This week, we are taking a slight detour from our usual subject matter and taking a look at witchcraft and ritual in the real world from writers who identify as witches and explore these ideas in their non-fiction writing. After coming across Katie West’s latest project, Becoming Dangerous, I wanted to talk to her about ideas of witchcraft and feminism. We are very lucky to be joined as well by contributors and self-identifying witches Gabriela Herstik and Sophie Saint Thomas to discuss the feminine power of witchcraft and ritual.
To feel safe, we must feel powerful. Powerful enough to choose and pursue what they want, be that a power derived from physicality, money, politics, or anything else. Historically, women have been powerless. While we might say that womankind has come a long way, we are far from secure. Our rights may be stripped at a moments notice, as the current political climate has shown. So what power can we turn to?
Witchcraft is a movement that allows women to reclaim their power and use ritual to break down the patriarchy. Similar to punk, witchcraft is just as much a political movement as it is about the practice of witchcraft and the occult.
Gabriela Herstik is a fashion witch who works as a full-time Latinx Culture Writer for HelloGiggles and as a freelance writer. Gabriela examines what it means to be a modern-day occultist in her Nylon Column “Ask a Witch” and loves to dissect the intersection between glamour and magick, specifically through style. By approaching fashion, human rights and the occult from an intersectional feminist lens, Gabriela offers a deeper sense of empowerment to readers. Her debut book on witchcraft with Ebury Press will be released in Spring 2018.
Sophie Saint Thomas is a queer writer based in Brooklyn, where she lives with two marmalade cats, Mama Cat and Major Tom Cat. Sophie grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is a regular contributor to VICE, Cosmopolitan, Mic, Noisey, Broadly, Marie Claire, High Times, Nylon, Playboy, GQ, Refinery29, Harper’s Bazaar and more. Brooklyn Magazine included her on their annual 2016 30 Under 30 Envy List. She loves to drink tea and study the occult and believes vanity is a delicious sin.
Katie West is the owner of Fiction & Feeling publishing company; a photographer who’s been posting self-portraits online for over a decade; a writer who writes non-fiction and comics and has been published by Dark Horse and Bedside Press; and an executive assistant to the creators of the Image comic The Wicked + The Divine.