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Cyberwitches: From Zoom rituals to casting spells with emojis

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(Matt Milton for WBUR. Courtesy of www.miltonxdesign.com)
(Matt Milton for WBUR. Courtesy of www.miltonxdesign.com)

Since the dawn of the internet, cyberwitches have traded in their broomsticks and bubbling cauldrons for floppy disks, laptops, and smartphones. This week on Endless Thread, we go into the history of cyberwitches, attend a Zoom ritual, and talk to members of a cyber coven. We also learn how Trump’s 2016 presidential election pushed the cyberwitch community from the underground into the mainstream. Tune into this episode for a bewitching time.

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Full Transcript:

This content was originally created for audio. The transcript has been edited from our original script for clarity. Heads up that some elements (i.e. music, sound effects, tone) are harder to translate to text.

Lisa McSherry: Glimmering moon, eternal one, lady of the fields, lady of the waters, moon's heart, mother of us all, thread spinner, breath of spring. Diana. Astarte. Isis. Move us, touch us, shake us, bring us through. Heart of the world, come. So mote it be.

All: So mote it be.

Ben Brock Johnson: We are in the depths of a ritual. A ritual performed by about a dozen people, all gathered together on Zoom.

Lisa: Guardians of the East. Almighty ones. Keepers of knowledge and the day's new sun, we summon you forth. We call to you.

Amory Sivertson: What you’re hearing happened some weeks back. And Ben and I participated in a similar ritual earlier this spring.

Ben: To start the ritual, you have to cast a circle. A physical circle or an energetic circle, to create a ring of protection around you.

Lisa: I conjure ye, oh circle of art,  to be a temple between the worlds. A meeting place of love and joy and truth. A shield against all wickedness and evil.

Amory: Our ritual happened on a full moon. Its purpose was to connect us to the innate divine within and to the four elements: water, earth, fire, and air.

Lisa: Colorful spirits manifesting within the night: seal our circle. Hide it from baleful sight.

Ben: As you can probably tell, there’s a leader for this ritual. Guiding us and prompting us to opt into the magic with some household products.

Amory: We lit incense and a candle.

Ben: Then we poured water into a container of salt and stirred it with our fingers.

Amory: Then, facing the candle, we dipped our fingers in the saltwater mixture and touched the area around our eyes, then our noses and our lips.

Lisa: May our circle be opened yet remain unbroken. And may the peace of the god and the goddess be ever in our hearts.

Ben: Is everybody confused yet?

Amory: We’ve got some explaining to do. But I’m not exactly sure where to start. So let’s hear from the person who got us mixed up in all this magic.

Ben: Meera Raman. Who has been working with Endless Thread for several months here. Meera, can we get some deets on what the heck is going on?

Meera Raman: Okay, so when I was in undergrad, I was a research assistant in one of my favorite professor’s labs. It was called the Just Feminist Tech + Scholarship Lab. So, one day, she asked me if I could do some research on a group of people online called cyber witches: witches who integrate their magic and spells with technology.

Ben: Man – did you go to Hogwarts?! Is this from Hogwarts? Actually, you know what, this is like a perfect example of a course you could only find in college.

Amory: (Laughs.)

Ben: That’s amazing.

Meera: Well, doing this research was probably one of my favorite things that I worked on in college. It was very very different from everything else I was learning. And once I got past this shock of what am I learning about, what the heck is being a cyberwitch? I was able to dig pretty deep into this corner of the internet and discover some pretty cool things. This community is really important to a lot of people, for a lot of different reasons.

Amory: A lot of different reasons we’re about to tell YOU about.

Ben: Because whether it's subreddit communities of millions of users, TikTok videos with billions of views, or a group of people just jumping on a Zoom to plot together, the internet is connecting a world of like-minded people who have always been considered lonely outcasts on the fringe. Alright, let’s get witchy with it. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na.

Amory: I’m Amory What-Sorcery-Is-This Sivertson.

Ben: I’m Ben Warlock Johnson. You’re listening to Endless Thread.

Amory: Coming to you from WBUR, Boston’s NPR station. And today, we bring you…

Ben and Amory: Cyberwitches!

[CLIP FROM “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER”:

Rupert Giles: You don't seem exactly surprised, but – who are you?

Jenny Calendar: I teach computer science at the local high school.]

Ben: Any of our Endless Thread listeners BUFFY fans?

Amory: As in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? Which, turns out, depicted cyber-witchin’ way back in 1997?

[“BUFFY” CLIP CONTINUES:

Jenny: You think the realm of the mystical is limited to ancient texts and relics. That bad old science made the magic go away? The divine exists in cyberspace. Same as out here.

Rupert: Are you a witch?

Jenny: I don't have that kind of power. Technopagan is the term. There are more of us than you'd think.]

Amory: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was – fun fact, the subject of a course at my college – and a very popular show and movie about how a teenager gets supernatural abilities to fight demons, evil and other monsters connected to the occult. But one particular episode talked about a specific figure that we don’t see that much in the media.

Dr. Alex Ketchum: There’s this episode in season one called I, Robot...You, Jane, in which one of the characters, Jenny Calendar, says that she's a technopagan.

Ben: That is our expert in all things cyber-witchy. the person who was running the lab that Meera participated in in college. Technopagans, cyberwitches. Turns out, all of these things fall under the purview of….

Alex: Hi, everyone. I'm Dr. Alex Ketchum. I’m McGill University's faculty lecturer of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies and my pronouns are she/her.

Amory: After watching that Buffy episode, Dr. Ketchum became fascinated with cyberwitchcraft and cyberspace.

Ben: But she didn’t jump right into researching how to be a cyberwitch 101. She was interested in tracing the history of cyberwitching, which has its origins right when the internet was emerging.

So let’s back up to go to the 90s for a second.

Amory: In the early 90s, when things were picking up on the ol’ World Wide Web, we started seeing a new group emerge.

Alex: There's the cyberwitch who's this kind of figure that shows up in fantasy. Shows up also in reality in terms of like cyber covens starting in the 90s.

Amory: A coven is a magical group of practicing witches that comes together for community building, rituals.

Ben: You know, covenin’.

Amory: Yeah. Which, before the internet, happened in-person. But a cyber coven practices its witchcraft online.

Ben: So as the internet grew in popularity, cyber covens have also grown.

Amory: Now, a minute ago, in that Buffy episode, we heard the character Jenny Calendar distinguish between technopagans and witches, or cyberwitches in this case. But what is the difference?

Alex: The technopagan tends to be more of a figure of 1990s alternative culture, with a bit of neo-paganism mixed in with raver culture, rave music. Whereas the cyberwitch doesn't have that same kind of overlap. I think the cyberwitch kind of harkens back to longer traditions of witchcraft, covens and then is taken up in popular culture in this kind of like reimagining the figure of the witch to meet today's modern consumers.

Ben: Alright, so technopaganism is more modern technology and music with a splash of neopaganism. Cyberwitches are witches who have integrated their more traditional magic with modern technology. Easy enough.

Amory: But there’s more than one way to cyberwitch. Which witch would you like to talk about first, Ben?

Ben: Ah yes, which witch. So there are cyberwitches who use the internet and technology as a medium for their magic. Like, say, using emoji as a way to cast spells online, which we are going to get to. But first, we want to talk about cyberwitches who use technology as a platform for gathering and connecting with one another. Like the cyber coven we heard at the top, doing that ritual together on Zoom.

Lisa: Our circle is cast, we stand between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time where night and day, birth and death, joy and sorrow meet as one. So mote it be.

Alex: You can see kind of early covens in 1994. A lot of these covens only exist for a couple of years in kind of early internet spaces, but there are some that still continue for more than 20 years. So there's this one called JaguarMoon, which was founded in 2000 and you can still go to their website today where they really explain what they're doing in cyberspace and how a cyber coven works.

Lisa: My name is Lisa McSherry.

Amory: Lisa is the leader of the cyber coven JaguarMoon.

Lisa: I'm also the author of three books, with a fourth one coming out in October of this year. And I live in Portugal.

Ben: When she’s covenin’ with the cyber coven, Lisa goes by ‘Maat’. She tells us a lot of people who get into witchcraft and paganism use pseudonyms. Partly for anonymity, partly for a sense of becoming a new person.

Amory: Lisa grew up in a religious, Christian household, but she never really connected with the tenants of Christianity. But the ideas of energy and interconnectedness, and the existence of something bigger than herself? Those resonated.

Lisa: One day I came across my mother's copy of The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk, and it is literally a primer on how to be a witch.

Ben: This book, The Spiral Dance, inspired Lisa to start practicing witchcraft. Two things from the book in particular stood out to her.

Lisa: One was an affinity for the natural world, as opposed to the man made world. I really liked the idea that I could control my world. And that's a very important part of magic and witchcraft, is you have this sense that you can use this energy once you align yourself with it to create your own reality. To change the reality that is around you in positive and beneficial ways for yourself and for your community.

Amory: Ben, I feel like more and more people in my life have embraced this concept of “manifesting” things for themselves. Have you heard anyone say that?

Ben: Yeah, I’m tryna manifest some tulips out of the ground right now.

Amory: (Laughs.)

Ben: No, I think that’s right, a lot of people are manifesting these days, it’s true.

Amory: What made you want to start a cyber coven?

Lisa: I didn't. (Laughs.)

Amory: Who forced you to start a cyber coven?

Lisa: No, yeah, Deity did actually.

Ben: Like any religious leader, Lisa was struck by a divine being. For the uninitiated, a deity is a supernatural being who is considered divine or sacred. For Lisa, Deity is her goddess.

Lisa: In the late 90s, as everyone was getting online, uh, a friend of a friend of an acquaintance said, “Hey, wouldn't it be neat to try and do teaching each other magic and witchcraft online. And we'll do it in this kind of a way on this kind of a space, we'll use a list.” And I was like, “Yeah, sounds kind of interesting.”

Ben: Lisa prayed to Deity and asked for a clear sign on where to go from here.

Lisa: I had a dream. And in the dream, a black jaguar walked through a woods to me and looked at me and said, “The coven's name is JaguarMoon.” And I woke up and went, “Okay, well, I asked for clear, that's clear.”

Amory: JaguarMoon officially started in May of 2000. Lisa says that she got backlash at the time for using technology to practice magic. She still does.

Lisa: There is a hardcore contingent of people who say that it is utterly impossible to do magic online. It is utterly impossible to do magic unless you are physically present with one another and, and in the meatspace of life.

Ben: Ah, yes, the meatspace of life. 

Lisa: (Laughs.) There ya go.

Ben: Now you're talkin’ my language.

Lisa: Yeah.

Amory: I just want to know, is it M-E-E-T, meatspace, or—

Ben: No!

Amory: M-E-A-T.

Ben: It’s M-E-A-T.

Lisa: Yeah, it is definitely M-E-A-T.

Amory: Oh okay. Okay.

Ben: Like you and I Amory, as much—

Amory: We’re in the meatspace.

Ben: Yeah, we are the meat. We are the meat.

Amory: So you've already won him fully over Lisa, just so you know, with your use of meatspace.

Lisa: Oh good, I'm so glad.

Ben: When witches are not in the meatspace, they meet in cyberspace.

Lisa: Cyberspace is the astral. So when I access cyberspace through my computer, I am touching the astral realm. And that's where we do our work as a cyber coven.

Ben: Out of curiosity, have you ever heard the saying, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?”

Lisa: Thank you, Arthur C. Clarke.

Ben and Lisa: Yes.

Ben: Arthur C. Clarke, the scientist, science and sci-fi author who coined the phrase.

Lisa: Think about it. Here I am holding my telephone in my hand, which the computing power of which would fill three business buildings from back in the 70s.

Amory: Lisa is onto something. Every time a new iPhone or something comes out, I’m like, what is this sorcery? How can this little object do such powerful things?

Ben: But Lisa and her coven are more traditional, in a sense, when it comes to the world of cyberwitches. They use cyberspace to connect and conduct rituals together.

Amory: But in the early 2000s, cyberwitches started to actually integrate technology into their spellcasting. Here’s Dr. Ketchum again.

Alex: Examples of how you can use your computer as part of your spellcasting. Some of it is to put things like crystals or different herbs on your computer.

Amory: These techniques come from The Cyber Spellbook: Magick in the Virtual World, by Patricia Telesco and Sirona Knight, which came out in 2002.

Alex: Some of it is to use a floppy disk that has what we would, like essentially a computer file image of an herb. If you don't have it in your house, you can put in a floppy disk or like clip art essentially to stand for in for that herb.

Amory: Okay, a floppy disk, which, by the way, is how us olds used to save files before thumb drives and external hard drives. A floppy disk with a digital image of an herb saved onto it, being used in lieu of a real, physical herb.

Ben: Who knew you could perform magic with a floppy disk? I definitely remember some floppies that seemed cursed as hell. (Laughs.) What else can you use?

Alex: Things such as an air conditioner into your spells for like the cooling of the air to cool emotions. There's things of like how to use a calculator or a bread maker or a camera, or a digital camera.

Ben: By the mid-2000s, Dr. Ketchum says, as the novelty of the internet was wearing off, so was the novelty of cyber witchcraft. Covens like JaguarMoon kept on witchin’, but the cyberwitch surge of the early 90s plateaued to a more under-the-radar existence.

Amory: Until 2015.

Two days before Halloween, a writer and witch named Tarin Towers wrote an article for Vice Magazine titled “How to Cast Spells Using Emoji.”

Alex: So basically you can put a combination of emojis in a text on your phone or online as a tweet, and that can be a way of making a spell.

Ben: In the words of Tarin Towers, quote, “Instead of subtweeting your ex, why not cast an emoji unbinding spell instead?”

Amory: Next time your friend needs help getting over someone, am I right?

Alex: Tarin Towers talks about how every modern witch always has her cell phone at hand at any time. And yes, you're used to looking up information on your phone, but maybe you can also actually use it to create spells.

Amory: Tarin writes that to cast an emoji spell you have to first set an intention like, “I lost my keys and I really need to find them.” Then identify the emoji that feel relevant. So in this case, Tarin uses a crystal ball emoji, then a magnifying glass, then, of course, a little key emoji, and then rounds it off with another crystal emoji for good measure.

Ben: Tarin’s piece goes viral - reshared all over the Internet, especially Tumblr, and there is this kind of renewed interest in cyber witchcraft and casting spells online.

Alex: One of the reasons that this partly takes off is because of the rise of Donald Trump running for president of the United States.

Amory: Cyberwitches, the majority of whom are women, were VERY active online during Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

[WITCH PROTEST AUDIO:

Witch 1: Abracadabra here’s a spell—

Group of witches: Donald Trump can go to hell! WOOOOO! 

Witch 2: I wanted to hex Donald Trump and the bad energy around that.

Witch 3: We're very hopeful that today we will cast spells that will make The Great Orange One disappear forever.

Witch 4: So mote it be!

Witch 5: So mote it be

Witch 6: So mote it be!]

Ben: So mote it be, or not to be, when we come back.

[SPONSOR BREAK]

Amory: So, it’s 2015. And lots of witches are not happy with Donald Trump’s campaign for president.

Alex: There were a lot of people that were feeling frustrated and that on top of going to protests and rallies, they also wanted to express that frustration online. And so there were gatherings online of people cursing him. And then there are also people casting emoji spells against him.

Ben: In June of 2016, user Birdywitch—which is just a good username right there—on Tumblr posted an emoji spell with the word TRUMP, bookended by a crystal ball, a red ‘X’, a downwards stock symbol, and a red pushpin. They wrote, quote, “A spell to take down Donald Trump. Likes charge it, reblogs cast it.” The post currently has about 60,000 notes, which is a combination of all of the reblogs, likes, and replies a post has received.

Amory: Dr. Alex Ketchum, our cyberwitch scholar from McGill University, says this connection between activism and witchcraft makes sense.

Alex: I would say that there's been a longstanding relationship of witchcraft and the idea of witches and feminism, right? Like the witch is this kind of feminist figure.

Amory: But Dr. Ketchum says the cyberwitch of the 1990s and a cyberwitch of the mid-2010s aren’t necessarily the same thing.

In the 90s, cyberwitches mostly practiced witchcraft online. By 2015, cyberwitches have a much bigger toolbox. If there's an app for it, there's a spell for it!

Ben: But as the internet has become more accessible and community-based, and more people have started practicing magic online, like emoji spells, the definition of cyberwitch has become a little blurry.

Since the resurgence in 2015, more people have been using witch as a feminist figure first, and the actual witchcraft part as kind of secondary aspect.

Alex: That's not to undermine anyone's religious or spiritual beliefs, but it does seem like the driving force between the two is a little bit different. One where it's kind of like feminism and political activism first as being the driver in kind of 2015 and onward.

Ben: But, there are some cyberwitches in 2022 who prioritize the witchcraft.

Cy X: In college, that was when I was like, I wanna be a witch! It was always a question of like, how to be a witch, how, how to do it, where's the textbook to become a witch?

Cy X: Hi, everyone. My name is Cy X. My pronouns are they/we and I'm a cyber witch, energy worker and a lover based in Brooklyn.

Ben: Say hello to our 21st-century cyberwitch, Cy X. They are far from the old witch hunched over a cauldron. Cy X is a young tech-savvy witch who has seemingly no back problems.

Amory: And since Cy X started practicing witchcraft in college, it probably comes as no surprise that their first spell…was a love spell.

Cy X: Maybe it was a curse.

Amory: Yeah, they were still figurin' it out.

Cy X: So many things that went wrong. It was like the candle blew out before I could even finish the spell, and I was like, let's just relight it. A bunch of people entered the room and were screaming, “What are you doing?!”

Ben: And because the spell didn’t go as planned, Cy X figured they’d cursed themself.

Cy X: I had a familiar that would follow me around was this cat that lived by my apartment, and I considered it to be a familiar. And a guide. And after that spell, it froze to death. I broke a tooth by eating a French fry. Things that were just so, so absurd. (Laughs.) 

Amory: What drew Cy X to witchcraft was stronger than that first spell gone awry. They grew up in a religious home but never really felt connected to the structure of Christianity. Sound familiar? Like Lisa, the leader of JaguarMoon, Cy X connected with the energy that came with their spirituality and from the possibility of manifesting a better reality for themself.

Cy X: I think at the root of magic, the way that I understand it is a lot about change and intention.

Ben: Cy X incorporates technology into their spellcasting. Not in the way Lisa and her coven use the internet as a gathering space, but in a way where their spells and tech intertwine. They even use an app that a lot of us use daily as a way to do magic.

Cy X: Instagram, uh, if I want to direct attention towards something, maybe I'll participate in a glamor spell. And I think an example of that is the idea of posting a selfie for the algorithm. I think that is a glamor spell. Using beauty to direct attention towards something specific.

Ben: Man, I've been casting glamor spells this whole time and I didn't know it!

Amory: (Laughs.) Or…. not.

Ben: What? I’m not glamorous? Come on!

Amory: (Laughs.) You are the most glamorous Ben, but have you been setting an intention behind your Instagram posts?

Ben: Just being cool.

Amory: (Laughs.)

Ben: Setting an intention of being cool and looking glamorous.

Amory: Not enough, it’s not enough Ben. Cy X says you really need to set an intention – similar to that emoji spell against Donald Trump. The intention is what turns your everyday Instagram post, Ben's glamour post, into… a spell.

Ben: But, like we said, there’s no one way to cyberwitch. And for Cy X, a lot of their witchcraft has been trial and error. Just like my glamor. (Laughs.)

Amory: (Laughs.)

Cy X: It can be hard to sort of decipher where to go when you're curious about learning about magic because maybe many of us don't have mentors. It was sort of a curiosity that I had, and then I had to turn to the internet in order to find, how do I learn about these things?

Amory: Cy X’s path to becoming a cyberwitch evolved over time. When they first started practicing, they just wanted to cast spells and make magic in the digital realm.

Cy X: It was that simple. Me trying to figure that out. And now as my understanding of technology has shifted, I think the idea of what a cyberwitch is has also shifted. I really now think of magic as a form of technology. And I think of now technology as being beyond our devices.

Ben: For Cy X, it’s not just about copy and pasting what witchcraft looks like in the physical world and putting that in cyberspace. It’s about our relationship with our devices that we depend so heavily on.

Cy X: The cyberwitch part of it is understanding how then we can communicate with our technology, with the technologies of today, with the technologies of all times, including devices, including the internet, including algorithms, including all of it.

Ben: So Cy X is one person, but there are different cyberwitch communities online. There is one specific community that has made waves in cyberspace recently.

Cy X: WitchTok, um, the witches, the witches of TikTok. 

Ben: WitchTok was the subject of many headlines from NPR to Vice to Cosmo back in the summer of 2020 for a thing...that they did.

Cy X: There were a group of witches that were hexing the moon and everyone was freaking out about it.

Amory: I’m sorry, hexing the moon? As in cursing the moon? Wishing ill upon the moon?

Ben: Yeah seems like a bad move for feminists and witches. I'm just putting that out there.

Amory: Yeah. These novice witches or as Cy X calls them -

Cy X: Baby witches.

Amory: Baby witches.

Amory: Hexxed the moon using TikTok.

[TIKTOK AUDIO:

The sun is next. STOP!]

Ben: Exactly my reaction. There were a lot of people that were involved in this. It’s hard to know just how big the cyberwitch community is. But when you search #WitchTok on TikTok, the videos under this tag have been viewed more than 25 billion times.

Amory: And then there’s Reddit community WitchesVsPatriarchy, which describes itself as a woman-centered subreddit with a witchy twist. And I love this subreddit.

Ben: Me too.

Amory: I’m a member along with half a million other people. You are too Ben?

Ben: Yeah, I love it.

Amory: Well, to this point, how many of those people and how many of the WitchTok video watchers are actually practicing witches?

Ben: Do you have something to tell me Amory?

Amory: (Laughs.)

Ben: We don’t know how big this community really is. I guess the long story short is that it might seem like this is a very niche group, but your next-door neighbor could be using an emoji spell to hex you at this very moment!

Amory: Or your podcast cohost.

Ben: Oh no.

Amory: Okay, so we’ve gotten to understand some of the ways cyberwitches practice magic, and their beginnings in the 90s, and how they have surged and evolved with the rise of social media. But there's still a question of why. Why are cyberwitches a thing?

Ben: Yeah, not in a pop-culture way, or surface-level kind of way, but what does this group of people actually get from being together?

Ursa: I'm Ursa, my pronouns are they/them.

Siren: I'm Siren.

Danu: I'm Danu.

Wren: I'm Wren, I'm based out of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Wanderer: My name is Wanderer, my pronouns are he/him.

Amory: We got a chance to speak with members of JaguarMoon, and they told us why being a part of a cyber coven is important to them.

Siren: It made me go to therapy. Because, yeah, honestly. 

Mara: For me, I'd say it was confidence. I have not historically had a great deal of that in myself. There are places that will say it'll come as you are, but this group actually means that.

Rena: There's one specific lesson that we talk about with affirmations. For me, my affirmation for my class year was I am worthy of love for myself. And that changed my life.

Lisa: For me, it has allowed me to meet with and work with people I never would have encountered in a million years period.

Amory: Lisa McSherry again, the leader of JaguarMoon.

Lisa: It connects people who otherwise could not be connected. It offers a path to a nontraditional spirituality for people who are differently-abled. It offers modalities that aren't in the mainstream. And that's always important. I mean, witchcraft is already liminal. It's already on the edge. It's already marginalized. So having a group of people who are further marginalized and can't practice because of where they live, or because they can't read, or are deaf, or one of 100 things, you know, you could be a cyberwitch. You can connect with people, you can find people just like you or really, really close, who are doing it. And doing well. 

Ben: We asked the group on our Zoom ritual call what other commonalities they realized after coming together in cyberspace.

Ursa: We’re nerds.

(COVEN LAUGHS.)

Lisa: Total nerds. 

Ursa: Our coven also has a D and D night. (Laughs.)

Ben: Yes, you may be shocked to learn that people who dabble in witchcraft and people who play Dungeons & Dragons can be the same people. Nerds finding each other because of common interest and yearning for community.

And that makes sense, right?

As Lisa points out, being a witch, for a long time has meant being an outcast. Someone who is “doing it wrong” according to mainstream society. And witches have been burned at the stake for it. Or thrown into ponds with rocks tied to them, or any number of horrible things.

Amory: Witches have always been at risk for being different. And being different can be lonely.

If you identified as a witch, or witchy, or magic-curious, even as recently as a few decades ago, it was hard to find community. Which is kind of funny, since so many of their practices feel pretty similar to from other mainstream religious ceremonies. Ritual. Praying. Manifesting. This is all pretty familiar stuff.

Ben: The internet has made it a lot easier for witches to practice their beliefs. For some, like Cy X, that’s spell casting with Instagram. For others, it's doing things together, like the members of JaguarMoon, it’s just hopping on a Zoom call from different cities and countries around the world to cast a circle.

Amory: And despite witches’ love of the supernatural there’s something fundamentally human about that, right? And just about wanting to feel like you have a little ounce of control maybe, just maybe, in a world that otherwise feels pretty chaotic. So, what do ya say Ben? Are you gonna become a cyberwitch?

Ben: I don't think so. But I might light a candle for these cyberwitches out here. So mote it be.

Amory: So mote it be.

[CREDITS]

Amory: Endless Thread is a production of WBUR in Boston.

Ben: Want early tickets to events, swag, bonus content? My WitchTok hexes, Amory’s love spells? Join OUR email list! You’ll find it at wbur.org/endlessthread.

This episode was written and produced by Meera Raman. And it’s hosted by us, Ben Brock Johnson…

Amory: And Amory Sivertson. Mix and sound design by Matt Reed

Ben: Editing help from Maureen McMurray. Our web producer is Megan Cattel. The rest of our team is Nora Saks, Dean Russell, Quincy Walters and Grace Tatter.

Amory: Endless Thread is a show about the blurred lines between digital communities and a coven of tinnnny little baby witches. If you’ve got an untold history, an unsolved mystery, or a wild story from the internet that you want us to tell, hit us up. Email Endless Thread at WBUR dot ORG.

Meera Raman Podcasts Fellow

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