Halloween Witch with a magic Pumpkin ,  Beautiful young woman in witches hat and costume

I’m Not In Costume, I’m A Witch Now

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If you saw the pointy hat, the cauldron, and the broom and thought: mom in a witch costume, you were half right. But the cauldron isn't an accessory. The broom? Also real, which anyone who's seen me pick up my kids from school will tell you. (No one cares when you jump the parent pickup line if you zoom in on a broom.) Look again, ladies, I'm not in a costume: I'm just an actual witch now.

When I'm honest with myself, I've been one for a while, deep down. I started out dabbling in seasonal candles, and found myself heading down a rabbit hole from sugared pumpkin spice votives to the black flame candle that, when lit by a virgin, summons the Sanderson Sisters from the grave. (My kids love that one.) Besides, a wardrobe consisting entirely of black dresses makes it very easy to decide what to wear every day, and the hat is a no-brainer addition to my intensive skincare routine.

I'm a straight up, folkloric, double double toil and trouble witch... but also a mom. My hobbies are brewing potions, going on family hikes, casting spells, playing board games with my children, and stroking my pet raven, Stevie Nicks (naturally). I also enjoy reading and, of course, hexing small-minded villagers, because what's even the point of being a witch if you're not going to use your power to bring calamity down on bigots with torches and pitchforks?

Photo courtesy of Jamie Kenney

It all looks very fall 2019 — me, in my front lawn, stirring a large cauldron while cackling, stopping only to wave at the school bus driver as she drops off the kiddos — but I can assure you I am invested in the dark arts 12 months of the year. How does a mom of two in her mid-30s come into her powers as a full-blown witch? Honestly, it all felt very natural.

Don the hat, find some pointy boots, get fitted for a dramatic, twirly cloak, and get on your broomstick, losers, we're going shopping.

During my goth phase in high school, I loved the trappings of witchy-ness. I don't think I turned on my lights my entire junior year: my bedroom was lit by a million candles. I rebelled against the English reading list which, I don't need to tell you, was 100 percent dead white males. I picked up books on herbalism, tarot, and astrology. I read everything there was to read about Salem. (No witches there, of course, but what kind of wannabe witch are you if you aren't obsessed with Salem?) But despite my deepest longings, I was no witch. Teenage girls are magical creatures, yes, but magical creatures with very little power. But as I got older, I became more confident in the power I did possess and it blossomed. And when I endured vaginally delivering a 9 pound 2 oz baby with impossibly wide shoulders? I crossed the threshold, and was granted my full swath of cursed power. Now if you were to throw me in a pond, you bet your warty ass I would float.

There are lots of ways women nurture and expand their personal powers: there's no one path to the witch life for those who choose the way of the wand. Some of us have babies, some travel the world, and some of us have those orange cargo bikes that look homemade but actually cost $2,000 somehow. We are crafty bitches all.

Personally, motherhood has allowed me to realize my inner witch so fully that I've decided to externalize it, making it official. We moms are powerful but misunderstood. We're eccentric by default because our kids make us that way. ("Yes, this is a macaroni necklace I'm wearing to a fancy dinner party. What of it, sir?") Many of us have a coven ("Is this a diaper rash or an allergy? I know, I'll ask my mom group!") We have a magic touch to heal (boo boos) and the ability to tell the future ("If you keep climbing that bookshelf something bad is going to happen."). And who among us hasn't wanted to eat a baby? ("Wook at deese widdle tooooooes! And deese cheeks! Imma eat dem! Nom nom nom!")

Courtesy of Jamie Kenney

Another reason to go full witch? Remember the small-minded villagers I mentioned earlier? No one, no one keeps them in check like a good old fashioned witch. Sure, they'll occasionally try to burn you at the stake or dunk you in water to see if you float but I'm just like, "Witch, please, like I can't outwit a mouth-breathing mob, I was the PTA representative for a full year — no one scares me now.

Let them say "witch" like it's a bad thing, because the one thing I cannot conjure is a single f*ck. Won't you join me? Don the hat, find some pointy boots, get fitted for a dramatic, twirly cloak, and get on your broomstick, losers, we're going shopping.

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