Reclaiming the witch for halloween
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
by Dr Kate Tomas
I’m Kate, the Luxury Witch. I was fortunate enough to be included in the Ladies-who-Launch Christmas Gift Guide last year and so have had the joy of working with many of you. My work is focussed on teaching women how to master the energy of their own body, in doing so protecting them from the energy of others. Through psychic readings and a powerful three month group program, I hand you back the reigns to the chariot of your own life; showing you how to manifest the life you actively want. Most of my clients are self-employed women; women pushing past the obstacles to success and personal growth that come from not being a man in a patriarchal society.
One of the things I encounter again and again when working with my clients, whether they be Hollywood celebrities struggling with anxiety, or female founders of companies needing to break past money blocks to shift from five-figures to six, to seven, is that we all come across particular ideas of what it means to be a woman. These ideas, or archetypes, can often be sources of great inspiration, when understood and harnessed for our greater power. One of the most powerful, and at this time of year, ubiquitous of these, is the archetype of the Witch.
‘The word witch carries so many negative connotations that people wonder why we use it at all. Yet to reclaim the word witch is to reclaim our right, as women, to be powerful.’ Starhawk
Over the last couple of years, the Witch has become an incredibly popular character in pop culture. Whether it’s Netflix’s rebooting of Sabrina the Teenage Witch or the various books on Crystals and healing available in every bookshop (my own, Chakra Crystals has just been published this week), witchcraft and the figure of the Witch herself is very nearly mainstream. I’m here to give some context as to why the Witch is such an important symbol for us as women, and how it can benefit your business.
This archetype - a basic image used as a sort of mental short-cut to a collection of characteristics and properties - is always the same; a perverted version of the patriarchal idea of femininity. Long hair, long nails, pointy heeled boots…but perverted as the nails are typically creepily long, the hair is not long flowing blonde locks, but long, ratty, dirty and black; and most notable of all, the archetypal witch is ugly, and old. Witches of popular culture seduce and destroy men (Ursula in The Little Mermaid is a modern example), reject marriage, bypass the Church in their connection to divine power, and eat babies. They are the anti-ideal woman according to patriarchy. In essence, the witch is a symbol of the power of the feminine, of women’s sexuality, and all that patriarchy is most terrified of.
So why are we brought up being taught that women who are not married (ever encountered a fairy-tale witch who wasn’t single or living with her ‘sister’?); have ancient and in depth knowledge of the healing properties of plants and stones; have close relationships with animals, are dangerous and to be feared? Because for it to continue, patriarchy needs women to fear their own power. As long as women are scared of being seen as witches, we will fail to own our power. A power that is accessible to us when we embrace aspects of the feminine that have long been denigrated.
I don’t for one moment think that ‘the feminine’ is a concrete list of characteristics occupying one end of some sort of linear gender spectrum. Rather ‘femininity’ is a shifting collection of actions, qualities, behaviours that constellate around certain other cultural themes. Historically, since Pythagoras in 580BCE, these themes have been set up as a binary against those labelled as ‘masculine’. According to Pythagoras’ Table of Opposites, on one side is male, light, good; on the other is female, dark, evil. And the rest of Western culture has been one long extrapolation of this. By the time we get to the Enlightenment, a movement in philosophy and culture in the 18th century, Reason and Logic are added to the ‘male/good’ side of the table, with Intuition added to the ‘female/evil’ side.
If one gender expression is ‘good’ and the other ‘evil’, obviously the gender expression labeled as ‘evil” will be suppressed. But there are and always have been women who embrace even the taboo aspects of femininity. There have always been witches in the world and there always will be.
So how is this useful for us as women, and specifically women who run businesses? Well, for a start it is extremely useful to recognise how gender expression is and always has been a site of power-struggle. We must resist any attempts to keep us small, poor, and powerless based on assumptions about who we are and what we are capable of. As women who run businesses; direct companies; are in positions of power, we are already resisting, and the archetype of the witch is one that we would do well to embrace, celebrate and grow into.
Tune in to the Ladies-who-Launch Instagram on Halloween where I’ll be doing a take over! As well as giving tips on using your intuition to better your business, I’ll also be doing a live Q&A, and would love it if you would join in.
Please send any questions about harnessing female power, archetypes, magick, witchcraft or intuition and crystals to me and I’ll try and answer them on the 31st. If you leave your IG handle, I’ll try and make sure you’re tagged.
An optional spell...
One of the ways in which witches have always assisted women who come to them for help when all else has failed, is with money magic. And in this venerated and powerful tradition, I offer you here a powerful money magic spell that can also double up as a Christmas decoration if the rest of your household aren’t quite ready for full-on fire and brimstone.
Pomander Money Spell
Pomanders were originally always enchantments, often for healing, but in this case, financial growth. This spell harnesses the magickal properties of Orange associated with blessings; the magickal ability of Orris Root to attract and draw in that which we want, cloves -long time a symbol of luxury and wealth, the colour green -the colour of money, and cinnamon, whose natural sweetness symbolizes the sweet life, and who’s heat gives this spell its power.
1 large thin skinned Orange
1 tbsp dried Orris Root powder (you can buy this online for about £3)
1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 meter of green ribbon
Something sharp to pierce the orange with
Take a large, healthy, thin-skinned Orange and use something sharp to mark out a financial shape such as a pound or dollar sign. I often fill my orange with a whole collection of money symbols and signs from all cultures and countries. The more the better in my opinion, but if you prefer minimalism, you do you.Take whole cloves and stick them into each hole, making an affirmation with each one. I like to repeat - ‘I open the path to wealth without end, the money I want, the Universe sends’ as I stick my cloves in. Rhymes are common in magick spells because they engage the subconscious, which is where the real magick happens.Once you’ve filled all the holes with cloves, roll the pomander in ground cinnamon mixed with dried orris root powder. You can find orris root powder online -it’s worth getting hold of for this spell, for its magickal properties of attraction.Tie a green ribbon around the pomander and hang it up to radiate its power.
Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess, London (1979)
The myth of Baba Yaga is an excellent example of this.
Although there are many non-binary witches, the archetype of the witch is specifically gendered female.