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Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 9,428,113  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 80

Lurker/Post Ratio: 409 to 1

Question of the Week: 68 - 11/25/2001

Are You Wild About Harry?

Have you seen the movie? What did you think of it? Do you think that the movie will bring more people into Paganism or to the study of real magic(k)? Do you think that this is a good thing or not? Do you think that the witchcraft and magic and spells as depicted in the movie accurately (though exaggerated) reflect the basic premises of Witchcraft and magick and spellwork as we know it? What do think a good response would be to both those who want to 'do it like Harry' and to those who believe that Pottermania is anti-Christian or enticing children into the 'world of the occult'?

 Reponses:   There are 80 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 


I Saw Harry Potter 11-19-01, It Was Entertaining And Cute... Nov 20th. at 8:29:09 pm UTC

Lori (Clay Twp., Michigan US) Age: 40


I saw Harry Potter 11-19-01, it was entertaining and cute and I liked it, but the romatic view of the CRAFT was over done. And, yes I do think it will get young people to look to the occult for anwers to that particular type of magic(k). No, I don't think that the movie is anti-anything.

Peace


I Loved The Film As I Loved The Books... Wonderful Stories For... Nov 20th. at 9:31:28 pm UTC

WindSong (Lancaster, Pennsylvania US) Age: 50


I loved the film as I loved the books... wonderful stories for young folks which can be appreciated by adults. These are lovely fantasy stories that teach young people, as all good youth literature does, that friendship and love are most important; self-worth is worth having; we all have our own unique talents; ultimately, lying and cheating have their own negative rewards; life is tough, but livable. O Lady and Lord, why can't we just leave it at that?! It's a sad trend for adults to usurp the young person's world... fundamental Christians can't just let Halloween be about fun and fantasy for kids, and fundamental Pagans can't just let Harry Potter be about teaching tales for kids. It's no wonder the kids just look at each other and shake their heads...


First Of All, No Matter What Your Beliefs Or Opinions About The... Nov 20th. at 9:48:40 pm UTC

T. Kidd (Boise, Idaho US) Age: 26 - Email


First of all, no matter what your beliefs or opinions about the Harry Potter books or movie--one needs to realize that this is just fantasy fiction.

As a practicing pagan, I do think it is quite good we finally have a 'positive' movie about magick, witchcraft, and wizardry, even if it is quite overdone by Hollywood. It wasn't made by the author or the movie studio to emulate real life witchcraft, but to entertain--which, in my opinion I think it does well.

While entertaining it also throws some good old fashioned and sensible values and morals into the film any individual could do good to use or take to heart no matter what their religion or beliefs.

While I found some of the films more scarier and graphic moments might scare someone younger than eight or so, it was very entertaining with top-notch special effects, and a solid storyline in my humble opinion.

In closing, if a family is looking for a good entertaining film to go see, I would definately recommend it, and of course, I would encourage literacy to read the books as well.


Well, I'm Not A Wiccan Or Pagan (but I'm Marrying One, So... Nov 20th. at 11:33:09 pm UTC

Nicky C. (Torrance, California US) Age: 29 - Email


Well, I'm not a Wiccan or Pagan (but I'm marrying one, so you could say I have an interest :-D ) - but I just couldn't resist putting my two cents in.

I own (and adore) the books. So far as I'm concerned, they go right up on my bookshelf alongside Tolkien, and Narnia, and Wizard of Oz, and The Neverending Story, and Roald Dahl's stuff, and The Princess Bride (think I'm a fantasy fan?). The Harry Potter stuff is a fun, very well-told children's story - enough fun that at almost thirty, I love it. And the fact that it ACTUALLY HAS KIDS EXCITED ABOUT READING (!) is most admirable. (I was regarded by my peers as something of a mutant for liking to read when I was a kid.)

I really enjoyed the movie. I thought that it was a pretty good book-to-movie translation. There was a fair amount of stuff cut out that I can't help wishing hadn't been, but it was already a 2 3/4 hour movie as it was - I can see why they had to do a bit of pruning. (though I can't help but wonder how they plan on handling book 4, easily twice as long, at least) I thought the casting was absolutely brilliant - particularly Alan Rickman as Snape and the lady who played Professor McGonnigal (her name escapes me at the moment). I'm really looking forward to the next one. (and in the meantime, there's Lord of the Rings coming out soon - drool, drool)

As far as "luring children into the occult" goes...
Somehow, I just don't think folks need worry too much on that score. For one thing, as has been pointed out on many previous postings, Wicca isn't about "luring" people anywhere - it's "come or go as you like" pretty much. For another thing, a kid would learn about as much about actual Witchcraft from the Harry Potter stuff as one would learn about the nature and habits of actual bears from watching "Winnie the Pooh" or the "Care Bears"! Silly, silly, silly... The very first time I heard of any such fuss, I laughed because I thought it was a joke, but truth is stranger that fiction, it seems.

Near as I can tell, it's just the latest thing for some folks to be riled about because they have nothing better to do.

As far as Pagans or Wiccans being upset about "magic not being done right" goes... See above "Winnie the Pooh" reference. It's FANTASY, folks - ripping good fantasy, but just make-believe all the same. Hey, at least it's portraying magical folk as people - capable of good or evil just as much as non-magical people. (the choice lying with the individual, and both paths with consequences of their own)

Anyway, that's just my opinion...


Ok, For One I Am Not Wild About Harry Potter. I Think... Nov 21st. at 12:26:26 am UTC

Alexis Barnett (Colorado springs, co) Age: 13 - Email


Ok, for one i am not wild about Harry Potter. I think he giving the wrong idea of witch-craft, Wiccans, Pagan and more. the move he has presented, i have not seen but i have read the book. and the things that go on in it are really things that we would never evern think of... like the teacher becoming a cat when harry and his friends are late to class, my friend is a child of crist. And she said the move { she saw it} makes me look folish, i have noting againts the book ar movei but i think that it has some disscrimanation in it

Marry meat, merry part and may
marry meat again
Silverpolarbear


I Must Confess I Have Not Seen The Movie. I Am Waiting... Nov 21st. at 12:51:26 am UTC

Lilac (Calgary, Alberta CA) Age: 13 - Email


I must confess I have not seen the movie. I am waiting for all the star crazed Harry Potter fans are shuffling out of the theatres so that I can get resonable seats. (a.k.a: I'll be waiting for a long time) but here's my basic opinion: I have no problem with it. Misrepresenting Witchcraft? Well, I'm sure that having a 13 year old do spells, wait for a couple of weeks for results that could be coincidence in the readers eye and preforming rituals skyclad would have made a best seller. I don't think that it would nessisarily bring more people into the craft though. It is not an endorsement in any way really for an actual witch, so I can't see how the readers would tie Wicca and HP together unless they search for 'spells' on a search engine. Christians convinced the movie is turning their children to Satanism? Well, that's their choice to precieve it as so. I don't think the books/movie is doing any harm to the Wiccan community as a whole.


As Cheesy As Hollywood's Idea Of Magic And Witchcraft Are, It's Something... Nov 21st. at 1:04:01 am UTC

Kim (San Antonio, Texas US) Age: 37 - Email


As cheesy as Hollywood's idea of magic and witchcraft are, it's something I tolerate because it is bringing it to the public's attention. In the long run it will promote acceptance and maybe even understanding. We are living in a time of major religious changes. We will never change the minds of the narrow-minded, and we shouldn't waste any energy trying to. Keep focused and keep the candles lit.
As for the movie, I preferred the books, but it was nice to see the characters come to life, the kids enjoyed it. Movies are supposed to be entertaining, right? Of course people will flock to Paganism to see what it's all about, and that's a good thing because then they'll see what it really is. Nothing to be afraid of. The spiritual seekers that find what they're looking for will stay, the rest will go back to whatever it was they were doing.


Having Just Seen The Film Two Days Ago, I Walked Away From... Nov 21st. at 5:06:24 am UTC

Elfster (Lewisville, Texas US) Age: 36 - Email


Having just seen the film two days ago, I walked away from it with several impressions. First off, and most importantly, the movie is a film adaption of a book for kids, not a treatise on what Paganism is about - not even a vieled attempt at one. As a children's film, the movie is excellent and well done, though it is slightly flat in comparison to the book - as any film adaption of a book *should* be.

Second, the hype surrounding the film - is it or is it not a depiction of the "evil" side of life, is it the best film for children since is just exactly that - hype. Funamentalist Christians will have a knee jerk reaction to this type of film - just as their faith and pastors say that they should. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with a reaction like that from the Fundamentalist Christians whatsoever - as long as they don't EXPECT the rest of the world to have the same reaction as they do.

Third, a recruiting poster for Paganism/Wicca/Witchcraft? Hardly. The move is more of a recruiting poster for the imagination. After all, the movie is only bringing to visual life the characters that these children (and adults) have read about it. If anything, the movie only solidifies for these children just how much more fun reading can be than their GameBoys and Nintendo 64s.

Just my four cents worth (inflation you know)....


I Am A 19 Yr Old Uk Media Student And I Dragged... Nov 21st. at 7:50:47 am UTC

Orlando (Watford, England UK) Age: 19 - Email


I am a 19 yr old UK Media student and I dragged my 39 yr old boyfriend (both Witches) 2 C 'Harry Potter' and I really enjoyed it and in ways even my boyfriend had to give in to the magical and innocent charm of the film.

Of course it was nothing like 're-life' Witch-ism, I do not fly on a broom and neither does my boyfriend, although we would not mind - it would save cost in transport everyday. But even the exagerated cleches of Witchcraft were beautifully and sweetly portrayed. It was of course a shame that the males had to be depicted as Wizzards, but this enhances the exageration and innocence of the film.

I do not think that it is in anyway encouraging children to become anti-christian, it is a beautiful and harmless childrens movie and it's innocence should not be spoiled. Perhaps this is what I loved most about it - it's sense of innocence. It's also a fairy-tale and being a Witchy thing - both me and my partner - we loved the whole dream-land of 'Harry Potter'. I only wish that such a dream-land really did exist.

One other thing that hit close to home was Harry Potter's character himself - the boy whos parents were killed when he was only a baby and left in the care of his whicked uncle and aunt... this made me think of myself a lot and also of my boyfriend who have both come from a hard childhood - mainly because my boyfriend was left to fend for himself when he was 16, and I was left to fend for myself from the age of 18 (due to reasons I will not go into as they're personal). But it really did remind me of this and it's something that probably happens to quite a few young and helpless people.
Goddess forbide and watch over us all,
Blessed be.
- Wolfcry -


As An Avid Denier Of Reality And A Fanatical Fantasy Novel Fan... Nov 21st. at 3:30:23 pm UTC

RainCat (Mesa, Arizona US) Age: 17 - Email


As an avid denier of reality and a fanatical fantasy novel fan (say that ten times fast!) I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter books and the movie to boot. ^.^ I was one of those insane people who bought tickets in advance and sat in a huge, long line opening night. I'm also one of those crazies who plans to dress up for the 2nd movie, but I digress. For a book-to-screen movie, I thought it was simply superb!

As for it bringing people to the Craft...well, let's just say I doubt it. It might cause some people to take a peek and then walk away when they realize that it's not waving wands and going to a huge castle with moving staircases to learn "spells". I seriously doubt it'll bring people to the (serious) study of real magick.

Do I think that witchcraft and spells were depicted in the movie accurately? Of course not! It's FANTASY for Pete's sake!!

To those who want to "do it like Harry"...well they'll figure out that it's simply not possible sooner or later. To those who believe Pottermania is anti-Christian and luring the poor, innocent children to the "dark side" - HA! If that's what helps them sleep at night, the more power to 'em. Just don't force this belief on everybody else.


I Love Harry Potter!!! Speaking As Gifted Orphan Raised By An Abusive... Nov 21st. at 3:40:37 pm UTC

Lily Moondrop (Los Angeles, California US) Age: 28 - Email


I love Harry Potter!!! Speaking as gifted orphan raised by an abusive aunt and grandmother, I have to say I wish this amazing series of books had been around when I was growing up. They read like a how-to-cope manual for childhood. Reading Harry, even now that I'm 28 and free of my family and the playground politics, has been so empowering and indeed healing. Growing up gifted is very much like growing up deformed. There is this bizarre mix of admiration, envy, fear, and shame and I've never known anyone to address it before. If anything, Harry is helping kids to accept the differences in each other and to embrace diversity without the usual demands to sacrifice the Self in order to fit in. There is great pressure on gifted/talented kids to dumb down and just blend in. He shows the importance of staying true, of curiosity, of questioning the status quo, and of standing up to the opressive elements in society. And he gives abused kids hope that things can get better, and if you just hold on you can make it out. Death and grieving is openly and honestly addressed...something rare in our culture. I'm sure it's safe to say that Harry has prevented a few suicides.

As far as any Pagan elements go...these books are not specifically about religion, but they do deal with ethics, philosophy, mythology, and mystery. These are elements found within all religions along with magick, miracles, prayers, fantasies, revelations, delusions, and speculations about the unknown and unexplainable. Harry Potter deals with magick as an art and a science but does not deal with it as a faith. To align it with modern Pagan or Wiccan religious practices and beliefs seems quite a stretch. Or maybe I missed that chapter where Harry was chillin' with the Goddess under the waxing moon. Witchcraft is used as a vehicle, but the themes are universal. That's why the series has such phenomanoal appeal all over the world. Harry could just as easily be attending Hogwars School for Evangelical Faith Healing (okay maybe not), or Hogwarts School for Hackers and Science Geeks. The vehicle doesn't matter as long as it's something fantastic and out of the ordinary because, let's face it, school is boring. In a effort to "protect the children, " the learning process has been nuetered. Modern schools aren't challenging or engaging, or inspiring. They are stagnant holding pens to train a new crop of unquestioning consumers. The real danger in the Potter books isn't occult seduction it's the fact that a whole generation of kids might wake up and break out of the tidy little roles that our society has imposed upon them. They might start making demands for a better world, and they might hold the previous generations accountable for the neglect and devastating opportunism, and they may begin to form their own values and opinions that conflict with Mommy and Daddy's. I think the real fear behind the religious right is that they know the culture at large is changing and that their traditions and values are beginning to fade out and be replaced. Thankfully, no one can stop the wheel from turning. Long live imagination and Harry Potter!!!


Am I On The Same Planet As Everybody Else? I Don't Feel... Nov 21st. at 3:44:08 pm UTC

Branwen (NYC, New York US) Age: 23 - Email


Am I on the same planet as everybody else?

I don't feel there is any link at all between witchcraft and the Potter stories/movie. I think pagans and non-pagans alike are mistaken when they take a child's story (fun for adults too, I guess) and make it into a platform for the "issue-of-the-day" (read:witchcraft). And here is why:

(1) J.K. Rowling would know what her true motives were when writing the books. The last interview I saw with her pretty much said it was about the money. No diabolocal witchcraft motive here...

(2) It is easy to make parallels between everyday life and experiences with the novels we read. We do it all the time. I think it helps you deal with things and attempt to understand them, but it doesn't make said novel about whatever issue you've assigned to it. (Example: Redwall by Brian Jacques and the WTC tragedy. I read it on the subway going to work the week after it happened. Very theraputic. The good guys win.)

(3) Why ruin the magic (I don't mean witches or spells, but the unexplainable something that good stories have) and imagination of a story like Harry Potter by weighing it down with mundane reality? Whatever happened to the suspension of disbelief? Has special effects and reality-tv forever erased the line between fantasy and reality? That cheapens both the story and reality.

(4) I feel (OPINION HERE NOT FACT! and by that virtue it's okay for me to be wrong) that Pagans who associate fairy-tale magic with Pagan spirituality aren't divining with a full tarot.

I don't know, I just don't see it. And letting any group pin on associations just makes trouble. Both sides look stupid. It's a good story but not a basis for any kind of Paganism. Just because a kid wants to do spells and fly on a broom doesn't make them interested in Paganism, it just makes them a kid.

And who lives their lives following a book anyway? Oh, wait...

Let's all enjoy the stories for what they are, and pick our Paganism battles a little more carefully next time.


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