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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in salem

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Call It Payback

In his 1693 book, Wonders of the Invisible World, New England Puritan divine Cotton Mather (1663-1728) wrote that “The witches are organized like Congregational Churches.”

By this he meant that individual covens were fully autonomous: each one ruled by a council of elders, lacking any overarching jurisdictional body.

281 years later, in 1974, Covenant of the Goddess was founded.

As it happens, founding mother Alison Harlow (1934-2004) once told me that while drawing up CoG's initial paperwork, she and her colleagues remembered Mather's words—which Margaret Murray had cited in her 1921 Witch-Cult in Western Europe—and decided to follow Mather's advice. That's how they ended up taking the charter of the Congregationalist churches (now the United Church of Christ) as the new organization's starting point.

In this way, the Archpuritan himself, Scourge of New England Witches, Champion of the Salem Witch Trials, was instrumental in helping to found the oldest, largest, and most successful organization of witches, warlocks, and covens in the world.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    There must be particularly high levels of it around here. I hear there are plans to mine it, if they can get it past the EPA.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I believe that Irony is one of those subatomic particles that our scientists are trying to identify.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’ve heard it said that the famous “Witch City” of Salem, MA has five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter, and October. As a witch from the opposite end of the country, I’ve always wanted to experience that October goodness in Salem. Finally, two days before Samhain, I got the chance.

Part of the experience is the overall vibe of acceptance and openness among the pagans in town. I’m so used to being part of a fringe religion, that to be thrust into a situation where I was among the majority was a sudden and welcome change.   Certainly, not everyone wandering Essex St. and Pickering Wharf that day was a practitioner of Witchcraft, or even Pagan, but they were open and tolerant of my minority religion. Even if they were only doing it for the money, it was still a wonderful feeling.

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  • Miles Gerhardson
    Miles Gerhardson says #
    Wonderful insight....that coincides with "What's good for the goose is good for the gander"....
PaganNewsBeagle Watery Wednesday Community News Oct 29

In today's Watery Wednesday we are featuring Community News of our Pagan communities and allies. Salem's next door neighbors; solitary Samhain; witchy shopping in NYC; Circle Sanctuary celebrates; Southern Pagans.

Salem's next door neighbor -- Danvers, MA -- hasn't cashed in on the Witch craze (at least yet.) Discover what the Other Salem thinks of all the hoopla in this profile.

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John Alden Junior: What do they want, these terrible witches?

Cotton Mather: The same thing we all want: a country of their own. 


Wow, speaking of Witchsploitation: a new TV series, set (you guessed it) in Salem, Mass, 1692.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Three of my foremothers (Lacy and Foster) admitted being witches in the 1692 Salem trials. Their family farm became a tourist att

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