Funny

Meet the modern-day witches who ‘heal broken bones’ and keep world of magic alive


Women persecuted as witches recently received a posthumous apology from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

But while the witches of old had to hide away, their modern-day counterparts are swapping spooky stereotypes for festivals and Facebook.

Last year 2,000 witches and pagans from across the UK attended the Cove of Gaia festival in Coventry.

There, they took part in workshops covering everything from spellcraft and runes to wand decorating.

And the level of interest was so high that two events will be running this year.

Here, we speak to three people who are keen to take the mystery out of witchery…

Julie Aspinall and fellow witches Tim and Anne Edge
(

Image:

Will Johnston Photography)

Julie has a dedicated herb room where she makes various potions and tinctures for healing
(

Image:

Will Johnston Photography)

‘I managed to heal my own broken foot’

Julie Aspinall, MD of a dog security firm, swears by the power of spells.

The 57-year-old claims to have healed her own broken foot using witchcraft and credits it with helping her find love, the house of her dreams and success at work.

Julie first started looking into witchcraft in her early 20s and learned how to cast spells.

She says: “When I was in my teens, I knew I was different. I was quite popular, but I knew I didn’t really fit in.

“People used to say I was the luckiest person they knew – if I wanted something or wanted something to happen, most of the time it would. I felt like I was somehow special because things would just go well for me.”

After the 2005 Isle of Lewis scandal – when eight islanders were wrongly accused of abusing children during “black magic rituals” – Julie was reluctant to tell people she believed in witchcraft.

But she says: “One day, my grown-up daughter said, ‘Mum, you don’t have to hide any more, you know’.”

From that point on, Julie started talking more publicly about being a witch.

She claims to have an ability to “make things happen”.

Modern day witch Julie set up The Coven of Gaia 3 years ago
(

Image:

Will Johnston Photography)

Julie also has a spell room where she conducts rituals
(

Image:

Will Johnston Photography)

Julie says: “If I liked someone, I could make them like me. If I needed money, something would happen within a day, like a job or I would win something.”

At her home, Julie now has a special spell room where she conducts rituals that coincide with the seasons and lunar cycles, such as Ostara (Easter) and Yule, the celebration of the Winter Solstice.

She also has a summer house in her garden that acts as her “herb room”.

It is packed with hundreds of bottles of herbs alongside a bulging folder of recipes for various potions and tinctures.

Julie says: “Spells and potions can be for anything from healing to abundance. One time I went to hospital with a broken foot. By the time I had waited to be seen, I had healed it myself. An X-ray showed it was broken and I would need six to eight weeks without walking on it, but I walked out of hospital and was back walking my dogs an hour later.”

Julie’s home is also the meeting place for the Coven of Gaia, which she formed three years ago.

The coven has 16 members – both men and women – from different backgrounds, such as teaching, computer programming and finance.

They meet to carry out rituals in the evenings and overnight, donning their cloaks and lighting a sea of candles around an altar in Julie’s garden for the occasion.

They have helped “cleanse” houses and tried to assist people in poor health.

Julie, from Fillongley, Warks, also uses her witchcraft to bring her success at work.

She hangs a broomstick over her front door that she and her staff touch when they need to.

Julie says: “It’s happened so many times where something’s happened like we’ve lost a contract, then I’ve touched the broom and we’ve won a new one the very next day.”

It’s not often that she uses witchcraft negatively but Julie does have a few tools up her sleeve, including an effective “freezer spell” that is made in a jar then put in the freezer – effectively freezing a particular person out of your life.

She says: “I do spells two or three times a week for various things.

“But having a spell isn’t just about sitting on your backside waiting… you have to be doing what you can to help make it happen too.”

‘There’s no such thing as coincidence’

Married couple Tim and Anne Edge believe they were brought together by their beliefs because “there’s no such thing as coincidence”.

The pair have four altars at their home in Birmingham where they pray, cast spells and carry out daily blessings.

Office administrator Anne, 48, claims to have “astral travelled” – or had an out-of-body experience – during childhood.

Tim is a witch and works in security for his day job
(

Image:

Will Johnston Photography)

Her altar is set up with candles and a statue depicting the Guardian of the Forest – her chosen deity – while Tim, 54, has a mobile one in his work van.

Anne says: “I was a solitary witch for a long time. I would never go outside in my cloak and had one boss who always steered clear of me. He was worried about ‘upsetting the witch’.”

Mum-of-three Anne believes she was destined to be with Tim because “everything happens for a reason”.

She admits she “never felt like she fitted” even from a young age, adding: “I just felt I would rather be outside hugging a tree or feeling my bare feet on the ground. As I got older I realised I could do things – I would think of something and it would happen.

Office administrator and modern day witch, Anne
(

Image:

Will Johnston Photography)

“I used to dream walk a lot… my dad found me at the bottom of the stairs a few times.

“I would go into people’s houses and know exactly where to find something even though I had never been there before. It was because I’d been there in my dreams.”

Tim, who works in security, adds: “I think realistically I have always been of the craft.”

‘I’ve been called a freak and spat on’

Teacher Elisa Gray said she faced childhood bullying for her belief in witchcraft.

The 54-year-old first realised she was “channeling natural magic” when she was eight and sees herself “connected to the wind”.

She says: “If we were planning to go somewhere I would worry it was going to rain and then it would rain.

“As I got older I worked it out. I would play with the weather … I had a lot of fun doing that.”

Elisa Gray has been bullied for being a witch
(

Image:

PIC PAUL NICHOLLS)

While her Romany gypsy father was understanding, Elisa admits that it wasn’t easy growing up in the 80s when witchcraft and paganism became associated with devil worship.

Elisa says: “I still think there’s people out there who really think that’s the case. When I was a teenager I was bullied by kids who would wait outside the only shop in my area where you could buy crystals.

“More often than not, I’d get pushed around and called a freak – I’ve also been spat on.”

Despite going on to qualify as a teacher, Elisa sometimes found herself shunned because of her passion for witchcraft.

Elisa Gray at Glastonbury Abbey
(

Image:

PIC PAUL NICHOLLS)

She says: “There were the looks, the faces, the heads going down as you walk in the staff room, the whispers…”

Elisa, who lives in Glastonbury, Somerset, believes there’s a big difference between “bored housewives with a manifestation jar” and real witches, who she has seen do “incredible things”.

She adds: “Witches don’t need to wear cloaks and pointy hats; they don’t curse or hex people. We’re all pretty mature.

“There’s TikTok witches and younger people, but most of the people I know are in our 40s and 50s. We don’t need to be running around cursing people – that’s all a bit playground.”

Read More

Read More




Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button