Witchcraft Today

Witches have been a part of human history since the very beginning. Early witches were people who used their knowledge of the natural world to perform homeopathic and spiritual healing, wise women, or women in positions of power such as pagan leaders or divine oracles. They were goddesses, healers, midwives, shamans. This site explores the connotation of the label 'witch', from its persecution to its reclamation.

Today, some women feel it is important to realize and celebrate their own intuition, empathy, and connection to the earth. While they may or may not claim the title 'witch', they practice what feels right to them, remembering what those called witches did many years ago: healing, meditation, divination, and everything in between.

Modern Ceremonies

A Modern Full Moon Ceremony

Laurine Tonkin is a medium, psychic, spiritual healer, and teacher. She practices tarot, performs psychic readings, and leads full moon ceremonies in Morro Bay, California. Although some may associate these things with witchcraft, to her, it is a lifestyle that goes beyond a stereotype.

Every full moon, the back patio at Top Dog cafe in Morro Bay transforms into a ceremony space for all things astrological and spiritual. The space is carefully created by a woman who has been working as a spiritual healer for almost 20 years. A passerby might call the candles, crystals, and burning sage ‘witchy,’ but her goal is only to do what feels right for herself and those who’ve come to her ceremony. No labels here. Laurine Tonkin is an intuitive medium, psychic, and healer. 'I connect into the collective pulse of what's happening in the universe… and basically get a feeling or a knowing in myself that helps me to guide and direct other people into their highest healing or into their highest place and that they can exist in this moment,' she said. Tonkin uses items like crystals, figures of the divine feminine, candles, and tarot cards to channel energy for her ceremony and its attendees. She began the evening with a guided meditation to find a sense of being grounded. The emotion in the space was palpable as participants burned pieces of paper with sentiments or aspects of their life they wanted to release. Grace Collins found sobriety after her first moon ceremony, after years of struggling with addiction. 'It’s always been a huge thing in my life; going back to that moment of throwing that into the fire and letting it go,' Collins said. 'Sitting with Laurine and having the intuitive messages come through, and being able to reflect on what I need to release in my life has been really beneficial,' said participant Julie Donahoo. Tonkin feels a calling to facilitating spiritual understanding and healing to groups of people. She ended the ceremony by having participants draw tarot cards. If a participant needed help with their interpretation, Laurine would gently guide them until they found the meaning together. 'There's something in me that says you have to go like create magic like that,' Tonkin said. 'Ceremony is powerful in the way that you bring together like minded people, you create a circle of energy, you call on your angels and guides and you call on other people's angels and guides. The amount of healing that can happen in a group setting like that when a lot of people are focused on the same task is extremely powerful,' said Tonkin. Tonkin finds the label of ‘witch’ to be a compliment, though she doesn’t explicitly call herself one. 'I think that we are definitely blowing out that old stereotype, where people are running around doing hexes, that's not what this is about. It's about women working with medicine, with plants, with the stars, with the earth, with the planets. We're a part of all of that,' she said.

What is a 'Witch'?

What is a 'Witch'?

Click on images to hear what comes to mind when people think of Witches.
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Spiritual Healers

Spiritual Healers

To some, altars, tarot, meditation, and speaking with the spiritual realm are simply part of everyday life. Spiritual healer and mentor Annapurna Devi speaks on her knowledge of the history of witchcraft and her own practices.


Perceptions Over Time