Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wiccans are nicer than most people


[Wiccans] Being an intern at City Weekly affords me with many glorious opportunities to expand my horizons and meet amazing people. Case in point: meeting members of the Utah Wiccan Alliance. The group held a celebration in collaboration with the summer solstice this past Saturday and invited me along.


I was informed they would be in Liberty Park. (I wasn’t sure what to look for, it's a pretty huge park, but there was a big group standing in a circle holding hands and so I took a lucky guess.)


This motley crew of men and women, all circled together, joining hands to celebrate the Goddess was probably quite the sight for unknowing spectators. The smoke of a fire in the mid-day heat was also probably an oddity that was noticed as well. I asked around and met up with Dennis Hobson, co-chair of the UWA and subject of last week's 5 Spot. He invited me to join in on the rituals taking place.


Along with my friend Katey, who came along to calm my hesitancies of religion and magic in general, I held hands with members of the Wiccan Alliance and quietly contemplated my surroundings. The circle permeated incense and a large sword was swept around the perimeter of the circle in a slow moving fashion. The Wiccans were closing their eyes, in a prayer-like state, and in reverence for the Goddess and energy of the circle. One by one we exited the circle, passing through the two officiators in the center, and then through a break in the circle.


I am unsure of what this ritual was, or why it is significant in the Wiccan system of belief. However, I don’t really feel the need to understand it. I was much more impressed by the calm collectiveness of the people in the circle, of the trust and camaraderie that they gave to me, a perfect stranger, to share in such an intimate and most likely, very spiritual event to them. I don't think many groups would be as welcoming considering the circumstances, and for that, I am very happy to have met the Wiccans. Their group members were so full of hope and life that I was also inspired to be thus.


After the ceremony, I was introduced to the group and was thanked by many members of the UWA individually for writing the piece on Dennis, however small it may have been. But I feel as though I should be thanking them for having me at their celebration. (Jennie Nicholls)

20 comments:

  1. "I am unsure of what this ritual was, or why it is significant in the Wiccan system of belief. However, I don’t really feel the need to understand it."

    You've just sold your soul, sweetie. See you in hell.

    But seriously, to say that Wiccans are nicer than most people is over-reaching a bit, don't ya think?

    And to not feel a desire to understand something that, apparently, you find so compelling is strange to me.

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  2. sounds like an absolutely great experience! wish i would of been there. we dont need to understand the ritual just embrace it. respect comes before understanding. peace Darren Edgar

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  3. Wierd philosophy there, Darren.

    I wonder; would you be capable of extending that same generosity to Mormons, Muslims and Satanists, as well?

    Could you just show up and join in any one of their various rituals, embracing it with no need to understand what it is you're participating in?

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  4. Dennis Hobson JrJune 25, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    hayduke you should understand that we have no animosity towards any faith and most of us would have absolutely no problem participating in any religious rite. In fact just two weeks ago I was present at my step sons mormon baptism. All one need understand is that as long as a ritual mass or church service is positive then it is nothing to fear or question. Maybe a little less cynicism on your part would be a good thing

    Sincerely Dennis Hobson Jr Founder and co-chair of the UWA (Utah Wiccan Alliance)

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  5. And so religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather then unifying forces. Instead of bringing about an ending of violence and hatred through a realization of the fundamental oneness of life, they brought more violence and hatred, more divisions between people as well as between different religions and even within the same religion. They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves "right" and others "wrong" and thus define thier identity through their enemies, the "others" the "non believers" or "wrong believers" who not infrequently they saw themselves justified in killing.

    Many people are already aware of the difference between spirituality and religion. They realize that having a belief system - a set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth - does not make you spirtitual no matter what the nature of those beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs) into your identity, the more cut off you are form the spritiual dimension within yourself. Many "relgious" people are stuck at that level. They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely indentified with thought (their mind), they claim to be in sole possession of the truth in an unconcious attempt to protect their indentity. They don't realize the limitations of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not-too-distant past, they would have felt justified in killing you for that. And some still do, even now.

    Eckhart Tolle
    "A New Earth"
    ___________________

    I commend the author for having an awakening of her own. I hope others will have their own as well. Thank you so much for the kind words in the blog. Many blessings to you!

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  6. Jennie Nicholls,
    It was so great to have you! I for one really appreciate you coming and your kind words. Too many people fear things just because they are unknown. If more people could be like you and were willing to be open to experiencing different types of beliefs and cultures there would be a lot less hate in the world and a lot more peace. Thanks again for coming and for your kind words.

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  7. Yeah, it's all fine until they pull out the CAT FOR A SACRIFICE!
    Kidding.
    But really, like anyone else, there are harmless Wiccans and there are those who look for "dark powers" to manipulate or punish those they see as enemies.
    Myself, I prefer the teachings of Jesus (without the human constructs imposed atop those teachings by organized religion).

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  8. Wiccans are a gentle peace loving group. We try to do things in tune with nature, much like the Native American religions. Our only charge in our religion is to Harm None. We accept that there are many paths to the Divine energy. We only hope you find yours. The peace and light that comes from being in contact with that source is very necessary in my life. Jennie, it was wonderful to have you in the circle contributing to the positive healing energy we were sending out. You have such a sweet spirit.
    Our ritual in the park was a typical Solstice ritual. It was a group prayer in a protected circle raising energy for those in our lives that could use some loving healing energy. If having good thoughts for those you love and holding hands with people that are also having good thoughts for those they love will send you to hell then I think everyone is going.

    Sincerely,

    Jessie Forster, Press Secretary of the Utah Wiccan Alliance.
    Http://www.myspace.com/utah_wiccan_alliance

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  9. Dennis,

    I did not state, nor insinuate, that Wiccans (as a unified group) hold animosity towards any religion, person, or anything else.

    That's fine for you to say that, "all one need understand is that as long as a ritual mass or church service is positive then it is nothing to fear or question", but I disagree.

    If you do not understand the ritual you are participating in, how are you to recognise that it is fully positive? From that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when filled with "the spirit"?

    That others within a group are welcoming, as are many within various religions, does not prove kind intentions.

    I admit to being a cynic, but I was not cynical in this instance.

    Asking a question does not make one cynical. Asking questions shows curiousity, and, hopefully, makes one informed.

    I was asking a sincere question in order to understand why an individual would participate in any religious affair without wanting to understand what it is they are participating in - especially considering that the author of this blog seemed so enthralled with the event.

    I would have guessed that she would have very much wanted to understand the significance of solstice mass.

    So, if you're fine cruising through life without making an attempt to understand your actions and interests, that's fine. But whenever possible, I prefer to know what it is that I am doing.

    Sincerely,

    Hayduke - Founder of nothing. Believer in truth as a way of life, knowledge as personal power and an informed populace as a deterrent to wrong-doing.

    Hang a bit of St. Johns Wort and do say hello to the Holly King for me.

    - Peace

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  10. I'd recently had a nice old lady I was doing some remodeling for ask me if I believed in Jesus Christ. Normally I don't get involved in those sort of conversations, but I'd been working for her for a couple weeks and she truly is a sweet soul.
    After roughly lining out the basics, of MY personal beliefs, she proceeded to explain to me that unless I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as God, I was surely going to Hell. Because there was no other way except through Him to attain Heaven.


    I can't help but feel sorry for everyone who truly believes in any one path. One of the few places where something can be attributed to Jesus that is not in parable.

    "Luke 17:21 "Neither shall they say, lo here or lo there for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you."

    "The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
    Not in a mansion of wood and stone.
    Split a piece of wood and God is there,
    Lift a stone and you will find God."


    If the main man of her beliefs is saying that there is no One path, then how come she and so many like her be so misunderstanding of folks to whom a major tenet is to be understanding of others. A quality is attributed to The Christ in many stories.

    Wyatt Pitts, Council Member of the Utah Wiccan Alliance

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  11. Hey, Wyatt.
    Quote scripture if you want, but don't add to it to make your point, trying to imply that second part of your italicized comments came from Jesus.
    And it is clear who is the topic, too, if you quote the true next verse:
    Luke 17:22-23 ". . . when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man (which Jesus earlier had called himself) and ye shall not see it, and then they say to you, see here or see there; go not after them, nor follow them."
    Hmm. That kinda sounds like you and your message now, doesn't it?

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  12. god is not greatJune 26, 2008 at 3:39 PM

    Religion poisons everything -- any religion, all religion.

    Can we as humans just grow the #%&! up and put this kind of superstitious crap behind us -- I don't care if its Bible-thumpers, neo-pagan pie-in-the-skiers, god loyalists, devil worshippers, the cult of the turtle at the center of the universe, Jimmy Jones or Johnny Quest, it is all the same old S---, creating divisions diversions, and crap to fight about.
    Oh, and you're an intern at CW and you, like, actually want people to know this??

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  13. Finally, somebody fucking gets it.

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  14. When it comes down to it I feel as though some of the individuals that have posted comments in response to this blog seem to have forgotten the one thing that we all should live and let live. Oh and please lets try to refrain from negative posts and profanity there are ladies who will read this. If you have a mind please use it and please consider others feelings. You all have the right to your opinions as long as your opinions do not harm others in that case you should keep them to yourself. PS you who have posted these messages and you know who you are you have offended some people already

    Dennis Hobson Jr Founder and Co-Chair of the UWA

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  15. Yeah, live and let live ... too so few of the religious whackos in our society abide by that ethic, be they mainstream or new-age or someplace in between

    ... and to the point that one can have opinions as long as they don't hurt anybody?? Are you serious?? Religious nutcases have destroyed how many millions of lives with "opinions?" A negative blog post ain't gonna get somebody crucified, ladies present or not

    ... I too wish the human race would give up its infantile infatuation with God the devil and all that other bull and get on with the task at hand: saving the planet and providing a future for our kids

    ...and, yeah, who would really want the world at-large to know they were an intern for the City Weak-ly; it'd be bad enuf to admit that you worked at that rag for pay!

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  16. We'll emote,
    slit a goat's throat,
    and sing ...

    Then we'll get dressed,
    and drive back to town!


    A favorite filk from the old Quickbeam days ... Remember Song Circle?!?!

    Ah, happy times ...

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  17. hello, wicca fellow human.im a jewish christian.mathew chapter 17,,,GOD spoke from sky,JESUS is son of GOD, before eyewitnesses,,listen to JESUS is GODS command,,,mark ch 9 same,,,luke ch 9 same,2peter ch1:17-18 same.4 different historical accounts recorded of GOD speaking from sky,,JESUS is GODS son.i ask you wicca student,does the goddess or wicca god,ever speak from sky,to eyewitnesses,believe your wicca teachers.never.exodus ch 19:9-11,same w moses,2,000,000 eyewitnesses hear & see GOD speak from sky,believe in moses forever,exodus ch 20:19-22-23,,,exodus ch12 :37-38,,,they dont see GODS face,but they see GODS body.GOD never spoke from sky,saying believe in mohhammed or buddha,or any other teacher.wicca student,please go to www.BIBLEBELIEVERS.com,,,or www.messianic.com,,,please get saved

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  18. WTF?? (making that twirly motion with my finger around my ear)

    This is what religion does to people -- worse than LSD!

    And get off this chick for interning at the Weakly -- maybe she needs some examples of cream-puff journalism on her resume.

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  19. unfortunately organized religion seems to make all of its members nutty. Quoting the bible as proof of something is quite like saying that beowulf is proof that dragons exist. Im not saying that your god doesnt exist or that dragons dont Im just saying that i could never believe in a god that requires me to beg him for forgiveness or that would spend hundreds of years sending a message and then have his son send a complete contradiction to that message. THe thing most people dont seem to understand is that most wiccans are very intelligent people and hey a lot of us were even raised mormon or catholic or just run of the mill christian. So yes please dont quote the bible we know it and thats why we are wiccans

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  20. The Devil is a Dumb-AssJuly 7, 2008 at 10:25 AM

    What's the only thing stupider than falling for one of the well-established, traditional, mainstream bullshit religions??

    Falling for a new, pie-in-the-sky, fad bullshit religion like WICCA.

    (and don't try tellin' me how WICCA has been around for millennia; your anachronisms don't fly around here.)

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