From wicked witch to Wicca witch: A Romford Pagan explains his religion this Halloween
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 October 2013 | UPDATED: 07:09 28 October 2013
Hear the word witch this Halloween and you may imagine a warty hag with a mean look and meaner laugh. Witchcraft has a long and chequered history, but is it misunderstood? Pagan Luthaneal Adams, 32, of Romford, spoke to Hayley Anderson about life as a modern day witch
“I discovered witchcraft around the age of nine and began practising soon after.
“From the very first moment I opened my first book on the subject, it just ‘clicked’.
“Witchcraft essentially has two aspects: religious observation and magic.
“The religious side of things is very much about a reverence for the natural world and celebrating the turning of the wheel of the seasons. I’ve always had a connection with the spiritual side of life and this is just the way in which I’m best able to explore and develop that, while also allowing me to help people.
“There is something about Paganism and witchcraft that speaks to you and connects with a person at their core.
“At this time of year, we celebrate Samhain (or Halloween, if you prefer).
“This involves honouring our ancestors and remembering our loved ones who have passed over, but many of the common traditions, like wearing costumes, bobbing for apples and trick or treating, also come from older Pagan practices.
“For Halloween, one of our main customs is to have a special meal where we set an extra place at the table, as a place for our deceased loved ones and ancestors.
“Though I do also enjoy the more well-known customs, like carving pumpkins and, where possible, a good party.
“It would be nice if the general public were more aware of what real witches are like, but I personally wouldn’t want to do away with the traditional image of the witch.
“Nobody is really flying around on broomsticks or anything like that, but all the images of witches are part of who we are and they have an important place in our culture’s collective psyche.
“But, of course, like with all myths, legends and folk tales, it’s important to be able to separate what’s real with what’s just fantasy.”