Saturday, February 26, 2011

Catholic Church Issues Guide on How to Convert Witches

Since when is it the job of a religion to convert members of another religion... as a matter of organizational policy!? Every religion has the right to recruit members from society at large, but the Vatican is now opening up old wounds by literally targeting a religious demographic that they used to simply murder off.

The Vatican doesn't seem the least bit concerned with tens of millions of Muslims migrating into Europe with no end in sight; not to mention the fact that Catholicism, and Christianity at large, has become a comparatively weak social construct in the UK in particular. Apparently, they're too preoccupied with a very small number of practitioners of native paganism, or what they refer to as "witchcraft." Apparently "priestcraft" is okay. If this action was targeting one the larger religions, then people would call it "hate," but if it's a smaller relgion, then it's okay under the current paradigm.

The Vatican is a sovereign state which oversees the worldwide Catholic Church; as well as a massive, MASSIVE, global banking conglomerate. Why are they concerned with a few people chanting in a forest clearing, who aren't even bothering anyone? Now when we add in the factor of the Vatican's historic systematic murder of any religion which wasn't Catholic (Waldensians, Cathars, Pagans, etc.), this action by the Vatican is nothing short of crazy. If there were pagans somewhere, antagonizing Christians, then that would merit a similar response; but lets face it, what we have here is an ant versus an elephant.

The Camonica Club of North America, descendants of the Val Camonica witch trials brought upon by the Vatican in the sixteenth century, condemns the Vatican's pamphlet entitled 'Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers', and calls for them to simply leave these peaceful people alone. Whatever fault could be found among an absolutely minuscule number of pagans is a drop in the bucket compared to the very serious problems of a much larger number of trusted Catholic officials worldwide in recent years; not to mention the Vatican's terribly destructive proxy actions in Croatia not so many years ago.

Catholic Church Issues Guide on How to Convert Witches

Theunis Bates - AolNews - February 4, 2011

LONDON -- Five hundred years ago, the Catholic Church had a simple way of dealing with witches: It burned them alive. The Vatican still views these broom botherers as a danger, but is now calling on Catholics to eliminate the neo-pagan problem in a more moderate manner.

According to a new booklet from the Catholic Truth Society -- the U.K. publishers for the Holy See -- the faithful can convert Wiccans by following a few simple steps. The pamphlet, titled "Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Dangers," suggests that Catholics spark up conversations with these unbelievers about shared concerns such as the environment, The Telegraph reports.

And if you bump into a witch in a bar or coffee shop, the book adds, it's important to recognize that "Wiccans are on a genuine spiritual quest," providing "the starting point for dialog that may lead to their conversion."

The booklet's author, former Wiccan Elizabeth Dodd, states that nearly 70 percent of people indulging in witchcraft are young women seeking some kind of spirituality, according to the Daily Mail. The source of that statistic isn't clear, but some 7,000 Brits identified themselves as Wiccans in the 2001 census.

So why does the Vatican once again feel that it needs to confront pagan practitioners? The Daily Mail says that the church is afraid the dark arts are becoming ever more tempting thanks to the success of Harry Potter. Dodd says that any youngster who dabbles in magic risks long-term problems.

"Whether spellwork is effective or not," writes Dodd, according to The Telegraph, "has no bearing on the psychological damage that can be done to a young person who is convinced that they have summoned the dead, or have performed a spell that has hurt or injured another."

More important, Dodd adds that the simple act of experimenting with spellcraft is an insult to the Almighty. "The use of magic, the practice of witchcraft, offends God because it is rooted in our sinful and fallen nature," she writes. "It attempts to usurp God."

While many religious and nonreligious folk might regard Dodd's message as extreme, her point has clearly been heeded by some Catholics. As of this morning, the pamphlet was listed as sold-out on


Friday, February 25, 2011

Camunian proverbs: Part 2

Camunian proverbs

Apparently these are real proverbs from the Val Camonica. For each one, the fist part will be in native Camunian, the second in Italian, and the third in English (if it translated correctly):

Istìt sò bè pò 'n pàl 'l somèa 'n cardinàl.

Vestito bene anche un palo sembra un cardinale.

Garment also a pole seems a cardinal well.



Fàga mia saì a là mà drìta chèl che la fà l'nvèrsa.

Non far sapere alla mano destra quello che fa la sinistra.

Not to make to know ago to the right hand which the left.



Per cùnùsìs bè s'gà dè maià 'nsèma 'n quintàl dè sàl amàr.

Per conoscrsi bene bisogna mangiare insieme un quintale di sale amaro.

*English translation needed*



'N po' per û à càal de l'àsen.

Un po' per uno a cavallo dell'asino.

*English translation needed*



Fà e desfà l'è 'l laorà de i frà.

Fare e disfare è il lavoro dei frati.

To make and to unravel are the job of the friars.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cernic tradition in Iowa

I am borrowing the text of this entry from a blog called The Circle of Shadows. I just wanted to make certain that, in this case, proper credit was given to the author and/or coven. I had originally wanted to post this December 3, 2010 post last Yule, and had sent an e-mail which wasn't responded to.

This is one of the few references to a present day pagan tradition/ritual which actually refers to its Cernic origin. The blog goes in a little bit of a different direction than we usually think of as being Cernist, but sometimes things take time to develop; and to develop a consensus among the larger body of people. It needs some time.

The Coven Ritual for Yuletide 2010 (Cernunnos and the Crone)

December 3, 2010

So, over the past couple of weeks I and few friends of mine have been working on a ritual for this Yuletide season, which falls on December 21, 2010 and also falls on the night of the Full Moon. It will be a very special night since it falls on the rare occaison (though certainly not unheard of) that a Witches Sabbat and Esbat (moon ritual) fall on the same night.

I think one of the great things about our coven so far is that we have managed to put our personal ideas, differences, and preferences aside and just focus on the celebration of the pagan holidays. Our rituals have been generic enough to suit all members, yet they also retain their meaning at the same time. The coven I am now calling the "Circle of Shadows" first met formally on November 7, 2010, the purpose was the observence of Samhain 2010 which actually took place one week prior to our formal observence due to the illness of a member. Upon the conclusion of this meeting we all seemed to feel that this organized grotto of witchcraft was indeed worth pursuing. I think we all feel as though the ritual itself could have been better, but given the lack of preparation (only a couple of weeks) hindered how effective the ritual could have been.

With my personal preferences of more dark sided occultism, and the preferences of other members for a lighter side to such things I feel that we have (in most cases thus far) blended both ideas (and those in between) well. And we all seem to get along with one another very well and have a chemistry that is still developing at this point, but still ever present none the less.

As the high priest at our Samhain meeting and now the High Priest of our Yuletide meeting, we seem to have many obstacles to work through. But yet this Yuletide is the darkest night of the year and thus very mportant to myself. And it is very important to the other members, each for different reasons but we each are able to to afford the the other members thier own importance and celebrate the REBIRTH OF THE SUN. Which is, after all the most important aspect of this holiday!

Om, Sarva Buddha Dakini, Hri Mama Sakta Soha...

Happy Yuletide to all!

Raven Brimstone


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Camunian proverbs: Part 1

Camunian proverbs

Apparently these are real proverbs from the Val Camonica. For each one, the fist part will be in native Camunian, the second in Italian, and the third in English (if it translated correctly):

Ôm stüdiùs màgher mùrüs.

Uomo studioso scarso amante.

Studious man insufficient lover.



L'è bèla come 'l cül dé là padèla.

È bella come il fondo della padella.

It is beautiful as the bottom of the frying pan.



Zò le mà dal bànc.

Giù le mani dal banco.

Down the hands from the bench.



Quànd chè la carne la diénta früsta pò a l'anima la sé giûsta.

Quando la carne diventa vecchia anche l'anima si aggiusta.

When the meat becomes old also l' spirit is fixed.



'N Avrìl 'l tàca pò 'l mànech de'n badìl.

Ad Aprile fiorisce anche il manico del badile.

To You open them blooms also the handle of attends them.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

'The Edge' (1997) movie review

'The Edge' is one of the best survival movies ever made. It ties into some of the pagan concepts that we look into on this blog, and gives some sort of idea of the type of world that the ancients lived in. A world which gave birth to their spirituality.

Our ancestors lived in an environment at the same longitude as the state of Washington, and in a similar landscape. Coming out of the last ice age, Europe was probably pretty similar to modern Alaska, which was the location of the film.

Most of their existence was about survival. This was probably why they used animal symbolism for certain traits. For example, a wolf represented courage. They were much more in tune with the idea that "life is struggle." They probably had to contend with animals like the massive Kodiak bear shown in the movie, or with woolly lions, just within just the last several thousand years.

Another factor was that at one point up to about six thousand years ago, agriculture wasn't even possible due to the climate, so hunting would have been the chief source of food. Mammoths, which they hunted, only died out about ten thousand years ago.

'The Edge' is a great movie, which mixes personal struggles between people, with the struggle against the environment. That is a theme that has played itself over and over during eons of time. Anyone even just interested in paganism should see it on that basis alone. There have been movies about the very ancient past; but this movie, with a current theme, makes it easier to relate to the characters.

[Right: image from CourageWolf on photobucket]

From 'The Edge' Wikipedia page:

The Edge is a 1997 survival and relationship drama film directed by Lee Tamahori starring Anthony Hopkins as billionaire magazine publisher Charles Morse and Alec Baldwin as Bob Green, one of his ambitious employees. Harold Perrineau also co-stars as the group's photographer Stephen. Elle Macpherson has a supporting role as Hopkins' trophy wife and model for his magazine. Her presence in the beginning of the movie acts as a catalyst for the film's bold rivalry between Baldwin and Hopkins. L. Q. Jones has a supporting role as an innkeeper. Bart the Bear, a trained Kodiak Bear known for appearing in several Hollywood movies, also appears, as a vicious grizzly, and it would be one of his last film roles.

The movie was written by David Mamet and, despite the unusual setting, it touches upon many themes common to Mamet's other works, including the bonding of strong male characters, tough posturings and playful surprises. The story explores, through action and intricate dialog, the survival instincts of these men in terms of their competition with each other and with their environment.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Two big revelations from a little pocket book

Recently I was looking through a small travel guide that I have had for awhile, entitled 'Italian Lakes (Insight Compact Guides; 1996). While scanning through it, I found two important pieces of text. One positive, and one negative for us.

Let's get the negative one out've the way first. On page 9 under the heading "Language," it states: Un omm al gheva a düü fiö ("A man had two sons") could be the opening of any local fairytale, and anyone who's just done a course in Italian will be annoyed to discover that he doesn't understand a word. The strange language is Lombardian. Never fear, however, only a few small communities high in the mountains continue to communicate in it. The language of Dante - which marked the beginning of Italian literature - was Tuscan, and over the centuries Lombardian was gradually squeezed out by Tuscan Italian as the favored dialect.

Would I be overreacting to conclude that what I just read was someone gloating over the fact that a major part of one of the world's cultures was almost gone? The wording of it, at the least, showed a mindless slant towards the mere temporary visit of a tourist. Heaven forbid, should a person actually believe that Lombardia should still be a sovergn nation, still officially speak their own "strange language," and still be maintained as a intrinsic-homeland for the Lombardian people.

The second one was on page 54 of the chapter entitled 'Route 7' (Lake Iseo). It states
: One very rewarding car excursion from the Lago d' Iseo is to Capo di Ponte, halfway up the Val Camonica to the northeast, famed for its prehistoric rock engravings. Around 158,000 of these have been discovered, and they date from different periods - some even from Neolithic times (8,000 years ago). The engravings, many of which show hunting scenes and religious symbols, can be admired in Capo di Ponte's National Rock Engravings Park (Parco Nazionale delle Incisioni Rupestri), which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

The Neolithic dating for some of the Camunian symbols is very significant. It shows an incredible continuity of culture. This was long before the Celts migrated to this region. These were very ancient Alpine people who predated Mediterranean and Nordic peoples in Europe (both having later migrated westward from the Middle East and northern Eurasia). Also, the religious nature of some of the artifacts is significant. Imagine our ancestors, who had great knowledge of the stars, observing them on a perfect night.... 8,000 years ago. Lastly, this second revelation of Neolithic origins gives a perfect basis for why the first is such a negative.