Hecate is calling all Witches to rise up, make things whole again…
Are you a Feminist Witch?
Signs you may be ready to stand up for Witches everywhere:
- You feel drawn to rallies around Women’s rights.
- You have a deep connection to The Divine Feminine.
- You have the intelligence to share your beliefs in a meaningful, respectful and SAFE way.
- You have a voice and people listen.
- You have had dreams of The Goddess at trying times in your life.
If you are ready to step into your power. Join the ever evolving witchAF community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/witchaf/
History of Witchcraft and Feministic Roots.
Broom Rides and Women’s Marches
The idea of witches being tied to strong female figures and role models has spanned back centuries and throughout civilizations. From legends such as Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, and Joan D’Arc to modern icons such as Stevie Nicks or in a more fictional sense, Sabrina Spellman, witchcraft and stories drenched in its history bring a sense of power to women as well as other genders and provides a religious sentiment to the modern feminist movement. Through symbolism to shared moral values, the staggering comparisons have created an appropriate solid base for beliefs and movements let they be ancient or modern. Even though Witchcraft is founded on the idea of deities, whereas feminism was not, the growth of both ideas is connected because both support female empowerment, equality and admonish the idea of gender roles.
Connections and Symbolism
Practitioners of witchcraft often are based in a belief system tied to civilizations of the past such as the Asgardian, Egyptian, and Hellenistic pantheons. The similar symbolic tendencies have not only become root for said pantheons but also in our own predispositions today, easily signified in the aspects of the symbolism surrounding the common cat. In “Season of The Witch,” by Lynn Garrett publisher Peter Turner is quoted in saying, “Cats and cat references are ubiquitous in art, pop culture, politics, and the occult, and throughout history, they have most often been coded female” (Turner, 2019). Asgardian queen and goddess of beauty, Freya, was said to have a chariot pulled by a feline team, one of the highest regarded Egyptian goddesses is Bast or Bastet, the feline goddess of the home, fertility, and women’s secrets. Finally in ancient Greece, cats were and still are commonly associated with the goddess of witchcraft and crossroads, Hekate. Throughout time such goddesses have been represented as strong feminine figures and while not well known by quite the few, have some of the most dedicated worshippers. “The goddess became a symbol for strong and independent women and Wicca became a religion that was for women, by women” (Shuller, 2014).
Basic principles also do a prominent job at linking both ideals. “Using witchy words as magic words, that is, as words to make things happen, was not an uncommon practice in 1970s feminism” (Goldenburg, 2014). Thus, also ties in a belief in witchcraft and paganism known to practitioners as the Threefold Law or Rule of Three; “Ever mind the rule of three/What ye send out comes back to thee.” Commonly known as the golden rule, the Rule of Three, is just one example of how principles have stood the test of time.
The ideas that word give both witches and feminists as well as followers of both ideals, create a language that connects one another; for witches it comes in the form of spells and rituals. “Mention of witches’ wails and incantations, the mutterings of crones, their rhymes, their prophecies, their so-called gibberish summons up specters and visions of suppressed portions of minds, histories and desires” (Goldenberg, 2004). For feminists it’s music, speeches, quotes, and in the modern technological society, memes. Such language and way of speech causes such a connection and spurns unity among a common company.
Traditions and Gender Roles
A glimpse into a witches sacred space or altar can scratch the surface in the importance of equality and balance between both genders and their energies. Each component has either a masculine or feminine energy associated it, candles and athames are more inclined to the masculine, whereas cauldrons and chalices are more representative of the feminine. The most effective altars have the right balance between energies, much like the equality aspect of feminism. There is no rule as to who to marry or any guidelines as to who is subservient to whom.
Foundations: Ethereal vs Corporeal
While there are many similarities between both ideals such as with gender roles and regards towards one another, the foundations of both differ exponentially. Witchcraft is founded based on paying tribute to the gods/energies/spirits via rituals and offerings, as well as living through a cycle and a calendar that consists of holidays and ceremonies. Feminism, although yes, there is a history, is more politically and radically charged. There is no divinity that reigns over the cause except for the role models and feminist ideals and icons such as artists like Frida Kahlo, or political figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. However, in the modern day and age, there has been a growth of witchcraft practitioners that identify as agnostic/atheist, not rooting their craft in any religious basis. This fact is causing yet another bridge between witchcraft practitioners and modern feminists.
Witches and feminists create a support system for one another and provide effective platforms for equality and female empowerment. Love, community, and self-awareness are rampant through both ideals and lifestyles, thriving rapidly if practiced constantly and properly. Both also endure their battles with misconceptions, with witchcraft’s constant confusion and comparisons with the “Satanic Panic” and their version of Satanism, and the feminist movement being tarnished constantly with misguided media and practitioners that take it over the line into misandry, or “feminazis”. Through traditions and symbolism, the two go hand in hand in creating a community that promotes positivity in mind body and soul, as well as protect the aspect that everything is equally connected and sacred.
Christian C. Smith
Rhetoric and Research/200
Frances Lord Pistoresi
Fry, C. L. (1993). The goddess ascending: Feminist neo-pagan witchcraft in marian zimmer bradley’s novels. Journal of Popular Culture, 27(1), 67. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/195356396?accountid=35812
Garrett, L. (2019). Season of the witch: Witchcraft is one of the hot trends in the mind-body-spirit category. Publishers Weekly, (31), 26. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.596104114&site=eds-live&scope=site
Goldenberg, N. R. (2004). Witches and words. Feminist Theology: The Journal of the Britain & Ireland School of Feminist Theology, 12(2), 203–211. https://doi.org/10.1177/096673500401200207
Harrington, M. (2015). Reflecting on studying wicca from within the academy and the craft: an autobiographical perspective. Pomegranate, 17(1/2), 180–193. https://doi.org/10.1558/pome.v17i1-2.29756
Shuler, Elizabeth “A balancing act: A discussion of gender roles within wiccan ritual.”
Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies 4, no. 1 (2012). https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/imwjournal/vol4/iss1/3
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