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Gingersnap
10-29-2010, 10:27 AM
Beer Distributor's Witch Label Brews Contempt Among Wiccans

By Diane Macedo

Published October 29, 2010

Just in time for Halloween, there's trouble brewing for a California beer distributor that has gotten into hot water with the nation's wiccan community over an ale called Witch's Wit -- whose label depicts a woman being burned at the stake.

Witch's Wit is one of Port Brewing Company's Lost Abbey beers, which the distributor calls "inspired beers for saints and sinners alike." Each beer sports a label that aims to tell a story about the struggle between good and evil.

But Vicki Noble, a famed healer, astrologer and spiritual leader in the pagan community, saw only evil in Witch's Wit after a worker in a liquor store called the bottle to her attention last week.

Incensed at the image of a witch being burned at the stake, Noble sent an e-mail to her followers, asking in the subject line: "Can we stop this brewer from their hate imagery?"

"Can you imagine them showing a black person being lynched or a Jewish person going to the oven?" she asked. "Such images are simply not tolerated in our society anymore (thank the Goddess) and this one should not be, either."

Nearly a week later, Port Brewing, based in San Marcos., Calif., continues to be flooded with messages expressing outrage over the label and even threatening a boycott if the company doesn't change it.

"Blogs, Facebook and Twitter were all employed to mount an assault on our systems," the company said in a statement. "An e-mail campaign was also started and a barrage of very similar e-mails filled our in-boxes for the duration of the weekend.

"We have a stack of e-mails asking whether we would show Jews being gassed or African-Americans being lynched ... Others seemed to think we were responsible for recent incidents in Darfur as well. It was an amazing chain of events to say the least."

First of all, Wiccans belong to a neo-pagan religion essentially made up by Gerald Gardner in the 20th century to provide plausibility for his interest in group sex. Over the years, Wiccans have added and subtracted little bits of this and that over a framework of now discredited theories about European foldklore and pagan survivals.

Secondly, the people burned during the witch-craze were not Wiccans (who did not yet exist). They were Christians accused of dealing with the devil. Most educated Christians, including some prominent Church authorities, denounced the mere belief in witchcraft as superstition. Basically, there never were any "real" witches. The stereotype of the witch is just a part of folklore and the victims of the witch-craze were all baptized Christians.

As a baptized Christian myself, I don't care at all if some beer company uses the images of persecuted Christians on their beverage label within this context. I do care that Wiccans are being outraged by something that has nothing to do with them. :rolleyes:

Offending label at the link.

Fox (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2010/10/28/beer-distributors-witchs-brew-wiccans-calling-boycott/)

noonwitch
10-29-2010, 01:26 PM
I think the reason that wiccans claim the whole persecution through the witch burnings as their own history due to feminism and it's merger with wiccan. Gardner wanted a religious excuse for group sex, true (as long as the group consisted of him and a bunch of women).

But american wicca is not quite the same as the stuff Gardner started in the 40s and 50s. He got a lot of his ideas from Crowley, anyways.

American wicca/paganism came out of the 60s. They started with Gardner and Crowley, but then plenty of american writers started their own brand, which was highly feminist and anti-traditional gender role models. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance is a pretty good american wiccan primer, as is Margot Adler's Drawing Down The Moon. But really, the book that got me interested in wicca and I would say is probably the one that draws most interest is fiction: The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It's a re-writing of Arthurian legend that makes Morgaine Le Fay the heroine, and has Arthur, Gwenevere and Lancelot having a 3-way. But you have probably read that book at some point, Ginger.

Articulate_Ape
10-29-2010, 01:47 PM
I am not aware of a single witch being burned at the stake in America. During the witch hunts of the 1600's, suspected witches were put to death by either hanging or drowning. Having read Cotton Mather's tedious tome Magnalia Christi Americana, which gives a detailed account of the witch trials of the time, I found to my own surprise that there was no mention of burnings.

Gingersnap
10-29-2010, 05:25 PM
I think the reason that wiccans claim the whole persecution through the witch burnings as their own history due to feminism and it's merger with wiccan. Gardner wanted a religious excuse for group sex, true (as long as the group consisted of him and a bunch of women).

But american wicca is not quite the same as the stuff Gardner started in the 40s and 50s. He got a lot of his ideas from Crowley, anyways.

American wicca/paganism came out of the 60s. They started with Gardner and Crowley, but then plenty of american writers started their own brand, which was highly feminist and anti-traditional gender role models. Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance is a pretty good american wiccan primer, as is Margot Adler's Drawing Down The Moon. But really, the book that got me interested in wicca and I would say is probably the one that draws most interest is fiction: The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It's a re-writing of Arthurian legend that makes Morgaine Le Fay the heroine, and has Arthur, Gwenevere and Lancelot having a 3-way. But you have probably read that book at some point, Ginger.

I have indeed. It's a rollicking good read but it didn't persuade me to reexamine the Arthurian legends with an eye toward feminism and Druids. :D

While it's true that contemporary Wicca has marched on without Gardner or Alex Sanders, the current re-imagining of coherent pagan survivals into the modern era is still.....well, silly. I'm disappointed that such a potentially radical religious expression has pretty much confined its efforts to pasteurized folklore, impractical feminist goals, a dash of hippie/greenie sensibility, and gayness - of all things! A fertility religion that embraces willful infertility.

*shakes head*

The Asatru, by contrast, have gained momentum across Northern Europe and are beginning to increase here in the U.S. They aren't really re-imagining the paganism of pre-Christian Scandinavia and Northern Europe (we know exactly how the religion worked) so much as just doing it. Since it doesn't involve any trendy beliefs about sex roles or environmentalism, it's a pretty practical path of belief.

RobJohnson
10-29-2010, 05:37 PM
Next they will come for my chocolate milk that is the official drink of Halloween this year....

Fucking cults...

Articulate_Ape
10-29-2010, 06:13 PM
Am I the only one here that suspects that Ginger and a duck weigh the same?

Gingersnap
10-29-2010, 07:10 PM
Am I the only one here that suspects that Ginger and a duck weigh the same?

Perhaps, but I don't look like a witch and that's the important thing. :p

Articulate_Ape
10-29-2010, 08:03 PM
Real witches never do. :p

CaughtintheMiddle1990
10-31-2010, 01:12 AM
I'm sure Christianity was mocked as a silly rip off of Judaism in it's early days...
People should have the right to believe what they wanna believe.
I know many a Wiccan and they're some of the nicest people I know, and I consider it just as legitimate as any other religion.
As a Deist, I'm open to any explanation. They're all interpretations to me.

megimoo
10-31-2010, 12:19 PM
Perhaps, but I don't look like a witch and that's the important thing. :pHow about that wart ?

Odysseus
10-31-2010, 01:36 PM
Am I the only one here that suspects that Ginger and a duck weigh the same?
What makes you think she's a witch?

I'm sure Christianity was mocked as a silly rip off of Judaism in it's early days....
Actually, that's still our position and we're sticking to it. I expect this 2,000 year fad to end any day now. :D

http://www.lostabbey.com/wp-content/uploads/witchs-wit.png

Looks to me like they've filled her with malt, hops, barley and the rest of the ingredients and are now brewing her in the open. :D

Articulate_Ape
10-31-2010, 02:35 PM
What makes you think she's a witch?


She turned me into a Newt Gingrich. But I got better.

m00
10-31-2010, 02:47 PM
She turned me into a Newt Gingrich. But I got better.

It's a fair cop.

hampshirebrit
10-31-2010, 02:58 PM
http://www.lostabbey.com/wp-content/uploads/witchs-wit.png
Looks to me like they've filled her with malt, hops, barley and the rest of the ingredients and are now brewing her in the open. :D

That looks nice. Only 4.8pc/vol, but even so, I bet it tastes good.

Odysseus
10-31-2010, 03:17 PM
That looks nice. Only 4.8pc/vol, but even so, I bet it tastes good.

Yeah, you can really taste the singed witch. :D