Q. When is the only time that nazi propaganda rag the Daily Mail is at least remotely fair to Wicca and Paganism? A. When there is an even worse Religion – i.e. in the Daily Mail’s view – to be attacked in the same article! So for example, here is a heart-warming tale of a Wiccan who was sacked after taking time off to celebrate Samhain, who went on to triumph at the Employment Tribunal when claiming unfair dismissal. The Daily Mail does not have a history of being kind to Wiccans, but in this instance because her employers were Sikhs it decided to side with her. Now I could try to infer that here is a none too subtle indication of the Daily Mail’s inherent racism against those of Indian ethnicity, but that would be churlish so I won’t. Anyway, here’s the story:
Tag Archives: wicca
Witch sacked for taking Halloween off work to attend Wiccan ceremony wins £15,000 after claiming religious discrimination | Mail Online
Over at the the Wild Hunt I notice that the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida has decided that certain named types of pagans – including Wiccans and Odinists – cannot be Freemasons. Here is a scan of the edict:
Now, get this. As far as I understand Freemasonry, the authorities he has cited as part of his edict – the Landmarks, and the charge of a Freemason – are entirely correct. However he seems to have excluded a number of things from his consideration, to wit:
The Volume of the Sacred Law is not necessarily a specific book (e.g. the Bible), but that which constitutes the revelation from heaven which is binding on the conscience of the individual. Hence, it would be the Holy Book of the religion of the candidate being initiated – and indeed, non-Christians are allowed to swear their G.’. and S.’.O.’. on the Holy Book of their choice, e.g. the Tanakh, Koran, Zend Avesta, etc. It is my understanding of Freemasonry, therefore, that one may become a Mason so long as one believes in a God, who is the G.’.A.’.O.’.T’.’.U.’. from one’s own point of view, and one is prepared in all good conscience to swear on a Holy Book of one of the world’s religions.
Furthermore, the GM of Florida has managed to discriminate against pagans, without exercising discrimination! Whilst Agnosticism probably isn’t compatible with the craft, Gnosticism and Paganism are far too general terms to bandy about and there is a lack of explanation as to what is exactly wrong with Wiccan and Odinism. The thing is, religious and political discussions are banned within craft lodges anyway, so once they are in, they cease to be members of different religions and are simply Brothers of one Craft. It is within my personal knowledge that there are many pagans who are Freemasons, though not within Florida in the United States.
Now let me tell you a little story. In my novella, Shall We Kill The President? I described a conversation between a taxi driver and a Vampire in the Deep South of America.
“The bus-boycott was when, exactly?” Elijah said.
“You’re from out-of-state, right?” the driver said. “Just cause it’s fifty years gone don’t mean attitudes change much in these parts.”
“Tell me about it,” Elijah muttered.
“Like when I joined the Masons,” the driver continued. “Whenever I tried going to a Lodge in this state, immediately they go to ‘refreshment’ soon as I walk in the door. ‘So, Bros,’ I sez to ‘em, ‘when we gone from refreshment to labour again? Ain’t you got a ritual today?’ But they just plain ignore me as if I ain’t there. I gets the message real quick, and take mysel’ down to Prince Hall sharpish, if you know what I’m sayin’.”
“Huh!” Elijah snorted. He paused, before adding: “So how do you join the Masons? The Prince Hall ones, I mean.”
“Oh, you just need to believe in God and that you’re goin’ to Heaven when you die,” the driver said. “Why? Does that sound like something which appeals to you?”
Elijah frowned. “No,” he said.
The fact of the matter is that although dressed as fiction, the experience described by the taxi-driver is a real-life phenomenon experienced by African-Americans who are either Masons or who want to become Masons in certain parts of America. I know this because it was related to me by an American Mason – in the state of Florida.
That’s right: the unpalatable truth is that pagans might feel aggrieved because they can’t become Masons in Lodges warranted by the Grand Lodge of Florida, but black Masons have been discriminated against in the same state for far longer than just November 2012. The problem is far more serious than pagans seem to realise.
Recently I asked the question:
What book(s) would you recommend to a complete beginner on magick? Shameless plugs only if genuine.
I now present some of the answers I received.
Enchanted: Titania’s Book of White Magic comes recommended from Facebook fan Diane J Reed, who says:
I absolutely love this book … (it’s out of print, so you have to get a used copy). The book is just gorgeous and only deals with “white” magic used for good purposes, but the photography is so beautiful it will make you drool.
I personally am not cognisant with this work, but Titania Hardie, the author, describes it as being within the Wiccan tradition. Whilst on the subject of Wicca, another FB fan, Philip Dean Fox, recommends Witchcraft: A Beginner’s Guide by Teresa Moorey, and two books by Susan Bowes: Life Magic – The power of positive witchcraft. and Notions and Potions: A safe, practical guide to creating magic and miracles. Meanwhile, another FB friend, Adrien, recommends Christopher Penczak’s The Inner Temple of Witchcraft: Magick, Meditation and Psychic Development (Penczak Temple).
Oliver St John recommends Hermetic Qabalah: A Foundation in the Art of Magick by, er, Oliver St John. He assures me:
I still use my own copies for reference, tables, correspondences and other information stored all in one place and easy to find. When I started out I had to have 6 books open at once to find all this stuff.
Oliver also makes the point that:
… plugs to one side, it is a really good question. Where on earth do we start? The milestones like “Complete Golden Dawn” and Crowley’s “Magick” are useless to a complete beginner. I would recommend getting a grounding in at least the basics of astrology and setting up a horoscope. It amazes me how many occultists don’t know the first thing about astrology.
Indeed! Several months ago I gave myself the task of doing a short ten-minute talk to members of a highly secretive branch of the Illuminati (nb: they are not secretive at all! They just don’t want it publicly known that they have a scruff like me as one of their members!) outlining a number of basic reference works for people who might, for all I know, be complete beginners to the mysteries. I remember that many years ago I read a remark by Israel Regardie about the first Knowledge Lecture of the Golden Dawn, recommending to just get any old book on astrology to look up basic terms thereon – so that is exactly what I did, and what I recommended in turn to the members of this order. As it happens, when I went into Waterstones that fateful day, the first book on the subject which I picked up was Teach Yourself Astrology.
Apart from that, there are a few other old favourites that I would personally recommend, e.g.
- The Hermetica, by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy;
- The Middle Pillar, by Israel Regardie (edited by Chic & Tabatha Cicero);
- Several of the works of Dion Fortune, especially
- A Textbook of Theosophy, by C W Leadbeater; and
- The Art and Practice of Astral Projection, by Ophiel.
You can tell it’s been a slow-news day for me when I lower myself to reading something in The Independent, but here here goes.
Not long ago I reported on the successful conviction of Magalie Bamu and Eric Bikubi for the murder of Kristy Bamu. It now appears that in light of this, police are to be given specialist training to help child victims of “witchcraft.”
Well, I can confirm that I will not be the course-tutor for them, but if I were, here is the first piece of training I would give them: you can start by stop calling it “Witchcraft!”.
This is really just irrational “Fear of the Other.” Here is something they do not understand – a belief system from outside what a Middle Englander would call spirituality – so, being impoverished in terms of their vocabulary, the only name they can call it is “witchcraft.” Whereas we occultists know that witches are in fact quite nice people who do not practice any of the behaviours complained about.
Now, I’m no fan of political correctness, but I have to say that the Independent is being remarkably crass in its attempt to turn misunderstanding of a foreign culture into a salacious news story. Worse though: by labelling a violent and illegal activity or set of activities with the term “Witchcraft” they are managing to invent a whole new prejudice: WICCAPHOBIA.
Please, British newspapers! For once in your life try to educate and inform, instead of using every desperate measure to boost your circulation!
In which I vlog about how the conviction of Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu for the murder of Kristy Bamu has been portrayed in the press.
The “Triple Goddess” was an idea first proposed by Robert Graves in “The White Goddess” and nowadays taken as gospel by modern neo-pagan groups. However, I have a problem with it – for the following reason. The “Triple Goddess” supposedly represents three ideals of womanhood, Maid, Mother and Crone, or to put it another way:
- In the first stage of her life, a woman is a chaste virgin (Maid);
- Then as she enters adulthood, she becomes a dutiful wife and home-maker (Mother);
- Then she becomes a nice old Grandma (Crone).
Seen in this way, the Triple Goddess, far from representing the ideal of womanhood, represents the apotheosizing of a patriarchal, sexist and chauvinistic male idea of what womanhood should be.
If, however, The White Goddess had been written by a woman, i.e. a woman living in the twenty-first century, I suspect that the idea of a “Triple Goddess” would not have been proposed at all. Rather, she would have come up with the idea of a “Quadruple Goddess,” to wit:
- Mother; and
I.e. to represent the fact that in between being a Maid and settling down to become a Mother, most young women – and certainly all those of my acquaintance – want to spend several years going out and having a good time.
I appreciate the fact a lot of people might attach stigma to the idea. Indeed, I was wracking my brains to find an appropriate word to describe stage two: most of the epithets of which I could think have been or are used perjoratively. So in the end I just said to hell with it!
Now before I start getting criticised by the fluffy-bunnies for coming up with an idea at such variance to their cherished beliefs, I would like to back up my claim with some evidence, to wit: the phenomenon of the “Love Spell.”
I read a lot of neo-pagans say “Oh you cannot cast love-spells! It’s dangerous! It’s unethical! It would saddle you with lots of bad karma! It would mean interfering with someone’s free will! Think of everything that could go wrong!” Etc etc etc. So if Love Spells are so bad, how come they exist at all??? Unless the old village wise-woman – who existed to service the needs of the Maid, Mother and Crone – also serviced those of the “Whore” as well.
Herodotus writes about “sacred prostitution” or rather “sacred-random-sex-encounters” taking place in temples of Aphrodite, whilst even the Old Testament uses the word “Qadeshah” in some places to describe prostitutes – a word which literally means “a consecrated woman.” (The context was a mitzvah prohibiting women from being Qadeshahs, but at least it points to their existence.)
Thus there is a historical precedent for claiming that the Goddess has a “Whore-aspect,” yet a lot of neo-pagans are still buying into the Robert Graves inspired paradigm, thereby helping to stigmatise an aspect of feminity that many women want to indulge in.
There is a sinister Halloween conspiracy afoot. It is a truly insidious attempt to subvert this traditional holiday and turn it into something evil. As far as I am aware, this has never been talked about publicly before, so powerful is the wall of silence surrounding this dastardly scheme. This conspiracy is so disturbing it makes the members of the Warren Commission look like pillars of rectitude, and the extraordinary renditions of British citizens to Libya during Tony Blair’s time in office as UK Prime Minister nothing more than an attempt to send these people on holiday.
However, that is all about to change as I, Alex Sumner, the World’s Greatest Conspiracy Theorist, now blow the gaffe on the great Halloween Conspiracy. What is fundamental to understand is that this particular conspiracy is being perpetrated by an unholy partnership of Christians and secular groups on Wiccan, Pagans, Occultists – and indeed other Christians.
I shit ye not! This all occurred to me when I was pondering why there has been a move away from traditional Halloween costumes in recent years towards costumes which are not particularly scary at all. Heidi Klum’s effort to look like a dead-body is probably the worthiest Halloween costume that your humble blogmaster has seen this year: it is not only a highly artistic effort, but splendidly enters into the macabre spirit of things. Other costumes however seem to be missing the point of Halloween, with a lot of people under the impression that all that is required is “fancy dress.”
I have said this before, but for the avoidance of doubt I will say it again: a costume is only an authentic Halloween costume if it amounts to a disguise – i.e. so that if an evil spirit came along, it would not recognise you. This is how the tradition of wearing costumes Halloween derives from the pagan celebration of Samhain.
That’s when it hit me: the move from traditional scary costumes to non-traditional fancy dress is a deliberate ploy to take the “Samhain” out of “Halloween” ! Now a lot of Christian Fundamentalists simply come out and say: “Don’t celebrate Halloween, because it’s Satanic,” and all they achieve is they manage to publicise the pagan festival which is its origin. However: the Halloween Conspiracy seeks to spread the idea that Halloween is not about scary costumes but about fancy dress – and hence subtly sever the associations to Samhain. It is in fact the Pagan equivalent of All Souls’ Day, the day of honouring ones deceased relatives. I believe the ancient Church recognised this and deliberately chose to mark All Souls’ Day as close to Samhain as possible (November 2nd) for this very reason.
By severing the connection between Halloween and Samhain, it plays partly into Christian hands who find a secular fancy dress holiday more palatable than one associated with wrongly-so-called Satanic imagery. However, far more pernicious is the fact that it also plays into the hands of secular-politically-correct-atheistic-liberal-consensus that is uncomfortable with any mention of spirituality whatsoever.
Hence: what Christians and Pagans should be doing is, instead of fighting each other, join forces to combat the growing rise of secularism. This can only be done by Christians embracing the scary imagery, and by pagans realising that Christians are not necessarily the enemy but potential allies in the cause of Keeping Samhain Spiritual.
Alas for Wiccans currently residing in California’s correctional system! It appears that a court has ruled that the state is not obliged to employ a Wiccan chaplain to minister to their needs. So says a number of news sources including, e.g. Courthouse News Service.
However, examining the story in detail it appears the truth is more complex – in fact most of the news sources seem to have misreported the judgement, for the sake of coming up with a lurid headline. What appears to have happened is that an enterprising Wiccan (not incarcerated), observing that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did not currently employ a Wiccan chaplain, and the fact that there are 598 prisoners designated as “Wiccan” currently languishing in jail, sued the prison service for not employing him as a chaplain on the grounds that it breached the prisoners’ rights.
The court however recognised him for being a chancer, and pointed out that it would be for the prisoners to sue to vindicate their own rights – he did not have standing to do so himself. Hence he was not entitled to sue himself.
This has variously been summarised in the headlines as “California Prisons Don’t Have to Subsidize Wicca” but in fact the court ruling established no such thing. The court only ruled on a technicality – i.e. that one particular person was not entitled to sue – but not the general principle, which remains undecided – until Wiccan prisoners themselves sue the CDCR, which may yet happen.
Incidentally, I note that the Court has adopted a definition of Wicca which diverges from what most witches would recognise, to wit:
“faith groups consisting of Wiccans, Goddess worshipers, Neo-Pagans, Pagans, Norse Pagans (and any other ethnic designation), Earth Religionists, Old Religionists, Druids, Shamans, Asatrus, and those practicing in the Faery, Celtics, Khemetic, Gardnerian, Church of All Worlds, Reclaiming, Dianic, Alexandrian, Iseum of Isis, Reconstructionist, Odinist or Yoruban Traditions, and other similar nature-based faiths.”
In other words, the Court conflates “Wiccan” with “Pagan.” I am guessing that the reality of the situation in California is that those prisoners who have been labelled “Wiccan” are in fact members of different pagan traditions who have been bundled together under an arbitrary (and technically inaccurate) blanket tradition. In that sense it is unfortunate but probably wise for CDCR not to appoint a “Wiccan Chaplain,” as only one such Chaplain would not be able to cater to the spiritual needs of all the different pagan prisoners.
“Licence To Depart” is the final instalment of “The Magus Trilogy,” which was begun by The Magus in 2009 and continued by Opus Secunda in 2010. It is a supernatural tale of murder, black magick, and international conspiracy set in contemporary England (and elsewhere), and is suitable for adult readers *. As with previous books it is crammed with detail drawn from the author’s real-life occult experiences.
Nichola Peterson, ex-policewoman is at the lowest point of her fortunes: her career in ruins, forcibly separated from the man she loves, and powerless to stop a criminal mastermind from wreaking havoc. Then the mysterious Magus appears, offering her one last chance of redemption. Suddenly – a shot rings out…
Note that it is not necessary to have a Kindle device to read Kindle e-books! Follow this link for more details.
* OK, ok, I lied when I said my next novel would not contain any sex. If you hadn’t guessed by now, it was an April Fool’s Joke. :)
Independent Roman Catholic publisher of pamphlets, “The Catholic Truth Society,” has come up with a “helpful” guide on how to bring witches and wiccans to Christ and His Church. It is called Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers, and is written by a former witch who was apparently saved for the Lord. I note that from the blurb it tries to answer why young people are attracted to Wicca – as if it is only a youth fad and of no interest to adults!
Honestly! As every pagan knows: no witch would ever disgrace herself by writing such an egregious book attempting to convert teenage Christians to Witchcraft.
Inevitably though, the cauldron of controversy surrounding this story has been stirred up by Nazi propaganda rag and Britain’s most anti-Pagan newspaper, the Daily Mail – in a piece entitled How to cure a witch: Catholic Church issues guide in Britain to turn the tables on Harry Potter. Now examine this headline once again. First of all there is the absurdity of the Daily Mail turning the issue from Christianity vs Wicca to Christianity vs Harry Potter (why? what has the Mail got against Harry Potter?). More sinisterly though, there is that word – “cure.” The CTS talks about evangelizing and prosetylising, the Daily Mail talks about “curing.” IMHO, if the Catholic Church wants to retain any semblance of credibility it should dissocciate itself from the Daily Mail which seems to be pursuing its own incoherent anti-pagan agenda.