Dear Bust II

The article that upset me on Bust is now available online. If you wanted to read it, you can find it here.

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4 thoughts on “Dear Bust II

  1. I don’t know Lauren, but in the article you link to (which has a different name that the one you first posted about) I know the young lady is a doe eyed innocent who does not know her terms perfectly and is relying on books and the internet, but i think her heart is in the right place. You wrote them “The idea that came across was “Oh, Wicca is so cool and easy, why wouldn’t anyone do it?!!!” but what the girl wrote was “Turns out, witching is totally possible for a modern lady, but it’s definitely not for sissies” and “Being a modern witch isn’t just about casting spells”, the latter being what most newbies think it is about. I hope and trust she will find a real teacher some day and continue in her activities. Having never read that magazine i do not know what kind of articles they usually publish. Why don’t you write an article for them that gives a more mature viewpoint of an initiated witch and Priestess? BB

  2. Lauren says:

    I don’t know why they titled the online article differently. I don’t have the hard copy in front of me to compare the two, because otherwise they seem to be the same. (Same pictures, same everything else). I stumbled across the online version when Mrs. B linked to it for being mentioned in the article, the author of the article uses her book.

    I disagree about the whole “doe eyed innocent” thing. I think that approaching a whole religion with this attitude is problematic and irresponsible and it doesn’t matter what religion it is. As someone commented on the first Dear Bust, it seems like she’s found a new toy that could be as easily discarded as it is picked up. I don’t think she did her research. It’s not just about the misuse of terms, which someone writing for a magazine really ought to do. As I already said, i did send them an email. I would happily write them an article with a different viewpoint. We’ll see if they respond or not.

  3. I can see how it might come across as a bit naive, but I didn’t find the article particularly insulting. I don’t identify as Wiccan so much as Eclectic Pagan, so that might have something to do with why I wasn’t bothered by it. But for the most part, I just think it’s really valuable to keep a little blasphemy and playfulness in spiritual practice. I find that keeping that attitude of “oh this is so cool!” helps to keep me grounded and prevents me from taking things too seriously. Having grown up in a religious tradition that was based in fear and a severe lack of brevity, I find the my life is enriched by forcing myself to make fun of my practice. It keeps me in touch with a deeper, more intuitive part of myself rather than locking me into tradition. I felt that she kept a wise awareness of how her own state of mind affected her practice and showed some promise for developing her own unique path. I loved that she didn’t feel the need to stick “to the books.” She’ll mess up on the way, but it’s just part of the process of following one’s path. And even if her path takes her into another spirituality, I think this experience will give her some valuable insight–as long as she recognizes that her short (or long) stay in a magical path doesn’t define everyone else’s experiences as well. We’re all different and have to figure out what works for us, even if it doesn’t work for others. 🙂

  4. Lauren says:

    I have no problem with playfulness in practice. I totally agree with you that these things can keep us in the here and now and remind us that there is more to what we are doing. I also profoundly dislike using any books. But I also think that when you’re approaching a new religion for the first time and writing about it in a nationally read magazine, there needs to be more respect towards the religion, more research for what you’re doing, and an acknowledgement of the social and cultural issues involved.

    And even outside of the perspective of a Wiccan priestess (and yes, I am sure that the fact that I am a BTW priestess, had something to do with my upset on this piece), as a professional writer, as a graduate student, as someone who has to represent Wicca everyday, this author did not handle this topic appropriately. Her lack of research showed that she was not culturally aware of the wider religion and did not do any more research than she had to.

    This is what really offends me. If you’re going to talk about why a new religion is really amazing and why you should do it, you need to talk about a lot of other things involved in the practice and not just show some of the “fun” things you can do. Wicca is hard work, so is Eclectic Paganism for that matter. However you approach the Craft, you need to understand that you aren’t just playing with rocks and leaves and sticks. You are working magic and no matter what your ethical approach to that subject is, you need to have a respect for the forces you are handling.

    She did strike me as someone who was essentially using a book (Mrs. B’s book) and she was definitely not thinking of how the energy she was putting out would effect everyone/everything around her. This is irresponsible and this piece will effect a lot of young women. So not only was she approaching this topic irresponsibly, she was showing others why it’s OK to do that as well.

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