Weaving The Intersectional Web of Magick & Witchcraft
Which witch started it all?
Forget the teachings and knowledge you currently possess as a spiritual practitioner and close your eyes. Take a breath, pause, and at this moment reflect on what comes to mind when you first hear the word witch. Envision what your version of a witch looks like, how they talk, what their aesthetic is like, etc.
Now open your eyes. Did you envision somebody who fits the cliche stigma of a white cis women damning the patriarchy? Maybe, you had flashbacks and recalled a scene from a famous movie like “The Craft’ or “Practical Magic”. Maybe, you are recalling memories from a lecture or story you were told about the Salem Witch Trials. No matter what the case might be there is one thing that stands true -- no two individuals are going to resonate with the same depiction of a witch.
No matter what you envision or think of, there is one thing that rings true the most magical thing you can do in 2021 is dismantle the cliche witch stereotype. After all, it's about time allies and non-POC witches let the Prudence's of the occult world have the spotlight.
This is why we as witches should be incorporating Intersectionality into our practices. Upholding the stigma of what a witch is supposed to be allows for white supremacy to creep in to our spiritual spaces.
How To Heal Wounds & Build Bridges
So what is intersectionality? Intersectionality is a term that was coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap. This theory analyzes the advantages and disadvantages that affect certain marginalized groups. Not everybody is in favor of intersectionality, but nonetheless, it is crucial to understand or support this theory.
Think of this theory like a bullseye target. No matter which ring you aim at, you are going to hit something of value and importance.
Chances are if you found this blog article then you might follow me on other social media platforms like Tik Tok or Instagram. For those of you that don’t, let me introduce myself, my name is Natalie and I am a cisgender pansexual/queer woman of color. Besides my mundane attributes, I am also what some might consider an Eclectic Green Witch and a Pagan.
I won't break down all of the ways I intersect with other communities, but I will say this. Even though I am POC I still have to respect and be an ally to all of the
BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities. Due to this responsibility, I stopped considering myself a feminist when I turned 22. This is because several feminist movements forget about BIPOC and trans feminine issues.
It took me a while to learn that equality isn't equal unless that equality is given to all, but it's a motto I live by. I hope if you take anything away from this blog it's this motto as well.
Using Intersectionality To Strengthen The Pentacle
So, how can intersectionality help you become a better and more inclusive witch? Well, to start witchcraft has ALWAYS been political. And no, I am not referring to the Salem Witch Trials or a toxic feminist movement. When " he who shall not be named" was elected president in 2016, witches grabbed their brooms and began to use their gifts to fight back and aid those who needed their power, strength, and protection the most.
One of my favorite occultists Laura Tempest Zarkoff, author of "Sigil Witchery" and "Weaving The Liminal", held a few different webinars and wrote blog articles that encouraged witches to utilize sigil magic to protect and help those affected by the tyranny that was running rampant until 2020.
Without authors like Laura, as well as others like Sarah Lyons, witches in the modern day would be a little lost when it comes to fighting against white supremacy. These two occultists have helped pave the way for witches like myself to have the courage to use our voice and share our point of view with all of you. This is important folks because the only way you can be a better ally and defend the occult world from dangerous individuals is by listening to marginalized groups.
Intersectionality will help you assess where you have privilege, and where you might have a disadvantage. It will also help you understand why certain gates are kept. If you are struggling with understanding how you might benefit from whiteness in the occult, and mundane, world, I highly recommend you check out "Do Better" by Rachel Ricketts.
In future blog articles, we will discuss Activism Magic and other ways witchcraft intersects with the mundane world. Upcoming topics will include things such as environmental impact, cultural appropriation, and more.
For now, I leave you with a question, are you a sword or a wand? Think about which tarot suit you relate to more and how that affects your motives and reasoning for being an ally.