Category: Damon Leff

Witchcraft is not harmful, but accusations of ‘witchcraft as harmful’ are!

DAMON LEFF. A recent conversation with a British anthropologist and a prominent British neo-Pagan on the definition of ‘witchcraft’ in relation to Africa, revealed the extent to which modern Witches; actual practitioners and adherents of a religio-magical belief system and practice identified as Witchcraft, [0] are deliberately marginalized by academia and modern Pagan society in general, in favour of a distorted and prejudicial historical bias against Witchcraft. Our British friends require from us that we challenge the human rights abuses of witch-hunts and witchcraft accusations, but not question the beliefs that engender them.

Pagan Politics

DAMON LEFF. A recent public letter written by South African academic (and neo-Pagan) Dale Wallace has been circulated widely amongst neo-Pagan covens, groups and individuals in an attempt to incite active opposition against positions of principle taken by the South African Pagan Rights Alliance on a number of advocacy issues currently on SAPRA’s agenda, including advocacy against witch-hunts and Satanic Panic.

Trees, tides and other animals

DAMON LEFF. Recent conversation in Pagan communities in both South Africa and the U.S. turned to issues of freedom of speech, intolerance, Pagan leadership, and scapegoating.I thought I’d wade through the conversations from my own perspective…

Why some Pagans are defending the right to religious freedom for non-Pagans

DAMON LEFF. The time has come for South African Pagans to extend a hand of friendship to alternative religious minorities and to engage with members of these faiths without prejudice or judgement. Those who choose to maintain their personal prejudices against what they still incorrectly perceive as “dangerous religious practices”, prejudices based on nothing more than false media speculation, are in my personal opinion, no better than the fundamentalist Christians who continue to impose their own prejudicial bias against Pagans and Witches.

Penton has a new editor – Bronwyn Katzke

DAMON LEFF. On behalf of Penton Independent Pagan Media I am honored to announce the appointment of Penton’s new Editor, Bronwyn Katzke. I have absolutely no doubt that under her wise stewardship, Penton can only grow and prosper. I would like to invite Penton’s regular readers and supporters to support Bronwyn, to have faith in her ability to lead Penton IPM into a new era of exploration and discovery, to encourage her on her new journey.

His spear continually divides the nation

DAMON LEFF. Encoded in the political rhetoric of restoring African dignity and promoting traditional African culture (code for support of South Africa’s traditional Leadership and conservative morality), the President appears obviously to be appealing not for the assimilation of common constitutional ideals and values, but for the separation of cultures and the dominance of traditional African culture over “minority cultures”. That’s how Ubuntu works in Nkandla; some are simply traditionally more equal than others.

Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!

DAMON LEFF. According to the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, nearly half of all South African women murdered in 1999 were killed by intimate partners. One in four (25%) South African women will experience physical violence at the hands of their intimate male partners. Lesbian women in South Africa, especially black lesbian women, live in daily fear of being raped and murdered within their own country for being lesbian. How does violence against women and children affect you? Have you become a victim of such violence? Please share your own stories of overcoming adversity and violence with PENTON?