The Rise of the Modern Witch
The stereotype of a pointy-hatted, broomstick-flying “old crone” dancing around a bubbling cauldron is long gone. In its place is the revival of the modern “witch”. From self-help and wellness rooted in the mystical and astrology to shamans and healers, all that is Wicca has never been more cool and, arguably, beneficial to our wellbeing. Sophie Everard explores the rise of all that is witchy.
The Witch Is Back
The word “witch” used to conjure up images of hunch-backed “hags” casting spells and hurling hexes, sparking fear in many and, infamously, leading to the witch trials of the Middle Ages. But that’s all changed.
From tarot to crystals, women’s circles and shamanism, to #Witchcore and #Witchtok trending on social media with users sharing spell tutorials, witch-influenced fashion and mystical wellness rituals, it’s clear Wicca is having a moment.
Big-screen sorceresses are in vogue, too. Just look at the latest incarnation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches starring Anne Hathaway and new outings of the much-loved 90’s classics Hocus Pocus and The Craft hitting screens soon. Witchcore fashion is also infiltrating the high street thanks to the bewitching wares of high-fashion brand The Vampire’s Wife collaboration with H&M.
The thirst for witch-inspired wellness is clearly touching a nerve. Mystic treatments and remedies, like tarot and crystal healing, are now mainstream. Why? Deb Robinson, practising witch and co-founder of family-run magical monthly subscription service The Witch Casket, isn’t surprised.
“I think there are numerous reasons for people to turn to the Craft; most people turn to it because they have always felt a pull towards it… the imagery of witchcraft first draws people in, but they soon discover that witchcraft is so much more than a ‘look’ or a ’vibe’, they realise it can have a profound and positive impact on their life.”
Often dismissed as a bunch of hocus-pocus, “alternative” therapies are clearly resonating with people. Jayne Wallace, founder of Psychic Sisters, a tarot company and crystal wares specialist with celebrity clients including Kim Kardashian West, Annie Lennox and Kate Hudson, agrees. “People are looking for guidance and direction in these uncertain times. People seem to be searching for new awareness. I feel that there is a surge in people opening up to new spiritual awakening. “
Ray Taffe, founder of Nashville-based Wild Women’s Collective, says that’s exactly what drew her to witchcraft. “My journey to heal myself at the root was the awakening my soul needed,” she says. “I started learning about my energy centres, the meridians in the body, how to balance my chakras, and even herbs that supported my overall goals. Learning that my emotions serve a purpose and can provide so much wisdom when I give them permission to exist.”
Benefits of witch-inspired wellness
A sense of calm
Alternative remedies, like smudge sticks, incense and crystals, are becoming staple parts of many people’s wellness routines, as well as things like breathwork workshops, meditation apps and mindful practices. The Witch Casket’s Deb says: “In times of stress and anxiety, the craft can bring a sense of calm and joy. The knowledge that we, and everything surrounding us, is made of energy, and that we can use that energy to improve our circumstances is very empowering.”
Jayne of the Psychic Sisters’ Jayne explains: “Spiritual work helps everyone’s mental health and well-being. I meditate and relax every day; breath work and Reiki healing is a part of my daily life. I feel that it is a great support helping other people on their journey within their lives.”
“There is an enormous need to feel more empowered,” says The Witch Casket’s Deb. “So much feels out of our control right now, so it’s understandable that people want to explore witchcraft and find their power.”
Add to that, she says, the daily pressures of the brake-neck pace of life. “With so much focus on media, image, material possessions… turning to a more natural way of living feels like a beautiful act of rebellion,” she says. “Taking a step back from the chaos to meditate, to take a ritual bath, or work with herbs, essential oils, and crystals, to research, to write, and to heal…doesn’t that sound irresistible?”
Tapping into Intuition
Women have long been associated with having a strong intuition, or you could call it a gut instinct, a sixth sense. This connection to self-awareness and intuition is a key element for modern witches. Ray Taffe says: “We have this beautiful gift within us that we’ve been either ignoring or fighting. Learning the very subtle language of our intuition is such a profound lesson. Each of us have different ways of hearing and establishing our intuitive “yes” and “no” and it is vital to learn our body’s way of expression. It looks different for everyone.”
Meditation can play a key role in this. “Teach yourself to sit in silence and really ask the questions,” says Ray. “Then, be open to listening to what your body needs from you in any given moment. It’s also important to know that this investigation within ourselves doesn’t have to be a serious, two-hour experience in an uncomfortable meditation pose. Carve out some time to cultivate a relationship with yourself, and trust the unique language your body speaks.”
How to Become a Modern Witch
“Meditate, ground yourself, walk in nature, allow yourself to rest. It’s a huge problem in society today that when we take any time to rest, rather than resting, we spend that time feeling guilty for not achieving anything. And that’s just a big lie! When we rest and allow ourselves to recharge and heal, we are achieving so much. We are renewing our energy; energy we can then use to be more productive”. Deb, The Witch Casket.
“Feel joy. I mean really! Imagine the life you want to live, and feel that joy as if that life was already yours, radiate that energy and take that light with you wherever you go… and feel gratitude, for everything you have, and everything good that is coming your way. ” Deb, The Witch Casket.
“There are lots of different ways to develop your psychic abilities, I would look at online courses and try to understand how to work with your own intuition. Using a pendulum or crystals are easy to work with. Guide meditation can help you to open and have a clearer understanding of spirit guides. Also connecting with others and helping them to develop their own intuition.” Jayne, Psychic Sisters.
“Calming the mind and working with intuition is important, there are lots of free meditation and mindfulness sessions on the internet. The Calm app is my favourite. It is important for everyone to find inner strength and confidence. Crystals are good to help with mental wellness.” Jayne, Psychic Sisters.
The Vampire’s Wife x H&M Cape Dress
The Seated Queen Cleanser
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Serum Crystal Elixir
The Witch Casket by monthly subscription
Accessorize Gold vermeil star station necklace
La Bougie Portuguese candles
Poppy Cross Life Coaching
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Is witchcraft a religion?
Witchcraft is not a religion, but it can be a spiritual practice for some individuals. It is often associated with Wicca, which is a modern pagan religion.
What are some common misconceptions about witches?
Some common misconceptions about witches include that they worship Satan, practice black magic, and are evil. In reality, witches come from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
How has the portrayal of witches in media changed over time?
The portrayal of witches in media has evolved from being depicted as evil and dangerous to being portrayed as powerful and independent women. This shift reflects changing societal attitudes towards women.
What is the significance of the rise of the modern witch?
The rise of the modern witch represents a growing interest in alternative spiritual practices and a rejection of traditional religious institutions. It also highlights the importance of empowering women and promoting environmentalism.