The Sitch on a Witch: What You Don’t Know About Witches & How to Become One

You may have seen Hocus Pocus, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or The Craft and dreamed of becoming a witch with powerful abilities. Unfortunately, Hollywood likes to be dramatic, so obtaining those abilities is most likely not realistic. But being a witch is so much more than what you see on TV. There is a vast history with witches and you’ll learn what it means to be one, and what is used for spells that you can do at home. 

Witch-hunts Targeted Women

Back in 1692 in Salem Massachusetts, hysteria grew when people, mostly single and widowed women, were accused of being a witch, able to pursue evil spells. What most people don’t know about this time is that there were diseases and war which created a fearful environment. But why go after mostly women? They believed that women who were promiscuous and went against the norm were witches. They believed that they were tormenting young girls in the town. The accused "witches" were then hung. This type of injustice against women is still happening today in Ghana. Women in a small village are being cast out because they are believed to be witches. The signs of being a "witch" are dementia, menopause, and mental health issues. You can read more about it here.

What it Means to be a Witch

There is no definite term on what a witch is, but there are people who identify as witches to this day. Some identify with a religion and some do not, practicing on their own. The widest known witch is also called a Wiccan. A Wiccan is a member of the Wicca religion, which is a pagan religion. Paganism is a broad term that umbrellas over several religions that are not the main ones like Christianity.  In Wicca, they believe in Gods and Goddesses and follow the Book of Shadows, filled with spells and rituals, created by Gerard Brousseau Gardner. Wiccans believe that our energies influence us, and they do not partake in negative magick. The “Threefold law” states that anyone engaging in negative magick will come back to them, like karma.  The modern-day witch is not evil or dangerous. Some witches may practice with mal intent outside of Wicca, but for Wiccan people, they believe in not harming others. Some witches do participate in covens, but it is not mandatory. In covens, there are traditions, rituals and the elder members act as teachers to newcomers.  There are many terms for different types of magick (it is spelled with a “k” to decipher between witchcraft magick and entertaining magic), such as natural, ceremonial, and Hoodoo magick. Natural magick is used with herbs and natural substances from the earth. Hoodoo magick comes from African roots. Hoodoo spells are mostly used for security and protection, which stems from the treatment that African-American slaves endured. 

Witchy person holding spellbook

Witchcraft

There are many ways you can do a spell at home. There are spells for love, protection, luck, and more.  Hoodoo magick uses herbs, oils, and other natural items but a common thing they use is candles. Candles work is used to create a peaceful and magickal environment. The candles can be used for evil intent, but they are mostly used for success, prosperity, mourning, and celebration. The color of the candles have individual meanings, pink represents friendliness and love, blue represents cleansing, brown represents recovery.  You can use natural magick too, by using herbs. Each herb also has individual meanings as well. Cinnamon, clove, and ginger are good for productivity. Rose and chamomile are used for healing, and rosemary, salt, and clove are used for protection. You can use herbs in various ways to use its power such as burning, making teas, and making a sachet to carry with you. There is much more information on specific spells and becoming a witch online and in books. 

Witches are not what most people think they are, they are not evil or dangerous and they have a deep-rooted history. What we know about witches today is that they have morals and principles that they follow to do good. Using magick can be fun and helpful, and can be easily learned. Feeling bewitched yet? 

 

Sources

Bess, G. (2015, September 23). Black Magic: Hoodoo Witches Speak Out on the Appropriation of Their Craft. Retrieved from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qkg93m/black-magic-talking-with-hoodo...

Easy Wiccan Spells For Beginning Witches. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.originalbotanica.com/blog/easy-wiccan-spells-beginner-witches

History.com Editors. (2017, September 12). History of Witches. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/folklore/history-of-witches

McVeigh, T., & Hammond, R. (2020, February 5). Cast out: the women of Ghana's 'witch' village – in pictures. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/gallery/2020/feb/05/cast-...

Murphy-Hiscock, A. (2018). The house witch: your complete guide to creating a magical space with rituals and spells for hearth and home. New York: Adams Media.

Murphy-Hiscock, A. (2018). Protection spells: clear negative energy, banish unhealthy influences, and embrace your power. Avon, MA: Adams Media.

Religions - Paganism: Wicca. (2002, October 2). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/subdivisions/wicca.shtml

Rossen, M. (2017). A Feminist Perspective on the History of Women as Witches. Dissenting Voices.