"Wisconsin has long been recognized as a haven for paganism and witchcraft," Mette Hammer reports in a front-page story. Selena Fox, a Wiccan minister with Circle Sanctuary near Barneveld, tells her that there are seven covens and several hundred Wiccan members in Dane County alone.
Most witches are not Satanists, Hammer carefully notes. Satan is a Christian concept, while Wiccans and their allies celebrate life and nature. Diversity does seem to rule.
"Witchcraft embraces countless traditions," she writes. "In Wisconsin alone, there are Faeries, gay men vehemently opposed to patriarchy; the Dianics, radical feminists worshipping the goddess Diana only; Gardnerians, men and women celebrating fertility and family; the shamans, people in a Native American tradition; and countless others."
And, yes, they do perform rituals on every full moon.
Today, Circle Sanctuary continues to prosper as a 200-acre nature preserve and retreat with Fox serving as the high priestess. The group marks the Green Spirit Festival, July 28-30. For information: go to http://www.circlesanctuary.org.