Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pagan Icons - 40 thru 31

Here we go...make sure that you enter by Friday for your chance to win the Burt's Bees Healthy Hands Gift Set!

40) Yoko Ono - Musician/Artist/Activist
I was really taken aback when a friend of mine suggested Yoko.  However, doing some research, I discovered that Yoko was a New Age Witch.  I had no idea.  I can genuinely say that my only experience with her was her infamy for supposedly breaking up The Beatles.  Ono brought feminism to the forefront through her music which prefigured New Wave music (whether she was a direct influence is still debated). She is a supporter of gay rights and is known for her philanthropic contributions to the arts, peace and AIDS outreach programs.

39) Viggo Mortensen - Actor/Artist

He is best known for his role as Aragorn in Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings' film trilogy and my best friends pick.  He also starred in 'A History of Violence', 'Eastern Promises' and 'The Road.'  With part of his earnings from 'The Lord of the Rings', Mortensen founded the Perceval Press publishing house — named for the knight from the legend of King Arthur — to help other artists by publishing works that might not find a home in more traditional publishing venues.  It has been posted that the Renaissance man is a practicing Heathen.  He is often pictured wearing his Thor's Hammer (left).

38) Deepak Chopra - Writer

Deepak is an Indian American public speaker, and writer on Ayurveda, spirituality and mind-body medicine.  Chopra began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine.  Chopra was a top assistant to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before launching his own career in the late 1980s by publishing self-help books on New Age spirituality and alternative medicine.  Throughout his career, he has been controversial for some of his stances.  In April 2010, Hindu American Foundation co-founder Aseem Shukla, on a Washington Post-sponsored blog on faith and religion, criticized Chopra for suggesting that yoga did not have origins in Hinduism but merely is an Indian spiritual tradition which predated Hinduism.  The same year, he received the 2010 Humanitarian Starlite Award "for his global force of human empowerment, well-being and for bringing light to the world."

37) Tina Turner - Musician

A famous Buddhist, Tina's career has spanned more than 50 years.  In 2009, Turner participated in the Beyond singing project with fellow musicians Regula Curti, Seda Bagcan and Dechen Shak Dagsay. This CD combined Buddhist chants and Christian choral music along with a spiritual message read by Turner.  She taught Mick Jagger to dance, she was The Who's Acid Queen and she was Mel Gibson's Auntie Entity.  She is simply The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll.

36) Sandra Bullock - Actor

She is in no way a Pagan even though she did turn down 'The Blind Side' three times "due to a discomfort with portraying a devout Christian."  She played, in 'Practical Magic', one of the finest portrayals of Witchcraft that Hollywood has ever produced.  She was voted for by a few people for extolling many on the virtues that we hold to.  Bullock has been a public supporter of the American Red Cross, twice donating $1 million, first to its Liberty Disaster Relief Fund and four years later in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis.  In 2010, she donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti following the Haiti earthquake.  She also recently adopted Louis, an infant from New Orleans.

35) Stan Lee - Writer

Stan is a comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.  He co-created Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, and many other fictional characters and revolutionized superhero comic books.  Sure, he is a shameless self promoter, but he can be:-)

34) Aishwarya Rai - Actor

Rai has acted in over 40 movies in Hindi, English, Tamil and Bengali, which include a number of international productions.  Rai is also cited by the international media as the most beautiful woman in the world.  Aishwarya is Hindu and deeply religious. Her favourite temple is a 200-year-old Lord Ganesha Temple.  In 2010, she appeared for the second time in list Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World".

33) Alice Walker - Writer/Activist

Walker has written at length on issues of race and gender, and is most famous for the critically acclaimed novel 'The Color Purple' for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.  Walker is Buddhist and also a practicing vegan.

32) Winona Ryder - Actor

You know the jokes, you've heard the whispers, but do you realize that Ms. Ryder has been an unwavering supporter of The West Memphis Three since the beginning of their religious persecution? 
Ryder's breakthrough role was 'Tim Burton's Beetlejuice' as a goth teenager, which won her critical and commercial recognition. After making various appearances in film and television, Ryder continued her career with the cult film 'Heathers', a controversial satire of teenage suicide and high school life, which drew Ryder further critical and commercial attention.  She has most recently been seen in the recently Oscar nominated 'Black Swan' and 'The Dilemma.'

31) Charlaine Harris - Writer

She is the author of a little series of books about a telepathic half-Fairy named Sookie Stackhouse.  I'm sure you've never seen 'True Blood.'  This season, the Witches come onto the scene.  This will be a great opportunity for dialog with mundanes and ourselves.  I'M SO EXCITED!!!

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