Celebrity Pagans and Wiccans

Godsmack Sully Erna
Godsmack singer Sully Erna is an initiated member of the Cabot tradition. FilmMagic / Getty Images

Periodically, there are news stories in which someone famous–usually an actress–is speculated upon, with people wondering if she (or the occasional he) is Wiccan or some other sort of Pagan. It's usually because the celebrity in question has made some sort of speech or said something in an interview that could be construed as Pagan-friendly.

More often than not, though, the rarely confirm it, though. Here's the thing with "celebrity Pagans." You've probably noticed that if a celebrity makes any reference at all to anything outside of the Mainstream Religions, they're automatically tagged as Pagan. For years, rumors have floated around about singer Stevie Nicks being Wiccan, despite the fact that she has in fact repeatedly denied being so. This is more than likely because of the elaborate Pagan imagery in her videos.

Likewise, a while back Cybill Shepherd made an acceptance speech in which she "thanked the Goddess," and people just went crazy over it–is she Wiccan or isn't she? Or is she just someone who accepts the polarity of the Divine? However, in 2014, Shepherd publicly identified as a Christian... but that can encompass a wide variety of things, and there are certainly some Christians who also honor the divine feminine.

Honestly, it's no one's business.

A few years ago someone blogged a list of "Hollywood Celebrity Pagans," and it was kind of silly, because it had everyone one it who wasn't Christian or Jewish. Richard Gere showed up on there, and he's said for many years that he's a Buddhist. Madonna was on that list, and she's a former Catholic who, at the time, had decided to follow Kabbalah. It also had plenty of Young Hollywood people on there who were mostly just Goth-y types, but that doesn't make them Pagan.

Also, bear in mind that there's a need to set and follow trends in Hollywood. Remember when all of a sudden everyone had those little red Kabbalah bracelets on?

Can you imagine the stampede if some A-lister like Angelina Jolie said she was a practicing Wiccan? Everyone would be sporting diamond-encrusted pentacle necklaces from Harry Winston.

So far, only a few celebrities have actually come out and said they are Wiccan or any other form of Pagan. Godsmack singer Sully Erna has been publicly Wiccan for a long time, and was initiated into the Cabot tradition by founder and High Priestess Laurie Cabot. Erna has said that he hopes to use his position to help educate others about what Wicca really is:

The prejudices are hard to fight. It's pretty sad. People don't seem to have a clue, but, on the other hand, it gives me a chance to explain things to them. I'm not trying to convert them; I just want them to understand that Wicca has nothing to do with black magic. It's not about turning people into frogs or practicing black magic.

Actress Fairuza Balk became intrigued by Wicca while filming The Craft. She is now openly Pagan and owned an occult store called PanPipes in Los Angeles for several years. The store's website says that Balk bought it in 1995, but according to UpRoxx, she sold it in 2001.

There are a couple of authors who have come out as being Pagans or Wiccans as well, including Laurell K. Hamilton. Actress Gabrielle Anwar, of Burn Notice and The Tudors, has self-identified as Pagan.

There's been speculation for years about singer Stevie Nicks and her beliefs and practices, due in no small part to her song Rhiannon, which is about a witch. Nicks uses a lot of fantasy imagery in her stage shows and videos, but consistently has stated that she is not Wiccan. Likewise, singer Tori Amos incorporates a lot of goddess figures into her music, but has never publicly stated that she's Pagan, Wiccan, or anything else.

An important point to make is that just because someone is a celebrity doesn't necessarily mean they should be "outed" as far as their belief system goes. Most of us would never out a fellow coven member who was in the broom closet, and likewise, we shouldn't be outing people we don't know personally, either. It's fine to speculate, but that's really all it should ever be. If some celebrity wants us to know what their belief system is, their publicist will let the whole world know.