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M.P.N. Creates Awareness In the Nation's Capitol
M.P.N. Press Release 7/1/99

Ellicott City, MD - July 1, 1999 [Revised]: After viewing a 700 Club report on a rally held by the Military Pagan Network in support of religious freedom in the military, the Reverend Pat Robertson gave the following endorsement: "I'm not worried about a little coven of Witches...Rather than suppress us all, we might give them freedom."

Recently, politicians such as Senator Strom Thurmond, Governor George Bush and Representative Bob Barr have assailed the rights of Wiccans to use military facilities in pursuit of their religion. Wicca, a nature-oriented Pagan religion, is considered an organized religion by the Armed Forces.

"The first Wiccan religious service held in the military was in Kaiserslautern, Germany, in 1992," said John Machate, Coordinator of the Military Pagan Network. "Currently there are nine Wiccan open circles and six Pagan study groups at military bases all over the world. But even where no open circles or study groups exist, the Network can sometimes connect personnel with Pagan contacts in the local community."

On Monday night, the Military Pagan Network held a full moon prayer circle near the Jefferson Memorial in support of continued religious freedom in the military. About sixty or seventy Pagans invoked the power of the Old Gods and charged magical talismans--postcards of the Statue of Liberty with aquote from Thomas Jefferson printed on the back--in support of religious freedom.

John Machate, said "Religious tolerance is the price of religious freedom for all. We were pleased that the Christian Broadcasting Network attended our press event. Their story was fair and balanced. We thank Reverend Robertson for his support of religious freedom."

Founded in 1992, incorporated in 1997 the Military Pagan Network Inc. acted as a store and group information resource for Neopagans in the military. The corporation now provides material regarding various Neopagan religions to the Chaplaincy, as well as fulfilling its original goal of providing contacts near military bases around the world. In 1997 the corporation expanded its services to include assisting military members with the proper handling of harassment and discrimination. In 1999 the IRS gave the Military Pagan Network, Inc. tax-exempt status in accordance with Internal Revenue Code 501(c)3.

If you are interested in viewing additional information on MPN, please visit the MPN website at

For the article on the Christian Broadcasting Network view surf to

Copyright 1999, Military Pagan Network Inc.

Script of the service held at the Jefferson Memorial

Priestess: Thomas Jefferson wrote: "I never told my religion, nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another's creed. I have judged of others' religion by their lives, for it is from our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read"

We who gather here tonight under Midsummer's moon ask only that: To have our religion judged by how we live our lives, and not by the words of those who know nothing of us and see only the reflection of their own fear.

Let us, then, invoke the four Elements and call upon our Lady and Lord to aid us in our quest to ensure that our countryremains one where all are free to practice their religion.

(East quarter:)
We call upon the Spirits of the East, powers of Air, and ask for your blessings on our circle. Help us to communicate the inspiration we find in our religion to those who do not understand our ways. Powers of Air, be welcome in our circle.
(All:) Hail and welcome!

(South quarter:)
We call upon the Spirits of the South, powers of Fire, and ask for your blessings on our circle. Help us find the courage to defend the Old Ways and the Old Gods from the persecution of those who do not understand our ways. Powers of Fire, be welcome in our circle.
(All:) Hail and welcome!

(West quarter:)
We call upon the Spirits of the West, powers of Water and ask for your blessings on our circle. Help us find the love and compassion to heal the fear of those who do not understand our ways. Powers of Water, be welcome in our circle.
(All:) Hail and welcome!

(North quarter:)
We call upon the Spirits of the North, powers of Earth, and ask for your blessings on our circle. Help us find the strength to walk our path despite opposition from those who do not understand our ways. Powers of Earth, be welcome in our circle.
(All:) Hail and welcome!

I call upon the Triple Goddess of the Circle of Rebirth
She who brings all life into being.
She who shines in the night sky with beauty,
and enriches all the Earth with mystery.
She who is the wisdom of the stars,
the pulse of blood,
the slow growth of trees.
May Her presence guide us, and her blessing be upon us,
for we are of Her creation. Blessed be.
(All:) Blessed be

I call upon the Great God, All Father,
He who is bone, antler, and claw.
He who roams wild the deep forest
and lights the spark of life with joy and passion.
He who brings wonder, and pipes the song of the stars.
May His presence guide us, and His blessing be upon us,
for we are of His creation. Blessed be.
(All:) Blessed be

(Priest:) We stand in sacred space; guarded by the Elements and encircled by the love of our Lady and Lord. Merry Meet.
(All:) Merry Meet

(Priestess:) The energy that underlies our reality is changed by the focused intent of the human mind and heart. When we focus our minds and hearts upon a single vision, and pray to our Gods for this vision to come to pass, we call this focus "magick."

Tonight we focus on a vision of religious freedom. In our vision, we see a world in which every religion is honored for its contribution to the human quest for the Divine. We see a world of diverse faiths, demanding religious tolerance as the price of religious freedom for all.

Using the magick of song, we will charge these talismans with our intent that religious freedom for all faiths shall prevail.

(All chant:) We are one with the Lady, we are one with the Lord, and we pray that our unity will this day be restored.

(Talismans are distributed)

(Priest:) Sisters and brothers. Send these talismans forth. Blessed with the love of the Lady, charged with the power of the Lord, send them to those who would deny our freedom to worship. May they hear Jefferson's words. Let them remember their oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

(Priestess:) As we close this circle, let us remember the love of the Lady and Lord is always with us...we need only open our hearts to them.

(Elements are dismissed)

(Priestess and Priest:) The circle is open, but unbroken. May the peace of the Lady and Lord go in our hearts.

(All:) Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again.

Blessed be!

Photo Credits: All photos were captured digitally: The beautiful people on this page from top to bottom are:

  • John Machete
  • Diotima
  • Connie
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