Feminist Witchcraft

I Have Some Reservations

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.

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Know Your Readership (2)

Time, I think, for a visit to the pages of Everyday Feminism, where Ms Ixty Quintanilla is turning her mind to matters ectoplasmic:

I spoke with several individuals who each channel their ancestral spirituality in different ways and asked them how to use spiritual practice as a form of healing and resistance, now during this difficult Trump era and beyond.

You see, when your preferred candidate loses an election, what you really need is some channelling of ancestral spirituality. As opposed to say, a sense of proportion. And so Ms Quintanilla lists some “spiritual practices” in order to enable fellow feminists to cope with the unutterable trauma that is their lives.

Suggestions include Call On Ancestors – which is to say, the dead – and Burn Herbs Mindfully. The latter is surprisingly fraught with complication, as we’re told, emphatically, that we must avoid setting fire to white sage and various endangered plants, and that it is “vital to recognise and respect the ancestors of the land you stand on.” Exactly how one fathoms the particulars of these things, at any given point in history, and how one should respect the relevant no-longer-living parties, assuming one has been able to identify them, is not made clear.

Other recommendations are more prosaic – feeling the breeze, watching trees grow, and, er, pushing up against said trees. No, I don’t know either. But apparently, if your psyche has been exploded and rendered unto dust by the election of someone other than Hillary Clinton, you should immediately find a tree and push up against it. It’s the feminist way.

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Paranormal Beings Walk Among Us

Now hush and approach with caution: 

My magical practice is based in African Diasporic voodoo, herbology, and root-work. I came to these rituals by studying Black slave rebellions, and unearthing the ways in which enslaved folx used hexes and curses to thwart their masters.

Not entirely successfully, it seems, given the word masters.

I turned to these traditions most open-heartedly in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests circa 2014, when I started to feel hopeless and emotionally drained after regular violent confrontations with the police at demonstrations. By wielding these protective amulets, reciting these incantations, calling upon the Orishas, and working intimately with the plants, stones, roots, and bones of my environment, I began to feel more empowered.

Because when your behaviour is so appalling that you’re repeatedly getting into scuffles with the police, what you need, obviously, isn’t a rethink of your life choices, but a magical amulet.

Quickly, my focus in the Craft moved away from damning hexes against white supremacy to community care work and deep psycho-social-spiritual healing for Black and Brown people in the struggle. As a queer Black woman scientist activist, Queer Magic For The Resistance is what I’m always giving.

The lady sharing her deep, uncanny wisdom is named Iman, a sorceress of sorts, and an affiliate of Queer Magic For The Resistance, a “collective and political affinity group based in Oakland, California.” Because of course it is. Iman, whose “whole world is magical,” describes herself as a “scientist” and “emotional care provider,” a purveyor of roots, herbs and “emotional emergency response.” As when equipping the LARPing sociopaths of Antifa with herbal teas and “healing shields.” For her, she says, “magic is resistance.”

To reality, I’m guessing.

Someone Pass The Healing Stone

Menstruation is universally referred to as your “moon time”; there is a Moon Lodge with a “Moon Blood Earth Altar” where we are encouraged to offer our “Holy Menstrual Blood to Mother Earth” with prayers and intentions. 

Marisa Meltzer ventures into the sisterly world of braiding circles, “water healing,” and ayurvedic breast massage:

“We have created — and are creating — a community of mothers, sisters, daughters, grandmothers,” Spirit Weavers’ founder and trademark owner, Amy Woodruff, says into a microphone. She has long brown hair and a deep tan. In 2011, a photo of her doing a naked headstand while simultaneously breastfeeding her daughter Naia went viral. (“I was just doin’ my daily flow when the little sweet pea came to sneak a suckle,” Woodroff wrote at the time on her blog, Daughter of the Sun, where she also sells juice cleanses, incense, and “organic baby bootie balm.”) A Kundalini yoga teacher, Woodruff used her newfound fame to pivot into a kind of nexus for the sort of women who are drawn to water births and food-fermenting workshops. 

Oh, there’s more. Much more. And yes, there is a photo.

Via Alice.

Know Your Readership

Farnsworth M Muldoon steers us, once again, to the pages of Everyday Feminism: 

The urge to pull at your hair or pick at your skin – does this sound familiar to you or anyone you know?

Can’t say so, no. Compulsively tearing out one’s own hair and ripping one’s own skin like an unhappy parrot, which is what we’re actually talking about here, isn’t the most common way to while away the evenings. But a thought does occur. Given that the publication in question addresses subjects of this kind with extraordinary frequency - covering a thrilling spectrum of neuroses and personality disorders, even delusions of witchcraft and clairvoyance - it’s hard to avoid the impression that the readership of Everyday Feminism, and certainly its staff, is largely made up of people with quite serious mental health issues. 

Next week, an article for readers who spend their evenings eating tissues by the fistful and then being sick behind the sofa. #GirlPower!

Unseen Energies

It occurs to me that previous visits to the pages of Everyday Feminism may have led readers to suspect that said publication is a haven for the competitively pretentious and neurotically unemployable. Well, this latest article by the non-binary pronoun nightmare known as Kris Nelson™ is sure to shatter such idle preconceptions

As a follower of Diana; as a worshipper of the sun, the moon, and the earth; and as a witch, it is my responsibility to engage in radical politics.

In case you missed it,  

I am a witch.

Therefore, naturally, the non-binary pronoun nightmare known as Kris Nelson™ “seeks community building, universal respect, environmental protection, and alternative forms of healing and living.” And obviously, 

All of these aspects of my craft are feminist and revolutionary. 

It all sounds terribly radical.

My religious beliefs are inherently radical.

In fact, readers are informed of this radicalness no fewer than nine times. Repeatedly describing oneself as radical is, of course, a sure sign of throbbing iconoclasm. And as a creature of immense and non-conformist insight,

aligning myself with feminist politics is necessary.

Well, our greatest minds have always been drawn to The Indignant Sisterhood.

As you’d imagine, our radical healer is gifted with strange energies and uncanny knowledge:

There are many amazing things that modern medicine offers us that herbal, crystal, and energy healing cannot... 

The words efficacy and survival spring to mind.

However, it can’t be denied that the medical industry is just as much a site for racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, fatphobia, and ableism as any other institution of systemic oppression.

There’s so much sin to purge. Someone fetch the healing stone.

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Uncanny Powers Are a Feminist Issue

Commenter RY steers us to another contender for our series of classic sentences from a certain newspaper:

Witchcraft – and the embrace of “magical” practices, like reading tarot cards – has recently experienced a resurgence of sorts among young, creative, politically engaged women.

Ah, you didn’t see that coming.

The bearer of this hitherto suppressed knowledge is Ms Sady Doyle, who further enlightens us,

Women in the US have been harnessing its power for decades as a “spiritual but not religious” way to express feminist ambitions.

You see,

A popular Tumblr blog, Charmcore, purports to be run by three witch sisters; it gives sarcastic “magical” advice and praise of the female celebrities it deems to be “obvious witches.” On the more serious side, teen sensation Rookie magazine has published tarot tutorials along with more standard-issue feminist and fashion advice, and Autostraddle, a popular left-leaning blog for young queer women, has an in-house tarot columnist.

Yes, all that. And furthermore,

Tarot cards are available in trendy Brooklyn knick-knack shops and Urban Outfitters, as well as New Age stores. And these days, no one thinks there’s anything weird about herbal medicine and other potions.

Apparently, there are also “witchcore” punk bands. And – and - if even more proof were needed, a book: 

Mixed in with the spells and rituals of The Spiral Dance, you will find meditations on sexual violence, ecology and anarchist group building, and thoughts on how men can overcome patriarchal conditioning in order to participate effectively in leftwing activism.

Clearly, it’s a vibrant and thrusting cultural force, a subversive political juggernaut, one that will topple The Patriarchal Hegemon™ any day now. It’s game over, man. No, there’s no time to collect your belongings, we must flee to the escape pods.