During my research about modern witchcraft and holistic care, I have realized that the two subjects are quite closely aligned. Popular culture sees the witch as a mythical old hag or a woman who is cast out from society for being different. Perhaps she lives alone, is unmarried, or has a physical deformity. Maybe she can no longer provide support within her local community, so she is banished to a hovel in the forest. That is the stereotype I grew up with. But the modern witch has evolved into something far more complicated, becoming immersed in society, and even turning him or herself invisible. That was me. Maybe that still is me.
I do not have time to learn everything about herbs, spell-casting, runes, symbols and everything else you find in modern witchcraft. I do not identify with a particular strand or belief system. I suppose you would call me a polytheistic witch, believing in different systems and traditions based on my instincts. I have a particular interest in Celtic history, and this may be ancestral memories, I don’t know. My life is busy because I am a wife, mother and carer. The caring mostly involves my husband, children and pets, but it also includes our wider family and friends when it is needed. Since I qualified as a reiki practitioner, I have received many requests for treatments, but so far have not been ready to take on everyone and their problems. I will approach my offer of reiki treatments slowly, because I am mainly working on myself. I cannot care for others if I do not care for myself, at the end of the day.
Holistic care can include so many aspects that align with modern witchcraft. There is the practice of reiki healing, which is essentially the use of energy magic. We use aromatherapy oils to relax our bodies, ease muscle pain and fatigue, and many other ailments. We resort to fresh foods, herbal tea, and a specific diet to combat the effects of a society raised on processed food and artificial ingredients. For me, providing holistic care can simply mean holding space for a person. Life is so busy and hectic that people are often wrapped up in their own drama.
I recognize how important it is to sit with children for at least half an hour in the evenings or on the weekends, not talking about schoolwork or chores. And I know that my husband would like to have time where he doesn’t need to worry about work, finances or the challenges of adulthood. I also try and make time for my retired parents, in-laws, and friends that need support. There are a lot of people that need help! This is the work of the modern witch. She might be a nurse or professional carer, she might be an early years teacher or childminder. She could simply be a housewife, those women who are perceived to have the easy life. The witch could also be a man, let’s not forget. Modern witchcraft is everywhere. We just need to recognize that it doesn’t always involve a spell book and a black cat. Blessed be.
Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .