A Christian Speaks Out on the Faith and Path of Wicca


Coven or Not

Pagan Manners

Psychics Trick or Treat


A Christian Speaks on the Faith and Path of Wicca
by James Clement Taylor

I am a Christian and not a Wiccan. A Christian is one who has been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who has made a personal, free-will decision to commit himself and all his or her life to our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Both of these things are true of me. I am a Greek Orthodox Christian, a member of Saint Mary's Eastern Orthodox Church, Calhan, Colorado. In this paper, I am not speaking as agent for any church, but I am, entirely on my own responsibility, speaking the truth in love, as we Christians are supposed to do.

A Situation of Strife and Shame

There are many Christians today who believe that anyone who is not a Christian is doomed to an eternity of suffering in hell. Any decent person, believing this, would be compelled to try to save as many people from this fate as possible. But is this belief correct? Jesus Christ, having noted the faith and righteousness of a Roman centurion, a Pagan, proclaimed:

"Assuredly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:10-12).

If we accept these words as true, and surely we should, then it is clear that heaven will contain many who are not Christians, and hell will contain many who are! Clearly, throughout the Gospels, Jesus Christ sets forth the criteria for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, and those criteria include love, kindness, forgiveness, and a refusal to judge others:

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither your judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you." (Matthew 7:2)

"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.'" (Matthew 9:13)

"Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:36-38)

Is it not clear? Anyone who fails in these things, will calling himself a Christian save him? Anyone who obeys God in these things, will being unbaptized condemn him? Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom o heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)

In addition to these words from the Gospel, let us look at the words of Micah the Prophet, centuries earlier, who wrote: "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love Mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:6-8)

Where, in any of this, does it say what doctrines one is to believe, or whose teachings concerning reality one must accept? All these things speak on how one ACTS, how one lives one's life, the kind of person one's actions gradually bring into being.

Yet it is not by good works that we earn our way into heaven, because there is no way we can earn the free gift of God's mercy and grace, which alone can save us. But it is clear that it is not by faith, in the sense of sharing the Christian faith, that we are saved, either. The faith which saves us is not faith in the goodness of our works, nor faith that we have the right theology and/or belong to the right church. Rather, it is faith in God and in His mercy:

"So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy." (Romans 9:16)

But the Wiccans, you will say, do not have faith in God. Yet by their own theology, they certainly do. Those who call them Satan-worshippers are entirely wrong. They do not worship Satan, or even believe that Satan exists. Instead, they worship a Goddess and a God whom they understand as manifestations of a higher and unknown Deity.

Now if you are a Christian, this will sound familiar to you, and it should. In the Bible we find the following:

"Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with the inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you." (Acts 17:22-23)

The Wiccans worship the Unknown God, as manifested to them in the form of a Goddess and a God. Therefore, our Bible tells us they worship the same God we do; and if they do not know this, we should know it!

For those of us who are unable to simply stand on God's Word, and must prove to themselves the truth of what it proclaims they hold Apostle John has given us the method for doing this. You have only attend any public Wiccan ceremony, and test the spirits which are there, to see "whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1). You will find that, while you may perceive the power manifested there as less than what you have experienced as a Christian, that power is clearly the power of God.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, these people of Wicca have been terribly slandered by us. They have lost jobs, and homes, and places of business because we have assured others that they worship Satan, which they do not. We have persecuted them, and God will hold us accountable for this, you may be sure, for He has said, "Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40)

Let us, from this point onward, repent of our misdeeds and declare that henceforth we shall obey Christ our God, and not judge others or condemn them, so that He will not have to judge and condemn us for our sins.


by B. Crosby, a.k.a. Little Owl
November 1999

Musing while taking a bath, I decided to write a little on this subject. Helping others in need makes everyone feel good. But is it helping the person in need? Some people spend their whole life goofing up so others will bail them out. These people usually stay infantile all their lives. Doesn't this interfere with their own growth?

Helping others should be with a look on how they receive your help. Do their disasters stop? Do they use your help to be able to get on with their life in a positive way? After helping them for a year or so are they still in disaster? Have they ever paid you back for you help in some small way?

In helping some people you may be interfering with the Goddess' desire to teach them to grow and develop into a better person.

The words, "Gee I feel sorry for ________" needs to be looked at carefully. I have the strong belief that the (Goddess, Higher Self, or Holy Guardian Angel) makes sure I have not more than I can handle. People do come to the rescue when I need and I'm thankful for it and try to pay back the support however I can. I too often meet these so called lame ducks who suck energy, help a little but when the demands grow bigger with each piece of help and feel overwhelmed, I retreat.

I think one of the best measures to look at is how much energy you are depleting in helping others? Also there is a need to make sure that you are in a good place and on solid ground before taking on other people's problems. This is so true in healing others. When it first became popular in the 70's, people were going around healing others and getting sicker with each healing. The three fold law, it's not one I pay much attention to. But sending out negative vibes, I believe, opens you to receiving them, but that's a whole other essay.


Coven or Not


(Note: I found this article on the web about ten years ago and haven't seen it around since. If you know who the author is please let me know so I can give proper credit where do. The article "LOOKING AT YOURSELF" has not be altered other than a few spelling corrections.)

Before you go a step further, take a good long look at your desires, motivation and skills. What role do you see yourself playing in this new group? "Ordinary" member? Democratic facilitator? High Priestess? And if the last -- why do you want the job?

The title of High Priestess and Priest are seductive, conjuring up exotic images of yourself in embroidered robes, a silver crescent (or horned helm) on your brow, adoring celebrants hanging on every word which drops from your lips...

Reality check. The robes will be stained with wine and candle wax soon enough, and not every word you speak is worth remembering. A coven leader's job is mostly hard work between rituals and behind the scene. It is not always a good place to act out your fantasies, because the lives and well-being of others are involved, and what is flattering or enjoyable to you may not be in their best interest. So consider carefully.

If your prime motive in establishing a coven is to gain status and ego gratification, other people will quickly sense that. If they are intelligent, independent individuals, they will refuse to play Adoring Disciple to your Witch Queen impressions. They will disappear, and that vanishing act will be the last magick they do with you.

And if you do attract a group ready to be subservient Spear Carriers in your fantasy drama -- well, do you really want to associate with that kind of personality? What are you going to do when you want someone strong around to help you or teach you, and next New Moon you look out upon a handful of Henry Milquetoasts and Freda Handmaidens? If a person is willing to serve you, then they will also become dependent on you, drain your energy, and become disillusioned if you ever let down the Infallible Witch queen mask for even a moment.

Some other not-so-great reasons for starting a coven:

- because it seems glamorous, exotic, and a little wicked;
- because it will shock your mother, or
- because you can endure your boring, flunkie job more easily if you get to go home and play Witch at night.

Some better reasons for setting up a coven, and even nominating yourself as High Priest/ess, include:

- you feel that you will be performing a useful job for yourself and others;
- you have enjoyed leadership roles in the past, and proven yourself capable, or
- you look forward to learning and growing in the role.

Even with the best motives in the world, you will still need to have -- or quickly develop --a whole range of skills in order to handle a leadership role. If you are to be a facilitator of a study group, group process insights and skills are important.
These include:

1. Gate keeping, or guiding discussion in such a way that everyone has an opportunity to express ideas and opinions.
2. Summarizing and clarifying.
3. Conflict resolution, or helping participants understand points of disagreement and find potential solutions which respect everyone's interests.
4. Moving the discussion toward consensus, or at any rate decision, by identifying diversions and refocusing attention on goals and priorities.
5. Achieving closure smoothly when the essential work is completed, or an appropriate stopping place is reach.

In addition to group process skills, four other competencies necessary to the functioning of a coven are: ritual leadership, administration, teaching, and counseling. In a study group the last one may not be considered a necessary function, and the other three may be shared among all participants. But in a coven the leaders are expected to be fairly capable in all these areas, even if responsibilities are frequently shared or delegated. Let us look briefly at each.

Ritual leadership involves much more than reading invocations by candlelight. Leaders must understand the powers they intend to manipulate: how they raised, channeled and grounded. They must be adept at designing rituals which involve all sensory modes. They should have a repertoire of songs and chants, dances and gestures or madras, incense and oils, invocations and spells, visual effects and symbols, meditations and postures; and the skill to combine these in a powerful, focused pattern. They must have clarity or purpose and firm ethics. And they must understand timing: both where a given ritual fits in the cycles of the Moon, the Wheel of the Year, and the dance of the spheres, and how to pace the ritual once started, so that energy peaks and is channeled at the perfect moment. And they must understand the Laws of Magick, and the correspondences, and when ritual is appropriate and when it is not.

By administration, we refer to the basic management practices necessary to any organization. These include apportioning work fairly, and following up on its progress; locating resources and obtaining them (information, money, supplies); fostering communications (by telephone, printed schedules, newsletters etc.); and keeping records (minutes, accounts, Witch Book entries, or ritual logbook). Someone or several someone's has to collect the dues if any, buy the candles, chill the wine, and so forth.

Teaching is crucial to both covens and study groups. If only one person has any formal training or experiences in magick, s/he should transmit that knowledge in a way which respects the intuitions, reemerging past life skills, and creativity of the others. If several participants have some knowledge in differing area, they can all share the teaching role. If no one in the group has training and you are uncertain where to begin, then you may need to call on outside resources: informed and ethical priest/esses who can act as visiting faculty, or who are willing to offer guidance by telephone or correspondence. Much can be gleaned from books, or courses -- assuming you know which books are trustworthy and at the appropriate level -- but there is not substitute for personal instruction for some things. Magick can be harmful if misused, and an experienced practitioner can help you avoid pitfalls as well as offering hints and techniques not found in the literature.

Counseling is a special role of the High Priest/ess. It is assumed that all members of a coven share concern for each other's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare, and are willing to help each other out in practical ways. However, coven leaders are expected to have a special ability to help coveners explore the roots of their personal problems and choose strategies and tactics to overcome them. The is is not to suggest that one must be a trained psychoanalyst; but at the least, good listening skills, clear thinking and some insight into human nature are helpful. Often, magickal skills such as guided visualizations, Tarot counseling and radiesthesia (pendulum work) are valuable tools as well.

Think carefully about your skills in these areas, as you have demonstrated them in other organizations. Ask acquaintances or co-workers, who can be trusted to give you a candid opinion, how they see you in some of these roles. Meditate, and decide what you really want for yourself in organizing the new group. Will you be content with being a catalyst and contact person -- simply bringing people with a common interest together, then letting the group guide its destiny from that point on? Would you rather be a facilitator, either for the first months or permanently; a low-key discussion leader who enables the group to move forward with a minimum of misunderstanding ding and wasted energy? Or do you really want to be High Priestess -- whatever that means to you -- and serve as the guiding spirit and acknowledged leader of a coven? And if you do want that job, exactly how much authority and work do you envision as part of it? Some coven leaders want a great deal of power and control; others simply take an extra share of responsibility for setting up the rituals (whether or not they actually conduct the rites), and act as "magickal advisor" to less experienced members. Thus the High Priest/ess can be the center around which the life of the coven revolves, or primarily an honorary title, or anything in between.

That is one area which you will need to have crystal-clear in your own mind before the first meeting (or if you are flexible, at least be very clear that you are). You must also be clear as to your personal needs on other points: program emphasis, size, meeting schedule, finances, degree of secrecy, and affiliation with a tradition or network. You owe it to prospective members and to yourself to make your minimum requirements known from the outset: it can be disastrous to a group to discover that members have major disagreements on these points after you have been meeting for six months.


Pagan Manners

Planning to attend a Pagan Event or Ritual?
If so, here's some "common sense" manners about
what's okay and what's not.

(Note: I found the following article , "Pagan Manners", on the web about ten years ago and felt it really covered the basics as far as "common sense" goes for Pagans. If you know who the author of this article is please let me know so I can give credit where do.

1. Never assume that you are invited to a ritual or a nonpublic gathering just because your friend is invited. Have your friend call the group doing the event and ASK! (or call yourself).

2. When participating in a ritual led by a group of which you are not a member, ask ahead of time what will be done. Should there be something in the explanation, or in the set-up of the ritual area which bothers you, just quietly don't participate in the ritual.

3. Ask the person(s) officiating at a ritual before you place anything in the ritual area, wear clothing or tools which might be considered unusual; or add private energy workings to the ritual being done.

4. Never just walk out of a cast ritual circle. Ask someone in the group sponsoring the ritual to cut your a door if your really and truly absolutely have to leave.

5. Don't make comments on the ritual, its leaders or the amount or quality of the energy raised during the ritual unless such opinions are asked for by the leaders. Save it for your friends, privately, after the ritual is over.

6. Vegetarians, Vegans, Strict Carnivores, Diabetics, and any others with very strong food preferences; no one minds your asking quietly and politely "Which dishes have meant (sugar, spices, hot pepper, etc.) in them?" When planning a meal for Pagan/Wiccan groups, it is strongly suggested that at least some of the dishes be vegetarian, sugar-free, relatively non-spicy etc. At all times, within and without the ritual context, always provide an alternative to alcoholic beverages.

7. While many people have become far less secretive about their membership in a Pagan group, it is never, EVER, permissible to "blow someone's cover". Do not ever call a friend or acquaintance by their Pagan name or mention their membership in a mundane situation. It is also bad manners - and a symptom of social climbing - to call an individual by his/her mundane name in a Pagan situation. It always reminds me of an extra calling John Wayne "The Duke" at a local bar.

8. Whether you drink, take drugs or indulge in other similar behavior is completely your own business. It is always wrong to urge such behavior on any other individual. The majority of serious Pagan groups absolutely do NOT allow anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to participate in ritual. Do not be offended if you are turned away for this reason. If you are taking a psychoactive drug for a medical reason it is very wise to check with the ritual leader(s) so they will understand and can advise you if they feel the ritual might be harmful to you.

9. Just because most Pagans/Wiccans are under 40 and in reasonably good physical condition, never assume that everyone is. Rituals and gatherings should be planned so that those with physical problems are not barred totally from participation. Particularly in ritual, be aware that many more people than you might think are "mobility disabled." Group ritual should take place in an accessible area and some thought should be given to designating a safe place for those not taking part in dancing to stand or sit. Please be alert to anyone to whom help would be welcome. Help them to find a campsite which minimizes walking to the ritual area, to the privy's, to the eating area - whatever. Help them pitch their camp. Don't make them feel unwelcome - most handicapped people have worked extra hard on their magickal skills and may be able to add a great deal to the power in ritual and to the success of the gathering.

10. When at any sort of gathering, please be thoughtful. Particularly please observe true quiet after midnight. No one minds if you and others want to stay up all night talking or whatever. Everyone else minds a great deal if you stay up talking and laughing loudly and/or drumming. Those hosting a gathering should take the responsibility of keeping the noise level very low in at least some of the sleeping areas - and designating it as a quiet area.

11. Do not allow yourself to get the idea that you know the One True, Right and Only Path! Even if you really do have the conviction that what someone else is doing is "wrong", "incorrect", "Left-hand path" or whatever, just don't talk about it. It is perfectly permissible to refrain from participating in the activities of those with whom you cannot feel comfortable. It is not acceptable to express the idea that they "shouldn't" be doing it. This is not to say that if you know of criminal behavior on the part of a so-called Pagan/Wiccan group you should not report it. We must also be responsible for cleaning up our own act.

Paganism is glorified by its diversity. Please do not allow yourself to express judgment by categories. Whether or not you like or dislike blacks, Indians, Homosexuals, women, men, or whatever, keep it to yourself! If you really and truly cannot feel comfortable taking part in a ritual which isn't conducted according to the tradition you follow or if you cannot be pleasant in company mixed with groups you disapprove of, please just stay home.

Psychic's - Trick or Treat?
Choosing a psychic reader
by Gail Dettmar

Everyone seems to know about book, television or movie versions of a psychic. There are good, positive, sincere, caring psychics and then there are very dramatic ones, and others that are negative and plain scary, not to mention the charlatans too.

More and more people are seeking the services of a psychic, from the curious to those seriously in need of guidance and advice, or those seeking validation or wanting to know what's in their future. Then there are those who are seeking a psychic spiritual healer or ghost buster.

So how on this earth does someone fid and choose a psychic?

   1. Decide exactly why you want to seek a psychic. Are you just curious? Is there something specific? Are you going through confusion, or at a crossroad, etc.? Make a list of questions you would like guidance on to have available during the reading.

   2. Decide what kind of psychic you want to see. Some psychics are "direct" and just tap into your energy or channel from their and your spirit guides. Others use one of the multitude of divination tools available. What would you be most comfortable with?

   3. How & where to find a psychic? Now the search begins. First remember you are seeking a professional and ethical psychic. Possibly someone you know has a psychic they could recommend. Check local metaphysical and spiritual stores, psychic fairs, healing arts centers, or local publications for advertisements.

   4. Now you found several psychics and wonder how to decide which one to see. Here is where you tap into your own intuition and look at the style of their ad, their picture or watch them in action at a store or fair. Are you drawn to them: Do you feel at ease or uncomfortable? Don't be afraid to ask others who have just gotten a reading how it was? Ask the psychic about their psychic ability, their experience, and any study or special training they have had. During that few minutes, is the psychic open and friendly and willing to take a few minutes to answer your inquiries? Or is the psychic only trying to get you to sit down so she can "read" for you?

   5. Preparing for a reading. Before making your appointment for your reading be sure to ask what their fees are and the length of time the session will be. Ask if you may record the session so you can listen to it later. Ask what you can expect to get from the reading.

 Summing it up

What to expect, before and during your session with the chosen psychic:

     -  The fee and length of the session.
     -   A professional, caring, warm. friendly attitude.
     -   Honesty in the information shared.
     -   The communication is clear so you understand and your able to ask any necessary questions you have.
     -   Oath of ethics that the psychic will keep your session confidential.

Beware of:  

   1.  Beware of psychics who tell you that you or your family have a curse on them. They usually ask for a list of items, specific groceries, etc.! Yes, you'd only end up filling their pantry!

   2.  Beware of psychics that tell you all your bad luck, or your curse is due to your monetary attachments. They then ask you to come back again and bring money, jewelry, your car or house title etc. wrapped in a plain white cloth or put in a plain white envelope, so they can do a ritual to remove the "bad mo jo" etc. by destroying the items. They usually only end up switching the items before destroying them. Your free of your monetary things and they now have possession of them!

   3.  Beware if the psychic needs more money because he or she can't get a "clear" focus. The psychic should be able to give you the information you seek without asking for additional money.

   4.  Beware if the psychic does not want the session recorded...ask why? Be satisfied with the answer or cancel the session.
Final Note

Don't be Tricked by a charlatan!

  Remember...not all psychics are 100% accurate,
but they are pretty close to it.
There are so many good psychics out there
and getting a psychic reading should be.....

  A Wonderful Treat!
Copyright © 1986, 2008
Gail Dettmar

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