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Hex In Effect: Why Witches Are Back

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

When you hear the word ‘witch,’ what does your mind conjure?

Is it the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz?”

Sabrina Spellman from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch?”

Or maybe Nancy Downs from “The Craft?”

Witches have signified many things for many people over the millennia — from terrifying hags who steal infants and live in huts to empowered vigilantes who fight the patriarchy and control their own destinies.

And with this year’s releases of Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” CW’s “Charmed” and the film “Suspiria,” it appears witches are having a moment.

As the The Guardian put its, this phenomenon is happening off-screen, too:

It’s not just on TV where witches are working their magic. The witch is an Instagram mambo, or voodoo priestess, dispensing hoodoo know-how to thousands of followers. She is influencing Beyoncé, whose Lemonade took visual cues from Nigerian spiritual worship rituals; she is pro-sisterhood and anti-Trump, mobilising online and in the streets to form a modern-day incarnation of Witch (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell), the anonymous socialist feminist collective who emerged in ’60s New York to hex Wall Street.

The women mainly responsible for this surge in witchcraft are a young, creative and predominantly US-based community of black, Latinx and diaspora practitioners.

Are we living in the season of the witch? And if so… why now?

*Show produced by Paige Osburn*.


Constance Grady, Culture writer, Vox; @constancegrady

Pam Grossman, Host, “The Witch Wave”; author of “Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic and Power”;@Phantasmaphile

Kristen Sollee, Instructor/lecturer, The New School in New York; author, “Witches, Sluts, Feminists.”;@ShadowtimeNYC 

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

© 2018 WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio.

Copyright 2018 WAMU 88.5

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