I had a couple of readers ask for a post on Goths and Wicca; but before we begin, the usual disclaimer. Goth is not a religion, you do not have to follow any particular religion to be a Goth, Goth is not anti-religion, it is not about black magic or devil worship.
|Source: Silver-Pistols (Tumblr)|
Model: Ewelina Walecka, wearing a shirt from Restyle
Wicca is also known as Pagan Witchcraft, and is a peaceful religion involving the ritual practice of magick (with a 'k' to distinguish it from stage magic and pulling rabbits out of hats). Many of its followers, known as Wiccans, Witches or Crafters depending on their personal preferred term, adhere to a morality code called the Wiccan Rede, which is often phrased in different ways but summed up thusly: "And ye harm none do what ye will," which is a far cry from stereotypical assumptions about curses and such. If you think that witchcraft is about warty-nosed hags and flying about on broomsticks, you're very wrong. (For a more detailed description of what Wicca is and what its followers believe, please read this article on Wikipedia.)
Many Goths are attracted to Wicca because of its peaceful nature and because many aspects of Wiccan ceremony and culture are also important or interesting to Goths, such as the cycles of the moon, the celebration of Samhain (aka Halloween, known as the Witches' New Year, one of the main 'Sabbats' (seasonal festivals) in the Wiccan calendar), and its associations with nature. Many of the Sabbats and deities associated with Wicca have folkloric and historical roots that are often intriguing to Goths (for example, Celtic folklore is as interesting to some Goths as Egyptology is to others).
Stereotypically, it's often assumed that Goths who are Wiccan became interested in it because they thought that practicing witchcraft would make them seem more SPOOKY. Whilst there are probably a few misguided younglings who want to feel oh-so-wicked whilst waving about a Book of Shadows and a pack of Tarot cards, on the whole a Wiccan Goth has chosen such a path because it speaks to them on a spiritual level, just as someone might choose to become a Christian, Jew, Buddhist or Muslim. Not because you HAVE to do magick or practise witchcraft to be a Goth, or to enhance their Gothy image in any way.
Interestingly, some of the bands appreciated and loved by Goths are also popular amongst Wiccans, such as the Pagan rock band Inkubus Sukkubus, and the bands Dead Can Dance and Mediaeval Baebes. And the magazine Witchcraft & Wicca frequently features articles on alternative fashion (perhaps because those who are open to alternative fashion are also open to alternative religion, hence the crossover between the two).
If you are a Goth who's interested in Wicca, here are some resources you might find useful.
Witchcraft & Wicca Magazine
Available from the website or from your local occult bookshop (probably).
Konstantinos is a Goth musician and occult author, whose books Nocturnal Witchcraft and Gothic Grimoire focus on a darker, Gothier take on Pagan magick (which he calls Dark Neo-Paganism).
A radio and club DJ of Goth and Industrial music, who also penned the books Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture, and Shadow Magick Compendium. (Goth Craft, somewhat intriguingly, contains a section on how to express spirituality through clothing, hair, make-up and body modification).
Goth Magick: An Enchanted Grimoire
This book by Brenda Knight is 'packed full of DIY ideas, spells and rituals', and 'a fair look at darker and indulgent [Craft] ideas', according to Amazon reviewer L. Martin.
WitchFest is the largest Wicca and Witchcraft festival in the world, and has featured such performers as Inkubus Sukkubus and Eleanore and the Lost. It also boasts the Witching Hour club, playing 'the best in Goth rock and alternative music'.
Goth gossip: You may already know that The Cruxshadows are suing their former label Dancing Ferret over the small matter of unpaid loyalties; Siouxsie Law keeps us updated on how the lawsuit is progressing (and you can also check out their new single Valkyrie).