High School Witchcraft
Posted: 10 January 2014 03:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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A student at an Oklahoma high school was suspended for casting spells.
http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=95218

The people involved sound like Native Americans, so there’s probably a different mix of ingredients to the story.

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Posted: 10 January 2014 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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This is an old story, and there is more to it than the superficial ABC News article tells. Even People magazine gave it more depth. Brandi Blackbear was not suspended for witchcraft, and she lost her case. The court found, in part, that Blackbear’s claim the school suspended her for witchcraft was “...a ploy to make the lawsuit more exciting to the media.”

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Posted: 10 January 2014 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The report says that the girl, Brandi Blackbear, was suspended for casting a spell that made one of the teachers sick. Under “aggressive interrogation” by Assistant Principal Charlie Bushyhead, the girl admitted she “might be” Wiccan, on the strength of having read ONE book on Wicca from the school library. Many of my friends are Wiccan, and I can imagine the scornful remarks some of them might make about that…. and, finally, it turns out that the poor girl is Catholic.

But, really, c’mon; Is this whole thing some kind of half-baked satire? A joke that doesn’t quite come off? Or what?

TFS

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Posted: 10 January 2014 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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TFS, this is a 15-year-old story. The link MA provided is to a six-year-old article. I have no idea why ABC News would publish something so misleading well after the court case. Read the links I provided or google “brandi blackbear.” There is a lot of information about this case.

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Posted: 10 January 2014 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks for the links; I read both articles, and there’s so much conflicting information around that it’s hard to know where the facts lie.

But you certainly don’t get to be Wiccan by reading a few books!

TFS

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Posted: 10 January 2014 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Why not?  Most christians get that way from reading just one book.  LOL

(A lot of them don’t even get that far.)

Occam

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Posted: 10 January 2014 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for the links; I read both articles, and there’s so much conflicting information around that it’s hard to know where the facts lie.

But you certainly don’t get to be Wiccan by reading a few books!

TFS

Ok TFS, you’ve piqued my curiosity. So just how do you get to be a Wiccan?


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Posted: 10 January 2014 11:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well all right: if you want to become a TRUE AND GENUINE (TAG) Wiccan, you have to find a TAG Wiccan coven, one that can trace its lineage (lineage is a very important thing with TAG Wiccans) all the way back to Good Ol’ Uncle Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), Colonial civil servant, amateur archaeologist and anthropologist, and nudist, and get them to initiate you. Gardner claimed to have been initiated into a surviving coven of Pagan witches, who supposedly were able to trace their practises back to pre-Christian Europe, in the New Forest area of Hampshire, England, back in the 1930s. He first brought Wicca to the attention of the world in two books, “Witchcraft Today” and “The Meaning of Witchcraft” in the 1950s. Modern TAG Wiccans maintain that only those initiated into TAG Wiccan covens by TAG Wiccan High Priest/esses who were themselves initiated byTAG High Priest/esses all the way back to Gardner himself are qualified to call themselves TAG Wiccans - all others are impostors, fakes and dilettantes; although oddly enough Gardner himself never made that claim; he recognised that there were many other Wiccan traditions, including some he knew nothing about. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Gardner_(Wiccan) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca .

Or you can do what thousands of teenagers and pre-teens have done, perhaps read a couple of books (or watch a few episodes of “Charmed” or “Buffy”) and announce to horrified parents “I’m a Wicca ‘cause my friend is an’ it sounds cool!” No TAG Wiccan will be willing to accept you as such, but, hey, they’re just a bunch of creepy old guys who want to dance in the woods with naked girls, and what do they know? So take your choice, but be prepared to defend it!

Or don’t.

Actually Wicca seems to have been more or less invented by Gardner himself, taking elements from Margaret Murray’s controversial (and largely discredited) book, “The Witch Cult in Western Europe”, the Quabbalistic practises of the late 19th/early 20th century Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, Aleister Crowley’s magickal order, the Ordo Templi Orientis, Freemasonry, and perhaps a few odds and ends of genuine old traditions. For a comprehensive, mostly sympathetic and surprisingly readable overview of the whole phenomenon, Prof. Ronald Hutton’s Magnum Opus, “Triumph of the Moon”, is probably the definitive reference.

TFS

[ Edited: 11 January 2014 10:00 AM by Theflyingsorcerer ]
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Posted: 11 January 2014 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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DarronS - 10 January 2014 12:02 PM

This is an old story, and there is more to it than the superficial ABC News article tells. Even People magazine gave it more depth. Brandi Blackbear was not suspended for witchcraft, and she lost her case. The court found, in part, that Blackbear’s claim the school suspended her for witchcraft was “...a ploy to make the lawsuit more exciting to the media.”

From 2000!

Well then, I’m an ass for not checking the report more thoroughly.

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Posted: 11 January 2014 06:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Well all right: if you want to become a TRUE AND GENUINE (TAG) Wiccan, you have to find a TAG Wiccan coven, one that can trace its lineage (lineage is a very important thing with TAG Wiccans) all the way back to Good Ol’ Uncle Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), Colonial civil servant, amateur archaeologist and anthropologist, and nudist, and get them to initiate you. Gardner claimed to have been initiated into a surviving coven of Pagan witches, who supposedly were able to trace their practises back to pre-Christian Europe, in the New Forest area of Hampshire, England, back in the 1930s. He first brought Wicca to the attention of the world in two books, “Witchcraft Today” and “The Meaning of Witchcraft” in the 1950s. Modern TAG Wiccans maintain that only those initiated into TAG Wiccan covens by TAG Wiccan High Priest/esses who were themselves initiated byTAG High Priest/esses all the way back to Gardner himself are qualified to call themselves TAG Wiccans - all others are impostors, fakes and dilettantes; although oddly enough Gardner himself never made that claim; he recognised that there were many other Wiccan traditions, including some he knew nothing about. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Gardner_(Wiccan) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicca .

Hmmm, and all this time I thought that TAG meant “talented and gifted! I’m familiar with Crowley but not Gardner. I guess you could call him a revivalist of sorts but forget trying to trace religious practices to Pre-Xtian Europe. They were essentially wiped out by the Romans after destroying the Druidic priests and the other Celtic religious orders. What remained was a shadow of the religious practices via artifacts and a few skewed writings. my reason for asking was to see if the Wiccans, whose belief system I haven’t studied, spun off from the revived Druidic cult that hangs out at Stonhenge every Solstice. I did know a woman who worked for me once who proclaimed that she was a Wiccan but didn’t really talk about it and and I never pressed her for info. Interesting that the cult still has followers though or is it just an excuse now to strip naked and run through the woods?


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 11 January 2014 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 January 2014 06:05 AM

Interesting that the cult still has followers though or is it just an excuse now to strip naked and run through the woods?
Cap’t Jack

According to the Wikipedia “/Wicca” article, in the 2011 census in Great Britain, more than 50,000 claimed “Paganism” as their religion, and more than 12,000 claimed “Wicca” or “Witchcraft”. “Paganism” probably includes Asatru (Norse mythology as the basis for a religion) and probably some Druids as well as those who simply feel a spiritual connection to the natural world, independent of any formal religion. Another Wikipedia article cites estimates from various sources of anything from 50,000 to 300,000 self-described Wiccans in the United States, although Wiccans tend not to hold still long enough to be counted. “Dianic Wicca”, which combines Gardnerian Wicca with feminism and political activism, is quite popular in California, by all accounts.

And, no, I don’t think Wicca is a spin-off from neo-Druidism. The two traditions seem to have arisen independently, but there has been some degree of cross-fertilization, you might say. Some folks claim alliegence to both.

Not all Wiccans celebrate “skyclad” (nude). I don’t know for sure, but I suspect most don’t.

If you want to know more, check out the published sources; plenty available, both in print and online.

And, just in case you’re interested; no, I’m not Wiccan. I know quite a few people who are, though (edit) - or at least they claim to be..

TFS

[ Edited: 11 January 2014 02:12 PM by Theflyingsorcerer ]
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Posted: 11 January 2014 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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mid atlantic - 11 January 2014 05:23 AM
DarronS - 10 January 2014 12:02 PM

This is an old story, and there is more to it than the superficial ABC News article tells. Even People magazine gave it more depth. Brandi Blackbear was not suspended for witchcraft, and she lost her case. The court found, in part, that Blackbear’s claim the school suspended her for witchcraft was “...a ploy to make the lawsuit more exciting to the media.”

From 2000!

Well then, I’m an ass for not checking the report more thoroughly.

We all get sucked into these stories once in a while. This just shows we need to remain skeptical whenever reading the news.

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Posted: 17 January 2014 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Occam. - 10 January 2014 01:56 PM

Why not?  Most christians get that way from reading just one book.  LOL

(A lot of them don’t even get that far.)

Occam

Similar phenomena exists in the Muslim world regarding scholarship.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3w_v0aEX38

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