Religious witches (neopagans) in the "Charmed" universe?

In the universe of the TV show Charmed, witches are real magic-users and (as in the Potterverse) part of a whole underground society/world of supernatural beings. IRL, there is a neopagan religious movement whose adherents sometimes call themselves “witches,” especially if they follow Wicca. Like the Halliwell sisters, they call what they do “the Craft.” They do cast spells, but they’re much less flashy (and much, much less certain to work) than the Charmed Ones’; it’s more like saying a prayer. In any case, doing magic isn’t what the religion is mainly about. And of course, neopagan “witches” never fight demons and would not even acknowledge the existence of such – their mythology/worldview is completely different, with no supernatural agents of evil.

I wonder what would happen if one of these “witches” met the Halliwell “witches,” and what each would think of the other. Did that ever happen in any Charmed episode? I can’t recall one.

Please note: Neopaganism has a LOT of stuff under it. Some do believe in demons and such.

Just saying.

Cite? I read Drawing Down the Moon cover to cover and never ran across that. (It might have touched on Satanism, IIRC, but not even Satanists really believe in demons.)

I can only cite the many neopagans I’ve discussed demons with. Drawing Down The Moon is one book written for one flavor of neopaganism. The definitions of “witch” “neopagan” “pagan” and “wicca” change wildly depending on who you ask.

Back To The OP

I’ve met more than a few neopagans who were fans of the show. Many also liked Buffy’s Willow.

I don’t know the names of Charmed episodes, but the magic sisters have met our real world type witches a few times. I think they know about potions and spells and whatnot but can’t make them work. The magic sisters usually view these types of witches a bit dipsy.

At least once. In the Season Three finale, “When Hell Breaks Loose,” a cameraman catches the sisters’ spell-casting on film, providing the world of indisputable proof of the Charmed Ones’ magic.

The manor is shortly beseiged by all sorts of curiosity seekers, including a “coven” of wanna-be phony witches. One of them, Alice, breaks into the house and shrieks that she’s just like the Halliwells; they uncermoniously eject her. This may not have been the wisest move, since Alice apparently doesn’t REALLY buy into Wicca’s “'twill be done on you three-fold” philosophy: she climbs atop a van on the street and shoots into the house with a hunting rifle, mortally wounding Piper.

The Charmed series bears little to no resembelence to actual witchcraft. It was a fun series though.

As Doc said above, Drawing Down the Moon is one book, that usually is read by one flavor. There are many.

The breif period I was part of a circle, while Demons were not mentioned, we made sure to appease the Fay, invoked Angels, and their “counterparts” without saying Demon, and all manner of other fun stuff.

Granted, that bunch is viewed as a littler heretical (drawing and moving ‘power’ counterclockwise apparently skeeves out some folks) but we had fun.

What nonsense! Nothing is heretical unless it goes against the teachings of the One True Church! :smiley:

I can’t think of which episodes involve the subplot, but they’re friendly with someone who owns a shop for wiccans.

Moving power widdershins, or counterclockwise, is not only permissible but encouraged when doing banishing or releasing spells, most commonly during the waning quarter of the moon. Deosil, or clockwise, is used to generate power to manifest or bring forth things (It’s “sun-wise” so creative.)

Never watched Charmed myself. But I got a kick out of Willow’s frustrating experiences with the student pagan association at Sunnydale U. She calls them “Wanna Blessed Be’s”, and is basically told to stuff it when she suggests that the magick group do magick. That’s where she meets Tara, in fact.

Here’s a paper discussing real magick vs. Hollywood magic. It’s more about magic in Buffy than anything else, since it was written for a Buffy journal.

What’s the line, something like “any chick with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she’s in league with the Dark Ones.” Hee.

Yep.

:smiley:

Although, IIRC, there were several times over the course of the series, the one episode that leaps to mind was the first episode of Season 2.

The book was stolen by a demon so Phoebe bought some books from a new age shop, then Piper and Phoebe joined a group that was gathered together to harness the power of the equinox.

I believe Phoebe referred to them as “witch practitioners” (in that episode, anyway).

That something like “Speculative Masons”? (A word applied to gentlemen who joined the Masons’ Guilds for philosophical/ritual purposes, as distinct from “Operative Masons” who actually worked in stone – see here.)

Are you thinking of the shopowner from the fear demon episode of Season 1? She turned out to be an “actual” supernatural witch, so I don’t think that counts.

actual witchcraft”? :dubious: :confused:

Yes, actual witchcraft. Such as the Wiccan religion.

Actually, **DrDeth **brings up a good point, although I don’t think he meant to. “Actual witchcraft” aka Wicca, has absolutely nothing in common with the public image green skinned warty nosed witch, nor the gorgeous corseted blackeyed make-shit-fly-around-the-room and lightening bolts witch of Charmed, Buffy, The Craft or Practical Magic. So why do Wiccans (and some other neopagans) call themselves witches? Conversely, why do Hollywood writers include Wiccan elements - circle casting, four elements and directions, salt, etc. - in their Hollywood witches?

Why on earth do we use the same word for two very different things?

There’s some historic data that early Wiccans decided to “Reclaim” the word, the same way homosexuals reclaimed “gay”, “queer” and “faggot” (to varying level of success). Reclaiming, in theory, takes the power of a negative word away from hate speech and empowers those to apply it to themselves. But what I’ve never understood is: why “witch”? Why not “elf” or “fairy” or “Oompa-loompa”? We have as much in common with those as we do with this

The only theory I’ve formed is that we all like to be persecuted, religiously. Gives us a history, and a certain cachet. Since we’re so new, we don’t have a history of being oppressed, so we picked a false history, and take the emotional baggage of the witchhunts of European and early American “Wytches” as our own.

Total bullocks, of course. But it sells books and gives us something to bitch about around the bonfire.

And Hollywood, of course, is inundated not only with nasty letters from Wiccans who want “a more realistic portrayal of witches” (Umm…think about it. No, you don’t. No one is going to sit through two hours of watching a group of overweight housewives realign their chakras, dearie, not even you.) but they don’t know their history or religion either, and just muddy it all up further for the sake of a decent story and a share of the ratings.

Short answer would be that they do mean the same thing. http://draeconin.com/database/witchetymology.htm http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=witch

Now as to why Gardner chose that term for the religion he was creating, I couldn’t tell ya. :wink:

My guess on why Hollywood likes to incorporate the elements, it makes for great effects! Mysterious rituals, people chanting in a circle with black candles all around them and then bizarre shit happening…it just looks cool.

I’d love to have a good chat with you on the topic, but it strikes me that this isn’t neccesarily the best forum for it.