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 (personal communication, April 14,

1999). 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’ (1997, Bewitched online). 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 (personal
communication, April 14, 1999). 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 (1997, Bewitched
online). 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
(1998, A witches overview of Wicca online). 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 (Adler, 1997). 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 (personal communication,

April 14, 1999). 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 (see attached graphic one of Charmed
sisters). 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 (1999, Charmed online). 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 (1998, A witches overview of Wicca). 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 (1999,

Charmed online). 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 (Valiente, 1998). 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 (personal communication, April 13, 1999).

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 (1998, A
witches overview of Wicca online). 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