It is hard, in these times when David Copperfield is being accused of several infractions of a sexual nature, to believe in magic.
We all want to acquaint ourselves with the joy that comes from somewhere beyond this world, but we tend to settle for candlesticks flying around in horror movies on the AMC channel, shortly followed by spurts of green pea soup and makeup that would not be out of place in a San Francisco toilet.
Any San Francisco toilet.
So you can surely understand the feelings that are choking some of the residents of Rossville.
Rossville is a little town that has had to suffer from seeing its school closed down, its residents become largely dependent on meth and its location not quite make it into Indiana.
Pond regulars will know that strange things have lately been happening in Illinois and Rossville regulars have been forced to live with the fact that the curse that is Illinois seems to have been visited upon them beyond all reason.
For they have recently been scourged by the opening of a Witch School.
It is not easy to discern whether the residents’ negative reaction to the sons and daughters of Wiccan coming to town has been caused by the idea of someone messing with their Christianity rather than their own mething with abandon.
Still, the men and women of Rossville are holding hands and praying that these witches will go the way of that dreadful remake of Bewitched, featuring the tight-lipped and even tighter-skinned Nicole Kidman.
You will not be surprised to hear that Wiccanism comes, like passive-aggressiveness and self-loathing, from England.
Yet as Donald Lewis, CEO of Witch School International, explains: “Yes, we believe in magic, but we also believe in deity. And we are not satanists. We do not believe in hell.”
A man who lives in Rossville and does not believe in hell. I ask you, is that not a beacon of hope?
Please also consider the Eight Virtues of Wiccania, as described in Doreen Valiente’s seminal Wiccanic work, ‘Charge of the Goddess’:
Mirth, reverence, honour, humility, strength, beauty, power and compassion.
A religion that has as its primary value laughter? You’d think that alone was sufficient reason to pay these people some respect.
Of course, the people of Rossville did what all small (town) people do. They held a big meeting. To which they invited a featured speaker, Robert Kurka, professor at Lincoln Christian College and Seminary.
Here was a man primed for a witch hunt.
As it turned out, he might as well have been Professor Burka. For he delivered an interesting lecture comparing Wiccan and Christian beliefs.
He concluded that there were similarities, that the Wiccans were a teenie bit flawed, but not dangerous.
This did not satisfy the Christian mothers of Rossville, who are worried, oh, so understandably, for their children.
“We don’t want them to go in there and get potions to put hexes on their friends,” declared Deb Robling (no relation to JK Robling), co-owner of a beauty salon on Chicago Street.
Better underage meth-fuelled sex than underage potion-fuelled hex.
It is good to know that even in the smallest nooks of the land, people still have their priorities very much in order.