[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

At CPAC ... The conservaTive faiThful --- double down on Trumpism

'EaTing while black'... N.Y. Times admiTs eliTe college scapegoaTed janiTors in race hoax --- Officials appeased sTudenT who claimed she was profiled

Pics/Video ... 51-day Waco siege began wiTh deadly ATF shooTouT --- 28 years ago

The Communist Takeover Of The United States

Time To Impeach Our Government

Is This Why Jim Acosta Went to CPAC?

HUGE BREAKING NEWS - Judge Rules Maricopa CounTy ... MusT Provide 2.1 Million BalloTs From 2020 --- To Arizona SenaTe for AudiT

HUGE BREAKING NEWS - Judge Rules Maricopa CounTy ... MusT Provide 2.1 Million BalloTs From 2020 --- To Arizona SenaTe for AudiT

WAR: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Decorates Hall Outside Her Office After Dem Rep. Puts Up Trans Flag

NoT Making Headlines ... California BLACK Man Films Himself on Facebook Live ... wiTh Two Dead Women on The Floor He Killed --- Including Minor

‘Blessings Of LiberTy’ ... How ‘The EqualiTy AcT’ Viciously ATTacks --- ChrisTians - Freedom - SocieTy - Sex - You

Biden bends to the ayatollah

Oklahoma murder suspecT confesses To ... killing neighbor - cooking her hearT --- invesTigaTors say

Biden Is No FDR

Jason Chaffetz: Biden-Harris' disastrous start – first month full of hypocrisy, scandal and incompetence

Biden is set to repeat Obama’s Mideast failures — and wipe out US influence

How the GOP can win back Congress

There Is No GOP Civil War

Biden rewards Iran’s bad behavior by begging it to make a deal

‘Never before’ has the leader of the free world [Biden] been ‘so cognitively compromised’

ATTorney Lin Wood Releases STaTemenT Before Supreme CourT Ruling ... on ElecTion Fraud Today --- UPDATED WITH NEW COMMENT

Biden and his assistant is too cruel a punishment with which to hit America.

TiTanic ... Genius Time Traveler goes back --- everyone saved !

Rush Limbaugh passed away this morning

Remember ... George Will --- Me neiTher.

Eating Biden’s Lunch

Biden Wrong to Consider Restricting Travel to Florida

The Real Reason ... Pelosi & McConnell Folded LasT NighT Leaks --- Lock Them Up

GOP Party

Seven turncoats: What motivated those Republicans to vote guilty?

Real life study: Masked schoolchildren are harmed physically, psychologically, behaviorally and suffer from 24 distinct health issues

Trump Celebrates Acquittal, Hints At Political Future

SNAKE - McConnell ... Uses Floor To BruTally Trash Trump --- Following Failed ImpeachmenT EfforT

BREAKING - Trump ... Releases StaTemenT --- Following ImpeachmenT AcquiTTal

BREAKING - SenaTe VoTes 57 - 43 ... To ACQUIT Donald Trump --- Here Are The SEVEN Republicans Who VoTed To ConvicT

SCHOOLBOY 'KILLERS' Thugs - 15 - 17 ... 'filmed Themselves gang raping woman - 36 - beaTing her To deaTh' --- 'in a park as oTher boys waTched'

Joe Biden Is a F#@ing Idiot!

ImpeachmenT blunder - AuThor of TweeT inTroduced aT Trial says iT was ... Calvary / prayer - crucificTion --- falsified - misinTerpreTed to caValry / horses - soldiers - invasion

Georgia's New Democrat Senator Is Under Investigation for Voter Registration Fraud

Tom MacDonald - "Fake Woke"

Five Vanities That Are Destroying America

Leftist Sicko Bruce Springsteen arrested for DWI in New Jersey…

Impeachment Trial Redux

“Wikipedia…Can .... PuT AnyThing They WanT OuT There To Ruin My IdenTiTy” --- Mike Lindell on Wikipedia’s ATTempts To Trash His Good Name

WhaT's wiTh smiTTen romney ... mormons / liberals have anoTher Holy SpiriT --- dead soul - empTy brain echo chamber !

HUGE DEVELOPMENT - Hand RecounT Finds Dominion VoTing Machines ... ShorTed EVERY REPUBLICAN in Windham - New Hampshire --- 300 VoTes!

Rep. Andy Biggs - Evidence seems To ... indicaTe Congress leadership knew of CapiTol rioT --- days before

FORMER CIA OFFICER - BRYAN DEAN WRIGHT - I’m A DemocraT ... But IT’s Time --- To Leave The ParTy

Google Competitor PRESEARCH.org Launches Decentralized Search Engine (How to rid your life of toxic tech)

Doctors Link Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines to Life-Threatening Blood Disorder

Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

See other Religion Articles

Title: Expanding The Pagan Tent Of Worshippers; Wicca 'Gaining Acceptance' In US
Source: RawStory
URL Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ ... 1018-20101018,0,7124947.column
Published: Oct 18, 2010
Author: Chicago Tribune - Dawn Turner Trice
Post Date: 2010-10-18 14:58:42 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 2315
Comments: 2

Paul Larson doesn't celebrate Halloween. Instead, he spends Oct. 31 in a worship service that's a ritual feast with offerings of sweet cakes and ale to the ancestors.

For many pagans such as Larson, Oct. 31 is the autumnal new year called Samhain, a time when the veil between the spiritual world and the world as we know it is the thinnest and it's possible to contact those who have passed away.

"We honor the ancestors by casting a magical circle of protection and invoking the divine powers in the form of a god and goddess," said Larson, a white-haired 63-year-old with a professorial air. "And there's chanting to create and build energy within the group, and sometimes a bonfire."

A member of the Wiccan branch of paganism, Larson knows that some people equate his religion with evil witchcraft and devil worship and that evokes a wide range of images and controversies — from people wearing conical hats, black gowns and medallions to the recent dust-up over GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, who has taken flak for saying she "dabbled into witchcraft." But Wiccans don't like that she linked their religion to Satanism.

Larson said the reality is that paganism has nothing to do with Satan worship and that the pagan tent is large enough to include people who do identify as witches (although not the green-faced, wart-laden stereotypes) and people like Larson, a Chicago attorney who has a doctorate in psychology and who's on the faculty of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

He said he spent years searching religions for the proper spiritual fit.

"I was born into the Mormon faith, converted to the (Episcopal) faith and then became a Buddhist," Larson said. "But I had been investigating paganism since 1969."

About eight years ago, after experiencing the loss of several family members and friends, he began to concentrate on paganism.

"I still consider myself a hyphenated American, a Mormo-Episco-Buddhi-pagan," said Larson, who has a Buddhist statue in his office located in the Merchandise Mart. The statue isn't too far from the certificate that shows he was ordained over the summer as a Wiccan minister.

"Eight years ago as I was going through my (reinvention), I stopped believing in religious exclusivity, that there was one path through which the divine speaks," he said.

Larson said that despite the misconceptions, contemporary paganism has become attractive to more people, particularly young people, over the last three decades because of its reverence for the environment and its embrace of feminism. It also allows for a diversity of thought and belief systems that aren't bound by a singular doctrine.

"There's no formal book or scripture that's considered divinely revealed," Larson said. "Pagans don't have to reconcile a creation story written millennia ago with the findings of modern science. Consequently most pagans are quite comfortable with a scientific world view including such specific ideas as evolution."

And pagans don't proselytize.

It's not clear how many Americans identify as pagans because many fear their acknowledgement would lead to discrimination. (As Larson puts it, "It's hard to come out of the broom closet.")

But a 2008 American Religious Identification Survey out of Trinity College in Connecticut suggests that practitioners may be more comfortable identifying as pagans. According to the survey, those calling themselves pagans increased from 140,000 to 340,000 between 2001 and 2008. The number of Wiccans grew from 134,000 in 2001 and 342,000 in 2008.

Larson said the increase in part is because the religion has become more acceptable in the mainstream.

Three years ago, Larson's church, the Wisconsin-based Circle Sanctuary, was a plaintiff in a decade-long lawsuit that got the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to add the Wiccan pentacle, or five-point star, to the list of religious emblems allowed on veterans' graves. The government settled the lawsuit.

"Just as Christians have the cross and Jews have the Star of David, we wanted to allow fallen pagan soldiers the same dignity of having the pentacle placed on their government-paid-for tombstones," Larson said.

After years of protests and advocacy work, Circle Sanctuary and others were successful in getting college campuses (including Northern Illinois University), hospitals and prisons to open their chaplaincies to pagan ministers. Larson ministers to inmates at Chicago's Metropolitan Correction Center and a prison in Wisconsin.

"As pagans, they feel isolated from other inmates who don't share their background," Larson said. "I've had several inmates tell me that I've been the only one who has visited them."

As a professor, Larson teaches hypnosis, and he interacts with students who typically come to psychology with a fairly secular point of view. He said many of his students don't care about his religious beliefs. Consequently, he's been able to maintain good relationships with students of different faiths.

He said he's begun meeting more young people born into paganism, and that would have been unheard of in his generation.

"More people see the importance of reconnecting with nature as technology pushes us further away from it," Larson said. "A lot of us feel, whether we're pagan or not, that we've lost touch with the natural processes of the world and we need to reconnect with cycles of the seasons."

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  

TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Brian S (#0)

Smart man. I am of Wicca too. Let the blessing be.

Ferret Mike  posted on  2010-10-18   17:23:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: Brian S (#0)

"I was born into the Mormon faith, converted to the (Episcopal) faith and then became a Buddhist," Larson said. "But I had been investigating paganism since 1969."

No wonder he's a fookin psycho!

Ibluafartsky  posted on  2010-10-18   17:25:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com