10 Oct 2014 10:53
The season of the witch is back. From American Horror Story: Coven to a new exhibit at the British Museum called “Witches and Wicked Bodies,” witches are once again ascendant. The current neo-pagan revival is less evocative of the cutest witches we met in 1990’s – it is distinctly feminist. The new witch culture blends a kind of radical eroticism with metaphysical liberation — and it aims to change the world.
On the weekend of October 10th, we attended and shot the first anniversary of the Witches Compass, a monthly gathering of appropriately attired occultists at Kateland, a bookstore in Bushwick, Brooklyn that is at the epicenter of the local pagan universe. Katelan Foisy (also a painter, model, and tarot card reader) lead attendees through an immersive ritual cleansing to honor the Hunter’s Moon — with massive paper moons on display. Katelan and her witch-colleague Damon Stang are pioneers of the occult revival happening in this hipster enclave. A few days after the Witches Compass, I sat down for an interview with Katelan and Fred Jennings, the co-owner of Kateland. They explained what makes the third contemporary resurgence of the occult so different than the ones that have come before. Intrinsically feminist, LGBT-friendly, and politically active by nature, the new witches are in it for far more than just love spells.