Why The Good Witch Is an Important Show for New Age Practitioners

How witches have been displayed in the modern media has been a contentious issue among modern Neo-Pagans and witches alike. There have been a ton of shows and movies that have tackled the witch as a character, some good, some bad, and some very comical. Seeing yourself reflected in the media you consume is an important part of how we all interact with or feel about media, whether it be TV shows, movies, books, or comics. It’s been a contentious issue within the discussion around how people of color are represented, and I think it’s an equally valid discussion to have around how pagans and practitioners of conventionally non-abrahamic religions are represented. Over the years, there have been various revivals and years where we see more interest played towards the supernatural and that eventually makes into our modern media. I think these last couple decades have definitely been another kind of revival of a sorts, if a slow burn kind of one. The Good Witch is a great example of this modern revival and the kind of show that really makes an effort to discuss and display New Age thoughts and magic in a positive light for its viewers. 

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Musings on Witches of America by Alex Mar

Cover of Witches of America by Alex Mar

I’ve been going down a long rabbit hole of magic and witchcraft related content these past two months as I get back into the swing of being religious and actually practicing said religion. As I was scrolling through the sparse offerings of my library, I stumbled on this book by Alex Mar. Witches of America is an in-depth, anthropological and biographical look at witchcraft and mystery religions in America. Mar travels across America to see what she can learn from different segments of paganism and witchcraft, searching for her own brand of spirituality. She winds up getting involved with a lot of really interesting religions that make a point of only revealing the inner-working of their craft to initiates. Which got me thinking: how have mystery religions — those religions that require initiation before secrets are revealed — adapted to the modern world of social media and the general public nature of social interaction now?

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The Influence of The Craft on Modern Neo-Pagansim

The 90s was an especially influential year for the spread and development of modern neo-paganism to the point where I would label it as a third-wave (the first being in the early 19th century and the second in the 60s hippie era). This decade coincided with a lot of things that really helped boost the presence of new belief systems and especially the visibility of Wicca as a religion. First and foremost being the internet. The development of the internet, forums, chat rooms, and other means of communication allowed previously secluded practitioners to be able to communicate with others who were practicing, sharing beliefs and rituals with each other. Previously, pagan traditions were passed down through mentors and groups, many of those interested joining finding that there was a barrier of training standing between them and full indoctrination into the belief system of their choice. Or they found relevant information scattered throughout a myriad of books, many of them hard to find or especially secretive about their specific rituals. 

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Musings on Practical Solitary Magic by Nancy B Watson

There are some days when I question how well my personality fits into the very metaphysical and faith based practices of Wicca and magic. I spent a lot of time in high school and college studying psychology, even adding it as a secondary degree. It allowed me to view the world through a new way of thinking, to understand both myself and other people. The brain is one big mystery even now, but studying psychology helped me become more objective and learn just a little bit more about how my dysfunctional brain worked.

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