Witch Community Thoughts Page 03
Article ID: 2128
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 7,918
Times Read: 12,931
Author: Pagan Communities
Posted: February 15th. 1998
Times Viewed: 12,931
|Suzanne Simmons - Austin, Texas|
"Kudos to you for creating an open forum to lift the band aid and expose to healing light air the ugly sore spot on the Pagan community.There is unfortunately no healing for those individuals who operate solely to take from and gain power over others.The best one can do is recognize these sorts for what they are and avoid them. However many Witch Wars are started not by evil pschic vampires but by old fashioned foot in mouth syndrome.One who is newto a group or coven or community may inadvertently inflame an old conflict between with an offhand comment. Personal discord lying just beneath a placid surface can explode with force enough to destroysaid group.Pagans are people too.No matter how experienced in ritualor intercoven behavior a person can be they can still make a choice to behave in a petty or irresponsible manner when emotions cloudmoral or intellectual decisions.I am a semi solitary but active in my local community and have seen marriages and covens destroyedby mostly petty but sometimes malicious behavior on the part of the few who are not happy unless they are occupied in gossip and intrigue.Some groups fall apart from inside because of power trips by so called leaders who enjoy the great guru role more than truly teaching the people who trust them . It is imperative that we continueto explore the many factors behind Witch Wars and keep in mindthat while we will not eradicate conflict one can remember the Redeand try to avoid being sucked into the cesspools created by theladder climbers lover stealers or power hungry.You know who you are."
Date Posted: 2/12/98 Email: rhyanon.worldnet.attnet
|Peggy Christie - Clawson, Michigan|
"I just read the opening statement on the article What is a Witch War and I was struck by something. This statement was that a witch war was about people arguing and fighting over which is the right path for the Modern Witch to take. Isnt the whole point of Witchcraft Wicca Paganism Neo-Paganism and all other alternative religions the freedom to choose the path that is right for you As long as you are harming no one including yourself than what you deem as right for you is right. Why is this even an issue How can a society of people whose main theme seems to be no one path is right for all be warring about who is following the right path and who is not I dont understandI do understand that we are only human and are subject to many frailties. And because of that we lose sight of what is really important in life. Shouldnt we all be supporting one another not just as pagans but as humans The more we fight the more we tear each other down and that will do nothing to help our public image."
Date Posted: 2/15/98 Email: DarqHunger@aol.com
|Amanda Eisen - Providence, Rhode Island|
"I have to say before this series I had no idea what exactly a witch war was why they get started and how to avoid one. I have to say that this series is well thought out and informative. I cannot imagine how anyone could oject to this kind of open honesty. Thank you for putting these articles up."
Date Posted: 2/15/98 Email: Tigerfox1@aol.com
|Ninna Elfrieda - St. Paul, Minnesota|
"I have never been involved in a Witch War but have been involved in quite a few conflicts of similar nature outside the Pagan community. Seems to me that Witch Wars and other such conflicts are the results of new blood or a new idea within a previously established group. All it is is just another version of the high school clique. Until all of us realize just how we act towards a newcomer or new idea we will never be able to stop a conflict of any choice. I agree with the writer that said that the Pagan movement is in the process of maturing and will soon settle down but I also think that the problems in our community are not just because we are new at this. I have been witness to similar problems within Christian groups and these problems are caused by not knowing how to deal with a differing or minority opinion."
Date Posted: 2/15/98 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Ash - Tulsa, Oklahoma|
"I agree with Ivy and I would also like to second her assertion about the H word -- hypocrisy in the Craft. Too often I have heard people mouthing the Wiccan Rede and perfect love and perfect trust only to forget all that and whip out the old voodoo dolls when someone else in the Pagan community ticks them off. I would also like to add that sometimes Witch Wars start through paranoia and egotism as well as real or imagined insults and slights. Years ago I was involved with a group which took it upon ourselves to bind whomever one or the other of us felt was working against us. Looking back I can see that a lot of times this feeling of being surrounded by hostility was a product of our own minds. Peoples unwillingness to get out and get a real life which integrates the Craft in a positive way is often at the root of things like this. The Craft or Paganism is not a forum for hiding out from the rest of the world and leading a fantasy life as Morgan le Fay or Merlin This is my *true* self even if Im just a temp worker who lives in a walk-up flat by day and so forth.I was guilty of this while I was involved with the group and only time and reflection have allowed me to view what happened during this time with any objectivity. It is so easy to want to run from the so called real world and hide in our magical personas. At the time I was a recent grad school dropout and had started a turbulent new relationship. I had no job and had had to move back to my hometown. It was so easy for me to get caught up in the imaginary Witch War I found myself walking into that I never even stopped to think about how it affected others. I feel very badly about hurting some of the people involved and I cant really make it up to them as a few have since left town.We of the Craft should walk our talk. Our religion is not for everyone and is not as one person has put it easy because *all you have to do is harm none* The end goal of many of the Craft rituals and magic is to advance one step further toward enlightenment. In order to do this one has to know oneself. Self-knowledge means understanding and accepting ones own strengths and weaknesses. I feel that if I had been aware of my own failings and vulnerabilities I would have been less likely to try to punch holes in other peoples."
Date Posted: 2/16/98 Email: AMIEVONG@prodigy.net
|Ares Spellsinger - Calgary, Alberta|
"Please. Stop. Do those of you involved in these Witch Wars not see what you are doing. Read your history. Now read the history of the dominant world religions. Can you see the similarities.Ours is a religion based on freedom of choice. FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Put your egos aside. There has always been and will always be many paths to the same end. It does not matter how one worships as long as it harm none. Back to the basics all you warriors. Lets embrace each other as the unique beings that we all are. The energy that you waste on trying to dominate or eliminate is a crime against all that we stand for.Please. Stop.Ares Spellsinger"
Date Posted: 2/18/98 Email: email@example.com
|Pya - New York, New York|
"My thoughts on this subject are really very simple. I feel that people are people reguardless of what religion or branch of the craft they are into. It saddens me that this is taking place in a community that should be of a positive nature. let me put it this way. One of the reasons why I was drawn to this religion was because of its free nature and open rites. It would be a real shame if this continues. I feel that one of the nice things about wicca is my freedom to honor the Goddess and God in a way I am comfortable with. My way may not be the next persons way but that is the beauty of this religon. Individuality."
Date Posted: 2/23/98 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Syr - Toronto, Ontario|
"While the articles of the WitchWars series are very good many seem to focus on the need for tolerance in case of dispute. Very few mention a specific dispute which I would find very useful. For example what about current debate on vegetarianism Dianic covens and Christian bashing Insights onto these topics would be invaluable.Thanx Syr"
Date Posted: 2/26/98 Email: email@example.com
|Nick Nanos - Toronto, Ontario|
"The idea of being public frightens me. I do not want the people I serve or work with to actually be known. I have met many in the pagan community and do not like the I do it right attitude of many. I do reach out because there are actually more ahh something new I want to trade and learn and teach than the I am right you are not on my side types. There are some good ideas even from these egoists however. So I prefer to listen and avoid. It makes life much easier."
Date Posted: 2/28/98 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Brian Wilson - Lexington, North Carolina|
"This is my second attempt to post this since Netscape just crashed. I will try to keep this short and to the point.I have been a Pagan ... eclectic though I may be ... for only about 2.5 of my 21 years. I live in Lexington a small town in central North Carolina. I have recently found a large increase of interest in PaganismWiccanWitchcraft in the area. However I have also already noticed that some among the few with knowledge would rather scorn and push away those who are curious. Others simply remain to themselves and say nothing. By the some of these newly curious I am considered to be someone to turn to for help. And though by many standards I have no knowledge to give I do what I can with what I know...and to date it has always met with thanks and a desire to learn ... or in one case to learn the RIGHT way. From all my research and all my limited knowledge that is the way of the Witch. To help those who need it and teach those who seek it.However in nearby Greensboro things seem to not always be so. I will not attempt to say that all the numerous Pagans in Greensboro act this way and I do not condemn those who do. I would ask that thought be given to the following story.Recently I contacted an old friend in an effect to start a new relationship. Thankfully she agreed to go out with me at some point. As we continued our phone conversation however an unexpected event occurred. I knew my friend was a Wiccan for some time...but as we talked she suddenly began to scold her cat for tampering with her alter. Then as if she instantly realized the release of some secret she basically blurted out that she was a Wiccan and that if that was a problem then we needed to stop right there. I assured her that my Paganistic beliefs would not conflict with her being a Wiccan. This calmed her and we proceeded to talk further. The bluntness of her statement amused me at the time but as I have now read some related pages on The Witches Voice my amusement has dimmed. If we greet the knowledge of our beliefs with defensiveness and borderline aggression then how do we plan to calm those outside our community about those same beliefs With some amongst us those on other paths are as outside our community as many Christians. It is this attitude if you will that is tearing us apart. Hiding is for many of us myself included a thing of the past. You do not have to go running through the streets of you city or town chanting an Enochian love spell to be considered not hiding or out of the broom closet. But you do need to be accepting of others when not directly threatened. To those in the area please contact me with any comments you have. And all others please respond likewise with any suggestions or comments.My email address is email@example.comThank you for reading my postBrian WilsonUpon you I wish the brightest blessings."
Date Posted: 3/2/98 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|L. K. Nuffer - chappaqua, New York|
"Very simply have we forgotten the Wiccan Rede An it harm none do what you will -- then why are we a harming others and b seeking to interfere with others worshipping as they wish as long as it does not involve abuse cruelty etc. We are worried that Wiccans are being given a bad name by certain subsets Well arent we a giving ourselves bad names by squabbling over this and b when we joined the Craft we knew or probably knew that we were joining a very eclectic religion in which there were many different paths and no one right way. So why on earth are we trying to force others over to our one right way now I am ashamed and upset about these witch wars. The pagan community already has plenty of detractors and enemies we dont need to hurt ourselves."
Date Posted: 3/2/98 Email: none -- using someone elses computer
|Shadowfyre - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania|
"Thank you for explaining what exactly a Witch War is. I have read about them and gleened bits and pieces here and there but have never quite understood why they occured or who they hurt. I enjoyed all the articles on your coverage. Reading Mr. Kilborn s article put me in mind of the political discussions my husband and I have. He tries to explain to me what the Congress or various other goverment agencies are doing with this rule or that change or arguement. Invariably I will compare the Reps. and Dems. as little kids fighting over the swings in the schoolyard. It seems that some of the participants in witch wars could be described the same way. They are behaving like children squabbling over who got the biggest share of the last chocolate cookie. Maybe its time they grew up.Shadowfyre"
Date Posted: 3/3/98 Email: Shdwfyre7@aol.com
|Kip Leitner - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
"As a Christian clergyperson and survivor of a heated skirmish in a former church...I have become quite interested and moderately skilled in understanding conflict resolution in religious organizations. It should be said though that the capacity to understand does not mean one has the capacity to enact positive change. All you can do is state your own values clearly and try to keep the resolution process fair and democractic.The bible for conflict resolution in churches is the book GENERATION TO GENERATION subtitled Family Process in Church and Synagogue...written by Friedman. I see no reason it would not also serve as an excellent guide for pagan religious group...though with perhaps some modification.This book is seen by many in churches as the best book ever written on how individuals with unresolved family of orgin issues transpose their conditioned behavioral patterns into the family process of a religious organization. Of course...we all do this...but some responses are more unhealthy than others. We do not all function equally well when under identical conditions of stress. Everyone reacts differently...according to learned patterns of behavior. The book examines the three operative family systems...the family of origin system of the religious leader or leaders...the current family system of the leader or leaders...and the extended family system of the religious organization.I would recommend the book to pagan leaders who want to delve into the dynamics of what happens when a religious community begins to dissolve under the strain of unexamined conflict.Best to read the book while relations are good. After you get to the rapids...it is usually too late to learn how to steer the canoe.Peace...Kip Leitner"
Date Posted: 3/5/98 Email: email@example.com
Location: Various, Florida
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