Hey Rioters! Your feedback is appreciated.

What do you think of this article?

I'll leave my response until you all have a chance to read it and respond. Is the label offensive? Was the pagan reaction appropriate or overreacting? Do you feel the letter sent by the brewery properly addressed all issues, or was it - as the initial article suggests - a 'flimsy excuse'?

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte


  1. I for one would like to know what is on the back label... I've searched a bit and can't find it...

  2. I don't ever really care when I see that kinda stuff. There is usually not any malice involved.

    Most of the time people are referencing the mythical type of witch, like in the Wizard of Oz, or the Hansel and Gretel kind, not even knowing there are practicing witches today.

    Pagans can be surprisingly uptight and sensitive.

  3. I think, initially, it could be considered offensive. However, it clearly has historical context. I know of loads of ales that depict wicked witches, goblins and so forth.
    If, as Sage says, the label on the back does try to promote tolerance then all the more power to them! The hobgoblin beers I know of do no such thing.

    I think the author of this article is being a little too sensitive.
    A lot of pagans seem to hold a grudge and perpetuate a sense of being victimised, whether or not the case may be.
    I think this constant victimisation does pagans no justice.

  4. I agree with Aria - the label is a bit distasteful, but I think the author of the article overreacted a tad. There are other issues that would be better for focusing our attention.

  5. The image is distasteful, but that could be said about many things that are taken out of context, which is what the person who responded told the author of the article. It's like a good friend of mine frequently says "It's the one line of a conversation you get when you are walking by..." and it can go either way (given, we are both a bit dirty minded, so our interpretation generally leans one way). If someone says something is bad or evil, but gets proven wrong because they didn't fully understand it, then they generally end up with "foot in mouth disorder," which is uncomfortable for them and for those who went on their "crusade" as well.

  6. I'm not going to lie, my first reaction was very much anger. However, I'm very glad she did send something in, and did get a response.

    I feel the response is quite adequate, but I'm with J ^^, I want to see for myself what the back of the label says. I looked up where the beer is sold and there is a marketplace not to far from here that does. If I can get a picture of it I'll get it online for others to read too.

  7. While I feel that the intent was good, the image was a bad idea. I understand that they're trying to communicate the horrors of the witch burnings, but a beer bottle is not an appropriate forum. It would be the same as if I put a picture of a crucified Jesus on a bottle of wine and sold it.

    To be fair, there are appropriate forums for pictures of that nature. Or, if there was a TV show talking about witch burnings, with realistic depictions, that is more appropriate. (I'm not comfortable with the TV network making money off of commercials, but...)

    After rereading the letter sent to the Lost Abbey, I do believe she overreacted. However, when a beer is brewed in honor of someone (as stated in the response), I think it's inappropriate to put a picture of their agonizing, fiery death.

  8. Personally I believe that the label is in poor taste as well as clearly violating what I consider to be one of the core rules of marketing. What I call the one second rule. One second, that is all it usually takes to get or lose someone's interest. One Second. So how long does it take for a Pagan to look at that picture and get offended? Yep. One Second. They can put all the really nice, pro tolerance facts on the back that they want but in failing the One Second rule they all but guarantee that anyone they've just pissed off is not going to read it.

    As to her reaction, I think it was perfectly proportionate to the situation. She was offended, she wrote the company and explained her reaction and the reason for it, at the same time she blogged about it seeking reaction from others in the Pagan community. She didn't denounce the company, didn't call for a boycott, etc.

    Now as to the reaction to her reaction... Well you know I am coming * * this close to coining the term "Self Hating Pagan". It seems to me that any time someone does or says something negative ranging from merely ignorant to truly hateful, and someone in the Pagan community responds negatively to it, there will be someone else in the Pagan community to claim they are over reacting.

    Now I'm not going to say that over reaction doesn't happen, but really how does that make Pagans any different from Christians (well except for not threatening people with hell) or Muslims (well except for not threatening people with Jihad) or any other sub group?

    I for one am getting more than a touch tired of getting a message from within My Own Community every time there is a strong response to something negative from outside the community that amounts to, "Keep to your place and don't get uppity. Be a good cu... er I mean fa... er I mean ki... er ni..., um pagan, yeah that's it."

    Ultimately what is more important to me is that no one in our community make the mistake of presenting themselves as if they are speaking for all Pagans everywhere. As far as I can tell the author of the post referenced made it pretty evident that she was speaking on her own behalf as a Pagan. So even if I didn't agree with her I would still not have a problem with her having a problem with this.

  9. hmmm I guess my thought on this
    sometimes we feel ownership of historic events. And in this specific case this series of events also belongs to the Catholics. I went and checked out their website and it does fit with the theme of their beers. I can see being offended if its right out of left field but, hey if they want to bring up shameful church history that their thing. Witches and Catholics alike can be offended but I think its nothing to get your panties in a twist.

    ... aaaannnnd back to the definition of a witch. It has different connotations at different points in history. And if I am remembering my church history most of the victims were just that, innocent victims.

  10. I'm sorry, but I think this person's reaction is over the top. It's a label on a bottle, of something that happened a few hundred years ago, to people who weren't what we consider witches today. Not that this wasn't a horrific event, but really? Don't we have other, more pressing issues to deal with than what a company decides to slap on a bottle of beer? If this is the most pressing issue in this person's life then goody for them. Personally, I have bigger fish in my life to fry.

    And before anyone jumps the gun, I am not degrading what these people suffered by any stretch of the imagination. It was a horrible act committed by paranoid and often cruel people. I am a modern witch living in the modern world and personally, I think it's time we get beyond this "Oh poor me, look how my segment of the population was abused 300 years ago" mentality. Suck it up, get your big girl panties on, and move on.


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