Halloween 2013: Real witches celebrating spiritual Halloween

MESA, AZ - You may think you know witches, conjuring up images from "The Wizard of Oz" or "Bewitched."

But how much do you know about real life witches living among us?

Rosemary Szymanski-Lockett is the high priestess of the Sacred Spiral Pagan Church in Mesa.

"It really is a growing religion," she said, pointing out that the religion is often misunderstood.

"We don't believe in Satan," she explained. "To us, he doesn't exist.  We believe in positive and negative and in Karma."

She said some Pagans believe in one God and other multiple, but rely on nature and energy to connect with a higher power.

She shared a typical pagan ceremony with ABC15 at her Mesa home. The participants gather in a circle calling to the spirits and connecting with nature.

They use candles that represent the elements.

Halloween is a time when the spirit world and our world are closest, she explained. On Halloween, pagans typically will celebrate in outdoor ceremonies. 

"We invite our ancestors to join us and we celebrate with them." she said.

Rosemary said that witches do not cast spells like you see in Hollywood depictions.

"It is really no more than offering a prayer into the universe," she said.

She acknowledged that people sometimes do not fully understand what Paganism is all about and at times Pagans have faced judgment or prejudice.

She said membership has increased since the church officially started in 2007.

 

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