Witchcraft often occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role and is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical worldview.
An occupation that was often demonized and further brutally persecuted before has now been introduced into pop culture.
Witches are a common theme among new shows such as American Horror Story, Games of Thrones and reality tv who often represent witches as glamorous and beautiful, but also as deadly due to their sexuality.
They are also celebrated during Halloween season as a depiction of female power because today they are perceived by feminists as a figure who pushes boundaries, breaks the rules and punishes patriarchal authority.
Historically the representation of witches have fallen under two categories
The ugly decrepit hag or the young hypersexualized women who exist for male consumption. Both depictions are a way to bring down powerful women down and are views created by the patriarchy and consumed by mainstream culture. It entails, that women who are wise and full of power are a threat not because of their supernatural abilities but because their capability is viewed by men as a threat to their masculinity.
Older and wise women in movies, particularly Disney Movies are portrayed as ugly witches while the younger witches are depicted as an object of desire for men who in the end turn out to be deceitful.
Today pop culture can either perceive witches as a power of femininity or as a figure of disempowerment. Such stories such as Medusa, where we see women being defeated once again reinforces the idea that powerful women should not be entitled to power in the first place. She is an object of desire and only there in order there as sexual objects or to aid men is accomplishing something. As 4th wave feminist, it could be tempting to see our favorite genre and cultural products as proof representation of our politics. Especially with the anti-feminist sentiments that were seen during the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump.
It could be noted, however, that Harry Potter served as a gateway to the occult and dismantle it without applying stereotypes or judgment.
According to sources since the first publication of the first Harry Potter book, 20 years ago, the number of people identifying as witches have increased in both the United State and Britain. This was known as the pagan movement that was driven due to its link to the feminist movement.
In addition, witches in mainstream television have been portrayed in a negative light when in reality it is a simple religious practice where the power is actually within the believer.
For the past several hundred years the image of the witch has been associated with the evil, healthism, and unrighteousness due to prejudices by the Christian church and patriarchal society who once again feared a power greater than them.
However, the witches of the modern age practice this witchcraft with confidence and pride because the believers of the new age have come to understand.
Modern witchcraft attracts believers from all walks of life and positions in society all over the world because they want to understand the life they are living, anxious for answers and seeking a supernatural power to make miracles that they were not able to find elsewhere. It is considered therapeutic for many or a craft for the wise because they understand nature and spiritual energy enough to bring equilibrium. The modern man, however, still has difficulty understanding this power and to this day looks down on it.
Western mainstream society still struggles with accepting witches and nonetheless cannot outgrow the habit of portraying powerful women as such a way to degrade them.
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