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I’m a life coach, mother of two, happily married, and a facilitator of transformational growth. I practice my own unique blend of relationship-based spiritual psychology. I hope what you find here is helpful to you in some way. Always remember to Keep Growing!
Have you noticed Witchcraft is on the rise? There are tons of witchy books, businesses, movies, podcasts – you name it- about “The Witch”. TV series, movies, children’s cartoons, in particular, seem to have an endless fascination with witches. When I watch TV with my kids, I am struck by how prevalent the Witch is inside of content geared towards them as well as how negatively witches are portrayed. My son is actually terrified of witches and when he sees someone who he thinks might be one, he pulls me aside and whispers in my ear.
Like so many things in life, it can be really easy to pass sweeping judgement on something without deeply understanding the background or the roots of its origin. We have largely been handed these negative impressions towards witches and witchcraft, and most people never stop to question why and where it comes from.
What an interesting paradox that is taking place right now. So many people are interested in the spiritual practices of witchcraft, yet there is so much judgement around it that lives on inside of pop culture both new and old. The negative connotations around the “W” word make it so that many actual practitioners of the craft are too fearful of societal scorn and judgement to come out of the broom closet.
What is a witch? One of the best definitions I have seen is: “a witch is someone who claims magic as their birthright and uses it to create change in their inner and outer worlds.”
What then is magic? (Or as they say in the witchcraft community – “magik”.) As best as I can determine, magic boils down to getting really clear about our intentions, and using our energy to create aka manifest. This might be an oversimplification, but the point I am trying to make is that it really isn’t that different than the larger metaphysical movement that is taking place inside of more mainstream Spirituality. Magic(k) is a lot like manifesting, creating your reality, setting your intentions, creating an ideal scene, believing that you can create change in your life through setting intentions and taking action in the outside world. I mean, this is what I teach coaching clients to do!?! So, why is this bad? Are we supposed to just sit here an let life happen to us? Interesting…
Why then, do we fear it and hold such strong judgments toward Witches and Magic? Where does this all come from? I’ve been reading a lot about this and find it fascinating.
The witch trials began after the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum aka “The Hammer of Witches”. This text was written by Heinrich Kramer in 1486. It was used as the justification for the hunting of witches. The Malleus Maleficarum is to use a British term “utter rubbish”. It is absolutely full of lies and horrific falsehoods that not only vilify women, but it used things we all have like birth marks and moles, as a way to identify a “witch”. This text was the precursor to the burning times, in which thousands of innocent women and men, were accused of “witchcraft” and burned alive. This is putting what happened mildly. Many of these victims were simply midwives, healers, herbalists, or even wise women, yet, the FEAR created by the outrageous and horrid lies written inside of the Malleus Maleficarum, created a frenzy which justified these horrors. It went on for centuries and is largely unaddressed by history.
Why then have we been taught to fear the witch, instead of being taught to fear the men that burned the “witches” alive?
As it so often goes, history is told from the perspective of those who get to write it. The harsh reality is that it’s difficult to tell your side of the story if you’re dead.
There is a wonderful book that covers not only this history but also the resulting wound from the burning times, that many argue plagues women to this day. This amazing new book is called The Witch Wound, written by Celeste Larsen. If you found this article interesting, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of it ASAP. It is truly a fascinating read.
Wishing you a very happy Halloween.
The Witch Wound, by Celeste Larsen
Photo by Edz Norton on Unsplash
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Life Coach and Spiritual Psychologist, Katie Shapiro, facilitates transformational growth for women and men worldwide.