How to Be a Witch
How to Be a Witch
By Kelly Florence & Meg Hafdahl
So, you want to be a witch? Well gather round our cauldron, ghoulies, and we’ll explain everything you need to know to get you into the witchy spirit! From garments and decor to making your dreams a reality, we will leave nothing to chance. Who are we? Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl, goth girls and co-authors of The Science of Witchcraft, who love nothing more than a powerful witch who asserts her independence.
Clothing & Accessories
How should a witch dress? That’s entirely up to you! Whether you prefer a long, flowing gown like Belletrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) in the Harry Potter movies (2003-2007) or a more modern wardrobe like Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020), showing your personality through your wardrobe and accessories is a must for all witches. In fact, studies have shown that feeling confident in the clothes you’re wearing not only affects others’ perceptions of you but can also affect your self esteem. According to a study published by Northwestern University, “researchers have found that how you dress can affect your perception of yourself in a way that boosts your performance, which could improve your mental health by increasing your self-confidence and reducing the amount of stress your job causes.1” Color choice of clothing has also been researched scientifically. Black may be the obvious choice for witches but throughout history, color has signified rank, class, and status. For example, in ancient Greece the color gold was associated with the gods so people began to dye their hair yellow to seem close to them. Purple was expensive to produce during the Byzantine era and signified wealth. By the Middle Ages red was a symbol of the blood of Christ and was worn by royals to “pronounce their majestic power and declare their God-given right to rule.2”
Colors continue to be worn for a variety of purposes including political statements, personal preferences, and fashion trends. Wear the color you feel best in and you will be guaranteed to slay!
Jewelry is also important to feel your best, magical self. We often wear caskets, skulls, spiders, and other spooky images on our necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets. Whenever someone needs to buy us a gift, they know our taste is gothic! Pam Grossman, author of Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power, said “I’m intentional about the jewelry I wear, and often charge special pieces up on my altar before I put them on. Though there are many deities I feel a connection to, Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon and the wild, is someone I actively venerate, and so I often wear moons, arrows, and deer to honor her. I’ve also worn a skeleton key in some form or another since I was a teenager, and that symbol is linked to Hecate, the Greek goddess of witchcraft. Jewelry can be decorative, talismanic, and devotional, and in my case, it’s usually all three at the same time.3”
Aesthetic & Surroundings
Like your wardrobe, a witch’s home must inspire and depict her true self. The vital thing to remember is that for a true witch, there are no rules. You must collect and display the baubles that matter to you. For many, like practicing Wiccans, nature plays a fundamental piece of how they interact with their environment. They are drawn to nature’s beauty, often bringing the outside in. This can include everything from flowers to animal bones.
At sagegoddess.com you can invest in crystals of many different meanings and styles. If you’re a witch who loves to decorate with lots of color, you might be entranced by the “purple velvet fluorite sphere” that is not only beautiful but, as the website’s founder explains, it’s helpful, too; “purple fluorite is a stone for soul work that helps expand your consciousness and deepen your spiritual practice. It activates the Crown Chakra, enhances your psychic ability, clarifies your dharma, and attracts new opportunities.4” We don’t know about you, but we sure wouldn’t mind clarifying our dharma…
Hoodoo is another form of witchcraft with strong roots linked to nature. At artoftheroot.com, those practicing Hoodoo can purchase candles that fill your house with both colorful visuals and sumptuous scents. Like crystals, these candles have a purpose. The “fiery wall of protection” soy candle might be a must-buy for you if you’re looking to eradicate negativity in your domestic sphere. As the website describes, lighting this candle brings, “a protective barrier around you or your loved ones to block negative people and energy from getting in. Based on a traditional blend, it contains potent herbs and oils historically used to ward off malevolent spells and intentions.5”
Now if you’re one of those witches who abhors colors and whimsy, and goes for more of that “Morticia” vibe, then there are plenty of home decor choices for you. We suggest gothicmall.com for affordable additions to your crumbling, Victorian mansion. They’ve got everything from baphomet trinket boxes to Ouija coasters. If you’re ready to splurge on your witch’s lair then might we suggest hauntcult.com. There you can find everything you need including an “Alchemist’s Bookcase” for all your spell books. Our personal favorite is the “Seduce Chaise,” a fainting couch that comes as black as you like it, (or in an array of other colors and patterns.) There’s just something about a gothic chaise in your witch’s study that screams sophistication. You know?
Whether you are drawn to the sun or the moon, there is a way to express yourself with your surroundings. Think about adding a little something witchy to your desk or by your bed. It might just inspire you to put your best, witch foot forward.
Journaling & Manifesting
Now that your wardrobe and surroundings are set, it’s time to make your dreams come true! How should you begin? Journaling is a great way to connect to the already positive events and people in your life and focus on goals for the future. Spending time writing things down daily that you’re grateful for can reduce stress, reveal truths to help you grow in self awareness, and can even be used to solve problems. Writing by hand can also produce benefits. According to a study in Psychological Science, “sequenced physical activity uses nerves and muscles in complexly patterned ways, our brain receives abundant sensory and motor feedback. The more complex feedback an activity involves, the more easily and accurately the brain forms and retains the associated memories.6”
To take things to the next level, try manifest journaling! Manifesting became popular in the zeitgeist when the book The Secret came out in 2006. The idea is to turn a thought into reality by believing in it enough. Is there science to back this up? Yes! Studies show that believing in a goal will help bring about behaviors to achieve that goal including others seeing us in the way we desire, known in communication as a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you are going to take a test that you are convinced you will fail, you may not study at all for it, fail, and then tell yourself, “see? Good thing I didn’t study!” But what if you had? By believing that you will pass you will put in extra effort and time into studying, make sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before, and feel relaxed and confident going in. This is the power of manifest journaling! Write down your goals in a positive mindset and it will begin to rewire your brain to have a more positive outlook. According to Dr. Tchiki Davis, be clear about what you want to achieve. Next, reflect on the things you chose and see which makes you feel the most positive. Last, visualize your goals coming true in a realistic way.7 By practicing this daily, you will begin to see your life in a more positive way, remind yourself to work toward your goals, and make your dreams a reality!
A Witch’s Attitude
As we’re sure you’re well aware, being a witch was seen as a negative for most of human history, especially in European cultures. Women (and some men, too) were killed by their communities for being different. Now is the season of the witch, it’s time to embrace what makes us unique.
Around the time of the Salem Witch trials, there were “clues” that a woman was a witch. And we suggest you adopt many of these traits, if you haven’t already!
- Financial freedom (indication that a woman could live without the help or supervision of a man raised alarm. Wow…shocker!)
- Having female friends. (Yep, if you get together with your girls you’re probably a coven convening with Satan!)
- You are a healer. (Take care of those you love?! How dare you!)
- You exhibit “strange” or “stubborn” behavior. (We certainly hope you are…normal is overrated.8)
The best way to make sure you have the right witchy attitude is to ask yourself; would this make the patriarchy of 1692 accuse me of being a witch? And if the answer is YES then you are on the right path!
As you can see, being a witch is really about harnessing your inner power and using it for good. Wardrobe, surroundings, manifesting, and attitude, are all fun aspects, yet the true essence of being a witch is finding what works for you! If you’d like to learn more about the films, history, and science of witches pick up a copy of our ode to the dark and spooky; The Science of Witchcraft!
1 Hajo, Adam, Adam D. Glinsky. (January 19, 2012) “Enclothed Cognition.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
2 Radin, Sara. (May 14, 2019) “How Color in Fashion Has Been Used Throughout History to Display Political Solidarity.” Teen Vogue.
3 Lodi, Marie. (October 28, 2019) “The Complete History of Clothes Worn By Witches.” Bustle.
4 Perrakis, Athena. (September 12, 2022) sagegoddess.com
5 (September 12, 2022) artoftheroot.com
6 Gladstone, Kate. (February f10, 2016) “The Importance of Writing By Hand.” Two Sides.
7 Davis, Tchiki Ph.D. (September 15, 2020) “What is Manifestation? Science Based Ways to Manifest.” Psychology Today.
8 Beckmann, Leah. (October 22, 2015) “17 Signs you would Qualify as a Witch in 1692.” Mentalfloss.com
THE SCIENCE OF WITCHCRAFT
A scientific discovery of witches in fiction—Chilled Adventures of Sabrina, Sleeping Beauty, Wicked and so many more!
The Bram Stoker Award nominated horror duo of Kelly Florence and Meg Hafdahl is back with yet another critically acclaimed novel of horror non-fiction analogy!
Released by Skyhorse Publishing
The book is available worldwide in digital and print format
Through interviews, film and literary analysis, and bone-chilling discoveries, join Kelly and Meg as they learn about the complicated and rich science of witchcraft throughout the centuries and discover why now is the season of the witch!
About the Duo:
Horror and suspense author Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of two popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the two novels; Daughters of Darkness and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King and upcoming The Science of Serial Killers, lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota.
Kelly Florence is an American author, screenwriter, and podcaster. She is best known for her books The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the forthcoming The Science of Witchcraft all from Skyhorse Publishing. All of the books are written together with her co-author, Meg Hafdahl. She is also known for her podcasts Horror Rewind and Be a Better Communicator.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
The Horror Tree is a resource for horror authors which was created in 2011. The main goal when starting the site was to include all of the latest horror anthologies and publishers that are taking paying submissions. A resource useful for both new and experienced publishers alike looking for an outlet for their written material!