Now that spooky season is upon us, it’s time to shine a light on the witchy women in pop culture. Witches, since the days of Salem, Shakespeare, and beyond, have been portrayed as outcasts from society. Teen witches take up that mantle and proudly bear themselves to be different, strange, and powerful. Though there are examples of male witches, women and girls have shaped these stories of magic and mayhem. The Craft Legacy is another story about witches that aims directly at young women discovering their power in today’s climate. Let’s take a look at the famous teen witches we grew up with who sparked our interest in the craft.
As a story about four misfit girls, The Craft cut to the heart of what it means to feel different. Sarah, Nancy, Bonnie, and Rochelle are all mistreated and mocked by their high school peers. When the girls learn they wield immense power, the band together to increase their strength through unity. However, their story goes awry when they begin to lose empathy and use their powers for evil. Sarah breaks away from her coven to the right the wrongs they’ve done – proving that getting revenge only transforms the oppressed into oppressors.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina shows teen witch Sabrina Spellman in a darker light. Sabrina learns witchcraft along with math and science to one day become a sorceress. Though she is being schooled in the dark arts, Sabrina’s moral code stays strong. She’s continuously enticed and threatened to succumb to evil, but she fights against it, choosing instead to forge her own path and keep true to who she is. Sabrina’s insistence on questioning the more questionable witch traditions is an example that just because things have always been a certain way doesn’t mean they should.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Though Buffy isn’t a witch, her best friend Willow Rosenberg is a pretty powerful one. Willow appears to be your average mild-mannered, though incredibly intelligent, high school student. However, she soon discovers she has an affinity with witchcraft. And as her abilities grew, Willow blossoms into an inspiring, confident witch. But Willow’s stumbling block comes when her anger overwhelms her, turning her craft from good to evil. It takes the power of her slayer best friend Buffy to address Willow’s grief at losing her girlfriend Tara to stop her from destroying the world.
Speaking of incredibly intelligent witches, what would this list be without including the talents of Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley? Both young women dazzle with their magical powers and fierce bravery. Hermione and Ginny also prove themselves to be resistant to bullies and champions of the oppressed. But what else could we expect from the teens who were reared by the likes of strong women such as Minerva McGonagall and Molly Weasley?
KiKi’s Delivery Service
Studio Ghibli is a staple of childhood classics, and Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of our favorites. It’s a story of a teen witch who sets out on her own to find her own corner of the world to call her own. Kiki’s ups and downs remind us of our own struggles to find a place where we belong and discover what and who we want to be. In Kiki’s case, she learns her talent is flying, and she uses her abilities to care for her community and make magic even in the smallest ways.