Have you recently felt the pain of oppression in your life? We, witches, often see how other people’s intolerance results in unfairness and worse toward Pagans.
When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, this you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.
– Robert A. Heinlein
With today’s political and religious climate, oppression seems to be the norm. Racism, sexism, and religious prejudice apparently surround us.
Have you noticed any intolerance in our own community of witches?
One year, at a certain Pagan festival, I heard someone express racist comments in the hallway of the host hotel. This made me feel truly uncomfortable. I even felt anger rising up.
I can’t even imagine being someone of color hearing such garbage! My own husband is a person of color, and we have had discussions about this topic.
What is going on here? We, witches, already know oppression. Why would any of us feel okay about expressing oppression within our own ranks?
As witches, we understand being oppressed. We remember the Burning Times. With the atrocities, the Church drove the Craft underground.
With our community still bleeding from such oppression, why would any of us be okay with oppressing another person? If I could talk to the person who expressed these racist comments I would say, “We are all children of the God and Goddess. They love us all, that’s right, all! Remember, we are all part of the Gods, and, the Gods are part of us. There is no color in the God’s and Goddess’s eyes. We are one!”
The overwhelming misogyny of the Burning Times is plain to see.
However, misogyny continues today. It’s reported that women only earn $0.79 to every dollar that men earn. Why is this tolerated?
While I was reflecting on this, I realized something startling. In modern witchcraft, it appears that men are being marginalized. Many of us realize that “witch” is a term for both men and women. However, many people have the mistaken notion that a male witch is a “warlock” (wrong!). The word “warlock” is only used for people who break their oaths. And many male witches consider it a derogatory term, which it is. So, please don’t call someone a warlock.
Think about it. It’s October, and you go into your favorite costume shop and look for a witch costume. Have you ever seen a male witch costume? I know I haven’t.
Keep in mind that a male witch is just as important as female witches. Remember that the Goddess gets all Her power from the God. The God lays all His power at the feet of the Goddess because He knows She is just and fair.
In the Burning Times, not only did our community face misogyny, anyone who thought differently than the Church was in jeopardy. This meant you could be charged for heresy if anyone heard your opinion and reported it.
Mostly women were affected, but men were also accused and killed (hanged/burned). Whole towns were wiped off the map during the Burning Times. Some have reported that leaders during the Burning Times used the accusations of heresy as a pretext to fulfill their political aims.
Even now, many of us stay in the broom closet. Why? Hatred toward witches persists to this day.
Many of us stay hidden because we don’t want to be targeted by others’ hatred.
There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible—the new normal. – Michel Foucault
This isn’t just the witch thing either. It’s also a race thing, and a sexism thing. It’s oppression in its many forms.
As Witches, what do we do when oppression is expressed in our own community?
As witches, we need to reach out with understanding in our hearts.
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. – Albert Einstein
Compassion is more important than intellect in calling forth the love that the work of peace needs, and intuition can often be a far more powerful searchlight than cold reason. – Betty Williams
So how do we reach understanding and compassion? With the God and Goddess, that’s how.
Through meditation and ritual, the Gods can help us look within and discover the truth.
That truth is that we are all connected, both to the Gods and to each other. We are all equal in the light of the Gods. We may look different, have different abilities, and have different personalities; but we all are one.
Even though, in many ways, we cannot control our world leaders and the destructive cultural pressures around us, we can hold our own culture to a higher standard.
Lead with love and compassion towards others.
So, when you look into the eyes of a stranger, see yourself, see the God, and see the Goddess.
Looking for gifts?
See my designs at Redbubble. For more of Moonwater SilverClaw, consider some of her books:
Goddess Style Weight Loss: Wiccans — Happy, Healthy and Confident
“Moonwater was telling me about her weight loss program, and it sounded like something I could do that didn’t cost me more than the normal groceries I buy, anyway. I started with an egg omelet in the morning with mushrooms and spinach. … In two weeks, I lost 7 lbs. I had a couple of days of eating what I wanted but not overeating. Then right back to Goddess Style. I feel great and eat what the Goddess gives us.” – Denise Kopplinger
Be a Wiccan Badass: Become More Confident and Unleash Your Inner Power
As a Wiccan I found this an inspiring read. Written in a way that makes it accessible to everyone irrespective of their current knowledge. – Shona Cathro
Goddess Reveals Your Enchanted Light: Peace, Prosperity, Possibility Along Your Wiccan Path
I don’t generally write reviews on books I’ve read…but this time i feel lead to. This book spoke volumes to me, as if the author knew exactly where I’m coming from and what I’m struggling with. It’s not often a book can make me cry, but this one did by making me see the many blocks I’ve put up in my life. I knew they were there, but I’ve gotten skilled at pretending they’re not. Thank you for helping me see I’m not some freak because of circumstances throughout my life that have caused the blocks, and that i need to stop hiding from or burying them and face them one step at a time. – Crystal Sparks
Beyond the Law of Attraction to Real Magic: How You Can Remove Blocks to Prosperity, Happiness and Inner Peace
This book is a must have for all of those starting out on the spiritual path of Wicca and for all of those who are just looking for some light and love in their life. MoonWater SilverClaw uses her knowledge of Wicca and her personal experiences to not only teach the Law of Attraction in a clear manner but to help you use the Law of Attraction to better your life.
Through simple guided meditations and tips on living a happy healthy life this book takes you on a journey that will teach you how to love yourself, better your self image, and rid yourself of the negative energies that prevent you from reaching your goals.
This book covers many wonderful topics that will teach you basic magical practices as well as the theory and idea of “like attracts like” From setting up an alter to casting a circle and how to perform and find the magick that you are seeing in your life this book has so much to offer.
MoonWater SilverClaw is truly an inspirational writer for a newer generation of Wiccans and those seeking to use the natural energies of the earth to make changes in their life. Her writing style speaks from the heart because she has been where the reader is, she has used these techniques and steps to better her own life and now she is helping the reader use the Law of Attraction to better theirs – Amazon Customer
Goddess Has Your Back: How Wicca Can Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem and Make Your Life Magickal
This is an absolute gem for the witch with issues. Rituals for things like self-esteem are something i have never seen before. Moonwater’s writing is engrossing and draws the reader in. I am a witch with PTSD M.S. and other issues and this book made me feel hopeful and capable. – t’air
The Hidden Children of the Goddess Embrace Wicca, Become Strong, Be at Peace with Yourself and the World Around You
Ms. SilverClaw has written a book that is really great for the beginner wanting to learn about Wiccan or wants to start practicing the art of Wicca. I found this book wonderful, easy to read, and extremely helpful and informative. It covers everything from what Wicca is, the history of Wicca and how Wicca became misassociated with evil, along with how Wicca can help/save people’s lives. Ms. SilverClaw also discusses practicing Wicca either in a Coven or Solo, and all the things you need in order to have in order to perform your ceremony, and she explains what each item means. She explains how to create spells and gives examples to use, and explains the pitfalls of creating certain types of spells. Ms. SilverClaw has truly created a book that is a cast all net the seems to cover everything that I needed to know to begin practicing Wicca. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is searching for their first book on the topic and wants to start practicing the art of Wicca or is just curious about the topic. This is truly a Must Have book. – Tamra L. Shipman
Goddess Walks Beside You: How You Can Listen, Learn and Enjoy the Wiccan Path
This is a terrific book! It is like talking to the author over a cup of tea like one of the bloggers says. – Kitri
Try the Online Course
P.S. To sign up for our E-Newsletter click here.
2 thoughts on “Oppression and the Pagan Path”
Excellent article, I feel it is our responsibility to call out all forms of racism, sexism, and other forms of abuse towards others solely based on their differences, as human beings on a genetic level we are 99% the same and yet we amplify and focus on that less than 0.1% difference.
Sad really, we have so much to gain and understand from one another. I speak up against sexism towards women, and racism towards non-white races – I really hope that other speak up when ANY ugliness rears its face.
We can not eliminate hate, but we can expose it an mock it and show how it is wrong and show empathy to all. To allow hate to go unchallenged is in a way to condone it, regardless of who receives it.
Thank you. Yes, I think it is important to call out racism, sexism and all other forms of hate. Thank you for your comments.