CHICAGO — The witch has haunted the imagination for generations. It’s unclear where the term “witch,” or their rituals began, but it is mentioned in the Bible, in a passage 2,800 years ago. Despite centuries of persecution, the witch religion, or Wicca, has attracted a new wave of spiritual seekers.
Marty Couch has been a witch for three decades. For Marty, Laura, and Keenan, their sacred space is a small room at Alchemy Arts, an occult shop in Rogers Park that sells herbs and candles for spells and rituals, like burning paper in a black cauldron.
While modern witches do believe in the ability to harness the forces of nature, Wicca has nothing to do with Satan, or evil spells.
Couch says what we think of as the Halloween character of a witch has absolutely nothing to do with his belief system.
“Hollywood is able able to turn anything into something that’s going to sell tickets,” he said.
But it’s not just Hollywood that is to blame. The legends that survive through folklore or film, are often more a reflection of our own beliefs and fears.
Watch Larry Potash’s full story in the video above.
“Backstory with Larry Potash” airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m.