Some people come to Wicca, or paganism in general, because of the way it’s portrayed in popular culture. Movies, TV shows, books and magazines tend to show us an image of witchcraft that’s heavy on magic, power, and getting one up on the school bullies. Consider The Craft, Charmed, certain characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the like.
These stories quite often portray characters who are perceived to be – or who perceive themselves to be – apart from the mainstream. In real life, those who don’t conform tend to find themselves socially excluded. In schools, which can be startlingly brutal environments, those who do not connect to the socially acceptable premise of whatever the heck it happens to be at the time find themselves on the edges. This may be somewhere they’re happy to be, or it may not.
And this doesn’t just happen to kids and teenagers. It happens to adults. And then they discover Wicca on the telly, where there are people who are just like them – outside the mainstream and socially excluded – who are being respected for the knowledge and power that they hold. And so they come to their local pagan group, and buy all the tools and buy all the books and learn everything… and still don’t get what they want, because they’re not really after the knowledge and the spiritual connection. They’re after the power and the respect that social acceptability will gain them.
Paganism is a lifelong spiritual path, and so we find that of those people that come to it, some will drift away again. Which is perfectly acceptable because paganism is all about following your own path, finding out where it is. Nobody can teach you where your path lies. You can choose to accept knowledge from others about where their path lies, but ultimately your journey is your own.