I admit it. I’m a fan of camp. I’m a fan of the hollywood view of witches. I love the 90s Witch Boom and the sort of grunge-gothic look that went with it. (This is probably why I like Charmed so much, even with all its problems. It does capture the 90s Witch Boom feeling.)

I like playing up the stereotypes of witches. I love those old paintings that show us as naked and vicious atop broomsticks, ready to cut out the hearts of men.

Like this one. She looks ready to burn some shit down.
Like this one. She looks ready to burn some shit down.

I wasn’t always this way; for a long time I was constantly shouting “Witches aren’t evil!” from the rooftops. Since then I’ve realized that people are going to believe whatever the fuck they want to believe and my telling them witches aren’t evil isn’t going to help one little bit. So I may as well embrace the aesthetic that I so love, and let them wonder.

This aesthetic applies to ritual and magic, too. I want my rituals to be like rituals in The Craft, or Practical Magic (both of which I should really rewatch soon). I want them to be kinda spooky but also down to earth, and not really spooky if you think about it. I want to wear my black velvet and lace skirt while I do it and be the ultimate 90s goth-grunge witch.

I want there to be jars everywhere, the place a mess of herbs and candles, and every day to be Halloween. I want the words spoken to sound powerful and to rhyme, and to…be conjured easily. I don’t want to follow a script.

I think the reason I never really got anything out of Wiccan ritual is (mainly) because it cribbed stuff from Ceremonial Magic, which…eh. That plus the language around the gods and the elements and all that and the scripted feeling of it…I just find the whole shebang kinda silly and boring. Which is nothing against you if you enjoy it! Go on with your witch self. It just does nothing for me. I need something different for my ritual aesthetic.

I need something kinda more hollywood and spooky and Halloween and…and this:


(And yes, I’m aware that the casting of the circle is from Ceremonial Magic, and it’s honestly not even something that I find necessary for my rituals. The image above, however, does overall speak to an aesthetic that I enjoy; it does evoke strong feeling in me, so the presence of the cast circle is really the smallest part of it for me.)

I just want to be a witch who lives in a cottage and dispenses potions and spells for the local village people who mostly fear me but not enough to hurt me, just enough to respect me, and I want to wear tattered clothing and lots of jewelry and just be, like, this crone before my time. And jars. Jars everywhere. Jars and dried herbs and candles. And actually I’m not a crone but everyone thinks I am and I let them think it.

That is my witch aesthetic in general and it pretty much applies to my ritual and magic too.


9 replies on “30 Days of Paganism: Personal aesthetics with magic and ritual”

  1. Oooo, I’ve been wanting to coordinate an online viewing of Practical Magic, probably around Samhain! I thought it up months ago and forgot about it until reading this post! I should get to planning that.

  2. I love that picture by Waterhouse. I’m not much into camp and I’m not particularly goth, but a lot of your aesthetic appeals to me a lot- Practical Magic, the painting, the cottage in the woods bit (or cottage by the sea. Or cottage in the woods by the sea.) I should do some thinking on how to incorporate that into by life better.

      1. I’ve started a bit of a jar collection already. 😀 Honey jars, glass milk bottles… I should see where the thrift stores are around here, though. And the antique stores.

        1. Oh man, I know where the antique stores around here are and I’m not allowing myself to go there because then I would have no more money ever.

          (also the lack of space, that’s a thing. When we have a house, though, I will do ALL THE ANTIQUING.)

          1. That’s why I don’t know where any of the antique stores around here are! When I went to the Cape with my parents last month we did a ton of antiquing and it was so hard– so many pretties, so little money and luggage space. I bought myself a typewriter and I thought my arm was going to fall off lugging it around the airports!

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