For Our Consideration: Seasons of the witch: Tracing the resurgent witchcraft trend

For untold millennia, deep into the misty pagan past, groups of women have gathered under the dark of night to commune with nature and share valuable folk knowledge. Now, a new generation of self-proclaimed witches, drawn by their own misty memories of playing with Ouija boards at sleepovers and bookmarking the dirty parts of The Mists Of Avalon, has answered the call.

Unlike the crunchy new age types who made Wicca into a (loosely) organized religion in the 1970s, these witches are more likely to be urban than rural, to be heavily tattooed than clad in a Ren Faire-style peasant skirt, and to keep their Book Of Shadows online, where a search for “#witchesofinstagram” turns up hundreds of thousands of results and “#witch” more than two million. The religious dimension of the whole thing can vary wildly as well, from committed neo-pagans to casual dabblers. They all refer to their …

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