magic moon phases

Witchcraft Manifesto

April 27, 2022

Where My Witches At?  No, really?

tea mug with moon phases

I recently read a synopsis for a book about witches–one I’m looking forward to reading, because I LOVE books about witches–but for some reason, the way the synopsis was written sparked a fire of indignation that has been slowly building in me over the past few years.  There are so many stories about witches nowadays–it seems witches are the new hot trend in fiction and entertainment.  In general (with a few problematic exceptions), I embrace these stories.  When they are respectful, well-researched magical realism, I treasure them, but even the fantastical ones delight me. 

Because it’s wonderful to finally have stories where witches are protagonists instead of monsters. 

You see, I was raised as a witch, by a witch.  I was taught to believe in and manipulate the magick connecting me to all things, to draw power from the earth, to cleanse my aura, to commune with nature, and to believe in gods and goddesses in their many forms.  I played with runes instead of board games and learned to harvest herbs almost as soon as I could walk.  Spoke of past lives as soon as I could talk. I danced naked under the full moon, wove the Maypole, participated in Lakota sweat ceremonies, and had elders named Two Eagles and Owl Woman.  In our house, we did an esbat ritual on every full moon, and often hosted large gatherings on the High Sabbats.  When my moon (period) came, I was made an initiate and allowed to begin my own study and copy from my mother’s Book of Shadows.  And I have spent most of my life hiding that part of myself because of the stigma attached to it.  

When they learn of my beliefs, people usually put me into one of two boxes: hippy-dippy-woo-woo or evil.

Even as a young child, I had to learn how to deflect questions of religion and faith, to avoid mentioning my beliefs, and be coached in how to respond when someone inevitably tried to “save my soul”.  And yes, people have tried to save my soul, to talk me out of my own religion.  Many times.  Someone once reported my mother to Child Protective Services because of our religious practice.  Friends were not allowed to come to my house or invite me to spend the night at theirs once their parents learned what I was.  I was excluded from groups, uninvited from parties, and lost friendships.  My mother was my Girl Scout Troop Leader for two amazing years growing up, until another parent learned she practiced witchcraft.  She was “politely” asked to step down, and I decided to quit after 5 years in scouting.

That is the burden of witches. 

  • Misunderstood.
  • Feared.
  • Ostracized.
  • Persecuted.