Australia: Teenagers place faith in witchcraft

More and more teenagers are signing up as trainee witches.

Witchcraft was once treated lightly in sitcoms such as Sabrina, The Teenage Witch and Bewitched, or demonised in horror films, but it is becoming increasingly mainstream.

In the last census more than 9000 Australians listed their religion as Wicca, the witchcraft branch of paganism.

The number of Wiccans has increased fivefold in the past 15 years and paganism as a whole is one of the fastest-growing religions in the country – 0.13 per cent of the population are believers.

Wicca is a nature-based religion, which celebrates events such as full moons and spring cycles, but it does not have a core orthodoxy. Believers practise white magic – mixing herb potions and casting spells – and perform rituals celebrating a goddess.

Rebecca Cox, 18, from Campbelltown, joined a local coven just over a year ago and goes by the pagan name Malaika Skye. She performs rituals in a park and casts spells with her partner, Ryan Thornton, whose pagan name is Tempest Storm.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday October 1, 2007.
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