Women's History Month: Celebrating the Witches of Music

If you know me, you know I love magic. And in recent times, magic and witchcraft have experienced a renaissance in pop culture, including with shows from this decade like "American Horror Story: Coven" and "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" as well as a new appreciation for older movies like "The Craft" and "Practical Magic." Today, we celebrate the women of music who, regardless of whether they've publically spoken about practicing magic, evoke the same energy of independence, mystery, and otherworldly powers.

Stevie Nicks

The grandmother of all the witchy women in music, Nicks first became the subject of rumors she was a witch in the late 70s when she was working with Fleetwood Mac. Her dark shawls, twirling on stage, and love for allusions to crystal gazing and other psychic abilities in her lyrics cements her as the powerful matriarch of this musical coven.

"Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions"

 

Lana Del Rey

Lana's spellwork became the subject of some buzz in February of 2017 when she tweeted several dates and the cryptic "Ingredients can b found online." Pretty soon, the internet figured out the dates were nights of the waning crescent moon, and that Lana was encouraging her fans to help her put a binding spell on the recently-inaugurated Donald Trump. In an interview with NME about her then-recently-released album "Lust for Life," she was asked if it was true she had tried to hex Trump. Her response?  "Yeah, I did it. Why not? Look, I do a lot of shit."

"I'm crossing the threshold, from the ordinary world"

 

Aja

After finding fame as a contestant on season 9 of "RuPaul's Drag Race," rapper and drag performer Aja has been upfront about their practice of traditional brujería. After being invited back to the show for the "All-Stars" version of "Drag Race," Aja showed the audience in their Meet the Queens video some traditional elements of their practice, including tarot readings. Since being on the show, they've launched their music career, including an album released in early February and several singles paying homage to the craft, including the aptly-named "Demons, Witches, and Bitches."

"Straight from the coven, I conjure, I summon"

 

Florence Welch

She calls upon the winds before concerts, speaks about her magical experiences as a child, and the music video for her song "Shake It Out" is full of occult references. If you need any more proof of this woman's natural powers, below is a video of her summoning a storm at a live, outdoor event.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">florence welch summoning a thunder storm at the spotify event is the Witch level i soon hope to get to. <a href="/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://t.co/7u5rqdV1ND">https://t.co/7u5rqdV1ND">pic.twitter.com/7u5rqdV1ND</a></p>&mdash; sav luvs carol (@carolisgay) <a href="/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://twitter.com/carolisgay/status/1026290360044212226?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">https://twitter.com/carolisgay/status/1026290360044212226?ref_src=twsrc%...">August 6, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="/%3Ca%20href%3D"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js">https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

"I can see it with my third eye, and my touch, it magnifies"

 

Azealia Banks

Endlessly controversial though she may be, a list like this would not be complete without mentioning this rapper. In December 2016, wearing a pair of safety goggles, she went live on Instagram, proclaimed "Real witches do real things" and proceeded to use an industrial sandblaster to clean out the closet in her New York apartment she used for her live chicken sacrifices. No, for real. Complex called it "the grand finale to this bullshit year." Banks, like Aja, is a practitioner of traditional Latin American magic.

"Feel the roaring, ripping tide, slow as the azure day arrives"

 

Maggie Rogers

Perhaps the most recent inductee into the musical coven, Rogers released her debut album "Heard It In A Past Life" in January, chronicling her reaction to going viral with her spellbinding single, "Alaska," in 2016. Her lyrics evoke feelings of awe at the power of breath, nature, and the human spirit. She tweeted in February an article by NME written about a performance she did with Florence Welch, saying "BWE [Big Witch Energy] - it's a thing now."

"Oh, like everything was under a spell, now it's getting harder...I'm like falling water"

 

Stevie Nicks image credit

Lana Del Rey image credit

Aja image credit

Florence Welch image credit

Azealia Banks image credit

Maggie Rogers image credit