My interest in “witchy” things hasn’t been that big of a secret, at least not with those close to me (outside of family, though). It’s an interest that has waxed and waned over the years, but recently has definitely growing. There are some compelling reason as to why witches, the archetype of The Witch, and witchcraft have drawn me in recently.
For the sake of this, I’m using “witchcraft,” unless otherwise specified, to represent that threefold aspect of the practice, the archetype, and the aesthetic.
Witchcraft is intention. Moving, being, acting with intention.
This is something that has resonated with my Quaker roots (and yes, I’m still an active and practicing Quaker). We speak of doing all things in the Spirit. It’s why Quakers do not do sacraments or rituals, typically, because everything is to be done in remembrance and at the level of “ritual” or an act of worship. It’s not something that I do or remember all the time, but this idea that no one thing is higher in God/The Divine’s eyes than another.
Acting with intention means being cognizant not just of what I am doing, but why am I doing something. It invites me to look beyond myself and consider that ripple effect of how my choices, behaviors, and actions flow from me. It’s a process of mindfulness that has been missing in this day to day trudge of just getting through.
Witchcraft is about power. Reclaiming, creating, honoring that personal empowerment.
You can, and people have, write whole books on the reclamation of power associated with witchcraft and The Witch. This is especially true when you look at The Witch through a feminist lens. She is the person in the margins, too often demonized because she does not conform to the patriarchal societal norms. Often she represents “forbidden” knowledge (the midwife was seen as a witch because of her knowledge of the woman’s body).
The Witch often attracts those who feel abandoned by mainstream society — from The Craft’s famous line, “We are the weirdos, mister!” The archetype of the witch becomes the champion for the outcast. For me, it means not only accepting my “weirdness” or my “brokenness” but also honoring it as a piece that makes me whole. In a society that is actively criminalizing bodies, saying that people’s mere existence is wrong and in some cases illegal — it’s actually a little terrifying. Who wouldn’t want to fight back, maybe strike some fear into the oppressive system and its leaders?
To me, there is nothing antithetical of witchcraft and my personal faith and beliefs. If anything, I feel more connected to my faith. This hands-on aspect helps me slow down and, again, be more intentional about my actions and prayers. (To me, I see no difference, in their fundamental structure and intention, between prayers and spells.) I use tarot for reflection. Correspondences of stones are physical reminders of mindfulness. A lot of my books have the same recipes as you’ll find out there for a lot of DIY home and self-care. They have face scrums, floor cleaner, wines, soups, incense, shampoos — all using herbs and oils that are fairly easy to come by (thank you internet).
It may have taken me a while to come to accept and actually be ok with the label of “witch.” Yet, looking at the history, the sociocultural implications — yes, hello, I’m a witch.