Mano a mano formo questo cérchio- hand in hand I form this circle- A study of modern Witches in Italy and creation of community is a study of people practising a new religion called Wicca. The religion is a neo-pagan religion and the adherents worship nature and pre-Christian goddesses and gods. The practitioners often label themselves Witches. They celebrate rituals called sabbats that follow the yearly cycle of nature and in addition they celebrate rituals when the moon is full and in rituals they do what they call magic. It is possible to practice both alone and in groups, called covens. More and more individuals join this religion and in this thesis I have mainly been examining three things. First of all I have depicted their practice, why they became Witches and how. Secondly, I give an account of how they create a symbolic and cognitive community, which provides a sense of belonging. Thirdly, I see the practitioners in the light of modernity and see their practice as a creative response to what Giddens and Bauman call late modernity, characterised by insecurity, uncertainty, ambivalence and chaos. Even though the practitioners rarely meet, they still have a sense of belonging and this is made possible by symbols. Following Anthony Cohen (1985) and his Symbolic construction of community, I propose that the Witches' community is created symbolically. The symbols are ambiguous, which makes it possible for different individuals to identify with the same symbols. The important aspect of the symbols is that they make people believe that they believe in the same. Rituals are important as one of these symbols. Boundaries are created towards other groups and social entities, which reinforce the practitioner's identity as Witches and pagans and create in-groups and out-groups. This, in turn creates communitas.
Due to the Witches' magical worldview, I see Wicca as a creative response to modernity. Through magic the Witches take control of their lives. The magical worldview also helps them in explaining the world in which they live. Following Bauman (2001), this study shows that people need communities in modernity which are loose knit and give room for individuality.