You might also need to know what an archetype is but for the sake of making this post as easy to follow and understand as I can, we’ll go with the simplest definition : a very typical example of a certain person or thing. Of course this very typical example will only be so to you but you’ll understand when we get more into this.
Spirituality can sometimes be a touchy subject. It can make people uncomfortable whether that be because they are met with the challenges of someone disagreeing with their religious views or maybe it makes them question their religious views. Either way it isn’t always an easy topic to discuss. Of course it’s made much easier, in my experience, when your views are way to crazy for most people to really grasp, let alone try to understand.
This is where Pop Culture Paganism really comes into play. Pop Culture Paganism (PCP) is the use of pop culture characters and stories as either an approachable face for traditional Pagan deities and powers, or as a substitute for more traditional powers
and mythologies. [x]
It can be really confusing for your guest when they come to your home and see devotional style candles with popular characters and figures on them instead of the common saints or other religious figures. Most people will write it off as a quirky / weird fashion statement or decor piece but sometimes they’ll ask you about it and then immediately regret asking after you say the words “Pop Culture Paganism” or “pop culture magick” <– which is something completely different that you can read about here.
Some may argue that you can’t have a fictional character like Batman be your spirit guide because it is not a spirit, it is a made up person [superhero]. I would argue against that because a spirit is the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character; the soul. So it wouldn’t be too “out there” to think that a character (even a made up one) wouldn’t still have a spirit or soul. This character still feels, does it not? This character still has characteristics that set it apart from other characters. So this would make it a spirit.
Of course pop culture paganism isn’t just about made up character but can also incorporate real celebrities into the practice. An example might be someone calling on the spirit of Amy Winehouse to help guide them through a battle with addiction.
And then we have to differentiate between a spirit guide and an archetype. Many might get this confused (I know I did at one point) because they may seem like one in the same but they are very different.
A spirit guide is there to guide you and [sometimes] teach you. An archetype is almost similar to
personifying which means to represent or embody (a quality, concept, or thing) in a physical form.
So you might say that Cher Horowitz (from the movie Clueless) is your throat chakra archetype or you might personify your throat chakra as Cher Horowitz. You have now given a typical idea or theory (that being the throat chakra) an identity to better help you connect with, balance and work with it.
I would say, by definition, pop culture pagans aren’t worshipping anything new by using someone like Beyonce or Snow White as their Goddess representation but instead personifying this idea of Goddess (or divine feminine) by giving it a physical form of representation. I really wanted to clarify that really quick just so that I do make it clear that pagans aren’t, at least this pagan isn’t lol, worshipping actually people I am just using them as representation of the divine.
You can find these candles and more on Etsy by searching ‘saint candles’, though I’d suggesting making one yourself. It’s not hard. Print a photo, cut out from magazines or create a collage on your computer (polyvore is a great site to do this) and then print that out and mod podge or tape it to your candle. Super simple. Also these candles can usually be found at your local Dollar Tree.