Top 5 Witchy Moments in Pop Culture

If you’ve read more than a handful of posts in this blog, you’ve probably gathered that I’m a bit eclectic. I know that’s a bad word in the witchy community, but there isn’t a better term to categorize my practice. Chaos magick comes close, especially in conjunction with this blog.

I love all things Witch related, especially novels, TV shows, and movie targeted towards young adult audiences. When I read Pop Culture Magick by Taylor Elwood, I knew I would add pop culture to my magickal pursuits. Looking at the shows and movies I loved as a kid through this new lens, I realized that I could adapt the magick used to create real magick in my own life. With that being said, this post will be a list of my top 5 favorite witch moments in TV and film and how I’ve adopted the magick used in my own life with video clips as I can find them.

  1. Willow’s Tabula Rasa Spell in Buffy the Vampire Slayer S6E8

 

In this episode, Willow casts a spell to make Buffy forget about the afterlife she experienced after she died…Buffy always seems to die in this show. However, the spell makes the entire Scooby Gang forget who they are. To cast the spell, she uses a quartz crystal and a fancy herb. She says the spell below, the crystal turns black, and all memories are erased.

 

Personally, I use this spell to release negative thoughts or memories, as I tend to overthink/overcomplicate things. I use the same spell, but I use sage instead of the herb she used. I light the sage, place it in a dish with a quartz crystal and say “For me, this I char. Let sage do its chore. Purge my minds of memories grim, of pains from recent slights and sins. When the fire goes out, the crystal turns black, the spell will be cast. Tabula Rasa, Tabula Rasa, Tabula Rasa.” Then, I go outside and throw the quartz crystal as far into the woods behind my house as I can.

 

  1. Past Life Spell from Charmed S2E14

 

In the episode, Phoebe is harassed by an entity connected to her past life. She casts the spell to return to her past life to confront the issues that are causing her issues now.

 

 

For me, when I want to do past life work, I will settle down in front of my altar, light some incense and a black candle, then use this spell to set the intention for my journey work.

 

  1. Willow Protection Prayer Against Gnarl Demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer S7E3

 

Another Buffy reference! In this episode, Willow returns to Sunnydale, but is in an alternate dimension from the others. In the climax of the episode, she is faced with defending herself against the gnarl demon. Since she is still struggling using magick after she went on a rampage in the previous season, she prays for protection.

 

This prayer stood out to me because before I saw this, I didn’t think of my conversations with deity as prayer. Not only did this revamp (pun intended!) my practice, but I’ve said this prayer to myself while walking to my car late at night.

 

Protect me Goddess. In thy name, I supplicate myself. Take the power from my enemy and lay him lower than the lowest field.”

 

  1. Vivienne Explains the Goddess in Mists of Avalon

 

I couldn’t embed the video, but you can see the clip here. In the scene, Vivienne explains who the Goddess is. It’s a beautiful explanation. She says “The Goddess is everything in nature and everything in nature is sacred.” She goes on to say “She is in everything that is beautiful and everything that is harrowing as well.”

 

If you go back to a very early post about Drawing Down the Moon, I include very similar words in my own invocation. Even though I say these words a lot, I still get goosebumps when I hear them.

 

  1. Esther links her children together in The Vampire Diaries S3E14

 

 

Esther is the original witch who created the original vampires – pretty sweet. Since she sees vampires as a corruption of nature, she decides to link them together magickally and kill one to kill them all.

 

Now, I was fascinated by visuals of the blood spreading out over the page, so that’s the part of adapted to my own needs. As a form of divination, I will pour red wine or sometimes spiced rum on my altar. While I am pouring, I will ask the gods or my ancestors to show me what I need to see and then decipher the images left in the liquid. It’s a mess to clean up, but very fun and enlightening.

Eclecticism and Appropriation or How Does a White Guy Work with the Orishas?

I spend a lot of time on the road for work and I listen to several podcasts to help pass the time. One I recently found, though it’s no longer being produced, is Elemental Castings by author T. Thorn Coyle. In one episode, titled Honoring or Appropriation, Thorn and several panelists discuss the difference between honoring other cultures and appropriation.

This subject hits home for me since I have recently began to work closely with the Orishas. As a white man with no cultural ties to Afro-Caribbean spirituality, I sometimes get awkward glances. Just over the weekend, I visited a local pagan shop and purchased some hoodoo supplies. Even though the owner didn’t say anything, he did give me an odd glance when he rang me up. When I was in New Orleans, shopkeeper after shopkeeper kept explaining to me the uses of several of my purchases. When I politely explained that I was a student of the African syncretic religions, I got the same odd glances that I experienced this weekend. Each time this happens, I feel a bit guilty. I feel like maybe I am doing something that is inappropriate.

During the discussion, Christopher Bradford, an initiate of Palo mentioned that anyone can be called by a certain deity and that ethnic background is of little importance. Additionally, he mentioned that feeling called to a certain path doesn’t entitle you to receive training. This rang true for me. I didn’t actively seek the Orisha, I feel that they reached to me. I researched their path and the religions that honor them. What I found is that the religion isn’t for me. For one, animal sacrifice is a major component of the path. I believe that all life is sacred and I couldn’t imagine taking an animals life, even if a deity required it. With this in mind, I can’t practice Lucumi  or Santeria. They  are not for me. I can’t expect a religion to change their rules just because it makes me uncomfortable. I also understand that not being an initiate in these religions means that sacred knowledge cannot be shared with me. That means I have to do the work.

For me, I don’t consider myself a Santero, I am just Joe. I practice a personal belief system that includes a personal relationship with the Orishas. I have drawn the line with what I am comfortable with and they have agreed to meet me in that space. The same can be said for my practice with Ganesh. Although I am not Hindu, I have found a way to honor Ganesh in a way that is mutually beneficial for the two of us.

In my personal understanding,  I don’t see myself as appropriating a culture. Instead, I have found a way to incorporate ideas from other cultures into my spiritual path, without dishonoring the tradition. I think that’s what’s most important.