11 February 2007

The Pentacle and the VA

For those of you who don't know, the pentacle is a representation of, among other things, the four elements of water, earth, air and fire. The top point of the star itself is generally considered to represent the spirit or soul. And while I imagine some pagans would disagree with my interpretation (we're such free thinkers and neo-paganism is still so new that there is widespread disagreement on all fronts) it is almost universally considered to be a respected symbol of a benign faith. And while I support Wiccans wanting the pentacle on their headstones I have mixed feelings about this. Obviously, I'm a little pissed that it's taken nearly 10 frikkin' years for a decision that hasn't even been reached yet. I don't buy the line that an outdated rule has kept this issue from being decided upon, I don't buy it at all. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that many folks in this country, including the Holy American Emperor George, do not think that Wiccans (and, one would surmise, any other pagan) have any place in the military. There are plenty of examples of Bush and other political and military figures trying to keep Wicca and witchcraft out of the military. It would not surprise me if this wait is direct result of these anti-Wicca and witchcraft sentiments. But there's also another issue at work here, one that is perhaps not readily apparent.

For one thing, just because someone displays a pentacle it doesn't necessarily mean they are Wiccan. There are plenty of non-Wiccan pagans, like myself, who recognize the elements and such in their lives. Wiccans don't "own" the symbol, it's been around a lot longer (hundreds of years) before Gerald Gardner put together his mish mash of parts of traditional British witchcraft, Rosicrucian ritual, OTO and whatnot and called it 'Wicca'. There is no consensus on who is or is not represented by the pentacle and the ramifications of this situation finally being resolved are a might bit troubling. While I do think Wiccan soldiers who die in the war should have the right to have a pentacle on their headstones if they, or family, wish, I worry about the rest of us. I'm sure there must be plenty of non-Wiccan pagans in the military. And odds are, some of them will die in this conflict. But what if they recognize the pentacle as representative of their path? Does that mean they get the pentacle on their headstone or would it be exclusive to Wiccans?

At any rate, a judge recently allowed a lawsuit filed by two widows to go on as planned; the trial is in June. For all the news regarding this situation, visit Circle Sanctuary.

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