How to Hex the Patriarchy: A Spell For Reproductive Justice


In this installment of Practical Magic, Lisa Stardust talks about how to hex the patriarchy. Always remember that magic is for believers, but this column can also simply serve as a guide to getting in touch with yourself — magically or not.

Throughout history, witches have fought back against the patriarchy. In fact, the humble beginnings of magic focus on standing up and rebelling against governments that suppress the disenfranchised and those who lack power in society. The witch is a strong being who stands up to fight back against oppression, advocating especially for women’s power and rights.

In the late 1960s, the movement group Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (also known as W.I.T.C.H.) organized protests to push back against the patriarchy and to fight for women’s rights. They had several spin-off covens throughout the country, composed of radical feminists who wanted to expose capitalism as the true enemy of women’s freedom.

When Senator Ralph Yarborough gave testimony on family planning in 1970, W.I.T.C.H. threw pills at male panel members who were speaking for women, about what they could or couldn’t do with their bodies. 

The influence of W.I.T.C.H. has been felt by modern day witches who use their magical powers to #HexThePatriarchy. On #WitchTok, many looking to hex the patriarchy have been taking aim at the members of the Supreme Court, who recently overturned Roe v. Wade. According to Melissa Jayne Madara, a practicing witch who’s organized hexes against the patriarchy in the past several years, it’s important to “think globally and act locally.” If you’re interested in using magic to promote bodily autonomy, Melissa suggests offering protection to protesters, doctors who perform abortions, and organizations in need of money to support reproductive rights.

Hexing is a choice that the magic worker can make for themselves. There is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to fighting back against the injustices of society. However, there are other alternatives to spell work. Melissa states that witches can offer “spiritual counsel, tarot readings, or other services to people living in oppression…If you’re part of a community, start a line of inquiry into how your circle can use your collective skills to fight against oppression.”

Melissa Jayne Madara, magical practitioner and bestselling author of The Witch’s Feast: A Kitchen Grimoire wrote the following spell that we can all do to advocate for bodily autonomy and justice:

You will need : 

Frankincense

Charcoal

A small handful of culinary sage

A fruit pit (peach, plum, apricot, etc.)

Instructions from Melissa:

“This is a spell that comes to us from Ancient Greece, recorded in the PGM, or the Greco-Egyptian Magical Papyri, dating between 100BCE to 300CE. On the night of the new moon, tidy your altar after sunset and prepare your space for ritual as you normally do (meditation, calling the quarters, reciting the LBRP, etc). You may light your altar candles to read by, but special candles are not necessary for this spell.



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