Who’s afraid of the big, bad Witch?

Ever since we led a protest rite against Buncombe County officials’ sale of public parkland graced by a pair of magestic old magnolia trees to developer Stewart Coleman, the über-Republican Carolina Stompers have aimed religiously bigoted attacks at our Coven Oldenwilde—first through a video ridiculing City Council candidate Elaine Lite for participating in the protest, and more recently in Mountain Xpress (“Fighting Mad,” Dec. 5, 2007).

We responded by challenging Stompers co-founders Chad and Nancy Nesbitt to a public debate. The Nesbitts refused and called us more bigoted names, and attempted to divert attention by stealing our idea for a debate and applying it to the Democratic Party. (As a religious nonprofit, Coven Oldenwilde complies with federal law in not affiliating with any political party.)

Since then, a Stompers supporter has made online comments claiming that our offer was some sort of “setup.” This supporter also tried to counter our proposal for a simple debate with timed rounds and a neutral moderator by floating a vague, complex demand for one featuring a “panel of judges” dispensing “points for form”—as if this were some high-school gymnastics competition rather than a golden opportunity for public dialogue between opposite sides in the culture war.

But no amount of bluff and bluster will erase locals’ memories that these chest-pounding crusaders crumpled when intelligent Pagans pushed back against their bullying.

Many people who would welcome the opportunity to see folks with wildly differing views debate perennially fascinating, controversial issues have expressed support for our proposed “Spiritual Smackdown.” So here’s how we would have answered the four questions raised in our proposal:

Was the United States founded on Christian or Pagan principles?
It was the Pagan Greeks who invented democracy. The Pagan Roman Republic was a pioneering experiment in representative rule. And to underscore the specifically nonbiblical origins of America’s form of government, her founders intentionally modeled the architecture of our government buildings and shrines—from the Capitol Rotunda to the U.S. Supreme Court building and the Lincoln Memorial—on Pagan temples, not Christian churches.

Even our nation’s original motto is a quote drawn from the Pagan poet Virgil: “E Pluribus Unum” (“out of many, one”) and not the modern, McCarthy-era “In God We Trust.”

Is it better to worship one God, no God, or many Gods?
Monotheism, the belief in only one God, leads to enforcement of conformity and the insistence that there’s only one way to the truth. When monomaniacs monopolize spirituality, the world suffers from inquisitions and jihads.

Atheism, the denial of deity, leads to denial of all spirituality and to the insistence that only matter exists. When nothing is sacred, everything’s up for utilitarian grabs.

Polytheism, the worship of many Gods and Goddesses, reflects Nature’s diversity and leads to pluralism, creativity and tolerance. When divinity manifests in infinite forms, all beings’ spirituality is recognized and respected.

Most folks of whatever “ism” can agree that the unethical sale of public parkland by county officials to a money-driven developer was a violation of a sacred public trust.

Unfortunately, far too many people—regardless of the creeds they claim to follow—actually worship only the ultimate human-made idol: money. And the greed this cult inflames in its devotees leads them to pervert everything.

We’re forced to wonder which God the “Christian” Stompers truly worship, when they’ve refused to express any moral outrage about the sale of park property while attacking and ridiculing the sincere citizens of every faith who joined our protest.

Should children and teens be allowed to study Witchcraft?
The magic Witches practice is a sophisticated art based on the ancient understanding that everything in the universe is interconnected in patterns called correspondences.

As we wrote in The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells For Modern Problems, “If you’re a student in school, studying many different subjects, you are especially fortunate to be learning the Art of Correspondences now—it will help you find the connections between such seemingly diverse disciplines as math and music, history and poetry, and geology and dance.”

Kids who study Witchcraft discover the magic hidden in mundane subjects. For example, herbalism can enliven home ec; smithcraft can animate shop class; numerology gives meaning to math.

Sadly, the Craft of the Wise has for so long been persecuted by monotheists and derided by atheists that students are often bullied and punished by teachers, peers and parents when they openly express interest in it. (We receive hundreds of complaints from teens whose books are burned by their parents, and whose teachers refuse to let them write reports about Wicca while allowing other students to write about Christianity.)

Despite their constitutional mandate to treat all religions as equal, public schools routinely block Pagan and Wiccan Web sites on classroom and library computers. Yet with many young people feeling the call to spirituality at an early age, and Wicca growing so fast that it’s projected to be America’s third-largest religion by 2012, parents and school officials are doomed to fail if they continue trying to repress kids’ natural desire to explore magic.

Should humans have dominion over nature (as the Bible exhorts), or should we treat animals, rocks and trees as equals (as Pagans believe)?
The monotheistic doctrine that humans are superior to all other forms of existence—which is shared by materialist science—encourages debasement of the earth and its inhabitants as mere things to be exploited as resources.

Pagans, however, believe—along with many quantum physicists—that consciousness and sentience pervade the cosmos down to the subatomic level. This means that other species, plants and even minerals are animated with a spirit akin to humans’ own. Recognizing this leads us to treat animals, rocks—even magnolia trees—as we would fellow persons worthy of the same respect that we deserve.

[Lady Passion and *Diuvei are the high priestess and high priest of Coven Oldenwilde in Asheville (www.oldenwilde.org).]

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104 thoughts on “Who’s afraid of the big, bad Witch?

  1. Traveleh

    Let me be the first to congratulate you for your win over the forces of evil.(stompers) I would love to learn more about your beliefs, could I become a warlock? Are you affiliated with the pagan motorcycle club? I met some of those guys once, they seemed like a fun loving group of young people. Although prone to ad-hominick attacks, they seemed quite harmless.

  2. lokel

    What a hoot!

    The poor neo-cons have tucked their tails and gone back into hiding….

    The reason the Nesbitts don’t want an open debate is because they are afraid of what might happen … FEAR is their motivator not love as JESUS (one of their heroes) preached!

    Congrats to the Coven!

  3. Rob Close

    ugh, wiccans as polytheists? that’s an ugly word describing a belief that i doubt most wiccans would really subscribe to, if they really thought about words and what they meant.

    polytheism implies that there are many gods, all of equal power. it denies that there is one ultimate force in the universe. are you sure you want to call your coven polytheistic?

    how about Henotheism, or Monolatrism? Both acknowledge that there are multiple gods, but have varied views on why only one is worthy of worship. Or Panentheism, which I personally subscribe to (like pantheism, but more coherent).

    Worshipping a bunch of tiny, equal gods is not coherent at all though. Ultimately.

  4. Ugh, Witches ARE polytheists, as we clearly explained, Rob.

    Sorry you find the word “ugly”, but we find it less repulsive than “monotheistic”, of which Xtians, Jews, and Muslims ascribe ;-)

    We are also pantheists, animists, hedonists, and theurgists.

    Are God/desses are Mighty, not tiny ;-)

  5. Gordon Smith

    I think ampersands and asterisks are pretty cool, but I want an octothorpe in my name.

    By the way, after that last big Stomper/Wiccans thread, Don Yelton contacted 23 different media folks, attributed a Lady Passion quote to me, and titled it “Gordon Smith Admits To Being A Wiccan”. No kidding.

    Here’s my writeup about it at Scrutiny Hooligans:

    http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us/?p=4841

  6. I’m so sorry Don used my quote against you, Gordon!

    Clearly my name was posted beside the comment in question, as it has been beside all my comments on this and other threads.

    Don is illiterate or mean-spirited or both.

    If you decide to sue Don for slander, I’ll testify on your behalf.

  7. Gordon Smith

    I don’t take Don seriously enough to go to all that trouble. I’ll settle for just telling everyone about his nincompoopery.

  8. brebro

    Well, it’s good to know the Wiccans and Xtians can get together on at least one subject and put down the atheists.

    By the way, I’d like an umlaut in my name, that would cöol.

  9. Nam Vet

    Here is Wikipedia on Polytheism:

    “Gods and divinity

    Main articles: deity, god (male deity), and goddess

    The deities of polytheistic religions are agents in mythology, where they are portrayed as complex personages of greater or lesser status, with individual skills, needs, desires and histories. These gods are often seen as similar to humans (anthropomorphic) in their personality traits, but with additional individual powers, abilities, knowledge or perceptions.

    Polytheism cannot be cleanly separated from the animist beliefs prevalent in most ethnic religions. The gods of polytheism are in many cases the highest order of a continuum of supernatural beings or spirits, which may include ancestors), demons, wights and others. In some cases these spirits are divided into celestial or chthonic classes, and belief in the existence of all these beings does not imply that all are worshipped.”

    Rob, you may think equality amongst the gods are “implied”, but I don’t read the above as saying that at all.

    Lady Passion, excellent article outlining your religion and answering the Stompers’ questions. BUT, I really wonder why you keep this going? By continuing to argue endlessly about this you pull yourself down to the level you accuse the Stompers of. Let’s just move on.

  10. What a nice job of highlighting the place and virtue of pagan values in the here and now. It should inspire some thinking.

    And the magic part is working too. You’d already reduced the Chadster with bulging bicep to a dangling Chad. Now, I wonder if he can even muster a dingle.

  11. popsicle

    why’s everyone so afraid of atheists? would ms. passion discount richard dawkins, albert einstein, and douglas adams as utilitarian automatons? so what if nothing is absolutely sacred? that doesn’t mean that nothing is beautiful, stupendous, horrifying, or awe-inspiring… some people just aren’t superstitious.

  12. travelah

    I am curious how many Ashevillians actually buy this foolish post and do they really know the history of this very modern religion? Perhaps somebody with some time will write a countering letter.

  13. Rob Close

    here’s my problem with Polytheism – it effectively declaring one of three possibilities.

    a) there is no ultimate supreme God, but rather multiple gods with near-ultimate power, perhaps at odds with each other, perhaps in harmony. regardless, no ultimate principle uniting.

    b) there are multiple ultimates Gods, each a total supreme total.

    c) it’s a misnomer. “”Soft polytheists” regard their multiplicity of gods as being manifestations of either common entities, or representing different aspects or facets of a single personal god, the latter also sometimes known as “inclusive monotheists”, as are many modern neopagan groups.” ~ wiki, of course.

    of course, since lady passion has been saying all these horrible things about monotheism, I’ll assume that her coven is against view C. which is really what i was testing for here, after seeing all that nastiness against monotheism.

    which, in my philosophical opinion, is the only view that is ultimately consistent. which is why i consider polytheism an ugly word – A & B polytheism make no sense, and C is a misnomer.

  14. Brebro & Popsicle: We did not bash atheists, we simply showed the dangers both extremes can exert on Nature — Xtianity and atheism alike.

    NamVet: Wikipedia is a reference for the masses and hence simplistic or erroneous on many levels.

    We kept “this going” until we were sure the Nesbitts had tucked tail and run. Our Commentary is likely the final word on the matter. The rest is to assure that commenters understand our Commentary and don’t use it as a bash-medium.

    Mike Hopping: Thanks for your wise and witty comments ;-)

    Travelah: The Olde Religion used to be persecuted because its antiquity threatened the “new” cult of Xtianity.

    NOW you try to portray Witches as “modern”?

    How convenient for you ;-)

    Arratik & all: The asterisk in *Diuvei’s name is a linguistic convention.

    Asterisks that precede words show that the word came from a dead language.

    *Diuvei’s name derives from Oscan, a precursor to Roman, and a long-dead language.

    Fine if you don’t want to read and learn about such things, but then don’t assume the others who know more than you are just being arbitrarily weird :-)

  15. Rob Close:

    Yes to a). in part.

    Yes, polytheists believe that an infinite Universe requires and has many Gods and Goddess — each equal, different, necessary, and helpful in Their own way.

    Some “uniting” principles exist, such as there being a soul in all things as well as humans, animals, etc.

    But generally, no, we do not believe in one male God Creator.

    Be more clear re: your b). contention and I’ll address it.

    I agree re: c). “Soft polytheists” IS a misnomer, but then again, I in my previous post of my dim estimation of Wiki’s merits :-)

    Clearly polytheism is so multi-faceted and alien to most monotheists, they become confused and cannot fathom its wondrous complexities ;-)

    But we’ve not written “horrible” or “nasty” things about monotheism — only pointed out its historically negative influence on Nature and humanity.

  16. brebro

    With all due respect, Lady Passion I don’t think it’s really up to you to decide whether or not your calling a diverse and unorganized section of the population “extremists” simply because they refuse to accept as fact the differing and contradicting fantastic claims of multiple organized groups merely on faith alone is or is not considered “bashing” them. If he or she feels bashed, they they are bashed.

    One can’t ever truly know what can upset another. I mean, look how bent out of shape you got from people joking about punctuation and names. Who could have seen that coming? Well, GloLadyTV probably could have, but the atheists would not believe her.

  17. quotequeen

    The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
    ~ Sophocles

  18. Nam Vet

    Thanks quotequeen. Great quote.

    Lady Passion, “The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
    ~ Sophocles”

  19. Chuck Zimmerman

    “He who steadfastly observes those moral precepts in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heavon as to the dogmas in which they all differ”. Thomas Jefferson.
    Jefferson thought that Calvin was an Atheist.
    Jefferson believed that “trinitarrianism was a desease”.
    Thank God for him.
    Kick it Lady Passion.

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/jefferson_adams.html:

    Which truly translated means `in the beginning God existed, and reason (or mind) was with God, and that mind was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were created by it, and without it was made not one thing which was made’. Yet this text, so plainly declaring the doctrine of Jesus that the world was created by the supreme, intelligent being, has been perverted by modern Christians to build up a second person of their tritheism by a mistranslation of the word . One of it’s legitimate meanings indeed is `a word.’ But, in that sense, it makes an unmeaning jargon: while the other meaning `reason’, equally legitimate, explains rationally the eternal preexistence of God, and his creation of the world. Knowing how incomprehensible it was that `a word,’ the mere action or articulation of the voice and organs of speech could create a world, they undertake to make of this articulation a second preexisting being, and ascribe to him, and not to God, the creation of the universe. The Atheist here plumes himself on the uselessness of such a God, and the simpler hypothesis of a self-existent universe. The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.

  20. Brebro: You misquote me, for I did not call anyone an “extremist”.

    “I mean, look how bent out of shape you got from people joking about punctuation and names.”

    I’ve never gotten “bent” about comments or punctuation — that’s been the Stompers.

    Re: names — I merely educated those who did not seem to know about the matter :-)

    Quotequeen, Namvet,Zimmeman, Brebro, Trey:

    Notice how we didn’t have to rely on others’ quotes to make our points in our Commentary?

    This is because to do so is as weak a tool for a keen mind as quoting Webster’s or Wikipedia is in order for a person to prove their thesis :-)

    Anybody out there who can debate the actual MERITS of our Commentary?

    I thought that’s what these comment lists were for…

  21. Nam Vet

    Lady Passion, we can discuss your post all day long, but none of us are going to be converted to Wiccan Witchyness. You made your point, and I don’t agree. Of course you could change the subject yourself by railing against the Stompers some more. Let’s all get in agoodlymood and just be grateful to Goddess for all the trees we have in and around Asheville! Awomen. :)

  22. travelah

    Lady Passion, how silly you are. Oscan is not a precursor to “Roman”. The language of the Latins was , well, Latin. The Latins coexisted with the Oscans who lived in the boot of Italy. As for Diuvei, it is entertaining to know that we have Zeus or Jupiter or Dyaus in our midst (all four being essentially the same “god”). Perhaps the thunder of Mt. Piscah will be still for a time.

  23. I didn’t ask you to convert, as I doubt you’d make a goodly Witch, NamVet ;-)

    I’d like to “be grateful… for all the trees we have in and around Asheville”, but the Downtown Commission approved Coleman’s condo plan today, preparing for Council rubber-stamp and the potential death of the magnolias.

    Where have you guys been at and what have you done to save these trees, this Wiccan wonders?

    Travelah: No, Latin IS Roman. Oscan preceded Latin. Get your facts straight.

    Indeed, *Diuvei means “Sky God”, and is based on the same root as Zeus, Jupiter, etc.

  24. brebro

    “Notice how we didn’t have to rely on others’ quotes to make our points in our Commentary? This is because to do so is as weak a tool for a keen mind as quoting Webster’s or Wikipedia is in order for a person to prove their thesis :-)”

    ~ Lady Passion

  25. brebro

    “We did not bash atheists, we simply showed the dangers both extremes can exert on Nature — Xtianity and atheism alike.”
    ~Lady Passion

    “You misquote me, for I did not call anyone an ‘extremist’.”
    ~Lady Passion

  26. popsicle

    if choosing not to worship anything and to seek knowledge instead of relying on faith makes me an extremist, i’ll take it.

  27. Bobaloo

    My goodness, Lady Passion, you sure do seem litigious. I only mention this because bringing up lawsuits, copyright and otherwise, seems a tad desperate.

    As far as question one, you don’t have the answer. Neither do I, Nesbitt, or anyone else. It’s best to let people believe in what they wish without claiming yours is the best. Live and let live, as far as I’m concerned.

    I do have a question for you: If your son and/or daughter wanted to become a Christian and attend, say, a Baptist church, would you allow it?

  28. Popsicle:

    One of the 4 Witch Powers is “the Power to Know”, so we above many value knowledge — both of the seen and the unseen. This is why The Olde Religion is called the “Craft of the Wise” ;-)

    Folks can’t “see” dimensions, and even scientists have only lately postulated the existence of 11 dimensions at present count, although they cannot yet definitively prove them.

    Withces have known of this for centuries without benefit of “science”. We don’t believe it prudent to embrance science to the exclusion of spirit, which we observe actively operating in our daily lives.

    Bobaloo:

    “I only mention this [litigiousness] because bringing up lawsuits, copyright [infringement] and otherwise [?], seems a tad desperate.”

    Funny how those who break or bend the law often cry foul when their actions are challenged by those offended by it ;-)

    I’m certain if WE played as fast and loose on these levels as the Stompers have done, that they would be the first to ‘cry foul” and rightly so ;-)

    What are you referring to in “question one”? Be specific, and I’ll elaborate…

    My daughter is grown and follows the spirituality of her choice. I exposed her to many divergent forms of spirituality as a child, including magic and Southern Baptist.

    Interestingly, she rejected Xtianity at age 8 :-)

  29. Nam Vet

    It is “wise” to cast spells on people and walk the dark side? Your religion is better than Christianity? I don’t think so.

    Kindness speaks volumes for a religion. Putdowns of other religions speaks volumes too…that that religion is not worth following.

  30. Susan Weathers

    Nobody should be afraid of the big bad witch. I am not. I am a southern baptist and church here believes that I am witch and threaten to burn my home.

  31. Trey

    Since the devil is a christian invention, you must be a christian to be a devil worshipper.

  32. Fallstaff

    Horror of horrors! A Christian amongst us? Whoa we can’t have that! Christians do not worship the devil. Only pagans do.

  33. NameVet: “It is “wise” to cast spells on people and walk the dark side?”

    It is wise to know HOW to cast spells that help people (that’s why folks have always sought Witches’ aid ;-)

    As for “the dark side”, that’s your prejudice, and as such, a “putodwn” no different than the Stompers’ ;-)

    Falstaff, Trey’s right here: Witches don’t worship Satan because we don’t believe he exists as the Xtians maintain he does.

    Early Xtians were defensive because their beliefs were radically new as opposed to the august traditions that had preceded them. They “demonized” Pagans by claiming their God Pan was the Devil.

    Some Witches believe in Luficer as a Sun God only (weirdly, much as the Bible depicts him — an Angel of Light if you will).

    All this historical data is readily available in numerous scholarly books if yall wanna’ avail yourselves of truth verses assumption :-)

  34. Fallstaff

    Sounds dark to me Lady Passion. Worshiping Satan is evil stuff and one doesn’t have to be a Christian to see that. I’ll pass up Xaganism. The man with the * in front of his name looks a little satanic to me. Say it ain’t so.

  35. Falstaff:

    I wish you had the sense to be embarrassed at remaining stubbornly ignorant since I’ve disabused you of your notions :-)

    But, that’s the mark of bigotry, eh?

    As most Witches do as a sign that they be free, *Diuvei wears his hair long and loose, like Jesus no doubt did in his day ;-)

    Nuthin’ Satanic about that ;-)

  36. Fallstaff

    You are bigoted towards Christianity. It’s the look on his face and his eyes that look a bit satanic. Hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Just calling it as I see it. Xaganism is shallow “religion” in my view. Christianity is very deep.

  37. Bobaloo

    Sorry Lady Passion, I was referring rather to question two.

    Do you really think that an 8 year old can make an informed decision as to whether or not to reject Christianity or any other religion?

  38. Falstaff:

    No “feelings hurt” — hence my amused emoticon ;-)

    *Diuvei normally wears glasses, and I believe we were positioned somewhat in the sun that day for the photographer’s convenience.

    Learn to look beyond what your fear inclines you to see, ‘kay? For oft explanations are simple, indeed, if you ask rather than presume…

    Bobaloo: We did not seek to “prove” question 2 — we sought to debate its merits with the Nesbitts. Since they refused, we simply gave our viewpoints, which many readers wanted to know.

    “Do you really think that an 8 year old can make an informed decision as to whether or not to reject Christianity or any other religion?”

    I believe that many treat children like chattel, and not as the feeling people they are.

    I see Xtians control their kids through fear of the rod and damnation; Xtians like to control their populi from the cradle to the grave.

    Not so Wiccans, for we see our task as nurturers, able to encourage kids’ unique talents and able to appreciate their desires if they be harmless or, better yet, life-affirming.

  39. Fallstaff

    Not acting from fear here Lady. Just observation. You see I hold our Southern traditions, and Jesus, close to my heart. So when I see a complete rebellion, on your part, I pay attention. I just disagree completely with y’all. And I think y’all should be careful with those spirits and spells. A demon can slip in and possess you, if they haven’t already. Laugh all you want honey, but it happens. Your crystal skulls and daggers are plain weird. Jesus will take you back. All you have to do is ask. Satan get thee behind me! Amen! Praise God!

  40. Serena Denay

    What has happened to the people of Asheville? The city has always been known for its diversity and tolerance of different cultures and beliefs.
    Now I read mean-spirited comments and see rude cartoons because of a tree!!!
    Don’t you know that grand old magnolia tree is laughing at the rude people of the City. What could you possibly hope to gain from all the meanness?
    I happen to like that old tree and don’t want to see it cut down for the ugliness of a building.
    I believe; if you will just think about it, you will see that Lady Passion is right.
    That tree is a living breathing creation of the God and Goddess. As with all plants, trees, animals, minerals, vegetables, fruits, herbs, the crawly things, the winged things and the finned things, each has a spirit and a life-energy all its own.
    I have heard it said that we, as humans, are to have dominion over the plants and animals.
    That, I do not believe. I believe we are the stewards of the plants and the animals, and are to protect and care for them.
    The articles and comments I read, didn’t just say ugly and mean things about the leaders, they came down on the entire Coven Oldenwilde.
    I find that extremely disheartening. Have you ever heard of the members of Coven .Oldenwilde going around saying ugly things about other religions or their customs?
    Even when the so-called, Christians, attacked them with words and vicious behavior outside their Halloween celebration, you never heard the members of the Coven saying rude things about the ignorance of some people. Not a demeaning word was said.
    So, all you folks out there who think it makes you look better somehow to demean others and their beliefs, it doesn’t. It merely makes you look small-minded and mean-spirited.
    Asheville has never given the impression of being a city of intolerance, please don’t let it start now.

  41. brebro

    I agree, there are some weird ceremonies going on: talking to holy ghosts, handling snakes, speaking in tongues, having true believers line up and pretend to eat someone’s body and drink his blood… …but enough about the Christians, I bet those Wiccan followers do some weird stuff too, huh?

  42. Fallstaff

    Weird ceremonies going on…marching socialists and anarchists. Witches and satanists casting spells, kissing crystal skulls, and using daggers in strange ways. Hey Asheville may be tolerant of most, but not the weirdest. Satanists and witches are so far off the program they need to be reeled in. Heck many satanists “sacrifice” animals they have killed. And some even sacrifice people. Remember Rosemary’s Baby? Jesus will take you fallen brethren in.Just takea knee, and ask Him. Amen! Praise God!

  43. “Satanists and witches are so far off the program they need to be reeled in.”

    Would you be so kind as to remind us once again of “the program”? (This time without reference to movies.)

  44. Fallstaff

    The program is traditional American values and decency. Sacrificing dead animals,dancing around a tree, and kissing crystal skulls is not my idea of Americana. I would say this sort of thing belongs in Berkeley, or hell. Not here. Weirdos get thee to a Bible believing fundamentalist church and get yourselves saved. Even yankee sinkholes are welcome,if you repent. WNC is centered around Jesus Christ. Praise God! Amen!

  45. Ashevegasjoe

    Falstaff, have you read the Old Testament, sacrificing dead animals is a common practice for Christians and Jews in antiquity. Read the holy book for which yee proclaim the truth! I pray for thine ignorance! Amen! Yahweh!

  46. Fallstaff

    Joe, I pray for your dropping down to breathe fire for your liberal bent. -:) Jesus the Christ came to bear witness to the Truth. He disputed the Old Testament at many turns. I do not recall Him killing and sacrificing animals, and certainly not humans, as Satanists sometimes do. You have NO resonance with Southern values Joe. Which is worst than being the average ignorant northerner transplant. You might as well move back up north.

  47. brebro

    I think lowercase travelah is correct. Lots of that goin’ around on here. It may be the reason we see so much traffic in the comments sections and not in the actual forum, where multiple-identity sock puppets could be more easily tracked. We just need a reference to “ad-hominy” attacks or something similar to know for sure, so be looking for that.

  48. Viet Nam Vet

    Yes, I wonder how L&H;has the time to work 2 jobs and go to college at Duke AND post here under so many aliases. Something doesn’t add up. Perhaps she doesn’t go to Duke? :)

    As far as the Stompers-Witch Coven fight goes, I am getting very bored with the whole thing. They both are so far out on the edges, they are more similar than different.

  49. Susan Weathers

    This town had better wise up. Word fighting amoung each other will not solve any problems. I have been attached by own so called christians friends and family in this town and I just say “oh how christian of You”!

  50. southern B

    This town needs to wise up. Word fighting does not solve any problems. I have had my own christian friends and family attack me. I just say “oh how christian of YOU” !

  51. Vinnie

    Yo yous witchy dar aint no satanasts like up in Nu Yawk. Dat wheah Rosemary baby made. Nu Yawk is da capital witchy satanasts. Ashville dont no nothun bout it.

  52. travelah

    brebro, the site admins can pull the IP address of any post made at mountainx.com although I don’t think it is really worth the effort. They turn around and create “personalities” like our new friend Vinnie here :)

  53. Falstaff: …”So when I see a complete rebellion, on your part, I pay attention.”

    Goodly. But know that Witchcraft is not a “rebellion” from Xtianity, but its precursor is all.

    “A demon can slip in and possess you, if they haven’t already.”

    “Demon” derives from the Greek ‘daemon’which means essence of a thing. Witches don’t fear “demons” as Xtians do.

    “Your crystal skulls and daggers are plain weird.”

    We don’t have a crystal skull; our “daggers” are called athames, and have been used since antiquity to direct energy and power…

    Our magical tools are less “weird” than Xtians’ cups of Jesus’ blood, or eating his “body” in church…

    “Rosemary’s Baby” was a fictional film. The FBI proved in the 80s there was no merit to claims of ‘Satanic sacrifice’.

    Serena Denay: Thank your for your lucidity and truthfulness. Indeed, Coven Oldenwilde does not stoop to intolerant mean-spiritedness, and have only sought to save trees, keep Asheville beautiful and not over-developed, and our clear and caring methods are well known on this score.

    Brebro: No, Witches don’t do “weird stuff”, we do natural stuff.

    For example, when have our Cakes & Wine ceremony after spellwork, we simply ask the God/desses to bless the food — we do not believe we’re eating Their bodies or drinking Their blood as Xtians do ;-)

    Susan Weathers & southern B: The problem with letting intolerance go unchallenged is that it builds in force if unchecked by facts and counterpoint. This is similar to any entity allowed free reign, such as corrupt government. Few would question citizens’ right to protest the latter

    By the same token, Witches feel it unright and counterproductive to let bigots bash a religion they cherish.

    This is not a “word fight”, this is a culture war debate. Good things can come from the free-flow of ideas in this democratic fashion — a consensus eventually occurs in the court of public opinion, for instance.

  54. brebro

    That’s true. I just wish I knew if I should listen to “Nam Vet” or “Viet Nam Vet” or neither on this matter.

  55. Vinnie

    Yo witchy lady, Rosemary Baby true. An we gots planty satanasts in Nu Yawk. An dey drink blood frum da animal dey sacrafice. Dey even kills people sometime like a bum passed out in da allay. Nu Yawk got da bigger and da best of everthang include evil. Ashville aint nothun. Nu Yawk rule. Air witchys bettah den yous witchys. An satan he own Nu Yawk!

  56. bobaloo

    “I see Xtians control their kids through fear of the rod and damnation; Xtians like to control their populi from the cradle to the grave.”

    “Our magical tools are less “weird” than Xtians’ cups of Jesus’ blood, or eating his “body” in church…”

    Lady Passion, you do of course realize that you are intolerantly stereotyping Christians with sweeping statements like this, don’t you?

    Isn’t this what you’re railing against?

    Don’t confuse the majority of Christians with the Nesbitt’s and their ilk.

  57. nam veteran

    Talk about “bigotry”. Lady Passion doesn’t even have enough respect to say “Christian”. She says “Xtians”.

    Jesus taught love. It is plain to see that Wiccans do not. I’ll take the love any day over the non-smiling faces of the pagans.

  58. travelah

    Lady Passion’s enmity is not with the Nesbitts. It is with Christianity itself and with anybody who considers themselves within the fold of “Christendom” hence the constant diatribe against Christianity in her posts. It is the nature and original purpose of her 19th century religion with it’s basis in the occult. The Stompers have chosen the proper course in this matter in refusing to acknowledge any credible constituency on the part of this “coven”

  59. travelah

    Timpeck is right in that there are many Christians who abbreviate the term with an “X”. Some don’t like it and most are not concerned.

  60. Bobaloo:

    I’m simply pointing out that many Xtians believe in corporal punishment and raising kids to “fear God”. I’m concerned about the effect such may have on impressionable minds…

    Nam Veteran: I agree with Tim Peck. “Xtian” IS a widely used abbreviation that even some Xtians use.

    We don’t have “enmity” — we simply expose Xtian bigotry to scrutiny and challenge when it’s aimed at us.

    Further, we do not “diatribe”, we write facts and supply views opposite to many Xtians.

    What many fundie Xtians really don’t like about us is not that we have no “constituency” or sway, but that we actually have much of both ;-)

  61. nam veteran

    Like I mentioned in an earlier post, Lady Passion, you do not further your “religion” with such ongoing ranting as you do here. You speak of Christians as being bigots. Yet travelah is correct. YOU practice bigotry towards Christians. And by the way, do you mind if I refer to your group as Xiccans or Xagans? I hear it is common in some circles. ;-)

  62. brebro

    Great! Now there is “Nam Vet” and “Vietnam Vet” and “nam veteran” to choose from. How am I ever going to keep them straight?? I hope “Nam Xeteran” is not next.

  63. “And by the way, do you mind if I refer to your group as Xiccans or Xagans? I hear it is common in some circles. ;-)”

    Do you mean these expressions as terms of derision? Does the use of these terms betray the very bigotry you claim in an earlier post?

  64. Serena Denay

    Native Americans are also considered “pagan” by the Christian Community. Does it make us pagan to believe we are connected to the trees, animals, the winds and the rain? Does it make us pagan to believe we are connected to all creation? In some circles, yes, I guess it does. However, I have heard it said on many occasions, the white man goes into his church and talks about God, the red man goes into his teepee and talks to God. Think about it, however pagan it may be.

  65. nam veteran

    timpeck, at first I wondered why you have such a goofy take on this matter. Then I saw you on the Ron Paul Meetup website. Now I know. Ron Paul is a real nutcase, bless his soul. :)

    I used Xiccan and Xagan as shortcuts, out of respect for that ancient religion. Perhaps you’d like these better? wiKKan and paXan?

    Serena, the issue isn’t the connection to nature, it is this: does wiKKan touch the Truth? No. Because there is no talk of love between people and love for God. All the major religions in the world do talk of these things. paXans just has strange ceremonies, sacrifice living animals, carry strange looking daggers (are these used for killing the animals at sacrifice time?)…and have strange looks on their faces and in their eyes.

    Goddess bless one and all, even us bigoted Christians! :)

  66. Nobody has more derision or show more disrespect, or bigotry than Tim Peck.
    My name itself expresses that derision turned back at the peck.

  67. “timpeck, at first I wondered why you have such a goofy take on this matter. Then I saw you on the Ron Paul Meetup website. Now I know. Ron Paul is a real nutcase, bless his soul. :)”

    ‘Ad hominem.’ You lose.

  68. Sorry my use of the word Xtian offends you so, Nam Vet. I don’t know why, as I mean no offense by it.

    I used this convention in my The Goodly Spellbook, and my NY Park Avenue publisher had no problem with it…

  69. nam veteran

    My timpeck you are in a rather nasty mood today. There is no reason for you to be. God bless you! My comment about Ron Paul was not an attack, but an observation. And I have met several of his local supporters and found them, well, a little strange as well. Like the couple who hung the flag upside down, then the male partner ran and was chased by the police. LOL. :) timpeck, Jesus Christ loves you!

    Lady Passion, so glad to see you mean no offense. Intention does mean something. Goddess bless! Jesus Christ loves you!

  70. Chuck Zimmerman

    Something that annoys me is that Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t a “Christian” as defined today. He was a Gnostic Jew. Most certainly not a “trinitarrian”. Neither were OUR Founders. Deists & Unitarrians. The basis of OUR naturally inherent inalienable rights is a Deistic embrace of John Locke’s Theory of Toleration. As well as Jefferson’s Act For Establishing Religious Freedom:

    An ACT for establishing RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

    This act, written by Thomas Jefferson and sponsored by James Madison of Orange County,
    was passed by the House of Delegates of Virginia on 16 January, 1786.

    Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;

    While trinitarrians would claim Jesus as theirs & theirs only, nothing could be farther from the “self-evident truth”.

  71. Serena Denay

    Nam Veteran,
    What I would like is for you and all these others to realize “This Is America!!!!” Where citizens have the right to worship whatever and however they please!!!
    I find no fault with Lady Passion’s religion or the way she chooses to practice it. Maybe you could learn a few things about Truth from her!
    But I have no fault with how anyone worships as long as they don’t try to make me do the same.

  72. Chuck Zimmerman:

    While it is possible Jesus was Gnostic, Gnostics were associated with still-quit-Pagan early Xtians rather than the Jews themselves.

    Clearly he was raised in traditional Hebrew fashion, and perhaps he even became a Qumran ascetic in time.

    There’s even been scholarly speculation that he traveled in Asia or other countries and learned his miraculous techniques…

    Hard to know what Jesus may have preferred to identify himself as, but from wherever his core beliefs may have derived from, certainly he was surrounded by classical Pagansim.

    So it’s also possible some of his more unusual words and practices that you ascribe as “Gnostic” were actually Pagan in origin (examples, analogy parables, rather Socratic questioning of disciples’ assumptions, predictions, populism, etc.)

    Serena Denay: Right on, woman!

    Coven Oldenwilde has worked for over 15 years to co-exist with the myriad religions of Asheville, and so we cannot and will not allow some Newbie-come-lately group of bigots to undermine our hard-won detant.

    Viva la difference!

  73. Nam Vet

    Serena, I never said you and the Lady did not have the witchy right to sacrifice animals, carry daggers, and cast spells. All I am doing is exercising my right to observe that y’all are not a true religion. The irony here is that Lady calls those who disagree “bigots”, yet it is her who exhibits bigotry by slandering Christians.

    You both do a disservice to your ‘coven-paganism’ by dragging this bitchfest out for so long. Get some gravitas and move on to more important things. Like giving your hearts to Jesus. God bless you both. Amen!

  74. Chuck Zimmerman

    Lady Passion;

    Have you read the Gospel of Mary Magdalene?
    As I understand it, she and the mother Mary, a woman raped by an unseen sire who chose not to support or take responsability for his actions, took the word that Jesus gave them while on the cross as the disciples hid in the bushes pissing on themselves, and taught this Gnostic embrace of the universal love of all mankind, to their followers who continued unabated until Constantine intervened & banned the Gnostics & incorporated the trinity into his govt, etc.
    Thank the God of “Devine Providence” that OUR Founders such as Jefferson, the Adams family, Madison, etc, etc, as Deists & Unitarians revived the universal love for all mankind again & incorporated its “equal protection” into OUR Founding Documents & the Constitution.
    But of course why wouldn’t they? They were men of the earth & reason & “self-evident truth’s” & well aware of Dr. Joseph Preistly’s Unitary beliefs. As well as John Locke’s Theory of Toleration. As well as many other phylosophers. They were indeed well informed. Unfortunetly, the same cannot be said for the modern trinitarrian, who only knows one thing. And anything to the contrary is blasphemy, when they are as Jefferson clearly stated in the letter I posted to Adams, the true enemies of the lessons of Jesus.

  75. Chuck Zimmerman

    Dear Nam Vet:

    How can anyone subjugate their Free Will, which came from God, to another man without being a slave? In this “land of Liberty”, each & every one of US has “the equal title of the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience”. Which James Madison established in his Remonstrance and Remembrance Against Religious Assessments in Favour of the Teachers of the Christian Religion. Do yourself a favor & go read it. It lists 15 reasons why no one should have to support anyone else’s religious opinion. And make no mistake about it, it was established that religious opinion is a naturally inherent or inalienable right.
    As Jefferson & Madison & Washington & the Lee broters, etc established in Jefferson’s Act For Establishing Religious Freedom, no God has ever forced their will on anyone ever, nor written anything ever. Plus any mere fallible man who forces his opinion on any one else is a practicer of “false religion”. These are Founding Principles that WE all need to respect.

  76. Nam Vet:

    Are you illiterate, or are you simply content to continue to be willfully bigoted regardless of facts repeatedly posted?

    I ask because I and many other Pagans and Wiccans on this and similar threads have made it clear to you that your negative assumptions of our magical practices are completely erroneous — yet you continue to post them as if they are true ;-)

    So either you cannot read, or reject what you read. Either way, you cling to your bigotry in error.

    Not only is Wicca a “true religion”, it is the Olde Religion and the precursor to most other religions, including ALL monotheistic religions, of you which you ascirbe to one apparently: Xtianity. As such, the U.S. legally recognizes Witchcraft’s legitimacy.

    Indeed, Coven Oldenwilde is specifically recognized as a legit legal religious nonprofit in NC with the same rights and responsibilities as any Church, synagogue or similar.

    This has been writ previously as well, and you should know it and quit insisting otherwise.

    To call females such as Serena and I expressing our opionions a “bitchfest” is mysogenistic, illogical, and unapt.

    Using such a word makes your subsequent exhortation (“God bless you both”) seem contradictory at best, and schizophrenic at worst.

    While I can’t speak for Serena, I know I will keep submitting opinions as long as I please :-)

    I doubt few act or not contingent on your pleasure, Nam Vet ;-)

  77. Chuck Zimmerman:

    I have read the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Other Biblical books suppressed/stricken for inclusion in the modern form of the Bible by such as the Council of Nycea include detailed info that clearly states Jesus was the sone of a Roman centurion, which seems to many more likely than a vigin-birth origin.

    Historically women first embraced Xtianity because it promised certain equalities to them. No doubt they made many an attempt to infuse the new religion with Pagani love and an appreciation of the feminine which had been much under utilized by the established Jewish hierarchy… Sadly, Xtianity chose to largely reject womens’ spiritual gifts in favor of having them cook endless rounds of spaghetti suppers ;-)

    Yes, I agree with you that although America’s “founding fathers'” goals were wealth, they lived in a more agraraian time and style because of their timeline, and hence knew and relied on Nature to a greater degree than our “leaders” do now. No small surprise that they appreciated diversity and sought hard to prevent religious wars that they’d seen decimate Europe for centuries…

    It seems clear from their own words that they saw Pagan Grecian times as a golden era of tolerance, equality among men, and general thrival, and hence sought to model their new Utopia on its merits.

    Also agreed re: your comments to Nam Vet. Since no two people are the same, none should tell another how to live or what to believe if’n they be generally goodly folk. To do so would be unfounded arrogance…

    Southern B: You misspelled “no” as “know” :-(

    Of course magic exists, just as the black space exists between the visible stars ;-)

  78. Billy P Patton

    Lady, why have you turned your back on Jesus? Do those black spaces make you a satanist? Don’t you know putting spells on other folks is the work of the devil? And why do you say Xtians instead of Christians? Sounds to me like you don’t like Jesus and you try to make other folks not like him by not even having enough respect to put his full name like it’s supposed to be? How’d you like it if somebody called you a Xitch instead of a witch?

    Lady it’s never too late to accept Jesus as your personal savior.Just take a knee and askHim to come into your heart. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.

  79. Chuck Zimmerman

    Personally, as a Deist who also embraces the Unitary Opinion of Jesus as a man who by the lving of his life shed a light on the road to Salvation, I agree with Jefferson who wrote to Madison “Trinitarrianism is a desease”.
    As Jefferson wrote to John Adams, he believed that Calviv was an Atheist & a promoter of a “false religion” & that the Trinity was just made up garbage.
    Couldn’t agree more.

  80. Billy P. Patton:

    Many folk feel they share little in common with a Jewish male who lived in the Middle East over 2,000 years ago. Many resent Jesus being the only figure societally deemed fit for reverence ;-)

    If Witches did not “cast spells”, many folks would needlessly die for lack of our healing ;-)

    As has already been explained by myself and others, “X” has been used regarding Christians since Grecian times. No such appelation has been used regarding Witches, so X would not be an accepted grammatical convention if it were suddenly applied to Witches.

    As for “disrespect”, I capitalize ‘Jesus’ and ‘Xtianity’ and even ‘Xtian': I note, however, that few Stompers and their supporters capitalize “Witch”, “Wiccan”, or “Pagan”, etc. ;-)

    You cannot accuse someone of trying “make other folks not like” any Deity if you then proceed to beg someone to convert to your philosophy, as this makes you equally guilty of your own accusation.

    Chuck Zimmerman:

    While I accept your saintly conception of Jesus, if taken as true, Witches would express concern about his violence and negative statements about family, etc.

    Regardless, “trinitarianism” was neither a Jewish nor Xtian invention: Their precursors, Pagan Egyptians, had the trinity of Isis, Nephtys, and Nut, for example.

  81. Billy P Patton

    Lady, not begging, just entreating you to save yourself by accepting Christ. I would hate to see you spend eternity with satan. You’ll find his spell on you will be very painful.

    Repent! Then lift thine eyes up to thy Lord and say “Lord Jesus Christ come into my heart and be my personal savior. Save me from my wicked xithy ways. I know you alone are the salvation from eternal hellfire. Amen! Praise the Lord!” This prayer will save you Lady. I pray you will turn away from satan and be saved.

  82. karen locke austin

    lady passion i love you and your work,you keep asheville beatiful.i used to live but now i live in hatteras,buy i have been to the covenstead you probably dont remember me,but you are my inspiration i am wiccan and proud of it. asheville needs more people like you,someone that cares.

  83. Tim Peck:

    Too true. Indeed, last year the news ran a story about a scientific study that proved that hospital patients who KNEW they were being prayed for (by Christians, apparently) did not recover as fast or without experiencing unexpected complications compared with those who did NOT know they were being prayed for. Interesting implications, eh?

    Karen Locke Austin:

    Thank you for your kind words!

    Ya’ see, Mr. Patton? Lots of folks appreciate my and other Witches’ work to keep our fair city beautiful, as well as how we help them as individuals.

    In contrast, I don’t see many folks siding with your pseudo-threats about me burning in Hell ;-)

  84. Nam Vet

    Lady Passion, just how do you keep Asheville beautiful? If you pick up trash by the roadside, then I thank you for that.

  85. bobaloo

    Lady Passion,
    Honestly, I’m impressed with the way you’ve handled yourself in this conversation, but, really, what are said implications of this study you site, hm? That Christian prayers actually work against healing?

    My point is, aside from your lack of a source, why cast similar aspersions about prayer as others have about your spells? It doesn’t further your argument.

  86. Bobaloo:

    Source, TimesOnline March 31, 2006:

    Prayer does not heal the sick, study finds: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article1072638.ece

    Members of three Xtian congregations (St. Paul’s Monastery in St. Paul; Teresian Carmelites in Worcester, Mass.; and Silent Unity, Kansas City) prayed for recuperating cardiac patients.

    Groups who knew they were being prayed for “suffered a noticeably higher rate of complications”.

    I cast no “aspersions” about Xtian prayer — I simply noted this study’s implications, and raised such a topic for debate ;-)

    At present, no study has found Witch spells ineffective. Until one does, the efficacy of our spells is unassailable.

  87. quotequeen

    The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom.
    Justice William O. Douglas

  88. Nam Vet:

    There are many other ways to keep Asheville beautiful rather than just picking up roadside trash, and no doubt these ways are what Karen Locke Austin meant when she referred to my work ;-)

    Advocating for keeping beloved trees and public parkland sacrosanct; educating citizens about issues that negatively impact Pagans and everyone; encouraging transparency and ethics in local politics; protesting over-development and Wal*Marts on every corner; helping the needy; and serving as clergy for local prisoners — I and other Witches do this and much more to help keep Asheville beautiful and sweet.

  89. Nam Vet

    LOL, Lady, you are incorrigible. But you go girl. Do your thing. Don’t assume that us wayward Christian traditionalists need to be “educated”. I’ll stick to a religion that doesn’t have their priests carry daggers and give people vacant, weird, stares. I’ll take the sweet old lady who smiles and says “Jesus loves you” any day over what you offer. Asheville is a wonderful place to live precisely because this has been a strong Christian community all those years. Now I’m done. This thread outlived it’s 15 minutes of fame a month ago. :)

  90. Chuck Zimmerman

    Lady Passion;

    I believe Jesus was a man.
    I believe if Mary Magdalene was Crusified, We’d be better off.
    There have been several letter to the editor in themountaineer, by fellow Wiccans. One today as well. It probably won’t be on for a day or so.

    Chuck Z.

  91. Chuck: Yes, I responded to the initial bigoted Letter in Mountaineer over a week ago (Wiccans Help Poor, Needy).

    I’ll go online and see what all’s going on…

    Thanks for the head’s up!

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