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Witchcraft in Hollywood

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Witchcraft in Hollywood

It is said by many that Hollywood is persuasive. People see something on television or in a motion picture and believe that what is shown is, in reality, true. Misconceptions will occur, and unless people are shown evidence against the delusions, it will be taken as fact. In the past, many groups have been poorly represented onscreen. Organizations such as the mafia, the government, the military, spies, gods, monsters, and others are just a small example of those prejudiced. Since the misconceptions have occurred, much of the truth has come through for those mentioned. However, one topic that is repeatedly misrepresented in Hollywood is the practice of the Craft, more commonly known as witchcraft or Wicca according to Jeffrey Mann.

Witchcraft has been shown onscreen as evil, black magick, rather than a faith, and most people see spells cast by wiggling the nose or pointing a finger to be valid of the 'witchcraft fable'. Is witchcraft a true, spiritual religion, and if so, are people willing to tolerate it? Many are uninformed of the religious aspect of the Craft, and those that are believe it to be false or wrong according to Jeffrey Mann. In today's society, religious tolerance of different groups of people or cultures is extremely important. By understanding and accepting the differences of real versus imaginary using witchcraft as the prime example, people will be able to see these groups as part of actual society and not just a fictitious, magickal portrayal in entertainment such as Bewitched, Charmed, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Craft. Hollywood's portrayal of witchcraft in movies and shows is invalid. Now on reruns, the television show, Bewitched, was once very popular. Samantha and Tabitha are shown casting spells nearly every other minute of the half-hour. The show brought forth a revival of the knowledge of witchcraft. In history, before Christianity, Paganism was a primary religion in Europe. Witchcraft is a form of Paganism, just as Wicca, Shamanism, and others are. When the Christian religion was being formed, many Pagan beliefs were still used. The Pagan tradition of Yule, the winter solstice holiday, was to bring a live tree into the house and decorate it with food, balls, and a star on top to protect the household from the evil spirits. In the past century, a man named Gerald Gardener came forth with his ancestor's religious practice that has been passed down generation after generation called Paganism. He began bringing forth the Wiccan movement to modern witches according to Jeffrey Mann. Bewitched was made in the midst of the sort of 'coming out' of all that was practiced.

Romanticizing witchcraft started with Bewitched, and from then on, a new fetish of shows and movies had begun. The Warner Brothers Network recently aired a new hour-long show featuring three sisters who have just discovered their witchy powers. They are referred to as the 'Charmed Ones', which are the most powerful of a long line of good witches. Their mission is to protect the innocent against all evil. The show features many distinct realities of witchcraft. The show refers to the Book of Shadows, which is a book of memoirs, spells, thoughts, and goals, which must be handwritten and personal to that witch. The three sisters use this book for casting spells against evil, which is the basis for entertainment on the show. Freezing time, traveling to the past or future, and evaporating monsters are just some of the sisters' outlandish powers. Religion has no part in the hour that the sisters are fighting the darkness. Witchcraft, in reality, has no 'natural' witches as implied in Charmed. Having 'power' is a belief that comes from within your soul, not from genetics. The power of spells to witches is like the power of prayers to Christians. If Charmed was based on three Christian sisters, the show would be primarily about how they pray and have immediate and obvious results according to Jenn Vinson. Clearly, both concepts are not accurate. Praying in all religions has results personal to that worshipper, just as casting a spell is to a witch. It is implied that spells are the most important part of witchcraft, which is false. Casting a spell is not necessary to be a witch; many witches are solitary and chose to practice without the use of spells. Although Charmed uses many of witches' tools for spells, and practice, its accuracy is severely skewed in the portrayal of the religion of Wicca, or witchcraft. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a children's show aired by ABC on Friday night's hotspot. A high school student, named Sabrina, uses her magick to cause more blunders than not. Although sophomoric, the show does not focus on evil, darkness, or the devil. Sabrina must keep her practice a secret; neither her boyfriend nor her best friend knows the truth. Keeping her Craft a secret is the entertainment along with turning the school bully, Libby, into frogs and other animals. In reality, many that practice Wicca are secretive. It is not because of shame, but rather that others do not understand.

Nothing is meant to be harmful, however, many unforgiving people in this world condemn for a religion they know little about. For example, it is said that witches worship the devil. This is not only ridiculous, but also wrong. Witches believe that God is everything and everywhere, just not merely a distinct entity. All Gods and Goddesses are one God, and by calling him a different name than other religious followers do, will neither make him angry or damning. Witchcraft is moral and ethical, which nearly all religions are based upon. Sabrina is a good student, niece, and friend who chooses a different spiritual path to follow. Although Sabrina the Teenage Witch is cute and humorous, religion has little if no part in the show, unlike some more adult portrayals. The focus of evil in the motion picture, The Craft of Columbia Pictures, is the leading misconception of the film. By far the most accurate in the portrayal of the Wiccan religion, the movie follows the beliefs of four high school girls that have discovered the Craft according to Jenn Vinson. Using all religious tools such as the pentacle in their practice, the girls focus on practicing the nature religion. Experimenting with spells, reading materials, and keeping personal Book of

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