Witchcraft is alive and well, thanks to a new thirst for understanding, shared knowledge, the safety of online spaces, a host of women doing the work, plentiful historic research, and of course #witchtok. While we’re amped for Hocus Pocus 2 as much as the next person, old stereotypes about Witches - the pointy hats, the warts and big noses, the hag bullshit in general – can kick rocks. Witchcraft is empowering the divine feminine (men can practice too), protection from the patriarchy, reverence for the Earth and accessing the inherent spiritual power that lies within all of us. Across traditions, time, and place, a Witch is, simply put, a wise woman who probably bucks the system. If that sounds scary to you, move along.

 Being a Witch is an earthbound practice, rooted in healing work and a deep respect for life that celebrates individual connection with divinity. Witchcraft and its practice ritualize our intentions. Not so crazy, right? Do you love herbs and natural medicine? Ever use positive affirmations? Feel like you have a strong sense of intuition, are guided by the moon’s cycle or the voices of your ancestors? Are you drawn to crystals and energy work? Do you make a chicken soup that literally soothes the soul? Are you a fighter for climate justice? Did you manifest that new car? Maybe you’ve never really thought about anything metaphysical or esoteric, but professionally you’re a nurse and you’ve witnessed firsthand your own healing powers. Well, you’re a Witch, you’re a Witch, and you’re a Witch too. Choose to do with that information what you will.

 There’s a chill in the air and this month brings Samhain, the ancient Celtic Pagan festival still celebrated by witches of all denominations (and there are tons) the world over, on October 31. The original Halloween and the perfect time to give Witchery a spin. It marks the end of summer and harvest season, the beginning of winter and the dark half of the year. Samhain is a time to honor the dead and enthusiastically celebrate life, by getting outside to revel in Mother Nature’s bounty, making offerings at altars, dancing (always dancing) and feasting. The veil between the worlds of the living and dead are said to be the thinnest on this night (and Mexicans have agreed, for thousands of years) so communing with ghosts and spirits is top of mind for many. You might want to leave the windows open.

Anyone who’s done a little digging about Witchcraft knows that the only scary thing about the history of this practice is how violently and unwaveringly it has been persecuted, misrepresented, and vilified (sucks to be a girl and not Christian, amirite?). Practicing magick, should you want to start, doesn’t require a lot of fancy stuff. All it takes to begin exploring your personal power is strong (good) intention and clarity of thought; you make up your own rules and rituals with the tools you like. Absorb some full moon energy with a reflective meditation sesh. Cook a feast and make an offering. Even the simplest act of closing your eyes to make a wish on a candle's flame will do. 'Tis the season. Let these sorcery-ready objects put a spell on you.