Merry Meet Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers,
Due to the overwhelming response to my entry entitled "Rebirth Without Rebellion" regarding Rev. Kendra Vaughan Hovey and the closing of the First Church of Wicca, I felt I needed to post a follow up.
So many of those who were members of her congregation have felt, as have I, a sense of betrayal as a result of her disloyalty to the Wiccan community and many have generously come forward to share their own opinions, as well as to shed some much needed light on a side of the story that I'm sure Rev. Kendra would much rather remain in darkness.
According to the Reverend Kendra, the two greatest downfalls of the Wiccan faith are:
1) A lack of standardized clergy training and the expectation that a High Priest and High Priestess would conduct themselves in a moral manner and..
2) That there is no clear defined code of ethics within the Wiccan faith and no principles that "call us up to a "higher place of nobility, social responsibility and respect for human dignity"
So, you may be wondering why, after practicing the Wiccan faith for so many years, even going as far as opening her own church based upon these beliefs would she develop such a glaringly unfavorable opinion of the Wiccan community? No, my friends, I'm afraid it wasn't her newly formed relationship with Jesus Christ.
Reverend Kendra broke the bonds of trust to herself, her congregation and the Wiccan community and instead of accepting responsibility for her actions, she blamed the Wiccan religion for her own lack of a clearly defined code of ethics. In essence, she fucked up, literally and figuratively, and it's all our fault!
That being said, the Wiccan religion does not make one moral or ethical. You do!
For example, if you, generally speaking, of course, decide you want to explore a polyamorous relationship, you've just made a personal decision that requires....go ahead, you can say it, we already know, "personal responsibility". For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term "polyamory", polyamory has been defined as the philosophy and practice of loving more than one person at a time with honesty and integrity. Many Pagans choose polyamory, many do not...again, it's a matter of personal choice. Personally, I have been in a monogamous relationship for the past 23 years, I have been Pagan for about 15 of those and I know myself and my relationship well enough to know that polyamory is not something we would be interested in exploring. Again, a "personal choice".
One of the basic concepts of the Wiccan system of beliefs is that we accept full responsibility for our actions. We don't have a book to tell us to behave morally and ethically. The tenet, "An it harm none, do as ye wilt", places the responsibility for our moral and ethical behavior firmly where it belongs...on us. One's own personal code of ethics or morality can't be found in a book, but in a place much closer. Our hearts. That's not to say that some of our own personal choices will not, at times, test the boundaries of right and wrong, but that's not a fault exclusive to Wiccans, but to all human kind. When mistakes are made however, we need to admit first that the fault is ours...and accept the consequences. As Wiccans we refer to this as the "Law of Return" or more commonly, the "Threefold Law". This is a lesson that Rev. Kendra would do well to brush up on rather than pouring through books to justify her own faulty morals and ethics.
This my friends, in my humble opinion, is the true essence of the Wiccan faith.
I have provided (thank you, Priestess Aura) the link to Rev. Kendra's sermon entitled, Polyamory" that I'm sure some of you will find...enlightening.
In Darkness, Light!
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Merry Meet Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers,
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 9:22 AM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 9:28 AM
Saturday, January 24, 2009
O' heart bound..
By not cord, nor chain
But by vine and thorn.
Will thy open and bleed?
When your voice I hear..
Over seas and in dreams
In night's stillness..
Only scars will tell the tale...
Tracy - January 24, 2009
Happy Birthday, Dad - January 24, 1916
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 8:32 AM
Friday, January 23, 2009
Meet Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!
This was sent to me via e-mail and while I can't, in all good conscience say, I agree with everything contained herein, I will say that we ALL need to get over obsession with skin color, sexual orientation, religion, and every other damn thing one can find to hang their prejudices on!
An excellent article written by a white man about race relations.
When Are WE Going to Get Over It?
For much of the last forty years, ever since America "fixed" its race problem in the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, we white people have been impatient with African Americans who continued to blame race for their difficulties. Often we have heard whites ask, "When are African Americans finally going to get over it?
Now I want to ask: "When are we White Americans going to get over our ridiculous obsession with skin color?
Recent reports that "Election Spurs Hundreds' of Race Threats, Crimes" should frighten and infuriate every one of us. Having grown up in "Bombingham," Alabama in the 1960s, I remember overhearing an avalanche of comments about what many white classmates and their parents wanted to do to John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Eventually, as you may recall, in all three cases, someone decided to do more than "talk the talk."
Since our recent presidential election, to our eternal shame we are once again hearing the same reprehensible talk I remember from my boyhood.
We white people have controlled political life in the disunited colonies and United States for some 400 years on this continent. Conservative whites have been in power 28 of the last 40 years. Even during the eight Clinton years, conservatives in Congress blocked most of his agenda and pulled him to the right. Yet never in that period did I read any headlines suggesting that anyone was calling for the assassinations of presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan, or either of the Bushes. Criticize them, yes. Call for their impeachment, perhaps.
But there were no bounties on their heads. And even when someone did try to kill Ronald Reagan, the perpetrator was non-political mental case who wanted merely to impress Jody Foster.
But elect a liberal who happens to be Black and we're back in the sixties again. At this point in our history, we should be proud that we've proven what conservatives are always saying -that in America anything is possible, EVEN electing a black man as president. But instead we now hear that schoolchildren from Maine to California are talking about wanting to "assassinate Obama."
Fighting the urge to throw up, I can only ask, "How long?" How long before we white people realize we can't make our nation, much less the whole world, look like us? How long until we white people can -once and for all- get over this hell-conceived preoccupation with skin color? How long until we white people get over the demonic conviction that white skin makes us superior? How long before we white people get over our bitter resentments about being demoted to the status of equality with non-whites?
How long before we get over our expectations that we should be at the head of the line merely because of our white skin? How long until we white people end our silence and call out our peers when they share the latest racist jokes in the privacy of our white-only conversations?
I believe in free speech, but how long until we white people start making racist loudmouths as socially uncomfortable as we do flag burners? How long until we white people will stop insisting that blacks exercise personal responsibility, build strong families, educate themselves enough to edit the Harvard Law Review, and work hard enough to become President of the United States, only to threaten to assassinate them when they do?
How long before we starting "living out the true meaning" of our creeds, both civil and religious, that all men and women are created equal and that "red and yellow, black and white" all are precious in God's sight?
Until this past November 4, I didn't believe this country would ever elect an African American to the presidency. I still don't believe I'll live long enough to see us white people get over our racism problem. But here's my three-point plan:
First, everyday that Barack Obama lives in the White House that Black Slaves Built I'm going to pray that God (and the Secret Service) will protect him and his family from us white people.
Second, I'm going to report to the FBI any white person I overhear saying, in seriousness or in jest, anything of a threatening nature about President Obama.
Third, I'm going to pray to live long enough to see America surprise the world once again, when white people can "in spirit and in truth" sing of our damnable color prejudice, "We HAVE overcome."
Andrew Manis is author of Macon Black and White and serves on the steering committee of Macon's Center for Racial Understanding.
It takes a Village to protect our President!!!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 10:13 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Merry Meet Family, Friends and Lurkers!
In February 2007, a show was aired on TLC (The Learning Channel) called "My Unique Life". One of the episodes followed Reverend Kendra Vaughan Hovey, who opened the First Church of Wicca in Duxbury, Massachusetts. The episode was entitled, "The Witches' Next Door". Many of us who saw it applauded the Reverend for her courage and for portraying the Wiccan community so eloquently. I personally wrote to Kendra telling her as much.
Since that time, I've exchanged a few e-mails with Kendra. The latest of which came in October, when I received an invitation to a Samhain ritual she was hosting at the First Church of Wicca.
You can imagine my surprise when I received the following e-mail last night from the "Reverend",
"Merry Meet Tracy -
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for
supporting the First Church of Wicca and its efforts
within the Pagan/Wiccan community over the past five
years. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving you and
answering all of your questions, comments, and prayer
requests. However, the church will be closing due to
the fact that I will be opening a new church in May of
Living Waters Community of Hope will focus on helping
people heal from their experiences of inequity from
past religions and religious institutions, using Jesus
Christ and his teachings in the Bible as the
foundation of how to have a meaningful relationship
with God, as well as how to attain holistic health of
mind, body, and soul".
HOLY CRAP! (No pun intended).
Now, it was late, I was reading this on my cellphone, so I didn't read the e-mail in it's entirety.
Let me say however, that I think it's absolutely fine that Reverend Kendra decided to close her church and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. If she and her family were not finding spiritual fulfillment following the Wiccan religion and sought a path that they believed served them better, then it's all good. She wouldn't be the first Wiccan/Pagan who decided that this religion no longer resonated with them, just as many of us came by this path for the very same reason. That said, I found it so incredibly odd that I would receive this e-mail such a short time after receiving an invitation to one of Kendra's Sabbats, that my first thought was that someone had hacked her website.
This morning I checked her site and, I unless I hear otherwise, I have to conclude that it is indeed factual. Then I read her e-mail in it's entirety and I'll be honest, I was livid pissed. Whatever Kendra's reasons are for closing the doors on her previous beliefs, they obviously go far deeper than that of finding greater spiritual fulfillment through Jesus Christ. How someone could so drastically change their opinion about a system of beliefs they have been practicing for years in just a few short months is beyond me. She obviously has every right to do so, but to voice her opinion of the Wiccan religion in so derogatory a manner speaks volumes of her questionable newly found "relationship" with Jesus.
In my humble opinion, Reverend Kendra is behaving no differently than those that take up a Pagan religion or any religion for that matter, as a form of rebellion against the perceived failings of their previously chosen path. In essence, life wasn't going quite as well as they expected and it's all God's fault. Quite frankly, my impression is that the good Reverend has lost credibility by portraying herself as the worst definition of the term "Reborn". What follows is the conclusion to the Reverend's letter:
"For those of you who are wondering why I am closing
the First Church of Wicca, understand that in my
several years of studying Wicca and working as a
Wiccan High Priestess, I have come to see the serious
failings of the Wiccan faith. A major problem with the
faith is that there is no unity among the followers of
the faith which makes it very challenging to define
exactly what Wiccans do and do not believe in. Wiccans
have a very open "do what you will" or "live and let
live" perspective in life which very easily can cause
harm to oneself and others without one actually
knowing it until it is much too late. Additionally,
there is no unified moral code of ethics. This puts up
huge red flags for society-at-large because no one can
really be quite sure of what any group's intentions
are. Society would have no way of knowing, for
example, if you are a Wiccan that practices the Great
Rite or polyamory, to name only two examples. Also,
they would have no way of knowing just what "Do what
ye will and harm none" means, and quite frankly,
neither does each individual Wiccan. We are left to
make moral and ethical decisions for ourselves rather
than realizing that by human nature we are going to do
anything that feels good to us, not what is best for
us, and also not necessarily what is best for society
as a whole. This makes for a very dangerous and faulty
moral code of ethics. In addition, Wicca teaches
primarily about how we can change the world and have
all that we want. Spells, magick, etc. all prove to
cause us to think selfishly instead of putting others
before ourselves and more importantly instead of
putting God before anyone else, including ourselves.
It is very understandable that one would be close to
nature and the earth, as well as, feel a need to call
"God" the "God and Goddess;" however, the actual rote
and complicated spells involved in Wicca can prove to
be a huge distraction in one's spiritual growth. We do
not need all of the "ritual things" in order to have a
relationship with God - all we need is a sincere and
I personally have learned that through a true and deep
understanding of Christ and his teachings, I can have
the relationship with God that I have always wanted
and more importantly, I am better equipped to teach
how others can also have that relationship. Leaving
Wicca was nothing lost for me, but turning to Christ
has been everything gained! If you have any interest
in learning more about my relationship with Christ I
will be happy to share it with you.
Meanwhile, if you would like to remain on the mailing
list for Living Waters Community of Hope, please reply
to this email stating just that. Otherwise, I will
assume that you do not and you will be permanently
removed from our database prior to May 1, 2009.
I wish you many blessings on your spiritual journey!
It's a Good Life!
Rev. Dr. Kendra Vaughan Hovey"
"It's a Good Life?" Something tells me she's not so sure.
I would highly suggest that her first sermon be something along the lines of, "Rebirth without Rebellion"
In Darkness, Light!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 8:35 AM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Merry Morning Family, Friends and Lurkers!
I hope this writing finds you all safe and toasty! If you've been listening to the News, you have undoubtedly heard about the plane that plunged into the Hudson River. Is this not a truly amazing story? Not one fatality. I mean, how many times have you heard of that happening? Can you even remotely imagine what it must feel like to hear the pilot say, "brace for impact". All I know is that if I ever fly again, I want Captain Sullenberger flying the friggin' plane.
I hate to fly and those of you who actually know me will attest to this. Oh, I'll do it if I absolutely have to get somewhere, but if I had a choice, I'd rather walk to where ever that might happen to be. I know. I know. Air flight is the safest form of travel. In the grand scheme of things you do hear of other types of accidents far more often than you do of plane crashes.
That said, planes are being flown by PEOPLE. That fact alone is more than enough for me! One always has to take into account the possibility of human error and we're talking about human error at 35,000 feet. Call me crazy, but I have a thing about being in control of my environment and I really don't give a rat's ass where that environment happens to be. I have been known to torture Ray unmercifully if I even perceive that he's driving faster than I'm comfortable with. Can't really do that on a plane, now can I? Still, I have been known to approach the pilot and co-pilot when I'm boarding and without hesitation, interrogate them as to whether or not they slept well or if they're having a bad day. Now I know that there's nothing I can do once I've boarded, but at least if we crash I'll know who to blame! And what about all those pre-flight instructions? Pffft! Think about how much time is wasted on every flight while the attendants go over all the things you need to do aside from screaming, crying and peeing yourself in the event of a plane crash. We would all get to our destinations a lot faster if they simply said, "in the event of engine failure, place your head firmly between your knees and kiss your ass good-bye".
So now I'm listening to the initial reports coming in about the crash and how the experts are trying to determine what would cause this plane, this huge ass Airbus 360, to come down 3 minutes into take off. I hear the words, "double bird strike". Ok, so now I'm thinking that this must be some type of industry term that the lay person is not supposed to understand. Not so much. The fact of the matter is, in all likelihood, it was birdies, allegedly Canadian Geese, that took down this big ass Airbus 360!
My mind suddenly flashes back to the movie, "Jaws". (Why? Your guess is as good as mine!) "Quint" (Robert Shaw) is amused by the fact that Matt Brody (Richard Dreyfuss) thinks he can survive an attack by a Great White Shark after being lowered into the water in an "anti-shark" cage.
"Quint": "You go in the cage, cage goes in the water, shark is in the water?"
And I'm supposed to get on a friggin' plane and find comfort in the knowledge that air flight is the safest form of travel?
Tracy goes in the plane, planes go in the air, birdies are in the air...
"Farewell and adieu you fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu you ladies of Spain"
In Darkness, Light!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 11:20 AM
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Do you ever wonder what your pets think about when you're not around? No? Well, perhaps you should start!
Oh.My.God! She's planning to kidnap my Ginger!!!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 9:01 AM
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Merry Meet Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!
You know what has been pissing me off lately? Television advertising! Yes, dear friends, TV commercials! Has everyone in advertising lost their sense of creativity? I mean, we are in a economic recession, don't they want to, oh I don't know, actually sell stuff?
So, last night Ray and I are watching TV and there on the screen is a huge teddy bear head atop a human torso. I gotta tell ya, dolls in general freak me out, so my first impression was, "this is really, really creepy". I tried to figure out what they were actually trying to sell me, but my mind just couldn't quite wrap around where they were going with this. At the end of the commercial, the big teddy bear head squirts some nasal decongestant up it's nose and miraculously transforms into a living and now breathing, overjoyed human being. I turned to Ray and said, "I don't get it. What was with the bear head?" To which he replied, "It's a teddy bear, it's stuffed...like the guy's nose". Oh For The Love of Nerve!!! Millions of dollars goes into advertising and they could find a better friggin' way to sell me nose spray? Here's the sad part. I couldn't even tell you what the product was they were selling. But wait, perhaps that's the point...here I am telling you about a commercial, that I found completely idiotic, and yet, I remembered it simply because it was! Are they making advertising this bad on purpose? Is this another example of the "dumbing down" of America?
Take the "Geico" Insurance commercial for instance. The entire advertising campaign is based around their assumption that I'm incapable of pronouncing the name of their company. It's not "Gecko" as in the amphibian, it's "Geico", as in well..."Geico". And so, based on that assumption, they have a little green lizard with an Australian accent trying to sell me car insurance. I guess they also assume that pronouncing it with an Australian accent will make it easier to remember. Well, you know how the old saying goes? When you "assume" you make an "ass" of "u" and "me"? Well, guess friggin' what, I'm not Australian and I'm not the one "ass-uming" I can't pronounce "Geico". Dammit!
All this being said, I have seen, no exaggeration, two commercials recently that I thought really deserved props! So, my "This Commercial Doesn't Suck" Award goes to....
In Darkness, Light!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 7:14 AM
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Merry Morning Family, Friends, Lurkers and Followers!
So, I'm listening to 1010 WINS as I do every morning and I hear them discussing President Elect Obama. The news cast went something like this...
Reporter: "If President Elect Obama has any questions about being President, today would be the day to ask".
To which I wondered, "Shouldn't he have asked before running for President?"
The Reporter went on to say, "The President Elect will be meeting today with President Bush, President Clinton and President Carter".
And then..."This is a rare meeting of living Presidents"
To which I pondered, "as opposed to????"
In Darkness, Light!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 9:12 AM
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Good Morrow Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!
Last night, I was having a conversation with a friend regarding her choice to follow a Pagan path and it's effects on her family. She had mentioned that her children believed that they have never seen her more happy in her life, her husband however, was having a more difficult time supporting her and was still a little unnerved by it all. This morning, I sent this to her email in hopes that it might clear up some of the misconceptions he might be dealing with.
There are those of you who have known me for years and never knew I was a practicing Wiccan. My decision to come out of the "broom closet" as it were, was the direct result of this "sermon". Some of you may have seen it before, but I felt it was worth repeating.
P.S. I love this man!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 9:46 AM
Friday, January 2, 2009
Photo courtesy of Google
Happy Belated New Year beloved Friends, Followers and Lurkers!
I usually try to wish everyone a Happy New Year at Midnight on New Year's Eve, but I was in the midst of a joyous celebration that I honestly didn't think would ever happen.
On Wednesday morning, we woke to reports that several inches of snow were expected before the end of the 2008. I was officially bummed. We had friends that were coming from near and far to join us for our New Year's Eve gathering and it saddened us to think that we might be ringing in the New Year without them. We watched as a few flurries became nearly white out conditions and had to accept the possibility that no one was going to come out in this weather! Still, I found comfort in the knowledge that everyone who couldn't come would be spending New Year's Eve safely at home rather than traveling in such horrible conditions. It was then I decided to put my own positive magickal spin on the situation.
With each fluffy white flake that fell (again, not referring to my neighbors)I wished for blessings of abundance, prosperity, health, love in the New Year to be bestowed upon all those in my life. Watching the snow fall, inch after inch, my disappointment that our gathering might never be, turned to delight that so many blessings would come to my friends and loved ones!
Later, the snow tapered to flurries and a beautiful crescent moon with the planet Venus appeared in the night sky. It was absolutely breathtaking. It was also, colder than a Witch's...um, well, let's just say it was really, really friggin' cold! The wind was whipping around at 50 miles an hour and the wind chills were below zero! Snow or not, I couldn't even imagine why anyone would come out on a night like this and I wouldn't blame them if they didn't!
Still, come they did! We ate! We drank! We drummed. We sang! We laughed! We danced! It was...magickal!
So my wish for the New Year is this...
May your New Year be filled with more flakes...
May your lives be filled with more blessings than flakes in the New Year!
Happy 2009 to All!
In Darkness, Light!
Posted by Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood at 8:54 AM