Lady Sheherazahde Lachesis (sheherazahde) wrote in _wicca_,
Lady Sheherazahde Lachesis

History of Nakedness, Festival of the Sun, Religious Property Status, superstitious Balkans,

A Brief History of Nakedness by Philip Carr-Gomm

Philip Carr-Gomm's A Brief History of Nakedness shows that the act of removing our clothes reveals more than just our bodies
By Jane Shilling, 27 Jun 2010
"Philip Carr-Gomm is the author of nine books, many of them on the subject of druidry, though his interests also run to naturism, Jainism and Wicca. Perhaps it was the interest in naturism that suggested the subject for his most recent book, a handsomely illustrated history of nakedness.
Carr-Gomm begins his survey of the bare forked animal throughout the ages by considering nakedness and spirituality, beginning with an account of a witches’ coven that assembled to leap starkers over a bonfire in the New Forest in 1940, in the patriotic hope of frustrating Hitler’s invasion plans. Thence to druidry, Wicca, Kabbalah, the Pompeian House of the Mysteries and the quaint practices of country folk concerning fertility of crops and stock, divination of the identity of future husbands, and so on.

He is well informed on the curious kinship that arose in the early 20th century between naturism and pagan beliefs, promoted by such eccentric figures as Cecil Williamson, an MI6 officer, his colleague, Gerald Gardner, a retired customs officer, his high priestess Doreen, and their associate, the magician Aleister Crowley, of whom there appears an arrestingly horrible naked photograph, spindle-shanked, raddled and paunchy, seated upon a leopard skin, demonstrating yogic breathing. "
Ancient sun festival still draws thousands -- rain or shine
By Ron Verzuh, Vancouver Sun June 26, 2010
"It threatened to rain as we rode the air-conditioned bus down from the mountain citadel at Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes. Our next stop was Cusco and the annual three-hour Festival of the Sun or Inti Raymi that would begin on June 24 (winter solstice).
The Inca Empire thrived for about 100 years through the mid-1400s and abruptly ended in 1532 when the Spanish conquistadors rode into Cusco on horseback and began destroying what the Inca people had built. In 1572, the Spanish banned Inti Raymi as a pagan ritual that challenged Catholicism."
Pagan sect fights town for religious property status
By Colin DeVries, The Daily Mail, Hudson-Catskill Newspapers, June 26, 2010
"CATSKILL — After four long years of being denied religious property status, a landmark court battle over a cloister of pagan witches is brewing.

The Maetreum of Cybele, Magna Mater, a faction of matriarchal priestesses living in a historic Palenville inn, has filed suit against the Town of Catskill after being denied a religious property tax exemption on their three-acre parcel along Route 23A.

The property has been denied the exemption since 2007, though the Maetreum — which was federally recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) religious organization — was granted the exemption on 2006.

“They refused to renew the exemption without reason,” said Cathryn Platine, the group’s leader, known as Reverend Mother Battakes."
Psychic vampires, look out
Damien Bathersby, Sunshine Coast Daily, 27th June 2010
" I know I shouldn’t joke about things I don’t understand ... like witches and all that.

Because they do exist.

Not the “hubble bubble toil and trouble” type who stir their cauldrons and toss in a handful of toads’ eyes and so on.

I’m talking about modern-day spell-casters who drive the kids, do the groceries and watch the daytime soapies like the rest of us.

At least we don’t burn them at the stake any more.
Now before all you witches, wiccans, warlocks and goblins start jumping on your broomsticks and baying for my blood, I just want you to know that I’m cool with the whole witchcraft thing.

If that’s what gets you through the night and makes you feel good about yourself and the world, then it’s fine with me.

As long as no one gets hurts or turned into a toad (particularly me), then I’m not worried.

And before all my Christian readers get upset, can I say that I’m just having a laugh.

If the witches and the wiccans and the Christians and the Callithumpians want to laugh along with me, feel free to join in.

It’s a big beautiful world out there and there’s plenty of room for everyone.

Just make sure you bring your own yak fat, because I’ve just about run out."
Witches and miracle healers still rule roost in superstitious Balkans
Gabriel Ronay in Sofia, Herald Scotland, 26 Jun 2010
"In the good ‘white witch’ stakes, Romania has the edge on the rest of the Balkans – even on Bulgaria. While keeping their ancient craft traditional, Romanian white witches use websites, blogs, email messaging and chatrooms to reach their clientele.

To judge by the claims of her website, Rodica Gheorghe is the leading ‘white witch healer’ in the country. Her credentials are based on her family tradition of witchcraft. She is the daughter of the witch Mama Omida and granddaughter of the witch Sabina. Some joke that her family are well on their way to having enough for their own coven.

But in the competitive cut-throat witch business, nothing is lasting, and in Romania’s Transylvania province, ‘black witches’ have muscled in on the lucrative evil eye and funerary markets. Proven spells to keep a newly widowed man from remarrying, and thus depriving his children of their inheritance, are especially well paid for.

After any death in the village of Camarzana, a witch is called in to smear the udders of cows with garlic to prevent ‘revenants’ – vampires returning from the grave – stealing their milk.

As long as the ancient Balkan superstitions rule ordinary lives, witches, clairvoyants and miracle healers will do brisk business, with or without the internet."
Couple get hitched Pagan style
Thurrock Gazette, 25th June 2010
" A GRAYS couple’s garden resembled a scene from a Harry Potter film, as they tied the knot Pagan style.

Steve Beedan, 50, and Kerry Church, 18, invited 70 of their friends and family to their home in Rectory Road to share their Wiccan wedding with them.

Guests, many of whom wore cloaks, watched as the couple took part in traditional Wiccan wedding rituals, such as handfasting, where the couple’s hands are tied together to symbolise their union, the sharing of bread and wine, and the ancient practice of “jumping the broom”. "
Tags: book review, church and state

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