Today I’m going to talk about something that is really important to me, and probably countless other witchcraft practitioners: aesthetics.
I have no shame in admitting that I am a Millenial™ and was brought up between the 90s scrunchie-wearing-size 0 culture and the selfie culture we live in today. Even though I’m an adult, I think we are all affected by what we see in the media.
So, what’s my point here?
Look at these popular modern depictions of witches:
With this surge in popularity of young women (and men) turning to witchcraft, it’s easy to see why many witches feel pressured to look or commit to a certain aesthetic and interests that ‘correspond’ with these aesthetics: Morticia, Misty (or Stevie, whichever floats your boat), Marie Laveau hoodoo queen, or Dayana Killstar nu goth witch.
I’m not saying that any of these aesthetics aren’t valid (I personally love all of them and model myself after two of them).
But if you don’t look like this, are you qualified to call yourself a witch? Are you qualified if you just practise a little bit in your spare time, or do we all have to be hunched over grimoires in candlelight in our Instagram-perfect gothic houses?
Of course you are qualified.
The aesthetic and interests you have, and who you are, do not have an impact on your value as a witch.
Witchcraft can be as much a part of your life as you want it to be.
To illustrate this, I’ve collected together some folks, all of whom are different, and all of whom are extremely valid witches. I have also included their Instagram handles if I know them! Do you see yourself in any of these people? If so- great! If not- great! I rest my case and hand you over to…
‘I am an eclectic witch and for the past seven years I have been working on my craft.
I am not a multigenerational witch. I am the first in my family to work in witchcraft, and over the years I’ve been able to gather witches from all over my area and of all different paths and bring us together. I am a hot mess with my three rescue cats and roommate (who is also a witch).
My interest is mostly in the work itself, connecting different items and elements to alter the flow of energies and bend it to what I ask. Being eclectic I work a lot with different mediums. Finding a home in Tarot, candle work, and spell creation.’
‘I’m Skye, from the UK. I have been a practising pagan witch for just short of a decade. My interests pertain to the ocean, nature, art, poetry and music. I consider myself a sea witch and I work with the oceanic realm. The sea has always captured my heart, and soul. And it has always been a place of solace and strength for me. Being a witch to me, means being your authentic self, living your truth and standing in your power. After all, the greatest magic takes place within ourselves.’
‘My aesthetic *nowadays* is what I would call “evil school girl” or a mix of 70s punk, 80s goth, and just a huge 90S/Y2K mess! It really depends on my mood, but lately its leaning more towards my goth look in middle and high school. I definitely believe self-expression is a HUGE part of witchcraft and just me in general. Whatever I’m feeling I need help with that day is what I express throughout the day and in my practice, as I tailor it to my needs and make it as specific as possible. My interests outside of it are dancing (modern, bellydancing and hoopdancing), theater/costuming, sewing, art, poetry, music (both listening to and playing), nature, natural medicine, essential oils and herbs, astrology (which all play a part in my craft) cooking/baking, so many things.’
‘I was raised Wiccan, but dabbled and studied one or two other religions before studying paganism as a whole. I discovered my ancestors were Viking and Celtic and decided to try the more ancient path, while merging it with a little new age belief. So I’m classified under a heathen pagan witch but I just do magick when I’m called. Magick is a big part of my daily routine and helps with manic depression, ptsd and fibromyalgia. I incorporate it into everything from my coffee to my shower to setting an intention on my work break. Witchcraft and magick saved me, my health and my life.’
5. Jorge (@thescribian)
‘Witchcraft found me before I even knew what it was. It’s not what defines me, but it plays such a beautiful role in almost everything that I do. I love to entertain people with writing and acting – I’ll work with candles to infuse creativity and passion into those things. I love helping people through my career in education – I’ll invent rituals for good fortune, or even clear communication! And when I’m not chasing the forty million ambitions I can muster in a moment, I like to take some time to study witchcraft and connect with other practitioners, which reminds me I’m a part of something so much greater than myself.’
‘I’m in school for social work but my ideal goal is to be a psychedelic therapist so I can merge the spiritual and apply therapeutic techniques. I’m interested in astrology (still learning!) but that was a huge explanation for how I naturally went about my craft. I use fire, incantations and draw sigils! Drawing itself is an act of meditation and manifesting for me.’
7. Kit (chronic.enby)
‘Hi I’m Kit, I’m 28 and I’m nonbinary. I started practicing witchcraft at about 8 years old when I found out I had witch/pagan ancestors. I work a lot with candle magick since fire has always called to me. I’m also an artist! I like to incorporate my art into candle making/carving: it makes my practice more personal.’
‘My witch-name is Seren, I’m Welsh, and I’m a kitchen witch, 27.
I primarily do kitchen witchcraft and hearth witchcraft, which means I work primarily with food – something I’m very happy about! – and I consider myself secular, despite also being a Hellenic polytheist – I don’t believe that my deities are inherently linked to my witchcraft. I do a lot of baking and cooking, which my housemates are very pleased about.
‘Hi, My name is Puneet (Witched Felis : magickal name) and I am a natural Witch from India. I am an author and I have recently published a book on true paranormal encounters.
I am a Wiccan , Psychic and Clairvoyant. I also write a Blog where I express my views on witchcraft. Witchcraft for me is a way of living, An ancient way of living being aware of our body, mind, consciousness and the parallel dimensions. To be a Witch is to be leader of self, to be a healer and to be a guiding light for self and all those who come to you seeking help. I was born as a Witch and Since I live in India, Which is considered as a Land of Magick ,my Journey as a witch was smooth. I believe, there is a Wise Witch in all of us, but we just don’t choose to become aware of it. It’s a a beautiful path, and We create our own Path in this, We don’t follow a single religious book but write our Own book of Shadows- isn’t it interesting? We follow our Instincts and Strongly believe in what we are and Be proud of it. There are many subjects in Witchcraft and depending on our interest we choose to learn. I have been using tarot as a tool for learning philosophy , as a medium to read the fortunes, heal and understand the Underlying mindset.’
10. Angela, los angeles (@eastwest.sun)
‘Hello! I’m Angela from the suburbs of Los Angeles. I’m an outdoors girl at heart and on normal weekends, you can find me camped out in a van with my two dogs in the mountains or deserts of California. I have an incredibly bright and candy colored wardrobe. I know I don’t seem very witchy but my craft comes from the conjoining of two cultures. I practice elemental herbalism and healing, and I always try to honor my magickal roots — from California to Taiwan.’
I think my point here is proved, However, this is only the tip of the iceberg of the diversity of this practice, and I think that’s what makes it the most magical and powerful.