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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 9,844,903  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 74

Lurker/Post Ratio: 442 to 1

Question of the Week: 11 - 10/16/2000

Hollywood Hype

Hollywood Hype through movies such as "The Craft" and now the "Blair Witch" movies, and television shows such as "Charmed", "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer". "Freakylinks" and "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch," have all contributed to the rise of public interest in the Pagan paths and especially Witchcraft. If someone came to YOU after seeing "The Craft", "Charmed" or "Blair Witch," etc., what do YOU want them to know about real Witchcraft and Paganism? What would YOU-or do YOU- tell these folks?

 Reponses:   There are 74 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 


I Tell The People That Ask Me If I Can 'turn People... Oct 16th. at 6:43:10 pm UTC

Ebony DragonFire A.K.A. Alexis Gale (Dartmouth, Massachusetts US) Age: 14 - Email


I tell the people that ask me if I can 'turn people into frogs' that that is just movie magic, like "The Craft", "Buffy", "Charmed", ect. They think that I am lieing but I know I'm right so, that's all that matters, I guess... (heh)


Why Do We Expect To Be Treated Any Differently Than Any Other... Oct 16th. at 7:09:42 pm UTC

Rev. Catherine M. Wagner (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) Age: 31 - Email


Why do we expect to be treated any differently than any other stereotype?

I mean really. Come on. Whether it is a religious type or a lifestyle choice, Hollywood has a tendancy to exaggerate the "common knowledge" of your typical John/Jane Q. Public. Look at how Jewish homelife is treated - "Jewish American Princess" is a Hollywoodism as is the stereotype of the Jewish (or even Catholic) mother. Look at the stereotypical African-American Muslim man...most of the ones I have met face-to-face are gentle, intelligent and friendly men - nothing like the intimidating ogres of some of the different shows. The stereotype of the Catholic priest - ignorant bumbler or rampant criminal. The stereotype of the "swishy" gay waiter or the militantly feminist lesbian. I could go on.

However, on the positive side...even while catering to the prejudices and biases of John/Jane Public, they sometimes come across with a kick to the chops that brings across the opposite awareness.

A few examples:

The Craft - the ETHICAL one retains her powers, the worst one of the lot goes crazy.

Sabrina - as fluffy as this is, every time she uses her magic to "shortcut" reality without learning the lesson, she gets into BIG trouble.

Buffy - Willow may talk about the "black arts" but heck, so do many goth Wiccans. Doesn't make it right, but the proof is in the pudding - she only uses it positively. The grouping of so-called Wiccans that Willow and Tara meet through is just stereotypical enough to actually make some sense...it's those people who aren't in it because of the spirituality, but for the "coffee klatch". Every religion has that grouping of people that wants the social aspect alone, but talks the religious aspect.

Charmed - Yes, it has the fireworks and can be fluffy at times, but the people are more real, the issues difficult, the ethical decisions occaisionally as amorphous as those of reality.

Do I really need to continue?


I Feel That These Movies And Shows Etc, Put Across A Very... Oct 16th. at 7:44:14 pm UTC

Draco (Aylesbury, UK) Age: 26 - Email


I feel that these movies and shows etc, put across a very fluffy view of the craft or of the various different forms of Paganism. If someone were to come to me saying that they had seen these things and were interested, firstly I would speak to them to gauge whether or not they are interested in traditional craft or the newer more "fluffy" stuff, and then I would give them some references to read and research from there. I may put them in contact with other people depending on which path they were wishing to follow, but the response is very likely to be the same from those quarters too.

If they were then to come back to me again, then another conversation would ensue about where they were with their learning, and if they had made any choice of path etc. In almost all cases, I would refer the person on to someone else with particular expertise in teaching one path or another. My interaction is just about enabling that person to decide what path they wished to follow.

The first movie I ever saw about paganism or any other form of craft magic was "The Wicker Man", a very seventies kitsch view of paganism on a remote Scottish island. It's very good and accurate in places although it has nothing to do with Wicca (as is often assumed by it's title!). I wholly recommend it to anyone that can get hold of it.


Dear Witchvox Patrons, Well, It`s That Season Again: Hallowe`en Is... Oct 16th. at 8:36:59 pm UTC

Darkmoon (Around the Fox Cities, Wisconsin US) Age: 13 - Email


Dear Witchvox patrons,
Well, it`s that season again: Hallowe`en is here, and in full swing this year, as I see from the numerous decorations and advertisments for Hallowe`en related stores. I both love and hate this month. I love it becuase of the beautiful leaves, and, yes, I do like the 'traditional' Hallowe`en, the one with candy and little kids running around dressed as ghosts, pirates, etc. And (not so happily) the yearly 'Witch Craze' is in full swing, even more so this year, what with scary movie writers popping out films about 'witches' (laugh) and not really seeming to know or care about the consequences. I am getting heartily sick of it all. I mean, come on, do you really need to make these shows and movies? If anybody tried to do a Christian movie involving weird rites, they`d be sued for about a million dollars AND have their picture on the cover of People magazine with the caption, "Really Big Jerk Insults Good Christian' or something like that. Well, I say it`s time to STOP. STOP the dumb little movies that confuse Neo-Paganism with Satanism almost deliberatley. STOP making stupid television shows about people who wink and say a rhyme and get whatever they want. STOP demented web sites that give out 'spells' JUST STOP! I am very open about my religion, so could these people PLEASE STOP making it extremely hard for me to not immediatley run into the 'Broom Closet' every time I hear another lie or horrible (and unfunny) joke? And all you little whiners who say it`s 'harmless': from my experience, lying is NEVER harmless. Ever. And niether is biggotry.

Best regards to all Witchvox patrons,

Darkmoon


I Have Such A Knee-jerk, Cringing Reaction To Questions Brought To Me... Oct 16th. at 8:54:56 pm UTC

Lynne-Renee (St. Louis area, Missouri US) Age: 28 - Email


I have such a knee-jerk, cringing reaction to questions brought to me about Wicca/witchcraft that I would prefer to not have our religion publicized. In the mid-eighties and later, people were so rabid about tearing us down. A true destruction was called for and attempted--I do live in East Central Missouri.

Nowadays, I'm occassionally delighted by someone's response AFTER asking me if I'm Wiccan. I inwardly groan, try (failingly) not to roll my eyes and say, "My personal religion is nature-based and I see Divinity as the Lady and the Lord. If that's your understanding of Wicca, then that's me." I'm just no fun, am I? The great part is I drone it out like a 5th grader whose recess was taken away and has to write: "I'm not supposed to talk to my neighbor." At any rate, now and then someone says, "Oh, my son's girlfriend is Wiccan. I think it's great!"

More often than not, unfortunately, I get the "Ooo, you're not going to get mad and cast a spell on me are you?" Or the spooky-eyed, "...if I could do anything I wanted..." It's just a drag.

I may have just talked myself in a circle here; at least the people haven't been trying to beat the tar out of me lately. I still get lots of nasty, "...tree worshiper..." crap at work from very frightened fundamentalists. But that is better than "devil worshiper." Hmmm, maybe the b.s. makes the whole thing less scary for others. I just regret it makes my profound, religious feelings seem like those of a nutcase.

Merry part


Cringe Cringe Cringe..... And If They Truly Want To Know...i Always... Oct 16th. at 9:39:28 pm UTC

nin_nah (fort smith, Arkansas US) Age: 25


cringe cringe cringe.....
And if they truly want to know...I always suggest meditation....This word usually stops the ones who just want to know because they think it is cool in their tracks....


There Have Been People That Know That I Am Wiccan Because I... Oct 16th. at 10:14:06 pm UTC

Willow (Elko, Nevada US) Age: 17 - Email


There have been people that know that I am wiccan because I do not think that there is any shame in it. But I am fortunate for living in a community with an open mind or a shut mouth. I like them to know thatthe craft is not associated with murder or violence in any way.I tell them that it is balance and harmony with that which is around us. Some do not understand but I think that I make a small difference at least by trying . The key to understanding is unlocking the mind and distroying ignorance. The only way to do that is to share knowledge.


I Love The Way Silver Ravenwolf Discribed To Deal With These Situations... Oct 16th. at 10:27:49 pm UTC

Night Tiger (Liverpool, New York US) Age: 16 - Email


I love the way Silver RavenWolf discribed to deal with these situations in her books. Her first step was to ask what their definition of a witch, or pagan WAS and then you know how much (or little) they know. One of my first comments is always "It not fairy tale stuff, and it's nothing like the movies." I also say it's a lot like Native American, Greek/Roman, Celtic mythology, because people all know what some of the baises of those major religions are. I do like to point out we don't believe in the devil, and tend to mention it's a earth baised religion. My answer changes with how much they know, and if I have enough time, I give them some stuff to chew on. People always seem to come back with more questions, which I promptly try to answer. If I don't have the answer, i try to find it for them! After all I'm not going to lie about it! So that's my basic format for those questions.


I Love Movies. Watching Them Is A Great Way To Open The... Oct 16th. at 11:30:43 pm UTC

Mino (Naples, Florida US) Age: 42 - Email


I love movies. Watching them is a great way to open the imagination. One must keep the right perspective when choosing this form of entertainment. It is very easy to take a hollywood myth and bring it into ones own reality! Movies like the Blair Witch can scare a viewer, and others such as The Craft can create a hype of personal delusion. Godzilla really does exist.....in the land of fantasy and myth. How real your fantasy becomes depends on how you let your emotions become affected while your mind is being entertained.

Instantaneous change does not occur. Witchcraft is very real, but it is not learned over-night. In fact, it is not really learned at all! It is a way of living. It is a conscious attempt to use more than the standard 10% of ones brain. Movies average less than two hours. If they open the mind of the viewer, and evoke emotional responses then hollywood has done its job.

I applaud the entertainment industry of today. I do not accept it as my teacher. If a movie has opened your mind and sparked your interest in Witchcraft, then study what witches really do outside of the silver screen. Witches have their own silver screen that gives inspiration to experience for learning: it's called the Full Moon Sky. Coming soon to a theatre near you!


The Public, In General, Needs To Know That The Stuff In The... Oct 17th. at 12:57:30 am UTC

Vivica Windswept (Keaau, Hawaii US) Age: 16 - Email


The public, in general, needs to know that the stuff in the media about witches is, in fact, false. That media serves its purpose as entertainment, but realy inhibits the public view of paganism. So, to answer the question posted, what should someone do if a individual walks up and says, "I herd you were a witch and I love that show Charmed, so, like, can you teach me the craft?" I think, personally, that you should set the record staight about wicca immediatly and let them read a copy of "The Little Witch" here at witchvox. The more this happens, the better, because it tells the true meaning of witchcraft to people who buy into that hype from the media.
Blessed Be.


What Is There To Tell Hollywood? I Yet To See Any Faith... Oct 17th. at 1:31:27 am UTC

Nadra Carmack (kent, Washington US) Age: 23 - Email


What is there to tell Hollywood? I yet to see ANY faith, religion, ect portrayed in an absolutly correct way. It's like "yeah, well they made a movie of it but I liked the book better". When I see any of these shows I ask, "Did they present the spirit of our ways?" for the most part, yes they did. In "The Craft" and "Charmed" you see friends and siblings united or divided by magick. You see inexperience and awkwardness becoming confidence and power. Are they casting the circle they way you or your coven does? Probably not. Do you feel comfortable in a half shirt showing of perfect abs while envoking the Goddess? I doubt it. Again, this is Hollywood. Which means you take our reality and crank it up ten notches. I don't think these shows are anymore helpfull or harmful than say "The Ten Commandments" was to the Jews. Remember, it's only a movie!


I Would Remind Them That Hollywood Has Always Sensationalized Everything, And That... Oct 17th. at 8:41:10 am UTC

Ron Kerns (Cleveland, New York US) Age: 46


I would remind them that Hollywood has always sensationalized everything, and that real Paganism and Wicca is very different from what is portrayed on the big (and little) screen. I would also tell them that Paganism is a very fullfilling spiritual path, but that it provides no instant fixes to life's problems. I would tell them that they would be disappointed if they were expecting to find the glitz and glamour of the type shown on Charmed and The Craft.

If they were sincere about seeking the path, I would gladly show them how to find their own answers.


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