This is what the covens of the "new witches" of Mexico are like: spirituality, listening and feminism
The union between women, spirituality, autonomy and the use of herbal medicine are the common elements of those who attend the “women's circles” in Mexico, where they meet to evoke the ancient witches who invoke nature. and they also allude to certain ideals of feminism.
The witches of the 21st century do not have the warts or the cauldron that the Inquisition imposed on them as an image. They are professionals, therapists, experts in herbalism and spirituality who are committed to sharing that wisdom with other women.
On the night of October 31, in the United States, and in some Latin American countries, such as Mexico, the Night of the Spirits is commemorated, also called Witches' Night, a purely commercial celebration.
Danae Gutiérrez has been a guide for the “Women Healing” circle for 6 years in the city of Guadalajara (western Mexico). The young therapist gathers other women in what they call “covens”, around the fire, they dance, practice healing rituals and talk surrounded by flowers and healing herbs.
In an interview with EFE, Gutiérrez said that these circles evoke the figure of the witch to vindicate her before society as a wise woman who has the power to heal other people.
“I wanted to return to that word coven to remember that, as women, we are powerful and wise, that that is the witch that exists in you and that is there telling you 'hey, listen to me', for me it is important in this circle to remember that wise woman that lives in us,” he explained.
Women highlight the power of their femininity, they share their experiences, emphasizing the ability to listen to each other and accompany each other without distinctions, she added.
“The main objective is unity, empathy, reconciliation with that sacred feminine, with the woman who exists next to me and with whom we are always there interacting. (...) Entering the circle we are all equal, no one can criticize the other, there is this energy of empathy, of seeing the other woman as equal to me,” she explained.
The calls to many of these circles, which have proliferated in recent years, invite people to participate in “covens” and dress like “witches,” two words that still mean evil and darkness for many people.
“There are still people who conceptualize this word as something very negative and I think that being a witch is nothing more than being able to be in contact with yourself and with nature, respecting the elements, respecting human beings. What witches are today and what they promote is self-knowledge,” says Carolina Dávila, who has been attending the circles for 4 years.
Feminisms and feelings
Yunuén Hernández is co-author of a research carried out in 2022 in which, in addition to searching for contemporary witches, she confirmed that the idea of the Middle Ages that singles them out, demonizes them and makes them look like “bad, dirty, ugly, satanic and someone” remains. who could not be trusted.”
The master's degree in Gender Studies from the University of Guadalajara explained to EFE that this stigma was largely broken down by the feminist currents of the mid-20th century and early 21st century that highlight the power, femininity and knowledge that women have had from nature for hundreds of years.
“They were extremely wise, autonomous, healer women, they were women who helped in childbirth, they were astrologers, they met with other women not to summon Satan as they were made to believe, but to heal each other, spiritually and emotionally, and these are the practices that we now see in feminist movements and in these circles of feelings,” he explained.
At the end of the 1960s, the radical feminism group WITCH (witch, in English) emerged in the United States and was anti-capitalist through performances that combined protest and symbolic witchcraft rituals, always dressed in black and wearing pointed hats.
“If we go back in history, we know that witches were autonomous women with whom many feminists today identify, now we are also fighting for our rights, for our freedom, for our bodies, for us and for ourselves, just as that they did it,” Hernández concluded.
Las Catrinas March
Feminists take to the streets to denounce femicides
Feminists, human rights defenders, activists and relatives of victims of feminicide in the state of Chiapas, southeastern Mexico, demonstrated this Tuesday at the Las Catrinas march in the City of San Cristóbal de Las Casas where they demanded justice for these crimes to the state and federal government.
“Women are not a research folder!” they constantly expressed in the demonstration that occurred within the framework of the traditional Day of the Dead celebration that occurs in Mexico on November 1 and 2.
For eight years now, the Las Catrinas march, an iconic representation of elegant and festive death in Mexican culture, has taken to the streets on these dates to demand justice for the girls, adolescents and women murdered in the country. According to NGO records, Mexico has accumulated 901 cases of femicides so far this year and the state of Chiapas is the fifth state with cases of violent deaths of women with 26.
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