Wiccans Want Recognition as a Nature-Based Religion

December 24, 2006

Author: Scott Bauer

Source: Houston Chronicle

Wire Service: AP


BARNEVELD, WIS.--” With an estimated 400,000 members nationwide, and a high-profile fight with the federal government over veterans' grave markers, Wiccans are moving into a more prominent place in the religious landscape.

Selena Fox is leading the way.

A Wiccan priestess and founder of Circle Sanctuary, a 200-acre nature center in the Wisconsin woods about 30 miles west of Madison, Fox battles for acceptance of the so-called neo-pagan religion.

Though they are often equated with witches, many Wiccans reject the label because of the baggage it brings.

Fox, whose graying hair flows midway down her purple dress and matching cape, exudes more hippie-esque charm than any kind of Hollywood-conjured witchery. She embraces the task of fighting discrimination against Wiccans.

"Spirituality should be something that lifts the spirit," she said.