A witch reviews the third season of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and talks about what the show gets right and wrong

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/31/a-witch-reviews-the-third-seas.html


LOL at that last line. “They got most of it right except when they cast spells the spells actually work.”


modern, real-world witchcraft

Hmmm…maybe we should get an actual Jedi to critique the Star Wars films to compare them with modern, real-world use of the Force.

I guess everybody has their own woo, whether it’s Goop or the Pope or witches.



I suppose there are several fedora-wearing, cold blooded masters of logic on Reddit who don’t but other than that, yeah, everyone. It’s a human trait.

I don’t begrudge anyone their woo if it comforts them or helps them be a better person, so long as it isn’t harming anyone else and they aren’t pretending to have moral superiority over any non-believers. We’re all just trying to do our best, I suppose.


Their woo is that they have no woo.


So much for loving happy mutants that are Wiccans…


Yeah, this whole “let’s mock anyone who doesn’t (dis)believe as I do” shit is pretty tedious. Some people sure know how to make that joke about vegans, crossfit enthusiasts and atheists true on at least one of those fronts, and I am not talking about the vegans.

It’s almost like this need for mockery is compensating for something…


For me, as long as someone doesn’t believe something that is actively destructive to others and especially has the power to put those beliefs into action, I’m cool with other’s differing from me. In the list of people who I think are actively destructive, Wiccans aren’t even on the list. They are a bunch of lovely, earth worshipping happy mutants! What’s not to love!


I haven’t seen this show, does it purport to be a quasi-accurate representation of modern Wicca (which has really only been a thing since the 1940s/1950s) or does it merely draw from the same ancient influences that inspired the people who established that religion?


I would hope not, because there’s a whole lot of Satan in that show.


Right? Wiccans don’t worship Satan… But I think they’ve attempted to map Wiccan practices onto the magical practices in the show? But with Satan instead of whatever Gods or Goddesses a coven might invoke?

I haven’t seen the show, tho, so I’m speculating…


Yeah I mean, if you want to do the whole satanic witch thing, sure, fine, lots of horror movies do that. The VVitch was a great movie for that. But when they want to mix in actual Pagan/Wiccan practices with their black goat story… THAT’S where I object.


Yeah, not a fan of that, either. But our culture tends to assume that Pagans and Wiccans are satanic, because it’s so christian-centric.


The actual last line is not what Jandrese has said, and I think the contrast between Peg’s (perhaps rather flip, but still) statement:

and Jandrese’s is interesting. I think we don’t need to go out of our way to mock folks, especially in a situation like this where someone isn’t even making unsupported claims about the supernatural or dubious metaphysics. Peg would seem to be very explicitly making space for ritual and belief that do some meaningful work for people and communities without requiring a supernatural to justify them. That kind of take is very valuable!

See also, fierce atheist BB commenter about to give a cowworker a tarot reading probably after lunch.


My daughter wants me to mention that what she felt was the worst part of the show was a scene in the first season where the witches call upon actual historical women as “the witches of the past”. Anne Boylen and Hildegard of Bingen are called on. My daughter angrily said “so what, the only reason these women were great is because they were witches? Not because they were ACTUALLY intelligent, capable women?”


It mixes influences from here and there, but for the most part the “main” witches are more based on LaVey-style Satanists (black masses and such) than Wiccans, this season’s villains are traditional pagans who mocked the Satanists for being relatively new, and there’s a voodou queen that’s been thrown in somewhere.

They had issues with the Church of Satan for using a copyrighted Baphomet statue in season 1, but they’re generally pretty respectful of their source material.

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Your daughter is right… Ugh. Glad I never watched that show now…


I’d question if talking about the “accuracy” of a depiction of witchcraft is valid, not because it’s a belief system persay, but because witchcraft has been so many things in so many cultures, across so much time that I find it hard to say that Wicca as a belief system is distinct enough from other deceptions of witchcraft that this is a bit like… a naval expert trying to comment on the ships in Star Trek. Maybe fun and informative, but while they’re both ships, they’re not really enough of the same thing for accuracy to be a concern. Though I suppose if the show is trying to use Wicca as a source, that’s another thing. Bit like how Star Trek ships aren’t attempts at real ships at all, but their ranking system is.

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The show did a shoutout to Lovecraftian beasties this season. So I can’t be too harsh on it.
I’m only up to episode 3 and they already threw in a Deep One and Cthulhu spawn in there. Yay!