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Wicca, Magic, And Dungeons And Dragons


jskains

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So I enjoy studying religion, but I have always paid extra attention to more controversial ones like Scientology.

In a discussion, I was talking about how I had no problem with Wicca, even though I think Gardner was smoking crack when he wrote "Witchcraft Today".... The fellow LDS went off on how Wicca is a satanic religion and how I was wrong for not taking an agressive stance against such an abhorant belief.

Of course, they decided that was time to bring up the fact they were not suprised about me since I had played Dungeons and Dragons, and had an affinity for the fantasy genre (sci-fi a close second).

So what is your all thoughts? Do you think there is a need to demonize things like Wicca as a religion or entertainment like Tarrot cards or Dungeons and Dragons?

*Shrug*

JMS

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I'm sure you can make a pretty good guess of my position. I don't see a conflict with Wicca per se. A Latter-Day Saint would have to consider their gods as belonging to this earth only and as subordinate to Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, who are, of course, in charge of the entire universe. You would also have to avoid consumption of alcohol and the great rite, if performed in actuality rather than symbolically, must be restricted to a husband and wife.

You will find that there are many faithful Saints on this board who play D&D. Tracy Hickman, one of the developers of the Dragonlance setting is LDS. It's just good, harmless fun. I actually think it is valuable for developing skills like creativity and sociality. I'm looking for a game, myself.

Yours under the alternative oaks,

Nathair /|\

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Yeah, I am having my own withdraws... DnD is so much better than WoW, Stormreach, or other alternatives. Nothing more fun then being able to tell the DM, "we dangle over the pit with a rope and slash at the monster with our sword". :D

JMS

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So I enjoy studying religion, but I have always paid extra attention to more controversial ones like Scientology.

In a discussion, I was talking about how I had no problem with Wicca, even though I think Gardner was smoking crack when he wrote "Witchcraft Today".... The fellow LDS went off on how Wicca is a satanic religion and how I was wrong for not taking an agressive stance against such an abhorant belief.

Of course, they decided that was time to bring up the fact they were not suprised about me since I had played Dungeons and Dragons, and had an affinity for the fantasy genre (sci-fi a close second).

So what is your all thoughts? Do you think there is a need to demonize things like Wicca as a religion or entertainment like Tarrot cards or Dungeons and Dragons?

*Shrug*

JMS

I know absolutely nothing about Wicca. However, I am a huge fantasy literature fan, GRR Martin and Robin Hobb amongst my faves, and I grew up on a steady diet of AD&D (I miss it, but hey, that's part of growing up) Personally, I think of these things like a harmless indulgence. They don't shape my beliefs, and anyone who ties them to occultism or satanic ritual is missing the point.

H.

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So what is your all thoughts? Do you think there is a need to demonize things like Wicca as a religion or entertainment like Tarrot cards or Dungeons and Dragons?

Nope. Quite frankly, I think the fear of such things is silly.

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As a stake high counselor, I'm proud to state that I attended Tracy Hickman's Killer Breakfast at last year's GenCon in Indianapolis. It was very funny, when Tracy asked all 350 of us to find S.A. "Bob" Salvatore later and tell him "you're dead".

I play DnD with my 31 year old son and some friends about once a month. We play two games, about 4 hours each (one is Eberron). I play a shape shifter in Eberron, and a Warmage in DnD. Of course, we only play v3.5.

As for Wicca, I do not believe it is Satanic. However, I also do not believe it to be Christian, either. It would be more on the lines of other pagan faiths, such as Buddhism or Hinduism, etc.

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As a game store and game convention organizer, my side is easy to guess. I am just glad the ignorance of D&D is gone out the window. I can say however, that just like World of Warcraft, games do have an addictive quality that must be watched out for. It's the old "skinner box" of reward/repeat, otherwise known as "grinding levels" that becomes less of a storytelling game and just mundane, mindless work. (Ironically, I am playing a PS3 game right now named "Sacred 2" which I am grinding right now in order to beat some big ol Crystal Rock. Go figure I am right at the end of the game and have too much invested to pit it away. Good thing I am on Summer Break from BYU-I. :)

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I don't think there is anything inheritely wrong with D&D (I hear it can become addictive). I am a fan of fantasy (the good stuff like Tolkien), and I am certain that there is nothing inheritely wrong with it either. In fact, I think that it can very powerfully teach truths in ways other genres can't. Myths and fantasy can be especially powerful at teaching truths about good v. evil, valor, nobility, love, etc.

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Nope. Quite frankly, I think the fear of such things is silly.

For the most part yes. There are, however, some minds that are affected negativly.

Oh, by the way I think they are are a great waste of time but then thats just me.

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So I enjoy studying religion, but I have always paid extra attention to more controversial ones like Scientology.

In a discussion, I was talking about how I had no problem with Wicca, even though I think Gardner was smoking crack when he wrote "Witchcraft Today".... The fellow LDS went off on how Wicca is a satanic religion and how I was wrong for not taking an agressive stance against such an abhorant belief.

Of course, they decided that was time to bring up the fact they were not suprised about me since I had played Dungeons and Dragons, and had an affinity for the fantasy genre (sci-fi a close second).

So what is your all thoughts? Do you think there is a need to demonize things like Wicca as a religion or entertainment like Tarrot cards or Dungeons and Dragons?

*Shrug*

JMS

My youngest identifies as Wicca. She's been into it for the last c. three years and is fifteen years old tomorrow. She's very "active" Wicca, attending "meetings" every week. She has her little alter set up in her bedroom and takes a portable alter on vacations. That said, she's a typical teen; lacking information generally and adhering to this paradigm based on an initial interest in the TV series Charmed. She's about as uninformed on what Wicca IS as the average teeny-bopper LDS girl is about Mormonism. I am a patient parent and expect this too will pass.

There's nothing substantial to Wicca, unless the believer simply likes their religion for the symbolism, ritual and "neo" quality of it, etc. Superstition and resorting to the "old gods" is just silly and backward, imho. But then, I don't have a high regard for religion generally. I think rational, pragmatic even empirical reasoning is far more useful and less potentially harmful than dogmatic religion. I don't think that Wicca is dogmatic. And D&D is not a religion :blink: There can't possibly be anything Satanic about a silly role-playing game. Granted, like my daughter, any kid can take D&D and go further with it than the game presents. I've heard of course of the LARP derivative where the players actually research "real" spells to use in their "larping". And we all remember the stories of D&D larpers who have taken their fun too far with tragic consequences. But then, rock climbers die all the time too from excess, without any "help" from the adversary....

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My youngest identifies as Wicca. She's been into it for the last c. three years and is fifteen years old tomorrow. She's very "active" Wicca, attending "meetings" every week. She has her little alter set up in her bedroom and takes a portable alter on vacations. That said, she's a typical teen; lacking information generally and adhering to this paradigm based on an initial interest in the TV series Charmed. She's about as uninformed on what Wicca IS as the average teeny-bopper LDS girl is about Mormonism. I am a patient parent and expect this too will pass.

There's nothing substantial to Wicca, unless the believer simply likes their religion for the symbolism, ritual and "neo" quality of it, etc. Superstition and resorting to the "old gods" is just silly and backward, imho. But then, I don't have a high regard for religion generally. I think rational, pragmatic even empirical reasoning is far more useful and less potentially harmful than dogmatic religion. I don't think that Wicca is dogmatic. And D&D is not a religion :blink: There can't possibly be anything Satanic about a silly role-playing game. Granted, like my daughter, any kid can take D&D and go further with it than the game presents. I've heard of course of the LARP derivative where the players actually research "real" spells to use in their "larping". And we all remember the stories of D&D larpers who have taken their fun too far with tragic consequences. But then, rock climbers die all the time too from excess, without any "help" from the adversary....

Just as long as she isn't involved in Sex Magic or Skyclad... That's when I'd be worried about letting my 15 year old daughter involved with such a group.

JMS

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I am not an adhererant of Wiccanism, but I find it completely harmless and mostly silly. People who wig out over silly things like D&D, Ouija Boards, Tarot, and Heavy Metal Music have too much time on there hands. However, if you are into D&D you should seriously consider dropping it in favor of World of Warcraft. FOR THE HORDE!! :)

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I am not an adhererant of Wiccanism, but I find it completely harmless and mostly silly. People who wig out over silly things like D&D, Ouija Boards, Tarot, and Heavy Metal Music have too much time on there hands. However, if you are into D&D you should seriously consider dropping it in favor of World of Warcraft. FOR THE HORDE!! :)

I disagree. We've been counseled specifically against Ouija Boards.

The Aaronic Priesthood Manual is also specific.

"Avoid discussing the occult. If the young men bring up such subjects as Ouija boards, séances, spiritualism, or Satan worship, you should tell them that such things are tools of Satan and that we have been counseled to avoid them completely. Then direct the discussion back to the lesson."

http://lds.org/manual/aaronic-priesthood-manual-2/lesson-11-satan-and-his-temptations?lang=eng

Here's another good article from the New Era on the subject; The Precarious Age of Aquarius

http://lds.org/new-era/1972/11/the-precarious-age-of-aquarius?lang=eng

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As a temple-recommend-holding Mormon who has not only played tabletop roleplaying games, but actually authored some I have to say I can't see why this one paritcular type of game is sometimes singled out by evangelicals. I have noticed that some Mormons tend to follow in the footsteps of such evangelicals. There were hostile reactions in Heber City to my video game DOOM, for instance.

I have plenty of Wiccan acquaintances and even a few I consider friends. I would argue (as would they) that Wicca is a complete religion, separate from Christianity. They are proud to call themselves Pagans and to reject the White Christ. So I don't consider them Christians, but they are emphatically not Satanic.

I have also known some Satanists (I don't call any of them friends), and those I've met are 9vertly atheists, regarding Satanic ritual and cant as purely psychological/political in intent - it's more of a highly solipsistic neo-Nietzchean ethos than the cultists seen in horror movies.

So I would not participate in a Wiccan ritual, any more than I would accept a Roman Catholic sacrament, but I would attend a Wiccan wedding or whatever (and in fact, have done so).

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As a temple-recommend-holding Mormon who has not only played tabletop roleplaying games, but actually authored some I have to say I can't see why this one paritcular type of game is sometimes singled out by evangelicals. I have noticed that some Mormons tend to follow in the footsteps of such evangelicals. There were hostile reactions in Heber City to my video game DOOM, for instance.

I have plenty of Wiccan acquaintances and even a few I consider friends. I would argue (as would they) that Wicca is a complete religion, separate from Christianity. They are proud to call themselves Pagans and to reject the White Christ. So I don't consider them Christians, but they are emphatically not Satanic.

I have also known some Satanists (I don't call any of them friends), and those I've met are 9vertly atheists, regarding Satanic ritual and cant as purely psychological/political in intent - it's more of a highly solipsistic neo-Nietzchean ethos than the cultists seen in horror movies.

So I would not participate in a Wiccan ritual, any more than I would accept a Roman Catholic sacrament, but I would attend a Wiccan wedding or whatever (and in fact, have done so).

Point taken, but while you're being so understanding about some, please notice that you're condemning Nietzsche unjustifiably at the same time.

It's kinda like if I wrote a post in praise of Nietzsche and in the same breath said something like "Hey man, he ain't no witch or nothin!"

Some Satanists may think they are "Nietzschean", but haven't a clue what he was all about. When he said "God is dead" what he meant was that the corrupt secular hypocrisy which passed as the "Christianity" of nineteenth century Germany was dead. And we LDS would agree. After all, Joseph said that such religion was an "abomination".

We would also agree with him that the ultimate destiny of men is to become gods. I think his "Zarathustra" is more of a prophet than we give him credit for.

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Just as long as she isn't involved in Sex Magic or Skyclad... That's when I'd be worried about letting my 15 year old daughter involved with such a group.

JMS

Well, I do hope that I have not raised a fool of a daughter, naturally. She possesses a very strong sexual morality and is frankly put off by blatant exposure to sexual matters. So I do not see any evidence that this "group" she meets with is into any aberrant behavior. As with all religions, there are the ethical adherents, and then their opposites. Wicca is not de facto "wicked" as her grandfather dogmatically insists. What it is, is the opposite of dogmatism. From the perspective of a Wiccan you can be a believer in anything and still be part of Wicca: of course, the reverse is not true: I am quite sure that our bishop would be highly displeased to know of this situation; and I bet that the Church would not hold anyone believing in Wicca "in good standing"....

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There is an element of fanaticism -- which I suspect largely arises from conservative Protestantism -- that sees satanic themes in every book that isn't the Bible, evil influences in every song that isn't a Protestant hymn, and satanic conspiracies in very activity that isn't praying, Bible reading, hunting or drinking whisky. Sadly, it seems that from time to time some of our members are influenced by this paranoid nonsense.

That said, I believe we really should be spending our time in worthwhile pursuits, and finding good recreation with real life friends.

As for the other: you know that the Book of Mormon does say "Wicca'dness never was happiness." Apparently Oliver Cowdery didn't correct his spelling mistake. ;)

Regards,

Pahoran

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I've discovered that DND can get pretty wrong, but not for the reasons you think. I'd say that if running a campaign, don't invite people into the group who think it's awesome to shove gold pieces into unauthorized territory as a means of interrogation.

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I've discovered that DND can get pretty wrong, but not for the reasons you think. I'd say that if running a campaign, don't invite people into the group who think it's awesome to shove gold pieces into unauthorized territory as a means of interrogation.

If I ever get a chance to run a game again, I'm going to encourage my players to take full advantage of Mr. Welch's list.

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