Monday, March 31, 2008

Pagan Pizza

I read many more articles than I can find to post about. I'm fascinated by fringe religions, so I tend to read more articles on this subject than anything else. I've noticed a trend with Wicca. Newspapers are doing "it's ok to be a Wiccan" stories in increasing numbers. The basic story goes something like this. Wiccans are a member of a legitimate religion just like you and me. Only... they worship nature, or the moon, or moon goddess, or some such nature oriented deity. Wiccans don't worship the devil. He's not even invited to their ceremonies. Wiccans perform odd candle and incense oriented rituals called "spells" that have about the same affect as prayer, which is to say, you might as well do the setups because thinking about loosing weight just don't work.

If you would like to see a typical Wiccan feel good article, please read this snipit.

However the group may feel about appearing in a column dedicated to the weird, they are very comfortable with their own choices of path. Many of the group chose Paganism at an early age. Marlene discovered her path when she was twelve, and ran outside to dance under the full moon. Another attendee spent her childhood attending Catholic school, and found that something was lacking. She’s never understood the purpose of building a church or building for worship. After all, she told me, “Nature is the house of God.” And that really is the common thread amongst the pagans: a true appreciation for the wonder of nature. Many are ecologically minded, and judging by the choices of pizza toppings, many are also vegetarians. The moon, the earth, the stars, and animals seem to function as very important symbols for almost all pagans. 

Source: The Santa Barbara Independent Pagan Pizza

I don't feel good about Wiccans after reading this puff piece.  Wiccans scare me. They make it up as they go along. It's like they are attending a Renaissance festival all year long, except the can't leave it at the festival like the rest of us.

And please don't tell me I'm a hater. Wiccans are a new manifestation of religious self delusion that I find boggling. Everything they believe, everything they have, it is all been made up over the last 50 years or so. It's like an extended D&D session where the people actually believe all the crap they are making up. I don't get it. But Wiccan girls are still hot.

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10 comments:

genexs said...

Hating, no. Bashing, yes?

I'm a Wiccan. You are misrepresenting what we believe and do. You offer up a collection of cliche sterotypes of Wiccans. We are well aware of when our religion was invented, and how it evolved to be in its current form. We don't pretend it came down out of the clouds or something, as other faiths do. The vast majority of Wiccans I've met look like any other run of the mill person. For some reason, you seem illogically wedded to the notion that we're a bunch of hippie tree huggers. I suppose for some sad folks, they have a need to demonize those who respect life and are trying to affect positive changes on this planet. In that regard, you have much in common with the Dominionist set.

Johnny Crow said...

What an asinine response to his post genexs. I mean really, what was the point other than showing your own stereotyping mindset.

The point he is trying to make, is just because it isn't the same bullshit that judeo-christian religions and other that are more commonly rallied against, wiccans and other occult "religions" are still just bullshit.

I know a lot of people who care about nature and the natural way of living and so forth. You don't need a false belief system or deities in order to have it. Your "spells" are just prayers and prayers do about as much good as a sugar pill curing diabetes.

Get off your high horse and learn to think for yourself. There is no god or goddesses or other stupid mythical ideas that people seem to "need" in their life in order to have meaning. There is no meaning. It is life. Live it.

Mojoey said...

nope - not a hater. I just think you are all crazy.

We are well aware of when our religion was invented No, "we" are not aware. I get countless emails from people telling me their faux religion predates christianity. How dumb is that? I've also had emails and comments from people telling me their spells are real, again... how dumb is that?

I'm not demonizing anybody by saying you are willfully living a make believe life. I am questioning your sanity. You know its made up and you still do it... like a child.

Thanks for the defense Johnny.

genexs said...

Hysterical. So, anyone who does not believe and think like you is automatically 'childlike', 'crazy', or full of 'bullshit'. Well, fair enough I suppose, as I called one of you a Dominionist. And since "GET BACK YOU CRAZY FUCK!" has been shouted in my direction more times than I should admit, you have a point about 'crazy'. But the fact you two seem to enjoy coming off like two illiterate jackass rednecks, whose arguments consist of cutting & pasting from Atheist BlogRolls, might indicate something deeply wrong with you--in the ego department. Then again, I'm curious about why the hell you would get so many emails from Wiccans. I'm the HP of a coven, and I've talked to hundreds of Pagans and Wiccans, and virtually nobody asks me stuff like that. Damn, I feel so left out. All this has been covered in two textbooks, "Drawing Down the Moon" by Margo Adler, and "The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft" by Hutton. Any serious scholar of Neo-Pagan studies is familiar with these works. Regardless of whatever tweener email you've gotten, the origin and history of Wicca is well documented and researched by social anthropologists and scholars interested in religion.

Getting back to one of your comments--I guess I did miss the point of the post. The article directly sited as example goes on to explain how the author was surprised by the nature of those interviewed, and how they did not fit his stereotype. Mojoey bemoans the fact he is seeing more and more articles like this. That would lead me to believe that what poor Mojoey "thinks" and "believes" about Wicca is more important than actual observations. That's a curious POV for people claiming to be wedded to empirical evidence and the scientific method.

Even more troubling than that, you say "Wiccans scare me." (Generally, I'd assume quoting directly from the post would insulate me from the charge of "completely misunderstanding the post", but it's a real crap shoot here.) For some strange reason, you feel threatened by us. Yet, you think Wiccan "girls" (hmm) are "hot". I detect some Freudian issues here, but then again I'm suppose to be one who's sanity is at issue.

Oh, btw, enjoyed your blog,

best,
Gene

Mojoey said...

Genexs, I did not say any who does not think like me is childlike. I said anybody who thinks like a child is childlike. If you willfully believe a known fantasy as fact, what else are you?

I don't fit the illiterate jackass redneck description very well. I hold a graduate degree, you need to read get one you know.

I've read both the books you referenced. I've met Margo Adler at a seminar. I've attended Wiccan meetings, made Wiccan friends, you name it. I've devolved an opinion based on my own experiences and research. Most of the Wiccans I've met do not know the history of their faux religion. Most remind me of children playing a game.

Wiccans do scare me. The remind me of the fanatics I've met from the Christian fundie sect. They go over the top in the pursuit of their "faith".

I do not think Wicca should be afforded special treatment. Of course, I do not think any religions should be afforded special treatment. The difference is that Wicca is a complete fairytale. A similar situation would be if I were to convert my monster manual from D&D into a religion where a Balrog is my god. Then I go on a PR campaign to promote acceptance of my believe. it would be complete BS. I would be acting like a child, and if somebody were to call me a child I would have no defense.

You are acting like a child - but I bet your girlfriend is hot.

idragosani said...

I was nominally pagan in the 80s and more Thelemic/ceremonial magician in the 90s, and while I abandoned it all in the late 90s, was playing lead guitar for a pagan rock band 2004-2006... and I can tell you that I agree completely -- they have as irrational beliefs as any Christian (astrology, Tarot cards, candle magic, all kinds of nutty stuff). The Thelemites are a little more intellectual and stripped of the occult trappings, their philosophy has a lot in common with Humanism.

And to genexes... a lot of the pagans I know (if not most) are hippie tree huggers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the fluffiness (especially the white light Wiccans) can get quite annoying after all.

That said, though, I like to hang with pagans. They are a LOT of fun to drink beer with!

genexs said...

Grrr! I agree about 90%! What fun is that? But I'm still upset about your demonstrative lack of redneckedness. It would have been great hanging out in your old Ford pick-up, the one up on blocks, with the Confederate flag plate dangling off the rusting fender, listening to Lynard Skynard on the 8 track, swigging some hooch then burying our faces in nice bag of meth, while the bare foot 'home schooled' kids play in the mud waiting for Santa Clause (Funny for an Atheist to convinced them Xmass come once a month: actually just the mailman with the welfare checks.) But you Atheists gotta spoil everyone's fun! Then again, my mind is child-like.

As an Atheist for 10 years myself, I feel your pain. I understand the anger expressed on many "A" blogs, but fortunately mine has dissipated. You said you read those two books, and know something about Wicca. Yet you hold opinions of it (that it's like Xtianity) at great variance to those published works, but there's nothing wrong with that. You seem concerned with what I "believe in", yet "belief" is not that important in Wicca and other polytheistic systems. Many Wiccans do not take the existence of their Gods and Goddesses literally. There's little (if any) dogma in Wicca. So, I am still unclear as to what you fear. Let's see, since I last checked we have not blown up any women's health centers, demonized gay or lesbians, protested the funerals of Iraq war veterans, nullified the contributions of women, destroyed people's cultures and religion, or spread disinformation about birth control, or tried to take the teaching of evolution out of the schools. I guess we have a lot of catching up to do. Heh!

As far as education? Not that it makes any difference, but like the people in the article you critiqued, we have a couple of lawyers (heh, I know some would not consider that a Good Thing), a psychologist, and a number of other professionals in our coven. As far as lil'ole me, I only climbed as far as my BS. Working on my MS (entomology), I was offered a job in a lab that I could not refuse. I strongly support the separation of Church and State (I'm an AU member).

As an analogy, you offer D&D. I'm sure D&D was fun for you. I think D&D is a completely stupid waste of time. But I don't go around saying people are insane for liking it. (Or that D&D is like a virus, or those who like it are mere children.) I have a feeling you are well read. I'm sure there's books you've found very inspiring, and indeed--may have changed your life. What sort of f*cked-up ego trip would I be on if I tried to nullify your respect for these books? It's no skin off my nose if someone finds meaning in something that I find wanting. Life is hard and painful enough, without me trying to wring the pleasure out of some poor slob's life. However, I do share your phobia of RenFairs.

I've taken on a challenging task, and that is bringing some Atheists into our coven. The conversation which inspired this went something like this "We're Atheists and feel stupid around the holidays. But you Wiccans celebrate the equinoxes, solstices, full moons, and things like that that are sorta real. Sounds fun, can we watch?" Heh! Btw, thanx for the comment on my lady friend. I'm sure your partner in crime is not too shabby, either. Also, apologies for hitting your blog with such long comments.

warm regards,
Gene

Note to : My mileage varies as far as the tree hugger thing. I think there may be a real difference between urban NeoPagans and rural ones, at least that seems to be the case in my area. (Reading over these comments, it's possible that a person's opinions may be greatly influenced by what time period they became involved or exposed to the Wiccan/NeoPagan movement.) As far as tarot cards and such, for what's it's worth, I agree they are--at best--of limited use. OTOH, they are about as efficacious as psycho analysis, which to this day passes itself off as a "science". :) Have I met people who I consider off-the-deep-end in all this? Sure, but the worst are the UFO kooks. I've met some that scare the heebie-jeebies outa me.

Johnny Crow said...

I am speaking on my own behalf here and no Joes.

When atheists like myself "attack" people of any religious nature, be it xtians, muslims, hindis, wiccans, pagans, thorans (?), we do so because it is an adult fairy tale. Each has its own problems and as such we attack those in regards to their specific religion.

you said in one of your comments:
..."I last checked we have not blown up any women's health centers, demonized gay or lesbians, protested the funerals of Iraq war veterans, nullified the contributions of women, destroyed people's cultures and religion, or spread disinformation about birth control, or tried to take the teaching of evolution out of the schools"...

You have NO Idea how thankful we are for that. However, it does not excuse the fact that you are supplanting a factual and logical view of the world with one of ritual and mythos.

I too was once a "wiccan" in the years I spent on a search for "truth". There were some great people and good books that I have read, but a LOT of those I had met, were simply making shit up or failing to understand the true origins of their own "religion".

You have a right to believe or not believe in whatever you want. It still doesn't mean it is right. When you come onto an atheist site and claim that wiccans are something different than what they are, you are going to get bashed.

I love nature just as much as some of the wiccans and pagans I know. But I don't supplant the knowledge that this is an awesome universe with the ideas that some imaginary being decided to make it or to grant the wishes of their followers.

my BIGGEST pet peeve with people who say they are wiccans, pagans or of the "occult" are their use of Tarot cards, tea leaves, runes, Psychics, palm reader and fortune tellers... all of it is bullshit, all of it is a scam.

I know. I have done it. I have met more than my fair share of con artists. Some REALLY good and some shitty ones (in skill not in sleaziness.. which they all have).

Later in your comments you mention converting atheists into your coven because of holidays and them feeling stupid... Seriously? If those were real atheists then they would have researched holidays and not have felt stupid.

Me and my fiance don't celebrate a majority of holidays. You don't have to be wiccan or pagan to celebrate equinoxes, or just seasons. It is life, celebrate whatever you want to celebrate. Fuck. Easter is spring, Christmas is the end of Harvest. I could make up holidays for my own family, but most of the time if we do celebrate something, it is more of a communal get together rather than a present giving obligatory event.

The original meaning of pagan meant, "of the earth" and sometimes "of the country, civilian, etc."


You seem like an intelligent person, and I hate to someone intelligent enough to have a public discourse about their beliefs without crying.. still believe in the imaginary. So thank you for at least having this open discourse.

I am a skeptic at heart and what I have most are those who go after the weak willed with religious/mystical/spiritual or any kind of malarkey and try to pass it off as real or as "truth".

The truth is, we live and we die. If we know were going to die why not live as much as possible?

genexs said...

Johny:

Thanx for your intelligent comments. Allow me to get the best first:

Later in your comments you mention converting atheists into your coven because of holidays and them feeling stupid... Seriously? If those were real atheists then they would have researched holidays and not have felt stupid.

YIKES! I never said I was "converting" anyone! Proselytizing is pretty close to one of the biggest no-no's you can achieve in Wicca. As to whether they are "real atheists" or not, I did not know you guys subjected yourselves to some sort of purity test. But to fill you in, the two atheists I am approaching are recent immigrants from a formally communist European country. They have never been exposed to religion in their lives, excepting in public school when they were taught from day one that religion was about the worst and most evil thing you ever could be exposed to. Because of their up brining, they don't exhibit the hostility of betrayal exhibited by so many recent "Movement Atheists". That is why I am letting them in. I'm make sure to tell them that there's Atheists out there who don't consider them "real atheists"! LOL

I don't supplant the knowledge that this is an awesome universe with the ideas that some imaginary being decided to make it or to grant the wishes of their followers.


Are you implying the universe is "awesome" on purpose? I think that feeling is something we cultivate in ourselves. I love science and astronomy, but the sad thing is--not everyone feels that way. They don't get filled with a sense of wonder and satisfaction when they peer through the telescope eyepiece. If they seek satisfaction, justification, and meaning from non-scientific pursuits, it's not something I begrudge them for. But I like the distinction you've come up with: maybe spiritual people think the universe is trying to impress us, on purpose! "OK Goddess/God Universe, I'm very very impressed by black holes! We are now all filled with awe, wonder, and dread. You can cut it out now." I like that better than God simply playing dice with the universe. Heh

When atheists like myself "attack" people of any religious nature, be it xtians, muslims, hindis, wiccans, pagans, thorans (?), we do so because it is an adult fairy tale. Each has its own problems and as such we attack those in regards to their specific religion.

Do you enjoy being an "attacker"? If I'm reading you right, I am committing some sort of sin by what it is I'm doing. For this, I suppose you think I should feel guilty. Frankly, I left main stream religion because of its focus on shame, guilt, fear, and sin. It's weird hearing such attitudes coming from Atheists.

I too was once a "wiccan" in the years I spent on a search for "truth". There were some great people and good books that I have read, but a LOT of those I had met, were simply making shit up or failing to understand the true origins of their own "religion".


Uh, all one has to do is check out the wikipedia entry on "Wicca" to read about the origins of it. The myth you speak of is exploded in the first few lines of the entry. So, this argument that we are all pushing an ancient myth of origin is kinda wearing thin. It's amazes me how many of you go through a "Wiccan/NeoPagan" phase. Many of you are expressing displeasure with that experience. In addition, in fairness, some of you also hint at fond memories. I'm doing my best to glean what valuable criticism I can from this dialog, and bring it others in my belief system. Maybe you feel some regret, like it all was just wasted time till you found the enlightening "truth" of Atheism. I don't know. But aren't most of life's lessons hard? Aren't the Good Things in life worth spending some effort on? Maybe you personally needed to go through such a phase, so you can get to where you are. However, this thing about "truth" keeps coming up again and again. Believe me, I'm getting the picture from some of you that my mileage varies in a big way, but I've not met many Wiccans and Pagans who claim to have a direct line to the truth. On the other hand, you seem to imply you have some yardstick of truth. I guess that would be science. Science is a great yardstick. It's the best thing we've come up with so far for measuring things. But is beating up other people the best use for this stick?

We are not dogmatic, and that is supported by a large body of research. Most of us (I don't speak for everyone) are obsessed with finding out about our religion, and the various Pagan mythologies (ancient and current) that influence it. I agree with you that there's tons of bullshit out there. It's sad there's a market for such things. One of the most hideous things to come down the pike is this "The Secret" atrocity.

When you come onto an atheist site and claim that wiccans are something different than what they are, you are going to get bashed.

Fair enough. But I don't like bullies. I'm quick to raise to a fight, especially when finding the weak or harmless picked on. I've been attacked (IRL) by nutjobs of the Xtain persuasion. I've seen my beliefs stereotyped and lied about to advance a Dominionist agenda. So my dander gets up when I see similar behavior arising in certain Atheist circles.

I'm a practicing Wiccan. I'm the High Priest for a small coven. I'm actually doing this stuff. In my own small way, I suppose I am one of the very people writing this fake religion that some of you are so upset about. That pleases me to no end. Forgive me if I come off like I have a small clue about what I'm talking about. The fact is, the "making it up as they go along" crowd don't last long in this. There's lots of people out there claiming they are Wiccan or Pagan or something, who really just want to party and have a wild time. Again, those people soon drop out once they find this stuff takes work. (However, I sure like to have a good howl from time to time myself. Heh!) In the recent past, there were indeed people pushing an ancient history of Wicca. However, today, virtually all the movers and shakers acknowledge the recent genesis of Wicca (or something very like it, probably sometime in the 1920's or 30's).

my BIGGEST pet peeve with people who say they are wiccans, pagans or of the "occult" are their use of Tarot cards, tea leaves, runes, Psychics, palm reader and fortune tellers... all of it is bullshit, all of it is a scam. I know. I have done it. I have met more than my fair share of con artists. Some REALLY good and some shitty ones (in skill not in sleaziness.. which they all have).


I'm sorry if you've been made a sucker, or a mark. There's lots of con artists out there, of every persuasion. My apologies to you if anyone has done that to you in the name of our religion. But it's simply not true that everyone performing deviation is in it to make a buck and rip off people. (I've expressed my own reservations about deviation above.)

You seem like an intelligent person, and I hate to someone intelligent enough to have a public discourse about their beliefs without crying.. still believe in the imaginary. So thank you for at least having this open discourse. I am a skeptic at heart and what I have most are those who go after the weak willed with religious/mystical/spiritual or any kind of malarkey and try to pass it off as real or as "truth". The truth is, we live and we die. If we know were going to die why not live as much as possible?

OK, fair enough. You need proof! Then I will give you proof. I have proof that the Goddess Exists!

Also, you all are very concerned about these hokey spells and things we are involved in. Are you sick of Jehovah Witnesses coming to your door? Well, I have a special spell that will rid you from them forever: make a 'witch jar'.

Heh! :)

Once again, thanx for you comments and the opportunity to respond. I greatly appreciate this dialog.

warm regards,
Gene

Johnny Crow said...

Gene,

Thank you for responding as well. Here are my responses to yours:

YIKES! I never said I was "converting" anyone! Proselytizing is pretty close to one of the biggest no-no's you can achieve in Wicca. As to whether they are "real atheists" or not, I did not know you guys subjected yourselves to some sort of purity test. But to fill you in, the two atheists I am approaching are recent immigrants from a formally communist European country. They have never been exposed to religion in their lives, excepting in public school when they were taught from day one that religion was about the worst and most evil thing you ever could be exposed to. Because of their up brining, they don't exhibit the hostility of betrayal exhibited by so many recent "Movement Atheists". That is why I am letting them in. I'm make sure to tell them that there's Atheists out there who don't consider them "real atheists"! LOL

I didn't mean to assume you were "converting" anyone. Just that your comment seemed like you sought them out in order to bring them in, My apologies.

As for the "Real" Atheist or not, that is by no mean what I meant by that statement. Some people consider themselves atheists who are merely agnostics and even vice-versa. The only requirement to be an atheist, really, is the lack of a belief in a higher power, period. You say they were from an Eastern European country and were forced to have no religion. That is just as bad as forcing a religion. I believe in free thought. I have no problem with people having a religion; some people need it, I suppose. It is when that religion is used in such a way that it harms peoples freedoms, or it is shoved down the throats of those around it. Or even, in the case of psychics, when it is used to swindle people out of money, property and ultimately dignity that I have a problem with it. I am sorry to say this, but those people new to your coven are not atheist simply because they grew up without religion. Just as my children will not be atheists, unless they choose to be. That is both the beauty and crutch of free will.


Are you implying the universe is "awesome" on purpose? I think that feeling is something we cultivate in ourselves. I love science and astronomy, but the sad thing is--not everyone feels that way. They don't get filled with a sense of wonder and satisfaction when they peer through the telescope eyepiece. If they seek satisfaction, justification, and meaning from non-scientific pursuits, it's not something I begrudge them for. But I like the distinction you've come up with: maybe spiritual people think the universe is trying to impress us, on purpose! "OK Goddess/God Universe, I'm very very impressed by black holes! We are now all filled with awe, wonder, and dread. You can cut it out now." I like that better than God simply playing dice with the universe. Heh


In my eyes, Yes the universe is awesome. I understand that some people don't see it that way and that is fine, much like I see the beauty of the land and the earth and all that surrounds us. But then again a lot of people don't really view the world outside of themselves... but that is a whole other discussion. I do not begrudge the fact that they choose to seek answers in non-scientific way (ok maybe a little), but that is their prerogative. My issue, is when they try to force it on others, especially kids.



Do you enjoy being an "attacker"? If I'm reading you right, I am committing some sort of sin by what it is I'm doing. For this, I suppose you think I should feel guilty. Frankly, I left main stream religion because of its focus on shame, guilt, fear, and sin. It's weird hearing such attitudes coming from Atheists.


You are reading my words wrong if you got that I enjoyed being an "attacker" and when I put quotes around it, I do so because I am not attacking them for their belief in something like a creator or what have you, but merely their policies in which go against free will. Such as lack of womens rights, sex and various other stupid and freedom inhibiting practices. As far as religions go, I have had the least amount of issue with Wicca. As I said before each religion has its own problems. From many of your comments on the current state of your religion I can see it has come a long way. However it still doesn't stop some nut ball from making stupid claims and making money off of deceit for it. Not saying that everyone in your religion is like that, I am merely using it as a point.


Uh, all one has to do is check out the wikipedia entry on "Wicca" to read about the origins of it. The myth you speak of is exploded in the first few lines of the entry. So, this argument that we are all pushing an ancient myth of origin is kinda wearing thin. It's amazes me how many of you go through a "Wiccan/NeoPagan" phase. Many of you are expressing displeasure with that experience. In addition, in fairness, some of you also hint at fond memories. I'm doing my best to glean what valuable criticism I can from this dialog, and bring it others in my belief system. Maybe you feel some regret, like it all was just wasted time till you found the enlightening "truth" of Atheism. I don't know. But aren't most of life's lessons hard? Aren't the Good Things in life worth spending some effort on? Maybe you personally needed to go through such a phase, so you can get to where you are. However, this thing about "truth" keeps coming up again and again. Believe me, I'm getting the picture from some of you that my mileage varies in a big way, but I've not met many Wiccans and Pagans who claim to have a direct line to the truth. On the other hand, you seem to imply you have some yardstick of truth. I guess that would be science. Science is a great yardstick. It's the best thing we've come up with so far for measuring things. But is beating up other people the best use for this stick?


When I went through it there was no Wikipedia, so I am simply going off of my own experiences at the time. There are still a lot of people who do try to pass it off as an older religion. Not as many, I suppose as before, but I still get my fair share of them trying to convince me. You have shown me that not everyone is this way and I thank you for that. My yardstick may be science but it is by no means the full truth, but it is objective in the sense that proof and experimentation is required before any idea can be considered true (at least in the sense that we have studied it). It allows for an expanding knowledge and for changing in that knowledge. Religion are sets of rules made up in order to herd the sheep so to speak.


We are not dogmatic, and that is supported by a large body of research. Most of us (I don't speak for everyone) are obsessed with finding out about our religion, and the various Pagan mythologies (ancient and current) that influence it. I agree with you that there's tons of bullshit out there. It's sad there's a market for such things. One of the most hideous things to come down the pike is this "The Secret" atrocity.


Like I said before, I don't think that wicca has a large Dogma, but there still is some. It is a religion and thus dogma exists. The secret and other scams like it is just bullshit, just as prayer and spells are. They are a way for you to manifest hope into something much more grander that it is. As well, my main beef with those who associate themselves with your religion is that of the charlatan (i.e. Psychics, mediums, etc.)


Fair enough. But I don't like bullies. I'm quick to raise to a fight, especially when finding the weak or harmless picked on. I've been attacked (IRL) by nutjobs of the Xtain persuasion. I've seen my beliefs stereotyped and lied about to advance a Dominionist agenda. So my dander gets up when I see similar behavior arising in certain Atheist circles.


You are right. I don't consider myself a bully. In fact I find myself in similar shoes as you. Defending those against bullying, I suppose in doing so that I can become the bully. I play the devils advocate much more than I should. It lets me understand sides better and thus helps me to understand my own ideas. We have all been attacked (even IRL) by many a religious nut balls in many a form. It is natural to be defensive when attacked. We too are simply defending ourselves against the onslaught of idiocy (not in your case) and religion being forced on us, as well as a misrepresentation of either our beliefs or even those of our attackers. (i.e. When xtains say they have a peaceful god.). There are many Atheists who go through several stages of atheism, one being a very militant and aggressive form. It is merely a reaction to those who have oppressed us for so many years.


I'm a practicing Wiccan. I'm the High Priest for a small coven. I'm actually doing this stuff. In my own small way, I suppose I am one of the very people writing this fake religion that some of you are so upset about. That pleases me to no end. Forgive me if I come off like I have a small clue about what I'm talking about. The fact is, the "making it up as they go along" crowd don't last long in this. There's lots of people out there claiming they are Wiccan or Pagan or something, who really just want to party and have a wild time. Again, those people soon drop out once they find this stuff takes work. (However, I sure like to have a good howl from time to time myself. Heh!) In the recent past, there were indeed people pushing an ancient history of Wicca. However, today, virtually all the movers and shakers acknowledge the recent genesis of Wicca (or something very like it, probably sometime in the 1920's or 30's).


I am very glad for your movement coming to terms with that, and as such we tend to have no problem with it. We may still disagree in the idea of creators/no creators. But the idea that there are less and less of those idiots running around the better. We all are thankful for that.


I'm sorry if you've been made a sucker, or a mark. There's lots of con artists out there, of every persuasion. My apologies to you if anyone has done that to you in the name of our religion. But it's simply not true that everyone performing deviation is in it to make a buck and rip off people. (I've expressed my own reservations about deviation above.)


I have never been a mark, but I know many, many, many people who have. I myself had a job as a telephone psychic with miss cleo for about a month as an 18 year old. It is the worst experience of my life. When I talked to people, I merely became a sounding board for them and gave them good advice. However I still regret doing it, and thus I learned a lot of inside information.

Yes, Everyone who "performs" divinations and such are doing so with the knowledge that it is fake. No matter how much they themselves WANT to believe it, they KNOW it is fake. Show me one person who does it and does not gain notoriety, power or money from it in some way shape of form. The only type that is even close to being ok, is for those who tell you it is a trick and thus show you how it is done and do so solely for education and amusement. (i.e. Penn & Teller). EVERYONE else is a charlatan.


OK, fair enough. You need proof! Then I will give you proof. I have proof that the Goddess Exists!

Also, you all are very concerned about these hokey spells and things we are involved in. Are you sick of Jehovah Witnesses coming to your door? Well, I have a special spell that will rid you from them forever: make a 'witch jar'.


Goddesses merely in beauty maybe but with no powers or magic.

As for Jehovah's Witnesses, sure I am sick of them trying to force their crap down my throat. But sometimes it is fun to watch them squirm when you know more about their religion than they do. No thanks on the Jars full of Piss. A no soliciting sign and a shotgun will do just fine.


Thanks for responding.

-Johnny