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WICCAN/NEOPAGAN NEWS IN THE MEDIA

YEAR 2006

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Wiccan news for 2006:

News about Wiccans and other Neopagans in the media appears to be drying up. We suspect that some of the reasons are:

bulletMany new conservative Christian web sites and books have accurately reflected Wicca instead of reprinting misinformation based on religious propaganda from the Burning Times
bulletThe public has generally become much more aware of Wicca, and have accepted it as a valid minority religion.
bulletEnough Wiccans have enforced their rights through the court. Fewer public school districts continue to ban religious jewelry; fewer municipal councils reject non-Judeo-Christian representatives for the delivery of invocations.

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News items:

bullet2006-JAN-16: Canada: Hogwarts-like school to open in Alberta: A school patterned after the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry popularized by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books is now underway in Canada. It is called the "Northern Star College of Mystical Studies" and is being advertised as an "adult version of Hogwarts." Their diploma program is underway; they are taking applications until February for a two year certificate program in herbology, potions, astrology, divination, aromatherapy, flower essences, and other topics. Robert Rogers, an instructor of plant spirit medicine at Northern Star said: "As we go through the school system and move onto our different careers, some of the magic (of childhood) gets lost. These kinds of classes are of interest to people who want to rediscover that magic for themselves, for their family, or as a path for a career." Catherine Potter, an astrologer and hypnotherapist who is unrelated to Harry said: "Harry Potter starts to get everybody curious about the mystic inside of them. I think it stirs a yearning in people to know more than just the five senses." 1,2
bullet2006-JUL-02: Greece: Neopagans surface: A group of Neopagans celebrating their annual Prometheus festival met on Mount Olympus. At one time there were 4,000 of them dancing in a meadow -- some with very little clothing. Some came from the UK, elsewhere in Europe and Canada. Some leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church were not amused. Father Eustathios Kollas presides over the community of Greek priests. He said:

'What their worshippers symbolize, and clearly want, is a return to the monstrous dark delusions of the past. They should be stopped."

In spite of strong protests from the Church, the government allowed Neopagans to form a cultural association. They hope to be recognized eventually as an official religion. James O'Dell, a Neopagan from south London, UK, said:

'We want to conduct our rituals there. Our religion may sound strange but we're actually quite boring and normal, apart from this." 3

bullet2006-NOV: WI: Law suit launched: Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of Circle Sanctuary. Their goal is to have grave markers provided by the Department for Wiccans as they are for other religions. Selena Fox, a Wiccan priestess and founder of the Sanctuary attributes the lack of acceptance of the pentacle symbol as religious prejudice. She said:

"I didn't want to have to sue the government to try to get the U.S. Constitution upheld. It's discrimination. There's no other explanation I can think of." 4

More information.

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Reference:

  1. "Alta magic school casts spell on adults inspired by Hogwarts," Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, SK), 2006-JAN-16, at: http://www.canada.com/
  2. The Northern Star College of Mystical Studies has a home page at: www.centercollege-wholistic.ca
  3. Helena Smith "Greek Neopagans vs. Orthodox Church," The Observer (UK), 2006-JUL-02.
  4. Scott Bauer, "Wiccan priestess fights over graves," Associated Press, 2006-DEC-21. Published by Toronto Star, DEC-22, Page A23.

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Site navigation: Home page > World Religions > Wicca > News > here

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Copyright 2006 & 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally published: 2006-JAN-19
Latest update: 2007-JAN-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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