February 2nd, 2005

A Brief (A Very Brief) History Of Wicca

Religious movements swiftly go out of date. They begin by challenging the status quo, then, once society has caught up with them, slip into conservatism as they defend their aging insights against the onrush of the new.

Wicca began as a challenge to the mores of the 1950s. It was always a little old-fashioned- with a whiff of geriatric naughtiness- and was soon overtaken by the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It was reinvented in the 70s, by Starhawk and others, as a vehicle for left-wing protest and feminist assertion. Now, unless I'm missing something, there's nothing much left in it except a nostalgia for ye olden dayes.

Charmed is the monument erected over its grave. If the US entertainment industry thinks something is safe for the mainstream, you can be pretty certain it's no longer prancing and kicking.