PROVIDENCE — Witches are having a moment right now — and it’s not just because of the release of Disney’s ″Hocus Pocus 2″ film. In Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Witches Guild performs dances all over the state, hundreds of people attended a recent “Witches Night Out” market where there were tarot card readers and lectures by witches, and of course, it’s nearly Halloween.
Yet those who practice witchcraft have been discriminated against for decades and still face stereotypes today, despite the recent surge in popularity.
On the latest episode of the Rhode Island Report podcast, two women who practice modern traditional witchcraft, Loren May and Tracey Lawrence, break down what it means to be a witch or practice witchcraft.
May and Lawrence own The Veiled Crow, a metaphysical store in Cranston, Rhode Island. They also founded the Key & Serpent Society, which hosts community events focused on educating people about witchcraft, along with fellow witch Laura Tempest Zakroff, an artist and author based in Rhode Island.
Lawrence and May explained that over the last century, witchery sees a boost in popularity nearly every few decades. It really took shape in the 1960s and 1970s during the women’s rights movement, and then again in the 1990s and early 2000s when movies like ”Practical Magic,” the first Hocus Pocus film, and “The Craft” were popular.
“I find that there’s always an insurgence of witchcraft in our society when society ... gets really male dominating, and when there is a lot of toxic masculinity [then] there is an upsurge of witchcraft,” said May.
Hear more by downloading the latest episode of Rhode Island Report, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, and other podcasting platforms, or listen in the player above.