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Witches with Weapons

The Case for Firearms in Pagan Spirituality

By Wintersong Tashlin and Galina Krasskova

Guns and Pagans. The two words just don’t seem to go very well together. One just doesn’t expect to hear of the local Wiccan priestess and her Remington rifle or the friendly New Age guy and his 9mm. Coming of age as they did in the 1960s, American Wicca, Goddess spirituality, and the many varieties of Neo-Paganism influenced by their development often advocate principles of non-violence that seem to exclude weapons-craft, particularly gun-craft. For many in our communities, the idea of incorporating weapons into one’s spiritual practice is anathema. Some grudgingly permit an athame, or even a sword (especially in ceremonial magic), but the aesthetic and esoteric line is usually drawn there. But a growing number of Pagans are coming to integrate the active use of firearms into their spiritual practice. For some, learning to use a modern weapon is a means of connecting to and honoring their ancestors while for others, it is a commonsense skill in an uncertain and often violent world — one in which Pagans remain a religious minority. Whether you love them or hate them, firearms are a significant part of the world in which we live, and feelings run hot on their significance for Pagan living.

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