Menu

Photographs of Modern Witchcraft

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

Photographer Alice Smeets was born in the German speaking part of Belgium in 1987 and currently divides her time between Belgium and Haiti. Fascinated about documentary photography, she learned her skills by assisting the Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths. She received a distinction for her MA (Photojournalism at LCC) in 2010. She is focused on photographing social and cultural issues, at present concentrating on Haiti and spiritual religions. This work is from her series, Modern Witchcraft. This is her statement:

Modern Witchcraft is practiced across Europe, the USA and the rest of the Western World. It is extremely diverse; with beliefs that range widely from polytheism to animism, to pantheism and other paradigms. The largest movements of this self-termed Neo-Paganism are Wicca and Druidism; the followers of which call themselves Witches or Druids, sharing beliefs of Magic, Witchcraft and Nature’s Power. They respect their environment and celebrate eight Sabbats in the Wheel of the Year where they praise the divinities of nature. They often hold rituals – called Esbats – on the Full Moon. In part, they return to some of the old Celtic traditions.

While Wicca is a very young religion – formed by Gerald Gardner not more than 50 years ago, its roots are much older than Christianity. It has no relationship to Satanism, which is one of many misconceptions held by the public. Ancient pagan beliefs have begun to make their way into the Neo-Pagan community in many ways, making our spiritual path a very deep one, rooted and grounded in the very earth that supports us. From its origins in England it is now widely spread across Europe, America and the rest of the world. At the present time, Neo-Paganism is a large network of small communities with its own organizations, festivals, magazines, shops, workshops, gatherings and ceremonies. Witches can be found everywhere: in the supermarket, in the streets, as well as in our own neighborhood. And you would not know these Witches unless you were told who they were or were one yourself.

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

witchcraft-america alice smeets photography

Wonderful Machine

  • punkglamqueen

    Correction: I realise this was written in 2012 and it’s now 2015, but your calculations are still incorrect. If as you state modern Wicca was “formed not 50 years ago” that would mean Gerald Gardner published “Witchcraft Today” in 1962. It was published in 1954 bringing modern Wicca to the mainstream. He and others had already been practicing in secret for some years as there were laws in the UK banning the practice of witchcraft. If memory serves, they were repealed in 1953, which then allowed him to publish freely “Witchcraft Today”. The 60’s brought us quite a bit of a crazy mish-mash of witchcraft related books (some filled with lies, others truth, and yet more a mixture that if you knew could discern the truth out of the riddles.) Lovely photographs! Thank you for your statement outlining an accurate description of what I refer to as “the umbrella form” of Paganism.