Carving out space for spirituality has been an important part of my growth into young adulthood. As someone who didn’t grow up with religion, I always felt somewhat spiritual and mystic, but wasn’t drawn to any major religion. Last summer after watching Anna Biller’s pulp film The Love Witch, I felt drawn to pick up texts on Wicca. Things clicked into place—finally, all my ideas about spirituality were being represented in a way I felt connected to. I have now been practicing and self-identifying as a witch for almost a year.
These portraits are of other witches in my community, many of them my best friends. While we all practice in different ways, we share a deep appreciation for the strange and mystic that connects us. Behind the Neon Curtain creates a space for expression of ourselves at our witchiest, sharing rituals and connecting behind closed doors.
Personally, Wicca has helped me get through some low points in my life, and helps me feel connected both to my fellow witches and the mystic parts of life. As witches, my friends and I each have our own talents we share with one another. I am adept at reading Tarot, one of us reads palms, and another one of us knows a lot about crystals and herbology. While we all practice in different ways, Wicca connects us to each other and the beyond. Finding this community has been one of the most meaningful things about my college experience and experience as a young adult thus far.
By Carly Rene Hough