October 27, 1987 Show #27 The Investigative News Group 311 West 43rd Street, New York, NY

Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

October 27, 1987 Show #27 The Investigative News Group 311 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 Transcripts: Journal Graphics, Inc., 2 John Street, New York, NY 10038 Press Contact: The Lippin Group, 501 Madison Ave., NY (212) 838-6140 G E R A L D O Witches and Witchcraft GERALDO RIVERA .......................................................... Host Guests: SELENA FOX, Witch DON FREW, Witch LADY SABRINA, Witch MARION WEINSTEIN, Witch WHITLEY STRIEBER, "Cat Magic" Copyright (C) by Investigative News Group, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. Transcript produced by Journal Graphics, Inc., New York, N.Y. TRANSCRIPT CHARGES: One to ten copies, $3.00 each; additional copies, $1.00 each. This is a first proof. Accuracy as to names and speakers is not guaranteed. Not responsible for typographical errors. GERALDO Show #27 Air Date: October 27, 1987 WITCHES AND WITCHCRAFT GERALDO: "Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble." Some of America's most well known witches will reveal their magic, their ritu- als, and their positions on this special Halloween week edition of Geraldo. [Titles] Thank you. Before we meet our four real witches and being our examination of modern day witchcraft, Selena Fox, a high priestess of Circle Sanctuary is performing a special witch blessing on our studio. Now, as Selena makes this a so-called "safe space," why don't the rest of us take a quick look at some of the background on the evolution of witches and witchcraft. GERALDO [voice over]: "When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain." Three hellish spirits, the weird sisters, so open Shakespeare's MacBeth. And that horrific image of boiling cauldrons sur- rounded by stooped, wart-covered hags mixing magic potions and calling on the forces of evil to do their wicked bidding, it's still what most of us think of when we picture witches and witchcraft. In medieval times witch hatred and false myths about them spread like wildfire, carrying tales of black magic, or spell-bound cats let loose to wreak havoc on unsuspecting innocents, and of black-caped crones astride broomsticks, flying across moonlit skies. And where there's fear, deep fear, there's usually mass hysteria, like we had during the infamous Inquisition, when thousands and thousands of women, young and old, were killed because they were alleged to be witches. To save their lives and protect their beliefs many of them went underground. Well, these days many witches are out of the closet, practicing their rituals and traditions right along side other believers in the supernatural, like those who turned out for the world-wide celebration of the Harmonic Convergence last August. Laurie Cabot is another example of how witches have entered the mainstream. She's the official witch of Salem. Remember, it was the town of Salem that was the center of this country's witch hysteria. That was back in the lat 16- and 1700's. LAURIE CABOT, Official Witch of Salem: Here we are. We're the witches. We're still alive and well and living in Salem, you know, and all over the world. And then they go, "Oh, my God, witches." GERALDO [voice over]: Laurie and her coven of witches are now a familiar sight in New England, finally winning some degree of acceptance after years of distrust and suspicion. Like witches everywhere, they meet to practice their ancient rituals. Their sole purpose, they say, is to be in harmony with nature, the earth goddess, and forces of good and healing. GERALDO [on camera]: Okay, let's meet our four real life witches now, starting with Selena Fox, of the Circle Sanctuary, the woman who was doing that cere- mony. She's been a witch since she was 21 years old. She is also a Wiccan minister and she'll tell us what that means. Next to her is Don Frew, who has been a witch since he was 12, and is a priest with the Covenant of the Goddess, in San Francisco. Okay? Next to Don is Lady Sabrina, who has been a witch for 10 years and runs Our Lady of Enchantment, which is, you should know, the only public witchcraft school in the country. I don't know if it's supported with property taxes, but you can tell us that. Marion Weinstein, author of "Positive Magic," has been a witch for 30 years. And Whitney Strieber, next to Marion, is a Catholic and is not a witch. He's investigated the Wiccan traditions for his book, you can see it, it's called "Cat Magic." And Whitney has also, as a lay person, has had some incredible experiences that he will, I'm sure, tell us about today. So, first, Selena, tell us about the ceremony you were - SELENA FOX, Witch: What I was doing is a word called "smudging," that the Na- tive Americans would call it. It's basically using incense to purify the space to create a good environment for us to have a discussion here. I was facing each of the directions, as well as the earth and the sky and the center. GERALDO: But in making it a safe space, were you driving off any evil forces or - Ms. FOX: Driving away influences that don't need to be here today, and allow- ing, hopefully, good communication and connections with each other to be here. GERALDO: Oh, I hope for the same thing, for sure. That is a kind of occultish use of witchcraft. Are there more down to earth kinds of uses? Ms. FOX: I don't know if I would call that occultish. Would you say that about the Native American religion? Because they do a very similar kind of thing. GERALDO: Okay, I'm not trying to get you mad. Ms. FOX: No, no. It's a magical practice. And I think it's very down to earth. In fact, I recommend that people do some kind of blessing on their home, no matter what their particular religion is, to ward off robbers and to bring some social harmony to one's place. GERALDO: Halloween is coming. Ms. FOX: That's right. GERALDO: Does Halloween have some special meaning for you all? I mean - Ms. FOX: It's part of the New Year. GERALDO: It is? Ms. FOX: Yeah. GERALDO: It's the witches' new year? Ms. FOX: Right. It's the last of our harvest festivals. In fact, that's where the pumpkins and the apples and the other harvest decorations come from. It also is a time for paying respects to those loved ones who have departed, who have gone to the spirit world, to our ancestors. Trick or treat comes from the old custom of people setting aside the best of the food and drink that they have on Halloween night, a place setting for the parted love one, for those who had passed on, in honor of them. And if that was done, the idea was that your ancestors would bring blessings on you for the coming year. If you neglected your ancestors you might have some problems in the coming year. That's where trick or treat came from. It also is a time for looking into the new year to see what kinds of things might be in store for us. GERALDO: Was there a connection between the traditional celebration of the harvest and Thanksgiving, and the witches' Halloween celebration? Has that been around for a while? Ms. FOX: For a long time. It goes back at least to Celtic times, and probably before that. It's the last of the harvest festivals, and it's a time of pre- paring for winter. So, in addition to it being a solemn holiday in some ways, it also was a time of really great celebration. In fact, Mt. Horeb, where my farm is near, is near Madison, Wisconsin, and it's a city-wide festival, thou- sands of people go out in the street in costumes and there are bonfires and great parties in the streets every year at Halloween. GERALDO: They have those down in Greenwich Village here in New York also. It's a slightly different celebration. I asked Selena, Don. Do you you use witch- craft for any practical things? DON FREW, Witch: Well, if you call everyday life practical. GERALDO: Sure, well - Mr. FREW: In a way I do magic, and, yes, we talk about doing spells and doing these kinds of rituals - GERALDO: And, incidentally, we're going to do some spells and some potions later on in the program Mr. FREW: - and that definitely is part of witchcraft. That's the craft part of witchcraft. But for most of us practicing magic is a way of life. You discover these laws of nature - you might say subtle laws of nature - and by living by them you become more connected to nature, more connected to yourself, more connected to everybody else, such that life just works better. Coincidences start to mount up in your life. You might say synchronicity. You find you really need money and suddenly a check comes in the mail out of nowhere, somebody you didn't even know - GERALDO: Did that really happen to you? I want you to be specific? Mr. FREW: It actually happened to me just two weeks ago. Coming back from a trip to Seattle I was really concerned about making it through the month, and the car was having problems, and we pulled into a town and were trying to find some relatives who weren't there, and called some other relatives to see if they knew where they were. And they said, "No, we don't know where they are, but, by the way, there's a check for $10,000 here for you." And I said, "What?" And a relative that I don't know, my wife's relative, had decided to give us money because, you know, various things - she'd come into some money and wanted to pass it on. And it seems like - that was unusually dramatic - but it seems like whenever I really need something in my life, whether it's companionship or money or a place to live or something, it's there. And I think that's part of this whole - GERALDO: And you credit witchcraft? Mr. FREW: I credit magic. And witchcraft is one of the many magical religions. It's part of that living in tune with the cycles and the seasons. GERALDO: So witchcraft is different than magic - or witchcraft is one type of magic. Mr. FREW: Witchcraft, for most of us, is a religion. And one of the tools within the religion is magic. Just like - you might say that in Catholic church, for example, within the religion there's also the tools, you could say, of blessing, or consecrating spaces. When a priest does that for a church he's doing a magical ritual essentially. He's just praying to a different God than we're praying to. GERALDO: Any practical application of this magic for you, Sabrina? LADY SABRINA, Witch: Well, when we first moved to New England we had a small duplex that we were running a school out of. Well, needless to say - I don't work outside. I work, you know, strictly for the school, and it's a non-profit organization so I don't take a salary. So, the two gentlemen that are part of the organization - one of them was too young, the other one had no credit, and I had no job. But we spotted the house and decided we were going to go for it, and all we had at the time was $1,100 in the bank. And so we started doing a ritual. We signed the papers and the realtor said, "How much are you going to put down?" And we said, "How much do we have to put down?" And she said, "How much do you have?" We said "$1,100." And I thought she was going to faint. But three weeks later we got two checks. One from a student who had just signed up. He's never met me, I'd never met him. He sent us one for $3,000, a money order. And then another one sent us one for $5,000. GERALDO: Have you ever thought of going down to Wall Street? Mr. FREW: I should point out that things this dramatic are exceptions. What keeps us doing this are lots of little coincidences day to day, happening all the time. SABRINA: And this took a lot of work. I mean, we had a specific ritual that we were doing, and there were four of us doing it. And we timed it out. And we had to fast before it. And there was no, you know, drinking or smoking or having coffee or sex or anything before this thing was done. So all our energy went into that. And there's no way you could possibly continually get that kind of dynamic energy going and kept it. I mean, you'd be gone. Ms. FOX: I think there's another kind of magic, too, which is the day to day magic of communing with nature, whether you live in the city or out in the country. And I find one of the greatest magical experiences is when I am in our stone circle on our 280 acre nature preserve near Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. I will turn to a direction and then there will be a hawk there flying overhead. I didn't try to will that hawk there or whatever, but I see it as a sign of communing with the divine and that I'm on track wiht my spiritual beliefs. Mr. FREW: Exactly. GERALDO: Sounds good. Let's hear from Marion and Whitley when we come back. More amazing stories, potions, rituals and witchcraft, today on Geraldo. We'll be right back. [Commercial break] 1st AUDIENCE MEMBER: Relating to the practice of witchcraft and the fact that all these happen, when you need the money the check comes in the mail and etc., etc. I don't practice witchcraft and I've had the same kind of luck. But I was born on Halloween. Could there be any relation to that? Ms. FOX: It could be. In fact, people work magic all the time whether you realize it or not. Every time you start thinking negative thoughts you're actually creating a worse reality for your thought. It's the power of positive thinking. Basically that's what the magic aspect of the Wiccan religion is. But the wiccan religion really is a religion, and the core of it is to harm no one when you're doing magic. We have one law: An it harm none, do what you will. There is a great deal of variety within the wiccan religion, and each of us here comes from a different wiccan church and orientation, as well as someone who's from a Catholic orientation. GERALDO: Let's meet Marion, then we'll jump on to Whitley, the Catholic, the Christian - WHITLEY STRIEBER, "Cat Magic": Don't jump on me. GERALDO: Did you use the power of positive thinking to find a lost child once? MARION WEINSTEIN, Witch: Well, I don't call it the power of positive thinking, although I work in a positive way. I often find lost objects by doing a thing called string magic, which I teach in my books. GERALDO: String? Ms. WEINSTEIN: String magic. It's a very simple technique that I teach in my books to bring back lost objects. But sometimes when something so precious is lost, like a person or a living creature, you want to do something really special to find out where that being is. You know, our magic is no different from prayer, except that we don't supplicate. A lot of people call it praying. It's very similar. Anyway, when there was a child lost in the country once, I did light a candle and call on the goddess to show me where he was so that we could find him, because he didn't know the address he was visiting and he didn't know my name even. He knew my first name. He couldn't have told neighbors. And I did light a candle, and I did do a thing, and I did see him. I actually saw where he was standing. He was standing somewhere by the water, and it was very easy to find him after that. GERALDO: Really? And you said other creatures. Animals also? Ms. WEINSTEIN: And it's a great comfort. Animals. My cat's always wandering away. GERALDO: Oh, this is a trick that could apply in general. Now, Whitley, you are not a witch, although - Mr. STREIBER: No, I'm not. I was doing research for my book, "Cat Magic," when I discovered that the craft, wicca, was not evil and satanic at all like I had assumed it was before. In fact, what it was was a very beautiful earth- oriented religion, an ancient nature religion, like native American religion, and something we need more of and should certainly respect. GERALDO: The line of people leading the applause, I should say - You come from - what's it called? AUDIENCE: Enchantments. GERALDO: Oh, the witches of the East Village, here in New York. Why don't you stand up. We'll take a look at your outfits. Thanks, we'll talk with some of you later. Now, why don't you convert from Catholicism to wiccan then? Mr. STREIBER: I still think - well, I've been a Catholic all my life. GERALDO: I mean, do you believe in the wiccan religion or just in the existance of it as a benign religion? Mr. STREIBER: Oh, it's not a non-religion. It is definitely a religion. GERALDO: No, I said "benign religion." Mr. STREIBER: Benign religion. It is another beautiful religion. And it is a terribly important one right now because of its emphasis on the planet and the needs of the planet. Our earth is in deep trouble and a religion like this can really help us today. GERALDO: Have you, although a non-witch, experienced any of these magical - Mr. STREIBER: Yes, I certainly have. I went to Selena Fox's place, Circle Wicca, on a vision quest. GERALDO: What is a vision quest? I know it's a movie, but what is it? Mr. STREIBER: Well, a vision quest is - no, this had nothing to do with the movie. I see it as going into yourself to find your truth. That's what I really - and to ask whatever may be willing to help you to help you. I asked for what I needed the most, and I went out into the woods, and it was dark and moon lit, the wind was blowing, and I was sitting on this little piece of groundcover that I had taken with me. And I laid down finally - I was planning to stay there all night - and pulled the blanket up over me because I was cold. And after a couple seconds it crossed my mind that I hadn't brought a blanket with me. So, what was on me? And it was very warm under there, it was very nice, and I felt this thing without looking at it. It was soft and I thought, you know, Selena is not rich, and this is like a cashmere blanket. So I sat up and looked at it and it was gray in my hands. A big blanket. And I thought, "now, wait a minute, this is very wierd here." And so I got out of the thing, and I just took it off me and was a little startled by it, wrapped it up in the ground cloth I had brought - GERALDO: This is the next morning? Mr. STREIBER: No, no, this is right there. I took it back to the house. And I opened the groundcover up and I thought, "Now this is really going to be something." And there was nothing in there. The blanket was only - it was like a symbolic thing that kind of was part of my mind and part of reality at the same time. But I felt so craddled and so much at peace, as if I had suddenly become so much closer to the planet that made me. 2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: All of you have referred to magic, implying a super- natural power of some kind. Could you identify the source of that supernatural power? Ms. FOX: I think it's a natural power that we have all within us. And I think modern psychology as well as modern physics is starting to tap into this. Mr. FREW: I think it's God. Ms. FOX: Yeah, the source is the divine. GERALDO: How do you react to that? 2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, it doesn't sound like the way I perceive God to operate. Ms. FOX: How do you perceive God to operate? 2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, through his word rather than through magic or mystical experiences. Ms. FOX: Do you see God as a man or as a woman? 2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: As a being. Ms. FOX: As a being? Does he have a name? 2nd AUDIENCE MEMBER: God. SABRINA: Well, that's what's so beautiful about personal visions of deity. They can vary from person to person and be equally powerful for everyone. There was a time when many of us might have been, shall we say, severely harmed for speaking out. And now, what's so beautiful about this culture and this country, is that we can all, in a sense, create our own vision of deity, our own religion, worship it fully and be left alone in peace. Ms. FOX: Well, I would like to just kind of qualify that. For most people in many places in this country. However, I myself am, and my church, Circle Sanctuary, is in the middle of a zoning battle with local government officials, and we've been trying to settle it peacefully for a year and a half now. They're basically trying to use zoning laws to drive us off our land because we're witches. And I think in this 200th year of the American constitution, it's really important for all of us, no matter what our religious background or orientation is, to really take a look at the religious freedom upon which this country is founded. People are still losing their jobs because they're witches. And I think we need to live in peace and harmony and bring the reality that Marion's talking about everywhere in this country, and hopefully everywhere in the world if that's right. GERALDO: When we come back we're going to have some secret witches' love potions. That's after this break. Love potion number nine, remember that? [Commercial break] GERALDO: Okay, Selena, tell us what this is about. What's going on? Ms. FOX: Well, what I'm doing is getting a bunch of herbs out here from our sanctuary, because we have an herb farm there as well as a nature preserve. And what I'm going to do is what I call a happiness potion. Mr. FREW: It smells really wonderful in here, by the way. Ms. FOX: It's a modern stress management technique that has ancient roots. So essentially what I'm going to be doing is working with each of these herbs. GERALDO: Smells great, doesn't it? Ms. FOX: Oh, thanks. And this is something, no matter if your wiccan or not, that you can do. GERALDO: Now, wiccan, wiccan, we've heard that word. Whitney, you describe what wiccan is as she goes ahead - Selena goes ahead and - Mr. STREIBER: Well, wicca is an old word, an older word for witchcraft, and people who practice this religion feel more comfortable with it because the word witch has a bit of bad press in the Western world recently, I mean in the past couple hundred years. I don't know if you've noticed. GERALDO: Yeah, at Salem they did, it's true. Mr. STREIBER: And a lot of other places too. Ms. FOX: Okay, so what I'm going to do, I have an enamel-ware cauldron, hot water, bringing it up to a boil. And I'm going to put in three ingredients, basil, lemon balm, and mint, and then energize it. GERALDO: Great. Ms. FOX: Basil, - GERALDO: Basil. So people can do this at home then? Ms. FOX: - for delight and pleasure. Mint, for joy and refreshment. GERALDO: Smells great. Ms. FOX: Lemon balm, for wellbeing and renewal. GERALDO: All right. Double, double, toil and trouble. Ms. FOX: No, no. The chant I'm going to use is: Magic herbs Three in one Magic brew The potion's done. GERALDO: Heh. Are you going to pour some out now? Ms. FOX: What we're going to do is we're going to let this steep a little bit, and I'm going to move on to part two of my demonstration here. GERALDO: Okay. Ms. FOX: Which is actually - GERALDO: So this one's cooking, sort of? Ms. FOX: Yeah. So the energy's in, now it needs to steep for 13 minutes or more. Okay, now what I have here is a rock from our land - sandstone - with some blue corn, which is a native American sacred herb representing the earth and the physical body. Air, representing the mind. This is frankicense. Those of you who are in other churches may recognize the smell. Fire, representing the energy. Water, representing our emotions. And a crystal, representing the spirit, or the divineness everywhere. So what I'm going to do - GERALDO: Should we move the globe out of the way so we can see it, or what? Or you need it? Ms. FOX: We're going to - Yeah, we're going to do to it, and this is something if anyone here would like to participate, no matter what your background is, then I welcome you, as I move into this very short prayer, to focus on each of the things that I'm doing. And - GERALDO: Wait, before we decide whether or not to do that, what's the end product going to be? Ms. FOX: What we're going to do is send love to the planet. GERALDO: Oh, so you're not going to make anything, you're going to beam out some love feelings. Ms. FOX: This is a very short example of a longer ritual that we often do. GERALDO: So anyone who wants to participate in beaming love out, focus. Ms. FOX: Okay. GERALDO: Go ahead. All right. Ms. FOX: May the land be pure, May there be food, shelter and homes enough For all the world's people, May there be clear clean air, May humankind's intelligence and knowledge be increased, May there be responsible use of energy, May there be creative solutions to all the world's problems, May there be clean waters throughout this globe, this earth, May there be understanding and love amongst all people Of all ages, of all races, of all nations, of all sexual orientations, Of all lifestyles and of all religions, May humankind walk in balance with the plants and the animals And all the other life forms on this planet and in other worlds. Imagine a light, a white light, from your heart flowing into this crystal, and send on that light love, spiritual love, and whatever your particular spiritual orientation is. And as I channel this crystal and the light into this globe, a symbol of the earth, feel that energy flowing around the earth, and call to the mother earth if it feels right for you in the next few moments by chanting her name. Mo-ther earth Mo-ther earth Mo-ther earth Mo-ther earth So mote it be. AUDIENCE: So mote it be. GERALDO: So this commercial must be. We'll be right back. [Commercial break] GERALDO: Before Lady Sabrina shows us her love potion I just want to see what the audience thinks. 3rd AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. I'm a total unbeliever. I'll tell you why. Nine years ago I got involved in what you call white or good witchcraft, and it looked very beautiful at first. It was very etheral and mystical and all this, and the more I was in it I began to be driven, I began to be depressed, I couldn't sleep at night, I began to go on food binges. And praise God someone told me that Jesus Christ is alive and could live in my heart and change my life. I met Jesus Christ, he delivered me, and I just want to say that I don't care what kind of witchcraft it is, God says it's abomination, and there are results and there's a penalty to that it's sin, and you will pay. GERALDO: Wait, wait. [Crosstalk] Let Whitney answer, then you. Mr. STREIBER: I would like to say something right now. And that is I am a Christian too, a Catholic. And all I have to say is, when one starts to think in oneself that the other man's religion is evil, you have to look in your own heart, because that's where something is really wrong. GERALDO: Let me make the dialogue less intense. Mr. STREIBER: Lighten it up. GERALDO: Yeah, let me lighten it up a bit. What about the people who are at home who aren't reacting in a religious way, but who are saying, "Oh, come on. It's nice and it's nice words, but it's all mumbo jumbo." Ms. FOX: I think each of us has to find a religion that is right for us. I am very glad that you have found a religion that is right for you - GERALDO: A non-religious answer, please. Ms. FOX: A non-religious? Well - GERALDO: What about the people who just say - Mr. STREIBER: Does magic really work, Selena? GERALDO: - the "Oh, come on people" rather than - Mr. FREW: Wait a second. We heard people laughing when she had the globe out here. And granted, the nice little inflatable globe was funny. But it's important to realize that these kinds of things are not what the magic is all about. That's just a symbol. We need something so we can all say, "Oh, yeah, the earth." But that's the kind of thing that people laugh at, and it's not important, it's not an important part of the magic. GERALDO: Give us the love potion then. SABRINA: The love potion? Okay, it's not a potion, it's a spell. And what it is it's an attraction spell. Okay? GERALDO: Wait, wait, wait. I want to know - before it happens, who will the participant be attracted to? I've seen some cartoons. It's the first thing that your eyes fall on, an elephant or a giraff - SABRINA: No, no. What you would do, Geraldo, is you spot somebody that you're really interested in, and they won't pay any attention to you. They won't see you for the wall. So you decide, okay, maybe if this person would pay attention to me, we might be able to develop a relationship. You're not going to force the person. That is manipulative magic. All you want to do is get the opportunity to get to know the person. So you would take a red people candle. GERALDO: I'm married, so don't do it to me. SABRINA: Female for you, Geraldo, and you would do what we call dress the candle with love drawing oil. And dressing a candle means taking the oil - GERALDO: Come here, come here. You do it, you do it. You married? 4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: No. SABRINA: You're not married, okay. Take the candle. Okay, now what you're going to do is you would more than likely, hopefully have a picture of the person, or at least know what they look like - GERALDO: Just think of someone really big. SABRINA: Then you take the oil on your fingers and you rub it up the candle this way, then you turn the candle over and rub it down while you are thinking about this person noticing you. GERALDO: And then I want you to send us a letter and tell us what happened. SABRINA: Now think about the person. Mr. FREW: You're shaking. Ignore the fact that we're doing this on national television. GERALDO: Maybe it's someone in the audience. Mr. STREIBER: Yeah, it's no fair. Because if he's doing this on national television and she sees, I mean - GERALDO: It may be you. SABRINA: Okay. Now you would put the candle down and you would light it. And this is a rose quartz, which you would take and place in front of the candle. GERALDO: Have a match, someone? SABRINA: Okay, they want to light it. GERALDO: Here you go. Go ahead, flame away. SABRINA: Yeah, go ahead and light it. GERALDO: Don't be nervous, this could be the whole rest of your life. SABRINA: The best thing to be doing when you're doing any kind of spell is to make up your own little chant. But for this one you could do, candle of power - GERALDO: He can do it, he can read. Go ahead. 4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Candle of power At midnight hour, Bring unto me The lover I see. That she shall requite My attention this night, Let her now see, only me. As I will, so mote it be. SABRINA: Very good. GERALDO: Ah, well. What's your name? 4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: John. GERALDO: Where are you from? 4th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Long Island. GERALDO: All right. Well, let us know what happens, John. What if the lady of his dreams doesn't want anything to do with him? Isn't this manipulating her? Isn't this forcing his will on her? Ms. WEINSTEIN: He's not trying to get her to marry him. GERALDO: How do you know? Ms. WEINSTEIN: All he wants to do is get her to at least pay attention to him. Ms. FOX: I think it's important to realize that love magic is an area where people differ according to - GERALDO: You mean witches differ? Ms. FOX: Yeah. Because in our particular tradition, we would not feel comfor- table doing that. I'm not saying you were wrong to do it. But what we do, in terms of people feel like they need some love in their life, we help them to get some self-esteem training in psychology, and have them do some things to draw the right person into their life without a specific. And I think you have more realm of possibilities for it. SABRINA: Well, you can do that too without a specific person. Ms. WEINSTEIN: Many witches don't work that way at all. I don't work that way at all. But of course I respect Lady Sabrina's working that, but I wouldn't do it. GERALDO: You would not because it's - Ms. WEINSTEIN: I would not allow anyone to do any magic they didn't fully understand, that's why I wrote my book. 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, I'm a pastor in Greenwich Village, the place that you referred to earlier in the day. GERALDO: I didn't mean to put it down, I used to live there. 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I know. Well, I've seen many of the parades you're talking about. GERALDO: What church are you from? 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: And I'm very much of the opinion that these people probably - I don't know where they came from and I'm thankful to God that we have freedom of religion in our country, and I'm not in favor of burning anyone at the stake or anything like that. But I would like to ask a simple question. GERALDO: Let me ask you, pastor. Let me ask you first. May I ask what religion? No, I don't even care what religion. Let me just ask you this. 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I believe in Jesus. GERALDO: Good. All right. Do you believe in - I don't mean good or - yeah, that's your religion. Do you believe that this wiccan, this witches thing is a religion? 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, absolutely. GERALDO: Do you believe it should be constitutionally protected though? 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, absolutely. GERALDO: Well, that's interesting. Okay. Good. 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because if one religion is persecuted then no religion is safe. So that's America. Praise God. But I disagree from start to finish with what they believe in. And I just want to ask a simple question from the Bible. GERALDO: Go ahead. 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: All right. Now, the Bible says, Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist, or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is an abomination to the Lord. Now, having said that - Mr. STREIBER: One response is that - 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I would say that this - everything is okay. You know, and whatever you believe is okay. GERALDO: What's the question? 5th AUDIENCE MEMBER: This is a modern way of thinking, but it's completely contrary to the Bible. So, I would ask you, in light of this scripture, who is in control of you? Ms. FOX: The divine is. And I think if you look at what Jesus taught, he taught to love others and honor the divine. And the way I practice the wiccan religion I have no quarrel with that. I was raised fundamentalist southern Baptist, and the reason that I am wiccan now rather than fundamentalist southern Baptist is that I felt a call to the ministry, and the wiccan path is where women can be in the ministry. And I also felt a call to nature, and I felt the definition of Jesus Christ within the church I was brought up in was too narrow. The Christ consciousness is for all of us. And his law superseded everything else in the Bible if you take one interpretation of his work, and that's my response to that. GERALDO: Okay, why don't we take a break. Why don't you make another potion. We'll talk about this and other things when we come back. Witches and witch- craft on Geraldo. [Commercial break] GERALDO: Obviously witchcraft or wiccanship or I don't know what you call it, requires some artifacts to weave the spells and make the potions etc. Believe it or not, there are specialty shops around the country. Why don't we take a look. We put a tape together, a little video of one of them downtown. GERALDO [voice over]: So where can they go to get the oils, incense, and other tools of the trade used to practice witchcraft or wicca, as they call it. All over the country stores like this one on New York's lower East side have sprouted to cater to this very special clientele. EMPLOYEE: We sell an awful lot of white candles, uncrossing, jinx removing - poeple having - just things get in their - obstacles in their way. GERALDO [voice over]: You can find countless books on the subject of witches' spells and such, and jars upon jars of herbs and powders with exotic names like Devil's Shoestring and Deer's Tongue. A lot of the stuff is used to help calm the nerves or to relieve cold symptoms, much like the soothing concoctions our grandmothers used to cook up in her kitchen. Witchcraft has become so much a part of some peoples' lives that they seek its help even for very real life problems. EMPLOYEE: We've been having people come in looking for a break addictions candle. "My husband drinks too much, what can I do? Is there anything you can recommend to help wane the desire for alcohol away?" GERALDO: Now, here's that lady, live in our studio. Now, do people actually get off their addictions? Here, stand up. Do people get off their addictions using these remedies? 6th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Sometimes, sometimes. It would help, of course, if the alcoholic or drug user had a little bit of incentive to clean up his act, want to have a cleaner way of life. Witches believe in getting back to nature, clean air, clean waters. We revere a mother and a father. We worship the god and the goddess. The same god we all worship, except that witches believe that god is both male and female, since their are two species on this planet, of male and female. It's just that simple. GERALDO: Okay, thank you. Here's a lady with a very pretty outfit. Oh, nice - what's this, it's cute? What's that for? 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: This is the athame that we use in rituals. You never use it for anything except for rituals. GERALDO: Oh, then don't draw it out by any means. I don't want to become a toad. 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: No. Well, you're not a prince, you see, so I couldn't make you into a toad. GERALDO: My mother always told me I was a prince. But what's your name? 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Lady Bordesea[?]. GERALDO: Now, Lady, do you mind if I ask you how old you are? 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Ninty. GERALDO: Ninty? How long have you been a witch? 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, I've been an active witch for 50 years. GERALDO: Really, since before the Second World War then? 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes. But during the Second World War, 200 witches in London got together and every Tuesday evening at 8:00 we met, we sat in the same place, and we had our high priest who told us what color rays to visualize and send to the most dreadful parts where the war was going on. And we did that, and days later, by the newspapers, we could see that the terrible activity was lessening. GERALDO: So you think you had an overt effect on the war then? 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes. Because we were just one section. But the witches all over the world put - all over the country put up a barrier that Hitler would never land in England. GERALDO: And, of course, he never did. 7th AUDIENCE MEMBER: He never did. GERALDO: I'm glad you were on our side. More witch stories when we come back after this. [Commercial break] 8th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'd like to ask you what about what we hear about witches casting evil spells on peple they don't like? GERALDO: Black magic, I guess. Ms. WEINSTEIN: Well, those aren't witches usually. The may want to call them- selves that, like people who misrepresent what they are often. But those people are usually devil worshippers or satanists. Because, you see, we work according to the law of cause and effect, which we often call the three-fold loaw, that everything we do comes back to us three times. We'd be nuts to do that, wouldn't we. We only want good. Ms. FOX: We have no copyright on the word witch, and usually in any community, like especially in high schools there will be somebody who at least tells people they're casting spells. And to increase the fear of them, they'll say, "Oh, yes, I'm a witch and I can do this evil magic to you." But they aren't really. They're just using the name. 9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm sure the power of positive thinking doesn't come through 100 percent of the time. To what do you attribute your failures? SABRINA: What do you mean you're sure? How can you be sure? 9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, nothing is 100 percent fool proof. GERALDO: You must have had some failures. 9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's right. Ms. FOX: Oh, of course we have failures. 9th AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay, to what do you attribute these failures? Mr. STREIBER: You gave us the explanation. You said it's not effective 100 percent of the time. SABRINA: I think this is a very simplistic way of discussing something. Some- times something doesn't seem to work the way you planned it to, but the essence always 100 percent comes true as far as I'm concerned. Ms. FOX: I think a lot of it depends on the force that you focus and how much - and how focused you are. 10th AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'd like to ask you, is it true that witches fly on brooms? And if it is, why do witches fly on brooms? And also how fast do they go? Mr. STREIBER: You look like a good candidate for a broom. Mr. FREW: Actually there is a real answer to that question. GERALDO: Go ahead, answer it. Do you get frequent flyer mileage? Mr. FREW: There was an old fertility magic that was done in Britain and other places that involved a leaping kind of dance, often with a broom. And the belief was that the higher the people jumped, the higher they went, the higher the crops would grow. And it was out of that ritual, that's been remembered in folk memory, that we get this image of witches on brooms. Ms. FOX: The main use I have for a broom is in marriage ceremonies. I'm a legal minister, so I do all sorts of weddings, even for people that aren't wiccans. And at the end of the ceremony usually the couple will jump the broom. GERALDO: So they jump the broom. They don't actually fly on it? Ms. WEINSTEIN: Well, if we did I don't think that we'd tell you. GERALDO: Hi, Peggy. Meet Miss Peggy Wicken, one of our invited - Jessica Wicken. Now, Wicken, is that your last name? 11th AUDIENCE MEMBER: That is my last name, and this is the first time I've ever heard it in conjunction with witchcraft, so I'm rather shocked. How do you spell wiccan by the way? GERALDO: W-I-C-C-A-N? Mr. STREIBER: Right. 11th AUDIENCE MEMBER: That's different than mine. Whew. I just wanted to say that a lot of people practice positive visualization and meditation and developing a spirit of oneness with the universe, and even their psychic abilities, and they're not witches, and they don't claim to be or want to be, or associate with any group like that - GERALDO: Are you a psychic? 11th AUDIENCE MEMBER: No, no, no. I'm not a psychic, but I have friends who are and I've had some experiences of that nature myself. But - GERALDO: So you're just saying that witches don't have a monopoly on psychic powers? Oh, we have to take a break. Be right back. [Commercial break] GERALDO: We've heard lots of different points of view here today. Whitley, why don't you have the last word. Mr. STREIBER: The last 30 seconds. Well, I learned from my research that wicca is not satanism and that these people are not worshipping satan. A lady asked a little while ago what happens to their failures. But their rituals, the rituals you saw here today, are another form of prayer, just like the Chris- tian prayer. And there is no such thing as a prayer that's lost. No prayer is ever lost. GERALDO: Okay. Thank you all, witches, non-witches. Thanks for being with us. We'll see you next time.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank