The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Hollywood Hype through movies such as "The Craft" and now the "Blair Witch" movies, and television shows such as "Charmed", "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer". "Freakylinks" and "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch," have all contributed to the rise of public interest in the Pagan paths and especially Witchcraft. If someone came to YOU after seeing "The Craft", "Charmed" or "Blair Witch," etc., what do YOU want them to know about real Witchcraft and Paganism? What would YOU-or do YOU- tell these folks?
| Reponses: There are 74 responses posted to this question.
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| Oh, The Headache These Badly Written Programs Can Cause! I, Unfortunatly Have... ||Oct 17th. at 1:21:37 pm EDT|
|Sabrina (Glendale, New York US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
OH, the headache these badly written programs can cause!
I, unfortunatly have been subject to questions about "mind powers", curses, and various Satan-related materials. My first reaction is surprise, and then a bit of anger about how the magical community is misrepresented by Hollywood. (Why can 20/20 or 60 minutes air a documentury? Good question!! I'm sure THEY would get the facts straight, and it would be viewed nationally.) I slowly start to explain, but half crack jokes and then stop listening when notice a bright shinny object. And then I get (silently) angry because they won't listen, and they're still carrying around those horrible misconseptions. They are a lost cause.
For those people who truly want to know, I explain to them what _I_ practice and beleive. I ususally explain it in terms of communicating directly with the Deity, holding nature as sacred, and how I relate to Divinity in the form of the Goddess.
But always liked with that, are questions about magick and spells. The easiest way that I can explain it is like a concentrated form of prayer. And that curses are juvinile things, never work, and aren't worth my time or energy.
| I Have To Ask Anyone Out There If I Am The Only... ||Oct 17th. at 11:29:17 am EDT|
|blackthorne (Walnut Creek, California US) ||Age: 35 - Email |
I have to ask anyone out there if I am the only one sick of seeing Paganism portrayed only in horror movies? I actually don't remember any film/tv show
that had any portrayal of the craft that was not in a horror/fantasy genre.
(The ONLY exception being one episode of "Picket Fences" and that was pretty
It's also odd that the only time you see a portrayal of any religion other that
the standard Judeo Christian belief it's either to portray a cult, a foolish
individual or to ad a air of mystery to a boring plot.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if at least one show had a pagan neighbor in a
comedy or a drama. But, that's not going to happen any time soon.
To all of you that would say I am being too sensitive, chew on this question
for a while. If witches are only seen in horror films..doesn't this help fuel
the idea that we should be feared?
| I Have No Problem With The Regular Works Of Wiccan, The Readings... ||Oct 17th. at 9:52:48 am EDT|
|Joe Hancock (Maple Creek, Saskatchewan CA) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I have no problem with the regular works of Wiccan, the readings and such being paid a fee for. A paid clergy, on the other hand, is frightening to me. I came out of a Pentecostal Church where the paid clergy elevated themselves to godlike status and milked the people for every darn cent they could. My feeling is that people should work an honest living out of our world, and let others also enjoy the fruits of their own work. These followers of what they call " The One True God " were so corrupt that I'm sure Christ would have once again made a whip and driven them out of their temples. Anyway, I would never like the idea of being in a religion with a paid clergy again for absolute power leads to absolute corruption...
Thanks and Merry Part...
| I Had First Written This In The "misconceptions" Section, But Then Saw... ||Oct 17th. at 9:10:10 am EDT|
|Lira (Lunenburg, Massachusetts US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I had first written this in the "misconceptions" section, but then saw this question and had to get my two cents in here as well. ;)
"I would like to actually say something positive in defense of
how Witches are portrayed in The Craft, Practical Magic and Charmed. Ok, they are fluffy, popularized movies/shows rife with inaccuracies - but they all have something in common that a lot of us seem to overlook; they are not about evil hags worshipping the devil. Their heroines range from misguided (california teens meddling with power beyond their abilities - hmmm, like you've never heard of THAT happening), to benignly meddlesome (older women working ethically questionable love spells), to actually positive and beneficial (hereditary witches fighting the forces of evil, albeit a Judeo Christian model of evil).
Cut them some slack - compared to the abundant negative press that can be found demonizing and condemning Pagans, these movies/shows are the best thing to happen to us in terms of publicity for quite a while. The women portrayed live fairly "normal" lives. They don't eat babies, and in both Practical Magic and The Craft, it is specifically stated that Witches don't worship Satan.
I would like more than anything, to see a show portraying us positively AND accurately, but until such a time as Producers and TV Acquisitions execs begin holding their products to those sort of standards, I am willing to settle for positively."
Yours in the Goddess,
| Well, Lets Face It Hollywood Is Entertaining, But It Is Responcible For... ||Oct 17th. at 9:01:41 am EDT|
|Michael (Dublin, European Union, Ireland) ||Age: 22 - Email |
Well, lets face it Hollywood is entertaining, but it is responcible for a lot of lies and misconceptions. Some obvious ones are like "The Patriot", "U571", and the "The Craft", sometimes this is all just good fun, but sometimes it can be a little insulting for those represented, (ie: The Canadians and British were no doubt very angry at very obvious fabrications in The Patriot, which were invented for entertainment value, and many others were angry at seeing U571 showing the Americans capture the Enigma machine because the British Royal Navy captured it before the US even entered the war).
Pagans have the same problem as all the others who have been unfairly represented in films, we are no special case as the above mentioned films show.
It is all excusable in the name of entertainment, and it is fine if it is just that, but far too many people accept what stories they see in the cinema as fact.
The beneficial side of these movies is that they spurr some people into action, those who want to know what really happened, and what the truth is.
So the final verdict on my behalf:
Films are a great medium for communication and entertainment, but they are surprisingly lacking when it comes to educating. In the same way that those with a mind of their own, or an inquisitive mind, will always see through the dramatisations and exaggerations and then be inclined to examine the truth and truely learn.
| I Would Remind Them That Hollywood Has Always Sensationalized Everything, And That... ||Oct 17th. at 8:41:10 am EDT|
|Ron Kerns (Cleveland, New York US) ||Age: 46 |
I would remind them that Hollywood has always sensationalized everything, and that real Paganism and Wicca is very different from what is portrayed on the big (and little) screen. I would also tell them that Paganism is a very fullfilling spiritual path, but that it provides no instant fixes to life's problems. I would tell them that they would be disappointed if they were expecting to find the glitz and glamour of the type shown on Charmed and The Craft.
If they were sincere about seeking the path, I would gladly show them how to find their own answers.
| What Is There To Tell Hollywood? I Yet To See Any Faith... ||Oct 17th. at 1:31:27 am EDT|
|Nadra Carmack (kent, Washington US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
What is there to tell Hollywood? I yet to see ANY faith, religion, ect portrayed in an absolutly correct way. It's like "yeah, well they made a movie of it but I liked the book better". When I see any of these shows I ask, "Did they present the spirit of our ways?" for the most part, yes they did. In "The Craft" and "Charmed" you see friends and siblings united or divided by magick. You see inexperience and awkwardness becoming confidence and power. Are they casting the circle they way you or your coven does? Probably not. Do you feel comfortable in a half shirt showing of perfect abs while envoking the Goddess? I doubt it. Again, this is Hollywood. Which means you take our reality and crank it up ten notches. I don't think these shows are anymore helpfull or harmful than say "The Ten Commandments" was to the Jews. Remember, it's only a movie!
| The Public, In General, Needs To Know That The Stuff In The... ||Oct 17th. at 12:57:30 am EDT|
|Vivica Windswept (Keaau, Hawaii US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
The public, in general, needs to know that the stuff in the media about witches is, in fact, false. That media serves its purpose as entertainment, but realy inhibits the public view of paganism. So, to answer the question posted, what should someone do if a individual walks up and says, "I herd you were a witch and I love that show Charmed, so, like, can you teach me the craft?" I think, personally, that you should set the record staight about wicca immediatly and let them read a copy of "The Little Witch" here at witchvox. The more this happens, the better, because it tells the true meaning of witchcraft to people who buy into that hype from the media.
| I Love Movies. Watching Them Is A Great Way To Open The... ||Oct 16th. at 11:30:43 pm EDT|
|Mino (Naples, Florida US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I love movies. Watching them is a great way to open the imagination. One must keep the right perspective when choosing this form of entertainment. It is very easy to take a hollywood myth and bring it into ones own reality! Movies like the Blair Witch can scare a viewer, and others such as The Craft can create a hype of personal delusion. Godzilla really does exist.....in the land of fantasy and myth. How real your fantasy becomes depends on how you let your emotions become affected while your mind is being entertained.
Instantaneous change does not occur. Witchcraft is very real, but it is not learned over-night. In fact, it is not really learned at all! It is a way of living. It is a conscious attempt to use more than the standard 10% of ones brain. Movies average less than two hours. If they open the mind of the viewer, and evoke emotional responses then hollywood has done its job.
I applaud the entertainment industry of today. I do not accept it as my teacher. If a movie has opened your mind and sparked your interest in Witchcraft, then study what witches really do outside of the silver screen. Witches have their own silver screen that gives inspiration to experience for learning: it's called the Full Moon Sky. Coming soon to a theatre near you!
| I Love The Way Silver Ravenwolf Discribed To Deal With These Situations... ||Oct 16th. at 10:27:49 pm EDT|
|Night Tiger (Liverpool, New York US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I love the way Silver RavenWolf discribed to deal with these situations in her books. Her first step was to ask what their definition of a witch, or pagan WAS and then you know how much (or little) they know. One of my first comments is always "It not fairy tale stuff, and it's nothing like the movies." I also say it's a lot like Native American, Greek/Roman, Celtic mythology, because people all know what some of the baises of those major religions are. I do like to point out we don't believe in the devil, and tend to mention it's a earth baised religion. My answer changes with how much they know, and if I have enough time, I give them some stuff to chew on. People always seem to come back with more questions, which I promptly try to answer. If I don't have the answer, i try to find it for them! After all I'm not going to lie about it! So that's my basic format for those questions.
| There Have Been People That Know That I Am Wiccan Because I... ||Oct 16th. at 10:14:06 pm EDT|
|Willow (Elko, Nevada US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
There have been people that know that I am wiccan because I do not think that there is any shame in it. But I am fortunate for living in a community with an open mind or a shut mouth. I like them to know thatthe craft is not associated with murder or violence in any way.I tell them that it is balance and harmony with that which is around us. Some do not understand but I think that I make a small difference at least by trying . The key to understanding is unlocking the mind and distroying ignorance. The only way to do that is to share knowledge.
| Cringe Cringe Cringe..... And If They Truly Want To Know...i Always... ||Oct 16th. at 9:39:28 pm EDT|
|nin_nah (fort smith, Arkansas US) ||Age: 25 |
cringe cringe cringe.....
And if they truly want to know...I always suggest meditation....This word usually stops the ones who just want to know because they think it is cool in their tracks....
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