Witchcraft as A Fad
by Ariann Stillfield
What is a witch? When someone calls
themselves Witch, what do you think
of? Do images of bubbling cauldrons,
cackling hags, warts, and flying
broomsticks fill your cerebrum? Or
do you conjure up visages of young
teenagers dressed in black Goth garbs
with pentagrams dangling from their
necks? For the most part, both are
true; but it is the latter of which
this piece is focused.
To get to the root of it, a Witch
is a person who (to generalize) worships
the Lord and Lady,holds a reverence
for the Earth and the Elementals, and
who practices the art of magick or
"witchcraft".But what has happened to
this wholesome religion in these
modern times? It is now more likely
for people, especially teenagers,to
claim that they practice witchcraft
just for the shock factor or to rebel
against their parents and other authority
figures. Sadly, Wicca, Witchcraft, or
Paganism in general has become a fad
among today's youth.
With the influence of movies such as
"The Craft", "Practical Magic" and
television shows like "Sabrina, the
Teenaged Witch" and "Charmed", teens are
drawn to the mystical part of Paganism
and not the spirituality. "It was my
unfortunate experience to know a couple
of teenagers who claimed to be Wiccan,but
hadn't even heard of the Goddess,and were
simply in it for 'doing spells'," exclaimed
Brae, a Pennsylvanian Pagan. "The books I
loaned them weren't good enough because
there was 'too much spirituality', 'too
much work involved in ritual', and 'there
wasn't enough spells'".
"I think [that] between the breakdown
of the traditional coven, the mass
publication of low-quality paperbacks,
and the fadism of Wicca in the movies over
the past few years, it has become a fad.
There are a lot of youngsters who play
with it, then grow out of it," states Gawain,
a native Pagan from Pittsburgh.
But what can we do to combat this ever
spreading nuisance? Among the people I
interviewed for this article, one of the
highest forms of "fad eradication" was education.
"I say, embrace the fad and the opportunity
to educate what Paganism is about!" exclaims
Eliza, a Pagan from the northeast region of
Pennsylvania. This would give the elder,more
seasoned Pagans a chance to expound their vast
knowledge into the minds of their eager young
pupils. Education is a viable, effective way
to reach those in need of guidance. But should
one teach minors whose parents may not approve
of the interference?
This issue comprises a small network of
issues including the one above. The only
right solution would be one that fits the
situation of the individual. This may be
a lesson taught by an elder or as simple
as picking up a few books at the local library.
So the next time you see a lost little Wiccan/Pagan
puppy of a teenager,point them in the direction
of the Lord and Lady and leave it at that.