Wiccans and the larger Pagan community had a major victory lately. We got a talking head on the Fox News network, Tucker Carlson, to apologize on-air for sensationalist, distorted, and false remarks involving Pagan religions. A mix of quick-moving Pagan advocacy organizations and a groundswell of outrage from the community as a whole made them (or at least Carlson) re-think their earlier comments. We should feel good about this. We got an apology, and Fox News now knows that pushing that particular outrage button might have negative PR consequences (and no matter what you think of Fox News, they are in the business of adding viewers, not subtracting them).
In the recent glut of Halloween/Samhain stories, two, though separated by thousands of miles of geography, stood out as sharing a similar theme. They both involved groups of alleged Pagan troublemakers, who may just be misunderstood instead of wicked. The first takes place in Australia, where a yearly Beltane/Halloween festival* in Victoria has gone private after having trouble with “trolls” the year before. “…in 28 years there had never been a punch-up at the Mount Franklin Beltane gathering of witches – an event that has drawn up to 700 spell-casting Victorians … last year, a small group known as “the trolls” caused an upset by hanging headless dolls from trees and otherwise carrying on in a dark-hearted fashion.