Popular Witchcraft and Environmentalism
Keywords:witchcraft, paganism, ritual, BL550
AbstractWitchcraft is often described as a ‘nature religion’ that is attractive because of its environmentally oriented mythology. This article examines the popular literature of contemporary Witchcraft to identify the extent to which Witchcraft reflects a substantial change from the dominant Western anthropocentric orientation to the other-than-human environment. I examine the rituals and worldviews in popular Witchcraft texts by Vivianne Crowley, Janet and Stewart Farrar, Scott Cunningham and Starhawk. I argue that there is substantial variation in the degree to which Witchcraft can be classified as providing an environmentalist ethic. While Witchcraft mythology is oriented toward nature, the focus of much Witchcraft on self-development leaves it open to becoming a religion of selfish individualism rather than a spirituality of respectful relationships.
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