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The Curated Witch July 8


Explore the mysteries of Mexico’s Indigenous healers and Denmark’s gruesome witch burnings with Condé Nast Traveler’s Women Who Travel Podcast.

IN THIS SPECIAL PARTNER EPISODE of The Atlas Obscura Podcast, with Condé Nast Traveler’s Women Who Travel Podcast, we visit Mexico to hear about the country’s long history of female healers and explore Denmark’s brutal history of witch burnings.

Has modern witchcraft forgotten the Witch?

Modern witchcraft is many things — ask a dozen witches and you’ll get two dozen definitions. It’s religion, it’s folk magic, it’s nature worship, it’s seasonal veneration, it’s pagan, it’s Christian, it’s healing, midwifery and rude medicine, it’s alchemy and astrology, it’s basic herbalism, poison mastery, diabolism, it’s goddess worship, it’s hedge-riding, it’s fairyland. Many an apologist has sought to sanitise, make palatable or explain the misunderstandings of witchcraft, where the green fingered old lady was castigated and the ancient itinerant conjuror chastised.

You've probably heard the term 'spiritual awakening' thrown around in casual conversation, but what does it actually mean? Here's everything you need to know about spiritual awakenings, from what it actually is to how to know if you're experiencing one and what it feels like.

Sure, the standard image of witchcraft is heading out into the woods and connecting with nature. I’ll admit that this blog certainly plays up on that as well.

But living in a bustling city doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your connection to the natural world or your practice of witchcraft. In fact, urban environments offer unique opportunities to engage with and harness the energies of both nature and the city itself.

The Magic Circle, by John William Waterhouse, 1886

In recent years there has been a resurgent interest in Pagan Religion, or religious practices that operate outside the monotheistic doctrines of Judaism, Christianity or Islam. It can be tricky to define exactly what Pagan religion is, but modern scholars see it as an umbrella term that refers to a series of spiritual practices, including Druidry, Wicca, Goddess spirituality, shamanism and animism, or a combination of these values.

Ultimately, Paganism is about reconnecting back to the natural world, and a belief that all living things interact in a natural symbiosis. Professor of comparative religion at California State University says, “Pagans view the natural world as sacred. They celebrate the interconnectedness of all things, seeing humans, nature, and spiritual beings as part of the web of life.”

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