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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Along Route 5, Wiccans Work Their Magic

The three hold different jobs: Amber Russell designs bouquets; Anne Rutherford is a legal secretary; Bonnie Smith works for a landscaper.

But the three Southern Marylanders have this much in common: Each considers herself a witch.

They practice a religion called Wicca, one they say is growing in the area, and one that surfaced -- tangentially, at least -- in a St. Mary's County campaign for the Maryland General Assembly. Just before last month's primary election, House of Delegates candidate Clare Calvert Whitbeck issued a statement denying she was a Wiccan, saying she did so to put a false rumor to rest.

But five Wiccans in all three Southern Maryland counties stressed in interviews that there is nothing to fear from their beliefs. And on that score they have backing from a trio of scholars who studied the broader world of what is known as neopaganism. Full Story

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