Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of anything Henson or Froud do. Like, seriously a huge fan.
But in order to get wide-spread interest in the puppet as a magical art form, I think overcoming PBS television syndrome is an issue.
I also want to stress the value of puppetry for children, and for teaching spirituality and values to children. We'll get into that in the next post, but let's all just agree for now that pagan children's puppetry could really rock.
It totally could.
And in my frustrating searching of pagan puppetry, the one place I did in fact find some was in a ritual involving pagan children. Let's give them some kudos. http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/lithachildren.htm
But for use in magic and ritual, the puppet does not necessarily have to have google eyes and a big, furry brightly colored monster... though by all means, if the mood strikes you.
Serious puppetry is not anything new, but we find so little of it in Western culture that it can come as a surprise. Let me happily point you toward some amazing and artful examples... and if you happen to have a chance to see any puppet opera, I highly recommend it. If nothing else, than to experience the illusion and magic that is inherent in a good puppet performance.
My top picks: