I Have Some Reservations
October 26, 2022
From the pages of Scary Mommy, where ladies of a progressive bent share their fever dreams,
Could Witchcraft Make You A Better Parent? Real Witches Say ‘Yes’
I suspect the word real is creaking under the strain there. Other creaking may occur during our travels. Still, the author of the piece, Annie Midori Atherton, is keen to entice us with the prospect of paranormal parenting:
As a new mom fumbling through the daily grind of work, caregiving, and what little social life I can manage to eke in, I often find myself wondering how other parents pull it off… Some days I’m so worn down… that I feel I’d need to summon supernatural energy to thrive — rather than just survive.
And so, obviously,
For a growing number of people — including many mothers — witchcraft doesn’t begin or end with Halloween. According to one scholar, the number of Americans who identify with Wicca or paganism has risen from less than 200,000 twenty ago to nearly two million today.
Uncorrected narcissism, or fears of being an uninteresting person, or both, will do that, I suppose.
The scholar in question, linked to in the piece, is a Women’s Studies denizen who tells us that “much of the recent growth [in pretending to be a witch] is coming from young women,” a truly startling insight. However, we learn, from lesser authorities, that witches “can identify as male, female, or non-binary.” So, there’s that. And we’re told that these pretentious young women, or pretentiously ungendered beings, these would-be witches, may also engage in astrology and socially-distanced bonfires. Harry Potter and Twilight are mentioned too, adding further heft to the deep rumblings on offer.
Says Ms Atherton,
I realised that not only do modern witches abound, but many of them are also parents, which got me wondering… might they have some sage wisdom on childrearing?
Beats poking dog shit with a stick, I guess.
To find out, I turned to the moms who identify as witches to hear how practising magic helps them raise their children and feel fulfilled and powerful in the process… Here’s how they do it.
At which point, we’re ushered towards the “sage wisdom” of Ms Mya Spalter, author of Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide To Self-Possession, and a self-described “hot but approachable tour guide” to all things mysterious and occult. Ms Spalter, “a practising witch herself,” shares her “magical knowledge,” whereby the inadequate are invited to “build rituals around your intuition” and to “harness the power of crystals.” Her contribution to the topic of better parenting is summarised as “embrace your power.”
Our excavation of uncanny knowledge continues with input from Treva Van Cleave, a mother and, er, witch, who can, we’re assured, call upon her ancestors by fondling her late grandmother’s necklace. Strange “emanations” are mentioned. Which is exactly what you need when getting children ready for school or loading the washing machine.
Bethany McCarter, who was raised by a witch and identifies as one herself, said she teaches her children to trust their gut when it comes to sensing auras.
Yes, I know. The creaking can get a bit much. Just try to ignore it. Alas, Ms McCarter’s expertise in sorcery and aura-sensing is somewhat elusive, indeed seemingly non-existent; but she does offer more practical advice – say, the best shoes to wear when visiting Disney World.
Upping the intersectional game somewhat, Kathleen Richardson informs us that she bonds with her daughter and can “manifest healing and abundance” via “Hoodoo, a form of African-American folk magic (also referred to as Conjure or Rootwork).” These magical feats are, we’re told, pointedly, “not a religion, but the spiritual and supernatural tradition birthed in American slave plantations.”
Ooh. Bonus points. I think we have a winner.
Update, via the comments:
Regarding those “fears of being an uninteresting person,” mentioned above, Daniel Ream adds,
The best summary I heard in my 1990s college days (the first wave of this stuff) was “she’s trying so hard not to be ordinary.”
I suppose it’s not entirely surprising that a 20th-century recreational pseudo-religion, an ill-defined, means-anything-you-want spirituality, propagated by a retired civil servant and aimed at people who find other religions unfashionable, should be popular among the woke demographic.
Still, the overlap of wokeness and woo is worth noting.
Heavens, a button.
Heavens, another button.