a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Otter G'Zell and Pagan

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.satanism,alt.religion.all-worlds
From: tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (tyagi mordred nagasiva)
Subject: Re: Otter G'Zell and "Pagan"
Date: 7 Oct 1994 01:13:16 GMT

[from alt.pagan: Raven  {Xposted per request}]

[This site won't let me post to alt.magick.tyagi, alt.satanism, or
alt.religion.all-worlds.  Please forward if you would.]

tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (tyagi mordred nagasiva) writes:
[quoting a letter from Otter G'Zell:]

|>|This seems to be a weird ongoing debate. Neo-Pagans seem to be
|>|fairly well united in agreeing that Satanism is not a part of the Neo-
|>|Pagan movement,

Satanists generally (as opposed to possibly some individuals) are not
Christians [= followers of Christ], despite sharing some elements of
theology with them; by the same token, they generally are not Jews or
Muslims.  As "pagan" means "neither Christian nor Jewish nor Islamic",
it follows that Satanists are indeed pagan.  Further, since "neopagan"
means "post-Christian pagan", and the groups under discussion are surely
post-Christian, these Satanists are indeed neopagan.

Satanists may not be members of the PARTICULAR neopagan groups Otter has
in mind, but Otter has no authority to claim the label "neopagan" as the
EXCLUSIVE property of his own chosen groups.

[Otter says further, referring to the Goddess:]
|SHE is the one we are pledged to defend, with our lives, our fortunes and
|our sacred honor. But not Satan! We don't even believe in him!

Again, Otter speaks for those who agree with him... which may or may not
include all neopagans -- and apparently does not.

|As some of the more enlighted Xian churches have acknowledged their
|historical role in the oppression of Blacks and Native Americans, I
|feel there needs to be some sort of acknowledgement on their part of
|the great evil of the Burning Times and the continuing persecution. It
|must be acknowledged as a great evil, apologized for, and pledges made
|that it must never happen again. Maybe even reparations, such as have
|been made to Blacks and Indians... But as long as they refuse to admit
|that they have ever done us ill, it's going to be hard to forgive them
|and make up. After all, many of them are still doing it!

"Us"?  Is Otter claiming to represent lineal descendants of those killed
by the Inquisition and pre-1776 witch-hunts?  Some neopagans CHOSE to
adopt for themselves the derogatory terms given to historical victims of
religious persecution.  It does not follow that they are entitled to any
reparations for harm done to those namesakes.  Harm to themselves and
their own families, yes, but Otter doesn't seem to make this restriction
clear, if indeed that is what he means.

|Just as I was the one who initiated the word "Pagan" to include all
|the various traditions of the "Old Religions" over 25 years ago,

Possibly by now Otter truly believes he did "initiate" the word in this
meaning.  If so, he should reread the chapter dealing with his own
Church of All Worlds in Margot Adler's DRAWING DOWN THE MOON.  Adler
points out that "Tim Zell" (as he was then) started using that word
in that meaning when CAW emerged from the group Atl in 1967... but
Kerry Thornley, aka Omar Ravenhurst, had publicly done so in 1966,
and publications of the Witchcraft Research Association had done so
in 1964 and 1965.  Otter certainly helped popularize that usage, but
hardly "initiated" it.  As Otter, like me, is a writer and artist,
I'm a little shocked at his casual usurpation of the credit for an
original idea which other people had, and published, before himself.

|>|DEFINITION:  Paganism is here defined as Nature Worship.

By this definition, Mithraists are not pagans.  Yet they bore the first
brunt of the anti-pagan persecutions when Christianity became the
Imperial religion -- Mithraist priests were chained to their altars and
buried in the ruins of their temples.  Similarly, the Druids worshipped
gods and studied nature, but there is no contemporary indication (from
Caesar on) that they worshipped Nature itself.  Already this definition
of "paganism" seems to exclude some well-known categories of pagans,
rather than "include all the various traditions of 'Old Religions'",
as he earlier claims to have defined it.

This exclusionary use of the word "Pagan" is exactly what I have been
objecting to in previous discussions on the alt.pagan newsgroup.

The standard dictionary definition, non-Christian/Jewish/Islamic, though
not a positive statement of theology, does have the advantage of drawing
together many DIFFERENT minority religions that share SIMILAR oppression
under governments dominated by the majority religions, and therefore
have a common interest in standing up for religious liberty.  It is not
in that common interest to start throwing some of these minority faiths
(such as Satanism) to the mobs, in the hope of appeasing those mobs; on
the contrary, this only encourages mobs to find more and more victims.

I think Otter G'Zell needs to seriously reconsider what he is doing.

-- Raven (JSingle@Music.Lib.MATC.Edu).  [All standard disclaimers apply]

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races