My senior seminar group project allowed us to study every day individuals who considered themselves to be wiccans, or study alternative faith practices. In the beginning of our course, I along with the other members of my group thought that we might find young, Caucasian, women as a majority of our respondents who were willing to talk about their alternate faith. At first, I thought that this might have been because my friend who I wrote a separate blog post in reference to this topic fits this description, but throughout preliminary research it revealed itself to be a common expectation for us all. The photo above is the demographic chart from our final presentation of this research. Evidently, we were able to talk with a variety of people, and the diversity was admittedly unexpected. Aside from being raised Christian as a child, our sample pool didn’t generate any other demographic trends at a high level.  

When deciding which direction to take our literature-based research, I initially wanted to focus on Fascism. Many neo-pagan spiritualties and communities are based in Fascism, and this can be seen all throughout history. A lot of white supremacy and surrounding ideologies manifest in neo-pagan spaces, but this simply is not what we found in our interviews. Some respondents were specifically asked if they recognized the cultural practices of other ethnicities, and most if not all, said that they did not practice any spiritual rituals that they could not authenticate themselves. Now it did seem as though some practitioners were aware of the issue but found a way to talk around the topic all together, but most did acknowledge that they have seen the spaces and actively tried to refrain from becoming a part of those communities.  

Our entire project allowed us to see how nuanced spiritualty and the individuals who practice neo-paganism truly are. We realized that our respondents were not interested in alternative faith rooted in fascism, but rather to practice something that they felt answered all their questions unlike Christianity. Growing up, the adults in their lives would punish them or give answers that didn’t make sense when they asked about certain things pertaining to their Abrahamic religion. Wiccans have comfort in understanding nature as a source from which they regain spiritual power and feel whole within themselves. In fact, the physical element of the practice mostly dealt with nature. Being able to see various phases of the moon, see the seasons change, and understand the physical meaning of those phases allowed individuals, regardless or background or age, to have proof in what they were believing and practicing every day.  

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