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“Everything She Touches Changes” - The Witch’s Journey - Part II of II

“Everything She Touches Changes”  - The Witch’s Journey - Part II of II

Hope you had a Happy Hallowe’en and Blessed Samhain! We return to Witches past and present, who enchant and enlighten us.

“How Soon Is Now?”

If you’ve were seduced by The 80’s, this season of the witch may evoke a dream of bohemian splendor captured in amber and candlelight. As The Wheel of the Year turned, Sisters of the Moon draped in crushed velvet, danced to a soundtrack of Stevie, Enya and Loreena. Perhaps you identified with the sensual, feminist-leaning Witches of Eastwick, possessed of the power to send Jack back!

In the midst of this Earth Mother magick, a revolt was picking up steam; a raucous party was brewing in the basement. The Halliwell Sisters, Nancy and The Weirdos, plus Sabrina, Buffy and all their rad friends were showing up for the 90’s – THE coming-out party for the Teen Witch!

The Craft (1996) seethed with a post-punk will to power, while addressing cracks in the veneer of perfect love and perfect trust. The Lives of The Mayfair Witches (1990-94) by Anne Rice mirrored the darkening mood.  Goth sensibilities were balanced by Silver RavenWolf’s down-to-earth books aimed at the youth market, such as To Ride A Silver Broomstick and To Light A Sacred Flame. The buzzkill at the bash was RavenWolf’s Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation being savaged by critics for the crime of including a spell kit. Was this indignation about marketing, or did Gatekeepers resent The New Kids who demanded Magick NOW? While some quibbled over too-easy spell kits, the internet gained traction as the future home and platform for CyberWitches. Gen-X was manifesting the future Magick Metaverse.

It Runs in the Family

This begs the question; does online training and a digital diploma create a Witch or is it a destiny determined by blood?

It’s said that any woman is a witch if she declares herself one, yet belief in inherited gifts persists. The Witch exemplifies the matrilineal transference of power. Home, as a multigenerational stronghold, was beautifully portrayed in Practical Magic. (1998) Alice Hoffman’s prequels, The Rules of Magic and Magic Lessons, follow family ties from the 1960’s back to 17th century England, Dutch Curacao and Salem. Perhaps you have a teacup reading aunt, a card-slinging cousin, a grandma with a healing touch. Whether you’re a Samantha or Sally, your relatives and neighbours will never let you forget who you are.

The popularity of DNA kits reveals our need for identity in time’s continuum. Are certain traits the legacy of a lost ancestor or are they vestiges from a past life? The uncanny link between adolescent girls and paranormal activity is the Witch’s cyclic rebirth - the hormonal surge of awakening female power.  A witchy phase is a routine rite of passage. For some, it never ends. Family teaches us that normal doesn’t exist and the Witch is embraced as a state of being.

The Woke Witch

Welcome to a diverse, LGBTQ+ and post-colonial Craft!

Pagan Pride was inspired by Pride’s example of visibility and celebration. (The Two-Spirited have always been recognized as Shamans.) To quote a male witch, “Witch is not a gender, but a verb.” Here, the God and Goddess express integration, not polarity. Queering Your Craft and Queering the Tarot by Cassandra Snow typifies this perspective.

Where does appreciation end and appropriation begin? Inclusivity once meant stepping outside a Celtic orientation to embrace a global pantheon of deities and practices. Today’s witch now declares that the ancestral Sacred of others does not exist for our consumption, especially when it’s misunderstood, trivialized and commodified.

The BIPOC (Latinx, Indigenous and Black) communities are reclaiming their traditions, such as Rootwork, Santeria, Vodun, Espiritismo and Curanderismo. This movement is creating a wave of books, such as Brujas: The Magic and Power of Witches of Color by Lorraine Montegut Ph.D. The term “Witch” can also be rejected for its colonial origins and historical intent to persecute others. There are online platforms such as Black Girl Magick and BIPOC/LGBTQ+ Tarot and Oracle Cards. BIPOC visibility in pop culture includes Beyonce embodying Oshun at the 2017 Grammys, Angela Bassett as Marie Laveau (American Horror Story: Coven, 2013-14), Netflix’s Sempre Bruja (2019) rapper Princess Nokia of Brujas fame and Disney’s delightful Encanto (2021.)

The Social Media Witch

Some believe the Instagram Witch to be a study in artifice, but since when has the Witch not been an Influencer? Glamour, as defined in 1720, IS magick and the fashion statement Witch is far beyond The Little Black Dress. Today’s Witch is a rainbow, presenting in any way she/he/they choose, holding court from Witchy Rooms across global platforms.

This Witch is fierce, dispatching trolls daily from the comments section. This Witch is generous: sharing stories, spells, rants, Witchy Thrift Hauls, book and card reviews, educational videos and Altar tours. This Witch is comfortable: surrounded by curated collections of books, crystals and paraphernalia. This emphasis on the Witch’s interior life declares “Safe Space” with a dash of Hogwart’s Common Room. The DIY magic of alternative world creation introduced Witchcore into the interior design lexicon. The social media Witch finds a balance between rejecting capitalism and having a sweet setup on Shopify.

As someone who loved Fairuzza Balk’s boot toes rasping across the carpet as she defenestrates her ex, I’m relieved that the sequel, The Craft: Legacy (2020) misrepresents Gen-Z Witches. Yes, they care about social justice but they’re too cool for virtue signaling. Enter WitchTok; ten minutes tops of entertaining and genuinely diverse magick.

Gen-Z Witches possess a guileless charm that outmaneuvers the toxic theology of any Fundamentalist bully. They simply don’t care! They don’t carry the burden of history. They don’t explain or defend their right to exist. This self-aware naiveite is captured by Anime Witch thumbnails for spell-casting music videos. The aural cocoon of Lo-fi for Witches (Only) well suits the self-described Baby Witches.

The current Witch rejects debates from the past over what constitutes a REAL Witch, as opposed to a Wannabe or worse, a Fluffy Bunny. Intersecting with inclusivity, there’s zero use for hierarchy, drama, elitism and bullying. There might be a shift away from structured traditions (Gardnerian, Alexandrian, etc.) towards an identification with the Elemental.  Zooming with your besties is the new coven. Working with household tools at hand, Gen-Z doesn’t need costly accoutrements to impress. Apps provide the special effects.

The pendulum swings between structure and freedom, egress and activism. Once the Fantasy Witch training wheels have been removed, the fledgling realizes that the Witch is Work. The work is maintaining this creative engagement with life. Magick is a journey, not a shortcut. Periodically, one cycles back to “Baby Witch,” humbled by how little one knows. There’s no time for pretense or playing the victim card when alienation can be healed by creating community.

So much is in the balance. Environmental and social justice, spiritual liberty, creativity, sustainable living, affordable housing, the right to holistic healing and bodily autonomy are all within the Witch’s wheelhouse. To quote a WitchToker, “We don’t have all the answers, but we have the audacity.”

“Everything She Touches Changes”  - The Witch’s Journey - Part I of II

About the Author:

Lisa Iris is an artist and proprietress of MYTHOS Art and Counselling 289 High St., Fort Erie, ON. Her artwork is represented exclusively by crystalwind.ca and is featured in The Crystal Wind Oracle by Antonio DeLiberato.
Lisa enjoys opening her home to kindred spirits for conversation and for making magic happen.

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Cauldron of Transformation Artwork © crystalwind.ca. This article/text is Copyright 2022 Lisa Iris.
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