Witches, Crones, Sirens

On May 9th, in Berkeley, California, the radical leftist group Code Pink, as part of its long-running campaign against a Marine recruiting office, decided to cast a spell to drive the recruiters out and end the conflict in Iraq, and presumable end all military conflict and masculine aggression in the world.  Code pink has been waging its own war against this particular recruiting office for some time, being granted exotic permits from the left-leaning city council to set up their protests in the recruiter’s own parking lot and doing all they can to harass the Marine and disrupt their work.  Apparently, simply giving people the option of joining the military is an evil that cannot be tolerated.

The political considerations here, however, are not what interests me — people on the far left demonizing anything to do with military service or freedom of action is nothing new.  I’m interested in the stereotypical and pseudo-religious dressing they decided to give to this particular “protest.”

The item on the Code Pink website states:

Witches, Crones, Sirens come to the MRS today to cast spells, weave magic, invoke the foremothers, share wisdom, lead rituals to banish war and violence and to bring peace to the MRS, to protect our youth from the powerful spells of pro-war forces, to lead the men of the marine recruiting station off into the oceans of peace! Some witches, crones and sirens are willing to risk arrest, others are not. We call on all crones, witches and sirens to come to the MRS, to bring your energy, your wisdom, your fierce determination to end war now and bring peace to our world. Contact Kali at sylviasoven@yahoo.com or Marie at keeptahoepink@yahoo.com

This smacks of the radical feminist attitudes toward witchcraft that have lingered since the emergence of the neopagan movement.  The fact that Wicca actually acknowledged a goddess led many feminists to conclude that it only needed a goddess, and they developed such wonderful pseudo-anthropological theories as GAM and patriarchal dominator societies.  Wicca and witchcraft, they decided, were not means of attaining religious enlightenment, but feminist political empowerment.  The image of the witch was appropriated as the image of the empowered womyn, who weilded the forces of creation that men could not comprehend, and thus feared and suppressed.  This is the attitude that led that nice Dianic seperatist so many years ago insist that I was I liar when I said I practiced magic, because men simply can’t do magic.

Please keep your radical feminist politics out of my religion. Yes, Starhawk, this means you and your Code Pink club, too.  Oh, did I mention that Starhawk is a prominent member of Code Pink?  I’d have hoped that as such a high profile member of the neopagan community, she’d want to project a more comprehensive image of neopaganism than simply as a feminists plaything.  Then again, I’ve read her books.

It gets better, though.  Take a look at this picture from the “event.”

Do those look like the peaceful, white-light witches that so many have worked to build the image of over the decade?  Do they look like empowered womyn who are seeking to bring peace, enightenment, and understanding to heal a bunch of warmongering hypermasculine brutes?  Or do they look a bit more like the stereotype of the evil, cruel witches of past folklore, who use their power to control and harm others?  Do they look enlightened and peaceful in the least, or do they look hysterical?  Thanks for the positive PR for our religion, ladies.

I’m not one to want to restrict the magical or religious practice of others.  Hoestly, if you feel that you have the obligation and the ego, I mean ability, to cast a spell to end a war, go right ahead.  I’ve considered using spellwork to support some political initiative I’d like to see go through, and I don’t see why othesr should abstain.  But that’s not what this is.  This is a group of radicals and hysterics appropriating the religious practices of others for their political purposes.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be compared to a bunch of hysteric women who have nothing better to do than break into a Marine recruiting station dressed like the wicked witch of the west and sitting on a hot pink circle.  Can you please make your political points without cultuvating negative stereotypes of my religion?  What, has the noble savage image of the Native Americans been overdone?

Here’s the story on this: Link.
A response by pagan author AJ Drew (who does initially seem to erroneously believe they were casting a spell to kill the Marines):

A Larger verson of the above photo, which sisplays the ridiculous “spell book” and the hot pink magic circle (which I admit looks kind of cool)


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