Wicca is supposed to be safe?

Today on Facebook Christian Day shared with everyone a review on Amazon of his book “The Witches’ Book of the Dead” that, to be honest, just annoyed me.  It essentially brought to light some of the things that have for many years bothered me about a portion of the Wiccan community.  I say Wiccan and not Pagan because this is specifically a Wiccan issue it seems.  I know it bothers people to hear the term “fluffy bunny” but I am one to call a spade a spade and that is the only way to describe this particular review and the reviewer’s apparent views on Wicca and Witchcraft.  I can’t help but talk about it here and use it as a way to sort of explore this somewhat odd notion that “Wicca is supposed to be safe.”

Here is the review, in its entirety, from Amazon.
(NOTE:  Since this has now come up multiple times, both here and on Facebook, let it be clear that the review listed below is a copy and paste from Amazon exactly as the reviewer wrote it, including the horrid spelling and syntax errors.  Yes, it should be “altar” not “alter”, however I felt that it was not my place to clean up the individual’s post since it just adds to the ridiculousness of the situation…and it’s how they decided to let their thoughts be known publicly.)

Skulls are not needed to be a Witch!
by S. Day “Night time Maven”

I will say that there are moments in this book where I understand his direction. The chapter on “The Alter of the DEAD” I feel sets the wrong tone for Wicca. I went from loving the chapter on “Opening the Doorway” to deciding not to finish the book after “The Alter of the Dead”.

This new wave of Witchcraft and Skull really bothers me. I threw Jade Sol Luna’s book on Hecate in the trash after I saw his picture sitting in a yoga posture with a skull and now this book. You do NOT NEED A SKULL TO BE A WITCH! I feel this type of behavior expresses the wrong idea of the modern Witch. Being a Witch does not mean that you have to scare people. I have children for goddess sake.

Stick with the greats like Cunningham, Buckland and Farrar’s of the wiccan world and throw the Christian Daye’s, Jade Sol Luna’s and the Digitalis’s out. Wicca was meant to be a safe not a scary religion.

I’m going to start out with full disclosure by saying that I started reading Christian’s book back in October while traveling during my move back to the east coast but I hit a chapter that was a bit challenging for me (I have to be in the mood for history that part of chapter 7 just hung me up at the time).  I ended up setting it aside but I’m planning to make it as one of my titles for this year’s Pagan Reading Challenge.  However I will say that I did spend a little time flipping through the rest of the book and reading over the rituals and got the gist of the rest of the book.  I have read the specific chapters that the reviewer mentioned here since they are the second and third chapters.

First of all, there’s the huge misunderstanding that in my experience seems to run rampant among some parts of the Wiccan community.  Wicca and Witchcraft are not the same thing.  It just isn’t.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a Wiccan who likes to cast spells for <insert twinkling chime music> love and healing; you being Wiccan and practicing Witchcraft doesn’t make all Witchcraft Wiccan.  So, just remember, not all Witches are Wiccan.  But at the same time not all Wiccans are Witches since there are those in the Wiccan community that do not work magick and just work with the religious and spiritual side of Wicca.  Wicca is first and foremost a religion where as Witchcraft is a magickal art, a craft, a practice.

Jade Sol Luna with a skull...OH NOES!!

This idea that all books on Witchcraft must somehow be written by an author with a Wiccan viewpoint is incredibly ignorant and shortsighted.  I think one of the last things that anyone could ever mistake Christian with is a Wiccan.  That just goes to show that the reviewer obviously knows nothing about the author of the book. And that’s OK, not everyone starts out knowing the personal views of an author before reading their book, but to assume that he is Wicca because he wrote a book on Witchcraft is, again, ignorant.

This new wave of Witchcraft and Skull really bothers me.

Again, this is something that I’ve heard before; well, not in these exact words, but with this sentiment toward Paganism that addresses the darker aspect of life.  Once again the only word that I can think of that addresses this is ignorance.  This is not a “new wave”.  The use of the skull, whether an actual human (or animal) skull as like what Christian uses, or in a symbolic sense through skull candles, crystal skulls, or skull sculptures is nothing new in Witchcraft or even in some traditions of Wicca.

The skull is not something that should be feared as this reviewer seems to see it.  In generations past the skull was seen as a symbol of wisdom, a door to someone’s spirit of the spirit world in general, and, as many modern day Pagans (and, yes) Wiccans have come to use it, a symbol of mortality, the fragility of life, and the cycles of death and rebirth.  The skull is only as scary as we make it and to demonize it as something that somehow has to be feared is terrible.

It’s funny to me knowing that there are people in other cultures all over the world, like those in Mexico, that take the skull and skeleton and make them funny, lighthearted, and at times somewhat frivolous, in order to remove the fear and add reality to it.  Let’s just face the hard and cold facts of life; one day this reviewer will be dead.  One day, in a physical sense, they will be nothing more than the skull and bones that makes up their physical structure.  Why is this something to be feared?  The reviewer talks about having children and not wanting to scare them. If you don’t want your children to be afraid of a skull then work to make it not scary!  Your children are going to take their cues on these kinds of things from you.  Make it scary and they’ll be afraid; make it magickal and a symbol of power, and they’ll see it in this way.

Honestly, I think that if the reviewer couldn’t handle Jade Sol Luna or Raven Digitalis I don’t know why they would have thought they could handle Christian Day.

Then comes my favorite part of the review, the part that I admit made me giggle.

Wicca was meant to be a safe not a scary religion.

Here I just can’t say anything but BULLSHIT.  The watered down and homogenized version of New Age Wicca that has emerged over the course of the last 20 years certainly is “safe”, but that is not the only kind of Wicca there is.  In fact much of the Wicca that is out there today would be unrecognizable to many of the early creators of the Wiccan tradition.  Wicca is meant to be a path of balance.  Balancing light and dark, life and death,God and Goddess.  Exploring the Underworld as well as the Upper World. Sometimes those things are not safe.  You have to get our of your comfort zone to explore the Underworld and commune with the Crone Goddess and the Ancestors.  It saddens me to see things like the Hag and Crone watered down to simply be seen as Grandmother figures rather than the sometimes fearsome death figures that they actually are just because some Wiccan’s find them scary and they make them uncomfortable.

I don't think Gerald Gardner would condsider a lot of what is called Wiccan today Wiccan in the sense of the tradtiion he helped create.

In a conversation I once had with a fairly new Wiccan who asked me about my patron Goddess, The Morrighan, I was asked what kind of “mother” she was.  When I explained the darker death aspect of her and her associations as a Goddess of war this person actually said to me that I was wrong and that she was taught that The Morrighan was a “dark moon mother” who was peaceful and introspective I almost snapped.  Where are these things coming from?  Why do so many Wiccans (and other Pagans, too…I’m not trying to be down on the Wiccans, really) feel the need to take anything dark and twist it into something completely different and make it lighter?

The world of the Witch, including the Wiccan Witch, is not a world of implicit safety.  Working under the notion that Wicca is somehow supposed to be “safe” and that work like what Christian and other Witches who dare delve into the deeper and darker realms makes Wiccan “unsafe” is ridiculous.

Hecate: Goddess, yes. Loving, nurturing mother? Not necessarily.

Let me say something about this idea that the reviewer has about these things giving the wrong impression of the modern Witch.  The modern Witch is not afraid to explore all facets of the Craft.  The modern Witch is not afraid to step into uncomfortable territories to learn more about the world, their spirituality, and themselves.  The modern Witch is willing to take the stigma of something like a skull, a stigma that the reviewer seems content to perpetuate, and defy people to rethink their ideas and change their view.  The modern Witch isn’t afraid to step into the shadows for a time and then return into the light.

My impression is that this individual is not “modern Witch” and instead seems more like someone with a New Age mentality that has moved to Wicca because of a desire to have a Goddess rather than a God to honor.  Obviously this person is welcome to their opinion and their beliefs; I’m not knocking them for their views.  What I’m trying to get at is that these ideas of Wicca and Witchcraft being one and that work that focuses on the death part of the life cycle somehow makes Wicca scary and unsafe is a ridiculous trend that needs to be rethought and addressed.  By closing ourselves off to this idea of working with the dead, by demonizing the symbol and power of the skull, by seeing things that are dark as scary and thus trying to suppress them, we run the risk of falling out of balance and losing a big part of our magickal and spiritual world.

Fear is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Christian Day is not everyone’s cup of tea and Christian’s book is certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but it certainly can open doors for considering why you might have these kinds of reactions (like the overreaction of wanting to throw the book in the trash).  Strong reactions are places for healing.  Find how the power of wisdom and rebirth of the skull can help heal you.  You might be surprised at what you find in those dark places that you’ve been avoiding.

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  • OKIFOLKI
    January 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I also agree! Great post! 🙂 I don’t mind being called a witch, but I’m definitely not wiccan. And I feel it’s really important to find my place in the balanced universe by trying to understand that universe better, in ALL it’s balanced glory, both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. I think that many of these misunderstandings come about from having grown up in a society based on Christian laws, that is compelled to label everything as either ‘good’ or ‘evil’, without ever considering that these terms are merely constructs of human perception.

  • OKIFOLKI
    January 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I also agree! Great post! 🙂 I don’t mind being called a witch, but I’m definitely not wiccan. And I feel it’s really important to find my place in the balanced universe by trying to understand that universe better, in ALL it’s balanced glory, both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. I think that many of these misunderstandings come about from having grown up in a society based on Christian laws, that is compelled to label everything as either ‘good’ or ‘evil’, without ever considering that these terms are merely constructs of human perception.

  • OKIFOLKI
    January 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I also agree! Great post! 🙂 I don’t mind being called a witch, but I’m definitely not wiccan. And I feel it’s really important to find my place in the balanced universe by trying to understand that universe better, in ALL it’s balanced glory, both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. I think that many of these misunderstandings come about from having grown up in a society based on Christian laws, that is compelled to label everything as either ‘good’ or ‘evil’, without ever considering that these terms are merely constructs of human perception.

  • Julia Andersson
    January 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Rowan

    I think that the reason for the ‘mother’ comparison of the Goddess is probably an attempt to make wicca and witchcraft seem safe in our modern day society (i.e. safe in a patriarchal society that sees matriarchal traditions as evil). The problem with doing that is that the end result bears little resemblance to the original practice.

    I recently finished reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s, ‘The Mists of Avalon’… I know Marion did a LOT of research into the old religion but unfortunately, the church did an effective job of forcing those earlier religions into the realm of legend and destroyed most of the evidence that would have allowed future generations to comprehend it. But one of the things that interested me was the threefold Goddess of maiden/mother/crone and the accompanying different roles of Ceriwiden (sp?). It certainly didn’t strike me as a ‘safe’ religion.

    What is your view regarding this book… how accurate do you think it is? Personally, I wasn’t sure I liked the ending where Marion tried to conform ‘paganism’ into church tradition by making the virgin Mary yet another face of the Goddess.

    • Rowan Pendragon
      January 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Mists of Avalon, while a beautiful story, is most certainly fictional. MZB did a lot of research into MODERN day Goddess spirituality when writing the Avalon books and much of what we see in those books that deal with the Goddess, magick, and spirituality are Neo-Pagan or New Age. There’s not that much historical accuracy to it. And that’s fine! It wasn’t meant to be a history book, it’s fiction.

      Personally, I like the book. The morphing of the Goddess into a Christian form as the Virgin Mary is actually one of the few accurate historical elements. The Goddess Brighid was morphed into St. Bridget, for example. Goddesses of various traditions were worked into the new spiritual tradition of Christianity, just like many of the Pagan holidays were adapted by the church. And many of the first churches were built by the “Pagans” that lived in the area at the time and worked in Pagan symbols in and images into the churches. The historical fact is that many elements of Paganism were absorbed into Christianity.

      • Anjelin
        January 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        I agree with Rowan on the historical aspect of the virgin mary being incorporated as a goddess. Pagans were converted or put to death in Italy. So, with the conversion, came the worship of the virgin mary as the goddess so that they remained pagan in secret. Btw, Mists of Avolon is a favorite of mine!

      • Julia Andersson
        January 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

        Like you said, the church adopted many pagan traditions in it’s efforts to make them ‘Holy’, despite the fact that they already were Holy in their own right.

        It just seems wrong to me for Catholicism to essentially incorporate an opposing belief that it stamped out because as a patriarchal religion it felt a matriarch religion was evil. Of course, it felt that all religions that preceded it except for Judaism were evil.

        • Rowan Pendragon
          January 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

          These adoptions, so to speak, were not a matter of making things “holy”, it was a matter of trying to slyly gain converts. You have to consider the fact that the church was looking to convert as many people as possible, and while they weren’t completely above the use of threats and violence to do it, it was obviously a better thing to get people to come to the church in a more gentle way. By adopting the things they already knew…their Gods, their celebrations, some of their beliefs and ideas, and simply tweaking them to the way the church wanted people to believe, it made things easier for them. And this isn’t a Catholicism thing, this is a “church during pre-Inquisition” thing. This goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.

          • Julia Andersson
            January 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

            I agree Rowan… but my point is that it’s wrong from a moral viewpoint. Like you said, it’s a sneaky way to gain converts. Where they should simply have allowed the old religion to exist autonomously instead of trying to absorb it and stamp it out. I’m saddened because without it, the world is somehow less than it was!

        • Lilitu
          January 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

          And pagans adapted some Christian stuff too. I mean honestly, Christianity coming from pre-existing ideas is not a shocker. One time there were hardly no Christians, so where did they come from? Ah, I guess paganism wasn’t working out for the pagans.

          • Ruadhán
            February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

            Ah, I guess paganism wasn’t working out for the pagans.

            False. While there were certainly many willing converts, Christianity only really rose to dominance by a combination of political strategy and brute force. Thousands of lives were lost in the name of Christian dominance.

    • Faunus
      January 8, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Julia,

      I love the Mist of Avalon and even though it is fictional it does make on think of things on the craft level. I don’t go out and copy things form the book of course, but I enjoy reading it. Have you read the entire Avalon series? If not I highly suggest it because the entire series is great!

    • Ruadhán
      February 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      omf’ng….. Mists of Avalon is not historical fiction, nor was it ever intended to be. Mists of Avalon was 1970s Goddess spirituality transplanted into a re-imagining of the Arthurian legends, and was never intended to be anything more than that. Oh, and MZB pretty much enabled and defended her husband’s paedophilia for nearly thirty years.

      …but hey, you’re welcome to take her fan-fic seriously, if you like.

  • Julia Andersson
    January 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Rowan

    I think that the reason for the ‘mother’ comparison of the Goddess is probably an attempt to make wicca and witchcraft seem safe in our modern day society (i.e. safe in a patriarchal society that sees matriarchal traditions as evil). The problem with doing that is that the end result bears little resemblance to the original practice.

    I recently finished reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s, ‘The Mists of Avalon’… I know Marion did a LOT of research into the old religion but unfortunately, the church did an effective job of forcing those earlier religions into the realm of legend and destroyed most of the evidence that would have allowed future generations to comprehend it. But one of the things that interested me was the threefold Goddess of maiden/mother/crone and the accompanying different roles of Ceriwiden (sp?). It certainly didn’t strike me as a ‘safe’ religion.

    What is your view regarding this book… how accurate do you think it is? Personally, I wasn’t sure I liked the ending where Marion tried to conform ‘paganism’ into church tradition by making the virgin Mary yet another face of the Goddess.

    • Rowan Pendragon
      January 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Mists of Avalon, while a beautiful story, is most certainly fictional. MZB did a lot of research into MODERN day Goddess spirituality when writing the Avalon books and much of what we see in those books that deal with the Goddess, magick, and spirituality are Neo-Pagan or New Age. There’s not that much historical accuracy to it. And that’s fine! It wasn’t meant to be a history book, it’s fiction.

      Personally, I like the book. The morphing of the Goddess into a Christian form as the Virgin Mary is actually one of the few accurate historical elements. The Goddess Brighid was morphed into St. Bridget, for example. Goddesses of various traditions were worked into the new spiritual tradition of Christianity, just like many of the Pagan holidays were adapted by the church. And many of the first churches were built by the “Pagans” that lived in the area at the time and worked in Pagan symbols in and images into the churches. The historical fact is that many elements of Paganism were absorbed into Christianity.

      • Anjelin
        January 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        I agree with Rowan on the historical aspect of the virgin mary being incorporated as a goddess. Pagans were converted or put to death in Italy. So, with the conversion, came the worship of the virgin mary as the goddess so that they remained pagan in secret. Btw, Mists of Avolon is a favorite of mine!

      • Julia Andersson
        January 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

        Like you said, the church adopted many pagan traditions in it’s efforts to make them ‘Holy’, despite the fact that they already were Holy in their own right.

        It just seems wrong to me for Catholicism to essentially incorporate an opposing belief that it stamped out because as a patriarchal religion it felt a matriarch religion was evil. Of course, it felt that all religions that preceded it except for Judaism were evil.

        • Rowan Pendragon
          January 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

          These adoptions, so to speak, were not a matter of making things “holy”, it was a matter of trying to slyly gain converts. You have to consider the fact that the church was looking to convert as many people as possible, and while they weren’t completely above the use of threats and violence to do it, it was obviously a better thing to get people to come to the church in a more gentle way. By adopting the things they already knew…their Gods, their celebrations, some of their beliefs and ideas, and simply tweaking them to the way the church wanted people to believe, it made things easier for them. And this isn’t a Catholicism thing, this is a “church during pre-Inquisition” thing. This goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.

          • Julia Andersson
            January 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

            I agree Rowan… but my point is that it’s wrong from a moral viewpoint. Like you said, it’s a sneaky way to gain converts. Where they should simply have allowed the old religion to exist autonomously instead of trying to absorb it and stamp it out. I’m saddened because without it, the world is somehow less than it was!

        • Lilitu
          January 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

          And pagans adapted some Christian stuff too. I mean honestly, Christianity coming from pre-existing ideas is not a shocker. One time there were hardly no Christians, so where did they come from? Ah, I guess paganism wasn’t working out for the pagans.

          • Ruadhán
            February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

            Ah, I guess paganism wasn’t working out for the pagans.

            False. While there were certainly many willing converts, Christianity only really rose to dominance by a combination of political strategy and brute force. Thousands of lives were lost in the name of Christian dominance.

        • Ruadhán
          February 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

          The fact of the matter is:

          1) Any claims that there was a truly matriarchal society/religion in Europe at the time of Christianity’s rise is highly dubious, at best –the claim that said existed even pre-Iron Age paganism is pretty dubious,
          2) By re-purposing deities and heroes of pagan mythologies as saints and aspects of the “Holy family”, Christianity really wasn’t doing anything that pagan religions hadn’t been doing for centuries —and I say this as a traditional polytheist.
          3) Catholicism made an exception for Judaism? Are you kidding me? True, this was never a part of Catholic dogma, but ZO-MY-NUMEROUS-GODS, the list of Mediaeval priests who actively persecuted Jews can seem like it never ends.

          I realise that you mean well, but PLEASE learn better history.

    • Faunus
      January 8, 2012 at 12:01 am

      Julia,

      I love the Mist of Avalon and even though it is fictional it does make on think of things on the craft level. I don’t go out and copy things form the book of course, but I enjoy reading it. Have you read the entire Avalon series? If not I highly suggest it because the entire series is great!

      • Julia Andersson
        January 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

        You know, till the other day I didn’t even realize it was part of a series… and I love reading series so I might just have to check into getting the others.

    • Ruadhán
      February 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      omf’ng….. Mists of Avalon is not historical fiction, nor was it ever intended to be. Mists of Avalon was 1970s Goddess spirituality transplanted into a re-imagining of the Arthurian legends, and was never intended to be anything more than that. Oh, and MZB pretty much enabled and defended her husband’s paedophilia for nearly thirty years.

      …but hey, you’re welcome to take her fan-fic seriously, if you like.

  • AmyJ
    January 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    You are fabulous! When I was a young girl I felt pulled to witchcraft, but due to my family becoming Charismatic Christians, I wasn’t able to pursue the study and was taught that witches are evil. I’ve just recently realized that I don’t believe much of the basics of Christianity and am reaching back to find the things that resonated with me when I was a child, including witchcraft.

    The past few days I’ve been scouring the internet to find resources so I can learn more about the craft and practice. One of the things that’s been really interesting is to see all the differences in belief among pagans/wiccans/witches. Your review helped shed even more light on the subject for me. Could you recommend any other resources for someone who is interested in practicing witchcraft?

    Thank you for sharing so that others may learn. 🙂

  • AmyJ
    January 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    You are fabulous! When I was a young girl I felt pulled to witchcraft, but due to my family becoming Charismatic Christians, I wasn’t able to pursue the study and was taught that witches are evil. I’ve just recently realized that I don’t believe much of the basics of Christianity and am reaching back to find the things that resonated with me when I was a child, including witchcraft.

    The past few days I’ve been scouring the internet to find resources so I can learn more about the craft and practice. One of the things that’s been really interesting is to see all the differences in belief among pagans/wiccans/witches. Your review helped shed even more light on the subject for me. Could you recommend any other resources for someone who is interested in practicing witchcraft?

    Thank you for sharing so that others may learn. 🙂

  • AmyJ
    January 7, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    You are fabulous! When I was a young girl I felt pulled to witchcraft, but due to my family becoming Charismatic Christians, I wasn’t able to pursue the study and was taught that witches are evil. I’ve just recently realized that I don’t believe much of the basics of Christianity and am reaching back to find the things that resonated with me when I was a child, including witchcraft.

    The past few days I’ve been scouring the internet to find resources so I can learn more about the craft and practice. One of the things that’s been really interesting is to see all the differences in belief among pagans/wiccans/witches. Your review helped shed even more light on the subject for me. Could you recommend any other resources for someone who is interested in practicing witchcraft?

    Thank you for sharing so that others may learn. 🙂

  • Faunus
    January 8, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Thank you for posting this! When people ask me my faith and I say Witch and then they reply Wiccan I chuckle at them and say No I siad I was a Witch. If I was Wiccan I would say Wiccan. I get annoyed when people automatically think because I am a Witch that I am the other. Some of these new Wiccans out there really think Wicca is this old religon when it is rather new to the movement and has been very toned down with a lot of stuff. You get talking to the followers of the Old Ways such as Christian, Jade, Raven, and some of my friends and myself and it is a walk between the worlds and between the light and dark. Meant to be a Safe and Non Scary Religon!?!?!? Please don’t insult those who have gone before us like that.

    There, in my eyes, is nothing scary about the religon. There is nothing scary about skulls, death, the dark, etc. Whoever wrote this might want to take a moment to release those Christian ties she still has pretaining ot the craft before she continues on. As the Aunts say in practical Magic “You can’t practice magic if you are looking down your nose at it.”

    If you are Wiccan and don’t want to partake in certain practices then that is fine, but make sure you are educated on why it is done and don’t make uneducated comments about things you do not understand. A proper Witch no matter what path they might walk or Tradition they follow will be one that is educated and opened to that around them and this means different traditions and practices. Doesn’t mean you have to follow or do whatever someone else does, but you should understand why it is. I mean Christians Book for Instance is one of working with the dead. Where and why would you not even think there will be something in there about skulls????

    I work with Santisima Muerte who is a Mexican Folk Saint of Death and her image is one of a female skeleton robed. I had a friend of mine who practices magic asking me why I didn’t think that was Morbid to work with a Spirit like that. Wicca was not around when our ancestors were here and I can probably say all your witches back then probably one time or another had some kind of bones with them. I had a Deer Skull on my altar for the longest item which I collected from the local animal graveyard.

    As for her kids, as posted before, that is up to the parent who practices the craft to educate them and explain things. My niece and friends children aren’t afraid of anything in my house including the skulls, bones, gargoyles, or anything else that miht be “dark”. That’s because we educate them and they are little Witches in training as we call it. THe start being that kid where they say they are afraid of the skull we laugh and say are you a young witch or mundane? They say we are young witches and then we say ood then stop being scared and suck it up and that they know better than that and they know the truth of what it symbolizes. They always get over their fear fast after that and continue on their studies. Now when the ghost get active in the house and the kids experience it they talk to the ghost, tell the adults about it, and then go about their playing.

  • Faunus
    January 8, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Thank you for posting this! When people ask me my faith and I say Witch and then they reply Wiccan I chuckle at them and say No I siad I was a Witch. If I was Wiccan I would say Wiccan. I get annoyed when people automatically think because I am a Witch that I am the other. Some of these new Wiccans out there really think Wicca is this old religon when it is rather new to the movement and has been very toned down with a lot of stuff. You get talking to the followers of the Old Ways such as Christian, Jade, Raven, and some of my friends and myself and it is a walk between the worlds and between the light and dark. Meant to be a Safe and Non Scary Religon!?!?!? Please don’t insult those who have gone before us like that.

    There, in my eyes, is nothing scary about the religon. There is nothing scary about skulls, death, the dark, etc. Whoever wrote this might want to take a moment to release those Christian ties she still has pretaining ot the craft before she continues on. As the Aunts say in practical Magic “You can’t practice magic if you are looking down your nose at it.”

    If you are Wiccan and don’t want to partake in certain practices then that is fine, but make sure you are educated on why it is done and don’t make uneducated comments about things you do not understand. A proper Witch no matter what path they might walk or Tradition they follow will be one that is educated and opened to that around them and this means different traditions and practices. Doesn’t mean you have to follow or do whatever someone else does, but you should understand why it is. I mean Christians Book for Instance is one of working with the dead. Where and why would you not even think there will be something in there about skulls????

    I work with Santisima Muerte who is a Mexican Folk Saint of Death and her image is one of a female skeleton robed. I had a friend of mine who practices magic asking me why I didn’t think that was Morbid to work with a Spirit like that. Wicca was not around when our ancestors were here and I can probably say all your witches back then probably one time or another had some kind of bones with them. I had a Deer Skull on my altar for the longest item which I collected from the local animal graveyard.

    As for her kids, as posted before, that is up to the parent who practices the craft to educate them and explain things. My niece and friends children aren’t afraid of anything in my house including the skulls, bones, gargoyles, or anything else that miht be “dark”. That’s because we educate them and they are little Witches in training as we call it. THe start being that kid where they say they are afraid of the skull we laugh and say are you a young witch or mundane? They say we are young witches and then we say ood then stop being scared and suck it up and that they know better than that and they know the truth of what it symbolizes. They always get over their fear fast after that and continue on their studies. Now when the ghost get active in the house and the kids experience it they talk to the ghost, tell the adults about it, and then go about their playing.

  • Rowan
    January 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    LOVE IT!! That being said, I had issues with the “I have children” statement…so do I. My son since he could make his feelings known has always been drawn to the Gods & Goddesses of the Underworld. He was curious about Christian’s book, and was jazzed to learn that the skull on the cover has a name AND a job! He’s not afraid of the Underworld or ghosts. He’s been able since he was small to feel fairly comfy with them, after his grandmother passed, he “kicked her out” of his room because he was trying to sleep. It was funny at the time because he was two and at that age you don’t really know what they are seeing or hearing besides what we do. Why would I take something that to him isn’t fearsome at all and change it!?! Why should we be afraid of death, like life it is all part & parcel! I read Christians book as he suggested cover to cover. I don’t deny there were parts that gave me pause, because I have been “fluffy bunny”, but guess what you don’t GROW or LEARN a thing without doing as you said stepping outside your comfort zone. Keeping my son from the “darker” aspects of the Craft just won’t happen, he is who he is. I think we do more damage to our children trying to show them only one half of the world. There is good there is bad, there is God and Goddess, there is Light and Dark and each has a lesson to teach. I started my path some 20 years ago identifying myself as a Wiccan…that doesn’t fit me now and hasn’t for years. I am a Witch, I walk the Dark and Light, I protect and guard what is blessed to me, and I search always for knowledge and ways to grow. How can you live otherwise?
    Thanks again for your blog it is WONDERFUL!!!

  • Rowan
    January 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    LOVE IT!! That being said, I had issues with the “I have children” statement…so do I. My son since he could make his feelings known has always been drawn to the Gods & Goddesses of the Underworld. He was curious about Christian’s book, and was jazzed to learn that the skull on the cover has a name AND a job! He’s not afraid of the Underworld or ghosts. He’s been able since he was small to feel fairly comfy with them, after his grandmother passed, he “kicked her out” of his room because he was trying to sleep. It was funny at the time because he was two and at that age you don’t really know what they are seeing or hearing besides what we do. Why would I take something that to him isn’t fearsome at all and change it!?! Why should we be afraid of death, like life it is all part & parcel! I read Christians book as he suggested cover to cover. I don’t deny there were parts that gave me pause, because I have been “fluffy bunny”, but guess what you don’t GROW or LEARN a thing without doing as you said stepping outside your comfort zone. Keeping my son from the “darker” aspects of the Craft just won’t happen, he is who he is. I think we do more damage to our children trying to show them only one half of the world. There is good there is bad, there is God and Goddess, there is Light and Dark and each has a lesson to teach. I started my path some 20 years ago identifying myself as a Wiccan…that doesn’t fit me now and hasn’t for years. I am a Witch, I walk the Dark and Light, I protect and guard what is blessed to me, and I search always for knowledge and ways to grow. How can you live otherwise?
    Thanks again for your blog it is WONDERFUL!!!

  • Rowan
    January 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    LOVE IT!! That being said, I had issues with the “I have children” statement…so do I. My son since he could make his feelings known has always been drawn to the Gods & Goddesses of the Underworld. He was curious about Christian’s book, and was jazzed to learn that the skull on the cover has a name AND a job! He’s not afraid of the Underworld or ghosts. He’s been able since he was small to feel fairly comfy with them, after his grandmother passed, he “kicked her out” of his room because he was trying to sleep. It was funny at the time because he was two and at that age you don’t really know what they are seeing or hearing besides what we do. Why would I take something that to him isn’t fearsome at all and change it!?! Why should we be afraid of death, like life it is all part & parcel! I read Christians book as he suggested cover to cover. I don’t deny there were parts that gave me pause, because I have been “fluffy bunny”, but guess what you don’t GROW or LEARN a thing without doing as you said stepping outside your comfort zone. Keeping my son from the “darker” aspects of the Craft just won’t happen, he is who he is. I think we do more damage to our children trying to show them only one half of the world. There is good there is bad, there is God and Goddess, there is Light and Dark and each has a lesson to teach. I started my path some 20 years ago identifying myself as a Wiccan…that doesn’t fit me now and hasn’t for years. I am a Witch, I walk the Dark and Light, I protect and guard what is blessed to me, and I search always for knowledge and ways to grow. How can you live otherwise?
    Thanks again for your blog it is WONDERFUL!!!

  • Cara Randall
    January 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Wonderful article! I think a lot of Wicca and Paganism has felt pressured to water down any darker aspects of the paths because of our constant assertion that we do NOT worship the Christian devil. However, when outsiders see images like skulls, dark clothing, and practitioners talking about darker aspects of God and Goddess, they nod knowingly and say, “SEE? I told you they were EVIL!” In response to the desire to be seen as more “harmless” than we’re being portrayed by the religious right, I think a lot of new manifestations of Wicca and Paganism have become, as you say, “Fluffy bunny”. It’s important, though, that both the light and dark aspects of Paganism be addressed and not lost, and newer practitioners need to be educated regarding this. We cannot have light without dark.

  • Cara Randall
    January 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Wonderful article! I think a lot of Wicca and Paganism has felt pressured to water down any darker aspects of the paths because of our constant assertion that we do NOT worship the Christian devil. However, when outsiders see images like skulls, dark clothing, and practitioners talking about darker aspects of God and Goddess, they nod knowingly and say, “SEE? I told you they were EVIL!” In response to the desire to be seen as more “harmless” than we’re being portrayed by the religious right, I think a lot of new manifestations of Wicca and Paganism have become, as you say, “Fluffy bunny”. It’s important, though, that both the light and dark aspects of Paganism be addressed and not lost, and newer practitioners need to be educated regarding this. We cannot have light without dark.

  • Cara Randall
    January 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Wonderful article! I think a lot of Wicca and Paganism has felt pressured to water down any darker aspects of the paths because of our constant assertion that we do NOT worship the Christian devil. However, when outsiders see images like skulls, dark clothing, and practitioners talking about darker aspects of God and Goddess, they nod knowingly and say, “SEE? I told you they were EVIL!” In response to the desire to be seen as more “harmless” than we’re being portrayed by the religious right, I think a lot of new manifestations of Wicca and Paganism have become, as you say, “Fluffy bunny”. It’s important, though, that both the light and dark aspects of Paganism be addressed and not lost, and newer practitioners need to be educated regarding this. We cannot have light without dark.

  • Cara Randall
    January 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Wonderful article! I think a lot of Wicca and Paganism has felt pressured to water down any darker aspects of the paths because of our constant assertion that we do NOT worship the Christian devil. However, when outsiders see images like skulls, dark clothing, and practitioners talking about darker aspects of God and Goddess, they nod knowingly and say, “SEE? I told you they were EVIL!” In response to the desire to be seen as more “harmless” than we’re being portrayed by the religious right, I think a lot of new manifestations of Wicca and Paganism have become, as you say, “Fluffy bunny”. It’s important, though, that both the light and dark aspects of Paganism be addressed and not lost, and newer practitioners need to be educated regarding this. We cannot have light without dark.

  • andrew
    January 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I agree with you 99% you cant have a true balance in your if if you only see the light and forget to see the dark. however the part about heacte not being a nurture i find completely and unequivocally wrong, going into all the details would be a waste of time but hecate has been with me every step of the way for as long as i can remember she guided, protected, and nurtured me. this one point is the only one i disagree, your points are valid and versed. i look forword to reading more of your posts.

    • Rowan Pendragon
      January 8, 2012 at 12:46 pm

      I didn’t say she wasn’t, I said “not necessarily”. She can be at the moments when that is needed, but she most certainly is not a “love, light, and rainbows Mother Goddess” as some have attempted to paint her in order to water down her Dark Goddess aspect. It’s a matter of what the personal relationship is that you have with that Goddess but her core mythology is not one that lends to the same idea of a nurturer as, say, Frigga. There is a difference between the way that her overall nature is as opposed to the type of personal relationship you have had with your Goddess.

  • andrew
    January 8, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I agree with you 99% you cant have a true balance in your if if you only see the light and forget to see the dark. however the part about heacte not being a nurture i find completely and unequivocally wrong, going into all the details would be a waste of time but hecate has been with me every step of the way for as long as i can remember she guided, protected, and nurtured me. this one point is the only one i disagree, your points are valid and versed. i look forword to reading more of your posts.

  • Jen
    January 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Fiercely well said!

    I honestly don’t trust anyone who says “everything is light and rainbows.” It’s not real. Everything is light AND shadow. And as a daughter of the Morrigan (I’m Badb’s wild child) I heartily disagree with anyone who says that she is a peaceful, introspective, mothering-type. My guardian is a screamer, Kids. Not every goddess is pretty.

  • Jen
    January 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Fiercely well said!

    I honestly don’t trust anyone who says “everything is light and rainbows.” It’s not real. Everything is light AND shadow. And as a daughter of the Morrigan (I’m Badb’s wild child) I heartily disagree with anyone who says that she is a peaceful, introspective, mothering-type. My guardian is a screamer, Kids. Not every goddess is pretty.

  • Jen
    January 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Fiercely well said!

    I honestly don’t trust anyone who says “everything is light and rainbows.” It’s not real. Everything is light AND shadow. And as a daughter of the Morrigan (I’m Badb’s wild child) I heartily disagree with anyone who says that she is a peaceful, introspective, mothering-type. My guardian is a screamer, Kids. Not every goddess is pretty.

  • Jen
    January 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Fiercely well said!

    I honestly don’t trust anyone who says “everything is light and rainbows.” It’s not real. Everything is light AND shadow. And as a daughter of the Morrigan (I’m Badb’s wild child) I heartily disagree with anyone who says that she is a peaceful, introspective, mothering-type. My guardian is a screamer, Kids. Not every goddess is pretty.

  • BlazeTaylorr
    January 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I am interested in reading this book. I am fairly new to Wica – again, but I knew that Wicca was about balance. Obviously light and dark. Personally I find that exciting! I know not everything will be happy, jolly and wonderful. I want to learn about the dark side, because if there is no dark, there wouldn’t be life. I may enjoy this book!

  • BlazeTaylorr
    January 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    I am interested in reading this book. I am fairly new to Wica – again, but I knew that Wicca was about balance. Obviously light and dark. Personally I find that exciting! I know not everything will be happy, jolly and wonderful. I want to learn about the dark side, because if there is no dark, there wouldn’t be life. I may enjoy this book!

  • Polarity PM
    January 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Perhaps every pagan might consider doing some studies of the dead and ancestors. Sheesh! An anthropology course wouldn’t hurt either. There is nothing wrong with this person having a point of view. I don’t even need to express my own displeasure at the fact that a large portion of people have mislearned that Wicca has briefly kidnapped all of the rest of the Pagan population by way of description since so many people get Wicca confused with Pagan and Wicca confused with Witch, or Wicca confused with Druid, (etc.) failing to understand that if you are not Christian, you are usually considered Pagan, and so on. Christians don’t even necessarily know this either. As for candy coating the darker aspects of life, you don’t even have to be Pagan for that to happen. The “Stepford wives” type of attitude (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/the_stepford_wives/) still exist out there somewhere! In the case of well protected areas that do not get out into the world much; for example, my southwest hometown people, so many sit on the couch with their “Charmed” TV show tuned in and run down to the very limited bookstore or library to educate themselves, or nowadays hop on the computer and believe anything and everything that sounds/looks good on the internet without question. Yes, ignorance is abounding! I’m not in essay writing mode today, so please forgive and don’t expect meticulous articulation of artful words, but I am feeling the discomfort of the never ending battle of “can’t cure stupid” captioned at the bottom of a picture of an observer sitting on a bleacher, ball cap on backwards and shading the sun with his hand as he watches…

    Thanks for doing the write up on this because I usually just skim over Facebook in a rush. This got my attention. One of my own bookmarked slots for learning about such matters is and has always been to learn as much, to do with “Death”, “Dark” and “Skull” facets of the journey. Let me tell you, I nearly did die this past summer, so yes, that was scary to think I nearly flashed out of this life without finishing up my duties! The near loss of life for me was also very enlightening. The darker spectrum, of this walk through life, called death, is reality! It is okay to be in the know and to learn about these things. What is death without life? Further, why not celebrate our Ancestors? Why not celebrate all those who came before us and brought us about to our now? I celebrate my father and brother who passed and my grandmother! They are not scary. I loved them very much and still feel their presence. So be it. You’ve put out the words and I appreciate you speaking up!
    Be well, Polarity Phoenix-Mane

    P.S. Are they passing around Ignorance Certificates?

  • Polarity PM
    January 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Perhaps every pagan might consider doing some studies of the dead and ancestors. Sheesh! An anthropology course wouldn’t hurt either. There is nothing wrong with this person having a point of view. I don’t even need to express my own displeasure at the fact that a large portion of people have mislearned that Wicca has briefly kidnapped all of the rest of the Pagan population by way of description since so many people get Wicca confused with Pagan and Wicca confused with Witch, or Wicca confused with Druid, (etc.) failing to understand that if you are not Christian, you are usually considered Pagan, and so on. Christians don’t even necessarily know this either. As for candy coating the darker aspects of life, you don’t even have to be Pagan for that to happen. The “Stepford wives” type of attitude (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/the_stepford_wives/) still exist out there somewhere! In the case of well protected areas that do not get out into the world much; for example, my southwest hometown people, so many sit on the couch with their “Charmed” TV show tuned in and run down to the very limited bookstore or library to educate themselves, or nowadays hop on the computer and believe anything and everything that sounds/looks good on the internet without question. Yes, ignorance is abounding! I’m not in essay writing mode today, so please forgive and don’t expect meticulous articulation of artful words, but I am feeling the discomfort of the never ending battle of “can’t cure stupid” captioned at the bottom of a picture of an observer sitting on a bleacher, ball cap on backwards and shading the sun with his hand as he watches…

    Thanks for doing the write up on this because I usually just skim over Facebook in a rush. This got my attention. One of my own bookmarked slots for learning about such matters is and has always been to learn as much, to do with “Death”, “Dark” and “Skull” facets of the journey. Let me tell you, I nearly did die this past summer, so yes, that was scary to think I nearly flashed out of this life without finishing up my duties! The near loss of life for me was also very enlightening. The darker spectrum, of this walk through life, called death, is reality! It is okay to be in the know and to learn about these things. What is death without life? Further, why not celebrate our Ancestors? Why not celebrate all those who came before us and brought us about to our now? I celebrate my father and brother who passed and my grandmother! They are not scary. I loved them very much and still feel their presence. So be it. You’ve put out the words and I appreciate you speaking up!
    Be well, Polarity Phoenix-Mane

    P.S. Are they passing around Ignorance Certificates?

  • Polarity PM
    January 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Perhaps every pagan might consider doing some studies of the dead and ancestors. Sheesh! An anthropology course wouldn’t hurt either. There is nothing wrong with this person having a point of view. I don’t even need to express my own displeasure at the fact that a large portion of people have mislearned that Wicca has briefly kidnapped all of the rest of the Pagan population by way of description since so many people get Wicca confused with Pagan and Wicca confused with Witch, or Wicca confused with Druid, (etc.) failing to understand that if you are not Christian, you are usually considered Pagan, and so on. Christians don’t even necessarily know this either. As for candy coating the darker aspects of life, you don’t even have to be Pagan for that to happen. The “Stepford wives” type of attitude (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/the_stepford_wives/) still exist out there somewhere! In the case of well protected areas that do not get out into the world much; for example, my southwest hometown people, so many sit on the couch with their “Charmed” TV show tuned in and run down to the very limited bookstore or library to educate themselves, or nowadays hop on the computer and believe anything and everything that sounds/looks good on the internet without question. Yes, ignorance is abounding! I’m not in essay writing mode today, so please forgive and don’t expect meticulous articulation of artful words, but I am feeling the discomfort of the never ending battle of “can’t cure stupid” captioned at the bottom of a picture of an observer sitting on a bleacher, ball cap on backwards and shading the sun with his hand as he watches…

    Thanks for doing the write up on this because I usually just skim over Facebook in a rush. This got my attention. One of my own bookmarked slots for learning about such matters is and has always been to learn as much, to do with “Death”, “Dark” and “Skull” facets of the journey. Let me tell you, I nearly did die this past summer, so yes, that was scary to think I nearly flashed out of this life without finishing up my duties! The near loss of life for me was also very enlightening. The darker spectrum, of this walk through life, called death, is reality! It is okay to be in the know and to learn about these things. What is death without life? Further, why not celebrate our Ancestors? Why not celebrate all those who came before us and brought us about to our now? I celebrate my father and brother who passed and my grandmother! They are not scary. I loved them very much and still feel their presence. So be it. You’ve put out the words and I appreciate you speaking up!
    Be well, Polarity Phoenix-Mane

    P.S. Are they passing around Ignorance Certificates?

  • Magickal Media Blog » Blog Archive » News for Pagans, Sunday, 1-8-12
    January 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    […] http://onewitchsway.com/2012/01/wicca-is-supposed-to-be-safe/  On “One Witch’s Way”, a review of the new book by Christian Day sparks the question about whether Wicca is supposed to be safe. […]

  • Magickal Media Blog » Blog Archive » News for Pagans, Sunday, 1-8-12
    January 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    […] http://onewitchsway.com/2012/01/wicca-is-supposed-to-be-safe/  On “One Witch’s Way”, a review of the new book by Christian Day sparks the question about whether Wicca is supposed to be safe. […]

  • Magickal Media Blog » Blog Archive » News for Pagans, Sunday, 1-8-12
    January 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    […] http://onewitchsway.com/2012/01/wicca-is-supposed-to-be-safe/  On “One Witch’s Way”, a review of the new book by Christian Day sparks the question about whether Wicca is supposed to be safe. […]

  • Magickal Media Blog » Blog Archive » News for Pagans, Sunday, 1-8-12
    January 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    […] http://onewitchsway.com/2012/01/wicca-is-supposed-to-be-safe/  On “One Witch’s Way”, a review of the new book by Christian Day sparks the question about whether Wicca is supposed to be safe. […]

  • Koshare
    January 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Well, in reality this falls in line with the rest of the zeitgeist… this misguided notion that you can keep people safe from themselves, can regulate health and well being by banning fatty foods, and can remove prejudice by enforcing political correctness. The same misguided attitudes that allow horrific graphic violence, but ban the display of nudity lest it corrupt our children and undermine our society. Witches, wiccans and pagans are just as susceptible to these kinds of denial as any other segment of the population. It is easy to deal with the lighter side of things and ignore that which we don’t want to face. The ostrich with its head in the sand doesn’t see the predator. But true followers of the lord and the lady will understand the need for balance in all things, the need for a masculine and a feminine, light and dark, life and death. Not everyone is at that point in their development however, and whether it be The Ferrar’s works, Gardner’s, Crowley’s, Silver Ravenwolf’s or a self-help book for dummies, we will each get out of it what we are ready and able to assimilate. It is not for us to judge other people’s paths, only to walk ours with honor and humility, mirth and reverence. If someone chooses to live the unexamined life, that is their own issue and not ours. Besides, at least she’s buying these books and supporting the authors instead of starting campaigns against racy billboard ads or indecency on public radio :-p

  • Xaia
    January 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Wonderful post! I agree, Wicca is not “supposed to be safe” as some seem to believe. It’s not all bright sunshine and flowers, there are shadows too, and this needs to be not only recognized, but addressed and handled in a manner to control the shadows and keep them and the “bright sunshine” in balance together.

  • Xaia
    January 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Wonderful post! I agree, Wicca is not “supposed to be safe” as some seem to believe. It’s not all bright sunshine and flowers, there are shadows too, and this needs to be not only recognized, but addressed and handled in a manner to control the shadows and keep them and the “bright sunshine” in balance together.

  • Xaia
    January 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Wonderful post! I agree, Wicca is not “supposed to be safe” as some seem to believe. It’s not all bright sunshine and flowers, there are shadows too, and this needs to be not only recognized, but addressed and handled in a manner to control the shadows and keep them and the “bright sunshine” in balance together.

  • Xaia
    January 8, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Wonderful post! I agree, Wicca is not “supposed to be safe” as some seem to believe. It’s not all bright sunshine and flowers, there are shadows too, and this needs to be not only recognized, but addressed and handled in a manner to control the shadows and keep them and the “bright sunshine” in balance together.

  • DeDra
    January 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Wonderfully put…..blessed be

  • DeDra
    January 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Wonderfully put…..blessed be

  • Brother MOLOCH 969
    January 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I cannot make any comments on the book as I have not read it yet and with the plethora of books I have here to read, it’s not likely I’ll get to read it anytime soon.

    I want to address however this mainstream McWiccan philosophy of the need to white wash the Occult. Remember that a lot of these McWiccans are converting from the Judeo-Xian mindset where Heaven is embraced & Hell is shunned. In McWicca, Summerland is Heaven & the Underworld is seen as Hell thus a major part of their fear is psychological and with proper training can be overcome.

    Secondly, authors from the sheeple publishing company in Minnesota put out fancy covered books that have pandered to this pathetic mindset of Light VS Darkness. Their argument: there is too much power in Darkness. Duh! Because if a McWiccan were to confront his/her fears & move past them, then s/he will have embraced power they’ve never imagined before.

    The problem is as one commentator pointed out which is training. Sheeple authors cannot adequately train someone and in fact the authors for that company do a horrid job of presenting the material in a power filled manner.

    Finally I’d like to say that playing with skulls when you do not know the name of the person is stupid. It’s not about symbolism because the Dead are connected to their relics. This is not to say that there are no ways to learn their names but putting someone’s skull on your altar without knowing the individual’s name in life, is foolish as you may invite serious trouble into your temple. If you want a skull, by an artificial one and paint it to look realistic. Then you do have a symbol.

    • Rowan Pendragon
      January 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      I agree completely that lack of training is a huge reason that this irrational light vs. dark element is still such an issue. I do have to wonder though; have we made it so much easier for that to be an issue through the encouragement of “do what you want Wicca” and telling people that training is basically not important, just do what you feel. I definitely think that people should obviously do what is right for them, but that doesn’t mean that a practice should be twisted to fit their needs and wants and instead they should keep looking for the right thing. And that includes the issue of training. I think that if you’re someone that is so scared by Christianity and the “do as I say” mentality and you don’t want to do anything that you’re told to do by someone else (one of the reasons I’ve had some people tell me they refuse to seek formal training) then that’s fine, but maybe there’s a different path better suited for them. I think formal training and the emphasis on its importance needs to come back in order to help with putting balance back into the Craft.

    • Weissdorn
      January 31, 2012 at 7:57 am

      LOL! I have never heard of the expression “McWiccans”. Classic!

  • Brother MOLOCH 969
    January 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I cannot make any comments on the book as I have not read it yet and with the plethora of books I have here to read, it’s not likely I’ll get to read it anytime soon.

    I want to address however this mainstream McWiccan philosophy of the need to white wash the Occult. Remember that a lot of these McWiccans are converting from the Judeo-Xian mindset where Heaven is embraced & Hell is shunned. In McWicca, Summerland is Heaven & the Underworld is seen as Hell thus a major part of their fear is psychological and with proper training can be overcome.

    Secondly, authors from the sheeple publishing company in Minnesota put out fancy covered books that have pandered to this pathetic mindset of Light VS Darkness. Their argument: there is too much power in Darkness. Duh! Because if a McWiccan were to confront his/her fears & move past them, then s/he will have embraced power they’ve never imagined before.

    The problem is as one commentator pointed out which is training. Sheeple authors cannot adequately train someone and in fact the authors for that company do a horrid job of presenting the material in a power filled manner.

    Finally I’d like to say that playing with skulls when you do not know the name of the person is stupid. It’s not about symbolism because the Dead are connected to their relics. This is not to say that there are no ways to learn their names but putting someone’s skull on your altar without knowing the individual’s name in life, is foolish as you may invite serious trouble into your temple. If you want a skull, by an artificial one and paint it to look realistic. Then you do have a symbol.

    • Rowan Pendragon
      January 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      I agree completely that lack of training is a huge reason that this irrational light vs. dark element is still such an issue. I do have to wonder though; have we made it so much easier for that to be an issue through the encouragement of “do what you want Wicca” and telling people that training is basically not important, just do what you feel. I definitely think that people should obviously do what is right for them, but that doesn’t mean that a practice should be twisted to fit their needs and wants and instead they should keep looking for the right thing. And that includes the issue of training. I think that if you’re someone that is so scared by Christianity and the “do as I say” mentality and you don’t want to do anything that you’re told to do by someone else (one of the reasons I’ve had some people tell me they refuse to seek formal training) then that’s fine, but maybe there’s a different path better suited for them. I think formal training and the emphasis on its importance needs to come back in order to help with putting balance back into the Craft.

    • Weissdorn
      January 31, 2012 at 7:57 am

      LOL! I have never heard of the expression “McWiccans”. Classic!

  • Brother MOLOCH 969
    January 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    I cannot make any comments on the book as I have not read it yet and with the plethora of books I have here to read, it’s not likely I’ll get to read it anytime soon.

    I want to address however this mainstream McWiccan philosophy of the need to white wash the Occult. Remember that a lot of these McWiccans are converting from the Judeo-Xian mindset where Heaven is embraced & Hell is shunned. In McWicca, Summerland is Heaven & the Underworld is seen as Hell thus a major part of their fear is psychological and with proper training can be overcome.

    Secondly, authors from the sheeple publishing company in Minnesota put out fancy covered books that have pandered to this pathetic mindset of Light VS Darkness. Their argument: there is too much power in Darkness. Duh! Because if a McWiccan were to confront his/her fears & move past them, then s/he will have embraced power they’ve never imagined before.

    The problem is as one commentator pointed out which is training. Sheeple authors cannot adequately train someone and in fact the authors for that company do a horrid job of presenting the material in a power filled manner.

    Finally I’d like to say that playing with skulls when you do not know the name of the person is stupid. It’s not about symbolism because the Dead are connected to their relics. This is not to say that there are no ways to learn their names but putting someone’s skull on your altar without knowing the individual’s name in life, is foolish as you may invite serious trouble into your temple. If you want a skull, by an artificial one and paint it to look realistic. Then you do have a symbol.

    • Rowan Pendragon
      January 10, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      I agree completely that lack of training is a huge reason that this irrational light vs. dark element is still such an issue. I do have to wonder though; have we made it so much easier for that to be an issue through the encouragement of “do what you want Wicca” and telling people that training is basically not important, just do what you feel. I definitely think that people should obviously do what is right for them, but that doesn’t mean that a practice should be twisted to fit their needs and wants and instead they should keep looking for the right thing. And that includes the issue of training. I think that if you’re someone that is so scared by Christianity and the “do as I say” mentality and you don’t want to do anything that you’re told to do by someone else (one of the reasons I’ve had some people tell me they refuse to seek formal training) then that’s fine, but maybe there’s a different path better suited for them. I think formal training and the emphasis on its importance needs to come back in order to help with putting balance back into the Craft.

  • David Salisbury
    January 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Excellent post. Lots of great things for us all to think about.

  • David Salisbury
    January 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Excellent post. Lots of great things for us all to think about.

  • Wicca is supposed to be safe? « Finding My Wiccan Way
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  • Cainwyne Ravenheart
    January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Another wonderful post Rowan. If anything has come from this it is the fact that I am now curious about the book. 🙂

    Admittedly I am a bit gun shy when it comes to Christian Day after his ‘interesting’ appearance on Ghost Adventures. I was not put off by the use of a skull, it was other things during the show. I will give the book a try.

    Blessed Be!

  • Cainwyne Ravenheart
    January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Another wonderful post Rowan. If anything has come from this it is the fact that I am now curious about the book. 🙂

    Admittedly I am a bit gun shy when it comes to Christian Day after his ‘interesting’ appearance on Ghost Adventures. I was not put off by the use of a skull, it was other things during the show. I will give the book a try.

    Blessed Be!

  • Cainwyne Ravenheart
    January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Another wonderful post Rowan. If anything has come from this it is the fact that I am now curious about the book. 🙂

    Admittedly I am a bit gun shy when it comes to Christian Day after his ‘interesting’ appearance on Ghost Adventures. I was not put off by the use of a skull, it was other things during the show. I will give the book a try.

    Blessed Be!

  • Weissdorn
    January 31, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Thanks for this blog. I enjoyed the objective way you presented your opposing view to Christian’s book and defending the diversity of heathen and pagan culture. Personally, this attitude of “our way in the correct way” and “your way is the evil way” irritates me too. I believe many Wiccans subscribe to this idealism of only practicing “safe magick” orginates from the fear of being automatically lumped together with Satanists, which have a lower acceptance level with mainstream society. Instead of inward focus on themselves, they take it upon themselves to defend their chosen belief paths by attacking other types of heathenism as people who “mess up the pagan community nest”. It’s sad that they are not trying to encourage more tolerance to mainstream society, but choose instead to attack other forms of heathen belief they believe is making them appear unacceptable or embarrassing publically.

  • Weissdorn
    January 31, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Thanks for this blog. I enjoyed the objective way you presented your opposing view to Christian’s book and defending the diversity of heathen and pagan culture. Personally, this attitude of “our way in the correct way” and “your way is the evil way” irritates me too. I believe many Wiccans subscribe to this idealism of only practicing “safe magick” orginates from the fear of being automatically lumped together with Satanists, which have a lower acceptance level with mainstream society. Instead of inward focus on themselves, they take it upon themselves to defend their chosen belief paths by attacking other types of heathenism as people who “mess up the pagan community nest”. It’s sad that they are not trying to encourage more tolerance to mainstream society, but choose instead to attack other forms of heathen belief they believe is making them appear unacceptable or embarrassing publically.

  • Weissdorn
    January 31, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Thanks for this blog. I enjoyed the objective way you presented your opposing view to Christian’s book and defending the diversity of heathen and pagan culture. Personally, this attitude of “our way in the correct way” and “your way is the evil way” irritates me too. I believe many Wiccans subscribe to this idealism of only practicing “safe magick” orginates from the fear of being automatically lumped together with Satanists, which have a lower acceptance level with mainstream society. Instead of inward focus on themselves, they take it upon themselves to defend their chosen belief paths by attacking other types of heathenism as people who “mess up the pagan community nest”. It’s sad that they are not trying to encourage more tolerance to mainstream society, but choose instead to attack other forms of heathen belief they believe is making them appear unacceptable or embarrassing publically.

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  • Ruadhán
    February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Ah, I guess paganism wasn’t working out for the pagans.

    False. While there were certainly many willing converts, Christianity only really rose to dominance by a combination of political strategy and brute force. Thousands of lives were lost in the name of Christian dominance.

  • Koryn
    October 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I know I’m almost a year late to the party, but hey.

    My point is really quite simple. If the reviewer is so against skulls and wants to keep Wicca a “safe” religion – which (whether I agree with them or not) if that’s their thing, then whatever flies your broom – why would you purchase a book titled “The Witches’ Book of The Dead” with a big picture of a skull right on the front cover. That title/cover combo would say to me that the book might contain a variety of things involving the dead and possibly skulls. He/She was obviously upset by previous book purchases that had pictures involving skulls, why would they knowingly and willingly purchase another one? My suggestion is that if they don’t like books that have skulls depicted in or on them…stop buying them. And as the reviewer themself stated “stick with the greats like Cunningham, Buckland and Farrar”.

    I suppose the thing that annoyed me the most about the review wasn’t so much the whole “Wicca was meant to be safe” part but the implication that because they didn’t agree with a couple of parts, the book should be deemed unreadable and a corruption of their version of Wicca. Everyone is entitled to practice Wicca in their own way with their own belief system. The fact that this person seems to be missing, is that there are many paths. The assumption seems to be that theirs is the only way.

    P.S.
    Dear Reviewer,
    To address your comment of “You do NOT NEED A SKULL TO BE A WITCH!”.
    No one said you did. Have you ever bothered to ask why they use them?

  • Koryn
    October 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I know I’m almost a year late to the party, but hey.

    My point is really quite simple. If the reviewer is so against skulls and wants to keep Wicca a “safe” religion – which (whether I agree with them or not) if that’s their thing, then whatever flies your broom – why would you purchase a book titled “The Witches’ Book of The Dead” with a big picture of a skull right on the front cover. That title/cover combo would say to me that the book might contain a variety of things involving the dead and possibly skulls. He/She was obviously upset by previous book purchases that had pictures involving skulls, why would they knowingly and willingly purchase another one? My suggestion is that if they don’t like books that have skulls depicted in or on them…stop buying them. And as the reviewer themself stated “stick with the greats like Cunningham, Buckland and Farrar”.

    I suppose the thing that annoyed me the most about the review wasn’t so much the whole “Wicca was meant to be safe” part but the implication that because they didn’t agree with a couple of parts, the book should be deemed unreadable and a corruption of their version of Wicca. Everyone is entitled to practice Wicca in their own way with their own belief system. The fact that this person seems to be missing, is that there are many paths. The assumption seems to be that theirs is the only way.

    P.S.
    Dear Reviewer,
    To address your comment of “You do NOT NEED A SKULL TO BE A WITCH!”.
    No one said you did. Have you ever bothered to ask why they use them?

  • Koryn
    October 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I know I’m almost a year late to the party, but hey.

    My point is really quite simple. If the reviewer is so against skulls and wants to keep Wicca a “safe” religion – which (whether I agree with them or not) if that’s their thing, then whatever flies your broom – why would you purchase a book titled “The Witches’ Book of The Dead” with a big picture of a skull right on the front cover. That title/cover combo would say to me that the book might contain a variety of things involving the dead and possibly skulls. He/She was obviously upset by previous book purchases that had pictures involving skulls, why would they knowingly and willingly purchase another one? My suggestion is that if they don’t like books that have skulls depicted in or on them…stop buying them. And as the reviewer themself stated “stick with the greats like Cunningham, Buckland and Farrar”.

    I suppose the thing that annoyed me the most about the review wasn’t so much the whole “Wicca was meant to be safe” part but the implication that because they didn’t agree with a couple of parts, the book should be deemed unreadable and a corruption of their version of Wicca. Everyone is entitled to practice Wicca in their own way with their own belief system. The fact that this person seems to be missing, is that there are many paths. The assumption seems to be that theirs is the only way.

    P.S.
    Dear Reviewer,
    To address your comment of “You do NOT NEED A SKULL TO BE A WITCH!”.
    No one said you did. Have you ever bothered to ask why they use them?

  • Koryn
    October 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I know I’m almost a year late to the party, but hey.

    My point is really quite simple. If the reviewer is so against skulls and wants to keep Wicca a “safe” religion – which (whether I agree with them or not) if that’s their thing, then whatever flies your broom – why would you purchase a book titled “The Witches’ Book of The Dead” with a big picture of a skull right on the front cover. That title/cover combo would say to me that the book might contain a variety of things involving the dead and possibly skulls. He/She was obviously upset by previous book purchases that had pictures involving skulls, why would they knowingly and willingly purchase another one? My suggestion is that if they don’t like books that have skulls depicted in or on them…stop buying them. And as the reviewer themself stated “stick with the greats like Cunningham, Buckland and Farrar”.

    I suppose the thing that annoyed me the most about the review wasn’t so much the whole “Wicca was meant to be safe” part but the implication that because they didn’t agree with a couple of parts, the book should be deemed unreadable and a corruption of their version of Wicca. Everyone is entitled to practice Wicca in their own way with their own belief system. The fact that this person seems to be missing, is that there are many paths. The assumption seems to be that theirs is the only way.

    P.S.
    Dear Reviewer,
    To address your comment of “You do NOT NEED A SKULL TO BE A WITCH!”.
    No one said you did. Have you ever bothered to ask why they use them?

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