Witchcraft is the practice of magical skills and abilities. Witchcraft is a broad term that varies culturally and societally, and thus can be difficult to define with precision. — Wikipedia
L.A. Maciel — The Witch
I’m from a small town in the middle of the redwood forest, three hours south of the Oregon border, which is why I’m an avid hiker and nature lover.
I was told at a young age that I would have been a SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome statistic. It is why I’m a Death Positive Advocate. Death has always been an inspiration to me, and it has influenced me in my everyday life.
I’m also a big fairy tale and mythology lover. Not to mention, my fascination with occultism that has been with me since childhood. When all of these ads together, it makes sense. Why, even though I’m a pantheist, paganism is my go-to religion.
Interview With The Witch!
ALEXA WAYNE (A.W.): When did you find out you would be a witch?
L.A. MACIEL: To be honest, I never really thought about it. I’ve always loved witches and the idea of the witch. When I think of a witch, I think of an influential person, a person who knows themselves. So, to answer your question! I guess I’ve always known.
A.W.: Growing up as Catholic, does it feel strange to now do the transition to be a witch
L.A. MACIEL: Not really. My mother has always done things that, to some, may seem “witchy.” In her case, they are traditional Portuguese protections. However, because of growing up with a mom like mine, it wasn’t that hard at all. I love the rosary she gave me and keep it with me when I can.
A.W.: What being a witch means to you personally?
L.A. MACIEL: What does it mean to be a witch to me… That’s an interesting question. Most of the people accused of witchcraft suffered torture, but they refused to answer. So, in a sense, it’s the idea of being brave in the face of adversity.
A.W.: For people who believe in the stereotype of witch equaling evil or worshipping the devil or the opposite, being a tree hugger, what would you like to say? Don’t be shy and go as in-depth as possible.
L.A. MACIEL: Honestly, I’m mixed. I think it’s funny, but I also think it’s very narrow-minded of them, and it’s kind of scary. First, every religion, every practitioner has to face stereotypes, so I already knew that this was going to happen.
However, that still doesn’t give anyone the right to assume that witches all worship Satan. That’s called Luciferianism, which is also a misunderstood religion. Also, second, the treehugger bit? Yeah, most witches worship nature, but not all. So, they aren’t that far off!
A.W.: How many types of witches are out there because I’ve come to understand, working at GBM, that there are quite a few different types of witchery.
L.A. MACIEL: Well, there are many types of witchcraft, which is why there are many different types of witches. I can’t tell you how many there are. People are always evolving, and so is the practice of witchcraft. I love folk magick.
I consider myself a kitchen/cottage witch because that style of witchcraft kind of focuses on everyday life is magical in its own right, which is what I believe. I’m not big on the High Ritual stuff. Not that that is bad or anything. It’s just not who I am.
A.W.: What are the holidays that you celebrate as a witch and which ones are the most important?
L.A. MACIEL: Well, here’s the thing. Witchcraft, witches, and Wicca (or any other pagan faith) aren’t the same. You can have Christian witches, Satanic witches, atheist witches, etc. Witches can be of any faith. Therefore they can celebrate any holiday they want.
I celebrate Christian holidays, because I grew up Catholic, as well as the eight Sabbats that most Wiccans, and the like, celebrate. So, to answer your question, I guess one of the most essential Sabbats is Samhain, also known as the Witches New Year.
It’s the second Sabbat where the Veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, and it is where the Goddess enters her Crone phase. An end to the cycle.
A.W.: Would you consider the movie The Craft from the 90s, which was quite popular, to be an excellent movie to understand the good vs. the evil magic?
L.A. MACIEL: First, magic is neither good or evil; the practitioner is the one who chooses how to use it. Second, two actresses in that movie were involved in the New Age movement and were the “experts” that the filmmakers went to.
Third, the New Age shop owner, in the film, Lirio, said it beautifully in this quote.
“True magic is neither black nor white – it’s both because nature is both. Loving and cruel, all at the same time. The only good or bad is in the heart of the witch. Life keeps a balance on its own…” — LirioMovie The Craft
So, in a way, yes. That movie does show the good and bad of magic.
A.W.: With witches, we often hear about the four elements, water, earth, wind, fire. Each has its importance, but how would you describe its utilities in practicing your religion or way of life?
L.A. MACIEL: It’s all a balancing act. When the elements are balanced, the witch is balanced. When one is doing a high ritual, they call upon the towers–the directions and the elements that align with them—for protection. Though, some faiths don’t go by the four elements in their paths.
A.W.: When I researched the etymology of the word witch, it said the word “witch” had no gender at all back in the Medieval era. If you are in a coven or know other witches, would you say there are more women than men?
L.A. MACIEL: I’m strictly a Solitary witch. I don’t mind groups like The Black Hat Society, but I don’t do the coven thing. However, from my experience, it’s a pretty even split.
Though women are more comfortable talking about, this statement is strictly from my experience, and I think it has to do with the fact that most of them are Wiccan, which is trying to bring back the Divine Feminine and more feminists lean towards those faiths.
A.W.: During the Witch Hunt, when I did research, I’ve learned that the percentage of men who died accused of being a witch was much more significant than women.
L.A. MACIEL: I never heard of that? That certainly makes me want to do more research on that subject! I do know that they would accuse leaders of other Christian faiths of witchcraft, but that is all I know. So, thank you!