Why Are We So Popular?

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  September 8, 2005 — 3 Comments

What is the allure of modern Paganism? Would you believe a Christian has the answer? The Edmonton Sun reviews a new book by Christian author Catherine Sanders that examines why modern Paganism is so darn popular.

“Magazine journalist Sanders used a work assignment on the intriguing subject as a starting point to explore America’s growing interest in Wicca, a complex spirituality rooted in nature worship, gods and goddesses, rites, rituals and feminism. A Christian herself, Sanders asks whether paganism has flourished as a result of the church’s shortcomings in regard to nature, the environment and women. She also looks at how Christians view Wiccans and their beliefs. What you get is a thought-provoking and open-minded discussion of spirituality in the 21st century. It’s a great resource for parents trying to understand why their teenager has suddenly started to wear all black and dance in circles around the backyard trees”

From the official book blurb:

“With keen observation, challenging insight, and compassionate critique, Sanders produces a lively narrative about what she experienced and discovered during her travels: Halloween rituals in Salem, anti-globalization protests in New York, and the contrasts between what seekers find in neo-Paganism that they perceive as lacking in Christian tradition. In Wicca’s Charm, Sanders explains the powerful attraction of an increasingly mainstream spirituality that celebrates the wonder of creation and the life-giving energy of women while also exploring why Christian churches often fail to engage these seekers, but how they can learn to tap into the deep roots of Christianity to nourish the hunger of so many who seek a holistic and authentic worship experience.”

Those seeking to parse the promotional language. The book points out why these poor souls are forced to turn to Paganism and how good decent Christians can win them back if they would only tap the “deep roots” of Christianity. This whole thing smacks of a kinder, gentler, version of hack-written books like “What’s The Deal With Wicca”, “Dewitched”. and “Witchcraft Goes Mainstream”. If you think I’m being unkind to a book I haven’t read check out this transcript from her recent appreance on Tucker Carlson’s show.

“They believe in?they don’t actually believe in absolute good or absolute evil. They believe in spirits and they believe in the spell casting and they believe in being able to control essentially powers that be. It’s kind of like Native American spirituality in a way…. they believe that they can, you know, control the spirit world essentially…I interviewed one girl…she was trying to cast a spell and she ended up having a very negative experience. She said she felt this flutter of unprotected power. It was very frightening but she says she wants to still practice it because it’s meaningful to her…I went to this one feminist gathering where they had sort of the goddess market downstairs where they just feel like they can get in touch with their feminine side and that’s why it’s popular.”

So it seems the publisher is trying to soft-peddle this normally fringe Evangelical type of book to a wider market. Because quotes from the publishers blurb like this:

“…found that the lure of this emerging spirituality was not the occult but rather a search for meaning in an increasingly fragmented and materialistic culture.”

Don’t quite vibe with her statements in the live interview.

“They believe in spirits and they believe in the spell casting and they believe in being able to control essentially powers that be.”

If you are looking to understand Wicca or the allure of modern Paganism this isn’t the book for you. I await the day when a book like this doesn’t try to play that old Christian hymn that still gets ’em going in the pews “you worship the creation and not the creator”.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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