About Wicca Celebrities

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Wicca is a fast-growing religion, particularly among adolescents and college students. More than 400,000 Americans identify themselves as Wiccan or as practicing some rituals associated with Wicca, such as paganism and white witchcraft. Part of the reason for Wicca's appeal is that its followers believe they can tap into a supernatural source of positive power and natural energy, giving them the ability to accomplish great things. Despite its beneficial elements, not many celebrities publicly identify themselves as Wicca.

Identification

  • In 2007, Tyra Banks hosted a talk show dedicated to the topics of Wicca, witchcraft and Satanism. She interviewed many people who discussed the distinctions between their beliefs and the stereotyping of them by Hollywood film and television. What she did not address is that many of Hollywood's stars practice some Wicca traditions and are hesitant to openly discuss their beliefs for various reasons, one of which is that members are typically initiated into the fold through secret rituals and liturgies.

The Facts

  • Singer Stevie Nicks is a name that comes up repeatedly as a pagan, with people arguing passionately on the pro and con sides about her adherence to the faith. She has certainly borrowed a great deal from Wicca iconography, such as her video for the song "Stand Back," which features Nicks in the garb of a Wiccan High Priestess, overseeing a ritual. Officially, however, Nicks has never claimed to embrace the faith.

Type

  • Part of the issue in labeling someone as Wicca is that the belief encompasses Paganism and overlaps with other popular forms of witchcraft. Practitioners sample various labels, or dispense with labeling altogether. Musicians tend to be more apt to discuss their beliefs. The hard rock band Godsmack is largely Wicca and pagan, which the lead singer, Sully Ema, says is the belief "...that the earth is the mother to us all and we should honor and respect her and live a harmonious life." Other names associated with Wicca are Cybill Shepherd, Olympia Dukakis. Patrick Stewart (identifies as Gardnerian) and singer Avril Lavigne. Other possible followers are Camille Paglia, Deborah Harry, Gabriel Byrne, George Lucas, supermodel Rachel Hunter, Robert Plant, Vigo Mortensen, William S. Burroughs and Yoko Ono.

Expert Insight

  • Actress Fairuza Balk garnered public attention when she starred in "The Craft," a 1996 drama about a teenage coven. In real life, the young actress calls herself a neopagan and shared her knowledge of witchcraft with the producers of the film, going so far as to direct the design of sets to include elements authentic to pagan rituals. For six years, she also owned Panpipes Magickal Marketplace, a Hollywood metaphysical book and gift shop, but had to abandon it due to time constraints.

Misconceptions

  • There is a popular misconception that Wicca is a form of Satanism, even though Wiccan theology has no figure that resembles Satan. Because this notion persists, many Wiccans, including those who are celebrities, have chosen to not come out of the broom closet and make their beliefs public.

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