By JAMES TSCHIRHART
Talk of pentagrams, Pagan ethics and witchcraft was heard in DuSable Hall Thursday, as the NIU Student Pagan Association held its first group meeting. The group’s founder and president, anthropology graduate student Paul Herrick, said despite Paganism being misunderstood and disfavored, NIU has been open-minded about the group.
Anastasia Blechschmidt, the spiritual adviser from Circle Sanctuary Church and minister in training, lectured on the meaning of the pentagram and the three guidelines of Wicca which illustrated the pacifistic nature of Paganism. The first of the guidelines was the Rede, which states, “do as you will, cause harm to no living thing,” which contradicts a long-held belief since the 19th century that Pagans conducted bloody sacrifices and were associated with Satanism. “When you’re the minority and don’t follow the mainstream concepts or ideas, then you’re always under scrutiny,” Blechschmidt said. “We have no Satan nor do we recognize Satanists as being Pagan.”
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