You know what? I love The Craft.
Is it a particularly well-written, well-acted, dynamic movie? No. (***Except for Fairuza Balk who KILLED IT. Seriously.)
Does it have an original concept? No.
Is it an accurate portrayal of Witchcraft? No.
And it’s this last thing that seems to make current Witches so angry. I get that many of my Elders really hated that movie. I understand that it skewered so much of the hard, hard work they did to give us all a good name back in the 80’s and 90’s.
I also understand that because of that movie, so many of their Circles became populated with young people dressed like this…..
….and saying stupid crap like this:
Seriously. If some baby-Witch came in and said that “We are the weirdos, lady,” in my Circle, I’d laugh. I’d laugh a lot. I’d probably wet myself.
Because I’d be looking at me.
No, the movie wasn’t good. No, it wasn’t accurate. But you know what? It spoke to the weirdos like me. I was a Catholic school girl, just like those girls. I knew there was something out there, just like they did. I craved personal power. I wanted to change my world. So did those girls. And so did my friends. While logic would say The Craft would turn away any serious seeker from discovering Witchcraft, for me and so many others like me, it did the opposite. We would go seek what those girls sought. But we would do it the right way….whatever the right way was. Maybe that curiosity led us to our first Circles with experienced Witches. Maybe it led us to Ouija board experiences over Tori Amos and Oasis in the background, scaring ourselves shitless, but exhilarating us all the same.
The Craft didn’t have the answers, but it told us we weren’t alone.
Twenty years later (oh sweet Jesus….twenty fucking years???), the movie delights me with warm nostalgia. I sometime long for that time in my Witchcraft journey when everything was a mystery that might someday be solved. I didn’t yet know that one mystery simply led to another. I didn’t think about energetic mechanics or repercussions. I wasn’t worried about articulating Magick to other Witches. I didn’t have to think about whether my Magick was respectful, hopeful, helpful, or any of the other things that go down the personal checklist when you’ve been practicing Magick for a shit of a long time.
I think for many geezer Millennial babies who were teenagers when this movie came out, there’s a piece of each of us locked forever in Nancy, Sarah, Bonnie, and Rochelle. We were too young to have seen Nirvana live, and the Internet had yet to connect us all. We look back and see ourselves still propelled by pure curiosity. Everything outside of what we were fed to believe was pure Magick and wonder. It’s a part of me I never hope to ever lose, but sometimes it feels far away. When I watch The Craft (Making fun of it the entire time, of course. Because, seriously.), I feel the pulse of that Baby Witch inside me rise a little bit. The world is still a giant Magick candle, carved by a willowy lady in a wayward shop with a jingly door. All I have to do is light it and I’ll know everything. There’s a part of me that hopes I never will. That part would rather revel in wonder than enlightenment. That part of me hopes enlightenment is just more wonder.
Happy birthday to The Craft. I fucking love you.