Time For A New Witch Hunt?

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 2, 2007 — 1 Comment

The Daily Telegraph in Australia has run an “editorial” by Brendan Shanahan concerning Wiccans and other Pagans. To say his opinion isn’t favorable would be fair.

“I really can’t abide anyone who claims to be a pagan. This goes double for “witches”, “wiccans” or anyone who spells “magic” with a “k”. Mostly this is because I grew up in Canberra which, along with public servants and lesbians, has a disproportionately high number of smug hippies who seem to regard recycling as an act of religious piety (come to think of it, the three things frequently overlap)… I have come to the conclusion that pagans are evil – not because they get in touch with the devil or warp the minds of the young or are responsible for more bad heavy metal art than anyone else, but because they have such appalling taste. I mean, sure, get in touch with the Great Spirit, run through the woods and kill a goat. But do you have to do it while wearing crushed velvet harem pants, Robin Hood shoes, pentagram jewelery and a purple satin cape?”

The personification of all that he dislikes about modern Paganism seems to be Australian (now relocated to LA) reality television star and author Fiona Horne.

“When not reliving the glory days of Def FX or selling spells enabling women to find a husband, Horne is updating her website with pouty, Vaseline-smeared photos of herself decked out in animal print dresses, purple nail polish, matching lipstick and Celtic arm band tattoos. Clearly there is no spell for helping you better cope with the fact that it’s no longer the early 1990s…I wonder how the term “witch hunt” ever got a bad name.”

Sounds like someone has a big crush on Fiona Horne! Did she turn him down at a party or something? It is interesting that he brought up “witch hunts”, since I’m sure that plenty of accusations of “witchcraft” in Europe and America were fueled by private grudges and an urge to get rid of “undesirable” people (in fact we just passed the anniversary of the start of the Salem witch trials). Luckily, it seems that the time of hangings or being burnt at the stake have passed us by, leaving disgruntled and frustrated men like Brendan Shanahan no choice but to write childishly negative editorial columns.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Minxee

    Well, I’m one of those Aussie Withces who will be there at Seven Hills on Sunday night. Actually, I drafted the press release that Brendan Shanahan is writing about. And whatever we wear, his article shows that even after 10yrs, there is a damn good reason why the Pagan Awareness Network still exists, and is still running monthly rituals as a service to the pagan community and to educate the public to show that we don’t ‘warp the minds of the young’ or are ‘evil’ and consort with the devil. And his comment on pagan fashion sense – yeah well, guilty as charged I’m afraid. But his suggestion to ‘Bring Back the Witch Hunt’? Not acceptable in today’s day and age in the media. At least if anyone does go hunting for us, there will be plenty of pagans, open and proud and celebrating the full moon tomorrow night at Seven Hills. All welcome, regardless of what you want to wear.