Wicca is a nature spirituality, its name comes from Old Scots “wicca craft” which could be translated as “witchcraft”. It is currently the religious current that is experiencing the strongest growth in Anglo-Saxon countries. Recognized as a religion in Great Britain and the United States, there are even Wiccan chaplains in universities as well as Protestant, Catholic or Muslim chaplains.
One of the pioneers of Wicca is Margaret Alice Murray (1863/1963) archaeologist and Egyptologist. Following an illness, she is forced to return to England and decides to study English folklore and in particular the witch trials, which will inspire her books. Success is with go and its works are used as base with Wicca although they do not have any scientific value.
The neo witches is a current that mixes political activism, spirituality and marketing
From Wicca stems the movement of neo witches, who arrived in France in the 1970s. Based on ecofeminism and the return to nature, neo witches developed in connection with self and body control. A whole ritual takes place around the rules and the female cycle.
But why refer to the witch? “They are identifying figuresspecifies Jean-François Meuriot, references are made to medieval witches who were persecuted”. These women, considered victims hunted by male power, appear as models of independence and courage who challenge patriarchal authorities..
We could also name neo witches, witches 2.0, because they are very present on social networks. The figurehead of this movement is Myriam Simos known as “Starhawk”, also considered a political activist. She attempts to unify both political activism around ecofeminism and spirituality.
There is also a whole “witch business” which develops around this spiritual current. With great marketing support, magazines offer “wake up the witch in you”, as well as diaries or cases of stones and plants that bring this or that benefit…
What Christian look at these new beliefs?
New spiritualities and Christianity are two hermetic worlds which meet little or not at all. Their rare interactions are often reduced to negative assumptions. Father Jean-François Meuriot speaks first of welcome in order to understand these new spiritualities, then in a second step comes discernment. “The rituals have an efficiency and you have to be careful where you put your finger and there can be a danger in having fun with spiritualism”he adds.
In the dioceses, times for listening and discernment are planned within exorcism services made aware of these issues.