Things You Do Not Have to Be In Order to Be a Witch

-Pagan. You can be a witch and be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or any other religion that does not use the label “pagan” for itself.

-Wiccan. Witchcraft is a secular practice. Wicca is a religion that involves the practice of witchcraft sometimes.

-Religious/spiritual. You can be an atheist witch.

-Female. Men and nonbinary people can be witches.

-White. A person of any ethnicity or race can practice witchcraft and be a witch.

-Straight. Anyone of any sexual orientation (gay, lesbian, bi, pan, ace, poly, multi, omni…) can be a witch.

-Cis. Trans and nonbinary people can be witches.

-A hardcore environmentalist. Respect for nature is certainly never a bad thing, but you don’t have to chain yourself to a tree or live in a building run entirely on solar power or eat only organic food to call yourself a witch.

-Vegetarian/vegan. Witches can eat meat and animal products. Remember, witchcraft is a secular practice. There is no dogma.

-Full of love and light. Witches who do not follow a religion or moral code that says otherwise may curse as they see fit.

-Dark and scary. Some witches do not want to curse anyone, and that is also fine. Make healing potions and yummy smelling tinctures to your heart’s content.

-Fictional. Witches are real, and they don’t all dress, act or believe in any particular way. All witches are valid.

Watch out for witches this weekend

If you happen to be in Finland this very Sunday you might see little witches running around. These little witches (and in some cases bunnies or cats) carry willow branches that are decorated with colourful feathers and paper flowers, sometimes even with little easter eggs.

They go from door to door and wag the branches as they wish for health good fortune. Then they give one of the branches and ask for reward - candy.

It’s called “virvonta” and it’s basically the finnish equivalent to Halloween. Virvonta’s roots are in christianity and was originally done to remember Palm Sunday’s greetings for Jesus but it has picked up some witchy folklore from western parts of Finland.

Willows are thought to have magical powers and therefore they are used in virvonta. The spell is said along giving the branch: 

“Virvon varvon tuoreeks terveeks, tulevaks vuodeks. Vitsa sulle, palkka mulle.”
“Virvon varvon freshness and health for the upcoming year. You shall have the branch, I shall have the pay”.

In Finnish folklore Easter is the time of the year when witches will fly to a magical Kyöpelinvuori (Finnish equivalent for ghosts’ mountain) to strenghten their magic. That’s why children dress to witches. I mean, who else would come to your door to cast spells in Easter?

Here are me (on the right) and my childhood friend as little witches back in the 90′s:

Imagine you’re learning a new language, and Loki - your charming boyfriend - offers to help you. He convinces you to speak your in-progress language, and then surprises you when he replies fluently in the same one. 

You didn’t know Loki was capable of speaking other earthly languages, however, when he explains to you that it’s an ability that his magic gives him you understand.

Impressed and stunned, you get him to spend the entire evening murmuring affections to you in every language on Earth.