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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

                     Being A Witch in Britain Today 
                            by James Pengelly
 Written for the Newcastle University Conference; Encounters of
 I am regional co-ordinator for the Pagan Federation (PF) for
 Humberside, North Yorkshire and the counties that form the
 northeast of England up to the Scottish Borders. The PF was
 founded in 1971 by a group of Gardnerian Witches, the object of
 it being to counter what was perceived as being popular
 misconceptions about Witchcraft.
 The main reason for the existence of the PF remains largely
 unchanged, as the last few years have seen what can only be
 described as an onslaught by various fundamentalist Christian
 organisations who have latched on to the unfortunate and sad
 matter of child abuse to which they have added the word "Satanic'
 as a means by which they can attack and defame the occult in
 general, and Witchcraft in particular.
 I will return to this matter elsewhere in this lecture, but I
 mention it now to illustrate the importance of our
 anti-defamation work. In addition, the Pagan Federation acts as
 a networking organisation to put people who share views on
 religious and spiritual matters in touch with one another, to
 enable them to get together, discuss and learn, and experience
 The third important aspect to our work is to increase awareness
 of the spiritual and cultural heritage of this country.  Given
 that many, if not most, of our customs and traditions have their
 roots set deep in our Pagan past and that our countryside is rich
 in the physical remains of this we feel that a positive promotion
 of this inheritance is vital to a fuller understanding of who we
 The topic of this lecture is Being A Witch In Britain Today. Now
 I think that when one mentions the word, "Witch" to the average
 member of the public, the image that is immediately conjured up
 is one of a wizened old hag boiling up an extremely noxious brew
 in some bubbling cauldron, probably on a windswept moor
 somewhere. This is of course Shakespearian in its perception, but
 unfortunately, whatever his intentions were at the time he wrote
 Macbeth, William Shakespeare did Witchcraft a considerable
 disservice, because this image has stuck. In addition, the public
 is very much subject to conditioning laid down in the Middle Ages
 by the Church, through historical accounts of Witch trials, which
 were heavily biased. Consequently it is hardly surprising that
 the image the general public has is of nasty, evil, thoroughly
 bad people riding around on broomsticks at dead of night creating
 havoc all over the place, poisoning people right left and centre,
 doing unspeakable things with goats, not to mention chickens,
 frogs, toads, cats, and sundry other animals. All in all not very
 nice people!
 It is interesting to note that even in this day and age, many
 people are still very superstitious when it comes to magic, the
 occult, Witchcraft and so on. In addition to the historical
 misconceptions about Witches and Witchcraft, I would go as far
 as saying that people still have a deeply rooted superstitious
 attitude, and that while some may automatically dismiss out of
 hand Witches having any sort of magical power, deep down, the
 majority of people still harbour deep rooted fears about this
 sort of thing being possible.
 At a time when mankind has seemingly achieved so much in the
 field of science, when there is so little mystery left in life
 because everything has been rationalised and explained, and
 developed beyond that which our ancestors were able to
 comprehend, the fact that people do still harbour superstitions
 and worries about Witchcraft and the occult in general does not
 altogether surprise me. If one removes the mystery from life, one
 has nothing left with which to replace it, and one has to look
 to that which one cannot explain. The problem being that man has
 for countless generations been frightened by that which he cannot
 explain. And this is why we are now living in the scientific age,
 because man has purposely set out to explain that of which he is
 afraid. The thing being that there is very little left that man
 cannot explain. And one of the areas that he cannot explain is,
 of course, magic, Witchcraft and the occult.
 Let us for a moment, examine the term, "occult". Occult simply
 means 'that which is hidden'. The term has been used for
 centuries to explain the general workings of the universe. The
 creation of fire would have, at some point in time, been regarded
 as magic. Why things moved when they were subject to certain
 power sources such as steam would have been deemed magic before
 the principles were understood. Illnesses were originally
 considered to be occult based.  You could impose an illness on
 a neighbour or friend if you had the magical power to do it. But
 of course, none of these things were actually magical in any
 sense. The magic lay in the fact that a lot of people didn't
 understand what was going on. Those who did have an understanding
 of what was going on were perceived as having some sort of power.
 The biblical phrase, "Thou shalt not suffer a Witch to live", is
 in this context quite revealing because in its original format,
 the word, "Witch", did not actually translate as Witch, it
 translated as "poisoner". And there is no doubt that the original
 village Witch would have in her own way been a doctor of sorts,
 in that she or he would have understood the uses of various herbs
 for good purposes and for bad purposes. And could quite probably
 been paid to use that knowledge to achieve the results for which
 she was being paid, to either kill or cure. Consequently, the
 village Witch, was someone to be feared, and respected.
 As the Christian Church took hold, the older Pagan ways were
 perceived as something to be got rid of. I do not think this was
 particularly a spiritual battle. It was a power battle. It was
 simply a matter of one religious-political system wishing to gain
 control over another. And as Christianity grew in strength,
 largely through fear and oppression, the old ways were presented
 as being evil and wicked, and not to be tolerated.
 This situation remained largely extant until 1951, when the last
 laws remaining on the English statute book against Witchcraft
 were repealed, and what is now commonly referred to as the
 British Revivalist Craft came to light. The fact that it had, in
 some form or another, managed to survive over countless
 generations was, in itself, quite a surprising thing. But we now
 know that what are often referred to as the Hereditary Craft and
 the Traditional Craft were to a certain extent passed down from
 generation to generation either within specific families or
 small, invariably farming, communities. It was this that the late
 Dr Gerald Gardener is thought to have discovered, and built up
 into what is today known as the Revivalist Craft.  His work was
 later developed by others such as Alex Sanders who founded the
 Alexandrian Craft and, more recently, by Janet and Stewart
 Farrar. Their works are very well known, popular, and easily
 available, and they have created what is sometimes jokingly
 referred to as the Farrarian Craft; a hybrid mixture of
 Gardenerian, Alexandrian and their own methods of working.
 Being a Witch today in this country is not necessarily a hard
 thing, but nor is necessarily an easy thing. There is still a
 great deal of superstitious prejudice and nonsense held against
 Witches. And this is fermented, and that is the only word I can
 think of, to a large extent by certain areas of our national
 media, in particular the more lurid tabloid press, and of course
 Christian fundamentalist groups, who have over the last few years
 started to expand at a rather alarming, and for many
 non-Christians, a rather frightening rate. The phenomena of
 Christian fundamentalism is something which has largely been
 imported to this country from America, where it has been a
 populist Christian movement for many, many years. One only has
 to look at the news over the last few years concerning some
 American fundamentalist leaders to realise that basically, they
 are like so many of us human beings, subject to all the little
 foibles that human beings are generally subject to, that they are
 just as easily led astray as any of us can be. The rising issue
 of fundamentalism is, as I say, quite a frightening thing because
 it seeks to impose a set of standards, a set of behaviour, and
 a set of religious beliefs, on everyone, which no-one is
 permitted to question. This is one reason why we find so many
 people are now turning to Paganism in its broadest sense, and to
 Wicca in particular. (Wicca being the commonly used modern term
 for Witchcraft.) They turn to us because they are disillusioned
 with the level of dogma and the level of imposition they find
 within established Christian traditions, be they Church of
 England, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, or some of the more
 extreme fundamentalist sects.
 People seem now to be dividing into groups. There are those who
 are 'the led' and they search for leaders. And when they find a
 leader who is prepared to tell them what to do, when to do it,
 how to think, how not to think and so on, they latch onto that
 and they go on quite happy in their own way because they want to
 be told. On the other hand there are an increasing number of
 people who are prepared to listen to what others have to say but
 then like to go away and make their own minds up about things,
 and work things out for themselves. And we are finding more and
 more that this is what Paganism in general and Wicca in
 particular is providing. It is providing people with the means
 by which they can form deeply personal relationships with their
 own particular perceptions of deity. They can work with that
 perception. They can utilise it within a framework that is,
 generally speaking, of a very high moral and ethical standard.
 And the idea that Witches are evil, nasty, wicked people who go
 around sticking pins in little lumps of wax shaped into the form
 of a person containing lumps of fingernail and pieces of hair and
 other sundry bodily parts, is being increasingly recognised as
 grossly untrue. We have to bear in mind that a lot of the popular
 perceptions of the Witch are, as I have already said, largely
 determined by historical records. Historical records written by
 people in whose interest it was to defame the Witch, and to
 register her, or him, as an evil person, but even these are now
 being challenged by more and more people.
 So, as I've said, being a Witch in this country today is not
 always an easy thing. On the one hand, you can meet with extreme
 prejudice, on the other hand you can equally meet with extreme
 derision. A number of perfectly normal, sane, rational people
 that I know of think that the fact that I am a Witch is a huge
 joke. I am very used to people asking me "When can I come round
 to your house and take all my clothes off?." My usual response
 to which is "Any time you like providing I'm not having my tea
 at the time, or watching Coronation Street, but believe me pal,
 you're on your own." I personally find that this is the best way
 to approach this sort of thing. If you can turn the question into
 a joke aimed at yourself, people are happy with that and feel
 comfortable with that, and will go away thinking that basically
 you're a pretty decent sort of person with just some very strange
 ideas. If, on the other hand, you become intensely defensive, the
 opposite can be true because they will assume that you have
 something to hide, something which you don't wish to talk about.
 And we all know that faced with that sort of situation the human
 mind is capable of conjuring up all sorts of unpleasant images.
 So I stand before you today proclaiming myself to be a Witch. I
 do not particularly like using the term, but it is a term with
 which most people are familiar, so within the context of this
 lecture, I am happy to use it. And I stand before you here, not
 a wizened old crone, dressed in rags and tatters with a big wart
 on the end of her nose, but, I hope, a fairly presentable man in
 his early middle age, who has a very respectable job. I have a
 house, a mortgage, a small daughter, I am like many people of my
 generation, separated from my wife, for purely personal reasons.
 I am, to all intents and purposes an ordinary person. And yet I
 stand before you here, and tell you I am a Witch.
 What does this mean for me personally? Basically, like most
 Witches, I am a Pagan. I believe in the Old Religion. The
 religion that was worldwide before Christianity or Hinduism, or
 Islam took a hold on large areas of the world. Once upon a time,
 whether people like to admit it or not, the whole world was
 Pagan. Paganism then was vastly different from Paganism today.
 There are those who go round saying that they are practising
 pre-Christian Paganism.  I would say, that while they are not
 necessarily deluding themselves, they are mis-leading themselves.
 What we are practising today is the spirit of ancient Paganism.
 We cannot possibly practise ancient Paganism, because if we were
 doing so, we would be indulging in such things as blood
 sacrifice, and so on and so forth, which forms no part of modern
 Pagan tradition.
 Witchcraft is a sub-system of broad Paganism. Most Witches regard
 it as the mystery aspect of Paganism. The mystery aspect being
 that one searches for the spark of the ultimate divine source,
 which is inherent in each one of us, in the hope that one can
 find it, come to terms with it, and accept it as part of
 Most Pagans believe in an ultimate creative source. Christians
 call it God. We believe that there exists, somewhere out there
 in the wider universe, the source of all creation.   We do not
 give it a name, we do not give it a form. It is, to our way of
 thinking, entirely neutral. It is all things in one thing. It is
 all things and it is nothing. It is largely beyond our reach.
 Some people aspire to attain union with the ultimate, very, very
 few people ever reach it. Consequently, most Pagans will choose
 to leave it alone.
 It is unreachable. And it is unaware of our existence, because
 it is neutral in form. What we do is we aspect it; we split it
 into the various components which form it. The ultimate split is
 gender, male and female. If the ultimate creative source is all
 things, then it must have male and female aspects. So the
 ultimate male aspect is 'The God', the ultimate female aspect is
 'The Goddess'. Below this one can continue splitting into various
 other aspects as one chooses, until one gets down to a level of
 elementals, nature spirits, and so on and so forth. The idea
 being, that all natural things coming from the ultimate creative
 source contain a spark of that creative source, and consequently
 all things are inherently sacred. We reject entirely the
 Christian concept that man is born sinful, and has to spend the
 whole of his life begging forgiveness for sins real and
 imaginary. We believe that it is because of this attitude that
 mankind does a lot of the things he does. If you bring somebody
 up and condition them to believe that they are inherently bad,
 they are going to react in that way.
 Pagans and Witches believe that man is born inherently sacred,
 and it is what he himself does with his life that makes him bad
 or good. It is nothing to do with God, the Gods, the Goddesses
 or anything else. Consequently, Paganism and Witchcraft are
 extremely responsible forms of religious practice in that they
 teach that we are responsible for what we do and the effect that
 it has for those around us, both immediately and out in the wider
 world. We believe in what is commonly referred to as 'the ripple
 effect'. Drop a stone in a pond, and it will create ripples which
 will go on and on until they reach the bank and are forced to
 stop. If you regard the universe as a very large ocean, everytime
 one of us does something, we create a ripple effect. The ripples,
 on a universal scale, may be imperceptible, but they are there
 none the less. And if we regard life in that way, we need to
 immediately take stock of that which we do and act upon it.
 Now obviously it is not possible to take this sort of philosophy
 to an extreme, otherwise, one would literally do nothing. If one
 flushes the toilet one is potentially adding to sea pollution.
 If one turns an electric light on, one is potentially adding to
 air pollution. Whatever one does, somewhere along the line is
 likely to have a detrimental effect on someone.
 The Witch or Pagan will judge what he or she is doing with his
 or her life and will try and determine the least harmful way of
 living. It requires a great deal of thought, it requires a great
 deal of honesty and self analysis and not a small amount of
 self-sacrifice. it forces one to look at how one relates to
 oneself, and life around us, because we believe that all natural
 things on this world are sacred, and therefore to be treated with
 So, what then, is our relationship with our perception of
 divinity? As 1 have already mentioned, we personalise aspects of
 the ultimate creative source. These personalisations can be drawn
 from one or another of the existing Pagan pantheons, such as
 Norse, Greek, Roman or Egyptian, or they can be done on a much
 more personal level where the individual will somehow personalise
 whatever aspect of divinity they wish to work with in that moment
 in time. Most Witches have the Great Goddess, and the Horned God.
 (The horns, incidentally have absolutely nothing to do with the
 concept of the devil having horns. And are usually, in this
 country, personified as being deer's antlers being simply symbols
 of power and strength.) The Great Goddess is seen as being the
 Mother of all things, the Horned God, her consort who is also
 frequently linked with the Sun as the All Father.
 Below that, we have the Triple Goddess, whose symbol is the Moon,
 the Maid, the Mother, and the Crone. And then there are any
 number of other personifications largely based on the individual
 preference of the person or group, doing whatever it is they're
 doing. This may seem to be an immensely complicated system, and
 indeed it sometimes takes a great deal of understanding. But you
 have to relate it to the natural seasonal cycle, or festivals,
 that most Pagans, whatever their traditions, will follow.
 The seasonal cycle basically follows the agricultural and solar
 cycle of the year. We have eight major festivals.
 The first, and possibly the most important, is Samhain, spelled
 S-A-M-H-A-I-N, commonly known as Hallowe'en, and is thought to
 have been the time when the ancient Celts celebrated the new
 year. It was the end of one agricultural year and the beginning
 of the next. It was the final onset of Winter. It was, as it is
 commonly regarded today, also a festival of the dead. The modern
 concept today of ghosts and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties
 and things that go bump in the night, stemmed directly from the
 Celtic feast of the dead. This is not some necrophiliac intention
 of summoning up spirits for evil purposes, it was/is simply a
 time when one reflects on the memories of lost loved ones, lost
 friends, and hopes to gain some insight into one's own life from
 the lessons that we can learn from those who have gone before us.
 It is interesting to note that, even in its christianised form,
 Halloween, or All Hallows Eve is still a festival of the dead.
 The mid-Winter Solstice is, of course, Yule, an Anglo-Saxon word
 so old its meaning is now completely forgotten. It has been
 suggested that that it could mean 'wheel', and within a Pagan or
 a Wiccan context the year is often referred to as "the wheel of
 the year", in that it turns on, and on. Yule celebrates the
 re-birth of the Sun. It is indeed interesting that Christians
 should have taken this festival to mark the birth of Christ, when
 what historical evidence we have seems to suggest that Christ was
 actually either born in March or September.
 From then we move on to Imbolc, christianised as Candlemas, which
 represents the first stirring of Spring and the gradual return
 of light. We then have the Spring Equinox, which when the earth
 comes back fully to life, and has become largely associated with
 Easter. Many people today do not realise that Easter is a
 moveable feast because the date of Easter is set on the first
 Sunday after the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox. And
 if that isn't a Pagan concept, I really don't know what is. In
 fact, the very name "Easter" comes from the Anglo-Saxon fertility
 Goddess "Eostre" and many of the items traditionally associated
 with Easter such as eggs and rabbits are directly derived from
 Pagan ideas and symbols.
 Then follows Beltane, which is interesting in that it is the only
 Pagan holiday which does not have a Christian counterpoint. This
 is probably because of its overtly sexual nature. It is
 interesting that children conceived at Beltane were invariably
 born on or around Imbolc, which is lambing time in the sheep
 farmers year. Ewe's milk would have been important in the past
 to strengthen children for the last part of Winter and to give
 them strength to grow through the Spring and Summer.
 After Beltane we have of course the Summer Solstice, mid-Summer,
 which represents the Sun at its height. Solstices and Equinoxes
 all being solar festivals. The union of Sun and Earth to produce
 the harvest that is to come. Lugnassadh, commonly referred to as
 Lammas, which literally means loaf-mass from the Anglo-Saxon, is
 the start of the harvest. It is the time when we prepare to cut
 down that which the union of the Sun and the Earth Mother has
 provided for us. The Autumn equinox is the harvest festival. A
 time to rest and relax after the harvest has been collected. And
 then we come back again to Samhain, or Halloween.
 So as you can see, we follow a very natural cycle. Rituals and
 ceremonies can vary immensely from group to group, or individual
 to individual. But each one, whenever it is done, will consist
 of some sort of symbolic, what I can only describe as 'drama',
 that reflects what we see going on in the world around us, and
 how we perceive the Gods and Goddesses of Paganism or Witchcraft
 as playing a part in that. There is a lot of talk about the use
 of spirit powers and so on and so forth, and many Christians
 perceive this as being inherently very, very dangerous.
 Spiritualism, as it is commonly perceived, plays very little part
 in Wicca. It is not something that we believe should be played
 around with.  We will invoke on one another the spirit of a
 particular God or a particular Goddess dependent on what we are
 doing at the time.  But all we are asking that particular God or
 Goddess to do is imbibe us with something of their power,
 something of their insight. It is basically an intensely
 psychological thing. Because, as we all know, if one stands in
 front of a mirror saying "every day and every way, I am getting
 better and better", then one is likely to grow in
 self-confidence. The concept is pretty much the same.
 So, as we can see, Witches are not horrible evil people, but
 generally, quite ordinary nice decent people who have chosen to
 try and relate more to the natural things around us than some far
 distant imperceptible god-form.  But what of magic?  Witchcraft
 is obviously very closely associated with the use of magic. So
 what is magic?
 Magic was once described as 'the art of causing change in
 conformity with will'. Put more basically, this simply means mind
 over matter. Causing something to happen simply by the strength
 of your own mind. This is perhaps a bit too far fetched for a
 great many people to accept, but when one considers the nature
 of prayer, one has a concept which is easier to understand. For
 most Witches, an act of magic is simply a form of prayer. You
 will seek the attention of a particular God or a particular
 Goddess, and you will ask her or him to assist you in something
 that you want done. Surely, this is no different from anyone
 going into a church or synagogue, kneeling down, and saying,
 "please God, help me".
 It is true that Witches will dress that up in some way and use
 items of equipment and paraphernalia which are alien to a church,
 mosque, or synagogue. These are primarily nothing more than
 psychological props, means by which the individual can focus
 their attention on something. Using the appropriate equipment at
 the appropriate time aided by appropriate colours and scents are
 all means by which one can focus one's mind onto a specific
 point. Like anything, our acts of magic do not necessarily always
 produce the desired result. But we choose to believe that if it
 does not happen, it is because it is not meant to happen, rather
 than we are not worthy of it happening.
 Many people talk of white and black magic. This is an entirely
 Christian concept; we do not accept the terms white or black
 magic. Magic is a neutral force which is used by the individual
 and it is what the individual does with it that makes it white
 or black. But most Witches, in using the powers that they have
 available to them will consider the implications of what they are
 doing, and will think very seriously about undertaking any act
 of magic which could prove detrimental to any-one or anything
 which cannot be justified morally and spiritually.
 If the Craft has any "laws" as such they apply to the use of
 magic in a more obvious way than any-where else, and there are
 basically two such "laws".
 The first is more of an ethic - "An it harm none-do what thou
 will". On the face of it this seems to offer carte-blanche to do
 what you want as long as no-one gets hurt but if regarded within
 the context of the "ripple effect" mentioned earlier the
 relevance and importance of it becomes clearer.
 In addition to this, most Wiccans subscribe to what is usually
 referred to as the "Law of Threefold Return" which basically
 means that the result of an act will reflect on the instigator
 times three. As you will possibly appreciate, this is worth
 serious consideration if what one is undertaking is potentially
 or deliberately harmful.
 Between the clearly "white" or "black" areas of magic however
 lies the "grey" area. This is hard to define as it depends
 largely on the conscience of the individual but whatever the
 shade, a Witch will never undertake any act of magic without
 serious consideration of all the matters and questions
 surrounding it.
 To go back to the matter of Satanic child-abuse, the suggestion
 that there exists some sort of organised conspiracy of Satanic
 based child abuse is nonsense. It is a myth created entirely by
 so-called Christian extremists whose intention is to ferment a
 modern Witchhunt in exactly the same way as the Nazis fermented
 action against the Jews. There is no question of that. Whilst I
 would not deny that there may be some sick, criminal perverts,
 who utilise the cover of the occult in general and Witchcraft in
 particular, to abuse children, these people are not Witches, they
 are sick and evil perverts who deserve the full weight of the law
 to fall upon them.
 To specifically identify Wicca with child abuse is criminally
 irresponsible as it brands a huge number of totally innocent
 people as potential child abusers, and given that it is an
 intensely emotive issue, there is a real risk of a lynch mob
 mentality being provoked, with all the horror that it implies.
 If we are to judge a whole belief system on the strength of the
 activities of a few perverts, one could equally point the finger
 at the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church, both of
 whom have suffered from the publicity of members of their own
 clergies being caught for this very crime.
 Recently, in this country alone, there have been several
 instances of Church of England and Roman Catholic clergy abusing
 children, and there is evidence to suggest that it is rife within
 the Roman Catholic church in America. I pass no judgement on the
 churches for that. This is down to individuals, and again, we
 come back to the concept of individual responsibility for one's
 own actions.
 For a Witch to abuse a child is total anathema. It is contrary
 to everything that we hold close to our hearts. Our children are
 our future. If we abuse them, we run the risk of turning them
 into abusers. Apart from the fact that in abusing them, we abuse
 that which is part of the sacred, the ultimate divine source.
 Children born in love and unity are sacred and to be treated as
 such. There is no evidence, other than in the minds of those that
 make the allegations, that so-called Satanic abuse exists.
 As to the future, and what we would like; basically all we seek
 is the acceptance of society to be what we are, and to practise
 what we choose to practise. We do not seek to impose ourselves
 on anybody, or anything. We wish more than anything else, to
 exist in harmony with members of other religions, who have the
 perfect right to believe what they choose to believe. All we ask
 is that they afford us that same right. Nobody has the right to
 impose their values on any other person, other than in a purely
 secular sociological situation where rules and regulations are
 necessary to avoid total anarchy.
 On the spiritual level, the individual has the right to choose
 what form of religion he or she will follow, and how he or she
 will perceive his/her own God. When one looks around the world
 today, one can see that many of the conflicts going on in places
 like Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland have a religious basis.
 They are based on one group of people trying to impose its
 religious form on another. This, we feel, is entirely wrong.
 Since the onset of Christianity, it has been the fact that one
 religion has tried to impose itself on another. Millions of
 people have died in modern times for this very reason. And so
 much harm, and so much suffering, and so much pain could have
 been avoided if mankind only accepted that one person has no
 right to impose his religious will on another. We do not ask for
 converts. We do not actively seek converts. All we ask is that
 we be left alone in peace, to do that which we feel is right. We
 would dearly love to work in harmony with members of other
 religions, towards a greater good. Surely, although we walk along
 different paths, our ultimate aim should be the same - to achieve
 a world that can live in peace with itself.
 We believe that our way is one way to achieve that. We do not say
 that it is the only way, we say that it is one way. Our paths may
 not meet, they may certainly not cross, but they run in parallel,
 and if we can hold hands across the divides that exist between
 us, surely, the world will be a better place. We have a great
 deal in common. Each religion professes a love of humanity. Each
 religion professes a love of the world that surrounds us, and yet
 so few of those religions that profess those beliefs, do very
 much about it. We do not say, as I have already said, that ours
 is the only way, the one way, the true way. There is no one true
 way. The Arabs I think have a saying, and I may have this wrong,
 that there are a million ways to God, and it is for each one of
 us to find his or her own way. This, we feel, is a fundamental
 truth. We believe passionately, that the world could be a better
 place if half the people in it stopped trying to impose their
 will on the other half. We have no desire to do this. We wish to
 move forward with others who may or may not share our beliefs to
 a better world.
 This paper may be freely copied or re-published providing it is
 copied or re-published in its entirety without changes, and
 authorship credited to James Pengelly, Pagan Federation.
 James Pengelly
 The Pagan Federation,
 BM Box 7097,
 London WCIN 3XX.

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