Maia Toll
Have you seen the show The Good Witch? I have to admit, I’ve been binge watching.

It was getting late and I still had work to do; I was craving the kind of t.v. show that creates the illusion of transitioning into the evening’s relaxation… but actually takes no brain power so I could keep going with website edits (new website coming soon—wooohooo!).

Some women in The Medicine Keepers Collective had been talking about a guilty pleasure called The Good Witch. “What the heck,” I thought, “a little witchy might do the trick!”

The word witch has been on the rise: Vogue (yup, the fashion magazine Vogue) did a Witchy Week in June and my publisher actually contacted me because the sales team wanted a witchy book and did I have any ideas?

There’s a theory floating around that witch gets popular when we feel culturally oppressed by patriarchy; that witch is a way of reclaiming the power of the feminine.

I think it’s a bit more than that: witch is a way of saying I’m not gonna buy into the rules of the dominant culture.

Why? Because in our stories and fairy tales, the witch lives deep in the woods. She is separate. She is other.

She’s a way of saying I don’t want to be a part of this crazy shit you call society.

And so the rise of the word witch is an indication that women are looking for an alternate path to the obvious ones on offer.

The first person who called me a witch was my brother-in-law. The word chaffed: it’s one thing to feel like an outsider in your heart, it’s quite another to have “outsider” tagged on you by someone else. Calling me a witch also felt like it made light of my years of study, the incredible energy I’d put into learning the language of the green world and the pathways of the human body.

And yet… I’ve often felt like there’s no word that’s quite right for who I am and the work I do in the world. There’s a void in our language for this particular way of being.

And this is where the W-word comes in.

We’re taught that doctors know our bodies and priests know our souls.

But what if we’re seeking to understand both for ourselves?

What if we crave a relationship with the physical—not only our body but also the material stuff of the world around us—the earth, plants, rocks, and stars? What if we find our spirit sparked by these relationships and our concept of the sacred altered by the scent of jasmine in bloom or the deep indigo of a sky awaiting nightfall?

What is the word for this feeling and the person we become when we honor it? Over the years as I’ve struggled for language one word keeps murmuring to me—a word I never particularly liked because of its slippery and amorphous nature:


Somehow this word is both silly and primal. It evokes cartoons and conflagrations.

I’ve walked around the word, looking it up and down. And I’ve realized that witch did something that no other word did: it bridged body, spirit, and the mysteries of the feminine divine.

Still, I fought Witch good and hard. It wasn’t my archetype of choice. But my heart lives in this place where body meets spirit; owning this word has given me a path home to myself.

And I came by it honestly: it seems I was born questioning cultural concepts of the divine (when I was eleven our rabbi, tickled by my constant questioning, suggested rabbinical school).

An illness in my twenties, unresolved by Western medicine, got me questioning theories on wellness and searching out answers for myself. The more I connected with my body, the more I understood my soul until the spiritual and material could no longer be separated.

My life became serendipitous and magical.

The year I spent in Ireland studying herbal medicine as an apprentice to a traditional healer rooted this path deep in my bones. Once I started conversing with the trees and the stones, there really was no turning back. Listening to my body and trusting my heart transformed me… and it can transform you, too.

You’ll find what resonates for you, and what leads you to your joy, and stop cribbing your truths from culture. Your body will become a homestead, instead of something separate and alien and other.

You’ll become something new, something I call witchy: a woman who knows herself deeply and is attuned to the shiftings and shufflings of the world around her.

It’s time to open the door and invite your inner witch out of the closet. She’s got dust bunnies in her hair and she’s desperate for a cup of tea.

And really… aren’t you ready for a taste of starlight?

If this is sounding yummy, you too might be a wee bit witchy.

Come find out. Join me for Witch Camp. Because The Good Witch barely touches on who we can be, if we only let ourselves step slightly left of social norms and societal dictates. But it does show, in all its saccharine sweetness, that our culture is craving a little witchy and wise, and it’s willing to invite it right into its living room.


P. S. Like this? Share it with one witchy friend now!