We’ve seen witches depicted in a variety of forms on mainstream media, but have you ever met one in real life?
In preparation for Halloween, RADIO.COM sat down with Lauren Maul, a self-proclaimed “good witch” responsible for magic in Brooklyn.
For Maul, being a witch is something that's accessible to everyone.
"Everybody is a witch," she said. "I define witch as someone who's powerful, knows that they're powerful, and taps into that power."
Maul says her inclination towards the coven can be traced back to her childhood.
“I’ve been a witch ever since I was a little weirdo growing up in Nebraska,” she said, explaining that her infatuation with magic started while she was attending Catholic school and collecting rocks and sticks and drawing symbols in the dirt with friends during recess.
While many of those friends grew out of it, she never did.
“I’ve always been a little witch like that,” she revealed.
Maul said that anyone can be a witch, as she defines the term as “someone who’s powerful, knows that they’re powerful, and taps into that power.”
Contrary to what films and TV shows would have you believe, Maul said there’s no such thing as a good witch or bad witch, adding, “it’s the choices that witches make.”
She likes to refer to herself as a “good witch” because it’s easier for people to understand, makes her more accessible, and paints a more positive picture.
When she tells people she’s a good witch, she explains that it usually “summons images of really nice ladies wearing sequins.”
Maul isn’t dedicated to one area of practice. Instead, she calls herself a “dabbler” who practices green magic (working with plants), animal communication with pets, and psychic mediumship.
“People come to me when they have cat questions or they want to talk to a ghost in their house,” she explains.
Her advice to those looking to get started in the study of witchcraft is to create an altar and find a mentor.
Maul says there’s no reason to break the bank building an altar filled with crystals and amulets. She explains that a budget-friendly one is just as effective as long as it’s personalized.
“There’s no wrong way to build an altar as long as it brings you the feeling you want to feel when you sit in front of it,” she said.
For Maul, her altar comes in handy when she’s meditating. Since she wants to evoke feelings of power and calm, she includes images of three goddesses.
Since witchcraft is a “lifelong” journey, Maul suggests finding a mentor – dead or alive. Mentors can be a god or goddess of the past like an ancestor, someone from folklore, or even a historical witch.
According to Maul, these mentors will help “define your path in witchcraft.”