Present-Day Witchcraft: Seven Stories About Witches — Discover

Emily Perper compiles seven longreads about the modern rituals of witchcraft and how they inform our past.

I’m in no way immune to the lure of the witchy, and honestly, I don’t want to resist. I bought a small piece of sunstone from my local metaphysical shop, because I read that sunstone encourages mental clarity.

When I arrived at the shop, I awkwardly browsed until I got up the courage to ask the saleswoman how to choose a crystal. She said to hold each stone and see which felt right—felt special. I was skeptical, but I swear the stone I ended up purchasing buzzed with warmth when I held it in my hand. It was inexpensive and pretty, and I think it’s on a bookshelf somewhere, now.

I wore a cheap hematite ring, too, until it cracked in half while I was tapping my glands during doula class, which sent me into a temporary existential tailspin: Should I get a new one? Was it just a cheap piece of jewelry? Was it a sign that doula work would disrupt my stability? Did I not need the ring anymore?

I can’t put it better than Autostraddle’s Trans Editor (and Bruja femme) Mey Rude, who wrote, “We’ve said it before (and so have other people), but we’re definitely living in an age of the Resurgence of the Witch. This feels especially true for queer women. We’re embracing our family traditions and our cultural heritage. We’re learning about herbology and tarot cards and candle magic. We’re dressing like extras from Wicked or The Craft. We’re forming sisterhoods and cultivating auras.”

1. “Why We Are Witches: An A-Camp Roundtable.” (Mey Rude and Autostraddle Staff, Autostraddle, June 2015)

Mey, Laura, Ali, Beth and Cecelia discuss building altars, using Tarot cards, learning their family histories, reclaiming religious rituals and so much more!

2.  “A Complicated Faith: Alex Mar & Leslie Jamison Discuss Witches of America, Spirituality & Writing Nonfiction.” (Alex Mar and Leslie Jamison, Electric Literature, December 2015)

Alex Mar’s book, Witches of America, kickstarted my interest in the neo-pagan movement in the United States. Here, Mar and Leslie Jamison (author of The Empathy Exams) discuss the essayist as player in her own story and capturing the waxing and waning of spirituality in real time.

3. “The Lord’s Supper.” (Kristen Arnett, Catapult, October 2016)

A lyrical essay about queerness, Ouija boards, and our Christ-haunted past.

4. “A Teen Witch’s Guide to Staying Alive.” (Alice Bolin, Broadly, October 2015)

Alice Bolin explores the intersection of the teen witch vibes espoused by Silver RavenWolf, Shirley Jackson and the ’90s.

5.  “24 Hours in Witch Country.” (Jessica Pan, The Toast, December 2013)

I learned the basics of the Salem witch trials in school, but nothing about the witch hunts in Pendle Hill (near Lancashire, in England) that predated Salem by more than half a century. Turns out King James VI was paranoid about the existence of witches in his realm and convinced their hexes would lead to his demise, and he proselytized about their dangerous powers to all lower-ranking government officials. Jessica Pan’s essay is part history lesson, part travelogue and completely wonderful. (SPOOKY TRIVIA FACT: The Pendle witches were tried on August 18, my birthday.)

6. “Who Is It That Afflicts You?” (Rachel Kincaid, Autostraddle, October 2015)

Rachel Kincaid considers the power dynamics involved in the Salem witch trials. I appreciated the following prescient point, with its stark implications demonstrated our contemporary political atmosphere:

But what rings most dangerously prophetic about Salem is the ideology that suggests imagining the most helpless and vulnerable in our communities as the most powerful, in a kind of 1984-esque doublethink that provides a rationale for causing as much harm as one wishes to that group. The kind of doublethink that would allow Samuel Parris, for instance, to believe that Tituba could be imbued with all the powers of supernatural evil and hold the life of his niece and many others in her hand, while at the same time believing that she was literally his property and could not even lay claim to the powers of full personhood.

7. “How Magic Helps Me Live with Pain and Trauma.”(Maranda Elizabeth, The Establishment, April 2016)

I found this essay via Mey Rude’s amazing column, Witch Hunt, and I’m so glad I did. Maranda Elizabeth shares their powerful experiences of integrating witchcraft into their experiences of chronic illness:

My cane becomes a part of my rituals, an ongoing presence, a wand and a sword all at once. It is a sword because I am angry about injustice and inaccessibility; it is a wand because I care about healing and liberation. Now it is adorned with stickers of the full moon, and the Moon card from a tarot deck: the dog, the wolf, and the crayfish crawling at the edge of the sea, carrying messages only I can hear. My cane emanates a magical energy, holding onto me as I hold onto it. My cane is my fifth limb. We have conversations. We carry each other.




Epidemic by Prescription

Tell-tale is explosive tread of drugstores occupying every intersection in place of 7-11’s .

Oxycontin, opiatesecstasy, LSD, Ritalin, Adderall and fentanyl amongst other are freely prescribed and readily available opioids.The high risks associated with this drugs is addiction. 

Opium and opium-based drugs breed some of the worst forms of addiction compared to other types of drugs. Addiction in any form happens over time as the brain incorporates a drug’s effects within its chemical workings. Once the brain becomes dependent on opium, it’s working at a diminished capacity due to the damaging effects of the drug.

Opium addiction treatment works to undo the harmful effects of addiction, both physical and psychological. While addiction, in and of itself, cannot be cured, it can be managed. Opium addiction treatment provides you with the tools and physical supports needed to keep addiction from controlling oneslife life.

A Brain Disease

While the initial decision to try opium drugs may be voluntary, the effects of the drug take away a person’s power to choose with continued drug use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opium changes the brain’s chemical pathways and overall structure over time. This inevitably affects a person’s psychological makeup in terms of his her outlook and daily lifestyle.


Codeine is an alkaloid that is extracted from the opium produced from the poppy plant. Codeine is a painkiller that has sedative properties, and is used in prescription drugs, such as Vicodin, and cough syrups.


Morphine, like codeine, is an alkaloid that is extracted from opium, and is highly used in the medical field to help people manage their pain. Morphine is commonly administered in hospitals through an IV, to subside a person’s pain. However, morphine is also used to make heroin, which is an illegal narcotic drug.


According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, the structure of oxycodone is similar to codeine, and is almost as potent as morphine. Oxycodone works on a person’s body through the central nervous system by altering the user’s sense of pain and their emotional response to pain.                                                                                                                                                         Oxycodone is the most powerful prescription painkiller, and it is not time released, so when a person takes the drug, its onset is quick-acting and very powerful.


According to National Center for OxyContin is one of the most commonly known prescription painkillers that people abuse and develop addictions to. OxyContin is the same as Oxycodone, except OxyContin is time released, which means it slowly is released into a person’s system when they take the pill. This prolongs the effects of the drug.


According to National Cancer Institution, Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis[1].Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death[2].

In 1986, an isomer of synthetic delta-9-THC in sesame oil was licensed and approved for the treatment of chemotherapy -associated nausea and vomiting under the generic name dronabinol. Clinical trials determined that dronabinol was as effective as or better than other antiemetic agents available at the time.                                                                                                                     Dronabinol was also studied for its ability to stimulate weight gain in patients with AIDS in the late 1980s. Thus, the indications were expanded to include treatment of anorexia associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection in 1992.

In a five-patient case series of inhaled Cannabis that examined analgesic effects in chronic pain, it was reported that patients who self-administered Cannabis had improved mood, improved sense of well-being, and less anxiety/ Sources(  Beal JE, Olson R, Laubenstein L, et al.: Dronabinol as a treatment for anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS. J Pain Symptom Manage 10 (2): 89-97, 1995. [PUBMED Abstract]

[1] The spread of cancer cells from the place where they first formed to another part of the body. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from the original (primary) tumor, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form a new tumor in other organs or tissues of the body. The new, metastatic tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells. The plural form of metastasis is metastases (meh-TAS-tuh-SEEZ).

[2] Jatoi A, Windschitl HE, Loprinzi CL, et al.: Dronabinol versus megestrol acetate versus combination therapy for cancer-associated anorexia: a North Central Cancer Treatment Group study. J Clin Oncol 20 (2): 567-73, 2002

People Arrested for Cannabis Law Offenses this Year

Police arrested an estimated 858,408 persons for cannabis violations in 2009. Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent were charged with possession only.

An American is arrested for violating cannabis laws every 30 seconds.

Source-Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Macklemore Struggles Against Opioid Addiction

In His New Music Video ‘Drug Dealer’

In May, he teamed up with President Obama to talk about the matter, saying “If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did.”

For Macklemore, this is more than just a music video. He wants to tackle the pharmaceutical industry head on, having struggled with addiction in real life.
Read More: Recommended

Community Recap: Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5K — News

From September 19 to September 26, we invited members of the WordPress community to join us in one of our favorite yearly traditions: the Automattic Worldwide WordPress 5K (open to runners, walkers, cyclists, and hikers — and any other type of ambulation). Here are some of the stories and photos people shared from their corner…

via Community Recap: Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5K — News

Inhuman degradation’s that others had to endure to secure a right to vote

Tomorrow is a last day to register to vote on line in California.

With a government elected by its citizens and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate.

Even if the candidate you loathe is destined to win in a landslide, you can make a dent in their margin of victory. That limits how much of a “mandate” they can claim once in office, encouraging them to promote more moderate policies so as not to jeopardize their re-election. Conversely, even if you know your preferred candidate will win, adding to her margin of victory can only help her advance her agenda in office.You still should vote in your election.

The writing is in a wall that might explain what other Nations had to go through just to secure a fundamental right to vote in contracts to our country, . To cite the importance of voting, we can rely on South African experience under Apartheid Regime.

Apartheid was “The system of racial segregation in South whitesonlyAfrica implemented and enforced by a large number of acts and other laws. This legislation served to institutionalize racial discrimination and the dominance by white people over people of other races”. To divide and conquer, this regime created so called Homelands, for the purpose of concentrating the members of designated ethnic groups, thus making each of those territories ethnically homogeneous as the basis for creating “autonomous” nation states for South Africa’s different black ethnic groups . Black populations were moved permanently to prevent them living in urban white South Africa. This spells “inviting someone to your house and years later he regulates and assigns to you a bathroom as your permanent housing.

The creations of Bantu

Ernest Cole captures the humiliating experience of South Africans being subjected to inspection and the crime here was being in so-called “white areas”

Homeland Citizenship Act, 1970 which changed the status of the inhabitants of the homelands (blacks) and were no longer citizens of South Africa, meaning even at birth, I did not have inherit citizenship rights.,

My formative years were spent living under what the regime referred to as “State of Emergency”. As the crack in a system began to form, there were of course with the added off spin of propagandists and sort of imagery that would scare the white populace into support of the Apartheid system policies. Extreme white Afrikaner supremacist Group (AWB) begin to exact their own kind of intimidation activities –emulating scenes akin to Nazi Germany by killing political prisoners.

It is only through time or distance that we are exposed to other realities that make us question the legitimacy of what was deemed “normal” by South Africa from 1652 to 1994. My thought was one of empathy, however, following a series of tense negotiations and years of liberation struggle, the first democratic election took place in a festive atmosphere, on the 27th April, 1994. This election changed the history of South Africa. It paved the way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution for that country. For the first time all races in the country were going to the polls to vote for a government of their choice. Nineteen political parties participated and twenty-two million people voted.

The United States may be the world’s oldest continuous democracy, but experience does not equal enthusiasm. In its most recent national election, the U.S. had the ninth-lowest voting rate among the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (

In Sum, citizens of many countries complain about the world around them, as South African since 1652 they didn’t  have option to change that world. However, you do. The youth of America have the power to make decisions that can affect the country. If you don’t like the way America is run, and yet you don’t vote in elections or make your opinions heard, then you, not the government is at fault.

I hope you don’t take your voting rights for granted and  realize the importance of voting: because with the power to choose what happens in this country, you make America stronger. You personally can make America a stronger country by making the electoral process better, and that means voting.


1471132788264    Unquestionably many of the greatest African innovations are due to our creative responses to the challenges of our daily life. From a period of Homo habilis, We resided over the Mandate of Heaven.♠


Through the Maze….

via A SONG THAT WORTH SINGING — TextbooksEtrade/connect