Witches on the Rise

Survey reveals more Wiccans than ever

By Matt Bartosik
|  Monday, Mar 30, 2009  |  Updated 12:58 PM CDT
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Witches on the Rise

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There are more 'witches' than ever, and they can attend Witch School right here in Chicago... and no, it's not Shiz University.

According to a survey earlier this month, there are fewer people identifying with Christianity and with religion in general. However, it appears there are more witches than ever.

But don't expect to see a lot more pointy hats or bubbling caldrons.

Wicca was one of a few "new religious movements" that actually grew in membership since the American Religious Identification Survey was last published in 2001. There are now over one million more Wiccans—or, as they sometimes call themselves, witches.

Chicagoans can even attend Witch School, which has nothing to do with student-driving a broom. WitchSchool.com is headquartered in downstate Rossville, but courses are available online and in a few real-life Chicago classrooms, like the Life Force Arts Center.

"One of the things that we found is that people frequently did not have access to information and wanted to learn more about Wicca and metaphysics," co-owner Rev. Don Lewis told the Sun-Times.

By making information more available, CEO Ed Hubbard hopes to dispel the myths "that we're Satanists and that we belong to the devil. That's a big one."

I guess that means there won't be any nose-twitching or invisible cloaks.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and "between blogs" blogger, has no idea how to play Quidditch.

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