Witchcraft is a misunderstood practice of manipulating energies related to nature through methods like meditation, spells, charms or many other ways. The Coven, organized through the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, meets every Friday night in the Cavern library and provides a place for discussion and education for people who identify as a witch or are interested in witchcraft, whether one has been practicing for years or is new to the craft.
The Coven was born out of a friend group, which included juniors Amber Koronkiewicz ‘19 and Arianna Prater ‘19. “We want to make new witch friends because it can be very isolating because people aren’t very open about it, so we were like, let’s put out a beacon and see if anyone else wants to join. We were very surprised by the amount of people interested in this,” Prater said.
According to Koronkiewicz, a lot of people do witchy things without knowing that it is witchy. Some witchy things include liking plants or rocks or having a deep feeling of connection to nature. “It’s just using those energies to benefit yourself and other people around you and to protect yourself and whatnot,” Koronkiewicz said.
It is not a religion; rather, it is a practice, and one can be any religion to practice witchcraft. There are different subsets, such as green witches who like plants, sea witches who like the ocean, witches that are into stars, or a newer subset, technowitches.
“There’s different facets of nature and different facets of witchcraft that go with that,” Koronkiewicz said. “Times are becoming a lot more accepting it seems, so it seems easier to be a lot more open about it, and so if people want to learn more about it, we want to educate them. I didn’t have any help when I first started out a long time ago. I didn’t have a name for it for years, and starting off on your own is kind of rough because it takes a long time to sort through information.”
Many people start off with online communities or books about witchcraft, or, like Prater, have an in-person guide. Many practice for years without having a name for their practices.
“We’re hoping to build a solid community of open-minded people, and we can discuss all of our different ideas. It’s very nice to have other witches in person to talk to, because it really makes a difference,” Prater said.
The Coven is planning celebrations for Sabbaths or seasonal holidays. Samhain is Halloween, where they will have a bonfire. They are also planning a Sabbath celebration called Bealtaine in the spring. They meet from 7-8:30 p.m. every Friday in the Cavern library and have discussions, movie nights, workshops and crafting. If you have questions, you can contact Amber Koronkiewicz.