Profile: Emma Robinson

Emma Robinson is a third year Creative Writing student at Falmouth, and she's also a practicing Pagan and member of the FXU Pagan Society. This week, we had a chat with her about her faith and what it means to her, and how gender and feminism comes into it! 

To start off with, can you tell us a bit about yourself? Why did you decide to study in Cornwall?

 I was born and raised in Falmouth and staying here for university just made perfect sense to me. I love Cornwall for so many reasons - the people, the art, the sea, the nature, and the fascinating historical sites. Right now, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Can you tell us a bit about what Paganism means to you?

To me, Paganism is a way to truly appreciate the amazing world that we live in. I consider myself to be a Green Witch, so I focus my practice mainly on nature and the earth. I’ve also found a sort of second family through the Pagan Society, so Paganism has really helped me find a place for myself in the world.

What’s your faith background?

My Dad is Christian, so I spent quite a lot of Sundays at my local Methodist church. I met some amazing people through the Sunday school there, but something always felt off. I didn’t know much about my Mum’s faith until I discovered my own, and then I spoke to her about it. Turns out she’s pagan too - she just practiced in a more solitary manner. I discovered my faith when I was about thirteen and have been exploring it on my own ever since, reading books and looking online. However, my practice has really developed over the past year or so since the Pagan Society was formed. Having said that, I am still, generally speaking, a solitary witch.

Do you feel like your gender has had any influence upon your personal religious beliefs and experiences?

Witchcraft always appealed to me from a young age because there are just so many badass witches in the media! From Hermione Granger to Willow Rosenberg, witches are so often presented as strong, powerful, intelligent women who make their mark on the world. I feel like the trope of an old, ugly evil witch is fading away. Obviously, these representations of witches don’t show what being a witch is actually like, but, as silly as it sounds, these characters are what got me interested in witchcraft and helped lead me down my spiritual path - so that’s got to be a good thing!

How do you think Paganism relates to issues of feminism and gender?

Witchcraft and feminism go hand in hand. Being accused of being a witch, historically, was a way to demonise strong women. For example, in the witch trials across Europe and America often the accused were lower class women who were “quarrelsome” or “aggressive”. Continuing on in history, witches were represented in books and later films as being old, ugly, haggard, evil and almost always female, despite male witches existing. However, as I mentioned in my previous answer, since the 80’s and 90’s the way witches are represented in the media has slowly been improving. So with all of that oppression and misrepresentation behind us, standing up and saying “I am a witch” is a bold and somewhat politically charged move. I find this article explains my point much better than I do, so give it a read if you're interested!

This profile was arranged with the help of our Women's Student Officer, Mackinlay Ingham