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For some Wiccans, Halloween can be a real witch
Trey Capnerhurst, a traditional witch, performs a naming ceremony by the altar in her backyard in Alberta.
October 30th, 2013
03:32 PM ET

For some Wiccans, Halloween can be a real witch

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) -  Like lots of people, when October 31 rolls around, Trey Capnerhurst dons a pointy hat and doles out candy to children who darken the door of her cottage in Alberta.

But she’s not celebrating Halloween. In fact, she kind of hates it.

Capnerhurst says she’s a real, flesh-and-blood witch, and Halloween stereotypes of witches as broom-riding hags drive her a bit batty.

“Witches are not fictional creatures,” the 45-year-old wrote in a recent article on WitchVox.com.

“We are not werewolves or Frankenstein monsters. We do not have green skin, and only some of us have warts.”

Warts or not, many witches say they have mixed feelings about Halloween.

Some look forward to the day when witchcraft is front and center and no one looks askance at big black hats. Others complain that the holiday reinforces negative stereotypes of witches as evil outliers who boil children in black cauldrons.

Capnerhurst falls into the latter camp.

Hanging up witch decorations at Halloween is no better than wearing blackface costumes or taking a slur, like “Redskins,” as the name of your football team, she says.

“Unless one actually is a witch, dressing up as stereotypical witches is bigotry,” Capnerhurst said.

In June, the wife and mother of two started her own church for “traditional” witches called Disir, an old Norse word meaning “matron deities,” she says.

(Capnerhurst draws a distinction between “traditional” witches, like her, who were born into the religion, and Wiccans, most of whom are converts.)

Most Wiccans identify as witches, and they form the largest branch of the burgeoning neo-pagan movement, said Helen A. Berger, a sociologist who specializes in the study of contemporary Paganism and witchcraft at Brandeis University.

A 2008 survey counted about 342,000 Wiccans in the United States and nearly as many who identify simply as “pagans,” a significant increase from the last American Religious Identification Survey, taken in 2001.

Three-quarters of American Wiccans are women, according to Berger.

“It’s harder to train male Wiccans,” Capnerhurst said with a cheery sigh. “Most men just aren’t going to sweep the kitchen and think about sweeping out the bad energy.”

The faith is fiercely individualistic. Although there are umbrella groups like Wisconsin-based Circle Sanctuary, most Wiccans practice their own blends of witchcraft.

After centuries of persecution in Europe and colonial America, modern witches still bear a sharp suspicion of authority. The rede, or ethical statement at the core of Wicca, is: Harm none and do as you will.

Despite the rising popularity of their faith, many Wiccans remain “in the broom closet,” fearful of losing their jobs, their families or their reputations, said Berger and other experts.

Trey Capnerhurst in her traditional witch garb.

Capnerhurst said she was “outed” in 2005 while running as the Green Party’s candidate for local office. A reporter noted the pentacle - a five-pointed star often mistaken as a satanic symbol - hanging around her neck.

“I kind of became the poster girl for paganism,” Capnerhurst said.

But the notoriety came at a cost.

Neighbors have threatened to burn down the house she shares with her family, Capnerhurst says. She’s lost jobs. And people keep asking her whether the “Blair Witch Project,” the 1999 horror movie, is real.

“I’m like, What the frick! No!”

Raising her 12-year-old daughter, Maenwen, as a witch is not easy either, Capnerhurst says, especially around this time of year, when just about every classroom turns into a coven of construction-paper crones and black cats.

In the United States, Circle Sanctuary has founded the Lady Liberty League to advocate for Wiccans' religious freedom and to fight discrimination.

Unlike Capnerhurst, however, some witches see Halloween as a treat, not a trick.

“Considering that I usually slap on a pointy hat at this time of year (and I have a black cat too), I’m fine with the image of the Halloween witch,” wrote Jen McConnel, a poet, novelist and Wiccan from North Carolina, in an e-mail.

“Even though the word ‘witch ‘ is loaded, I have embraced it,” McConnel said, “but it is only one of many hats I wear (pun intended).”

McConnel says she enjoys the yearly confluence of Halloween with Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival that marks the end of the harvest and winter’s coming darkness.

It’s a time when the veil between the living and the dead grows thin, according to Wiccan theology, and spirits can easily cross the divide.

Many Wiccans hold “dumb suppers,” to which they invite deceased ancestors, making sure to prepare their favorite foods, said Jeanet Lewis, a witch who lives in Northern Virginia.

“It’s a meditative, silent meal,” Lewis said.

Other witches light memorial candles and cast spells for the new year.

What do witches wish for? The same things as everyone else, apparently.

“Health, wealth and love,” Capnerhurst said with a laugh. “Every single spell falls into one of those three categories.”

Even though she dislikes Halloween, Capnerhurst has found a way to blend it with her own sacred days, Samhain.

According to some historians, at this time of year, as the days grow darker, ancient Celts would don costumes as stand-ins for deceased spirits, going door-to-door and performing tricks in exchange for treats.

Capnerhurst prefers to see the children who come to her door on October 31 as a re-enactment of that ritual.

“I’m doing my ritual and they get candy,” she said. “Everybody wins!”

And even though she bristles at the thought that some neighbors might abhor her religion, Capnerhurst tries to take it all in good cheer.

As October 31 approaches each year, she places a sign on her lawn that reads, "This House Practices Safe Hex."

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Discrimination • Halloween • Holidays • Neopaganism • Paganism • Persecution • Prejudice

soundoff (2,335 Responses)
  1. Mister Jones

    OK, I'll make this real simple. If you call yourself a "witch", but you can't do any 'magic', or anything that society identifies with witches (she turned me into a NEWT!!!!), then ... you aren't a witch. I'm not suggesting we burn you, or see if you weigh the same as a duck. But, if you are only a witch in your head ... then you don't get to be offended. Do some witch ... stuff, and then we'll listen to you. Until then, your complaints are behind Frankenstein, The Mummy, the Wolfman, and that creature from that lagoon that is black. ... Yes. I am old. Shut it. 🙂

    October 31, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • berryrat

      Keep in mind that many Wiccans do not share her beliefs. I'm a Wiccan. I love seeing children dressed for Halloween and having fun. I don't mind if that dress as aliens or witches. It does no harm. We do not get offended by humor or the joyful celebrations of non-wiccans. We do not want to convert you. We simply wish to worship in peace. Thanks goodness for America and freedom of religion (and from religion if it suits you).

      October 31, 2013 at 3:45 am |
    • Voodoo Houngan

      Thank you for telling it like it is, finally someone intelligent on here!

      October 31, 2013 at 4:14 am |
    • Discriminato

      Please, no more Newts!

      October 31, 2013 at 5:37 am |
    • jenny

      I'm sorry, but you don't get to define who is or isn't a witch. It's a very personal decision to use that word in reference to yourself, and the meaning changes from person to person, and so do the practices. This is a RELIGION for most of us, so please don't be so hasty in thinking you get to define it.
      And if you honestly believe that changing people into a newt is part of it, please do some research.

      October 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  2. ronjayaz

    It has always been a curiosity to me that we praise Pirates or at least depict them in a humorous vein (they were simple evil & the wretches of the world). And the witches were really women who could not, did not want to follow the roles placed on women. They were in fact unique individuals opposed to following the leader for whatever reason. Even the stereotype that continues to this day was enacted at a GEICO broom factory in which she flies a away. Of course, the broom stick was an ugly phallic symbol. Gross in the extreme.

    October 31, 2013 at 3:13 am |
  3. Chris

    The original Pagans of Europe I highly doubt dressed up as what we view as a typical "witch". And that's what Wicca is supposed to be based on. Modern day Witchcraft I think is mostly fantasy, perhaps with a pinch of historical accuracy. Unfortunately it's just a religion lost to time and oppressed so harshly by Christianity we really know little of it anymore.

    October 31, 2013 at 3:10 am |
  4. sam stone

    What losers

    October 31, 2013 at 3:01 am |
  5. Jaythiest

    calling someone silly for their beliefs is marginalizing and happens to have been the prime tool of bigots since time immemorial and it works very well. It has worked in far more subtle ways than even just calling someone "silly" Im not trying to be flippant at all. im just pointing out a cog in the works of needless rivalry.

    October 31, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Jaythiest

      if that remarks make YOU feel silly thats because you still are human. if your instinct was a snide and hateful remark, keep on snackin on that hubris, mang! (pssst! there's a prize in the center!)

      October 31, 2013 at 2:53 am |
  6. Rigel

    Is no one going to talk about how she thinks kids dressing up for Halloween is anywhere near the level of offensive as dressing in blackface or calling a team 'the Redskins'?

    Or how about using "the broom closet" to compare her so-called 'persecution' to the actual struggles of lgbt* people, who are actually denied rights?

    Pathetic.

    October 31, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Jaythiest

      i can sort of see her point if she does, in fact, see herself as a descendant or part of the lineage of witches that have been forced into hiding, brutalized, scapegoated, and murdered throughout the centuries. i mean, you know....

      October 31, 2013 at 2:56 am |
      • Annesta

        Jaythiest

        Oh, the gardnerians. i always felt they were the more flashy people of the wiccan believers. Highly ritualistic, very defining in their processes. I would probably lean more towards being solitary since i usually keep my beliefs to myself. that is, until i see people getting henpecked. Sometimes it is hard to bite the tongue.

        I totally agree with your statement

        October 31, 2013 at 4:39 am |
  7. Jaythiest

    Im an athiest and i dont really think about many religions aside from fundamentalist ones that try infringe on other's lives or absolutely oppress other human beings.

    if it werent for that, i would never think about it. but that is probably because i dont have a chip on my shoulder.

    October 31, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  8. children of Israel

    Psalm 106:37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and daughters unto devils, *1st Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God, and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

    October 31, 2013 at 2:40 am |
  9. TheRationale

    Wow, people are "bigots" for thinking you're silly? How about grow up. Holy crap.

    October 31, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  10. Boz

    I'm stuck. No way out.

    October 31, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • sam stone

      Wow. Real helpful. Morons. Quit mass and reject heaven and hell. Thanks.

      I hate being a christian

      October 31, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • Jaythiest

      peyote or dmt. even if you dont end up believing what it shows you, you will still be enhancing you knowledge of different beliefs.

      October 31, 2013 at 2:59 am |
      • sam stone

        Beliefs? Beliefs? Do u have the slightest clue?

        Who said anything about beliefs or faith or religion or ritual?

        October 31, 2013 at 3:04 am |
        • Jaythiest

          um...you? and everyone else? "i hate being a christian." i believe you and another typed that, which is clearly a statement concerning religion, which is a belief system. I do happen to have a clue, otherwise i wouldnt be conversing about the topic. I understand why you might think otherwise. it is the common way to go, angrily spouting off without making sense or displaying an understanding of the topic at hand and just flailing across the internet... Im betting you've seen evidence of this.

          October 31, 2013 at 3:16 am |
        • sam stone

          Observer, thanks. U got it. A belief system. A religion. Exactly. Mass. No heaven. No hell.

          October 31, 2013 at 4:17 am |
  11. Boz

    I hate being a christian.

    October 31, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • Maleficent

      Then stop. I did.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:56 am |
      • Boz

        How?

        October 31, 2013 at 2:01 am |
        • Maleficent

          What do you mean how? If you hate your religion, stop practicing it. Learn to embrace the reality that nobody has the answers to what, if anything happens after life ends, or who or what god is, and if god even exists.

          October 31, 2013 at 2:11 am |
        • sam stone

          What, r u an idiot? Embrace a religion?

          October 31, 2013 at 2:24 am |
        • sam stone

          No one knows what happens after death? What r u talking about? Can u read?

          October 31, 2013 at 2:26 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I am a recovering Catholic....there is hope....one day at a time.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:59 am |
      • Boz

        What r u hoping for?

        October 31, 2013 at 2:01 am |
        • sam stone

          Real rough. Mass was your christianity?

          October 31, 2013 at 2:22 am |
      • That Bald Dude

        Twenty-six years without a Mass. Feeling better by the day!

        October 31, 2013 at 2:19 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Change those things you can change....

          October 31, 2013 at 2:32 am |
        • sam stone

          How do u change your heart? Have u loved?

          October 31, 2013 at 4:19 am |
        • That Bald Dude

          "Changing hearts" has nothing to do with it, nor does loving someone. I simply opened my eyes to the fallacy of Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general.

          October 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Steve.k ny

      if you dislike it change being a christian. Study the other religions of the world. you will find one that suits you like I did which is paganism. Oh and to the atheist leave other peoples religions the "hell" alone. Just because you don't agree or think nothing anything exists maybe that's why you have to belittle other peoples faith to make yourself feel better.I'd rather have faith in something over nothing at. Also to the people who think paganism is devil worship its not we don't even believe in the devil nor the christian god our religion predates any other religions. Paganism dates back to the stone age so please to this world a favor research something before you spreed hate you lies about something you don't understand or more likely even care to understand. Thanks for reading this blessed be and have a merry Samhain.

      October 31, 2013 at 2:16 am |
      • Chuck Darwin

        Or... look at the other religions and hopefully realize just how arbitrary it all is and flush them all down the drain when your ability to suspend disbelief finally snaps like kindling under an avalanche.

        None of them make sense because none of them are based in reality; they rely upon magic... demons, angels, magic swords, ghosts, super powers... you know... FICTION.

        Even if you don't buy the scientific theories... they're all a hell of a lot more likely than the world being plunged into a pit of suffering by the smartest being in the universe because his pet angel pretended to be a talking snake with legs in order to trick a rib-woman into eating a magic piece of fruit.

        October 31, 2013 at 2:34 am |
        • sam stone

          Now, there's good advice. Chuck 'em all. All r arbitrary. Like u no. All r arbitrary. Little dogmatic there charlie boy.

          All religions rely on magic. Sure. Prove it along with evolution. U got 5 minutes

          October 31, 2013 at 2:57 am |
        • Dave

          Not all. Take a look at Buddhism. No dogma, no blind faith, rooted in reality...

          October 31, 2013 at 9:17 am |
      • sam stone

        Yea. Like I need u preaching your religion at me. I'll find one like u did. Like u no. Moron.

        Study the world's religions. Like I haven't. Get lost. What an idiot

        October 31, 2013 at 2:52 am |
      • sam stone

        If u dislike it...

        Dislike what?

        A religion? Mass? Knowing hell doesn't exist?

        What is that stuff? Jesus?

        October 31, 2013 at 4:40 am |
      • tiffanyjuliet

        Paganism is worshiping an idol that is not real, not living, it cant breath, talk or walk. These objects are made from a person. How can one worship a non living idol made of wood, plastic, or gold? Worship Jesus Christ, he is real and God and the Holy Spirit are real. i am talking about an actual personal relationship with the only true living God. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ who actually died on the cross for you and raised from the dead is much more fulfilling then worshiping a non living object. Your idols will never die for you but christ already died for your sins. How do we get this realationship with God, a personal relationship? By believing and saying that Jesus Christ is LORD outloud and having a prayer life with Jesus. We turn from our sin and ask for forgivness. Just pray outloud dear jesus Christ, i believe that you are the son of the only living God. You are part of the trinity. You are LORD. I repent and turn from my sins and i ask for you and the Holy Spirit to come into my heart and dwell within me. Amen. Dear Steve, There is no room in heaven for non believers of Christ or people who are involved in witch craft. please dont reply back to me i refuse to argue or debate. I live in Christ's love.

        November 2, 2013 at 2:04 am |
        • HotAirAce

          100% pure bullshit! unless you can provide some actual evidence for your claims.

          November 2, 2013 at 2:07 am |
  12. Maleficent

    Witchcraft is as much of a joke as any other religion. People who participate have strong imaginations – not magical powers. And I think people just like the ritual and all the neat props that come with witchcraft. I love Halloween, and I can't stand people who have a stick up their bums about it. Especially people who believe they really are witches. Yeah, and I'm an elf. Galadriel in fact!

    October 31, 2013 at 1:43 am |
    • Florist

      You don't have to have "magic powers" to do witchcraft. That's not at all what it's about. Before you scoff at it, you might want to find out what it actually is.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:53 am |
      • Maleficent

        I know exactly what it is about. I've read much about it (books recommended by those who practice Wicca and other forms of witchcraft), and I actually dabbled in it back when I was a seeker and still believed that some religion had the answers. It was a lot of pageantry and rules that resulted in absolutely nothing.

        October 31, 2013 at 1:56 am |
        • MoveForward

          Sounds like a typical religion.

          October 31, 2013 at 2:06 am |
        • Maleficent

          @MoveForward – exactly!

          October 31, 2013 at 2:09 am |
        • Cindi

          Mal as a local artist I think you are missing what is cool about it. Let me rephrase that. I know you are missing what is cool about it.

          October 31, 2013 at 3:53 am |
        • Lanthiriel

          No you don't. Yet another person who thinks they are an expert due to a few books under their belt and "dabbling" Dabbling? What nonsense! Go get serious for years then maybe you'll have the grounds for an educated opinion.

          October 31, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Chuck Darwin

      It's really hard to say which ones are sillier... on the one hand, the old popular Abrahamic religions keep doubling down with absolutely nothing to show for it except for blood on their hands and the ability to call for someone's death by violence successfully from the congregation.

      On the other hand... Wicca is an incredible mish-mash of silly chicanery. Most of it's tenants seems to have been invented (and borrowed from) well known fraudsters such as the late, well-known, charlatan king Aleister Crowley (who clearly didn't believe in any of it) who employed circular references, faked source material, and other assorted research fraud. The rest of it's substance seems like an endless pit of plagiarism from fiction and desperate charlatans in waiting.

      Its one of the most pathetic religions I can think of. My hat is off to them, though. It seems like every Wiccan I've ever met who stuck with it into middle adulthood has either tried to make a living fleecing the rest of the rubes or has used it as a springboard to indulge in their hystrionic personality disorder.

      October 31, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Lanthiriel

      Witchcraft isn't a religion. A lot of trads have no need for and do not use "props". And no witch worth her salt ever claims to have "magical powers." Quite a few trads I know are scientists, doctors, teachers. Your experience and knowledge of this topic is narrow. Didn't work for you huh? So whose lap does that fall into eh?

      October 31, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  13. MoxRox

    I laugh at the thought of "real witches". I also laugh when people try to tell me God is real because the BIble tells them so. Tell you what "witches"...the first time I see the effects of a REAL spell, then I'll believe in "real" witches.

    October 31, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  14. NorCalMojo

    What a scrooge.

    The negative stereotype of witches predates Wicca. The drama and persecution complex is part of the attraction. Complaining about it seems pretty silly.

    October 31, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  15. bablabla

    Honestly, the end of the article should have been at the top. There's some interesting opinions about Wiccan culture, and also, interesting quotes. Daniel Burke needs to cut out his insignificant personal opinions and just be a damn journalist. Happy Halloween folks.

    October 31, 2013 at 1:03 am |
  16. kamarasune

    Funny I don't see any atheist protesting this faith.

    October 31, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • Fan2C

      kamarasune,

      Atheists point out the unbelievability of this religion as well. "Protesting" would not take place unless they are trying to run the country according to their superst.itions and fantasies.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:06 am |
      • modocer

        But, atheists are quite willing to run the country based on their "beliefs". Very hypocritical!!! Why not be tolerant of all belief systems?

        October 31, 2013 at 1:25 am |
        • edvardkenfish

          "belief systems"? you mean science? Things proven by the scientific method that have gone through peer review? That seems to be the least offensive way to run a government. Keep government within the said bounds, and you can keep your personal life to whatever system you choose to live your life by. A secular government doesn't discriminate against anybody because religion is never taken into account in a just, secular society. Through the eyes of a just, secular society, judgments are blind to all but the proven facts.

          October 31, 2013 at 1:38 am |
      • Boz

        Funny. Christians don't try to convert anyone. They set an example of god's loving ways. Guess that bothers some people. Too bad. Change your diapers

        October 31, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • Boz

          Fake boz, best it

          October 31, 2013 at 2:03 am |
        • MoveForward

          Not.

          October 31, 2013 at 2:09 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Is that the same "loving" Christian god of the Bible that says to convert or suffer the consequences?

          October 31, 2013 at 2:09 am |
        • sam stone

          Throw yourself off this mountain. Isn't it written, your angels will take care of you? Hmm? Lordie boy. Impress me, now!

          Nothing new

          October 31, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Funny, I don't have to deal with Wiccan's and their faith in very aspect of life.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:06 am |
      • Dave

        It's the same thing with Buddhists in my opinion. When was the last time a Buddhist tried to 'convert' you? When was the last real good Buddhist 'holy war'? How many times have Buddhists tried to get legislation past to enshrine their views as law?

        October 31, 2013 at 1:23 am |
        • bootyfunk

          Five minutes ago an atheist said she wanted to llik me unless I converted to her relgion

          October 31, 2013 at 1:47 am |
        • Bootyfunk

          ^^ wow, that's the fastest i've ever seen someone jack my handle. ^^

          October 31, 2013 at 1:59 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          Prayer bot hit the board...

          October 31, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • Adam

      I'm an atheist and I totally think Wicca is the stupidist thing ever.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:12 am |
      • Dave Green

        I don't know....There are some pretty stupid beliefs out there. Wiccans aren't causing ME any issues. I don't care what they believe and why would I? As for the most stupid belief? Gee, hard to put wicca above scientology.

        October 31, 2013 at 1:25 am |
      • berryrat

        As a Wiccan, I'm not offended by your belief (or lack of). I don't want to convert you or turn you away from science. We simply wish to worship in peace. Many Wiccans believe there is more than one path to divinity.

        October 31, 2013 at 1:53 am |
      • Florist

        No one cares.

        October 31, 2013 at 1:54 am |
      • Sean Lynch

        Climate change denial is the stupidest thing ever in my opinion.

        October 31, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • NorCalMojo

      They went after it pretty hard when they found out a Tea Party candidate had dabbled in it.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:21 am |
      • Graham Krueger

        Actually she didn't, she claimed to have dabbled in satanism, which she implied (falsely) to be the same as neopaganism

        October 31, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      why not so many atheists protesting the wiccan religion? we do protest it, as we protest all religions - because they offer "magic" as an explanation instead of facts. wicca, like all religions, teaches ignorance when it teaches magical beings, gods/goddesses and spells are real. all religions ask its followers to believe myth and fairy tale are true. all religions offer zero evidence. atheists have a problem with not using logic and reason.

      there is another side of religion that atheists detest more than the teaching of magic as fact. many religions, christianity for example, teach that g.ay people are evil, women are not equal to men, disgusting ideas like 'sin' and 'hell', that s.ex is something to be ashamed of and so on. in fact, though modern sensibilities wins over the bible, the book actually promotes slavery throughout. there are rules in the bible for selling your own daughter into slavery, for how to beat your slaves and from which nations you can take slaves. the way some politicians try to promote their own sect of religious dogma in laws that affect people of differing beliefs.

      though wicca is definitely guilty of offering "magic" as an explanation and believing in magical beings/deities, wicca is largely innocent of what i wrote in the 2nd paragraph. wicca doesn't think women are 2nd class citizens or that g.ays are evil sinners. i don't see wiccan politicians trying to make his/her religion into law. i don't see many values in the wiccan religion that i disagree with - aside from the silly belief in magic and gods/goddesses. wicca doesn't have a rule book that promotes slavery or stoning people to death.

      so the answer is, atheists do have a problem with wicca - but not as large a problem as with christianity/islam/judaism.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • wnzmtc

      Science witches!!

      October 31, 2013 at 1:40 am |
  17. Dave Green

    I see no issue with Wicca. I've never had a witch come to MY door asking me to join their coven. I've never had a witch threaten me with eternal damnation because I had the nerve to disagree with their beliefs. "An it harm no one, do as though wilt," sounds fine to me. I'm not seeing the problem.

    That being said, it's a waste of time to be offended by stereo-types and Halloween, just like pretty much all American holiday's, celebrates consumerism more than anything. Christmas is the real joke. We actually make economic determinations based on holiday retail sales. Now THAT'S celebrating the spirit of Christmas!

    October 31, 2013 at 12:50 am |
  18. Cap'nRita

    Most "real witches" don't make pointy hats and black clothing a daily fashion statement. We celebrate Samhain as the beginning of the new year and honor those who have passed before. We also DO NOT hate on those of differing paths. I have no idea what "tradition" Ms. Capnerhurst follows but it isn't any I'm familiar with. BTW...the "born into" vs Wiccan is so played out. There is room on the broom for everyone.

    October 31, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Sean Lynch

      There is room for diversity of all kinds of beliefs that don't deny evidence to my way of thinking. I would be willing to bet that atheists are more despised than witches in America. 'course we're not made out of wood, perhaps that's our problem.

      October 31, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • humanistJohn420

      Sorry there is no such thing as a "real witch" Wicca is just more nonsense. Granted they aren't trying to legislate their crazy beliefs so I don't give a toss really.

      October 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  19. berryrat

    I'm a Wiccan. I take the rede seriously; therefore, I don't complain about the Halloween traditions other. Simply put, children dressing as ghost, goblins, and even witches harms no one.

    Thank goodness for the USA and freedom of religion.

    October 31, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Cap'nRita

      Exactly and well put, Sister! Brightest Blessings this Samhain!

      October 31, 2013 at 12:52 am |
  20. Graham Krueger

    Interesting problem- trying to reconstruct from what we know of old religions around spiritually independent, often modern principles. When you consider the difficulty of trying to turn what had only survived as individual practices into an accessible religion, I think what Wicca has accomplished is truly amazing, and with regard to the other smaller pagan movements it's empowered, deeply supportive. Blessed Be, Ms. Capnenhurst.

    October 31, 2013 at 12:11 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.