“For so long it’s been a term that’s been used to demonize, stigmatize, and repress women,” says Lisa Lister. “But right now, the word is being reclaimed.”
The word, of course, is “witch,” and as a third-generation hereditary witch and wellness practitioner, you could say Lister has a personal interest in the concept’s current reclamation. Her book on the subject, Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic., was released a little more than a month ago, and thanks to its honest and approachable tone, is already becoming something of a modern-day handbook for those who, as Lister puts it, have “heard the call.”
“Women across the globe are actively using the word ‘witch’ as a way to describe themselves because the witch is waking,” Lister explains. “The part of us that’s been anesthetized, domesticated, tamed, and kept numb by food, shopping, alcohol, and drugs is now awakening within us. We are re-membering the dis-membered parts of being a woman—who we all were before patriarchy put all our fierce and feminine powers into the darkness, called them taboo, and then taught us all to be afraid of the dark.”
If you find yourself stirred by this feminist rally cry—perhaps as scenes from The Handmaid’s Tale and headlines from the current administration swirl in your head—you’re not alone. There’s no question that concern over current global issues is one driving force behind the recent witchy renaissance. “It’s interesting times—politically, environmentally, and socially,” Lister notes. “But it’s also exciting times, because this is the witching hour.”
But, what, exactly, is a modern witch and—most importantly—how do you awaken the one lying dormant within? First, Lister explains, it has less to do with Wicca and more to do with connection and trust in one’s self. “A witch is a woman in her power,” Lister states. “She’s wise, a healer—someone who is aligned with the cycles of nature and the phases of the moon. She’s in touch with the dark. She knows how to witness, how to let things go, how to follow her own counsel.” Historically, she may have practiced shamanism or hoodoo, but, as Lister writes in her book, the modern definition stretches to include any woman who wants to channel her innate powers and intuition to manifest her goals and desires: “Every woman is a witch, whether she knows it or not. She’s cyclic, she’s powerful, she can embrace nature to heal herself and her community. In other words, she is magic.”
Below, Lister shares a simple ritual for awakening (or, more precisely, re-awakening) your own inner witch.
Call Your Power Back
Many of us struggle to speak out or to have our voices heard, so we must call our power back . . . Back from all the places and people we’ve given it away to, back from where it’s been taken from us, back from all the times we’ve been shushed or silenced, back from when we’ve been mansplained to, back from all the times we’ve felt less than, and all the times we’ve been worried that we’re too much.
Make a triangle with your hands by placing the tips of your thumbs together and the tips of your first fingers together. This is called a Yoni Mudra; yoni means sacred temple in Sanskrit. We place that mudra on our womb space, or lower abdomen. We stand with our feet slightly apart, bent at the knees, and then we close our eyes, place our attention at our third eye and say out loud three times: “I call back my power now.”
Between each call, visualize a bright white light coming up through the soles of your feet, through your knees and into your womb space. Let it rest there before calling in the next one.
When you’ve done this three times, hold your power there.
Then repeat three times: “It is safe for me to be powerful.”
The mudra seals in the power.
We bring our hands to our hearts and say: “So mote it be.”