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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!
I’m so sorry about the delay, the amount of bad luck I’ve experienced this winter break…I don’t think anyone is going to believe me.
As everyone knows, I got sick thanks to my Little Bro and that made it very difficult and painful to type anything for a good week. After getting over that, I was feeling much better until my mom started feeling sick as well. I thought she had the same thing me and Little Bro had but it turns out she had a VERY bad flu that has been running rampant in forty-one states…and then she gave it to everyone in the house. We were all sick with MAJOR fevers, throwing up, and upper respiratory distress from Christmas into the first week of January.
You think, “Man, that sucks but everything got better after that, right?” Nope, thanks to either someone at Wal-Mart or someone at my brother’s school. I had to stay up Thursday night until 2:30 am Friday while my mom ripped through my hair and my brother’s with a lice comb and fumigated our rooms and bedding.
“Wow, that…really sucks,” you might say, “But it stops there…right?” Nay, it shall not I say! Next weekend, I now have to experience the wonders of oral surgery to remove a very painful granuloma that I’ve developed on the right side of my mouth…
Okay, thank you for letting me rant. Now here is the post I promised: Saint Expedite Part Deux! Finally!
I wanted to do a second post on this because of all of the wonderful feedback from the first post. There are two points that I want to touch on in this post: getting to know saints and ritual remains.
Many of the strict traditions of Wicca and Paganism (such as Alexandrian and Gardenerian) don’t really use saints that often if any that I’ve noticed. I think this is because many Christian saints started out as Old Religion spirits and deities that were Christianized when Paganism was persecuted; so many pagans, with some exceptions, use the original names to distance themselves from the oppression that Christianity caused. Take St. Brigit of Ireland who is worshipped by thousands and has many schools and churches named after her. She started out as the Goddess Brighit of the local pagans. As well as Santa Claus or Saint Nick who is a hodgepodge of deities including Nordic Odin and The Holly King.
But this does not mean that calling a deity one name is more powerful than calling it another. How I see it is that they are one and the same but also they are individuals, like two sides of the same coin.
When I started the St. Expedite spell, I took the advice of Dr. Lazarus Corbeaux, a hoodoo practitioner that when you are going to petition a saint or any deity that it’s a good idea to talk to them and let them get to know you before you do your actual spell/ritual. How I did this was that when I had my altar on the kitchen table, I sat across from Saint Expedite and introduce myself.
I know this may seem silly but there is a reason for it.
I simply introduced myself and…I talked. I talked about me, my family, my troubles my successes and things like that. In the morning I said hello to him and at dinner I ate at the table with him and afterwards I would light his candle and meditate my intentions with him.
This creates a bond between petitioner and petition-y, a friendship if you will. If a complete stranger came up to you and asked to borrow one hundred dollars or borrow your car, you would say no or possibly a ‘Hell No!’ If a friend you knew and spent time with and knew really well asked you these things, there’s more of a chance that you would say yes, and that goes the same with deities and saints.
Secondly, the subject of ritual remains. Ritual remains are all the stuff left over after a spell is completed such as candle wax, herbs, flowers, offerings and the like. With the pound cake, flowers and water in the spell, after my petition was answered, I placed them outside in thanks. With the paper with my petition on it, I buried it in my backyard and said thanks to him. The candle wax from the spent candle I chose to keep because I plan to make another candle for Saint Expedite using the wax. Some people dispose of the wax by burying it or throwing it away but I like to keep the wax I use because it is already concentrated and holds magical energy that it will boost the next candle that is made.
I hope I covered everything I left out wish me luck with the rest of my winter break!
Blessed Be )o(
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.
My parental units came home with gifts from Wally World for me and Middle Brother (he’s techically my little brother but what can you say to a seven year old with a Napolean complex?) I had to share because they are so cute! Let the fashion show begin!!!
To the right (at least my right) is an orange t-shirt with a coven of witches out and about causing the Goddess only knows what mischief with the words “Girls Night Out”. I love it!
To the left (my left people) is a lovely purple t-shirt that bears the words “Witch in Training”. My mom’s idea of a joke 🙂
Sadly, I couldn’t find an image of my most favorite of the lot my “Werewolf” t-shirt but picture this with me…picture a brownish grey backdrop with a larger than life black outline of a werewolf’s head right ou front, ready to rip the throat out of anything or any one. At the bottom hem we have smaller black outlines of a eery forest with a werewolf howling to the full bright moon…Dracula eat your heart out!
For the past 3 weeks I have been witness to the epidemic that has struck my town and it could be starting in yours. I have been seeing grave stones popping up in front of houses, skeletons swaying jauntily in store fronts, and 16 ft tall inflatable pumpkins and Grim Reapers barely balancing on the front lawn. Yes, it is….premature decoration!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Halloween/Samhain…I mean LUV IT!!! I’m talking wearing witch stockings year round loving it . It’s my favorite holiday of the year. But check the date, it is September. Not October.
I don’t know why it perturbs me so much, but when I see green still on the trees and feel the warm summer breeze on my sun burn, it just doesn’t scream (literally!) Treat or Treat. You are allowed to prepare the decorations, make plan out a strategy on what you’re going to do for decorations and what goes where. But PLEASE don’t bring out the spider webs and blow up dolls till October 1st.
I understand that everyone is excited and wants to ‘get it done’ by early September, but try to hold out as long as you can. I’m going to tell you what Queen Victoria told her subjects over hundred years ago.
Think of England and everything will be okay:)
Now with that being said…YAY HALLOWEEN!!! October is my favorite month of the year and I can already feel it coming. For many reasons: the cool beauty of Autumn, the sweet taste of candy corn, warm apple cider, and the 24 hour blood and gore horror images on every channel!! Even on Discovery. Some of the stuff they show daily is scary enough ( the mating of parasites *shiver*), I love watching the Extreme shows that show the Extreme Haunted Houses, Extreme Halloween, The Most Haunted Places in the World *sigh dreamily* It’s awesome.
Also it’s the time of year for Samhain. I and my mom pronounce it SOW-IN but some people say SAM-HAIN it’s all good. Samhain is known as the Witches New Year, the most important harvest festival of the year. The sun is dying and the world is becoming darker, going to sleep to be reborn at Yule (Christmas). Me and Mom aren’t really sure what we’re going to do this year but i will update on that! We usually get the altar set up with gourds and little kick-knacks that represent different things. We visit the cemetery to pay homage to our ancestors that have passed, similar to Day of the Dead, and come home and watch every B-rated horror film known to man. Perfect end to an autumn night…good times.