A day in the life of a modern day witch

‘’I draw sigils on my skin with perfume oils and burn herbs for what I want to bring in for that day…’’


Mario Pena

A witch. Photo: Mario A. P. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

When most of us hear the word ‘’Witch’’ we think of flying brooms, cauldrons and ugly green faces.

But modern day ‘witches’ say this is just a stereotypical Grimm’s Brothers tale, and that the modern-day witch is just an average person.

They say there are many ways to practice witchcraft, which don’t revolve around potions with rat toenails and a magic wand, and that witchcraft is much more ethical than that.

Depending on the type of witch, most witches use tools such as tarot cards and crystals to practice their craft, whereas others make spell jars for abundance with a mixture of herbs and other natural earth elements.

Hope Bilkey, who practices spirituality, says her preferred method is ‘’oracle cards, crystals and the power of manifestation.’’

According to Hope witchcraft is easy and beneficial to incorporate into day-to-day life, and that it creates room for positivity and gives people a moment of mindfulness throughout the business of the day.

‘’I incorporate it in my life by practising affirmations and trying to put out what I would want to receive,’’ she says.

The Salem Witch Trials is an integral part of the history of witchcraft – the trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693.

‘’The Salem Witch Trials was a horrific genocide, because men feared powerful women’’ Hope says alluding to most of the women not actually being witches and being wrongly accused.

Salem the town has since embraced witch culture and has stores selling divination and spiritual tools.

Witchcraft has also often been associated with satanism and worship of the devil.

Elizabeth Keogh also practices witchcraft and is a firm believer in it being a form of spirituality, and not associated with anything evil or negative.

‘’If you choose to associate yourself with the devil then yes, but if not then no.’’ she says.

Witches consider witchcraft to be a form of religion and ‘Wiccan’ culture worships deities or supernatural beings considered divine or sacred, such as Zeus and Aphrodite in ancient Greek mythology.

But not all witches do this.

‘’I have deities wanting to work with me, but I haven’t done so yet so no,’’ Elizabeth claims.

Witches do create spell jars, but they don’t contain toad skin and the hair of an enemy – instead, they use things such as dried flowers and herbs, as well as notes of affirmations and candle wax coloured with intention (such as pink for love).

Sarah Regan, a spiritual blogger, says such jars are spiritual tools that help people identify—and pursue—their innermost desires.

I ask Hope how people become witches – do they need to be able to move objects with their minds, or have an acceptance letter to a witchcraft school given to them by an owl?

She says that anyone can be a witch.

‘’I don’t believe there are any requirements to be a witch, but it’s preferred if you’re doing it for the greater good and not to interfere with anyone’s life in a negative way,” she says.

There has been an uprise in ‘’modern witches’’ throughout recent years and the #witch hashtag on Tiktok has trended numerous times since 2020.

Witches believe in what they’re doing and feel that it is their purpose; they call for witchcraft to be viewed as any other religion or set of beliefs.

‘’You don’t tell people how to do their craft, it’s a way of life not a label or personality trait … you do what you feel,”  Elizabeth says.

Madeleine is a student at Latrobe University. You can follow her Twitter at @maddiemurrelll