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Section: teen

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The Gothic Wiccan

Author: Widdershins
Posted: February 19th. 2006
Times Viewed: 14,647

When I saw here on Witchvox that the topic of Gothic Wiccans had been touched upon, my curiosity was immediately stirred as to what was said about it, being a Gothic Wiccan myself. The thought occurred to me that I would say something about this, from the point of view of someone who actually is one, as there seems to be little information on what it is like on this side of things.

It is necessary to first examine what a Goth is exactly, since there are quite a few misconceptions about even that, as I have discovered, and you all know what being a Wiccan is like, no need to delve into that.

What is the difference however, in being Wiccan because you’re a Goth, being a Goth because you’re a Wiccan, or being both without them directly relating to one another? Of course, if the first is applicable to someone, it is very likely, being Wiccan not for the sake of Wicca, that they don’t follow the Path as it “should” be followed (not in all cases of course, but most). If the second, it is more understandable that being both, someone is attracted to Gothic styles, but is Wiccan in truth, although I’d like to point out that being one doesn’t exclude the other, nor is it in any kind of conflict – you can be a “true” Wiccan and a “true” Goth at the same time. The last one, being both Goth and Wicca without them directly relating to one another – as am I – is probably the most interesting of the three, and it is what I’ll be writing about for the most part.

Alright, so what is a Goth? When you hear the word “Goth”, the image that probably comes to mind is a severely depressed, violent, and antisocial person, who is most likely suicidal. Some are indeed capable of terrible deeds “because the world is doomed anyway”, but apart from that, they’re mostly harmless, to be Hitchhiker-ish about it. Just not very nice or friendly people. If this is your image of a Goth, however, you are most likely thinking about an entirely different type of person, who is not necessarily Goth, but as Goths wear all black and things like that, it is natural that you associate the two with each other. However, this is not what being a Goth is all about. Yes, they’re sad and angry, but everyone can be sad and angry. It’s how you deal with it, how you face it that separates the Goth from everyone else.

What defines a Goth is partly someone who is attracted to the “gothic” themes, like the buildings from the 16th century, the dark, finely detailed artistic forms of expression including music; a good example of what a Goth might be attracted to is Dead Can Dance, whose musical themes and manner are medieval. A Goth is someone who is acknowledging their pain and their anger. This is where most people immediately say “suicidal”, but that is not necessarily true; recognizing your pain is a way of coming to terms with it - it doesn’t mean that this becomes a good reason to take your own life. A Goth is also someone who is most likely attracted to role playing. The latter however is not what defines a Goth, of course; it is just an understandable attraction to a world of fantasy.

Having said that I should add that some people might be of the opinion that role playing (or RP-ing for short) is just a way for kids to try to escape reality, which ultimately isn’t true. If you’ve done proper RP-ing, you’ll know what I’m talking about; it is a creative activity that – if played right – can actually be useful in some ways, especially if you’re trying to develop writing/speaking skills, or learning how to express your ideas clearly, and so on; I won’t go in depth about that just yet. It most definitely is a good way to socialize and live out your creativity in an interactive way. If they were trying to escape reality, you might as well ask “why RP?” as there are numerous other, better ways to escape reality than this (not to say that escaping reality is a good thing, not at all).

Most Goths are attracted to artistic things - including spinning high fantasy tales on the spur of the moment - which they express through whatever means they have. Most of them are reserved, kind people in and of themselves and I’ve actually discovered many around me to be quite Wiccan in thinking. Which from an outside point of view is surprising, and from an inside point of view is perfectly natural. They are, obviously, attracted to dark things. That doesn’t make them evil or Satanic (whether that be dabblers or true Satanists), though there definitely are Satanists who are Goth; there are also quite a few Wiccans who are attracted to the dark. It shouldn’t be surprising, eh – we walk the Path of Light, and accept and respect the Dark, in the same manner that a Goth does.

A Goth can also be the type of person who is making a statement by their appearance - which basically says “leave me alone” - yet wants to be noticed, wants to provoke a reaction, to say something. I wouldn’t call it attention seeking however; somewhere there is a message to the world, which isn’t evil, antisocial, suicidal, or anything of the sort, which basically says: There is something wrong with the world, and for heavens sakes, NOTICE IT finally! Don’t try to sweep it under the rug! I might also add for clarification that Goths see and respect the beauty in this world a lot more than your average person, which again is quite a Wiccan way of seeing things.

Being a Goth however, doesn’t make you Wiccan; you could be a devout Christian and a Goth at the same time, just as you can be a Wiccan and a Goth. They seek the beauty of things through the dark, and they admire all that they find. Yes, they have pain and anger as I said before, but they strengthen themselves by acknowledging it and talking about it, instead of repressing it; this is probably the reason why Goths feel most comfortable among other Goths, and not because they’re some kind of hate group who despise all other people.

You could say, it takes one to know one, and being one I can safely say that you are quite mistaken if you think me to be depressed 24/7, because I dress in black. There is something in being depressed, sad, angry, all those negative emotions, and there is something tragic and beautiful about them… That’s also what being a Goth means: seeing the beauty in something that is far too large to be ignored, but something a lot of people have difficulty accepting - sadness, pain, and anger.

So, being a Wiccan and a Goth: as I said before, you’re either one because of the other, or your both for the sake of neither. There are many Goths who might be attracted to Wicca (and after all I’ve written about the nature of a Goth, it’s hardly surprising), but they, just like anyone who is attracted to it, are also susceptible to finding that being a Wiccan is just not for them. Being a Wiccan when you’re a Goth doesn’t make you “cool”; it doesn’t matter at all. It still remains a personal choice on your part whether you want to be a Wiccan or not. In the Goth circles you don’t become an admired person or an outcast; they’ll still accept you for who you are. You are a part of this curious belonging that stems from not belonging anywhere else, regardless of your faith.

Just as there are Goths who are attracted to Wicca, there are Wiccans who are attracted to being a Goth, and again, this is quite understandable (especially if you are in your teens) as being a Goth can be anything from an attraction to gothic styles to making the “Goth statement”. Not to mention that there are a lot of elements in being a Goth that are also present in Wicca. You could even be a Wiccan who is merely mistaken for being a Goth if you happen to like wearing all black with heavy eye shadow and so on, although once you’ve gone that far you might as well call yourself a Gothic Wiccan. There is nothing about being a Goth that cannot be presented to the world in a way that would defy the Wiccan Rede, as I myself have discovered; every element that, from an outsider’s point of view, might be questionable, I have found not to be true at all.

For example, the popular misconception that being a Goth means you’re a Satanist (and I’m not attacking Satanism, as a religion or otherwise). There is no “Goth toolkit” kind of setup that you have to create in your life, which includes all black clothes, various shades of depressed attitudes, black and white makeup, Satanic beliefs, violent personality, and a thirst for blood. If this is what being a Goth means to someone, they are either mentally ill or they haven’t got a clue as to what a Goth is - nor a Satanist for that matter. They want to be one or the other for some strange reason; they are bent upon doing some kind of evil deed with the alibi that “they’re Satanists and Goths.” I have researched on both and drawn from my own Gothic experience that NEITHER of those reasons are reasons at all for doing an evil deed.

Another example: Goths equal people who write depressed poetry and hate the world. As I have stated before, Goths do not hate the world (on the contrary), but they do have a skepticism about how certain things are “swept under the carpet” in society. Then again, to put it mildly, don’t we all?

As to the depressed poetry… being depressed doesn’t make you Goth if you don’t want to be - although the temptation might be tantalizing - nor does being a Goth make you depressed.

Taking myself as an example: I love life, I love living, I’m not depressed in the slightest (thank the Lady), and I’m a Goth. Yes, I have been depressed, very much so, and it might be surprising, but being what I am now is what makes me happy. It makes me feel good to dress head-to-toe in black, to acknowledge pain and anger, to follow the Path and to be looked upon as what I am. It’s an indescribably good feeling to see people’s expressions when they take in my appearance; because I’m saying something with it, and I know on some level my message is getting through.

I’m a Goth and I’m a Wiccan. What does that exactly mean? Everything I’ve said about Goths can be applied to me: I do admire the beauty of this world, I am attracted to the gothic styles as well as the dark, I do recognize my pain and anger for what it is and FEEL them, I do think that there are things in this world that ought to be noticed and talked about which are curiously ignored. I have many artistic tendencies, I am reserved in my nature and I do wear black clothes and listen to violent music, although I myself would never hurt anyone.

I am also a Wiccan: I believe in the Lady and Lord, I do magic and cast circles, say chants and use stones. I especially love teas and herbs (and the rest of my “Kitchen Witch” inclinations), I don’t believe in the one God, the devil, Satan, Heaven or Hell. I follow the Wiccan Rede, pray to Aradia, do a lot of Seeing… well, I’m here, aren’t I? No need to further explain.

After having said all this, perhaps it’s not even important to note that I was Wiccan long before I became a Goth, and I went into the latter fully aware of my Wiccan being. Why I became a Goth is an interesting story, but it is not relevant at the moment to my message. What I’d like to say with all of this is that being Goth doesn’t mean all it’s dressed up to mean, just as with Wicca.

You can be a Goth, you can be a Wiccan, and if you’re like me, you can be both. Being a Gothic Wiccan, to me, means that I’ve been through a lot of pain, hurt and loneliness; that by following the Path I can fill the emptiness, I can express my fascination with the dark, and I can find a way to learn from all the hurt I’ve received and to grow strong from it. I have never been suicidal, but there was one time in my life when I asked myself the question “Is it worth it to live on?” That hurt was deeper, darker, and emptier than anything I’ve ever felt before. I spent years and years of my life in an inconsolable depression, then in an intense loneliness, but I’m still here, and I want to say something!




Footnotes:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/goth.htm



ABOUT...

Widdershins


Location: Szeged, Hungary

Author's Profile: To learn more about Widdershins - Click HERE

Bio: I’m alive and I love living, I love being exactly who I am, the Wiccan, the Goth, the rocker. I started out just writing poetry about this, but I decided that I wanted to say a little more. Why I became what I am... if it interests someone go ahead and ask (er... it IS a bit dark, hehe) .




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