The archetypal witch conjures up an image of an old crone mixing herbs in a cauldron, most certainly for a spell or ritual. The word “witch” makes us think of an old hag, riding around a chilly October evening on her broom, casting curses at whoever is unlucky enough to be in her way. Witchcraft and witches exist in modern day, but definitely not in the way that most of the populations thinks. Every energetic worker, occultist, or witch will have a different definition of the word “witch”. Although some people tie working magick to witchcraft, not all witches work with magick, just like not all magick workers are witches. What does that mean? Not everyone who manipulates energy for a certain outcome is a witch, and not every witch works with energy. The history of witchcraft is long and winding, and cultures ranging from the Celts to the Ancient Mesopotamian’s had their own form of energy work or magick which could be considered Witchcraft. Witchcraft, and the use of healing through herbs and natural remedies, divination, magick and spells can be passed down from generation to generation in a practice called Hereditary Witchcraft. Witchcraft ranges widely from practitioner to practitioner and you don’t have to have a family that practices witchcraft to practice it yourself. Since Witchcraft is a practice and not a religion, you can follow almost any religious path and still be a witch.
Witchcraft can include anything from divination and crystal work to spells and herb and faerie lore and magick. It’s a personal practice, with an underlying idea that you have tools at your disposal to create and see parts of this life that you may have missed without the awareness or consciousness that comes with Witchcraft. It’s kind of difficult to understand in an objective light, so I’ll share a bit about my personal practice.
My practice of Witchcraft involves working with the tarot, faeries, crystals and and energy work. like spells. I work with the moon and I incorporate my yoga practice as a form of energy work as well. I practice magick, although I don’t believe in using that sort of energy to cause any negativity or harm to anyone. A lot of my practice is being positive, being aware of the power of my thoughts and actions and how I impact other people. In my opinion this is the basis of all energy work, how can you expect to manipulate energy if you’re not aware of the power of your own at all? Thoughts and intentions go a long way, after all.
I became involved with Witchcraft when I was 11 or 12. It started with a deck of Faerie oracle cards, called The Faerie’s Oracle, by Brian Froud. This led me to finding the book “A Witches Guide to Faery Folk” which began me on my journey. 8 or 9 years later and my path is still evolving. I saw this bag on Dolls Kill and had to have it. I love to incorporate fashion and spirituality so this was a match made in heaven. I paired it with some drop waist pants, a halter tank with a low back, some black boots and lots of gold details to finish off the outfit.Shirt: Forever 21/ Necklace: Topshop/ Pants: Zara/ Boots: H&M/ Bag: Dolls Kill
For me, witchcraft is a spiritual practice that means being aware of my energy and my place in the world. It means using my intuition and the tools I have to create the life I want to live, in a peaceful and loving way. I don’t condone hurting anyone or attempting to hurt anyone to get a desired outcome and I especially don’t condone any form of magick that hurts more than it helps. More than anything, this is my practice and my story and my own form of witchcraft.
Talk to me about what you think about witchcraft on twitter @gabyherstik.
All photos by Alexandra Herstik. @alexyael on Instagram