Next Thing You Know It’ll Be Vampires

Europe seems to be slowly allowing that there can be other “official” religions and philosophies besides the traditional monotheisms. England legalized Witchcraft way back in 1951 (opening the door for Gerald Gardner), Iceland recognized Asatru as an official religion in 1973 (with the rest of Scandinavia following soon after), Lithuania acknowledged their pre-Christian past once they threw off the shackles of communist rule, and Greece recently granted a Hellenic Pagan group the right to exist in the Orthodox-dominated nation. Now Romania joins the club.

“Romania’s first official witch was registered Monday after months of negotiations with the government that finally introduced witchcraft as a legal occupation. 31-year-old Gabriela Chukur will stay in history as the country’s first legal witch, after she registered a company dealing with “astrology and contacts with the spiritual world”, media reported. Chukur spent quite a lot of time arguing with various officials until she convinced them that witchcraft was a sound area of work. At first everyone laughed at her, but they finally caved in. Witchcraft is quite popular in Romania as many local people believe in the occult, especially in rural areas where legends of Transylvania’s count Dracula are still taken quite seriously. All over Eastern Europe women tend to believe in the powers of witches and some often resort to their help when settling a love score, healing a broken heart, or punishing a rival.”

It will be interesting to see how this affects religious Witchcraft in Romania. Will there be an explosion of public practice and media attention as there was in England during the rise of Wicca? What will be the end result in a country that very much believes in the supernatural? As for Europe, it would be interesting to see how much growth in modern Paganism/Heathenism there has been since the 1950s. Will everyone worry so much about the growth of Islam in Europe that they don’t notice the growth of modern Paganism?

Jason Pitzl-Waters