Pat Devin is a high priestess and Public Information Officer of Covenant of the Goddess and an elder Priestess of the Dianic Feminist Sparatist Traditon.
Asked how authentic and truthful were the depictions of witchcraft in the movie The Craft, Devin notes "It's a motion picture; it's not a documentary, and I did what I could from my end, keeping in mind that the movie deals with four young women who begin to play with magic, and essentially create their own deity. They are not practicing the religion of Wicca. It's sort of 'Girls just want to have fun' - girls just want to play with magic."
"This is a very common with young women, and probably has been since there have been young women. It's like 'If I light a red candle, will he love me?' - that kind of folk magic. Some of the practices that are shown in the movie are actually, in that sense, fairly authentic, and I created some reasonable sounding chants".
The movie included a number of elements for dramatic effect: "They're levitating and doing all kinds of things," Devin notes. "Much, much more interesting thatn the average Wiccan circle, I might add, where people generally don't levitate or cast balls of lightning around, or have a hundred and fifty million snakes in the room.
"Reality tends to be a little tamer. The highest drama you tend to run into in an average Wiccan circle would be like who gets the last piece of chicken at the feast."
One of the things that moved her about the script, Devin says, was "the fact a number of young women do become involved with magic in a search for sense of control or power in their life.
"When I was sixteen, I was reading Sybil Leek (this was back in the '60s) and experimenting, so it's not just this generation. Look what happened in Salem with the young girls doing fourtune telling. It was the same thing. Young women have, I think, a particular propensity, especially for charms to attract the love of their life; that just seems to be a real big theme in young adolescent girls.
"We used to do a skip-rope when I was aboug ten-years-old that went 'Gypsy, gypsy, please tell me, who my true love's going to be'. It all ties into that, and lighting red candles because you love the boy down the hall".
On of the actors in the film, Robin Tunney, commented to Devin, "I notice we dont talk about the Goddess in this script at all". Devin says that a major aspect of the religion of Wicca, one of the things that sets it apart, is the focus on the Goddess, but in the movie the girls have created their own deity, whom they call Manon.
"Did you see [the movie] 'Manon of the Spring'?" Devin asks. "I kept joking they were invoking the spirit of a vengeful blond French girl. It turned out the screenwriter got the name from that movie. We intentionally decided to stay away from what I would call a 'real' deity like Kali, or Hecate, because I did not feel it was appropriate to invoke a potentially living deity for the amusement of masses.
"And I don't want a bunch of teenagers invoking Hecate when they don't know what they're doing. It's disrespectful and believe me if she shows up and you don't know what to do, you don't want her there."
Robin Tunney had wanted a Goddess chant for a scene, so Devin wrote a chant that, she recalls, went something like "Goddess of healing, let it begin, beautfy of spirit, beauty of skin, beauty without, beauty within, Goddess of healing, let it begin".
One of the basic tenets of Wicca, Devin explains, is the "law of threefold return, which is what you send out you get back three times over. If you think Karma is bad, wait 'til you start playing with magic if you don't know what you're doing. How often in a movie script do you even hear there is an ethnic to magic?"