Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society


What is the role of individualism within the neopagan religious movement of Wicca? To answer this question, this research study was carried out in western North Carolina using participant observation and interviews with ten practitioners in 2021. This paper argues that Wiccan adherents cultivate an individualist agency that manifests through an openness to beliefs and practices. One of Wicca’s key characteristics is a lack of commitment to dogma. This allows Wiccans to bring aspects of their own identities and personalities into their practices. This individualist agency is shaped by solitary and collectivist forms of Wicca, which place value on liberating, anti-authoritarian, and creative modes of religious expression.

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