Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from the Eugene, Oregon, Register Guard, October 29, 2004, with the headline, “Wiccan Witch Wannabes— Nine-year-old Luna Sansone thinks she may want to be an artist when she grows up, or a witch. But not just any witch. ‘I want to be a real witch,’ she says, ‘someone who makes herbs and things, and helps people make lots of tea, and makes protective spells.’ As Wicca and related earth-based religions reach into the mainstream, more parents are passing down those beliefs to their children. Tracy Sansone, mother of Luna and two younger children, says she expects that her offspring eventually will choose their own religious paths. ‘In the meantime, I want them to have a good background of observing what’s around them so they’re not walking through life on blind faith,’ she says.
"In Eugene, Crystal Barger takes a similar approach with her ten-year old twin daughters, Allison and Lydia. Every morning, she and her girls each choose a Tarot or fairy card to meditate upon as they sit around an improvised altar of stones, feathers, driftwood, candles, sage, and other totems. ‘If you’re really connected with the earth and what’s around you, then you’re able to make clearer decisions,’ Barger says. ‘That’s the most important thing to me: to make sure they feel connected with what they came from, the planet and nature.’
"What is known is that Barger and Sansone are part of a growing wave of parents turning to books, websites, and other resources aimed at spreading the Wiccan way to children.
"It’s long overdue in the eyes of Norma Joyce, a founding member of Women and Conscious Creative Action, a neo-pagan group formed in Eugene in 1983. ‘The children have been left out of this movement for a long time, and the parents are saying, “Wait a minute, we’re serious about this,”’ Joyce says. ‘And we’ve settled down. We’re not running around in the woods.’"
Tom: You know, Dave, you read this and it sounds like it’s just rock solid. I mean, they’re not into blind faith, they’re grounded, they’re looking back to their source. This is the basis for making clear decisions? I mean, come on!
Dave: [chuckles] Well, the earth is not our source, of course. And she says she wants them to have a good background of observing what’s around them so they’re not walking through life on blind faith. Well, if you observe what’s going on around you, if you were a Christian, then that would help you avoid things. That would help you, perhaps, evangelize some people. But here, they’re trying to get connected, and they’re going to sit around and meditate on Tarot or fairy cards, around an altar made of stones, feathers, driftwood, candles, sage, and other totems…
Tom: Is that going to give them really good content, really solid content, on which to base their life and make decisions?
Dave: Well, they seem to think so, because this is the worship of nature, and they’re trying to get into contact with Mother Earth, I guess. It’s a pantheistic idea. It’s not rational. The earth did not birth us. But it’s a denial of the God who created us and all the evidence that He has given us in the universe around us. It’s really a tragedy. And, furthermore, one mother says the children have been left out of this for too long. In fact, as you know, Tom, the children have not been left out of this. They’re getting Harry Potter, of course.
Dave: And they’ve been getting it in their schools for a generation now.
Tom: Well, go back to TV. I mean, Saturday morning programming. From the time they could crawl over to the TV and turn it on they’ve been getting this.
Dave: Yeah. Tom, it’s nothing new, of course. This is what all the nations around Israel got involved in. It was a rejection of God. This is the tower of Babel, or B?-bel, however a person wants to pronounce it. This is the way of paganism, which is the major religion in the world. I mean, you can go to China, India, all over Africa, and this is…the major religion is witchcraft of some kind, hoping to contact the spirits through fetishes and various rituals, burning candles or potions, whatever it is. And, Tom, it makes no sense. It’s an absurdity, and yet this is what people want. They do not want a God who will call them to account. That was what, of course, was appealing about Star Wars force, which was a witchcraft film, and led more people into witchcraft probably than most things—rivaled, I’m sure, by Harry Potter. But the thing that was appealing is [that] you’re not dealing with a personal God anymore who gives you Ten Commandments, who holds you accountable for breaking them, and who has a punishment awaiting if you violate His laws, but you’re dealing with a force, and you can somehow manipulate the force. You can get it to do what you want. And that’s what this whole thing is all about, sitting around this altar and meditating and trying to tune into nature. Appealing idea—not a rational idea, and God holds people accountable for that.
Tom: Dave, Isaiah 47, God challenges the—I guess the Israelites for their involvement in these things.
Dave: Oh, they were.
Tom: Well, let me read some of this: “Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, sayest in thy heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection and the multitude of thy sorceries, and the great abundance of thy enchantments.” This is witchcraft.
Dave: Mm-hmm, yeah.
Tom: “For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou has said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. Therefore, shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it arises: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. Stand now with thine enchantments,” those interested in witchcraft, those interested in emulating what these people are talking about, “Stand now in thine enchantments and with thy multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators stand up and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.”
Dave: Tom, Israel was involved in it from the very beginning. You remember Rachel stole Laban’s idols and Jacob didn’t say, “Well, let’s destroy them,” he said, “Hide them under the sycamore tree and then we can get them again after this little crisis has passed.”
It’s a tragedy, but that’s the natural bent of the human heart.