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I want to address something that made me very disappointed in news media, to be more specific, with Fox News.
Yesterday, they published a story about the University of Missouri adding Wiccan/Pagan holidays to their “Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations” packet they give to faculty and students. When I first heard about that, I thought “Why do we need accommodation” because as a college student, I can’t afford to miss any classes in case I miss something and I’m sure it’s the same in Missouri. Then I thought “Someone is going to say something dumb about it.” Little did I know that it wouldn’t be some right winged bible thumping closed minded interviewee, but the Fox News Anchors themselves?
As a student who has been studying journalism for four years now, I can’t believe what those anchors said actually made it to air, and national news no doubt. I am disgusted and appalled with the blatant bigotry and unprofessionalism of this that I am almost at a loss for words.
To sum it up here is something that I’ve written:
To whom it may concern,
My name is Samantha Stanford and I wish to complain about the way Fox News portrayed Wiccan/Pagans in your last broadcast on February 17th.
I am a journalism student in Wisconsin as well as a Pagan. I found the news anchors very misinformed and how they addressed Wiccans and Pagans very biased to the point of bigotry.
As a journalism student, I’ve been taught that the news reporter must take themselves out of the equation and just report the facts as they currently stand. The way Fox News anchors spoke of Wiccans being “Dungeons and Dragons players” and “Twice Divorced Midwives” who have an affinity for incense is very offensive. Fox News cannot joke about Catholic priests being “child molesters” or people of the Muslim faith being “terrorists” because it is offensive, what makes what those anchors said not offensive to us?
The comment on Wiccans/Pagans having 20 holidays is greatly exaggerated.
Many Wiccans and Pagans celebrate the 8 main holidays of the Wheel of the Year: Yule/Winter solstice, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas, Mabon and Samhain. The 13 esbats are not holidays but the full moons in one year that are considered sacred. The Fox News team would have known this if they had looked over the Missouri University’s “Guide to Religions” that Fox News just so happens to have a link to on your own website included with this article:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/17/university-missouri-guide-asks-professors-to-accommodate-wiccan-pagan-holidays/ and counted them.
Also many of these holidays coincide closely with modern western holidays, causing little upset with academic calendars. This I know from experience. So we are not looking for “excuses” to “not have to take commitments seriously” as the Fox News contributor Tammy Brown stated.
I must say as a journalism student, I am shocked at the blatant lack of objectivity of this broadcast. Good reporting is neutral and only states the facts.
I hope in future broadcasts, no matter what or who they address, Fox News will improve their fact checking abilities and their anchors will be more thoughtful and considerate in their word choices.
This is an actual email I plan to send to firstname.lastname@example.org after I’m done with this post that simply states, “ Check your f***ing facts like you’re suppose to before talking about something you know nothing about”.
The funny thing is I’m not angry at what they said…well I am but it’s not that they said it because I’ve heard worse. It’s the fact that as journalists it is their job to remain as objective as possible but no, they have to put in their own two cents and broadcast it on national television, playing into the stereotypes and spreading stupidity and wrong information on a national scale.
If they got their own issues about my faith, that’s fine but keep it to yourself or be a reporter for the zealots at the 700 Club.
What do I think about the “Religious Guide”? I don’t see it as a problem but as a teaching tool. My mom and I work and go to school on many actual Sabbaths so we celebrates the weekend before and do something small when we get home on the actual day. I also know many other people of other faiths that work and go to school during Ramadan and Hanukah because they need to. The guide just states what each is and what it’s about. This guide is more truthful than the news story about it.
I guess I’m not the only hostile one because after only a day, the video of the broadcast has been removed from Fox News’s website. Luckily, YouTube is eternal so see for yourself :
Good Morning, evening and afternoon everyone!
Yeah, yeah I should be writing right now but instead I wanted to talk to everyone today about Saint Expedite.
“Wait,” you might be saying. “Saint? I thought saints were for Catholics and you’re pagan?”
True, the use of saints has been popularized by monotheistic religions, BUT some pagans/spiritualistic people DO use saints in their rituals and in their daily practices such as in Voodoo, Hoodoo (there is a difference), Santeria and Christian Wiccans ( it sounds like an oxymoron but it true) as well as many others that I can’t remember right now.
The reason for this is because many pagan deities were assimilated into Catholicism when the Roman Catholic Church came into power and started persecuting and converting pagans. So the clever Catholics took deities like the Goddess, The Horned God, and other deities and spirits changed them into The Virgin Mary, The Devil and saints. A great example of this is in Hoodoo and Voodoo where they use saints such as Saint Jude, Saint Anthony to represent different loas/spirits as well as still representing the saint as well.
But I digress…
I wanted to talk about Saint Expedite spell that is very useful and that has helped me and my family. For the past few years me and my family have been struggling a lot what with my grandmother’s death, me losing my mental marbles for a few months and my mom and dad going through difficult times with finances and employment. A few weeks ago I remembered a spell that I heard about from M. Flora Peterson, I’ve talked about her before, called the Saint Expedite spell that’s really great for getting things done fast.
According to Flora, one version of the story is, “ The legend goes that back in 1798, a group of nuns from Paris received a crate with the words “spedito” stamped on the side, meaning rush with haste. At that time, when statues and relics of saints were shipped, the name of the saint would be written on the side of the crate, thus St. Joseph would have “Joseph” & St. Francis would naturally have “Francis” on the side and so on. When the nuns opened the crate they found the beautiful statue of a saint. There was no other paperwork or anything else about him included, not even where the package originated from. Only the word “spedito” on the side. Taking this as a Divine Sign, the nuns quickly installed the statue and named him, “St. Expedito”, or St. Expedite.” St. Expedite is prayed to when your prayers need to be “rushed” or sent “with haste” to God. He’s also called upon for:
• Finding a Job
• In all cases when things need to change quickly
He’s a very popular saint in France, Spain and Italy and very popular in Voodoo and Hoodoo root work in the states. To set up an altar to him you need:
- A red or yellow cloth (I used a red pillowcase because that was the only red cloth I had)
- A glass of water
- A red candle with Saint Expedites’ name carved in it
- An image or statue of Saint Expedite (I printed a picture I liked off the web on some hardy stock paper and stood it on a bookend)
Step 1: Now, place your red or yellow cloth on a table or wherever you plan to set up your altar.
Step 2: The Voodoo Hoodoo Spell book by Denise Alvarado suggests setting your altar supplies in a triangle shape with your red candle as the top point.
Step 3: On the bottom left-hand corner you place your glass of water and in the bottom right-and corner you play your image.
NOTE: I also placed some citrine stones in a triangle shape on my altar to make the triangle whole like the image below. Please forgive me for the crappy skill of it; I’m a writer not a graphic artist.
You don’t have to put citrine on your altar like I did. I did it because citrine has great space cleansing properties and I liked the visual look of it.
Step 4: Petition St. Expedite on a Wednesday is best but you can do it any day of the week. Wed. is best because Wednesday is the sacred day dedicated to Mercury/Hermes, St. Expedites’ swift messenger pagan god counterpart (See, I told you).
Step 5: Before you petition St. Expedite, turn the image you have to him upside down because that’s his working position and them light your candle saying this:
“St. Expedite, you lay in rest. I come to you and ask that my prayer be granted. [Insert Your Request] Expedite this, what I ask of you. Expedite now, this is what I want of you, this very second. Please don’t waste another day. Please give me what I ask for. I know your power, I know you because of your work. I know you can do it. If you do this for me, I’ll spread your name with love and honor. Expedite my prayer with speed, love, honor and goodness, Glory to you St. Expedite! Blessed be, So Mote it Be, Amen.”
Write your petition/what you need on a piece of paper and place it under his image or under your candle and do this every day until your petition is answered. Note: You have to be VERY specific with St. Expedite because I know for a fact that if you’re not it will take ten times as long and something will get screwed up in the process…That’s why I had to do this twice.
The first time failed because of many things: I set up my altar on the kitchen table and stuff kept getting piled on top of it which is disrespectful to the spirit your working with, I had my Working Candle (an all-purpose candle some pagans use to boost works) that is dedicated to Aphrodite who I found out after a little research that Aphrodite and St. Expedite(whose Greek counterpart is Hermes) don’t get along very well when being invoked together because both are always vying to be dominate. Lastly, I wasn’t specific enough with my request. I asked St. Expedite to help my dad find a job and he was hired for one…in another city.
So, I set off my computer desk and turned that into a temporary altar, placed my Working Candle back on my main altar and rewrote my petition with some major changes. Great news is that my dad starts his new job, which is 20 minutes away, Monday (yay!) and he’s getting paid almost as much as his last job so hopefully that will help us out greatly.
Make sure that you give thanks to Saint Expedite AFTER he answers your petition and not before. Saint Expedite has been described as being helpful and caring but also simple-minded and childish. If you give him offering before he helps you out, he more often than not, not going to help you.
It’s like paying the dentist before you get your tooth pulled.
After your prayer has been answered, give him an offering of Pound Cake (five slices), pennies (one on each slice), and red or yellow flowers as a
thank you. You must also publish a public thank you to him in a newspaper (expensive) or Facebook (free!). Alverado says that if one doesn’t thank St. Expedite for his help that he can take it away and make things worse than before.
I’ve included some pics of my own altar that I hope inspire some of you.
Thank you, Saint Expedite for helping me and my family.
I hope this post helps many others.
Blessed Be everyone!
Wow, have things been going on! Some really cool things and some very serious things…
I celebrated my 21st birthday with my beloved parents and Little Bro by going to the movies and seeing something I’ve wanted to see for months, “Rock of Ages” (yay)! I’m a huge fan of the Broadway performance and the movie didn’t disappoint, although, the movie and the musical are two completely different things that I love for completely different reasons. The movie has a HEA ending while the musical ending is more realistic but still happy. Both are awesome in their own way.
Some might know that a couple of weeks ago was the Summer Solstice also known as Midsummer or Litha. And it’s not just a Wiccan or Pagan holiday, its celebrated all over the world as the longest day of the year and as the half way point to the end of summer. It’s the end of the Oak King’s reign and the Holly King has taken his place, and the time has come to prepare for the upcoming harvest.
When Litha came, I wasn’t in a very good spot. It was a mixture of things that I could write ten pages on, but let’s just say it was multiple stresses from multiple areas of my life. I had a plan that I wanted to make Litha a big thing with my family and we’d go outside and have a bonfire with marshmallows and a small ritual and…everything fell though as sometimes it does. I was disappointed because I have been putting off all the sabbats and esbats because things would come up with my internship or me trying to muster up the creative energy to work on my creative writing that I hadn’t touched since May which isn’t going very well…
The sun was setting, and I was alone with my family doing their own thing.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked outside, barefoot in my cupcake pjs, and knelt at the foot of the several years old willow-esque tree in the back yard where I like going for making offerings and doing rituals. I felt awkward and uncomfortable, not just because I was kneeling on some very hard dirt in my unpadded pajamas. I had only felt that way once before in the seventh grade when I had to talk with the school counselor after a poem I wrote about a grey cloud made my English teacher think I was depressed…don’t ask.
I knelt in the quietness of Nature and I cried everything out of me, every frustration in my life, every angry thought that I had of me and how disappointed I felt with myself. After the crying, I still sat. And…I talked. I talked to the God and Goddess for what seemed like hours, but it was only a couple. I know my neighbors must have thought, “Oh, that neighbor’s kid is just not right” but… I had never felt so connected to Spirit than in those moments. I felt a pressure release inside of me and a velvet comfort in my mind that seemed to say “I hear you. I understand. It’ll get better”.
My point of this is that life has its sucky moments where you feel mentally and emotionally shattered. It could be from the death of a beloved person in your life or from financial hardships or just from plain loneliness. But I think something that M. Flora Peterson said rings true, “Today in our fast paced lives, its challenging to find those 10-15 minutes a day where we can find our center, find our balance, and really feel that divine connection in our lives”. For months I’ve been feeling that something was missing. That something wasn’t right. I don’t know if what I described could be called a ‘spiritual awakening’ or ‘wakeup call’ or something. But whatever I was…It was something that I really needed and maybe it’s something that many people need.
So I want to assign some homework for anyone who wants to do it and it will only take 10 minutes…
Go someplace where you feel comfortable, preferably somewhere quiet. Close your eyes and empty your head of all the junk we accumulate in the average work week, boss is ticking you off, parents are breathing down your neck about something, the kids aren’t listening to you. Just chuck that out the window for 10 minutes and let the silence speak to you. Because I have come to believe that silence can tell you a lot more than the noises we have to listen to on a daily basis.
Blessed be everyone and have a great July 4th!
When I first started on my path, I read a lot of books on Wicca and Paganism. One custom that many write about is the giving of an offering to the G&G as a way of saying ‘thank you for everything’ or as a way of asking for help with something.
But one thing that I noticed is that in one book, the writer would say ‘offering’ while another author would use the word ‘sacrifice’. Now I don’t know about anyone else, but when someone uses the terms ‘pagan’ and ‘sacrifice’ in the same sentence, some might get the wrong idea…like boiling bunnies or chaining a virgin to a stone slab.
There is a difference between an offering and a sacrifice. The lines between them can be confusing at times but there is a difference.
A sacrifice is what the word means: the person is giving something up that is vital to THAT person. I mean the person that is making the sacrifice. You sacrificing your big sister’s mp3 player to the G&G by throwing it into the river and asking for a good grade in math is not a sacrifice because you didn’t give up anything. The most popular example of sacrifice is a sacrifice of blood. YOUR BLOOD! Not the blood of some poor helpless living creature. Blood is considered a sacrifice because you are giving a part of yourself up, a part of your essence. It is the reason why many ancient civilizations used human and animal sacrifices, because a living beings life essence it a very powerful form of magical energy.
An offering is the giving of something that you have in abundance. Many pagans have alters that they store their offerings on like freshly cut flowers, flower petals, salt, bits of bread or fruit, etc.
Food is one of those confusing things that many question is it an offering or a sacrifice? Food is more accessible today than it was a thousand years ago, where the giving of food was a much bigger deal. When I do offerings, I like to use things from around the house that I know no one else will use. Such as the ends of a loaf of bread, cornmeal, fallen rose petals from our garden outside, leftover candy from holidays, etc.
So that is the difference between an offering and a sacrifice. I hope I was clear enough, Blessed Be 🙂