The New Witches of Salem: Feminist, Empowered and Anti-Trump

Witches have always been somewhat feminists. We have been fighting for the right to be treated correctly.

Witches are what men like Donald Trump are afraid of. Witches.

The word alone immediately conjures up certain images in our minds. But what does it really mean to be a witch today?

Salem, Massachusetts. A place known for trying and executing accused witches, is now affectionately called Witch City–and it seems that a growing number of young women and some men are being drawn to a brand of witchcraft–and it’s political. I use the term witch to describe myself.

I usually cite the acronym “woman in total control of herself.” I am the owner of HausWitch Home and Healing in Salem, Massachusetts.

I practice witchcraft, I pull tarot cards I have crystals everywhere, I make shrines, I cast spells, I meditate, but it’s sort of a political distinction and I think it, like, speaks to my radical feminism. Both male and female witches are studying the craft under a longtime Salem witch and clairvoyant: Lorelei.

You’ll notice a significant difference in how the more traditional witches look and practice. I’m what you call a natural witch, I started at about 12, my mother practiced. The thing about the new word “feminist,” it’s a great thing, but it’s something that we’ve been doing for years.

So, weird, maybe a little different than the younger generation, we may not be as hardcore.

I still want a gentleman to open the door for me. And he and the man, may you always have romance, lust, and trust–so mote it be. A spell basically is a prayer to the universe. We have chalices full of water, you have candles, something that represents the god, the goddess, just like you pray in church.

After the election especially, you know, I think what the witch is good for is being a force of divine feminine power. Witches are what men like Donald Trump are afraid of, so it’s like this perfect symbol. Around Erica’s store has formed a coven made up of astrologists, Reiki masters and healers, including Erica’s fiancee Melissa, who does Salem witch tours with a feminist focus.

This isn’t your grandmother’s coven: it’s youthful, light, and trendy. Though some are embracing the word, the term “witch” has been used to ignite fear and shame. The Salem witch trials of colonial Massachusetts started just when Europe’s so-called witch craze was beginning to wind down. A combination of limited resources, of family rivalries, and extremely strict religious practices set the foundation for Puritans to blame the devil and “devil worshipers” for their problems.

And more than 200 people, mostly widows or women with bad reputations, were accused of being witches and 20 were executed. It wasn’t until early 20th century that women’s magazines started portraying witches as beautiful and desirable.

This trend continued with the success of the TV show Bewitched in the 60s. The 60s also brought us a feminist group: Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell or WITCH, who protested patriarchy by carrying out witch-themed political stunts. In 1985, Wicca, an offshoot of witchcraft, was recognized as a religion by the United States. In recent years, we’ve seen witches and non-witches publicly reclaiming the title. The powerful are scared of this figure who has, like, traditionally been pretty powerless, but now that’s not the case.

Totally. The #MeToo movement, that’s what you’re seeing. It’s dark, it feels bad, and now this is the only way that we’re gonna start to heal it, is by, you know, ripping this band-aid off and all coming together–and to me that sounds like a coven of witches. As young people become less religious in this country, witches like Lorelai and Erica continue to see their covens grow.

I love that witchcraft is getting big. I don’t really make the distinction between, like, somebody who’s like just doing it on social media and then somebody who’s like a real practitioner because I think that at any point in time those two can switch. To people who don’t think that it’s real feminism or real witchcraft, I would say, like, who made you in charge of what is feminism and what is witchcraft? Thanks for watching.

As found on Youtube

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