Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Morwics and Mormon magic

John Morehead (of Sacred Tribes, mentioned earlier) blogs about his discovery of "Morwics," Mormons who have adopted Wicca. (He lives in Salt Lake City, it should be noted.)

It seems that ex-Mormons not only gravitate toward evangelicalism and atheism as their religious choice options, but also toward Paganism. This makes sense in terms of a religious logic in that a rejection of what is considered a strict form of Christianity might lend itself toward identification with a variety of nature-based spiritualities such as Wicca.

As he rightly notes, Mormonism has a strong root in Western magic: divination, prophetic dreams, evocation of spirits, the works. This is not something that the LDS church advertises to outsiders. Those 19-year-old "elders" who show up at your door probably will not talk about it. But it's there.

Back when I was in graduate school, I gave some paper on Gerald Gardner and Wicca at the Rocky Mountains-Great Plains regional meeting of the American Academy of Religion. I looked down at the guys in the front row: shiny black shoes, short hair, clean-shaven, Brigham Young University name tags--and listening intently.

(Much more ex-Mormon humor here. Not all work-safe.)

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Anonymous shimmer said...

When I was seeking, but before I found Witchcraft, I was actually baptised Mormon. This was of my own accord; my family is mostly agnostic and athiest. Part of what turned me on to Mormonism was that they have a belief--albeit a quiet one--that God has a wife... our "Heavenly Mother." And, of course, the magical parts too... the belief that God still talks to people (The Prophet, at least), etc.

Ha! It still didn't take, and now I've been a Witch for 18 years.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous queenofhalves said...

I've had a few Mormon feminist friends and acquaintances, and they seemed to emphasize the closeness of the divine (in ongoing revelation, and the laying on of hands for blessings) and a connection with the land (especially in Utah). I can see those elements helping to attract former Mormons to Paganism.

One of my friends said she once witnessed an all-women, basically Pagan circle using some of the trappings and tools from Mormon temple worship, though she didn't stay because of the potential conflict with her own practice. All hail syncretism!

10:13 AM  

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