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Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
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Broomstick to the Emerald City
Article ID: 15747
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Posted: January 1st. 2015
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Pagans are purposeful and passionate with their motivations in life, and are also harmoniously allied with the true American ideals of freedom and liberty. Witches are heirs to the spirit of the American Constitution, so why are most of them trying to be invisible?
Women and their stories are rarely in history books, yet they influenced everyone big names or little ones throughout Revolutionary history. Mothers, daughters, sisters and revolutionaries, their impact is not fully understood during those years, 1765 to 1788. This is why I prefer to use the term Founding Revolutionaries instead of Founding Fathers.
The spirit of the American Revolution is not about restrictions and punishment, but the pursuit of happiness, and for the most part people were obliging, gentle, kind and industrious. This country was built with an ax and not the Bible as some contend, but there has been a negative and reactionary force that has been trying to hijack this country since the European settling in 1620. The religious elites saw the Native Americans as Pagans and this is why they were massacred, plain and simple.
Why call this story “Broomstick to the Emerald City”? I remember the good witch in the Wizard of Oz, Glinda, asking Dorothy if she brought her broomstick " because it was a long way to see the Wizard". It's never been an easy way for witches; even now in the 21st century there is still quite a long ride still in store to achieve full equality.
I don't have to be initiated or take courses with certifications to call myself a witch. See rule #8 from the 13 Principles of Witchcraft. "Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch-- but neither does heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within him/herself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others, and in harmony with Nature."
Sure, witches may be a little edgy and mysterious, but paganism allows for a wider range of expression, and an abundantly wide variety of people practice witchcraft in many forms, and it's a good thing. Reminiscent of the American Constitutions freedoms, we love our freedom of thought, expression, and association, with witches and pagans certainly engaging in "the pursuit of happiness." After all, this is the USA where personal expression should be at its zenith.
It seems to me witches are still doing what they have always done. They are wise in the use of herbal remedies, and, unknown to most, they use intensity and inspiration to achieve ideals, and influence a positive outcome in their endeavors. Despite all the positives I have observed in witchcraft, they are still viewed as demonic which frustrates witches and Wiccans and pagans to no end.
Rolling our eyes and shaking our heads can't be enough anymore. Full tolerance is necessary and acceptance is coming around the bend. We can't just turn the other cheek and shake it off any longer because we can't remain invisible forever. 1619 years is long enough and that calculation is derived from 395 AD when Paganism was banned in the Roman Empire. Thirty-five years previous to the ban, Julian the last Pagan Emperor came to power and told the population to worship with exuberance, Christians and Pagans alike.
When all discrimination ends, and there is a massive Christian apology from the pulpits of hate and division, Pagans will finally exhale. 1600 years of persecution, murder and ostracization has to cease. If a person calls him/herself a witch, there is not a reason to be fearful if they are a neighbor or co-worker. Like pagans in general, witches are passionate and sensitive and in many cases, wise in the ways of the world. I wish I had more Pagan and Witch neighbors; it would be a friendlier neighborhood and world. Pagans have American Freedoms embedded in our genes, but we live amongst people who believe Halloween is "the devil’s birthday." Unfortunately the promise of heaven espoused by Islamic and Christian clergy has no "lemon law". The perfect product: no returns no refunds, not even something you need to make. Eternal salvation sounds specious to the skeptical.
Many obelisks erected by Masons around the world were purposefully set up with a pyramid shaped capstone. The sun first shone on America in the late 1800's at the top of the 555-foot Washington Monument. It was the tallest structure ever built. Bible thumpers, the Masons were very much behind the American Revolution while pastors preachers and priests were conspicuously absent. Inspired by various Goddesses such as Minerva and Libertas, Washington D.C. is set up like a Goddess Temple from long ago. Therefore, cast a skeptical eye when you see Youtube videos calling Masons evil. We are weary of 1600 years of whisper campaigns to destroy reputations and of the outright murder of heretics and non-believers. Let this holy war end.
Paganism is something people can’t quite comprehend, and when it comes to witches, most people have a really biased opinion and it’s based on brainwashing. Witches may cast spells, but they know the consequences of wishing harm to another person. Important also, the need to be careful, because you really can get what you wish for. Witches can be very ordinary and here is where the last hurdle to freedom lies.
Witches are generally thoughtful, thinking and kind people. Pagans seek the true American ideals. We are actually strict constitutionalists, and we are enthusiastic purveyors of the ‘pursuit of happiness’, and laugh at the hackneyed harangues of hate. Then don’t forget Pagans are also, hands down, the best sociological entity to steward the environment, although it's true that many Pagans even don't have a clue about how ecosystems work or what earth stewardship would entail.
Remember pagans aren’t witches but witches are primarily pagan. As an aside here, there is every range of belief with some witches even having Christian saints in their pantheon of gods and goddesses, and there are Pagans who have very high regard for the teaching of Jesus who basically preached the Universal aspect of Unitarian Universalists. So toss all the pagan baggage aside and open your heart to the key to our peaceful future. Tolerance: then acceptance.
Witches may not be subject to being dragged down to the town square and burned anymore, or need to worry about being beheaded and having their skulls placed on spikes to scare other pagans into converting to the one true religion; but we can easily lose our jobs or leadership positions in volunteer organizations such as the Cub Scouts should we be outed as Witches or Pagans. How Un-American can you be with this attitude and why are witches still subject to severe discrimination such as this? The Founding Revolutionaries invented something called Freedom of Expression, but many Pagans cannot have a booth at a fair without some kind of virulent discrimination or harassment.
This is why so many pagans have to stay in the broom closet. Police authorities cast a wary eye on any pagan activity, even charitable volunteer work completely devoid of religion. Unbelievably, pagans are subject to unconstitutional harassment and when this issue concerning pagan civil rights becomes known, it will completely overshadow marriage equality in scope.
To praise the Goddess out loud is an act of bravery even in 21st century America. I know there are people that conclude I am nuts to even consider that the Supreme Being or beings are Female oriented. Patriarchy has been fighting for your mind for many centuries, yet the American Constitution is not based on the Bible or some warrior code. It couldn't be! Thomas Jefferson, for one, discussed what he called his “God of Nature”. One of his favorite sayings regarding religion is one of indifference: “Why should I care about my neighbors religions, ” he asks, “it neither picks my pocket….nor breaks my leg.”
Come on, let's pull up our big American pants and look at the individual you meet as an individual… as a citizen, a voter a worker or a child. Jefferson was only too aware of the Church and its agenda for control. The Spanish Inquisition was still fresh in his 18th century mind. "Divine Authority" had become a joke to intelligent people during the Revolutionary period.
As the boomer generation reached school age, many of us were puzzled and disgusted that a race of people had to use separate facilities and were treated as less than equal. It also seemed dumb and unnatural that females were somehow not equal to males. We didn't GET IT. The bigotry and sexism of the greatest generation was put to the test in the 60’s and failed as cultural norms. The Old Order was about to be stood on its head!
Jefferson was very determined not to let any religion become dominant in this country. Our revolutionary founders looked decades and centuries into the future, and they envisioned a nation of law, an experiment in freedom and they developed the template for Liberty. People will be shocked to see the ignorant beliefs the intolerant majority hold if pagan civil rights becomes a national issue. (Like in 1919 when the Congress debated whether or not women should vote.)
Paganism has inspired me to learn so much more about life and now everything I have experienced has an odd synchronistic feel to it. I try to put a comic spin on issues, but I am really serious about the Goddess. Her name is Zemyna, the life of the living earth, the Mother Earth, Deity of the Romuvans, the moist mother earth of the Lithuanians, Estonians, Poles, Latvians and other Slavic peoples.
I'd like to quote Phyllis Curott and her book , The Book of Shadows. She discusses the Masons. ”The Masons arose from a magical and intellectual lineage and it was their revolutionary brotherhood that founded the United States. They believed in the brotherhood of man, the existence of a divinity, and the immortality of the soul. Many of the treasured secret rituals of the masons reflected those of the Goddesses at Ileuses and Delphi, and the most overt symbols decorate our flag, dollar bills, and seals of high office. Often these days as right wing politicians and conservative Christians appropriate history for their own exclusionary political ends, they assert that we were founded as a Christian country. In fact we were founded by magicians as an astounding political experiment, reflecting their equally insurgent and ancient spirituality.” (1)
Seriously, our revolutionary ancestors were magicians, Pagan wizards, and eclectics? The actual greatest generation (of 1776) may indeed have been. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine were gifted individuals who studied many esoteric philosophies and no true biography of them shows that any of them they were a Ned Flanders, foam at the mouth, fundamentalist type. Jefferson and Paul Revere were Unitarians who eventually shed their deities. It is reputed that Benjamin Franklin cavorted with witches and various Bohemians on his frequent trips to Paris.
There are many Goddesses in many buildings as artwork or statues in Washington D.C., and like Lady Liberty, they have played prominent roles in our national inspiration. George Washington’s beliefs had more in common with Native Americans than some Calvinist ideals.
We can’t just get on our broomstick and fly to the Emerald City. It will be a long journey. Our broomstick may help with a few shortcuts, but the road is going to be long no matter what.
But still, we ride.
Phyllis Curott, The Book of Shadows
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