General Information about Witchcraft
As publicly active Witches in a religiously conservative part
of the country, we have been working hard to dispel the lies and
stereotypes about the Craft that have led to cross-burnings, beatings,
firings, and other forms of harassment of Witches in the so-called
Bible Belt. Here are documents that we have found very helpful
in our efforts. Feel free to download, print, link to, or distribute
Clicking on a bold title takes you directly
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Table of Contents
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about
- If you don't know anything about Witches except what you've
seen in the movies or been told in church, then you need to read
this. If you are a Witch who is coming out of the "broom
closet" to your family and friends, this may be a good document
to download and print for them. Or if you are an Elder who is
doing outreach to the press, hospitals, prisons, etc., then we
strongly recommend that you either use this document or write
an "FAQ" of your own to give to journalists, chaplains,
etc. They will thank you for a concise and informative answer
sheet they can use for story background or for writing administrative
- Wicca and Teens
- We receive numerous inquiries about Wicca from interested
teenagers. They agree with a Craft book they've read, or feel
magically inclined or reverently drawn to Nature. They want to
know how to get involved, but don't really know where they may
fit in, or what teen Witches really do. "Wicca and Teens"
offers real help for concerned parents and young people alike.
- Wiccan Symbols
- We drew this up for a talk we gave to a law-enforcement class
at a local college. Too often, overzealous police or misinformed
parents discover a Witch's altar and assume that its pentagrams
and horned-god figurines are signs of "Satan worship".
Many people mistakenly believe that only "black witches"
use the sign of the upside-down pentagram, and leap to the wrong
conclusions when they find it inscribed on Wiccan magical implements
or jewelry. This collection of typical symbols describes their
true usages and meanings.
America is a Pagan Nation
- One Nation, Under
- This short essay about the actual religious beliefs of America's
Founders -- which were far more radical than what fundamentalist
Christians would have you believe -- accompanied our press release
for Asheville's 7th Annual Samhain Rite in 2001.
- America Was Founded on Pagan
- Why do our government buildings look like temples? Why is
our flag spangled with pentacles? Why is Liberty a Goddess? And
why should Pagans object to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance?
- The Pagan Pilgrim:
Thomas Morton of Merry Mount
- You've heard of the Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock.
But have you heard of their rival, Thomas Morton, who erected
a Maypole and celebrated May Day with the Indians?
and the Law
State Law Forbids Disrupting a Ritual
- Fundamentalist protestors who shout, pray, sing psalms, proselytize,
or harass people attending a Pagan or Wiccan religious event
are breaking the law and are subject to arrest.
- Federal Freedom of Religion Legal Memo
- This was originally posted on the Church of All Worlds listserver.
It contains potentially useful legal information for attorneys
who are defending Wiccans or Pagans from religious persecution.
- Wiccan Medical Guidelines
- This document consists of our answers to a clergy questionnaire
provided us by chaplains of our local hospital. If you are a
Wiccan priest or priestess, we strongly recommend that you contact
your local hospital chaplain and arrange to meet with them to
inform them about the unique medico-spiritual needs of Wiccan
and Pagan patients, and to inform them that you are available
to assist or counsel any patients who request Wiccan or Pagan
Wiccans and the Military
Most Wiccans are strongly opposed to war, because it violates
our core ethical belief: "An it harm none, do what ye will."
Many of us, however, are young enough to qualify for the Draft,
should the government decide during its next spasm of war fever
to reinstate it. Others have already enlisted in the military
before their Wiccan beliefs took shape, and now realize that
they could not morally participate in the brutality and destructiveness
of modern war.
- Pagans and Conscientious Objector Status:
An Anthology of Statements About War and War Resistance by Pagan
Individuals and Groups
- This anthology of powerful and eloquent essays on paganism
and war by Starhawk, Judy Harrow, CoG, CAW, BloodRose, and others
is indispensable for any Wiccan or Pagan who would declare himself
-- or herself, if present trends continue -- a conscientious
objector in time of war.
Persecution of Witches
- The Black Ribbon Campaign
- Millions of Witches have been killed by religious bigotry.
Anti-Wiccan prejudice and persecution continue unabated today.
Join the Black Ribbon Campaign to end religious intolerance.
- Institutional Prejudice Against Witches
Denies Religious Freedom
- A commentary on the modern methods that public institutions
and officials use to discriminate against Wiccans and Pagans.
- Published in the Mountain
Xpress, Nov. 22, 2000.
Sacred Substances and Altered States
Since the beginning of time, shamans and priest/esses in
every human culture have used sacred substances -- hallucinogenic
mushrooms, hashish, peyote, wine, to name a few -- to achieve
altered states of consciousness, the "divine frenzy"
that opens a magician's mind to the realm beyond the ordinary.
When Xtianity imposed on Western culture its puritanical fear
of ecstasy, the lore of sacred substances was kept alive by the
hidden children of the Old Religion. Don't believe the rote anti-drug
disclaimers printed in popular books on the Craft -- Witches
really do mutter enchantments over our cauldrons (or at least
our cooking pots) as we stir handfuls of strange herbs into magic
potions and flying ointments. The use of mind-altering substances
for ritual purposes is as integral to Wicca -- and as historically
well attested -- as it is to any other indigenous religion, and
we consider the outlawing and persecution of traditional sacred
plants such as cannabis (marijuana) and Amanita Muscaria (the
"fairy mushroom") to be a direct violation of Wiccans'
First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
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Latest update: 22 Sept. 2010