Wiccans worry the neighbors in Indiana.

A Wiccan by the name of Tammy Coers down in Shelbyville, Indiana is causing a bit of a stir in her neighborhood because she had the audacity to put a symbol of her religion, a pentagram, in her yard. Needless to say, this has prompted the usual amount of tolerance and understanding among some of her Christian neighbors that we’ve grown to expect:

“All of us that live out here are just beside ourselves. None of us like having this stuff in the yard,” the neighbor said. “When I see her outside, I come in and lock my doors and shut the TV off and shut my living room windows. She gives me the creeps.”

Many people have found the neighborhood an enjoyable place to live for several years, the woman added. True: Coers herself has lived in the same house for almost 13 years, although she is moving soon.

While the pentacle is a traditionally-recognized symbol, if it’s turned upside down, it can take on negative associations and is often connected with Satanism, and since its appearance, people in the neighborhood have been worried about the safety of everyone in their families, down to their pet cats. But Coers, a single, 37-year-old mother who has three pet cats of her own (none black) uses the symbol for protection from harm for herself and her two teenage daughters, 15 and 16.

“It’s just like a cross; not everybody has positive connotations to it…some have negative connotations, some are indifferent,” she said.

The rest of the newspaper article is a nice attempt at dispelling some of the common misconceptions about Wicca and the people who practice it. Though I doubt it’ll make much of a difference among the people who most need to read it it’s still cool of the newspaper to make the effort.

30 thoughts on “Wiccans worry the neighbors in Indiana.

  1. It is so sad to find people still subscribing to medieval superstition.

    If we get this kind of reaction to a different belief in an allegedly enlightened society, I am beginning to understand the depth of hostility that people in the Middle East harbor against the US.

  2. “It’s just like a cross; not everybody has positive connotations to it…some have negative connotations, some are indifferent,

  3. These are the same people that will dig a hole in the yard and bury a statue of some saint in order to help sell their home and they have the audacity to call this lady creepy?

  4. What can I say here? I was raised as a ‘christian’ and grew up learning to look down on other people and their beliefs.

    When I finally saw through all that and became a pagan, the first thing that struck me was how tolerant wiccans, and pagans in general tended to be.

    We may not all agree where beliefs are concerned, but I am dismayed at the willful ignorance of some people. Though the amusing part of all this, is these people are victimising themselves, when in fact she is probably the best neighbour that they have!

  5. My partner is/was a pagan and I find them to be far more tolerant of others ideas/beliefs thant the christians I am related to and know. 

    Side note:  Through no actual effort on my part she seems to be moving more towards my line of belief, that god(s) are a belief system holdover from when we were living in caves and scared of the lightning.  When people don’t know they make things up.

  6. I regularly get emails asking why I seem to be so Pagan/Wiccan friendly and I keep meaning to write an entry about it, which I will eventually get around to doing sometime soon.

  7. Sometimes I am so embarrassed to be living in Indiana.  Yes, this is a very religiously intolerant state to live in, unless you happen to live near a college town where minds tend to be a little more open.  Every day another state looks better and better.
              – Matt

  8. Ah, all you European and Asiatic heathens with your carved idols and symbols.

    Although, i have to admit, the burning sacrifice of a new born lamb in my front yard every YomKippur does sometimes gather a crowd (which i quickly disperse by screaming out my top floor bedroom window “You’re all next!!!”).

    She actually sounds like a cool neighbor.

    rob@egoz.org

  9. Well, she actually hasn’t been in the neighborhood for 13 years, … she’s was not really a single Mother at the time … and you should have seen the condition of my house when I was able to get back in it.  Not too cool at all.

  10. … And I forgot to mention the woman/girl in the flaming pentagram/pentacle picture on the front page was her 15 year old daughter (the photos main purpose was to be used for a vampire site on the web) … And the poisonous plants mentioned in the article were not all about protection.  She had mentioned them off-handedly to 2 friends of mine in a very un-Wiccan manner. 

    1st comment:  “I should have poisoned R*** A** with them a long time ago”  R*** A** being the 62 year old disabled woman who has provided her food, shelter, utility bills, roof over her head, etc. for the past 12 years.

    2nd comment: “maybe A*** will eat them thinking they are pretty, after they are able to move back in here”  A*** being a 5 year old boy.

    Just thought some of the REAL stuff should have been presented

  11. Perhaps if you clarify exactly how you KNOW these things your comments will make a little bit more sense…

    BTW – are we supposed to be incensed that her 15-year-old daughter posed for pictures for a vampire site?  If so, why?

  12. Right. You show up, post under a pseudonym, don’t leave an email address, and make claims that appear to directly contradict the news item and you expect us to just accept your word on it?

  13. Doesn’t matter if you believe me, or not … I just wanted to shed some truth on what you all had read.  Nothing more, nothing less.  No big deal .. believe what you want to believe.  Later

  14. Personally, I just wanted some clarification… the first post didn’t make much sense at all, and although the second post makes it a bit clearer that this “One Who Knows” is somehow personally involved with the woman in the article, and wants us to know “some of the REAL stuff” it still leaves me scratching my head in confusion.

    If you’re on a mission to spread “truth,” you might want to provide a few more details, rather than vague intimations and half-quotes and give us something with which to MAKE a decision as to whether there’s something MORE to the story than just what’s written in the article quoted in the original post.

  15. Below are 2 links to the front page of the article above … the photo in the burning pentagram is the 15 year old daughter.  They used the photo for “shock value” in the paper .. it was originally for the daughter’s profile on VampireFreaks.com.  I just don’t think it was real bright.  The girl coulda’ gone up in flames, ya’ know.

    http://shelbynews.1upsoftware.com/SiteImages/FileGallery/44.pdf (Takes Adobe Reader)

    http://shelbynews.1upsoftware.com/main.asp?SectionID=82&SubSectionID=245&FileID=44&UID=1684

    Here’s the whole text of the article …

    http://shelbynews.1upsoftware.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=29644&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=&S=1

    It has the poisonous plant references, etc.

    … and yeah, My sister and I OWN the house, I was around all the stuff … so, I do know.  That’s basically it.  I have NOTHING against ANY religion, or how people want to practice it … That’s why America was supposedly settled in the first place … Just some of the stuff in the article was crap, … and outright false.

    Just wanted to share that’s all.

  16. Thanks ‘One Who Knows’.  I have to admit the shock value of the photo was rather effective.  As far as your claims that the poisonous plants were intended for harm to anyone, well, I find that a little dubious given the background of the Wiccan culture.

    After reading through some of the ‘Letters to the Editor’ that this article sparked it is rather easy to see how such stories could have come about.  Whether these people were good tenets or not is truly a judgment call on your part but it is still disturbing how Shelbyville as whole chose to react to these people.

    If someone had moved into my neighborhood and planted bushes and a flowerbed in the shape of Christ on the crucifix I would consider it in bad taste and probably take some steps reach some agreement with that individual.  In the case of Shelbyville, the first thing to come forth was fear and hatred born out of ignorance.

    Thanks for pointing out the continuing problems with the press to misrepresent a story but it doesn’t change the underlying problem in anyway.

  17. Thank you.  grin  Wiccans, like everyone else, can still be assholes… no doubt about that. 

    According to her own beliefs, if this lady has said or done harmful things to you and/or others, she’s obviously ignoring the Rede and Karmic Law (which is basically the same as the bible’s “As ye sow…”).  If she’s using MAGIC as a tool of ill will, she’s setting herself up for THREE TIMES whatever negativity she sends out.  Not only un-Wiccan-like, but pretty goddamned stupid if you ask me.

    As for the kid standing inside a flaming pentagram, at least she didn’t soak her shirt in gasoline like that retard Les had an entry about a few months back!  LOL  And the papers will ALWAYS do whatever they can to go for some shock value ANY time they write about Pagans – especially close to Samhain.  Back when I still identified myself as one, I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Orange County (CA) Register blasting them for ignoring us the rest of the time and only “pulling us out of the broom closet to parade us around” near Hallowe’en, just to get the Christians all worked up.  To my surprise, they published it, heh.

  18. you know i might not be a goth or a wicca or satanist… or anything of that nature.. yes i may not believe in what others believe in but i just dont understand how people can be so closed minded, i respect every one who is open to the ones who are different from them… why be afraid of something u dont undestand instead of trying to learn it and undestand it… i wish people would stop runing away from their own shadows and would start understanding each other…
    for every one who reads this fead back of mine: dont blame the ones who dont understand u, and dont mock them instead try nd understand them.. u dont have to agree with them just understand them and u will be much betterthen they are… if they want to run away sont hold them back because the one who dont want to understand difrance never will but those who do will make this world so mcuh better.
    live life and enjoy it.

  19. I know alot of these comments were posted almost a year ago.

    I’m Tammy Coers…I just recently received this link about the Shelbyville News article; I didn’t have internet for almost a year…so I’ve gotten behind.

    The mystery person who slammed me on this board…his name is Mark Coers…aka my ex-husband; who cheated then left me for the woman he is currently married to.  His web site for those of you who care:  http://www.imaginaryplaymate.net

    If you want to know the truth…the pentagram was dug into my front yard for protection after Mark left me.  I lived in the house alone with my 2 teenagers.  THAT is what prompted the symbol.  I am a non-denominational energy healer and have tolerance for all belief systems/religions.
    Live free while Maintaining Balance,
    Tammy Coers

    ps.  thank you all for your positive comments/support…you know who you are smile

  20. hey tammy.

    personally, i am atheistic.

    but i know the power of symbols. and i sometimes rely on symbols that have some sort of meaning to me, when i need it, for that bit of additional strength.

    being divorced by your partner must have been difficult. emotional investments make it tough, i guess, when they’re over you but not the other way around.

    i suffer from nightmares (true nightmares, as opposed to bad dreams, are primal – such as being in a forest, being aware there’s a leopard in the area, and being aware that the leopard is aware of you…and is stalking you)and sleep paralysis..i used to when i was 2, 3 then it stopped now it’s started again. my best defence is imagining a sword of light. it would be arbitrary to someone else. it’s subjective. but it holds real power for me and that’s all i need.

    pentagrams are also useful symbols to me. 

    anyway, best of luck.

  21. i suffer from nightmares and sleep paralysis

    me to, ever since i was little i would have graphic nightmares. i have been diagnosed with hypersomnia, and they put me on ritalin. love that stuff. using symbols would not help me, actually when i use to believe there was a god that was going to send me to hell, i would have these nightmares that god was punishing me for not believing in him. my face would start melting, or i would be chased by wolves, stuff like that. those types of dreams stopped when i let go of those beliefs. except just the other night, i started to have a nightmare like that, and i said, i don’t think so, god does not even exist, and the nightmare quickly vanished.

  22. I used to have one particular Vietnam related dream that caused me a fair amount of discomfort.
    My psychiatrist suggested I change the end of it which I’d known about but until he gave me ‘permission’ I was never able to do.
    It’s been a long time since I’ve had that one although a few nights ago in a dream I was on the ground with a rifle exit point against my head (I couldn’t see who was holding it but I knew he didn’t like me) and I still remember totally relaxing thinking ‘fuck it – do it – I’m ready’ then I had a change of mind to ‘fuck you – I want to live’ and I swept the barrel away from my face and hit my wrist on the bed head – jeez it hurt.  smile

  23. Why do all the Christians feel that they have to make this sort of stuff their business?
    There is a simple answer to their problem: Close the blinds and mind your own business

  24. This article has inspired me.  I’m going to cook a bunch of spaghetti, make a circle of it, stand inside it and start singing Italian opera.  Film at 11.

    On a more serious note though, why the blistering heck would a Wiccan/Pagan person be stupid enough to do this in INDIANA?  Seriously.  Salem, OK.  Toronto, no problem.  Indiana, she needs a lobotomy. 

    Just another story of how fundamentalism makes you stupid no matter what religion you are.

  25. I realize this article is very old, however, I just found this link. I am the woman who provided most of the statements in the newspaper article. I also had tried to teach Tammy Coers, now Tammy Bunton-New. Actually, the paper misquoted most of what I said as her words, and most of what she said as my words.

    Tammy does like to spin yarns… The real story is this, she decided to dig the pentagram in the front yard to make Mark angry and scare his ex-wife. Point blank. There were no intentions of “protecting” her daughters, and no self-respecting witch would do that. I am traditionally trained and a third degree.

    Her comments, (referenced above), about poisonous plants were actually insinuations about poisoning her ex-mother-in-law, who is disabled, and who provided herself and her children with a life for a very long time. She also insinuated that she would be happy if Mark’s ex-stepson ate poisonous plants and died. I know, she made the comments directly to me. I’m sure she will try to deny those facts, but they are facts.

    Mark left her because she was a money grubbing, psychotic freak who pestered him non-stop, cheated on him, on more than one occasion, and was a complete back-stabber. And for the record, before anyone else says so, yes, I am currently married to Mark, myself. I met him when I met Tammy.

    Mark’s anger wasn’t/isn’t about her practicing her spiritual beliefs, it was/is about her destroying his beloved grandparent’s home. (Things like letting a multitude of cats urinate and defecate all over the carpeting). Writing things like, “Home Wreaking Slut” in her period blood on the inside of the closets in the house, to scare his ex-wife. (And yes, that is -her- spelling.) This was not done in an attempt to cast spells, it was done to scare. So the issue isn’t that she’s trying to stand up for Wiccans nor anyone else. She was trying and succeeded, to scare people with the threat of black magic.

  26. those wiccans like to call themselfs witches. they just wanna be special, the thing is with so many jerkheads doing it, it’s hardly special anymore. They’re using symbols from cartoons,pagan and old testamentic tradition, anything they can get their hands on without knowing a first turd about it. So they are just half vit breadheads like the rest of the establishment. The smartest among them practise some psycology and these individuals got the rest of the loosers in a mental grip just like the priest in the church has his powertrip on the rest of the congregation. truly they are on the high road to hell with theyr nose in the clouds, so have pity on them, but it’s a waste of time talking to them course they’re all too puffed up. generally nice people, and as stupid as the next one. it’s all in all a harmless prank if your not afraid of wasting a lot of time om mumbo-jumbo, and spending a few lifes as an ass. by the way: hell does exist, it’s called wasting valuable time.

  27. How funny Ayla MacFaye…also known as Genifer Nutter/Hawkins Coers. How funny that you try to twist things again. Geni and I met in 2002/2003. She’s “offically” wiccan. She taught me the most about paganism/witchcraft (according to Her tradition and Coven. She claimed to be a 3rd degree witch. She did do the interview with me and did do most of the speaking.

    Geni played the advocate in my life once I introduced her to my family/husband. She pretended to be my best friend…while behind my back was having an affair with my husband.

    So much mis-information from Geni; Name-calling…wow! Not that anyone cares…I have never cheated on anyone; The cats did not defecate all over the house. Poisonous plants? I came across a weird looking plant on the edge of the property. Geni said it was “deadly nightshade”…and jokingly said maybe RuthAnn would eat it. Geni “consecrated” the pentagram in the yard with me.

    So, you see how a “love” triangle has so much bullshit it’s unbelieve-able!! Geni is known for twisting and totally taking things out of context…while this makes my heart heavy, obviously Gen and I haven’t been friends for a long time.

    My daughter (also Mark’s daughter) wanted to stand inside the Pentagram. I made sure she was safe. I didn’t allow the article to put her name to it because she was a minor back then.

    I will say, I totally regret the day I met Genifer Nutter Hawkins. She has brought nothing but turmoil and negativity to my life. The main thing here…I was fooled many times by this woman; I loved her dearly at one time. Lesson learned. Namaste’

  28. My mom is the one who wrote that!!!! Mom said that Tammy was really nice. She said that Tammy deserved to be treated with respect and tolerance just as much as anyone else. It would confuse people to know that my dear mumsy is a Christian, Conservative and writes letters to convicts as well as used to write articles like this. We aren’t all as bad as people say, us Christian conservatives.

    She is a talented writer isn’t she. She now writes books.

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