Today’s Tarot: The Magician

300px-Visconti-sforza-01-magician-151x300

Bringing you News and Notes from Pagans worldwide.
Author: Misty Talen
Original Post at:

The Magician card in Tarot has been interpreted many ways by artists over the years. It is always fascinating what symbolism resonates with the artist and how it is transferred onto paper.

The Magician card from the Visconti-Sforza Tarot deck.

The Magician card from the Visconti-Sforza Tarot deck.

Here we see the Magician in one of his documented appearances from the Visconti-Sforza deck commissioned and published in 1400s. We see a man dressed in Red, Green and White seated before a table containing tools. You sense the opportunity for creation, building a skill or a masterpiece.  The colors seen in red and white often represents polarity: good and evil, male and female, light and dark.  This figure comes to the table with the possibility to be constructive or destructive. In addition, he comes to his work wearing a touch of green, potentially to represent the fertility of creation.

In modern tarot the Magician is master of all Elements.

The cup represents water and emotion.

The blade represents air and intellect.

The coin represents earth and our physical world.

The rod represents fire and action.

With all of the tools laid out evenly on the work surface, the Magician begins his work. He can create out of these elements wonders or tricks. As with any element of the human condition, there are two sides to every possibility. The Magician, Wizard or Mag as he is known in other decks around the world, is also known as a trickster or a charlatan and takes your money by sweet promises, he is about flashy shows all without substance.

In this way, the Magician warns us of empty vanity.

He is closely tied to his role in guiding the Fool on his journey. The Magician stands at a crossroads, and until now the Fool has moved forward based on his instincts alone. The Magician opens the Fool’s eyes to the possibilities before him on his journey.  The Magician moves between worlds, and this is where his correlation to Hermes can be found.

Hermes, the Psychopomp, moves anywhere He wants. Into worlds, out of worlds – above as well as below. He is a traveler and an excellent messenger. He also makes an excellent property redistribution specialist.  We also see this aspect reflected in Coyote from Native American lore.  The lessons of Hermes, Coyote, or the Magician as we know Him in tarot can be expressed through misdirection and manipulation. However, it is through this forging of self that we find aspects of ourselves that we were previously unaware we possessed. There is strength in that mastery.

By no means am I suggesting we take the hard road every time, but know that somewhere along the way you spoke with your inner or outer Magician (guide) and you choose to take the path you are now on. You can either harness the elements before you and create, or you can let it slip through your hands and go back to the earth.

The choice is entirely yours.

Self-Righteousness is not a Pagan Value

PaganEarth1

Bringing you News and Notes from Pagans worldwide.
Author: Belladonna Laveau
Original Post at:

 

In Wicca, we understand that everything happens for a reason.  We believe that the Goddess has her own plans, and when things happen that we don’t understand or like, we look for the positive.  We strive to see our lesson PaganEarthin the issue and grow from it. We do not blame others for our problems.  We do not attack those who are different from us, or with whom we  do not agree.  We rejoice in the diversity and variety of life, knowing that each individual makes the web stronger.  We appreciate that others have different lessons from us and different strengths and each of us focuses on being the best we can be to make a better planet for all of us.  Essentially, we strive to make lemonade out of the lemons of life, knowing that the Goddess gives us what we need, even if it’s not what we want.

It’s not easy being Wiccan.  Many people coming to the path feel like all they have to do is change their clothes, maybe join a Facebook group or twelve, and there you are.  Wicca is a way of life.  It’s easy to talk about principles. It’s harder to incorporate them into your character.  It’s really hard to practice them yourself, especially when things aren’t going your way.  Your character is not tested in the happy times.  Your character is tested in the difficult times.  Your character will be shown in how you react after you feel wronged, when things don’t go your way, or when you feel you have lost the battle.  Your character is not defined by the mistakes you make or the challenges you are faced with. Your character is defined by the way you react to your challenges and mistakes.

Which brings us to the subject at hand – Self-Righteousness.  Let’s first define Self-Righteousness.

    • (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes[1]) is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority[2] derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Self-righteous individuals are often intolerant of the opinions and behaviors of others.[3]Wikipedia
    • confident of one’s own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.  Dictionary.com
    • having or showing a strong belief that your own actions, opinions, etc., are right and other people’s are wrong.  Miriam-Webster’s

 

There’s this current trend of “calling people out” for their behavior, but there are consequences to slinging the mud.  My beautiful and beloved people, this is just RUDE.  Please don’t do it.  A wise old man once told me, “I can’t sling the mud without getting the mud on me.”  That’s stuck with me – like mud. Maybe because I liked to sling it.  But, I asked myself what that meant and really examined that thought.  I CAN’T point out the ugliness of others without getting some of that ugliness on me?  OK, so, let me get prepared to take a shower, after I write you this article, and lets look at the mud we have slung all over this community.

 

You’re mad at Suzy? Whatever it is about Suzy that you don’t like can be found in your very own mirror, and maybe your critical eye would be better served looking within, where you can actually make a positive change.

The Goddess and I think you’re perfect, but that doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else.  We are ALL extraordinary and unique individuals, http://shaktiwomyn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Shakti-Goddess-Dancing.jpgdoing our best every day to make the world we experience a better place to be in. We all have different mastery and we all have different challenges.  It aggravates an already difficult issue for someone to sit in judgment and point out the flaws of a person already in crisis.  It not only doesn’t help.  It’s hurtful.  We as Wiccans strive not to be hurtful.  Harm NONE, right?  You CAN’T talk about others on Facebook, at a party, or in the privacy of your own home without being hurtful. Don’t let yourself do it.  Notice who’s stirring the shit, and refuse to participate.

Self-righteousness is a sneaky, shadowy bastard that infects our minds and affects our communities insidiously.  It can happen to you before you even know it.  You have to examine your thoughts, behaviors, actions, and words.  You must catch yourself on those times when your good intentions have you retelling a story about a friend’s plight without thinking of the consequences, or your moral compass has you enraged at the actions, deeds or opinions of another.

Facebook makes a great place to share your feelings and ideas.  It’s also a great place to sit safely behind a computer monitor, get half a story, pass judgment and say things to people that you would never have the courage to say to their face.  It’s completely okay to disagree with someone.  It’s not any of their business if you don’t agree, and they probably don’t care.  So, instead of taking off on a rant that might destroy someone’s day, or self-esteem, or even their life, why not just read something else?  Does it makes us feel powerful to rip someone to shreds?  Is that ok?  Are we just avoiding focusing on the things we need to work on?  More importantly what are the karmic backlashes to that, and what does that behavior do to our community?

We are ALL working on our issues.  We all have problems.  We all have shadows, and light.  We are ALL whole beings with good and bad things about ourselves that we do and don’t like, and that others do and don’t like.  Pete said something to me one day that brought all of it into focus.  He said, “Bella, It took me 70 years to realize that what people think about me is none of my business.  If you can get that in 40, you’ll be 30 years ahead of the game.”  I took that to heart.  But, there’s a whole Pagan community that hasn’t learned that yet.  There is also a whole Pagan community who thinks their particular take on life is better than everyone else, and it’s their personal crusade to let others know it.  Unfortunately the ATC is not immune to this, even though we have had the benefit of Pete’s wisdom to learn from.

Looking within, reflecting on your own self, and where you need to grow can be difficult.  People don’t like to do it.  But, witches listen differently.  The things you are complaining about are telling the rest of us the things that you perceive to be wrong with YOU.  You might want to consider the dirty laundry your airing while you’re complaining about Ms. Suzy.  Looking in the mirror and seeing the true lesson Spirit is asking you to learn is a high-level skill.  It takes practice to develop, and a willingness to face some hard truths about yourself.  It is very much worth the effort though, as it gives you the ability to change your world from the place where you have the most ability to effect change, within your own being.

The Goddess tells us that if that which thou seekest cannot be found within thee, then it will never be found without thee.  If you look at someone and see http://www.shop.doreenvaliente.org/a lack of compassion, then maybe you don’t know all the details, maybe you don’t fully understand the problem, but the Goddess is showing you a lack of compassion because YOU need to have more compassion.  It is definitely NOT your place to point out to the person you’re in judgment of that they don’t have compassion.  Maybe compassion isn’t their issue at all.  Maybe they are learning to finally stand up for themselves.  Maybe they are protecting themselves against a bully.  Maybe that man just took that thing away from the other person because it was his to begin with, and by protecting the person that you perceive is the victim you are further victimizing someone else.  You don’t know.

And more than that, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Self-righteousness is not a Wiccan Value.  As our community becomes more and more mainstream, these things must be said and remembered, or we will continue to fall back into the patterns that we were raised under and that we are trying to move away from.  Notice your judgment.  Recognize that judgment does nothing but victimize everyone, mostly you, and just walk away from it.  Not your circus, not your monkeys.  If you can’t walk away from it, go to the mirror and ask yourself: “Why is THIS bothering me so much?  Why is THIS what I’m so focused on?”  And then wait for Goddess to answer you.

Concepts of “right” and “wrong” are Christian Ideals and have no room in the Pagan world.  All experiences have value and everyone has purpose, merit and worth.  The Pagan world does not shrink before the judgments of others, or it would have never come out of the closet in the first place.  So pointing out that you don’t like what Suzy is doing isn’t going to stop Suzy from doing it.  It’s just going to alienate Suzy, and it makes it impossible for you to help her, if you have the ability to do so.  Why would you want to make yourself part of the problem?  If you have a solution, offer it with love.  But don’t be attached to Suzy doing it your way.

Judgment leads to suffering.  Be careful the questions you ask the Universe. When you tell Goddess you don’t see how someone could make the choices they have made, she obliges you by giving you that lesson.  You find yourself all upset about the actions of Suzy that you have decided are ‘wrong’, and then suddenly your life is messed up with the exact thing you judged.  Well, at least now you know why Suzy made the choices she made.  That’s the path.

If you are trustworthy, you will meet those with honor.  The good king does not see the betrayal around him, because he does not have betrayal in him.  It’s a magical principle and a scientific fact.  The world shows you what you are looking for.  You don’t have to believe in it.  It believes in you, and it will cause you to focus on what you need to see and learn, regardless of what is happening in the world around you.

Blaming others, pointing fingers, gossiping, and calling out the bad behaviors that YOU do not approve of in others are NOT Wiccan values. We look in the mirror.  We deal with our own problems.  We see everyone as a reflection of God and Goddess, and we trust that they are learning their lessons too.  Thou art Goddess means I am, you are, and everyone else is too.  Goddess can’t possibly be “wrong”!

http://hermetic.com/information/love-is-the-law/love-is-the-law-desktop.png

Love is the Law.  If you don’t have it, it’s not anyone else’s fault.  As a matter of fact, none of this is anyone’s fault.  You GET to live this amazing life any way you want to.  Create beauty, create love, and create wonderful things.  Let the haters be haters, recognize them for what they are and don’t be one of them.  The ways of the Underworld are not your ways, but they are perfect and they are not to be questioned. That means that difficult, sometimes painful, things happen. But they happen to teach us, and we are supposed to learn from them. Be the solution by being the change you seek.  If someone is having trouble, help them. Don’t punish, judge or condemn them for not having the answers, or for making mistakes.  Shine a light of love, and make the world a better place.

Share solutions, explore ideas for positive change, and figure out how to empower others in the community to find their own divinity.  Strength and beauty, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence –  THOSE are Wiccan values.  Work on incorporating those into your life, and they will lead to your own happiness, and you will be an inspiration to everyone, not just Pagans.

BlessedBe

Self-Righteousness if not a Pagan Value

PaganEarth

Bringing you News and Notes from Pagans worldwide.
Author: Belladonna Laveau
Original Post at:

 

In Wicca, we understand that everything happens for a reason.  We believe that the Goddess has her own plans, and when things happen that we don’t understand or like, we look for the positive.  We strive to see our lesson PaganEarthin the issue and grow from it. We do not blame others for our problems.  We do not attack those who are different from us, or with whom we  do not agree.  We rejoice in the diversity and variety of life, knowing that each individual makes the web stronger.  We appreciate that others have different lessons from us and different strengths and each of us focuses on being the best we can be to make a better planet for all of us.  Essentially, we strive to make lemonade out of the lemons of life, knowing that the Goddess gives us what we need, even if it’s not what we want.

It’s not easy being Wiccan.  Many people coming to the path feel like all they have to do is change their clothes, maybe join a Facebook group or twelve, and there you are.  Wicca is a way of life.  It’s easy to talk about principles. It’s harder to incorporate them into your character.  It’s really hard to practice them yourself, especially when things aren’t going your way.  Your character is not tested in the happy times.  Your character is tested in the difficult times.  Your character will be shown in how you react after you feel wronged, when things don’t go your way, or when you feel you have lost the battle.  Your character is not defined by the mistakes you make or the challenges you are faced with. Your character is defined by the way you react to your challenges and mistakes.

Which brings us to the subject at hand – Self-Righteousness.  Let’s first define Self-Righteousness.

    • (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes[1]) is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority[2] derived from a sense that one’s beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Self-righteous individuals are often intolerant of the opinions and behaviors of others.[3]Wikipedia
    • confident of one’s own righteousness, especially when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.  Dictionary.com
    • having or showing a strong belief that your own actions, opinions, etc., are right and other people’s are wrong.  Miriam-Webster’s

 

There’s this current trend of “calling people out” for their behavior, but there are consequences to slinging the mud.  My beautiful and beloved people, this is just RUDE.  Please don’t do it.  A wise old man once told me, “I can’t sling the mud without getting the mud on me.”  That’s stuck with me – like mud. Maybe because I liked to sling it.  But, I asked myself what that meant and really examined that thought.  I CAN’T point out the ugliness of others without getting some of that ugliness on me?  OK, so, let me get prepared to take a shower, after I write you this article, and lets look at the mud we have slung all over this community.

 

You’re mad at Suzy? Whatever it is about Suzy that you don’t like can be found in your very own mirror, and maybe your critical eye would be better served looking within, where you can actually make a positive change.

The Goddess and I think you’re perfect, but that doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else.  We are ALL extraordinary and unique individuals, http://shaktiwomyn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Shakti-Goddess-Dancing.jpgdoing our best every day to make the world we experience a better place to be in. We all have different mastery and we all have different challenges.  It aggravates an already difficult issue for someone to sit in judgment and point out the flaws of a person already in crisis.  It not only doesn’t help.  It’s hurtful.  We as Wiccans strive not to be hurtful.  Harm NONE, right?  You CAN’T talk about others on Facebook, at a party, or in the privacy of your own home without being hurtful. Don’t let yourself do it.  Notice who’s stirring the shit, and refuse to participate.

Self-righteousness is a sneaky, shadowy bastard that infects our minds and affects our communities insidiously.  It can happen to you before you even know it.  You have to examine your thoughts, behaviors, actions, and words.  You must catch yourself on those times when your good intentions have you retelling a story about a friend’s plight without thinking of the consequences, or your moral compass has you enraged at the actions, deeds or opinions of another.

Facebook makes a great place to share your feelings and ideas.  It’s also a great place to sit safely behind a computer monitor, get half a story, pass judgment and say things to people that you would never have the courage to say to their face.  It’s completely okay to disagree with someone.  It’s not any of their business if you don’t agree, and they probably don’t care.  So, instead of taking off on a rant that might destroy someone’s day, or self-esteem, or even their life, why not just read something else?  Does it makes us feel powerful to rip someone to shreds?  Is that ok?  Are we just avoiding focusing on the things we need to work on?  More importantly what are the karmic backlashes to that, and what does that behavior do to our community?

We are ALL working on our issues.  We all have problems.  We all have shadows, and light.  We are ALL whole beings with good and bad things about ourselves that we do and don’t like, and that others do and don’t like.  Pete said something to me one day that brought all of it into focus.  He said, “Bella, It took me 70 years to realize that what people think about me is none of my business.  If you can get that in 40, you’ll be 30 years ahead of the game.”  I took that to heart.  But, there’s a whole Pagan community that hasn’t learned that yet.  There is also a whole Pagan community who thinks their particular take on life is better than everyone else, and it’s their personal crusade to let others know it.  Unfortunately the ATC is not immune to this, even though we have had the benefit of Pete’s wisdom to learn from.

Looking within, reflecting on your own self, and where you need to grow can be difficult.  People don’t like to do it.  But, witches listen differently.  The things you are complaining about are telling the rest of us the things that you perceive to be wrong with YOU.  You might want to consider the dirty laundry your airing while you’re complaining about Ms. Suzy.  Looking in the mirror and seeing the true lesson Spirit is asking you to learn is a high-level skill.  It takes practice to develop, and a willingness to face some hard truths about yourself.  It is very much worth the effort though, as it gives you the ability to change your world from the place where you have the most ability to effect change, within your own being.

The Goddess tells us that if that which thou seekest cannot be found within thee, then it will never be found without thee.  If you look at someone and see http://www.shop.doreenvaliente.org/a lack of compassion, then maybe you don’t know all the details, maybe you don’t fully understand the problem, but the Goddess is showing you a lack of compassion because YOU need to have more compassion.  It is definitely NOT your place to point out to the person you’re in judgment of that they don’t have compassion.  Maybe compassion isn’t their issue at all.  Maybe they are learning to finally stand up for themselves.  Maybe they are protecting themselves against a bully.  Maybe that man just took that thing away from the other person because it was his to begin with, and by protecting the person that you perceive is the victim you are further victimizing someone else.  You don’t know.

And more than that, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Self-righteousness is not a Wiccan Value.  As our community becomes more and more mainstream, these things must be said and remembered, or we will continue to fall back into the patterns that we were raised under and that we are trying to move away from.  Notice your judgment.  Recognize that judgment does nothing but victimize everyone, mostly you, and just walk away from it.  Not your circus, not your monkeys.  If you can’t walk away from it, go to the mirror and ask yourself: “Why is THIS bothering me so much?  Why is THIS what I’m so focused on?”  And then wait for Goddess to answer you.

Concepts of “right” and “wrong” are Christian Ideals and have no room in the Pagan world.  All experiences have value and everyone has purpose, merit and worth.  The Pagan world does not shrink before the judgments of others, or it would have never come out of the closet in the first place.  So pointing out that you don’t like what Suzy is doing isn’t going to stop Suzy from doing it.  It’s just going to alienate Suzy, and it makes it impossible for you to help her, if you have the ability to do so.  Why would you want to make yourself part of the problem?  If you have a solution, offer it with love.  But don’t be attached to Suzy doing it your way.

Judgment leads to suffering.  Be careful the questions you ask the Universe. When you tell Goddess you don’t see how someone could make the choices they have made, she obliges you by giving you that lesson.  You find yourself all upset about the actions of Suzy that you have decided are ‘wrong’, and then suddenly your life is messed up with the exact thing you judged.  Well, at least now you know why Suzy made the choices she made.  That’s the path.

If you are trustworthy, you will meet those with honor.  The good king does not see the betrayal around him, because he does not have betrayal in him.  It’s a magical principle and a scientific fact.  The world shows you what you are looking for.  You don’t have to believe in it.  It believes in you, and it will cause you to focus on what you need to see and learn, regardless of what is happening in the world around you.

Blaming others, pointing fingers, gossiping, and calling out the bad behaviors that YOU do not approve of in others are NOT Wiccan values. We look in the mirror.  We deal with our own problems.  We see everyone as a reflection of God and Goddess, and we trust that they are learning their lessons too.  Thou art Goddess means I am, you are, and everyone else is too.  Goddess can’t possibly be “wrong”!

http://hermetic.com/information/love-is-the-law/love-is-the-law-desktop.png

Love is the Law.  If you don’t have it, it’s not anyone else’s fault.  As a matter of fact, none of this is anyone’s fault.  You GET to live this amazing life any way you want to.  Create beauty, create love, and create wonderful things.  Let the haters be haters, recognize them for what they are and don’t be one of them.  The ways of the Underworld are not your ways, but they are perfect and they are not to be questioned. That means that difficult, sometimes painful, things happen. But they happen to teach us, and we are supposed to learn from them. Be the solution by being the change you seek.  If someone is having trouble, help them. Don’t punish, judge or condemn them for not having the answers, or for making mistakes.  Shine a light of love, and make the world a better place.

Share solutions, explore ideas for positive change, and figure out how to empower others in the community to find their own divinity.  Strength and beauty, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence –  THOSE are Wiccan values.  Work on incorporating those into your life, and they will lead to your own happiness, and you will be an inspiration to everyone, not just Pagans.

BlessedBe

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church Outlines Wiccas New Rights under the Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Bringing you News and Notes from Pagans worldwide.
Author: Guest Contributor
Original Post at:

It has come to the attention of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) that a new law known as The Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been passed by the Senate with an overwhelming majority, and is on its way to the House with hopes to pass just as easily. It is the firm belief of the ATC as one of the largest Wiccan bodies in the world, and the only Wiccan church with an Umbrella 501(c)3 legal status to create affiliate churches, that to help with the states transition to a more church-valued existence we should make it clear and easy to recognize the new rights of all Wiccans within your state.

We thank the state of Georgia for its forward thinking and dedication to religious freedom.  It has been a reality long-held by Wiccans that the laws did not extend far enough toward our own exercise of religion [50-15A-2. line 71] to be truly encompassing of our freedom to worship. The original Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as passed by our illustrious president Bill Clinton, was a landmark move that opened the door for minority religions, and small local churches to have more safety to worship within their communities than ever before. This new bill will create sweeping changes that will open the doors for the Wiccans within Georgian communities to worship, work, and LIVE their religion to its fullest.

The first course of action will be to itemize line by line, with bill precedents, the new rights of the Wiccans in state.[15-23]

1: Multi-Partner Wiccan relationships in Georgia (known communally as Polyamorous relationships) will now have legal right to marry. [43-49] Marriage is a religious institution. A uniting of souls before the almighty. It is also a way to legitimize heirs. Many Wiccans live in multi-partner households, and until now have been unable to realize their religious right to marry the partners they are in love with. Many of these partnerships have children from multiple partners all living under the same roof. SB 129 has now opened the way for those children to all be under family insurance/health plans, as outlined in lines [22-23]. And if lines [34-35] hold true to their intent, then the least restrictive means of enforcing this change, is a simple revision to existing policy.

(1a) The government (as defined within lines [77-83] of SB 129) will of course make the small changes needed to the tax code to allow for multi-spouse filing. As stated in lines [34-35] “Courts have consistently held that government has a fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating discrimination” and Government as defined above includes “[79-80] every department, agency, board, bureau, office, commission, authority, or similar body thereof.” Ipso facto, with SB 129 in place, it would be the burden of the tax bureaus to create a tax code that no longer infringes upon the rights of Wiccan Multi-Spousal Families. It will also allow for the abolition, or a general exemption of all cohabitation laws that may still be present, and effecting unmarried couples with children from separate marriages.

2: Wiccans have been, and will always be, a nature based community. Our followers feel an intrinsic connection to the Earth, and the plants and animals that dwell upon it. Historically our followers have been ‘Wortcrafters’ (Using plants in our practice and healing), ‘Wise Women’, ‘Sage Men’, and ‘Witch Doctors’. We have always been ones to learn about the sacred mysteries of plants and animals. Their healing properties, and the use of their parts as ‘fetishes,’ totems, and components is well documented through literature and academic works too numerous to list here. With the passing of GRFRA, the ATC will be informing all Wiccans within the state of GA that there are no longer restrictions on which plants they may grow, own, harvest, ingest, distribute, or refine into compounds that the practitioner finds need to use within their religious practice, so long as no other laws besides substance abuse are broken. Wicca is a peaceful religion, and it is not within the scope of our religious practice to purposefully cause harm. As Governments definition also includes lines [82-83] “authorities; […] or other person acting under color of law” it should be a matter of course to inform all officials to begin their refrain from detaining the practitioners for, and impeding the lawful use of said plants and animal parts. This includes, but is no way limited to this non-comprehensive list, all plants currently residing upon any list of banned substances, plus any and all animal parts that may be found on the property or in the possession of anyone practicing the faith of Wicca within Georgia State limits.

3: Wiccans believe in magick and intent. It is the belief of our people that we do not allow someone to have our hair, saliva, urine, skin, nail clippings, teeth, bones, or any other part, excretion, fluid, growth, or any other possible matter that may come from our bodies. The reason is highly spiritual, and personally held by each person within our faith. To allow someone to have these items, is to allow them to have our essence, or access to our essence. This means that all Wiccans are to be free to choose to be exempt, at the individual’s discretion regarding the sanctity of their essence, with no repercussions from Government bodies [77-83] upon an employer adhering to these inalienable religious rights, from urinalysis, blood tests, hair follicle tests, breathalyzers, tattooing, rfid chipping, or anything else that adds to or removes parts of our essence. This list should by no means be considered comprehensive, and it is with full awareness that we understand these rights are removed to some extent when a Wiccan is incarcerated. Hopefully with time, the scope of this bill will encompass those of our faith who are in penal institutions. But within the scope of lines [84-88] these rights should fully extend to anyone who is not yet incarcerated in a ‘penal institution.’

It is the full belief that these new rights for Wiccans fulfill the needs of the Wiccan people, as well as the letter of the new law. From striking a sensible balance between religious liberty and compelling government interests [28-29] through removing neutral laws that unknowingly put undue hardship on our practitioners [20-21], upholding the government’s fundamental, overriding, interest in eradicating discrimination [34-35], and finding the best way to fulfill the compelling need of the government to find the least restrictive way of furthering their interests, which has been reaffirmed, in part, as upholding a persons right to free exercise of religion [16-17].

This is sweeping news that opens many doors for our brothers and sisters of the Craft. It will be the burden of the government to institute the appropriate policy changes to infrastructure, and the training needed to properly uphold the new rights that Wiccans hold within the new truly religiously free state of Georgia. But we at the ATC will work hand in hand to help craft the new laws regarding the proper care of those that are our charges: the Wiccan Community. Blessings to you and may the Lord and Lady always shine their thanks upon you, the state of Georgia.