Wicked Witches of Moravian: Addressing Misconceptions


Traditional objects that people would assume are “witches’ tools.”

When you think of a witch, you may picture a green-skinned woman with a long, pointed nose, dressed in all black, topped with a witch’s hat. Or perhaps you imagine someone summoning Satan while sitting inside a pentagram drawn in blood. 

But Hollywood witches are poor representations of what real witches truly are. 

The words “witch” and ”witchcraft” derive from the Old English word “wicca,” which now refers to a form of modern Paganism.

However, you do not have to be Wiccan or Pagan to practice witchcraft. Contrary to the vengeful, sinister examples given in stories, Wicca is a peaceful and harmonious way of living that encourages balance. Wicca promotes compassion, not only for other humans, but for all things, alive or not. 

Many Wiccans believe that the spirit of the One, Goddess and God, exist within every thing, so they  must respect all things as the divine. They deeply appreciate everything the earth has to offer us, such as the beautiful palette of colors that are painted across the sky every sunrise and sunset and the forest illuminated only by the light of the moon. We trek the natural paths of the woods, in awe of all its wonders, thanking the land as we travel. 

Wiccans often celebrate that which life has provided us. These celebrations usually take place on Wiccan holidays that revolve around the moon, sun, and seasons, which we live by. Some people hold public events to celebrate these days. 

Columcille Megalith Park, located in Bangor, Pennsylvania, hosts these inspired events regularly. It is a stunning place filled with wonders and, dare I say, magic. 

Though some witches do practice black magic, it is not a very common occurrence because it goes against Pagan and Wiccan beliefs. As with most religions, the Pagan and Wiccan religion has moral limitations. Similar to the idea of Karma is the Rule of Three, or Threefold Law, which states that whatever energy, be it positive or negative, that a person puts out into the world will come back to them three times. Additionally, anything Pagan and Wiccans do should not bring harm to another and should be of pure intention. 

Witchcraft is generally based on the natural earth and elements. Witches have a connection to nature, feeling its energies and growing with them. Yes, witches cast spells and brew potions, but they cannot curse anyone or do anything even remotely “evil” because that would violate the tenant of “Harm None.” The spells, potions, charms, and so forth are crafted for love, healing, wisdom, creativity, and harmony. They may be remedies for headache or heartache, physical or emotional pain. 

There are many crafts that one may practice. A multitude of readings are quite popular, including tarot cards, oracle cards, palms, crystal balls, tea leaves, and smoke. Other topics of interest are incense, candles, crystals, herbs, and essential oils.

Witchcraft does not inherently mean magic. In fact, it has a broad range of meanings that differ from practitioner to practitioner.

Spells do not have to be lengthy tongue-twisters, but rather short affirmations. A potion does not contain bizarre ingredients like eye of newt and toe of frog. Instead, it can simply be a blend of tea leaves, flower petals, and drops of different oils. 

Witchcraft is comprised of a fairly large community that continues to grow. Whether openly practicing, still in the broom closet, or just find it interesting, witches are more common than one might think. 

Just the other week I met a fellow Moravian student who does tarot readings. I met with her for a reading, and I must say that she is really skilled in her craft. She offered much more than general information, as some people claim readings do. We discussed the problems I have been struggling with most. With her guidance, I made some changes that have significantly helped my mental well-being and even resulted in a new relationship. 

It is hard to identify a witch, especially when you are expecting green skin and a broomstick. 

There are many types of witches, so there are no true defining features. For example, a cosmic witch may strongly identify with their astrology sign, adorning themselves in stars and their sign. A green witch may always be seen barefooted, digging their toes into the ground. You may look for crystal necklaces, dirt under their fingernails, and wonder in their eyes, but you cannot know a witch from a non-witch.