Year of the Witch

An insight into the modern practices of witchcraft and how they’ve become a trend

Let’s talk witches. Yup, it’s that time of the year where we all feel a little magical, and I, for one, am loving this modern witchcraft trend I keep coming across. Yes, before you ask, I was a huge fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Buffy the Vampire Slayer growing up. This does have a lot to do with my interest, no doubt. But what I’m finding so interesting is these real-life witches taking time to explain what really goes on when practicing witchcraft, not the stereotypical movie stuff we all know and, regrettably, love.

We all know the stories and have heard the tales, but what is witchcraft really? According to Britannica, witchcraft is a Western movement that is seen by many as a religion, originating prior to the Christian traditions of Europe. Those who practice witchcraft may worship a goddess or various deities while honoring nature and practicing rituals and ceremonial magic. Wicca and witchcraft often follow a spiritual patch in which the individual chooses what and where to practice. They are on their own path of self-discovery. Keep in mind, however, this is just one explanation. Witches originate from all over the world, and practices vary depending on whom you ask.

If you are anything like me, you spend countless hours on TikTok. The algorithm tends to understand my interest in the weird, wild and scary stuff. So do not color me surprised when I realize I have ended up on “witch-tok.” I come across countless women charging crystals, reading tarot cards, performing rituals and creating herbal teas, and I find it fascinating. I mean, growing up, we learn about witches and the Salem witch trials and now all we have to do is search it online and learn all about practicing ourselves. Oh, how the tables have turned.

I get it, talking about history can sometimes drag a bit, but come on, there were actual witch trials burning women at the stake and now we can watch videos of women being powerful and showing off their magic, just being themselves! Feminism mic drop. During the 1300s until the end of the 1600s, thousands of people across Europe were executed after being tried for witchcraft. It was not until the 1690s in Massachusetts when more than 200 people were accused of witchcraft. It took the execution of 20 individuals for the colony to later realize it was a “mistake.” It all started because Christians believed the Devil gave power to certain people. Paranoia and fear spread like disease, and the results of it were the death of many women presumed to be witches. Fortunately, in the 21st century, women no longer fear showing off their power.

The practices you may come across when learning about witchcraft vary. Tarot cards are used to offer guidance. People looking to seek out meaning and interpretation of future events or maybe just looking to explore themselves more can visit psychics or even metaphysical stores near them. Often, witchcraft involves setting intentions. This involves spells and rituals to communicate what you want from the universe. There are many different practices one can learn, and they now have the freedom to explore them.

Looking to understand more about witchcraft? Take a look online or on apps like TikTok, where they explain and practice what they preach (religion pun…ha). So, when someone acknowledges they practice witchcraft, they aren’t talking flying on brooms and luring children into candy covered homes. Maybe 2022 is the year of the witch.

About Molly Britt

Molly Britt is a multimedia journalist with Folio Weekly, as well as an account executive. As a Jax Beach local and University of North Florida graduate, she is familiar with all things Duval and Northeast Florida. She enjoys investigative journalism and interviews, using her platform to educate and inform the local community with her words. While at Folio, Britt has enjoyed interviews with the likes of Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls and local small businesses such as Femme Fire Books.