Witch Hunt: Welcome to the Coven

Welcome to the first ever installment of the brand new monthly Autostraddle witch roundup: Witch Hunt!

Witch Hunt is a magical mix of witch information, history, pop culture, community and instructional material. There will be regular features like these brilliant illustrations by Molly Ostertag (who you might recognize from her work on Strong Female Protagonist); Cecelia’s instructions on DIY Potions; Words with Witches, where Rachel will bring you a brand new term or phrase related to witchcraft each month; a different Autostraddle staff member talking about their favorite pop culture witch each month; and so much more. There will also be other features that will pop up here and there, but will probably be a little less than monthly.

I’ve always been kind of a weird person, but when I came out, I really felt just how different I was. Society also would pretty regularly tell me that the things that make me different made me weak and made me bad. I ended up feeling depressed, self-loathing, weak and isolated. Being a witch made me feel the exact opposite way. It reminded me that there was a whole community of weirdos out there like me. People who were shunned, looked down on or even feared by society. People who embraced their own personalized version of womanhood that often flew in the face of what the world told them a woman was supposed to be. People who got strength from all of those things.

Graphic by Cecelia

Graphic by Cecelia

Becoming a witch has helped me to feel powerful, comfortable in my own skin and like I really found my place in the world, and I’m really hoping that Witch Hunt can help other people in that same way. But here’s the thing! Witch Hunt isn’t just for people who want to get serious about casting spells and making potions (although you’re more than welcome), it’s for any and everyone who wants to get strength from identifying with whatever being a witch means to them.

I’m so looking forward to getting deeper into the craft with all of you!

First, a playlist to set the mood.

Sea Hag Walking on the Beach at the End of Summer


Words With Witches

by Rachel

Ornithomancy (noun) refers to divination or reading omens through the actions of birds, whether via their flight patterns, their sounds and cries, or other activities. It’s rooted in the Greek ornis (bird) and manteia (divination). In the Septuagint version of the Bible, the book of Leviticus warns, “Eat not on the mountains, nor shall ye employ auguries, nor divine by inspection of birds.”


If you grew up Catholic (like I did), or you still are Catholic (like I sort of am) or you’ve seen Catholics on TV shows or movies than you’ve likely seen votive candles featuring images of Jesus, saints or the Virgin Mary. You may have even seen La Virgen candles specifically.


T-Swift candle art by Anna Bongiovanni.

With votive magic, all you have to do is get a candle and put the image of someone who gives you inspiration or hope or power and then light it when you need that inspiration, hope or power. It’s like when Catholics light a candle with an image of La Virgen or St. Jude or the Sacred Heart of Jesus on it to help in a time of need or to get through tough times. Or really, even to help during a job interview, with safe travel or to find a lost item. Except we’re using queer and feminist icons who speak to us specifically. Or if La Virgen speaks to you (like she does to me) you can keep using candles with her on them (like I do).

This is really actually a pretty simple craft. You just need to print out an image of the person you want to put on your candle onto sticker paper and then buy a candle (you can buy them at your local dollar store, many grocery stores or online) and put the sticker on the candle. You can also add glitter or other decorations if you feel like they make your magic stronger. Autostraddle artists Cameron Glavin, Rory Midhani and Anna Bongiovanni have made an amazing batch of stickers (they’re sized just right in this document) that you can use. We’ve got Selena, Janet Mock, Tegan and Sara, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Kate Bush, Angela Davis and more! These candle stickers are pretty freaking incredible. Of course, if you had someone else in mind, you can just find a picture online and print it onto sticker paper and make whatever candle your witchy heart desires.

Witches Who Sing

by Molly Ostertag

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Wheel of the Year

by Beth Maiden

The ‘wheel of the year’ is a cyclical calendar which marks eight festivals (or ‘sabbats’) at equidistant points throughout the year. Most of us are familiar with the summer and winter solstices, for example — these are the two biggest festivals on the calendar. The first is the longest day, the second is the shortest. Then there are the spring and autumn equinoxes — mid-way between the solstices, when the days and nights are of equal length. Then, in between each of those, are four more sabbats, each with their own distinct seasonal energy, ideas and traditions.

I started to observe the wheel of the year a few years ago. I don’t go all out, I simply use the eight points on the wheel as reminders to check in with what’s happening seasonally — what’s happening in the earth, in the trees, in the air — and to notice how this shifting energy in nature is reflected within myself. I also assign four elements — and thus four areas of my life — to the four quarters of the year, again observing the way I feel these elements shifting within me.

The-Elements-of-the-Year-SM-littleredtarot.com copy

You can download a poster with more information about those elements here!

I’m going to talk us through the wheel of the year in Witch Hunt, with an overview of what each festival is about, and ways you might choose to observe or celebrate. I’m not a Pagan or a Wiccan (two religions in which the wheel of the year is particularly important), and I will be talking about these festivals from a personal perspective, as a white British woman, and as a tarot reader. This isn’t a crash course in ancient Celtic traditions or a Pagan 101; I simply want to show you how to to check in with nature and yourself in this way, and observe the cycles of changed that happen around and within you.

Here are the eight sabbats on the wheel of the year, along with the date and the corresponding element/s and some traditional associations. The next will be the Autumn Equinox on 21st September (look out for that in the next Witch Hunt!)

Samhain: 1st November – water/earth – a festival of death and ancestry, preparing for the darkness of winter
Midwinter Solstice: 21st December – earth – the longest night
Imbolc: 1st February – earth/air – first signs of spring, welcoming new life
Spring Equinox: 21st March – air – spring cleaning, planting seeds
Beltane: 1st May – air/fire – May day, feasting, flowers and fertility
Midsummer Solstice: 21st June – fire – the longest day
Lughnasadh: 1st August – fire/water – harvest season, abundance
Autumn Equinox: 21st September – water – gratitude, and goodbye to the summer

DIY Potions

by Cecelia

Witches have used essential oils to anoint their bodies and magical objects for centuries. As a queer witch in 2015, I use oils for the same reason — to charge ritual spaces with magic — but my ritual spaces happen to be very different from the ritual spaces of witches from past eras.

I feel powerful, chosen and anointed when I’m dancing in a club surrounded by hundreds of gorgeous queer souls, for example. But I also feel powerful concocting potions in my safe space of a bedroom. You get to choose what you anoint with magic, and magic will help you more confidently inhabit your ritual space in return.


This “Feeling Myself” potion is used to bring out your best self, to boost confidence and make your presence magical to all those who surround you.

You will need
A misting spray bottle (or any covered glass bottle)
Essential oil(s) of your choosing
Purified Water

Optional items that I used:
An eye dropper for precision when mixing oils
Quartz crystals
Rose petals
Nail polish


I chose a combination of Vetiver, Violet and Egyptian Musk oils for my potion. Vetiver is a love oil known specifically for attracting gay and queer pairings! This is especially helpful for femmes who may feel invisible in the club. Violet oil helps you realize your full potential and fills your space with a seductive and mysterious quality. Egyptian Musk oil is an aphrodisiac that brings out confidence and strength. Your “Feeling Myself” potion can include these oils or whichever aromas and qualities that make you feel most magical.

You can buy some essential oils at health food stores. If you live in a large city, there might be a magick or occult supply shop near you that carries all sorts of fun oils, crystals and maybe even ceramic dragon statues! Otherwise, the world wide web is your best bet for hard to find oils. If you’re buying essential oils online, it will be hard to know what aromatic quality you’re getting beforehand, so in that case focus instead on the magical properties of the oil. Listen to your intuition when researching – your oil might choose you.


I am pretty sensitive to scent, so I put two drops of Egyptian Musk, two drops of Vetiver and one drop of Violet oil in my bottle. When I spray it, the scent is refreshing but not overwhelming, and it lingers very faintly. You will want to test your oils before bottling them to figure out what combination and strength is right for you. Misting sprays require much less oil than anointing bottles.

Include anything else in your potion that feels right for you. I added glitter, rose petals and quartz crystals in my potion because those elements really symbolize the energy I’m seeking when I feel like my best self. The last step is to decorate your bottle. Cheap nail polish takes beautifully to glass bottles if you’re looking for a craft that would make your seventh grade self swoon.


My Favorite Witch

by Mari


Television in the ’90s was absolutely chock full of witches. While I certainly harbored serious love for Willow in Buffy, my first big witch love was Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. I had developed a ridiculous crush on Melissa Joan Hart during her time Clarissa Explains It All, so I pretty much immediately became obsessed with Sabrina, something that probably should have been an early clue about sexuality and gender identity. Also, who wouldn’t want a talking cat with megalomaniacal tendencies and to have Caroline Rhea as their aunt?

But, more than just a character played by my first celebrity crush, Sabrina was about trying to survive as a “weird” person amongst relatively “normal” folks. Sabrina was pretty enough to be a typical popular girl, but between her quirky personality and tendency to wreak havoc with poorly planned spells, she was always a bit of an outsider trying really hard to blend in. The difficulties she encounters are almost always self-made, usually the result of trying too hard, which was pretty much the entire story of my adolescence. I think the ultimate lesson we learned from her is that, even with magic powers, being a teenage girl can still be pretty terrible. Oh, and messing with time is a really bad idea.

Practice of the Month

Now, we’re going to leave you with a Practice of the Month, something simple that one of us does and loves doing that we’d like to share with you so that you can do it too! This month, I’m going to be telling you about a simple spell that ties in perfectly with our Witch/Craft. After you’ve made your candle, you might be wondering what to do with it. Obviously, you can just light it and leave it at that, but if you want a more focused spell, you can do what I often do.

Nicki Minaj candle artwork by Rory Midhani.

Nicki Minaj candle artwork by Rory Midhani.

This is a really simple spell, and a really easily customizable one. When I use Votive Candle, I pick out the candle most suited to my needs, maybe it’s a green candle with Nicki Minaj on it for a money spell (50k for a verse no album out), Beyoncé if I need help feeling flawless, or La Virgen if I need some serious help. Then I light the candle and focus on it and on my intentions. I might write a simple spell — sometimes it’ll rhyme, sometimes it won’t — it just needs to be a simple, easily repeatable phrase that gets to the middle of what you’re hoping to accomplish with your spell. Don’t be afraid if you think it sounds a little goofy, that’s totally fine! For example, if I’m doing a confidence spell, I might say something like “Queen Bey, Queen Bey, Help me love me,” and repeat it three times while concentrating on the candle. Then, when you’re done, snuff out the candle or let it burn out. If you blow it out, that can be seen as favoring the element of air over that of fire. The only exception is if you’re sending the spell to someone else, then you could blow it out as a part of the spell to put it on the wind, so to speak.

That’s it for the first ever installment of Witch Hunt! Happy witching and I’ll see you next time!

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. ooo!

    – Are there any Wheel of the Year esque resources that take account of places that don’t have the four seasons? I’m heading back to Malaysia soon and over there it’s rainy, hot, hot, shopping.

    – Some of the pieces here kinda touch on it (Florence & The Machine, the Nicki Minaj candle) but could we have a section on technopaganism and pop culture magick/paganism? I wrote about this on Vice Motherboard:


    • This is so perfectly timed you guys, I am just getting into exploring my witchy roots and developing myself as a witchy feminist so I can’t tell you how excited I am for the next instalment. Yay :)

    • Ooh, @Creatrixtiara – just noticed this comment! I’ve only ever worked within my own experience of four seasons (though living in the UK that should be rain, slightly warmer rain, rain and slightly cooler rain, ha ha) but that’s a really interesting question. I’m going to look into this and see what I can find!

  2. Hell yes, Kate Bush votives!! And I thought that Frida Kahlo votives were as hot as shit gets…

  3. I am really excited about this column! I have been working on re-developing my spirituality and it has been one of the most empowering processes I have ever taken on. Does anyone have a good book suggestion that is a good intro for becoming a witch?

    • There are plenty to choose from, but I usually hand out Spiral Dance by Starhawk and Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. I also like Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler (it was my first book), but it is more anthropological and less how-to.

    • Seconding the Spiral Dance, adding Ariadne’s Thread by Shekinah Mountainwater, which is specifically woman-centric and the Flame in the Cauldron by Orion Foxwood which is about awakening on the path. That last one just came out, but it resonated with me so hard, especially the parts where he talks about feeling the pull in your blood toward the wilderness. How to work with and cultivate energy is the bit that doesn’t get talked about in most books on the Craft, which is why I spent the first ten years of my journey frustrated because I knew this was the path for me, but nothing was clicking. If you can find a teacher in your area, it’ll make it easier to learn the energy stuff, but those books are a great start if a teacher isn’t available to you.

    • Drawing Down the Moon is so great, and the appendices / bibliography sections are full of extras. I’m excited to read Mariko’s suggestions! We should add a reading list to next month’s installment.

    • There are some really great books out there if you are choosing a solitary path. Spiral Dance might be a good place to start. I’m just beginning myself, or I’d give you a whole list.
      Her Hidden Children is kind of a history lesson on modern paganism and witchcraft with an emphasis on Wicca.

  4. Honestly, witchy stuff is very helpful for my grieving process…despite me being “100% science”. This monthly installment came at a perfect time! Thank you Autostraddle.

    • I 100% identify. I’m all numbers/logic in my professional life, but really appreciate witchy stuff emotionally/spiritually.

      hugs to you.

      • Yeah, I feel you on that. I’m a scientist, but something about the more, I dunno, primeval traditions has always really connected with me. This has occasionally resulted in pretty conflicted feelings about it, which have in turn manifested in odd ways.*

        (Though, with that said, the other problem is that as a lifelong folklore and mythology geek, the way some of the more New-Agey schools water down or otherwise shallowly approach very ancient traditions also raises my hackles a bit)

        *For example, my fiancée and I have basically created an increasingly serious** belief system based around reverence towards Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy, on the theory that it’s ancient, unknowable, and both creator (as SMBH’s are believed to help drive star formation) and destroyer, so why not consider it a deity?

        ** to the point where when she proposed to me, she woke me up at 5AM to do it because that’s when SagA* was overhead, and she wanted to pledge herself to me under its gaze.

        • @tessaract87 I hear you…I hear you so much. I dunno, I guess it’s like that feeling I get when there’s a thunderstorm. Like, it’s so powerful and brilliant and it makes me feel small, but in a good way. I can see where I could easily cross the boundary into worship.

          That’s a really awesome belief system. I am all about astronomy and space stuff in general. (Shame on me for not knowing the name of our black hole. Thank you for that information!) It’s especially awesome that your fiancee did that. A calculated, romantic move.
          Yeah, black holes might as well be deities.

        • I really relate to your conflicted feelings around spiritual traditions. I’ve long felt drawn to pagan spirituality, but my non-believer/rationalist side (and probably laziness, if I’m being honest with myself) has kept me from actually committing to it and putting it into practice. I love the idea of basing a belief system around a black hole, and I love that your fiancee timed her proposal around it.

          The black hole as creator and destroyer made me think of the Hindu myth of Shiva’s dance. I’m sure it’s meant as a spiritual metaphor, but I like it as a metaphor for a physical event too. It kind of plays on the idea of the black hole as deity.

  5. I love this. I’m so in. I’ve never practiced any witchcraft, but I have always related to witches and their outsider status. And I’ve always been drawn to their iconography. My desktop background is a screenshot from Haxan, which I realize is far from accurate, but there’s something about it that’s still compelling to me.

    But I think I might try to make my own votive candle and possibly a potion as well. I’m excited!

  6. Hi AS,

    I think this is a great idea! I actually clicked the link to see if you were serious. Obviously, you are. On that: I recommend you contact “The Wild Hunt” blog/journal and trade links and share info. Yay Pagans! Yay Queers!

  7. Ahhh! This is so amazing it actually pulled me out of my permanent lurker mode to comment!! Witches are increasingly resonating with me (was always interested but the interest is steadily growing for sure!) and I’m always always looking for witchy feminist queer links and info! So, this is pretty much my dream!!!

  8. Yas!! Mey and Cecelia and Beth and Rachel and SABRINATHETEENAGEWITCH (!!!) Everything made me gasp and squeal and I don’t even know what to do with myself anymore. Perfection.

  9. So, I love this, thank you so much for making it a feature! I have a few pieces of constructive criticism: this is simultaneously pretty basic while missing a few things true beginners are going to need to know about energy and creating a practice. I dunno if that’s beyond the scope of this space, but people who’ve never done spells before might find it helpful to have some basic instruction in breath work, raising energy and *grounding*! Safety and self-discipline are really important, and unfortunately, often overlooked in writings about the Craft.

    You’re also one day short of the new moon! It would be awesome if you could time these to the lunar cycle, maybe even with a paragraph overview of what sign the moon is in and what that means for this cycle.

    Lastly, while pop culture witches are totally relevant and often our first exposure to anything witchy, we have such a vibrant community of real life witches, it seems like kind of a shame not to have a profile of the ladies who not only fought to get witchcraft legalized, but were some of the first feminist/queer/ecological activist as well. Plus, most of them are still alive! You can talk to them, attend their rituals and go their workshops!

    This is a sizeable column already, so I totally get why you might not choose to include the stuff I’m talking about, but at least having some links (particularly about safety) would be nice <3

    • The best thing about this column is that this is just our first try! The future for Witch Hunt is wide open and full of possibilities!

      I love a lot of your ideas and will definitely have them in mind for the next installment, thank you!

      • Well, considering the feedback, it might be a good idea to have at least some of these ideas on a group discussion page. Lol, it looks like some of us are tired of being solitaries!

  10. This is so rad and I am all about it. Thanks for this, and looking forward to future installments!

  11. So excited for this! I’ve always been felt drawn to witches. I’m so excited to learn more about the various ways the practice.

  12. YAY! I’m soooo glad this is a thing. I’m also getting in touch with my witchy side and have recently taken up tarot. It has changed my life. I can’t wait to learn more witchy things.This is just too exciting!

  13. I love this, this is the best. I love the candles and the potion. I’m definitely going to be making them (and finally make my mini-shrine that was featured in your picture). I also was obsessed with Sabrina (I even had a Salem Giga Pet).

  14. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!! So excited and if anyone in Portland wanted to have a monthly witchy lesbo brunch and book club /craft circle… Well I would host the shit out of the first meeting

  15. Thank you very much for this column, Mey! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your contributions to this site – witchy or not. Much love to you!

  16. this is so amazing!! i just got into witchcraft a few months ago and I’m so excited to know that there are other queer witches out there! can’t wait for next month’s instalment :)

  17. Obviously Mey you don’t really know what you are talking about here. I’m telling you this with outmost respect. The fact that you named your column Witch Hunt says already a lot. Be careful with your words. Always.

    • I’m sorry that my practice and my relationship to the craft aren’t the same as yours, but just because my version of witchcraft is different than yours doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’ve put a lot of thought, meditation and research into my craft and identity as a witch and a lot of work into this column and I’m proud of both and stand by both.

      • Hi Mey, thanks for commenting on my post. I totally understand where you stand on this. I wish you all the best with your practice and with the intention of spreading your knowledge with others. Just please consider another name for your column as Witch Hunt is not positive at all for the practice. What about QUEER COVEN? warm hugs.

        • Yes, coming from Europe, I really agree with the comment on the name. Queer Coven sounds really good to me. And for the rest, I also think that there are different ways to approach the Craft and fortunately there is no authority that can say which are valid and which are not.
          But yes, for a future installment it would be cool to write about some safety measures like grounding or banning (if that’s what it’s called in English) or detaching or knowing when to stop a ritual.

      • Probably someone who’s big into the “Burning Times” as a real thing that specifically targeted Pagans and Real Witches, not a European geopolitical meltdown in reaction to the Reformation and other big changes in history that shake previously unshakable worldviews that made people seek scapegoats and such.

  18. Ha! How fitting! I just started re-listening to Inkubus Sukkubus and the soundtrack (as well as the lovely score) for “The Craft” and looking up Goddess stuff.

    And I stroll here and I found this! :D

    I’m a beginner (although I’ve seen Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, The Craft, Charmed since the 90s-and still am!). Never practiced it but always have been enchanted and entranced. I’m 24 and just came out (for the last time. My mom just recently began to accept me. We’re Hispanics) and I think this will maybe bring me out of my shy/quiet shell.

    I REALLY (you have no idea! :P) look forward to reading these articles and even practicing these weekly!

    Thank you so much.


    Blessed be, Crystal )O(

    • Squee, another Inkubus Sukkubus fan.

      I feel like I never run into our kind, like evaaar.

      Do you have a favourite track?

      • At the time, I think my favorite track was “All Hallows Eve”. Because Halloween lol

        But now, like I wrote in private messages, it’s “Lose Yourself at the Nymphaeum (Acoustic)”. But my all-time fav track is “Midnight Queen” or “Wytches” or “Wytches (Chant)”. It’s so hard to pick one, you know? :O lol

  19. I’m gonna be super looking forward to this column every month now. I’m at a place where I finally want to dedicate myself to actually learning about witchcraft and pagan traditions.

  20. Hey Beth, your ‘wheel of the year’ segment looks really interesting. I just hope you’re going to acknowledge its Gaelic origins. We don’t call them ‘sabats’ (I’m guessing that’s some new-age/wiccan terminology) but the eight annual festival are firmly entrenched in Irish rural culture. The names of the festivals, for example, come from the Gaelic language (Bealtaine Lúnasa, and Samhain are the names of the months May, August and November) and they are celebrated in rural Irish Catholic culture by saints days, pilgrimages and patterns. Imbolg, for example, is Saint Brigids day, she was a pre-christian goddess made into a saint. She had some pretty cool miracles like providing abortions for her nuns. Its celebrated by local pilgrimages to holy wells and making crosses (sun symbols) from rushes. Lúnasa is celebrated by gatherings at high places like the annual climb of the holy mountain Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo. Etc. etc. Anyway good luck with the column it sounds great Just a gentle note from an Irish queer to acknowledge the cultural origins of these ideas.

    • Thanks Flash. I’ve put thought into how to approach this in a way that acknowledges it’s many and varied roots (not only Gaelic), but also fits into the small space allotted to this, as part of a post covering lots of topics! I aim to encourage people to get interested in the wheel of the year and to acknowledge the eight points on the calendar in their own ways, with information about traditions and the related events in nature/agriculture that go alongside – though I won’t be able to mention each and every way that each quarter and cross-quarter date is marked. I’ll try to provide a variety across traditions as we go through the year – especially goddesses, of course!

      When researching the origins of the wheel of the year for this intro, I couldn’t find anything that planted it firmly in one specific tradition – as far as I could discover, the quarters and cross quarters were celebrated by pre-Christian folks across Western Europe… interestingly it seems no one culture celebrated all eight, and the ‘wheel of the year’ itself is more modern. If you know of an accessible resource that show that the wheel of the year itself belongs specifically to Gaelic culture, please share!

      As far as I understand, ‘sabbat’ is an Old English word which derives from Latin, meaning rest day and appropriated to mean a special religious day and is especially used by Wiccans and Pagans.

      • To further your understanding and give something more quickly digested than wiki:

        Shabbath meaning rest from Hebrew, followed by Greek sabbaton, naturally next Latin sabbatum then Old English sabbat.

        In general anything religion related we still have around in “common use” that purports to be a Latin derivation is likely something with a Semitic to Greek connection in some way. Either in concept of straight up language.
        I say Semitic because Aramaic does pop up sometimes and is not the same as Hebrew but from the same language family…basically.

        The world is a big place, but so small and connected at the same time as being far a part.

        • Hey Lex,
          While your etymological efforts are valiant, I’d ask you to consider that the root of this word is even earlier, that of Ancient Egypt and Akkadia. In Kemetic, the word “Sb.t” means “where the king brings the gods” and in Akkadian;
          ‘sabattu’ the 15th day of a month, S’batu the name of 11th month and let’s not forget sebet “place of beer” and sibet “playing of instruments….iow the ancient designation sbt…is about partying with gods….

          • Everything leads back to km.t, booze and partying doesn’t it?

            My etymological efforts are from a Catholic education that was very into finding kinship with Judaism and totes not into pagan partying. I thank you for your gift.

            There we have it kids sabat is ultimately from a very pagan, idolatrous and fun place and we’re reclaiming it for modern pagan times.
            Let’s go salute the first daughter of Geb and Nut.

  21. I love seeing everything put together so beautifully~

    Also, the wheel of the year is such a helpful tool. I learned so much just now!

    I like the idea that autumn is a water season & summer is a fire season. I’ve been thinking a lot about how my divination & spiritual practices mix. I recently found out that my natal chart, for example, is on fire – I have five planets ruled by Sagittarius (fire) in the 1st House (which is ruled by Aires, another fire sign). I always wondered why I’m so drawn to water signs when other Sagittarius people don’t seem to be – I love Cancers, for example. I realized it’s because I need someone who can cool off my flames! Similarly, I love Autumn for the same reason – it gives me time to chill out, reflect. But I also love Summer because it’s when I come alive.

    • Hey @cecelia – I found the same, that linking elements with the four seasons really helped me to *feel* the energy of each time of the year…especially with water and autumn, when I always feel very introspective and in tune in a way that I don’t at other times of the year.

      I love how you’ve associated this with the elements of your birth chart!

    • Although, kinda opposite to your experience, I have *zero* water in my chart (kinda weird for a tarot reader, huh!) – yet autumn is my favourite season because of that watery energy. Maybe it’s because it brings me something I feel a little lacking in the rest of the year…

  22. I have never been so excited!! This is a great idea for a column. I’ve always felt connected to witchcraft, but have never explored it. I’m so looking forward to this. Great post.

  23. YESSS

    also, every time I read the title of this article, Kanye west crooning “welcome to the jungle, welcome to the jungle, wellllll” plays in my head and it is the absolute best, we are all badasses, congratulations

  24. yessssss, this is going to be EPIC!!! i’m seething with eagerness over all the potential here.

    Also, I agree with another commenter about touching on basics like grounding and intentions.

    And as for comparing science to magic, I see magic as the stuff science can’t explain yet.

    (mostly because ‘science’ usually stands for ‘state science’ and state science has a very stubborn attachment to the imaginary concept of ‘[pure] objectivity’).


  25. I’m kinda of uncomfortable with the use of “Witch Hunt” because while the Burning Times were not a real thing, people were persecuted, tortured and executed under the charge of witchcraft.
    It’s not the same as some ignoramus casually tossing “lynch” around, but it’s still a bit unsettling.
    Witch can be reclaimed, like queer, but hunt?

    Diana is a goddess of witches in some traditions and classically the hunt.
    There’s the Wild Hunt too.
    I just dunno y’all.

    • Forgive my ignorant question, but what do you mean by the Burning Times were not real? That witch trials didn’t happen?

      • No, witch trials did indeed happen, but they were not a purging of pagans. Nor was fire the primary form of execution.
        Witch hunts and witch trial were a byproduct of the Reformation and other big world view shaking events and changes in Europe. A product of turmoil of if you will.
        Like middle school but 100x worse.

  26. I’m so excited for this column! Even though, I don’t ID as a witch, and my religious/spiritual beliefs are sort of wibbly, I’m excited to explore this a lot more.

  27. I am so excited for this column as it’s inception is at a perfect time for me! I’m just getting into witchcraft/paganism and I have been looking for resources (especially queer ones), so thank you so much for starting this column!

  28. A really good resource I found are the black witch chronicles. And since they do their meetings on the full moon, if you would do this here on the new moon, we would have something to look forward to every two weeks :-).

  29. Thank you! Excellent timing in my life. Just to share, 2 of my candles will be Stevie Nicks and Tori Amos.


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