Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Words, Wrants and Wramblings

[Show all]

Views: 1,938,409

Wren Wrants A-Z ...

A Letter To My Daughter

A PumkinHead in the White House

A Real Bad Day For Witchcraft

A Real Reason To Vote

A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore

A Wonderful Piece of News

The Aftermath of Columbine High School

Beating A Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Behind Enemy Lines

Breakfast Will Be Served In Fifteen Minutes...

Building a Circle of Trust

But What Will People Think?

By Their Furniture, Ye Shall Know Them

Caution: Restricted Area

Cleaning Out The Junk Drawer

Community Power Who Holds it?

Community Thoughts on Tempest Smith

Compelling without the Yelling

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Consistancy of Change...


Coping with Grief

Cramming It Down Our Throats...

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Declaring Your Personal Independence Day

Did Your World Change Too?

Dreaming in The Dark...

There is No Zuul

There's a Rabbit In The Moon...

Excavating the Dinosaur Altar

Fair Use, Copyright and the Pagan Net

Feeding Our Young

The First Day

Gather 'Round The Fire

Getting Back To Nature

Getting Back To Normal

Getting Rid of What Bugs You

Gifts That Keep On Giving...

The Giving Circle

Gods In A China Shop...

Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.

Good Will Toward Men

The Great Hamster Myth

Happy Beltaine!

Happy Brigid's Day Everyone!

The Heart of A Mechanic

Helping Hands

Helping Our Own

Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans

Home is Where the Spirit Is

Homosexuality and Public Policy

The Household of Priests and Priestesses

If The Hissy Fits

In A Mirror Darkly...

In Your Dreams

The Internet Reaches beyond Washington

It All Happens Locally

It Is Your Destiny

It's Maypole Week 'Round the World

It's Tribal Time!

January Arrives Wearing A White Coat

Judging Amy -- Wren's Thoughts

Killed a Goat Today

Knot Charming

Learning How To Fly

Life With Mikey

Listening To The Story

Listening To The Woods

Living In A Banana Republic

Living Through A Drought

Logging On and Speaking Out!

The Long and Short Of It

The Love of Ordinary Things

Mabon... a Man for all Seasons

Magick's Arrow

Mamas, Don't let your Babies...

The Media Story Is Often Not The True One

Mercury Has Left the Building

Minding Your News P's and Q's

Mixed Blessings

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Peeling Back The Wallpaper

Author: Wren
Posted: January 8th. 2001
Times Viewed: 13,569

Greetings everyone!

Growing up in an old house is an adventure unto itself. For two hundred years, someone in Wren's family had lived in the little white farmhouse at the bottom of the dead-end road. At some point in time, the dirt road became a paved 'avenue', but it still always stopped just a few feet past the driveway. Beyond the pavement's end, there were blackberry bushes and grapevines and a small coldwater spring. During the warm months, there were gullies to run up and down, clay deposits for the neighborhood 'artists' and plenty of nooks and crannies for children and other beasties to hide in. When the cold finally settled in though-except for the few places where the tiny brook broke through the snow- our entire world seemed to stop where the snowplow did. January in New England was often an 'indoor time' and during one such snowed-in January, Wren's father decided it was time to strip the wallpaper.

Five generations of creative familial paperhangers and painters had left their legacies on walls and trim and floors. Wren's dad often joked that the only thing holding up the house were the layers of paint and paper and on the day that we started to peel back the wallpaper, those of us wielding those magickal tools of scraper and knife were inclined to agree. What we anticipated was a long, tedious and messy job. What we got was an enlightening and entertaining history lesson. Peeling back the layers of Pagan history may also sometimes be messy, but the rewards go far beyond uncovering what others have built up. Getting down to the bare walls-the very foundations of the construction materials themselves-reveals the soundness or weakness of the structure. In a building, this is an important safety and security concern. In a religion, it is just as essential and for many of the same reasons. Every once in a while, it is a good thing to strip off the old layers and check out just what lies beneath.

Photo credit: The image to your upper right is from jadine moonowl aka sylvafox (Email: who is from Glouchestershire, Britain. "I found the moon was just out, and so raced around the house to collect, my first attempt at a pagan altar, I've been doing a lot of research, and don't want a tidy one, like some I'd read about, I'm an untidy person, and throw things together, for maximum effect, as an ARIES, I'm like a bull in a china shop!

Peeling Back The Layers of Paganism...

Many of you have probably read the article in the January 2001 edition of the Atlantic Monthly. In The Scholars and The Goddess, author Charlotte Allen took out her literary scraper and set it to work on some Pagan wallpaper. Stripping off the first layers of past Pagan postulations on the origins of what is now modern Neo-Paganism (scrape, scrape), Ms. Allen cites reference after scholarly reference (scrape, scrape, scrape) that seemingly disprove the 'ancient' or 'historical' basis for the practices and beliefs of Wicca, Goddess Worship and Paganism in general. What Ms. Allen fails to realize is both obvious and two-fold. First, that this is not only old wallpaper, this is old news. The Pagan community has in the last several years adjusted quite well to new archaeological and anthropological discoveries and research. Ronald Hutton's inquiries into the origins of Wicca (cited in Ms. Allen's article) is very highly regarded and recommended by many teachers in the Pagan community as the definitive work in these areas. Secondly, standing up to her kneecaps in wallpaper shavings, Ms. Allen neglected to address in any relevant manner the final result of all that scrape, scrape, scraping: Yes, the walls were indeed laid bare and they do look a bit stark without their protective coverings. But the point remains that the walls- the basic foundations of what now makes up modern Paganism- do not lie in the curling, scraped off bits at her feet. The walls- the foundations- of Paganism still stand and they are sound! The foundation walls are not held up with 'wallpaper and paint', but by the basic integrity of their initial construction. (You can read other responses and also post your comments on this article on the Atlantic Monthly forum. - also look for Starhawk's statement - now circling 'round many email lists)

There are those both within and without the Pagan communities who are obsessed with the concept of "validity". "What paths are valid? Who is a 'real' Witch, Wiccan, Whatever? Are the various Pagan religions and beliefs valid-or just the latest New Age fad?" Well, let's take a peek then, shall we? Scrapers set on ready?

What's Under All This Stuff Anyway?

When Wren and her dad set out to scrape off the old wallpaper in the farmhouse, they got a few surprises, too. One room had apparently (judging from the style of the multi-layered patterns and colors) been used at various times throughout the decades as a living room, a formal dining room and as a bedroom. The paper and paint defined the use of the room. However changing or removing the paper did not in any way invalidate the integrity of the room itself, but rather merely defined its past or current use or need for such usage.

And so it is with the basic foundations of Paganism. Rooted in the cycles of Nature, grounded on the firmness of the Earth Herself, Paganism at its most basic level IS as ancient as both Nature and the Earth. When our earliest Ancestors first began to wonder about how they as the microcosm fit into the larger macrocosm that they saw around, above and below them, the first stirrings of what became the religions and belief systems of the world emerged. Religion and the spiritual quest has always been an attempt to answer the age-old questions, "Who am I?" and "How do I fit into the cosmic scheme of things?" "Is this Life all that there is-or is there something more?" If one thinks of these first inquiries into the meaning of Life (initially defined or explained by the forces and cycles of Nature and Earth) as the basic foundation (the walls or infrastructure) of what shortly thereafter became the first Pagan religious systems, then the 'validity' of Paganism is beyond dispute. There IS nothing more ancient upon this planet than the Earth and Her cycles. And if our Pagan beliefs are indeed founded upon these principles (as we believe that they are), well then... how could anything be more inherently valid or based upon a more ancient theme of spirituality than that?

Article Specs

Article ID: 4497

VoxAcct: 1

Section: wrenwalker

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,829

Times Read: 13,569



Location: Tampa, Florida

Other Articles: Wren has posted 319 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Wren... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Wren ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).