Modern witchcraft is a vibrant subculture that has undergone a highly-visible renaissance in recent years, exploding across social media, redefining concepts of self-care, and contributing to a robust economy of the occult. Modern witches view nature as sacred, see deity as a diversified concept (gods and goddesses), believe in the practice of various forms of magic (defined by English poet and occultist Aleister Crowley as “the art of transforming reality in accordance with will”), participate in seasonal and lunar rituals, and engage with divination systems like astrology, tarot, the “I Ching,” and runes, to try to gain insight about life’s challenges.
While witches have plenty of options for quarantine entertainment, from the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” to “Charmed”, some have come up with creative solutions allowing for continued magic and ritual practice with their covens. Such engagement, not unlike a church or synagogue service for followers of Judeo-Christian religions, is part of the expression and socializing so important to spiritual communities.
Pat C. and Paul B. who own and operate Artes and Craft, a brick and mortar witchcraft shop in Hartford, Michigan, held an online ritual for the Spring Equinox (witches call it Ostara). “We chose Facebook Live because people can view the session after the fact. Our Spring Equinox ritual had over 4,000 views with many local folks attending.” The Order of Ganymede, a group of covens based in Boston, has been using GoToMeeting for video conferencing with members using a creative mélange of connection options: iPad, laptop, smartphone, and regular dial-in phone participation. “It has a great ‘record’ feature for a replay of the ritual for others, since we all know that time doesn’t matter on the inner planes,” says coven member Steve W. aka Delios, referencing the realm of dreams and what modern witches believe is the liminal space between life and death: like the concept of the fairy realm or the Otherworld in Celtic culture.
Thank you so much for bearing with us as we try to navigate this scary and confusing time. In order to insure the safety and health of our coven, the Siren Sisters of Bramble Grove will now be holding our monthly ritual Satan worship and spell-casting meeting over the video-conferencing platform Zoom. I know you all likely have questions and concerns, many of which I will try to address here.
Once you have logged in to the meeting, make sure that your camera and audio are turned on. If your audio is off and our voices are not in synch, the spells will not work. Please do not pretend that you don’t know how to turn the audio on to avoid participating in the spells. I know we will all be in separate places, but we still need to put in a hundred-per-cent effort, as we would if we were meeting at our rock pentagram in the Hell cave.
Side note—if you left something in the Hell cave, DO NOT go back to retrieve it. You were given explicit instructions not to leave anything behind in the Hell cave. You will have to wait to retrieve your items until the Hell cave has been sanitized and commuting to the Hell cave is safe again.
Since we cannot gather around our large communal cauldron, we will have to plug our smaller, at-home cauldrons into our computers. If your miniature cauldron is new, you will be able to use wireless Bluetooth connection. I recently realized that my new cauldron also synchs with Spotify!