Sunday, October 7, 2007

Witchcraft not wicked

"The overall finding was that teenage witches are engaging in witchcraft for positive life affirming reasons. (It) helps them make sense of the issues they are experiencing," Professor Ezzy said.

"They are not fighting demons, as is sometimes displayed in popular media. Really there is nothing to be afraid of. The amount of witches is now roughly the same size as Mormons."

Two researchers have interviewed 90 teenage witches in Australia, England and the US to find out whether they have a broom in the cupboard, a cloak upstairs or any spells on the boil.

They found that teenage witches, including both girls and boys, use witchcraft positively to help deal with issues that young people face every day while growing up.

Professor Ezzy said witchcraft was a form of paganism, which worships nature and celebrated the harvest festivals.

He said that there was a huge increase in witchcraft in the late 1990s when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed hit television screens. Professor Ezzy said the shows tapped into a need expressed by teenagers to find something more spiritual in life.

He said that he and his co-author Helen Berger found that witchcraft was not seductive but instead empowering and offered personal development for teenagers.

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