Family Traditions

No matter what they look like—hair braided up and laced with trinkets and charms that announce their trade from yards away or bandanas that hide their faces, butcher knife or athame, in a group or alone—the witches who learn their craft on the internet are all alike at heart. They all “learned from their grandma who has passed down to them their authentic witchcraft traditions” and they all believe white sage will cleanse a space.

Everyone can’t have a Native American grandma; but white sage only grows in one spot. So, you know, as informative as their grandmas may have been, someone’s been peaking at the Great Screen of Common Knowledge.

And that’s how it goes. Something works, it gets shared. But it also means that we’re losing some of the really awesome scary stuff that used to be standard witchcraft.

One of the first things my grandmother taught me was how to conjure up a demon, catch it by the foot, and tie it to me with a fine piece of silver wire. Oh, how we’d show off—all us cousins—to each other, the red welts the wire wore in our wrists. Those faint white scars are how we recognize each other—too thin for suicide attempts and wrapping all the way around.

Conjuring a small demon was, literally kid’s stuff. Sure, sometimes it went wrong. But, if you died, then we all knew you weren’t cut out for the Craft.

But when was the last time you saw a kid with a demon? It’s been years.

So, I thought, why not teach the grand-nephew? He’s ten. That’s twice as old as I was. But a little cafeteria fire, two extra legs on a social studies teacher, and one thing his mom “can’t even talk about,” and suddenly I’m the bad guy. A danger to my own grand-nephew. He wasn’t even hurt!

So, I said to him, “Well, even traditions have to change with the times. You come to see me when you’re eighteen and we’ll get you a demon then.”

Meanwhile, I’ve been showing the demon how to use the Internet. Maybe it can help these youngsters with their old Craft.

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