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Drifting Away from the Hocus Pocus: The Reality of Today´s Witches.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

 Witches have become a topic of cultural, spiritual and even feminist interest in some parts of the world. However, this is a topic that’s “never out of fashion,” you only need to count how many witch costumes we see during Halloween night to confirm it. For this very reason, it is important to highlight that the concept of “witches” has been evolving significantly over the years across different cultures and perspectives.

Likewise, the concept of witchcraft goes much further than what was thought years ago. So much so that we can see it reflected in many aspects such as spiritual practices, feminist movements, and even on a daily basis through films, books, and among other works.

So, here are some of the most famous phenomenons associated with witches and how present they are in our society today.

Witchcraft as a Spiritual Practice

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Today, many people identify themselves as a witch or a person who practices witchcraft as a form of spirituality. Which can include tarot, astrology, and rituals, as well as some methods of connecting with the spiritual, or that which goes beyond, such as magic. Most of these people do it as a form of personal empowerment, a way to grow, and evolve both emotionally and spiritually in order to heal.

Witchcraft as Feminism

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The figure or symbol of the witch has been similarly adapted by various feminist movements. Under the concept that these are symbols of resistance against the oppression of women and the historical background that engulfs it during the times of “Witch Hunts.”

This is why some use the term “Feminist Witchcraft” to empower women and, in this way, challenge patriarchal structures.

Witchcraft as Popular Culture

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Culturally, the way most of us first hear or learn about the term “witches” is thanks to movies or television series. Some of these being Hocus Pocus (1993), Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012), Charmed (1998-2006), and Twitches (2005), to mention a few.

However, these representations are mostly focused on and directed towards the magical and mysterious aspects. Which means that, more often than not, they are increasingly distant from what the real practices of witchcraft are.

Witchcraft and its products


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As mentioned before, the term “witchcraft” is used in various ways today. Given its increase in popularity, it has opened a market for esoteric products, including candles, crystals, tarot cards, herbs, and many others.

These esoteric products are used for many purposes. Beginning with contemporary witchcraft rituals and practices; and continuing with some more well-known aspects such as tarot reading.

It is important to mention that the concept of witchcraft that exists today is a very contemporary and diverse one, so there is no universally accepted definition or type of knowledge practice. Therefore, the perception of witches and witchcraft varies, ranging from skepticism to interest and acceptance. There are many places where witchcraft is practiced peacefully and where people have the right to practice their beliefs, as long as they respect local regulations and laws. While in others, it is still considered as “bad” or “taboo” to even mention the topic even continuing the witch hunt in the 21st century.

Therefore, in the same way that there are various types of concepts to define what witchcraft is, there are also several types to define what individual witches are. We know that according to history, mythology and even certain contemporary beliefs, each of these types of witches is associated with different types of abilities, characteristics, and powers.

Types of Witches:

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1. Traditional Witch: These witches follow the practices and beliefs passed down through generations. They often practice witchcraft hereditarily and adhere to traditions and rituals passed down from their ancestors.

2. Green Witch: Green witches focus on nature and plant-related magic. They work with herbs, essential oils, and natural elements in their practices.

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3. Moon Witch: These witches follow a lunar calendar and focus their rituals and spells on the phases of the moon. They believe that each lunar phase has different energies and purposes.

4. White Witch: White witches are associated with benevolent magic and the well-being of people. They often use their abilities to heal, protect, and help others.

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5. Black Witch: In contrast, witches are often associated with dark or malevolent magic. They supposedly use their abilities to harm others or achieve selfish goals.

6. Divination Witch: These witches specialize in divination techniques such as tarot reading, astrology, palmistry, or tea leaf reading. In addition to being the best known socially.

In the end,  these categories are broad and many witches may identify with multiple types, or even invent their own practices and traditions. Contemporary witchcraft is diverse, and each witch may have their own unique beliefs and practices. So, if you have a more open point of view, you may even be able to identify a witch within your surroundings.

Jettif M. Verdejo Rodríguez is a writer at Her Campus at the University of Puerto Rico at the Río Piedras chapter. She oversees the life, career, entertainment, book reviews that include many genres like mystery, romance, and fiction. Beyond Her Campus, Jettif works as a Youth Group Facilitator in the Boys and Girls Club in her community. Currently, she is an undergraduate student majoring in English Education for Second Language Learners (ESL) in the elementary level. In her free time, Jettif enjoys listening to music, reading books and make creative writing. She loves everything related to Star Wars, Marvel and romantic tv shows.