With the rise of the #MeToo and feminist movements, women are searching for ways to stay empowered. One solution they are turning to is modernized witchcraft. Women use the outlet of ritual, spells and other magical practices to fuel their inner goddess.
One reason behind the movement is to flip the script on witches. For centuries, most of mankind has deemed suspected magic users as evil and chaotic, and women became the perfect victims, most prominently shown in the Salem witch trials. Fourteen women were hung and more were accused, and many historians note the accusations may have come from the Puritan belief women were more susceptible to succumb to the devil.
Ladies, sounds familiar, right?
Women are typically under more scrutiny than men with society telling women how to act, how to dress, how to behave and the list goes on. Modern day witchcraft tosses societal beliefs out the window to allow practitioners to create their own magic. They even celebrate getting older, something a lot of women could use! The craft has appealed to many as a form of self-care and is growing popular after shows like “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Spellman,” “The Craft” and “Charmed.”
However, these shows do not represent the real practice of modern witchcraft. A quick dive into the basics reveals what it looks to be a witch in 2019.
Magic vs. Magick
First, let’s establish this.
Magic is for magicians practicing illusions.
Magick is for practicing witches to harness their energy to create change.
Many modern magick practitioners are Wiccan, a type of religion that accepts and practices magick, as they see it as a law of nature. Not supernatural, but more like gravity. Practicing rituals or spells, therefore, means influencing a level of reality.
Not all witches are satanists, as the new Sabrina Spellman series would have you believe. Some do though, and it is their choice. Wicca revolves around paganism, and sometimes, the demons from other religions are the gods or goddesses of Wiccan.
Witchcraft is just the practice of magick, so your belief system can be whatever is right for you. Some witches are even Jewish, Buddhist or Christian.
Another aspect of modern day witchcraft is covens.
“American Horror Story: Coven” and Spellman have shown a dramatic take on covens. While it varies between groups, modern covens will perform rituals, ceremonies, celebrate festivals or holidays together and socialize. In reality, witches join them to have a sense of community in their faith, just like any Christian church or Jewish synagogue.
Plus, witches don’t show up at your doorstep or get in your face to recruit you.
Types of Witchcraft
Witchcraft is not a one-size-fits-all.
There is a long list of different witchcrafts, so personal investigation is encouraged. Some common types are:
Green: focused on earth, nature and the elements.
Hedge: natured-based featuring shamanism, midwifery, healing and astral projection.
Dianic: neo-paganism focused on a divine female goddess.
Kitchen: focused on using herbs and natural specimens to typically help regular people.
Gardernian: focused on the traditional Wiccan religion founded by Gerald Gardner.
There are also many supplies and tools utilized to practice magick, including but not limited to:
Gemstones or crystals used to provide different energies and protection.
Salt also creates protection against evil spirits.
Herbs and flowers used to affect rituals and potions as well as symbolize ideas like purification and protection in sage.
Cauldrons as well as mortar and pestles help create said potions and rituals.
As far as casting spells, there is no straight answer, and this is where research, practice and comrades or mentors come in handy.
In exercising magickal practices, it is important to keep in mind the Wiccen Rede: “It harm none, do what ye will.”
One last thing to note is that witchcraft is not just for women. Witch is actually a gender-neutral term, and the culture is open to anyone of any orientation, in case you couldn’t tell.
Just like any self-care routine, do your research to find out how to best practice for you. Now, go be magickal!