It’s somewhat rare to see Witch/Wiccan profiles during the winter, a time usually reserved for explorations of Christian and Jewish themes, but two papers have done just that. While most of these “meet the Witch” articles are exactly what you’d expect (We don’t eat babies or wear pointy hats!), you can often accidentally learn some interesting things about what prominent Pagans believe. For instance, the Great Lakes Advocate interviews author and reality television star Stacey Demarco (who, for the record, doesn’t like me all that much). In the piece Ms. Demarco invokes Brock’s Law and claims that us Pagans had it far worse than the Jews did.”Witches have had a bad PR day for thousands of years. There were more people killed in the inquisitions than the holocaust.”That is a sentence that needs some unpacking.
Australian Gay and Lesbian website Same Same features an article by Jade Starr on the history of Catholic and Catholic-inspired persecutions that trots out some old “favorites” from within the Pagan community. “Those who did not follow the Catholic ideals were deemed to be witches or heretics and were then persecuted from the late 1400s to early 1700s. It has been estimated that up to nine million people lost their lives during ‘The Burning Times’ but due to a lack of evidence the exact number is accepted as closer to 50,000 to 1 million. Many of these people, predominantly women, endured unfair trials and were subsequently incarcerated or burned alive at the stake for their so-called crimes against God. Not only were Pagan people segregated, tortured and murdered but they were also robbed of their rituals and practices, which are even now still used in modern Catholicism.”As much as I like to call out the Catholic Church for their many misdeeds, the reality is that 40,000 – 60,000 victims in the span of 250 years is as high as your going to go, and those numbers are educated estimates.
My semi-regular round-up of articles, essays, and opinions of note for discerning Pagans and Heathens.GenQ Music interviews author, Witch, and reality television star Fiona Horne about her latest album “Witch Web”.”I wrote the album with Paul Searles initially with the only intention being to record the songs that I personally sing in my witchy rituals. Often when doing public rituals I would sing acapella and people would ask if it was possible to buy a recording of it – now it is! But when Paul and I got in the studio we also realised we were starting to write songs that had a commercial feel and classic song arrangement, so we are happy that the album crosses over and can be enjoyed by people interested in the spiritual side as well as people who just want a chilled listening experience.”Horne started her musical career as a singer for the dance-rock band Def FX. To listen to samples from “Witch Web” check out her MySpace page.Ohio State University’s student paper, The Lantern, takes a look at interest in the occult on campus and discovers that OSU is the academic capital for magic in the United States.”‘Ohio State has more scholars on the history of magic than any educational institution I’m aware of,’ said Sarah Iles Johnston, professor of Greek and Latin and director for the Center for the Study of Religion. There are six experts on the history of magic at OSU.