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“Gracious goddess, you for the queen of the gods, the lamp of the night, the creator of all that is wild and free. The mother of women and man. The lover of the horned god and empress of all the Wicca. Descend,” junior Elisa Wetz said as she cast a rain spell, using her wand and spellbook.
Using her handmade broom, only roughly 6 inches in length, Wetz sweeps away any grime covering her array of skulls, candles and her cauldron.
Wicca: (noun) the religious cult of modern witchcraft.
Wetz has practiced Wicca for the past four years. To Wetz, the religion is peaceful whereas people who are naive to the religion or don’t know necessarily know a lot about the religion; they view it as Satanism.
“When Wiccans go to pray, they go into the woods,” Wetz said. “They want to be around things like trees, wildlife and running water. It makes us feel closer to nature.”
In order to bring herself closer to nature, Wetz also casts spells and creates potions. Unlike “magic spells”, these spells center towards earth, air, fire or water. When a Wiccan casts a rain spell, he or she is praying for a good harvest. The significance of a love spell is to persuade someone to fall in love with the Wiccan praying. Praying for good fortune implies that you wish for a bright future.
“You really have to learn a lot if you chose this path of potions, spells and chants,” Wiccan Ariel Larrick-Bautista said. “It is very nice to learn about so many things.”
Wiccans, like every other religion, celebrate holidays. However, these holidays are associated with the lunar calendar. With lunar eclipses (the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow) come dressing your best and writing your own spell.
“This type of eclipse does not occur every year, but when it does it is a wonderful and magical night,” Wetz said. “This is a time when all of the magic can work together to honor the goddesses in a spiritual manner.”
Samhain, also known as Halloween to Wiccans, is recognized as the beginning of the cold season. This holiday is celebrated by Wetz and the fellow Wiccans in her coven, a group of Wiccans that practice together. In order for this holiday to be a success, the boundary between the living and the dead is at its weakest.
“We have a silent dinner,” Wetz said. “We [Wiccans] try to talk to family members or friends that have passed.”
In order to communicate with the deceased, Wiccans use the Ouija Board and Seances, spirits that go back and forth between the real world and the afterlife.
On a night when Wetz first became Wiccan, she turned over onto her side before the went to sleep. In the air before her was an orb of light. Wetz later determined that the floating light was her deceased uncle.
“[The light] made me realize that I’m very interested in this,” said Wetz.
To Wetz’s friend, junior Maddie Detomaso, it has made her much happier, but the religion has not changed her as a person.
“It’s just another religion,” said Detomaso. “Do people change when they convert to Christianity?”
Wetz also claims that it has not changed her, but the religion has made her want to become closer to the Earth.
“When I pray, cast spells or learn from my spellbook, I feel like I’m giving back to the Earth for all that it has done for me,” Wetz said.