When thinking of witchcraft, daily self-care and nourishment aren’t likely some of the first things that come to mind. However, maybe they should as it might just be an untapped resource. Especially if you ask Michael Herkes, a.k.a The Glam Witch. The author of Witchcraft for Daily Self-Care: Nourishing Rituals and Spells for a More Balanced Life recently spoke with WellWell on the misconceptions of witchcraft and all its practical benefits.
How’d you get into witchcraft?
It was during the late nineties. I was really interested in all of the witch movies that were coming out. Of course, The Craft, Practical Magic, Buffy, and Charmed introduced me to Wicca and hearing that terminology. And at that point I was in junior high trying to figure out who I was, trying to find empowerment within myself. I found a book on teen witchcraft at the local bookstore and it changed my life forever. I’ve been practicing ever since.
What’re the misconceptions of witchcraft?
There’s a lot of misconceptions about witchcraft mainly due to just religion and Hollywood. Generally, they both show witches creating fantastical things, doing evil and worshipping the devil. But the devil is a Christian concept, it doesn’t have to do with witchcraft or wicca. Another misconception is that all witches are women. But, obviously, men can also be witches. It has nothing to do with black magic. In reality, witches work with nature. Nature is both light and dark. witches can be cruel, they can be loving, and all witches do essentially utilize different energy sources within the world to manifest their intentions.
Despite these misconceptions, there are several aspects of witchcraft, such as astrology, crystals, and even tarot cards, that are becoming widely used and accepted. Why is that?
People are beginning to see that it’s more about self-care than anything else. Witchcraft is all about finding the power within yourself and empowering yourself to be better, to accept your faults, to take a more introspective look at yourself, and also connect that to different energy sources, such as the cosmos like astrology, things of that nature. I think some of the reasons why the newer generations are going towards witchcraft and the new age of spirituality is because they’re looking for answers outside the normal paradigm of what they’ve been given for so long. One of the reasons why it’s unique to them is because it’s focused on individuality and finding the power within yourself to be your better self. Along with that, the ingredients used are generally natural, it’s a lot of essential oils and spices that have widely proven benefits.
What’re the tangible aspects of witchcraft?
Witches are really connected to nature. That includes physical nature, like herbs, crystals, and oils. Things with proven scientific benefits. We use ingredients that are used in vitamins, herbs for medicine. They can help provide different things to us but at the same time, everything has a certain different energy essence to it. We use spells, but they’re probably not what most people think they are. Spells are essentially the same thing that prayer is in other religions. We just use different ingredients to give it more power, using the laws of attraction. So, let’s say you were looking to bring more love into your life. Well, there are different plants, herbs, and crystals that are associated with, let’s say Venus, the planet of love. It’s very connected to colors. Color has a huge connection to witchcraft. We use it in different candles and things along those lines.
Additionally, most of these rituals and spells in Witchcraft for Daily Self-Care involve a lot of meditation and self-reflection. How helpful is that towards improving self-care and how is it utilized in these rituals?
I always like to call it mental magic because in a lot of ways we are our biggest roadblock. Whether it’s us thinking that we can’t do something because we’re afraid of it or just generally holding ourselves back. So, when we take a minute each day to meditate, re-shift, and refocus on ourselves and what’s going on, it creates calmness within the body. Couple that with breathing exercises and visualization, it can have major benefits. Visualization is another big aspect of your mental magic because when you’re visualizing, you’re trying to literally see the end result of what it is that you’re trying to do. It’s very similar to, The Secret, that book that was super popular a few years ago. The concept is the same; you see it, so you believe it.
You’re known as The Glam Witch. You’re very much into the more extravagant aspects of witchcraft. You don’t just wear black every day, which I’m assuming is another misconception. How did that develop? Is this a style that you honed yourself?
There are so many different niches within witchcraft. Of course, I kind of take more of the glamour route, which is connected to aesthetics, appearance, and things along that way. And so, again, everything in the world has energy to it. The way that I work with my magic and my personal practice is really kind of focusing and putting my attention into what it is that I’m wearing.
This includes using different colors for different purposes. If I was trying to bring a certain aspect of something into my day, I might wear that color. I could use it as symbols that are in my fashion, things like that but also just the energy of it. So being a little bit more glamorous and in your face or out there, it’s a way to raise power. And when I’m working on spell craft, I’m doing something, and I kind of need to keep the energy alive and keep it moving.
But as far as me getting into that and learning that was my niche, it developed early on. Growing up I loved fashion and I loved photography. Right out of high school I started working at glamour shops and photography studios doing fashion photography. It just came naturally, forming out of my other interests.
What should people understand about witchcraft?
That witches aren’t evil. We do spells and rituals to help heal ourselves and others. We like to be of service to the community and one of the best types of spells and rituals you can do is doing rituals for gratitude because that helps tell the universe you’re ready for more and thankful for all you have. Even some of the bad stuff because it’s through the bad struggling times that we grow and change and it’s a very big aspect of witchcraft. Witchcraft is about perpetual change. It’s just all about trying to figure yourself out, grow and evolve in the world.
About Michael Herkes
Michael Herkes, a.k.a The Glam Witch, started his magical journey into the world of witchcraft as a pre-teen. After a series of spiritual synchronicity and a career in fashion and photography directly out of high school, Mr. Herkes found his place in modern witchcraft. He is a contributing author to Witch Way Magazine, as well as author to several books The GLAM Witch: A Magical Manifesto of Empowerment with the Great Lilithian Arcane Mysteries, The Complete Book of Moon Spells, Witchcraft for Daily Self-Care, Love Spells for the Modern Witch, and Moon Spells for Beginners. Mr. Herkes also hosts “Glam Fridays” on the Witch With Me IGTV channel @witch.with.tv, giving tips and tricks for magical makeovers and in his spare time practices professional astrology and tarot readings.