In wake of witchcraft accusations, concerns rise over religious regulation in South Africa

PRETORIA, South Africa –A self-styled prophet and leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering is being sued because he accused a businessperson of being a witch on live television, and some South African Pagans fear the case may bolster a push to regulate religion. If that were to come to pass, members of minority traditional and Pagan groups may be disproportionately affected in this country. Witchcraft is a complicated topic throughout Africa. Witch accusations can lead to violence, arising out of negative associations made to traditional practices. The emergence of Neopagan movements such as Wicca make the use of the word “witch” all the more confusing.

South African Pagan files religious discrimination complaint against employer

SOUTH AFRICA — In September 2017, shop manager and Pagan Shuvey Bower-Louw lodged a complaint with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration against The Foschini Group (TFG), a South African fashion and lifestyles retailer. Bower-Louw says her previous employer discriminated against her because she is a Pagan. Bower-Louw does not call herself a Witch. She describes herself as a Pagan seeking the Higher Self, who follows the cycles of the All Mother. “I have been privileged to have been born within a line of healers.”

Around the World: South African Pagan groups celebrate spring

[While most of TWH readers are celebrating the beginning of fall, those in the Southern Hemisphere are welcoming spring. Guest writer and blogger Damon Leff provides a brief look into the Pagan groups and their practice in South Africa]

SOUTH AFRICA — South African Pagans, who represent a tiny and largely insular religious minority, celebrated the vernal equinox Sept. 22

While a large percentage of this ‘identity community’ are solitary practitioners, there are a few notable covens who host public seasonal events. These groups are well supported by their own members and by newcomers eager to explore Pagan ritual for the first time. The Grove, arguably the oldest and largest teaching coven in South Africa, was founded in 1996 in Johannesburg.

Column: South African Pagans remember Donna Darkwolf

[Today The Wild Hunt welcomes guest contributor Damon Leff, a human rights activist, Witch, and editor-in-chief of Penton Independent Alternative Media. Leff is also the director of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, and owns his own pottery studio called Mnrva Pottery. He is currently studying Law at the University of South Africa, and lives in the Wilderness, Western Cape, South Africa.]

“No living thing can seek the light for ever. Not find it. And not be changed.

Pagan Community Notes: Donna Darkwolf Vos, Detroit Conjure, Aeclectic Tarot Forum and more

SOUTH AFRICA — It was announced that priestess and Witch Donna Darkwolf Vos has died. Vos was active member of the growing Pagan community in South Africa, a teacher, mentor, and author. In 1996, Vos helped found the Pagan Federation of South Africa and acted as its president through 2002. She founded the Circle of the African Moon and was its high priestess. In 2003, she published the book Dancing Under an African Moon, in which she “explains Pagan practice in the context of southern Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.”