By Betsy Rothstein, Fishbowl DC…..Over the weekend, The Daily Caller‘s Editor-in-Chief and Fox News Contributor Tucker Carlson unloaded on the Wiccan community. Is Carlson not afraid of the spells they could cast on him? “I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, so I’m not sure of the dimensions of it, but I’m pretty sure that I’m unpopular in the witchcraft community, and I understand why,” Carlson told FishbowlDC this afternoon. “I probably was unduly harsh. As far as I know, most Wiccans are peaceful taxpayers. I’ve never been mugged by one anyway. So I apologize for hurting anyone’s feelings.”
By Kenny Smith….
The ancient roots of the Easter holiday as grounded in Germanic goddess-figures alternately known as Eostre or Ostara. Some have also begun to suggest that we “not forget the REAL reason for the season!,” and work to “Keep the Eostre in Easter.”
By Lady Arsinoe
Samhain is fast approaching. Many of us look forward to this time of year. Candy, carved jack-o-lanterns, itty-bitty children dressed up as adorable bumblebees, princesses, or pirates. This is a joyous time of year! The leaves begin to crunch beneath our feet. And the crisp breeze begins to pinch our faces and burnish our cheeks. There is nothing so beautiful as frost on crimson leaves gleaming in the morning sun.
At this time, my thoughts turn to death and dying.
Religion Lately: Mabon Celebrations, More Teavangelicals, Ugly Atheists, and the Machine Gun Preacher
By Kenny Smith and Heather Abraham…..
Wiccans and Neo-Pagans of all sorts celebrate Mabon this September 23 (or there about), a celebration of the fall harvest and the Autumn Equinox, a day in which the hours of day and night are perfectly balanced, and just one day after the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! Looking for a primer on Wiccan/Pagan holidays? Rob Bell, the controversial Christian minister whose book, Love Wins, published earlier this year questions some basic conservative ideas, for instance, that heaven is not a Christians-only club, strikes out on his own. Elsewhere in Christendom, one Southern Baptist leader argues that state executions are “pro-life.”
Religion Lately: The Church of the Cylon God and St. Gaius Baltar, Extinction of Religion, No “Go Topless Day” for Toronto
By Kenny Smith….
While they presently remain at the level of fandom and “just for fun,” elements from the Sci-Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica series have been re-crafted and re-presented in religious terms. See, for instance, the Church of the Cylon God Facebook page, or the Church St. Gaius Baltar. “Pray at the Pump” founder warns President Obama, create jobs or face more earthquakes, a claim which God then quickly refuted. Others have suggested that the divine reprimand said to be implied in recent earthquakes and historic hurricanes was in fact aimed at Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, in whose district a major quake’s epicenter was located, perhaps in response to the steep cuts Cantor proposed to the U.S. Geological Service. So, is God an angry geologist?
By Coeli Carr, Reuters….
(Reuters) – Critics of bloody violence and excessive sex on TV have long had HBO’s vampire drama “True Blood” in their cross hairs, but now the popular series has another group of wary citizens — witches, real ones. The series’ fourth season has focused on Marnie Stonebrook (Fiona Shaw), a seemingly harmless medium and leader of a Wiccan group who becomes the physical conduit for Antonia, a long dead witch who is hellbent on vengeance against vampires who persecuted and burned her at the stake.
By Kenny Smith….
San Francisco’s Yoda statue draws pilgrims from around the globe. Are we all Jediists at heart?
According to the Prison Literature Project, inmates most frequently request books on Buddhism, Wicca, and Islam. Practitioners of minority religions continue to face many different forms of discrimination throughout American culture.
One writer recalls the Church of the Subgenius’ Prophet Bob and the balmy days of the 1980s.
That our modern-day holidays have been shaped by economic forces can prove a rather unsettling notion. We might find ourselves wondering not only about the new holidays we gained, but those we may have lost, in the commodification process. At the same time, it is worth acknowledging that cultural institutions are, like Heraclitus’ river, always in flux, always changing, and subject to any number of forces, economic, political, theological, astronomical, and even meteorological.
By Lady Arsinoe….
Beltane is the time of year when Wiccans celebrate the union of the God and the Goddess within the metaphor of a wedding. We celebrate the Masculine Activating Principle coming together with the Feminine Generating Principle, bonded together to bring forth life. Plus, we are a fun-loving bunch, and what can be more fun than frolicking in the woods all night a’ conjuring summer in? When boiled down to its basic components, Beltane is all about fertility and the blessings fertility brings. The obvious fact is fertility is all about sex. It’s difficult to bring about the next generation without it! Plant sex drifts on the breeze and fills the gutters and clogs our noses. Plant sex becomes the fruits and vegetables we eat as the summer progresses. The birds and bunnies are at it, too.
A lot of people think magic and witchcraft is for hippies, crazies, or those who have been kidnapped by aliens. I would say to them, a lot of “normal” people are running around with some pretty cognitive dissonant ideas of their own (Birthers, for example. Or any politician. And Fundamentalists of every stripe). The problem for these people is I have facts and science to back up my beliefs, not just wishful thinking. Beliefs I am more than willing to change if contrary evidence and fact is provided.
By Lady Arsinoe
Can you feel the change? There is a fresh sparkle in the air. The world is being reborn! Life is returning! Flowers are popping up everywhere. Animals are nesting and preparing for the next generation. You may even have a tickle in your tummy that you can’t really explain, that leaves you excited for the new day. Everywhere, signs of rebirth and renewal can be found. Trees are putting on new leaves. Birds are singing. Life is Good!
By Lady Arsinoe…..
The Wiccan idea of evil is vastly different from that of the Abrahamic religions. Wicca is a nature-oriented spiritual path that tends to focus inside ourselves and then outward to our relationship with the Universe. We do not see evil as being something outside or “other”. As a result, Wiccans have no convenient excuse for ill behavior; there is no “the Devil made me do it!” in Wicca. Evil exists only because mankind has evil tendencies. Wiccans understand that we, as human beings, are responsible for our own actions. No outside Deity of Good or Evil makes us do anything. We see humans acting out of Good or Evil because humans want to, and we reap the benefits or consequences of our actions accordingly. We see everything we do as coming back to us according to the Threefold Law: whatever energies we put out into the world comes back to us threefold, be it for good or ill.
By Peter Applebome, New York Times…..
Still, it was the least celestial item that perhaps mattered most. That would be “Discussion of Maetreum of Cybele v. Town of Catskill, N.Y.,” a legal case dating to 2007 after the town first approved and then denied tax-exempt status for the group, which has been certified by the federal government as a tax-exempt religious charity. The goddess may rule the universe, but the lawyers will help decide whether the pagans of Palenville have a future in this historic old town just down the snowy hills from Hunter Mountain.
Homeowners of various faiths have turned to different rituals—called house cleansings or space clearings—for centuries. Catholics and Hindus, for example, might ask a priest to bless a new home before moving in. Before their new year, the Chinese cleanse the home to sweep away any bad luck accumulated over the past twelve months.
By S. Mitra Kalita, Wall Street Journal….
Ms. Bruno’s process pulls from a few methods: Ringing bells, she says, breaks up the negative energy of a place.