Witches are having a pop culture moment. From dark clothes on the runway to mysterious editorials and a slew of new fairytale films, the witch has replaced the vampire as the new icon of power and fantasy. (Hey, if the New York Times says it, it must be true!)
We’re being encouraged to embrace a spookier side of life, and even though there are fresh green shoots emerging from the dirt, I still want to spend my time anointing candles, pulling cards and lighting incense.
Witches get a bad rap. Far from devouring children (à la Hansel and Gretel), modern witches celebrate the divine in their own way. For more information, check out my interview with two wonderful women: I’m A Witch!
Either way, here’s my very stylised take on the whole phenomenon…
“The witch is the ultimate bad girl. You want to be her.”(Carly Cushnie)
A modern witch would wear a white lace dress with supersonic leggings, white moto boots and a wired crystal pendant around her neck. She would enchant in a harness-back maxi dress and t-strap wedge sandals. She wouldn’t go out in public without a pair of oversized cat eye sunglasses and a skeleton hand collar. She would stash her treasures in a studded tote bag, and at night she’d go dancing in a pair of striped platform sneakers.
A modern witch always has her divination tools within arms reach. My new favourite set of cards is The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, a gorgeous illustrated deck which has a guidebook that I’d highly recommend if you’re new to reading the cards. In an ideal world, you wrap your cards in silk and put them in a little bag, but this leather tarot card pouch is fantastic!
A modern witch is always thinking about the stories we tell with our hands. Fingernail rings, knuckle rings, chunky cocktail rings and engagement rings all have their own narrative. They are part of our make-up, an essential piece of costume. A modern witch selects her rings with care every morning, and slides them onto her fingers: elvish twig rings which stack magnificently, rune rings and a Lily Dale spiritualist ring all take pride of place on her hands.
Her jewellery box is full of sparkly gems and unusual finds. A cobra ring in diamond, ruby, black rhodium and 18k gold sits alongside an amazonite pendulum and a crystal point necklace. She scours flea markets and antique shops for anything that catches her eye.
A modern witch embraces symbols and talismans. She adorns herself with charms and amulets to protect her from the evil eye: a little diamond ring, or a necklace from Max and Chloe. Her martlet and heart necklace guarantees good news. She wears a bracelet showing the phases of the moon…
A modern witch has a well-stocked library. All of these books are excellent, and give a friendly introduction to what modern witchcraft is all about: Confessions of a Teenage Witch: Celebrating the Wiccan Life / A Witch Alone: The Essential Guide for the Solo Practitioner of the Magical Arts / Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Datebook / Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living / Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows / Practical Protection Magick: Guarding & Reclaiming Your Power / Llewellyn’s Complete Formulary of Magical Oils / Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes / Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms and Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home / Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Companion: An Almanac for Contemporary Living
…But most of all, a modern witch knows that the magic comes from within. She knows that she contains all the power, guidance and courage she’ll ever need. She loves boldly and she is never ashamed of who she is.