Azealia Banks Among Young Women Finding Power in Witchcraft
Azealia Banks turned heads on Twitter again, openly discussing her religious beliefs as a practicing witch, a faith that has long promoted feminism.
Recently, Azealia Banks, a popular and often controversial rapper, stirred up some religious groups’ backlash with a tweet about her faith in witchcraft. Azealia Banks was blunt stating, “I’m really a witch,” on her Twitter account while she was reflecting on the beliefs of her ancestors before they were brought to this country. She maintains (correctly) that prior to coming to America, Africans held beliefs drastically different from the Western Christian beliefs that were forced upon them once they were removed from their homeland and sold into slavery in America.
During the ‘70s, feminism was gaining momentum, and alongside it, the practice of “witchcraft” was also growing quickly. In a society and time that is largely dominated by patriarchal males, witchcraft offers empowerment to women and offers the consolation that one is part of something greater than she is. Commonly, Wicca has offered a conduit for women to experience a different kind of spirituality that is focused on a goddess. Women around the world have found Wicca to be an empowering, centering religion with an emphasis on being the author of your own destiny. For women throughout the ages of male-dominated societies, witchcraft offered a tantalizing taste of power and self-discovery, an escape from patriarchies around the world. Today, stars like Azealia Banks are helping revitalize witchcraft in the modern era.
Both Wicca and feminism have caused ripples of dismay throughout a variety of other religious communities. Wicca is the modern incarnation of a very old religion that has been empowering women for centuries. So many women are beginning to again identify with the iconography of goddesses that it may be interpreted as a sign of feminism finding a resurgence through an old faith.