Bubbling cauldrons, cackling laughs, jars of eyes, and flying broomsticks. These are the images that come to mind when the word ‘witch’ is spoken. Of course, the Mt. A witches are quite a bit different from this depiction. Mt. A.’s witches are more likely to crowd around a table at a cafe than to fly away on a broomstick.
Andy Giulione, a psychology major, is the founder of the Witch’s Society. They are one of the older practicing witches in the group. They said, “I’ve been practicing for 4 or 5 years, but I’ve been interested I would say probably since I was pretty young. You know, the typical kids making potions in the backyard and stuff like that. I would probably say since I was eight or something like that, I just really liked nature and really connected with it.”
The society is a loose group meant to be a safe space for witches of all different practices to come together with like-minded people. “It’s very safe and open to talk about your practices,” said Giulione.
They also wanted to make the society into a place where people can ask questions in a welcoming environment. The atmosphere is so welcoming it drew in people who never planned to attend in the first place. “I think there was someone who just accidentally stumbled upon the meeting the first time we met and they just sat there the whole time and they were like ‘I didn’t even mean to be here, but that was so interesting’,” Giulione recalled.
The Witches Society is a relatively new group at Mt. A., as it was only started by Gulione last year during the pandemic. The group started as an idea between friends. Gulione said, “I started it because I realized that I do a lot of witchcraft and that this would be really nice if there was a little community because a few of my friends were starting to get into this with me. And they were like, ‘Andy you know so much, we do this with you all the time anyways…I’m sure others would want to do the same.’” They were surprised at the amount of people outside of the initial group who decided to join.
The logo for the society was carefully chosen. Gulione said, “The symbol that we have is a Celtic knot, and it represents the four elements…I think a lot of people if they saw a pentagram they might get a little scared so I was like, oh I wanted something that you wouldn’t associate with Halloween.” Gulione encourages everyone with interest in witchcraft or the society to come and sit in on their next meeting.
There were some difficulties with setting up the society during the pandemic, but this year the society meets on the first Tuesday of every month in Gracie’s Cafe.