For this post, I looked into this belief of “Wicca,” or modern day witchcraft (magic). Wicca ideals were first molded by its creator Gerald Brousseau Gardner (1884-1964) who was a retired British civil servant at the time. The components of Wicca are as follows, “a revenance of nature, the practice of magic, and the worship of a female deity known as, “The Goddess” and many other deities, such as “The Horned God” etc. This belief in Wicca requires one to consider the presence of more than one God (polytheistic in nature). The first coven was formed by Gardner in 1954 after there was, “repeal in England of archaic witchcraft laws.” Wicca as a belief was popular throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s but by the late 1980’s, overall growth of the movement started to decline. Typically, teenage women–and women in general–believe in this “religion” as well as its magical practices.
Some evidence that supports Wiccan witchcraft is the fact that most modern day witches perform magic as a way to, “protect nature from the ravages of humankind.” This magic takes the form of “rites” which, if conducted properly, are performed in a space somewhat consecrated in nature and with the help of physical pentagrams. People have seen these pentagrams many times in movies and are usually viewed within the horror genre. Whether these spells actually function to bring humans and nature into complete harmony is a mystery. But Wiccans do their part and participate in these spell-casting rituals whenever possible. Others suggest that this form of “magic” is really just an eccentric excuse to practice, “Christianity without having to deal with the burdens of Christianity.” When delving into it, Wicca has distinct similarities to Christianity. The magic added to it is just another flavor that gives these modern day witches just enough control over their own individualism. This is an aspect that the whole Wiccan form of witchcraft is centered around.
I don’t believe that Wiccans are misinformed. But I do believe that these collections of people are using this alternative form of religion to blanket the fact that all they desire is a form of individualism. Because of that, they consciously perform rituals (rites) paired with magic to showcase how different they are compared to dedicated Christian followers. Some could hypothesize that this facet of magic merely exists within this religion because the Wiccans want to show people how they stand out from the collective society.
Wiccans most often have agendas and reasoning’s for why their form of witchcraft is produced. Individuals who take part in Wiccan tradition are usually people, who are, “Anti-Consumerists, anti-materialists, romanticists, proponents of individualism, minimalists, and feminists.” These Individuals believe in a single lifestyle, but they are also environmentally driven to do what’s best for nature.
All in all, Wiccan magic (witchcraft) and its utilization—in my mind—is a result of a divergence in our history from a collective religion towards a more individualistic approach regarding that same religion. I believe psychologically, that these individuals perform these acts of magic as a way to prove to themselves that they are indeed providing protection against impurities that may affect the world/nature. As of now, there is no empirical evidence that I can see which shows/proves the effectiveness of this magic.