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The population of witches in America has grown a lot in recent years, but where is the best place for a witch to live in the United States? Is there a specific city that is most friendly to witches, pagans, and Wiccans?
The best city for a witch to move to if they want to be surrounded by other witches is Salem, Massachusetts. This city has a rich history with witchcraft and fully embraces that legacy. If you simply want to live closer to other New Age people, Seattle or Portland are good options.
Of course, many major cities in America are friendly to pagans and witches. You just have to be willing to find the community there and join in their activities. Whether you are a Wiccan, a shaman, a pagan, or a satanist, there is a home for you somewhere in the USA.
Rural areas can be less friendly to witches, but one can find and create a community of like-minded individuals even there.
The Astronomical Rise Of Witchcraft In America
Witchcraft and paganism have seen significant growth since the 1960s. Acceptance of our practices has grown since then as well. In fact, witchcraft has almost become mainstream.
While that leads to some unfortunate consequences like commercialization and companies appropriating our traditions, it does mean that it is easier than ever to find a community.
We all want to have a group where we feel safe and welcomed. For a long time, the lives of witches were fraught with dangers. If you revealed your secret to the wrong person, you could be shunned, ostracized, or even killed.
Witchcraft has become more popular all across the entire United States, but there are a few pockets where New Age practices are more common.
What Place In The US Has The Highest Population Of Pagans?
Broken down by regions of the US, here is what we learn from Pew Research Center:
- In the Northeast, New Age religions make up less than 1% of the population.
- In the Midwest, New Age religions make up less than 1% of the population.
- In the West, New Age religions make up about 1% of the population.
- In the South, New Age religions make up less than 1% of the population.
Really, no matter where you go, paganism is a minority religion. But there are some places where you are more likely to find other pagans and a vibrant pagan community.
With that information, the West is generally the most friendly part of the US for pagans, Wiccans, and witches.
Let’s break it down further and look at some of the major cities in the US.
- Seattle’s population is 2% New Age affiliated
- San Francisco’s population is 1% New Age affiliated
- Los Angeles’s population is less than 1% New Age affiliated
- Phoenix, Arizona’s population is 1% New Age affiliated
- Dallas and Houston’s populations are less than 1% New Age affiliated
- Minneapolis’s population is less than 1% New Age affiliated
- Detroit’s population is 1% New Age affiliated
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any information that reveals which state or city has the most pagans or Wiccans. According to Pew Research Center, the city with the most people that identify as a New Age religion is Seattle.
Absent from Pew’s information is Salem, Massachusetts. This is a well-known hub for pagans and witches, so it makes sense that Salem would have a substantial pagan community.
Another city missing from the data is New Orleans. This city has a large African diaspora community and a diversity of pagans, witches, and other religious populations. Many follow a syncretic religion that blends traditional African religion with Christianity.
Where To Move As A Witch Or Pagan
So if you’re looking to move and want to go somewhere very friendly to witches, where should you go? Consider these 6 locations before you decide!
Well known for its ghost tours and ties to Voodoo, New Orleans is a truly magical city with much to offer to all witches. Louisiana is known for having a high number of occultists, particularly in that part of New Orleans called the French Quarter. The French Quarter has been home to many people throughout history who have lived there under their own rules.
There are many witch stores and plenty of places to bump into other New Age spiritualists. If you want to build a community, this is a great place to do so.
In the French Quarter and all around the city, you will find people offering tarot readings, psychic revelations, herbs and crystals, and spells for you to try.
Voodoo’s practice was brought to the US by the slaves transported by the French to the New World.
While those slaves were forced to convert to Christianity, what really happened was the creation of a syncretized religion.
Marie Laveau was a prominent figure in the Voodoo tradition and lived in New Orleans in the 19th century. In 17, she had about 12,000 people attend rituals on St. John’s Day.
New Orleans is also the home of Hex Fest, a witchcraft conference that happens every year in August.
Some witches can find Salem a little unsettling. Due to its bloody history of witch killings, the witches of Salem have reclaimed that land. At the same time, they have embraced that history in a way that can come off as commercialized and gaudy to some witches.
If you don’t mind the theatricality and Halloween-store vibe that Salem can sometimes have, though, you won’t find a better place to meet other witches.
It seems like every street in Salem has some kind of witchy store. From t-shirts to arcane book stores, there is plenty to buy there.
If you want to learn about the history of witchcraft in Salem, museums and tours can help you do that.
Plus, there are many festivals in Salem that witches will love, including the Festival of the Dead.
New York City
As with many other cities, New York City is a diverse area. That includes religious diversity, with a growing population of witches. Yes, it’s true. New York City does have some decent places for someone looking to practice witchcraft or paganism.
Downtown New York has many pagan-friendly shops. From East West Books to Stick, Stone, and Bone, you will find shops overflowing with knowledge, curiosities, and good vibes.
A New York witch festival known as Witchsfest will be held via livestream and in-person in 2021. In addition, there are events like the Witches Ball and similar events that help keep paganism alive in New York City despite its dense population.
The Twin Cities
There are many safe spaces and communities for a witch to enjoy in the twin cities.
There is even what is known as the Witch District in South Minneapolis, with at least 8 businesses that create a home for witchcraft.
These businesses include Imbue Yoga, Women’s Woodshop, and Sea Wolf Tattoo.
Portland really embraces its weirdness, and witches thrive where weirdness thrives.
From the annual Witch Paddle to tarot-themed bars, Portland allows you to wear your witchcraft on your sleeve.
A little bit of witchiness is almost expected around Portland. If you don’t carry crystals or know herblore, someone might think you were odd!
Seattle has an extensive art scene, and that scene is full of witches, shamans, and pagans. Nature worship is common in Seattle, though many people are more spiritual than religious.
The Esoteric publisher Ouroboros Press is located in Seattle, as are many other witchy businesses.
The occult history of Seattle reaches back to the early 19th century when a Theosophical Society Lodge opened.