Coming out of the broom closet

I have recently noticed an increase in articles about and by those pertaining to the Wiccan order. As I have read these articles, I have found that information is lacking in some areas, as well as a feeling of being part of an unheard majority. I have noticed an undercurrent of truth, enveloped in opinion. I have found that I disagree with the representation of Pagan and Wiccan practices, laced with Crowleyism and accentuating polytheism as universal beliefs to the Pagan/Wiccan population.

Though I was raised astutely Christan, it is my Celtic ancestry that brought me to research my heritage. I did not become Wicca; I recognized that I am Wiccan. Since childhood I have had an intuitiveness regarding nature, her energies, the properties of herbs in healing. I have felt the calling of the moon, an attention to the stars and the depths of space. From my spirit derived a connection between my being and the Earth. When I learned of Wicca, I recognized myself immediately: I am pantheistic. I acknowledge and accept the beliefs of all, the deities of all. I will wear my pentacle, star of David, and a cross—and I will understand why. Hopefully others may as well.

While those in the larger Pagan movement are pantheists, not all of us are polytheists. Many Wiccans do not worship deities at all, [but] instead the Spirit, or life-force energy of all things, and the corresponding principles that determine All to be one, and one to be the embodiment of all. The evocation of spiritual awareness and the dedication to divine enlightenment are both part of the Pagan spirit, seeking to cultivate awareness, harmony and understanding within the self and the balances of nature.

In the time before the perpetration of Christianity in Europe, the Old Religion was the way of life. Christian deities, God and Satan, were then introduced to a people unfamiliar with foreign and doctrinized religion, i.e. the “isms” (the Greek term for doctrine—which Pagans were not part of, believing in free will and self-government).

Our country was founded on freedom from tyranny. Government and the adoption of democracy were later developed. Self-government reigned first. The beliefs of a free people—both Christian and Pagan—founded our shores.

— Nuanna Horn

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74 thoughts on “Coming out of the broom closet

  1. Aremis Asling

    I totally agree with almost all of your statements. The one piece I don’t quite agree with is that somehow European pagans believed in free will and self-government. There were societies that were like that, to be sure, but paganism in ancient Europe came in many flavors, some quite tyrannical. I understand the pagan instinct to deify pagan history, but the people of our collective pagan heritage were not all egalitarian spirit-worshipers. Modern paganism has had to modify, rewrite, or reject many ancient practices which are not acceptable in the modern day. That doesn’t make paganism any less valid, just perhaps a little less saintly. The Celts themselves were as much a warrior tribe of the steppes as any goth or hun. Until they had settled, they brought their will and their ways to many areas that weren’t necessarily eager to accept them.

  2. quotequeen

    One can always be kind to people about whom one cares nothing.
    Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

  3. With all due respect to the author of this Commentary:

    I found this Letter to be replete with misinformation (Wiccans ARE polytheists, as well as animists, pantheists, theurgists, etc.), factual errors (“ism” was NOT “the Greek term for doctine”), New Age jargon (“Many Wiccans…worship…Spirit…), and easiily-avoidable grammatical errors (“I did not become Wicca” should have written as “I did not become Wiccan”, and “balances of Nature” should have been written as “balance of Nature”, etc., etc.).

    Ultimately it not only read as stream of consciousness thinking that made little sense (“I will wear my pentacle, star of David, and a cross—and I will understand why.”), but did not, as she implied, dispute anything that I and my co-author had previously written in defence of Witchcraft in twice recently, previously published Letters and Commentaries.

    From the get-go her words made us wonder if she is not simply an “Irab”, as in an “I read a book” person who then instantly assumes they know more about magic than they actually do.

    One typical example that seems a dead giveaway in this regard: Wicca is not an “order”, as she claims (‘order’ being a Catholic Xtian word that Witches have never used).

    Further, we did not mention Crowley, for he was not a Witch (Crowley was kicked out of two Covens for being unable to appreciate and work with their High Priestesses). Ergo, we have no idea why she referred to “Crowleyism”.

    Lastly, her factual errors were glaring: “Self-government did NOT reign first” in our country — a very rigid Puritanical set of rules was swiftly installed at Plymouth, and Pagans such as Thomas Morton paid a high price for rejecting them (read proof at:

    We encourage Pagans and Wiccans to write in defence of The Olde Religion, but hope that in the future those who do so will fact-check, spell-check, and grammar-check their writing, and refrain for a time until they can be sure that their opinions are lucid and actually contribute to the debate (rather than CLAIM they do, but actually fail to, and worse — confuse the public as to what we said, and what Wicca’s all about).

  4. Nuanna Horn

    Why are you so hostile? I did not attack, nor make reference directly, nor specifically to you or your clan. Obviously, while you’re caught in your culture war you’ve forgotten who’s on the same side. While you criticize me, others are watching you. If you take error grammatically, or with my spelling, take it up with the editor, as I did not print my article, I merely wrote it. If you have issue with my definitions, perhaps you need to read more books, like a dictionary. My entire article was not published, if you wish to read the rest of it, go to myspace:
    I did not misstate myself, I am Wicca, I am a member of those who pertain to be Wiccan. I have read many books, and continue to do so. Perhaps you should do the same. We may be more alike than different; who’s judging who?

  5. Sweetie, I have not only read many magic books, I wrote THE magic book (The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells For Modern Problems).

    I critiqued your Letter fairly, and stand by my statements.

    I have grown weary of folks like you who delude themselves into believing they are helping out Pagans by profering their prose, when in fact, their words are so poorly chosen that they just make Witches appear foolish.

  6. Aremis Asling

    While I do find the grammer of this article a little shoddy and the concepts presented perhaps a little fluffy, I find that your bald-faced claims of your spellbook’s definitive nature cast FAR more doubt on your position. You did not write THE magic book. You wrote A magic book. Your own opinion on your book does not warrant definitive status. The reviews are pretty good, I’ll admit, but there isn’t the sort of buzz around your book that I’ve observed that would allow for such hubris.

    So let’s begin with the mundane claims.

    ????? (-ismos) 1. A suffix that forms abstract nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine; from Greek -???? [isma), from stem of verbs in -????? (-izein).

    Enough said.

    ‘Balances of nature’ – there are multiple facets of nature that are in balance, hence balances, plural, is as correct as a singular reference to the whole balance of nature.

    ‘orders’ – While I agree that ‘order’ is not necessarily applicable to Wicca in specific, it is not specifically catholic, christian, or even abrahamic. Druids, such as the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, refer to themselves as orders quite regularly. The priesthood of Wicca could, in fact, be termed an order or group of orders, especially when you talk about specific traditions with a more regular structure and practice. I agree with your statement only in that the whole of Wicca is not an order.

    These sorts of grammatical attacks are at best a distraction meant to appear as an actual argument. In this case they are not only not a real argument, but not even particularly correct.

    If you want to clean up someone’s grammar, you’d do well to drop the ‘Olde.’ It’s nice in a book title, but a little fluffy in its own right when used in a critique. Use of words like ‘goodly’ and ‘olde’ is usually just as good an indicator of your so-called IRAB’s. I’m not saying you by necessity are one, but my assumption is no worse than yours in this case.

    Redefinition of an opponent, such as calling them an IRAB, is a pretty cheap trick as well. You may as well call her a communist and write her off an unpatriotic.

    As to Crowley, the author is correct in that she never mentioned your articles in specific anywhere in her article. It was a general critique of the pagan world at large. You may disagree with her statements, but taking it as a personal attack on your own work is just a little paranoid. You, in fact, do your own work a disservice by trying to use it as a defense for the category of work she was criticizing.

    That said, while Crowley himself was not a witch, much of the early work included in Gardner’s incarnation of Wicca was heavily inspired by Crowley, Freemasonry, and other ritual magic sources. He can be excused in doing so in that he had little actual foundation to work with so he, as he himself admitted, needed to write or borrow much of the original liturgy. Even without acknowledging Gardner as a primary source, most other early traditions seemed noticeably inspired by Crowley, et al. Denying his early influence is just as much revisionist history as claiming all ancient pagans were egalitarian societies until bad old Christianity came along.

    The only argument left that isn’t a logical fallacy is your statement on the author’s reference to american self-government. Even then, you make the assumption that the author meant from the day the pilgrims landed. At that point Locke and the Age of Enlightenment, to whom the US owes much of those core ideals, were just barely on the horizon. The romantic and transcendental periods layed on top of those ideals an openness to practices outside the norm, especially when they hearkened back to an idealized simpler time. Writers of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s were quick to incorporate very pagan ideas unapologetically into their work, even if, at the core, they were still christian or at least deist.

    While I do agree that modern paganism would likely not be well received even in the early 1900’s in the US, it would not have been put down as harshly by the men who signed our constitution as it would have by the men who gave us the salem witch trials a mere century earlier.

    In closing, the author’s writing does to a degree make witches appear foolish, hence my own critique. But your angry response furthers the image of the hyper-reactionary elitism that seems to be the more prevalent modern stereotype of pagans. I don’t know that either one is worse than the other.

  7. Artemis:

    “The reviews are pretty good, I’ll admit, but there isn’t the sort of buzz around your book that I’ve observed that would allow for such hubris.”

    Not hubris, earned pride from hard work done and its wide appreciation.

    The Goodly Spellbook has sold tens of thousands of copies nationwide; been translated into Italian; been reprinted by the largest New Age bookseller in the U.S. (One Spirit Book Club); been picked up by Doubleday; and is now selling wildly in paperback. It’s a short list of Craft authors who can say this about their books…

    The author of this Letter did not use the Greek term “ismos”; she used “isms”. ‘Nuff said back at ya’.

    The use of “Order” by UK Druids is a modern convention influenced by monotheism. And the author referred to Wicca as a whole as an “Order”, which is inapt, as you agree.

    “Goodly” is an olde word that is apt for many things. I am one of many Witches who appreciate the beauty and lyricism of our Mystery religion as well as its might. The world has too little of both as it is. Stuffy NY Park Avenue publishers approved such words’ use, after all ;-)

    I did not call the author an “irab”; I wrote that her Letter made us wonder if she were one. When writing of “redefinion”, be careful how you write the words to try to make your argument ;-)

    I have never written that the author attacked me; further, I did not consider her Letter a personal attack. Your and her efforts to insist so are simply invalid.

    I critiqued her writing as I see much of such that I honestly feel does the Craft a disservice rather than a service. If you do not appreciate this, fine, but it’s as goodly an opnion to profer as would be any other.

    My response to this author’s Letter was not angry or hostile, simply strong.

    I stand by my statements, as I am sure she stands by her own.

  8. Nuanna Horn

    To Aremis Asling gracious apprecation and Our Fair Lady much respect.
    My letter was not about grammar, nor argument but more of a spiritual
    and informative motion. You felt the need to criticize my writing so
    audaciously and defame my “stream of consciousness as though you rein
    superlative, which indicates insecurity and a need to be
    My reproachful remarks were made the day after the release of the next
    week’s Mountain Express with reason. I am not your enemy. Nor am I
    your student. Nor are you my superior. I do acknowledge that you have
    an extensive website and are obviously quite informed about these
    matters. However you are not THE expert, nor the ONLY author of books
    regarding the Craft.
    Were I an ‘IRAB’ as so put forth, perhaps I would oblige your
    self-aggrandizement to believe that you wrote THE BOOK on any given
    subject. Perhaps also I would accept you as an expert on Majik, simply
    because you wrote a book. I am neither uninformed, nor lacking in my
    personal library a treasure of books regarding a plethora of
    information and referential materials.
    It’s not foolish to know that early American settlers were both Pagan
    and Christians escaping tyranny and looking to forge a new land. My
    great great great grandfather was one of these settlers. Known for
    “healing horses by the moon” and ” being openly knowledgeable about
    herbs and their medicinal properties”. according to my ancestry, he
    was not the only relative of like minded beliefs to found our shores.
    Nor was my family alone there were others.
    I know both my Pagan and Christan ancestors founded our shores. My
    statements were true and stand solid.

  9. Nuanna:

    I never “defamed” you. That’s an inapt and baseless reaction to my specific critiques about your Letter ;-)

    Even your defensive Comments are ungrammatical: For example, one does not “rein superlative”, but “reign supreme”.

    Resist your impulse to characterize anyone who critizes your writing as insecure (for in fact, your defensiveness only shows your OWN insecurity ;-)

  10. Anton

    The Goodly Spellbook, is indeed a very good book and an excellent resource.

  11. Anton

    I must confess, I too get a little frustrated with those who read a few books and suddenly are experts on “Wicca.” This frustration tends to come from the fact that when questioned closely a lot of these “Wiccans” tend to come across as seekers. I mean no offense, it is just an observation that I have experienced time and again. I know of some folks who have tattooed the pentagram on themselves and do not even understand the symbolism of it. They claim they are Wiccan.

    Let me be up front here, I am not Wiccan, to be honest from what I have read, discussions I have had with many, I find that quite a few folks claiming to be Wiccan, haven’t a clue what Wicca is. With Wicca as it is today, I certainly do not know what it is or isn’t. One book will say one thing another book will say another thing, and yet another book will tell you “Wicca is what ever you desire it to be.”

    I therefore have no shame in saying, I haven’t a clue what Wicca is. I do however suspect that I know what it isn’t. It isn’t something you can just find in a book….if you can, then it aint much. Or at least that’s my opinion.

  12. Eli Cohen

    Pardon my asking, are most witches lesbians? I don’t mean to be homophobic (because I’m not) but I was told by someone that this was almost a requirement for the calling.

  13. Thanks for your kind words about my book, Anton.

    I share your frustration with folks calling themselves Wiccan who seem rather clueless as to what such entails.

    Wicca is The Olde Religion, and it is actually quite clear what it is and isn’t. It’s the continuation of ancient practices to get your needs met and help others, and these days, the planet besides.

    Many works such as mine explain this plainly; those of the “make it up as you go along” variety do not perpetuate real Wicca.

    Eli Cohen:

    No, being a lesbian is NOT a requirement for practicing magic. This is a common Xtian tactic to diminutize Wicca’s growing impact.

    For example, I’ve been a public, practicing Witch for over 30 years, and I’ve been with my male mate for almost 15.

  14. Anton

    The frustrating thing for me when it comes to Wicca, is that while I am not Wiccan, I am what could be called “like-minded,” and it has become a source of frustration for me when I try to wrap my “likemind” around all of the contortions that Wicca seems to be.

    The author of the letter in question makes the claim that many “Wiccans” believe in no deities. How can one be Wiccan and not believe in any deity? My understanding of Wicca is the High Priestess represents the Goddess. If no such Goddess exists then why would anyone consider the Priestess as a spiritual leader?

    I know many wonderful people who claim to be Wiccan. I am not and therefore do not have a dog in the hunt. But being somewhat like-minded, Wicca is a matter of curiosity to me. My own observation is that Wicca seems to have become such a huge umbrella for such a hodge podge of beliefs that once the umbrella is open it collapses under it’s own weight and leaves everyone sitting in the rain.

    That is why I personally choose to enjoy the company of Wiccans, but tend to stroll away when discussions that frustrate me arise.

  15. Anton: In the secret language of Witches, a like-minded person such as yourself would be called a “cowan”, meaning, a non-Initiate but Pagan-friendly person.

    Wicca’s not contorted, but some of the folks who purport to practice it have a rudimentary and often downright shallow conception of what magic is, has been, and should be.

    The author of this letter was flat wrong in asserting that some Witches don’t believe in deities: Wicca is a polytheistic religion. Ergo, practitioners innately believe in and honor many Gods and Goddesses.

    Yes, the High Priestess is a living representative of many Goddesses, as is the High Priest a living representative of many Gods. So I agreed re: your finding it illogical that anyone would train to become an HPS or HP if they DIDN’T believe in many God/dess…

    Such blatantly illogical reasoning on the authors’ part proves my point that folks who write or say such things are clueless about Wiccan basics ;-)

    Witches are encouraged to be “free”, and there’s much diversity one can exercize when practicing magic.

    Sadly, many Newbies have carried this tradition to extremes, and wrongly assume such freedom means the freedom to NOT believe, or to make up their own version of Wicca that bears little to no resemblence to it — or worse, is completely contrary to what Wicca is.

    I can appreciate your frustration in assuming that because some folks don’t get Wicca, it makes the entire religion untenable.

    However, many come and go, but traditional magic remains and always will.

    Such flakes as wannabes leave sooner than late because the shallow religion they created for themselves is substanceless, and therefore, unfulfilling.

    The rest of us who have real history, real practices, and deep substance continually thrive.

    Wicca is attractive to many because it is so very natural. Indeed, it’s far more unnatural to believe in other man-made religions based on men rather than nature that we can observe daily.

    Wicca’s innate naturality is what attracts so many to it, and this is not a bad thing. Such Newbies may grow and mature in time, or may not…

    But to throw the baby out with the bathwater re: Wicca would be like damning Xtianity because of the Pope’s racist statements ;-)

  16. Anton

    Please know I am not throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to Wicca. I approach Wicca like I approach many things in life, respectfully. and honestly. I hope my ignorance has not been disrespectful in any way.

    I think that alot of folks, who desire what Wicca and other paths may be able to provide them, jump to quickly in defining themselves, and therein lies the problem, they are self defined.

    I know who and what I am, because others have led me to this knowledge, without those who came before me, and the instruction, guidance, and yes discipline provided by them I would be as confused as many I see around me when it comes to matters of Magic.

  17. Anton: Glad to hear you’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater re: Wicca.

    No disrespect from you taken, I assure you. I simply seek to educate and reassure you, as I do this FT as an HPS…

    Sure, everyone who defines themselves badly suffers from their self-imposed or outright constructed self-definition.

    I am glad you know that magic requires discipline, as it does ethics and appreciation of antiquity.

  18. Anton

    I read somewhere in a book that I was challenged by a friend to read after a discussion where I had shown a bit of ugliness from some frustrations concerning Wicca a passage that blew me away, and somewhat corrected my attitude:

    “There is, however, one secret ingredient in the recipe of every spell. Without it, you cannot unlock the spell’s power. That ingredient is knowledge-magical knowledge.”

    I found this passage in a preface of a book that I ultimately read in one 4 or so hour setting. I have returned to this book many times as a resource.

    In my opinion, “magical knowledge” takes years with much more then just books to be discovered.

    By the way, for those wondering which book I found this passage in? “The Goodly Spellbook”.

  19. Anton

    After much thought, I don’t think I care much for being called a “cowan”. So, I’ll take my leave now.

  20. Anton

    After much thought I am not quite sure how much I liked being called a “cowan”?

    Rather then fuss about it, I think I’ll just take my leave now.

  21. NuAnna Horn

    For the Lady,
    Do you only feel the need to critique the writing of those who send letters reqarding Pagan/Wiccan subject matter? As I have not seen this behavior from you in other “commentary” reguarding letters to the editor, I question your motivation in doing so to mine. If this were your general practice it would make sense. It is not. What then is the purpose of this? Unless you wish to continue this contrite and futile engagement of wordplay regarding the grammer and not the content of my letter, be done with your unsolicited corrections. There are many more resplendant discussions to be had. If we are ment to debate, a new platform shall arise.
    Blessed Be, NuAnna

  22. Anton: How can you take offense to being called “Pagan friendly”? That’s a compliment, for Goddess’ sake ;-)

    NuAnna: I critique the writing or argument quality of many, many Letters to the Editor when they regard Wicca or bigotry, etc. (see The Liberal Smackdown Expands; One More Stomp; and others).

    Therefore you’re in error when you insist this is not my general practice, for it is, and a shred of research on your part would have prevented your error.

    BTW, you misuse the word “contrite”. Contrite means apologetic, regretful. I don’t regret my critique of your Letter, and I am not being “contrite”.

    Further, I addressed several fallacies regarding the content of your Letter — not solely its grammar errors.

    Sorry to see you still can’t appreciate and learn from well-intended critique.

  23. katwoman

    I find lots of “passion”, m’lady, but where is the love? NuAnna is no nubie, flake, etc. as you suggest indirectly but perceptively in your vast collection of comments. Her people have been Wiccan for many generations, and I have had the blessing of knowing her for many, many moons. Her letter may not have been perfect, but it was a LETTER in the OPINION section of the paper. It was unnecessary for a person of your position to tear it apart when there is so much common ground! To suggest that her devotion to her spirituality could ever fizzle out is what it means to not know her! Rock on, Nu! I love you! Katwoman P.S. Lady P, please exercise the self-control to NOT respond to my letter.

  24. Katwoman:

    My love is for the Craft real Craft, traditional Craft. Hence my name ;-)

    I’ve no abject loyalty to folks who profess to be Craft, but who clearly write as if they just jumped off the cart…

    Nay, indeed, I am all about perpetuating the truths of Wiccan antiquity, and nothing more.

    I am a High Priestess — full-time clergy, and hence, ever protective of how Wicca is portrayed (a defender of it when it’s portrayed rightly, and an oppenent of those who malign it or otherwise make it seem shabby, as I and othrs feel Nuanna made it look with her Letter).

    If Nuanna’s “people” have been “Wiccan for many genrations” as you maintain, they would doubtless not have approved of her Letter replete with grammatical errors, insinuations, outright falsehoods, contrardictory assertions, and confusing wording.

    I did not “tear apart” her Letter: I merely commented on its grammatical atrocities and wrongful assertions — as any goodly writer would have (and dare I write, anyone w[uld have to whom she was referring in her Letter (us/Coven Oldenwilde, for having dared to do what she did not: Namely, to force the Stompers to their knees by daring them to debate us].

    Read my comments, and you will see that her allegations that I “suggest that her devotion to her spirituality could ever fizzle out” is completely erroneous :-)

  25. katwoman

    There is no,” If NuAnna’s people have been…”- Don’t go there. She may not have shown her letter to anyone before submitting it, and as for her ancestors, they’re, well, dead. By the way, what Coven do your parents belong to? Or, are you “first generation” Wiccan?

    She did not refer to Coven Oldenwilde in her letter as you say in the second to last paragraph, 3/21.

    I read all of this commentary from the beginning. I was paraphrasing about “her spirituality fizzling out”. Those were my words, here are yours-3/13-“newbies…freedom not to believe” (in deities?), own version of Wicca… flakes, wannabes, leave sooner than late”.

    The fact that you could not control yourself, and leave my comments to exist, without trying to refute them, when I asked you to, is disturbing and shows a total lack of respect. You may be a High Priestess, but you are also a human being, and you need to learn when to back down. Otherwise it makes you seem very immature, controlling, petty, and a total IWAB (I wrote a book). I suggest taking a long hard look at yourself, but taking suggestions doesn’t seem like your thing. I will ask again that you let this lie, and have the self-control to let it go- a Taoist notion. Nevertheless, I will not be looking for your response.

    Disgusted, Katwoman
    P.S. Your latest comments are riddled with spelling errors- contrardictory, genrations, oppenent, othrs…

  26. Anton

    It seems a speck unfair to throw personal insults around and demand that the insulted not respond. It seems that in itself is the action of someone with control issues.

    It is this type of stuff that makes me ponder “Wicca”. Seems as a religion the adhearants get along with each other about as well as Baptists and Catholics get along with one another. I don’t put much stock and salt into any of the three.

    But what do I know, I am after all not Pagan. Just Pagan friendly, lol. That one is flat out rich.

  27. katwoman

    Anton, I’m not a Wiccan or Pagan either. NuAnna and I are simply trying to end a debate which has gone on for too long. Please reread my comments. I said it would be petty, immature, controlling, etc. if LP chose to continue this. Likewise, I would be all of those things if I chose to continue it as well. I will not participate in the discussion with her any longer but am happy to clear this up with you. My friend went to great lengths to submit a letter to the paper without having a computer, her 1st, I think, and was wanting to share her beliefs with the world. They are as diverse and unique as she is. This turned out to be a very negative experience with regard to LP, and I felt compelled to comment as her chances to get on line are very limited. I’m not a controlling person; I just can’t imagine what else LP could have to say on the matter when I have tried to be as accurate as possible. I don’t wish to have my ideas negated, does anyone?

  28. Katwoman: My father is deceased. Much of my magic comes from my matrilineal line, and my mother’s folks hail from Sicily (Dorotea Inglesi Alesi moved from York to Sicily and reputed founded the Sicilian mafia in Allesandria della Rocca, Sicily).

    My grand-father was Santos Trafficante, infamous mafia head of the NY/TX/FL mob whom Castro briefly imprisoned after having shut down the corrupt casino system.

    As for Coven work, I’m a Third Degree Gardnerian (Raymond Buckland and Margot Adler are upline in our Lineage, just to mention a couple of well-known Pagan authors).

    While Nuanna did not mention us by name, she made it obvious she disagreed with things we’d written in the press regarding magic and involving the Stompers.

    I’ve been quite careful not to call anyone names or act defensively or patronizingly — things you and Nuanna are both guilty of.

    Anton: I agree — it would be nice if folks could play nice, but such is a two-way street: It’s hard to make happen when one side has no desire to act rationally.

  29. jakemama

    i’ve looked through all of NuAnna’s and Katwoman’s comments and can’t find a single example of namecalling, as in “You are a (fill in a noun)”. They have simply characterized your behavior with adjectives, just as you have done.To respond to Katwoman was to prove her right.

  30. Katwoman

    I sent this once but it did not show up so here it goes again.
    Anton, I am not Wiccan or Pagan. The words I used with regard to LP were meant for her if, and only if, she continued to perpetuate this increasingly pointless debate. Likewise, if I were to perpetuate it with her, I would be subject to the same words. As I said before, I am no longer willing to continue it; but I am happy to clear this up with you. My friend made the effort to express her personal beliefs in a letter to the paper, with no reference to LP and her Coven. I believe this was a first to be published at Mtn. X and the experience was made quite negative by LP’s “well meant” but scathing review. I have tried to be as accurate and fair in my comments as possible, and my first comment was much milder than my second, but, alas, I grow impatient and I don’t wish to have my beliefs negated, does anyone?

    “The more we “show”, the less we know,
    I’d rather be a friend than foe,
    We all must reap that which we sow,
    Sometimes it’s best to let it go…”

  31. Jakemama: What? Did you miss Katwoman characterizing my rationale critique of Nuanna’s letter as “petty, immature, controlling, etc.”?

    Katwoman: If you don’t want to “continue the debate”, just don’t post your opinions anymore.

    To characterize my opinions as you did in the words above is negating anothers’ opinion, as you claim to fear or detest.

    I, on the other hand, have listened and interacted with Nuanna each time she has posted, as well with you and others.

    Is total agreement with your opinions as well as Nuanna’s the only thing you both consider valid?

    If so, wow. You need to take a serious look at your defensive motivations.

  32. Appalachian American


    Thank you for bring a joyous smile to my week :-) My laughter at what to me is considered a hilarious and most righteous line… “IWAB- I wrote a book”, was needed and I humbly thank you.

    Ps: Keep this under your hat but if you haven’t noticed, LP has a self-control disorder wherein she doesn’t allow anyone else to have the last word no matter how correct they were. Watch and see!

  33. jakemama

    lady passion, Katwoman did not say that your critique of the letter was “petty”, and so on. She said that continuing the debate was “petty”, and so on. She and NuAnna have no doubt moved on to more fulfilling things and will probably never hear your comments and I am headed that way myself. Peace out!

  34. Marijane Mystic

    Dear Lady,
    That you suggest it would require research to find your critiques to be a general practice, confirms Nuanna’s point that it is not indeed a general practice of yours.
    As to word definitions, contrite also means “worn out” or “ground to pieces”-you obviously need a more extensive dictionary.
    I also know this woman, I assure you, her ancestors are smiling for her conviction and laughing at your unwarranted behavior.
    In the world of Real magic, you would have rather had a friend in Nuanna than a foe.Goodly luck to you…
    Marijane Mystic

  35. Anton

    Oh my now the threats are coming out, magical friends and foes?, this is to funny. Reminds me of a sit com I saw a few years back.

  36. mARTha mcLeod

    Lady Passion,
    I certainly admire you for fighting the divination law. Thank you.
    The 1995 Weaving the Web ritual is one of the best events I’ve ever experienced in Asheville. BRAVO!
    Sweetie, don’t you think it’s just the least bit patronizing to correct the grammer of someone just because they are speaking on a topic that you are THE authority on.
    Freedom is my religion! LovePeace.

  37. Marijane Mystic

    I am glad you are entertained, it was not a threat but merely a respectful truth. or were you talking aboujt the crime bosses daughter?
    Marijane Mystic

    P.S. What does that have to do with wickan ancestry anyway? MM

  38. Anton

    “Those who think they know everything annoy those who do know everything”

    -Isadora Duncan

  39. mARTha McLeod: I appreciate your appreciation.

    But no, it is not patronizing to profer a thoughtful, detailed critique regarding another’s writing, and given this subject, it is not ego-based on my part, nor territorially-motivated, but simply protective.

    Marijane Mystic: I explained both my paternal and maternal magical ancestry (thus far, Nuanna has done neither).

    Steeped in Strega magic as they were, clearly my mafioso line had power, they simply misused it ;-)

    I do not, but it explains where part of my magical power comes from. I confess I find it odd that you did not see the connection immediately ;-)

  40. Anton:

    “Those who quote Webster’s in speeches or essays, or who quote others instead of using their own words use trite tools for a weak mind.”

    And you can quote me on that ;-)

  41. D J H

    To ALL,
    Do any of you realize that you are squabbling like schoolgirls? Nuanna merely wanted to express her VIEW. Then Ms.”I’m the authority on Wicka” Passion had to step in and decided that her VIEW was better. Is it better because it was printed in a book? I think not. Is it your view, ABSOLUTELY. Is it THE correct view? no, not necessarily.
    Everyone has their own views on their own relgion. Look at all the sects of Christianity, do you think Wicka is any different? All religions have multiple views to them, Wicka being NO exception.
    By the way Lady Passion, just because someone has the courage to stan against someone as haughty and full of them self as you, does NOT make them wrong. This means, you do NOT have to spend all of your time and energy on tearing someone down. And you OBVIOUSLY need some free time. Am I the only one that realizes this debate is over a month long?
    So, you who like quotes, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  42. Anton

    I would respectfully dissagree. I have always found a good quote quite thought provoking.

    Besides, you may not believe this, but, while I am alot of things, weak minded is not one of them.

  43. Anton

    “We are all sorcerers, and live in a wonderland of marvel and beauty if we did not know it.”

    -Charles Godfrey Leland

    Just for the record Lady Passion this was a quote that was used on the inside cover of your book, The Goodly Spellbook.

    I know someone else wrote that just to grab a potential reader’s interest, it was a descriptive of the book itself, but not your writing.

    Yet, interestingly enough, your book, which you wrote starts with a quote from Aradia: “Let none stop you, or turn you aside”.

    “A trite tool, from a weak mind”?

  44. Anton

    Hrrrrm, Lady Passion wrote:


    “Those who quote Webster’s in speeches or essays, or who quote others instead of using their own words use trite tools for a weak mind.”

    And you can quote me on that ;-)”

    Well Lady Passion, you wrote a great book, one I have praised many times. However you started ever single chapter in that book with quotes from far to many people to list….so now with your permission I will indeed quote you:


    “Those who quote Webster’s in speeches or essays, or who quote others instead of using their own words use trite tools for a weak mind.”

    And you can quote me on that ;-)”

    Not bad for someone “weak minded” huh?

  45. Anton

    As for some other things that you have recently written.

    If you are indeed Santo’s grandchild, then your grandmothers name was Josephine, she was married to Santo’s for 46 years. They had two daughters, and 4 grandchildren.

    I am Russian, first generation American, which means very little since I spent half my life in Russia. I was born in Maryland, but turned 1 and spent the 10 years in Kostroma. When I returned to America, I lived in a neighborhood where the Donnatellis lived next door to the Boyles who lived above the Cohens who were nieghbors with the Tikimirovas.

    I smoked my first joint with Gill Timonere, and Pauly DiMillo. I have spent years in the company of Sylvio and Javani Basinni. I Know and have personally spoken with Al and Arnold Floridinno. My father did business with their fathers.

    I Never met Santos, but I did once hold a door open for your grandmother Josephine, outside of Vincenzos Grill in Tarpon Springs. I have also met all 4 of his grandchildren.

    I have never met you?

  46. quotequeen

    Witchcraft … is a spiritual path. You walk it for nourishment of the soul, to commune with the life force of the universe, and to thereby better know your own life.


  47. DJH: I have never written that I am THE authority on Wicka, so you should not have put that in quotes. Further, it’s Wicca, not “Wicka” ;-)

    Anton: Not that it’s any business of yours, but no, I was not Santos, Jr’s. granddaughter by his wife, but his long-time mistress — or are you utterly unaware of that phenom in powerful Italian men? ;-)

    See what happens when you ASs-ume?

  48. Anton

    Well I am aware that some had mistresses, many did. I am also aware that it was considered dishonorable to knock up a mistress. You don’t get to be Boss and stay Boss with such a dishonor.

    So, I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you at all.

    I can understand how you want to cut the ties with your Gardnerian liniage and claim to be strega, it is so much more defined then Wicca. But to claim to be Santo’s granddaughter? Thats a stretch that I suspect most will not buy.

    Loved your book, just very dissappointed with the Author.

  49. Nuanna Horn

    To the Ogre, very wise my Dragon.
    At yr service as always.
    Martha, well put.
    Respect where it is do.
    Catwoman, right on my friend.
    MJ: I hav often heard it said “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”

  50. Nuanna

    For the readers:
    I feel no need to describe my heritage to a woman who does not even represent herself with her family name.
    I know who I am. So do those that embrace me.

    Some of my “weak-minded” favorites:

    “Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery.”

    “The weak overcome the strong.”
    – Lao Tsu

    “The way of the Sage is to act but not complete”
    – Tao-te Ching

    Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
    “Between craft and credulity the voice of reason is stifled.” – (1777)

    “Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their imporunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.” – (1790)

    “He that wrestles with us strengthen our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.” – (1790)

    Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864)
    “Authors are like cattle going to a fair: those of the same field can never move on without butting one another.” – (1824)

    “I strove with none,’for none was worth my strife,’
    Nature I loved,and, next to Nature,Art.” – (1853)

    To the Lady:
    A wise student during apprenticeship will learn from the folly of their Master that which they themselves were unable to grasp(the Master). What many lessons were taught and secrets passed on- the most valued lesson was neither taught,nor secret, yet obvious and unintentional: truth, discretion, and self preservation are all factors of the craft. This was an unintention lesson of our deceased colleague,Serpent, well over a decade ago. Facts and information are nothing without heart connectivity,and purpose. You were his understudy- did you also learn more from him than he was aware of teaching?
    Were you to best at obliterating the credulity or wordsmithing of others for the sake of your own,let it be said:you have made great efforts here(Though success is relative to the bias of opinion). I am proud of you for your efforts in the Pagan Community (and for writing a book). I haved enjoyed in my life many books thus far, though yours has yet to grace my eyes. I know the value of an unread book. What is an author without a reader? It is as to a play without an audience. So, I will let it be for now. At least Anton seems to be “enjoying” it. Makes me not want to read it even sooner. Maybe if you were to “play nice” “sweetie” others wouldn’t find you patronizing. And, if you were not aware of it, many people find labels(even “pagan friendly” people…) to be demeaning, condescending, or just simply ignorant. Learn to embrace the majority if you wish the majority to embrace you(or even if you just want to sell your book).
    (: Nuanna

  51. Nuanna: I note that none of your recent quotes derive from standard Pagan sources. Such only deepens my concern that you are less versed in studied Craft than you claim to be…

    “I feel no need to describe my heritage to a woman who does not even represent herself with her family name.”

    Neither I, nor any on this comment thread have asked you to “describe your heritage”. Indeed, I have been the ONLY one asked to do so, and did so immediately in considerable detail ;-)

    Further, I DO “represent [myself] with [my] family name”: Dixie Deerman is given as recently as this Monday’s Top Story on WLOS 13 news, posted millions of times on the Net, on my Wiccan Web site at:, and on abundant MXpress Commentaries ;-)

    Nonetheless, when matters are of a spiritual nature, Traditional Witches use their Craft names for the public’s benefit — to differentiate between their mundane and magical work.

    Simply summed: Witches wear many hats, so it’s helpful for folks to know which hat the Priestess is wearing at any given moment ;-)

    To repeat what I’ve written earlier regarding the origin and meaning of my Craft name:’Lady’ is a High Priestess title of respect earned at Third Degree, and ‘Passion’ is the Craft name I’ve had for 27 years that aptly describes my “passion for the Craft”, as you would no doubt agree by now :-)

    As with your quotes, I find your questions regarding my teacher(s) more Buddhist in nature than apropo to the Olde Religion.

    I know, I know, in contrast to those of us who practice ancient forms of magic, many folks who practice modern forms often assume that students should surpass their “Masters” (actually, all-too ssdly rare in theis intant gratification time), and that Masters learn much from their students (againt, all-too sadly infrequently).

    The bottom line is, Sweetie: That Wicca HAS no “Masters” anymore than Witches answer to any central authority as Xitans do (or that I pointed out in my initial critique of your Letter, that Wicca is an “Order”).

    Re: “Labeling”: As I’ve previously written in this thread, I maintain that Anton displayed needless defense regarding my attempt to find common ground with him — to show him that although he did not classify himself as a “Pagan or Wiccan”, I recognized and appreciated his interest in Craft issues enough to prove to him that Witches have a word for this phenom: Cowan ;-)

    Finally, folks such as yourself who categorically denounce authors without having read their work suffer the immediate curiosity of others as to their motive: Are they simply green with envy or what? For ethically, it seems patently unjust to dismiss work they haven’t read, and therefore, one would hope they’d have some semblence of merit on which to base their critique :-)

    Therefore, I conclude it is not I who am patronizing, but thee.

    And fear not regarding your assumption that I lack audience for my book, or that I’m so hard up as to use this obscure source as a means to sell it.

    For as I’ve written before, my The Goodly Spellbook is beloved internationally, has sold tens and tens of thousands of copies, has been translated into Italian (in Italy’s capital city of Milan, no less), and is now enjoying great paperback sales ;-)

  52. Anton

    I never said that I wasn’t Pagan, what I said was I am not Wiccan. Though you may find this hard to believe there is indeed a difference between the two. And while it is again unbelievable to you Lady Passion, you are not as much of an authority on either that you seem to think you are.

    You are getting a bit boring.

  53. Anton

    Oh, by the by Lady Passion, just so you know, when you use the word “cowan” your Crowleyism is showing. Cowan was an old scottish term used by masons to describe someone who helped with the work but was not yet apprenticed and also later used in speculative freemasonry. So much for the “secret language of Witches”. You funny girl you…lol.

    Truth is I am indeed a pretty accomplished worker, just a tad bit more than a “Cowan”

  54. Nuanna

    How versed I am in the Craft is none of your concern, though I appreciate that you bothered. Until now, your name herein, has not been your given name. I see alot of animosity, as much as passion. As to being a Lady……leave it to your audience. I have not denounced your book, nor would I do such a thing to ANY author(though everyone reading this has watched you denounce my writing for over a full sidereal cycle now.Who’s green with envy? To be so self engrandized is not very Lady-like). Neither did I suggest that you were having any difficulty selling your book. Tens of thousands of books sitting shelved for retail, purchased wholesale by stores do not readers make, but I’m sure your sales are great(from what you’ve said).
    My choice to be diverse in my (“weak-minded”) use of quotations, rather that narrowly expressing myself from only one definitive perspective, is not a lack of Pagan/Wiccan education, nor study. It is a choice of my free spirit, free will, and multi-faceted comprehension. Re-read my letter if necessary; first line, second paragraph begins:”Though I was raised astutely Christian…”
    Have any of your ancestors been burned at the stake? One of mine were. Do you have Gypsy blood in your veins? I do, Romanian Gypsy in fact. I am as diverse as my heritage, and as true to myself as anyone individual is capable of. Though I have no Asiatic ancestry, I do acknowledge wisdom from any source, or origin. I am also very fond of the teachings of the Tao-te Chang. Of course, being so singularly oriented you may not understand, nor necessarily comprehend my ability to variate my levels of information, while also considering myself consistently Wiccan. (:
    Though I affiliate myself with “the Pagan movement” I do not defer from my true Wiccan ancestry. Though I spent little effort to differentiate between Pagan and Wiccan beliefs and practices(in what was a brief overview of the likeminded, or an attempt at it),I know I am Wiccan,pantheistic,and a child of our Mother Earth.
    -Sweetie (:
    You are quite correct, Pagan and Wiccan are NOT the same. In my letter I pronounce my Wiccan heritage. I have not declared myself an authority on any topic. I have only said my piece.

    Mud Love
    Water to wine
    Wine to blood
    Yet thicker still,
    Tears,sweat,and dust,
    to my Earth,my love,and mud.
    One with Earth
    One with Goddess
    Mother Love,
    We are One.

    Mud love to you all,

  55. Anton

    Well if the truth be known I find this all amusing.

    I know what I am. Just as I smile at what others want to be.

  56. Anton

    OK this is it I am going to have my say and move on, you all can rant to someone who frankly doesn’t care.

    Nuanna, what you describe as “Wicca” to give Lady Passion her dues, does not exsist. The problem here is far to many people have acceptably defined “Wicca” to the point that there is no defition left.

    Lady Passion, what can I say, what a total dissappiontment. You are so caught up in yourself that you ain’t worth much of any other consideration….you are so great according to yourself, whos to argue?

    You wrote a book, concerning Magic that you discovered when you were in your 30’s that resonated with those who grew up on magic. I wish everyone who enjoys your book could read this forum, wouldn’t that lead to a ton of dissappiontment? What happened to you? When exactly did you lose your magic, and make no bones about it, you have lost your magic. You have become someone who knows so much they can learn no more. That defines the loss of magic. Didn’t you get old young?

    Tommorrow is the start of the last quarter moon, 7 days away from the new moon. It will take me this long to ponder all of this.

  57. VJG-C

    TO:The lady
    Hey, look at the little witch burning everyone at the stake for being a witch!
    I am a “born again” Christian Wiccan Pagan Catholic Buddhist Native American Jesus freak’n
    Witch. I would not judge anyone for their spiritual beliefs. Some say I can’t love Christ and be a witch. Some say I can’t be a witch and love Christ. I let the Diva of the land decide.
    Religion is so full of rules and regulations. If it doesn’t serve the greater good of the Most High, it is of no use to me. Egos are so ugly. We were all confused,pimply faced teenagers-and now we have individually found something that works for us. Spirit has guided our paths. How can we choose to pass judgement on anyone for embracing their spirituality? No one being prays the same…
    Blessed be to all seekers of the One truth, and the many ways they/we embrace it.
    -A real sweetie

  58. innocent bystander

    Enough of the “I know you are but what am I?”, “He (or she) who smelt it dealt it”, “I’m rubber, you’re glue: bounces off me and sticks to you!” nonsense. Are these the methods of a spiritual leader? It is all in an effort to ignore having hurt someone. That is the true essence of the situation. How about showing concern for having offended someone and expressing regret? This has nothing to do with admitting fault or malice. That would be the behavior of a spiritual leader. You were right, Appalachian American. On and on it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. P.S. I think I know who you are, B.P?

  59. Mr. Bell

    To:Lady Passion
    Wow,I find it rather astonishing that you have posted SO many comments on this article.There is possibly enough comments for you to maybe even write another book.Then you can still hold your title IWAB-however it would then change to I wrote another book.BTW who cares about grammatical errors on the internet??? Feel free to correct my grammatical errors if you like, I’d love to see what they are :)

    P.S. You use WAY too many of these ;)
    Just thought I’d let you know… Mr. Bell

  60. Nuanna

    Ignorance is not a disease to be medicated with condescension, but a lack of understanding to be erradicated with appropriately applied information. Those who are wise, were once ignorant. Learning is the ability that hones us, creating abstract thought, propogating ideals and understanding, advancing comprehension, and conditioning thought to purpose,logic,method,and calculation. Both a quantitative and qualitive education develope the uttmost definitive state of conscious reason, as well, the most superlative non-conscious capabilities of applicable decision and constancy

  61. Nuanna: I easily disprove your disingenuous insistance that you did not denounce my The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells For Modern Problems without having at least read it — and worse, point out such a needless swipe you gave to one of your own supporters!

    A). YOU: “I have not denounced your book, nor would I do such a thing to ANY author”…).

    B). YOUR PREVOUS STATEMENT: “…[your book] has yet to grace my eyes. I know the value of an unread book. What is an author without a reader? It is as to a play without an audience. So, I will let it be for now.”

    C). NEEDLESS SWIPE AT SUPPORTER ANTON: “At least Anton seems to be ‘enjoying’ it. Makes me not want to read it even sooner.”

    Anton: Glad you “loved [my] book”!

    Rest assured I well know the linguistic etymology of “cowan”.

    Bottom line: Witches term our language ‘secret’ because it is not used by any save those of use who are raditionally trained; and, Crowley ne’re used the term “cowan”, so your accusation that my use of such is “Crowleyism” is patently false.

    Sadly, as a non-Initiate you are not privy to info that proves that many Scottish, as well as Basque, French, and other words from numerous Euro and Euro-derived languages are included in our Witches’ ‘secret language’.

    (To quote Leland as I did in the tome: “Magic passes most readily from people to people” ;-)

    Lastly, I never have, nor would e’re conceive of cutting “ties with [my] Gardnerian lineage”…

    For I love it, work it, and perpetuate it.

    When asked to reveal my Witch heritage on this thread, I simply did so, as I gladly relate as a matter of course my bloodline (Strega) and formal training (Gardnerian) whenever asked ;-)

    To me, regarding the predominant content and caliber of this thread thus far: The proof is ever found in the pudding — not the mud.

    For my Coven Oldenwilde is widely acknowledged to be key, hard-core, long-term players on the real frontlines of fighting for and winning rights and overturning wrongs locally and nationwide, and indeed, even internationally, for Wiccans.

    We are ever and currently busy ‘doing the Work’in this and innumerable seen and behind-the-scenes efforts which are too numerous to relate in this small medium, but such as: Trying to save Asheville’s magical pair of magnolia trees in front of City Hall; winning Pagan prisoners nationwide their legal religious rights; teaching college students the beauty, antiquity and validity of daily magic; teaching future Craft clergy how to master magic; and doing deep workshops at far-flung Gatherings, etc., etc.

    What have YOU done for the Craft lately?

  62. innocent bystander

    Lady Passion, I applaud your efforts for religious freedom! I also think that what others say about you on a blog is given more weight than it deserves simply by responding to it. Sometimes it is best to ignore. I have been slandered in the past and taken the route of being the only one NOT TALKING. The wise will recognize your silence as wisdom, righteousness,and innocence, and the fools will listen to the slander time and again. I respect that you may have a different view on this, but feel pretty strongly that what I have said is true. It seems like they are getting your goat and you should never let people know where your goat is. Did you see War Games?
    “The only way to win is not to play”

  63. Anton

    Well innocent bystander, there is much truth in what you say. If you go back and review the history of this thread I think you will agree that I started off somewhat in Lady Passion’s corner. I tend to feel that Nuanna is incorrect in her definition of Wicca. Unless of course Wicca is all things to all people.

    However Lady Passion, seems to have the need to name call, belittle, denigrate and just crush others to bolster her own self esteem. I truly wish that I had not stumbled across this forum. I now have a totally different attitude towards the author of a book that frankly I thought was very good. It makes me view it now less favorably and I am sure it will be taken from the shelf less and less, until one day I will want the space for another book and her’s goes bye bye.

  64. Anton

    Lady Passion, actually Crowley did use the word Cowan. Crowley was constantly at odds with the Freemasonry movement in both the US and Great Briton.

    In correspondance with Edward Blakeley he referred to Mr. Blakeley and others as “Cowans”. They took as much hombrage to the word as I did, and do. Crowley seemed to have felt that he was the final authority on the subject of freemasonry. His attitude seems very similar to yours on matters of magic.

    I learned along time ago to never argue with a mind that is closed or filled, they both share an ego contrary to dialog.

    I won’t debate, discuss, argue, or in any way waste further time with you anymore, you are just so far superior to anyone that to even glance your way is a waste of the energy required.

    I bow to your arrogant wisdom.

  65. Nuanna Horn

    If U feel that i made a swipe at u with my comment i do humbly apologize, as it was not my intention. I have by and large agreed with your commentary on all accounts. I also seceed from further comments.


  66. Lady M.S.T.R.I.I.

    i think NuAnna wrote a wonderful piece, and it takes witchy guts to publish something like this. Lady Passion sounds high on herself, and i have not heard good things about her. I was not impressed with her books either. (She spelled ‘magick’ wrong, magic is stage magic, an illusion btw) We should be uniting, not fighting amongst ourselves, there are enough against us.

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