News about Wiccans and other
Neopagans in the media appears to be drying up.
We suspect that some of the reasons are:
Many new conservative Christian web sites and books have accurately
reflected Wicca instead of reprinting misinformation based on religious
propaganda from the Burning Times
The public has generally become much more aware of Wicca, and have
accepted it as a valid minority religion.
Enough 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.
2006-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
2006-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
'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
2006-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."