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.

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