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Does Witchcraft Hold the Secret to Happiness?
18-10-2019, 06:56 AM
Post: #1
Does Witchcraft Hold the Secret to Happiness?
On a rainy fall morning, I went to see my neighbor Erika Wanenmacher, Santa Fe’s famous “Ditch Witch,” in her industrial studio down the street from my house. She wanted to show me a giant glass and metal spider sculpture in which she’d included my art-spell image that was widely invoked during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings: A round, flower-eyed icon that reads, “Commence Psychic Hex on Liars.”

I shared my latest personal and political woes with Erika, and she gave me some of her homemade magical incense formulated for specific intentions: Gratitude, Lighten the Load, Protection, and “I Can Do This!”

On my altar back home, I piled the incense on charcoal and lit it, focusing on reclaiming the power that patriarchal culture has leeched from me.

This is a casual, neighborhood magic. It keeps up morale.

Witchcraft has long been taboo, and witchy traditions have been kept secret largely for the safety of its practitioners, but feminist witches are coming out. Even The New York Times last week proclaimed, “Witches are Having Their Hour.”

I was raised by my stepfather, an excommunicated Catholic priest who supported the Black Panther Party, ran the local chapter of Amnesty International, used his Ouija board to speak with spirits, and could move physical objects with his mind, and by my mother, a short-tempered feminist named Eve who got called “witch” for seducing him. Still, I didn’t formally initiate myself until I was a 21-year-old single mom surviving on welfare and student loans. The patriarchy had me by the throat in the form of misogynist family court judges, food-stamp-cutting governors, and national politicians always eager to dehumanize poor women to feed their own greed for power. I’d been talking to owls since before I could talk to people, but now I needed a more structured approach: I would magically defend myself from the patriarchy and, once I’d recovered my strength, go on the offensive. Hexing the patriarchy wouldn’t be about hurting anybody, but rather about protecting myself and other marginalized people from The Man’s abusive impulses.
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