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Religious Tolerance logo

Wiccan/Neopagan news in the media

YEAR 2007

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Wiccan news for 2007:

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.

bullet Many 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:

bullet2007-JAN-21: Greece: Neopagans hold ritual to honor Zeus: A group of 20 Neopagans held a ritual in honor of Zeus, the "King of the gods and the mover of things." Its purpose was to promote world peace. The ceremony was held at a 1,800 year old temple in the middle of Athens. This is believed to be the first public pagan ceremony held in Greece since the Roman Empire established Christianity as the official religion, banned all Pagan rituals, seized control of Pagan temples, and exiled or executed Pagan officials. This ritual was illegal because the Culture Ministry bans them to protect the temple remains.

They are members of Ellinais, a group founded in 2006 that currently has 34 members. It won a court battle to attain recognition by the state. They are now asking the government to register its offices as a place of worship. 1

bullet2007-FEB-19: USA: Pentecostal chaplain converts to Wicca and is fired: Don Larsen had a religious conversion while on duty as a Pentecostal chaplain at Camp Anaconda, the largest U.S. support base in Iraq. He converted to Wicca, an Earth-base, environmentally conscious, non-sexist, non-homophobic, tolerant religion. On 2006-JUL-06, he applied to become the first Wiccan chaplain in the U.S. Armed Forces. By the end of the year, in spite of an unblemished service record, his request was denied, he was withdrawn from Iraq, and he was removed from the chaplain service. 2 More details

bullet 2007-APR-23: USA: Veterans Administration caves in and follows U.S. Constitution: For almost a decade, the Veterans Administration had refused to place Wiccan symbols on grave markers of Wiccan soldiers. Faced with a lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State that the VA was certain to lose, the agency arranged an out-of-court settlement. It calls for the Wiccan symbol, a pentacle, to be placed on grave markers within 14 days for all families who have pending pentacle requests with the VA. This will provide the symbols in time for Memorial Day. They also agreed to add the pentacle as #37 in a list of allowable religious symbols so that future requests will be facilitated.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, director of Americans United said:

"This settlement has forced the Bush Administration into acknowledging that there are no second class religions in America, including among our nation's veterans." 3

More details.

bullet2007-APR: UK: Article on teenage Witches: The Journal of Beliefs & Values, a British journal published three times a year, has an article titled "Consumer witchcraft: are teenage witches a creation of commercial interests." The abstract reads:

"The production of books, magazines, kits, films, TV programmes and Internet sites aimed at teenagers, especially girls, on witchcraft, Wicca and related topics, has been a growth industry of the late 1990s and 2000s. This article examines whether Ezzy's distinction between 'traditional witchcraft', a serious religious path, and 'white witchcraft', an aspect of consumerism, can be used to understand the phenomenon of 'teenage witchcraft'. An analysis of some of the materials available and of interviews with young women who identify as witches attempts to answer the question of whether young people are being exploited by commercial interests, or whether the 'teen witch' phenomenon cannot be so easily dismissed. The author suggests that at least some young people who identify as witches or Pagans are not mere consumers of exploitative materials, but are well-informed, critical thinkers articulating their own serious spiritual and theological perspectives." 4

bullet2007-JUL-02: India: Government calls on Wiccans to reduce infanticide rate: Because of traditional denigration of women in India, infanticide of female newborns and neglect of girls is common in some areas of the country. The government's National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) has nominated Ipsita Roy Chakraverti, a Wiccan and social activist, to lead a panel charged with improving the status of young girls. Chakraverti said: "This is a triumph for Wicca as the establishment was against Wiccans for years." According to WorldWide Religious News:

"Domestic violence and sexual abuse involving young girls is reported frequently in the country and a 2006 government survey found that 45 percent of girls were married before the legal marriageable age of 18."

"India's adult female literacy rate was 47.8 percent, compared to the adult male rate of 73.4 percent in 2004."

"The sex ratio in the country is still one of the world's lowest, with an average of 933 females recorded for every 1,000 males in the 2001 census."

" 'Education of girls even in big cities was dismal and census figures show that the population of the girl child was dropping,' said Chakraverti, adding that tough laws and education of parents were needed to force change. 'Most cannot complete primary education'." 6

bullet2007-SEP-04: MD: Wiccan claims lottery winnings: Ellwood Bartlett, 40, a Wiccan, was one of the winners in the $330 million Mega Millions lottery. His share is $82 million ($48.6 million after taxes). He is an accountant and plans to retire. He plans to distribute some of his winnings to family members, and plans to help improve a New Age gift shop that he considers his spiritual home, and focus on teaching. He and his wife were on the way to the shop where he teaches Wicca and Reiki healing when they stopped a a liquor store and bought two $5.00 tickets. According to CNN News: "Bartlett, an accountant from Dundalk, said he made a bargain with the multiple gods associated with his Wiccan beliefs: 'You let me win the lottery and I'll teach.'  Both tickets he purchased had numbers chosen randomly from the computer." 5

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  1. "Zeus makes a comeback in Greece,", 2007-JAN-21, at:
  2. Alan Cooperman, "For Gods and Country: The Army Chaplain Who Wanted to Switch to Wicca? Transfer Denied," Washington Post, 2007-FEB-19, at:
  3. Scott Bauer, "VA Allows Wiccan Symbols on Headstones," Associated Press, 2007-APR-23, at:
  4. Denise Cush, "Consumer witchcraft: are teenage witches a creation of commercial interests?" Journal of Beliefs & Values, Volume 28, Issue 1, 2007-APR, Pages 45 to 53. See:
  5. "Wicca teacher says he has a winning ticket in Mega Millions," CNN News, 2007-SEP-02, at:
  6. Bappa Majumdar, "Govt turns to Wiccan queen to save girls", Reuters, 2007-JUL, at:

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

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Copyright © 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Originally published: 2007-JAN-22
Latest update: 2007-SEP-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

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