europe. It looks at the cultures and spiritual practices that were originally called “Pagan” in the context of indigenous traditions from around the world. For over 35 years I’ve been searching for people in Europe who may be keeping alive the remnants of the old ethnic spiritual traditions of their countries, and have found some, both in Eastern and Western Europe, mostly in small, rural, out-of-the-way places where the old languages are still spoken. Most of them do not use the label “Pagan,” though their practices are not Christian and appear to be authentically very old. In some significant ways, they are quite different from what one typically finds in the modern pagan movement, and there are some important things that I think we could learn from them. When I first met these people I hadn’t been planning to publish a book, so before going further with this I needed to go back to touch base with them in person and ask for permission to write about them, their beliefs, and practices. I was able to do that with four of them, and in two of those cases wound up getting more information than I had before, so I’m pretty satisfied on that account.