The witch has become an icon of pop feminism.
This year alone, two magical TV series were rebooted, Charmed by the CW and Sabrina the Teenage Witch (as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) by Netflix. Cutesy witch t-shirts are on sale at retail stores like Express and Target. Women’s March attendees made signs that prominently featured witchy slogans like “We are the granddaughters of the witches you could not burn.”
But in the 15th century, before witches were reduced to a Halloween costume, “witches” were real people who authorities accused of making a deal with the devil. Many of those wrongfully accused were killed as a result.
This commodified version of the witch is a subject of debate among modern feminists, but one thing most of us can agree on is the self-serving appropriation of the term “witch hunt” by powerful men like President Trump.
Jezebel sat down with Fordham University history professor Dr. David Myers and self-identified witch Dakota Bracciale to learn more about how modern symbolic applications of the witch are in conflict with the history of accused witches.