Halloween’s an obvious day to discuss the “pagan community” and the mainstream media. The “On Faith” page of the Washington Post has a blog post from “Starhawk” which its homepage calls “Why I Am A Witch.” Margot Adler, the National Public Radio correspondent/witch, recently addressed the expansion of paganism at Northern Michigan University. She suggested that our common pagan roots were squelched everywhere you look by Western cultural oppression:
Adler, a priestess of the Gardnerian Wiccan tradition, wrote “Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today.” The book, first published in 1979, was one of the first publications to document the history and modern practices of various Earth-based religions.
Adler explained that paganism is a term that is used to refer to many worldwide religions that celebrate nature. She also said that everyone has pagan roots – it just depends how far back you have to go to find them.
“If you go far enough back, all of your ancestors were pagans,” she said. “You may not think that, but you’d be wrong…if you were black you lost those beliefs because of slavery. If you are Native American you lost those views because of government oppression. If you are some other European heritage you lost it when your grandparents or great grandparents or further back decided that it would be in their best interest to Americanize. All of us are rooting around in the ashes searching for something we have lost.”
The oppression must be lifting, since Adler suggested there was “explosive growth” in her movement. “There’s this huge coming-of-age into being a worldwide religion.” Nothing in the article verified or confirmed that claim, except for Adler suggesting there’s a profusion of Wiccan websites to visit.