To the editor ,
Coming from a true pagan, this article was an utter disgrace to myself and anyone else I’ve met who would call themselves as such.
The “definition” you have proposed was of a pagan being an individual who is conscious of the environment and how it affects humans.
We sound like a bunch of environmentalists. Not that we don’t care about the environment, but that is the worst definition of a pagan I could possibly think of.
It has nothing to do with the belief system and discusses nothing of our main concerns with ourselves, our lives and our culture.
It’s wonderful that the campus is taking action to make the religion more well-known, but a vast majority of your information is incredibly inaccurate.
It is true that paganism is not limited to Wicca, in that sense of the word “pagan,” but by naming Native Americans and Shamans, you seem to be implying that a pagan is anyone who doesn’t believe in the Christian God.
If this was the case you may as well throw Buddhists and Jews in there as well.
The only religions you named that apply to the genre of pagan to which you are referring are Wicca, Celtic religions and Druids.
The quote from Bryan Sheets is a great quote to use. It is very applicable and accurate. The following examples, however (“The nation’s stigmatism toward paganism stems deep into its history, beginning with the witchcraft trials of the 1600s”) are not.
In insinuating that the 1600s are where witchcraft began is a couple millenia off.
The oldest evidence of Wicca/witchcraft/paganism in that sense, was a Book of Shadows (spellbook) dated over 1,000 years before the time of Christ.
As far as the film examples go, “The Craft” is a fairly accurate representation of beliefs founded in Wicca.
It is an extremely modernized, Hollywood-glammed version of this, but a lot of the “ritual” in the film is basely accurate. The ability to float in mid-air is not.
“The Blair Witch Project” I have not seen, but I’m sure their version of a witch would be similar to the witches in the “Wizard of Oz.” Not even comparable to a pagan witch.
Also, as far as tools are concerned, the wording used there (“herbs, stones, candles and other metaphysical goods”) makes a pagan sound like a New Age hippie.
Please use proper terminology.
I understand the average student wouldn’t know what an athame (ceremonial knife) is, but “metaphysical goods” and “stones” just sound outright silly.
I read this article and feel infantile while reading it. It’s actually almost painful.
I have been involved in the pagan religion for about 10 years, since I was very young.
I have been very educated on the subject through practice and reading and experiences.
Please, please do a little outside research on a subject that you are unfamiliar with and that (I’m sure) a majority of the campus is unfamiliar with as well.
Do not confuse and muddle the subject more than it has been. Oh, and how it has been.
The author rarely touched on what Wiccans actually believe in. I’m sure the student body is still wondering that.
I don’t mean to rip into the author, but I cannot stand a piece of published writing that is so uninformed as this.
Katie Hilton Sophomore, art