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Australian Media on Paganism

Witch holiday: time for a spell

Tuesday, 22 Sep 1998 - Newcastle Morning Herald

By Ben Doherty

Belmont's Jacqui Watson says she is a teenage witch but unlike TV's Sabrina, she's more inclined to talk to trees than cast spells to catch boys.

But this week the 16-year-old will be doing what most witches do on their holidays, taking it easy.

Sometime between September 21 and 23 Australia will fall into the Spring Equinox, when the sun crosses the celestial equator as it moves from the northern celestial hemisphere to the southern celestial hemisphere.

And while this won't mean a great deal to most of us, for Jacqui and other pagans, it's one of eight annual witches' holidays called Ostara.

`Ostara is a sacred time, one especially to sit back and think about where the past year has taken us and also to plan new projects for the coming year,' she said.

Jacqui became a witch about 18 months ago but that didn't mean she went out and bought a pointy black hat.

She said witchcraft or `wiccan' did indeed involve spells but the perception witches followed Satan or practised `black magic' was incorrect.

`Witches and pagans aren't devil worshippers, we don't even believe in Satan,' she said.

`We are a peaceful, nature-loving folk who celebrate the seasons and aim to live in harmony with our mother Earth.

`We realise that every plant, animal, rock, river, hill, path, shadow, fire and twig has its own soul and message.'

Newcastle Morning Herald 22nd Sept, 1998

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