Category Archives: Community

View an Online Beltane Festival

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Maypole in Columcille Megalith Park, Bangor PA

2020 has been a rather unusual year due to a global pandemic which has resulted in stay-at-home orders in many places, and all the usual public events being cancelled. Some, like the Beltane Fire Society in the UK, decided that this year they would hold their festival online instead of in the usual way. Even though the event is now… Read more »

The Core of Wicca

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Wicca is a pretty diverse religion today with assorted different denominations (usually called “traditions”), independent covens, and thousands if not millions of solitary practitioners around the globe. What exactly makes all of these practitioners Wiccan? Historically the religion of Wicca traces to Gerald B. Gardner who first promoted and taught a form of religious witchcraft as far back as the… Read more »

The Principles of Wiccan Belief

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Way back in the Spring of 1974 during a Pagan conference called “Witchmeet” in Minneapolis, MN USA a diverse group of 73 witches, representing a range of groups as well as solitary practitioners, formed what they decided to call the American Council of Witches. The group held only a single meeting before they chose to disband. At that meeting they… Read more »

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Critical Thinking Skills for Pagans

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(Excerpted from “The Wiccan Mystic”, chapter four.) Information on the occult and on alternative religious paths such as Wicca is readily available now more than ever before. Most mainstream bookstores carry at least a few books with titles like “Easy Wicca” or “Casting Spells in 3 Simple Steps,” or might have a wider selection from scholarly philosophical tomes to straightforward… Read more »

The Historical Role of the Publicly Stereotypical Witch

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In recent news there has been a story making the rounds about a Maine resident, Phelan Moonsong, who wears a pair of horns on his head most of the time even when out in public.  Moonsong got the attention of reporters when he was able to get a copy of his driver’s license (which he uses as ID, as he… Read more »

The Wiccan Rede and the Law of Threefold Return

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Some modern Wiccans have decided to not include the Wiccan Rede and the Law of Threefold Return in their philosophy. Some even argue that statements like the Threefold Law aren’t Wiccan at all[1]. The usual arguments are that the Wiccan Rede, “An’ it harm none, do what you will” is too simplistic and is impossible to follow, and the Law… Read more »

Oaths and Secrets in Wicca

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Gerald Gardner liked drama and prestige[1]. When he first started promoting the religion of Wicca he included oaths of secrecy as part of the first degree initiation rite. This served to impress on initiates that Wicca was a serious secret society. It also acted to preserve Wiccan teachings as exclusive to those who had been formally admitted to the group…. Read more »

Wiccan, Witch, Pagan – What’s the Difference?

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(This article is an excerpt from “The Wiccan Mystic.”) What Is Wicca? Current historical research suggests that Wicca is a modern Pagan religion first promoted by Gerald Gardner around the 1950s. Wiccan beliefs are structured on the practices of witchcraft as outlined by Gardner. Modern scholars such as Ronald Hutton, in his detailed and highly influential book “The Triumph of the… Read more »

Wiccan Fundamentalism

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Religious fundamentalism is characterized by literal belief in specific spiritual claims, often about a particular religion’s history, regardless of any available evidence. A particular dogma is promoted as the One True and Only Way and anything that deviates is considered heretical. The Roman Catholic Church has an office within its organization called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the… Read more »

Defending Eclectic Neopaganism

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There is a trend among some Reconstructionist Neopagans to dismiss Neopagans who are admitted Eclectics in their religious practice and philosophy. Recently, Sannion wrote an editorial titled “Defending Reconstructionism” to address the conflict and to present some of the arguments from a Reconstructionist’s viewpoint. Sannion’s editorial can be found on the web in the September 2002 issue (#27) of the… Read more »