LOTS of us found ourselves trying new things during the pandemic when we had more time on our hands.
For some it was getting creative with arts and crafts, new exercise regimes or other forms of entertainment like books or TV shows. But for others, a search for meaning and purpose or even distraction during the dark days came in the form of witchcraft.
Budding enthusiasts were delving into the evolving world of tarot cards, astrology and spiritual healing while manifestation and crystals became the online TikTok trend of 2020 and 2021, when we found ourselves feeling powerless against a deadly virus that we were only learning about.
But for Cornish witch Julianne White, who finds herself spending some time in Wexford this summer, she has known about the powers of manifestation, cards and spirits for some time.
A screen-writer by trade, Ms White has been a practising witch for decades and has found that the craft has taken her from the UK to Ireland and as far away as Australia.
Speaking at the Gorey Indoor Market, where she is based with her partner Kevin at Jukes Magic Box, she said that the pandemic has made people think more about their spiritual connections to the world.
‘People have a lot of misconceptions about witches and witchcraft, and when you mention it some people just go off running. Witches today generally, we’re not all about casting spells or dancing naked around a fire, and it is still a modern day craft. I’ve been practising this for 30 years and it’s not something to be taken lightly but what I've noticed during readings is that people are just so curious to know what a Cornish Witch is. Cornish witches are renowned for being either, and although I work with light and healing, you do have witches that practise the really old traditional ways and beliefs, and I would be weary of them’.
‘I was born and raised in Cornwall and moved over to Ireland about four years ago. I’ve always had a spiritual calling to Ireland and I don’t know why but I felt this pull because my heritage is here. Due to the pandemic distractions, I only just got back into my craft again recently but it has been brilliant to educate myself back into it all again. It’s a wonderful way of life, and I would encourage people to try channel meditations, connections and healing. The planet and climate needs healing, and through meditation we can become aware of the damage we’re doing individually and gain new knowledge’.
Julianne is currently offering palm reading, tarot reading, cleansing and medium-ship but plans to begin teaching witchcraft.
Although we’ve come a long way since the witch trails, Julianne said that the magic practised by witches today can go back to the tradition in that it still focuses on Earth and energy.
‘The way I see it there is magic there, but we have developed these things to try and aid people through the craft. I would always say that if you want to know anything you have to experience it. If I put my hands on yours for example, I will be able to switch into your energy level and be able to tell you something about that.
‘I’ve found that my spell candles are really popular, but they’re just a blend of special herbs and crystals and people burn them for their own specific reasons. A lot of people are interested even fascinated by how that works and it all links back to manifestation, which has really become a big thing during the pandemic.
‘Manifestation is all about what you’re attracting in through yourself, and I’ve always believed that if you have a negative thought about someone or something, you’ve transformed that negativity and that can possibly have an impact on you. Your own mind is a powerful tool and if you really want something that bad, you’re going to manifest that in some shape or form. As practising wiccans and witches, what we do is that we tap into the Earth’s bound energies. It’s like in Reiki, energies are drawn in for healing’.
She added that a lot of people find their way to witchcraft by searching for the alternative.
‘Witches are herbalists and healers and we assist in lots of different avenues. What we’ve noticed is people these days are looking for the alternative. I've nothing against pharmacies or GPs, we all still use them, but because of what’s been going on with Covid, it has made people more aware or what else is out there. I want to be able to educate people more around the whole area of what they could try do themselves’.
Julianne’s readings are carried out at the Gorey Indoor Market with all Covid-19 safety guidelines in place and length of time/pricing can vary.