Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea V : Wicca and Wiccans

"Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea " that's a very familiar exclamation to readers of the Sookie Stackhouse books and I decided to take a closer look at churches, religion, the Bible and prayer in the Sookie books.

*Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea Part I : Sookie and faith

*Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea Part II: The Bible

*Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea Part III: Prayer

*Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea Part IV: Eric and Religion

We have a number of references in the books to Wicca and Wiccans.

Dead to the World, Bk4
"Oh, gosh, no, not me. I'm a Catholic. But I have some friends who are Wiccan. Some of them are witches."
"Oh, really?" I didn't think I'd ever heard the word Wiccan before, though maybe I'd read it in a mystery or romance novel. "I'm sorry, I don't know what that means," I said, my voice humble.
"Holly can explain it better than I can," Tara said.
"Holly. The Holly who works with me?"
"Sure. Or you could go to Danielle, though she's not going to be as willing to talk. Holly and Danielle are in the same coven."
I was so shocked by now I might as well get even more stunned. "Coven," I repeated.
"You know, a group of pagans who worship together."
"I thought a coven had to be witches?"

Our little town of Bon Temps had stretched its gates open wide enough to tolerate vampires, and gay people didn't have a very hard time of it anymore (kind of depending on how they expressed their sexual preference). However, I thought the gates might snap shut for Wiccans.

"You're a witch?" I said, embarrassed at using such a dramatic word.
"I'm more of a Wiccan."
"Would you mind explaining the difference?" I met her eyes briefly, and then decided to focus on the dried flowers in the basket on top of the television. Holly thought I could read her mind only if I was looking into her eyes. (Like physical touching, eye contact does make the reading easier, but it certainly isn't necessary.) "I guess not." Her voice was slow, as if she were thinking as she spoke.
"You're not one to spread gossip."
"Whatever you tell me, I won't share with anyone." I met her eyes again, briefly.
"Okay," she said. "Well, if you're a witch, of course, you practice magic rituals."
She was using "you" in the general sense, I thought, because saying "I"
would mean too bold a confession.
"You draw from a power that most people never tap into. Being a witch isn't being wicked, or at least it isn't supposed to be. If you're a Wiccan, you follow a religion, a pagan religion. We follow the ways of the Mother, and we have our own calendar of holy days. You can be both a Wiccan and a witch; or more one, or more the other. It's very individualized. I practice a little witchcraft, but I'm more interested in the Wiccan life. We believe that your actions are okay if you don't hurt anyone else."
Oddly, my first feeling was one of embarrassment, when I heard Holly tell me that she was a non-Christian. I'd never met anyone who didn't at least pretend to be a Christian or who didn't give lip service to the basic Christian precepts. I was pretty sure there was a synagogue in Shreveport, but I'd never even met a Jew, to the best of my knowledge. I was certainly on a learning curve.

Definitely Dead Bk 6
"And I'll need real witches," Amelia said. "Quality workers, not some hedgerow Wiccan." Amelia went off on Wiccans for a good long while. She despised Wiccans (unfairly) as tree-hugging wannabes-that came out of Amelia's thoughts clearly enough. I regretted Amelia's prejudice, as I'd met some impressive Wiccans.

All Together Dead , Bk 7
But after I'd introduced the two and they'd had some conversations, Amelia had told me glumly that she and Holly were very different sorts of witches. Amelia herself was (she considered) a true witch, while Holly was a Wiccan. Amelia had a thinly veiled contempt for the Wiccan faith. Once or twice, Amelia had met with Holly's coven, partly to keep her hand in.and partly because Amelia yearned for the company of other practitioners.