Buffy is dismissive of traditional religion and almost all portrayals of religion on the show are either tied to the forces of evil or used as sources of humor. One thing worth noticing is the way the show portrays the religion of Wicca.
Like any other organized religious groups Wiccans are treated to mockery as seen in the episode Hush. In this episode the character Willow joins a group of Wiccan’s thinking they can help her growing understanding of magic. However, she finds they have no real clue about the things they are talking about and are more concerned with things like bake sales and other superficial matters then discussing any greater truths, Willow is in fact mocked for bringing up mystical matters by the rest of the group. This fits in with the usual trend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to present a negative portrayal of religion.
However in terms of personal practice Willow and her lover Tara are both constantly shown living by the principles of Wicca and it is usually portrayed in a very positive light. Willow is able to use Wicca to become a figure of true empowerment reaching potential she had never imagined she possessed before. Willows Wiccan practices are tied in with her growing understanding of magic as she transforms from a timid girl to a powerful woman and by the end of the series serves as something of a goddess figure. Buffy the Vampire Slayers portrayal of the Wicca religion and magic has become one of the things Christian religious groups have most criticised about the show. Some studies have suggested that the portrayal of Wicca in programs like Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been one of the factors leading to increasing abandonment of Christianity by women unsatisfied with the church. For information on this check out the link below.
Seen below is a clip from the Simpsons satirizing the effect of Buffy on Wiccan culture
It is important to note that the shows version of Wicca drastically deviates from the realities. What Willow actually practices would be called magic not Wicca. Wicca is a religion first and a system of magic second while on the show it is oven treated as the reverse. Buffy the Vampire Slayer rarely deals with actual rituals
Sources used for this page are
Winslade, J. Lawton. 2001. WinsladeTeen Witches, Wiccans, and Wanna-Blessed-Bes: Pop-Culture Magic in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Slayage 1 (January): 1-7