Throughout history, witches have always represented subversive women. Witches were, more often than not, wise women who somehow rebelled against patriarchal society. This, of course, made them evil. Fictional representations of witches have evolved throughout the years, but they have never gone away.
Today, the witches of film and television can be guides for finding empowerment and nurturing our feminism. In this month of witches, witchcraft, and all things magical, let’s remember a few of the coolest and most empowering witches from recent film and TV.
#1 The Sanderson Sisters from “Hocus Pocus”
“Hocus Pocus” was not very popular when it first came out, but today it’s a Halloween cult classic. This camp masterpiece is filled with music, fun, and badass female characters. True, the Sanderson sisters’ mission is to perform a ritual which requires murdering children, but they never get to it.
In their search to extend their life, the sisters are confident, funny, and unashamedly weird. Though they bicker constantly, they support each other and stick together through everything.
#2 Willow Rosenberg from “Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Willow is intelligent, sweet, and a super powerful witch. Not only was she amazing with her witchy abilities, Willow was also great at computers and cracking codes. Though at first she’s portrayed as shy, awkward, and nerdy, she becomes much more confident over time. Also, her relationship with Tara, a fellow witch, was one of the first television depictions of a lesbian relationship.
#3 Sabrina Spellman from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”
Of course, Sabrina had to make the list. Though we will soon be getting a darker version of her adventures, the 90s show remains a classic. Sabrina was funny, smart, and had her two amazing aunts to look up to. Their home was full of support and female empowerment, and I can definitely say it’s thanks to her that I’m still fascinated by witches.
#4 Marie Laveau from American Horror Story: Coven
So, Marie Laveau was an actual Voodoo Queen in the 19th century. In the third season of AHS, she’s portrayed by Angela Bassett as a powerful 200 year-old voodoo witch. Though this fictional version of her may do some questionable magic, Marie is proud, fierce, and protective of her community.
#5 The Owens Sisters from “Practical Magic”
Finally, another set of witchy sisters to end the list. Sally and Gillian (played by Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman) are totally different: one of them is a wanderer and the other is a mom trying to do her best. Though they don’t always agree, “Practical Magic” shows these women resolving their issues, working together, and supporting one another. This movie is special because it goes back to some of the most ancient witch traditions: the bond between women.
Though not all of these women are 100% “good” witches, they all show some form of female empowerment. Most importantly, they all reflect the importance of creating bonds and supporting our fellow women.