According to Lynn "MagikCraft" Swain, the owner of metaphysical shop Quantum Soul on Franklin Street, the concept of paganism has been plagued by false assumptions throughout history.
Most pagan practices involve honoring nature and the natural cycles of the world.
Swain, who is a seventh generation spiritual healer, began her work as a medium, tarot reader and crystal healer at a young age and has done psychic readings with thousands of people.
“Everybody wanted me to read their cards, but people didn’t want to hear about witchcraft or being a witch,” Swain said. “They thought of it as evil, destructive, satanic.”
She said she feels that people are scared of paganism and witchcraft because it is something unfamiliar.
Although Swain practices witchcraft, she does not identify as Wiccan — a subset of paganism that often honors specific deities. She said she is able to honor nature and her ancestors through her own practice of paganism.
In the past, Swain said she has been prohibited from volunteering with children and publicly reported for practicing her own personal rituals, which were misconstrued as evil and satanic.
“People try to make it creepy and scary, when in reality it’s love and it's light and it’s non-judgment,” she said.
Samhain, an annual holiday celebrated on Oct. 31, marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the new year for many pagans. It is thought to be one of the celebrations that Halloween originates from.