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Census Update Research

The Witchcraft Census: Round 1

Over 600 witches answered the first round of our Witchcraft Census and dozens of people wrote us with input on further questions. The Census was open from March 27th to May 24th, 2021. I’m now closing this set of questions in order to revise some questions and add others.

The methodology for this census was by no means perfect, and you should view this information knowing the flaws involved in gathering it.

  1. It was circulated through online witch communities, specifically those most likely to be interested in answering these questions. Clearly this is not a proportionally representative sampling of witches, even in the US, from which most participants hail.
  2. In a number of cases, particularly the question involving religious identity, I added a number of religions as I was reminded of them. Since the app I was using had no write-in option, this means that data is particularly skewed, as not everyone had the complete list you see in the results.
  3. Finally, this first round of questions was written on a whim, in a few hours, and reviewed by no one but me (I was expecting maybe 20 participants, not over 600). The multiple choice answers are by no means exhaustive, merely a sampling of the most common views I’ve personally seen expressed in or about witchcraft circles, which is of course limited to my personal experience. Further rounds of the census will involve more planning.

Nevertheless, I think even this first round of questions beings to illustrate the breadth and depth of beliefs within witchcraft. I hope it can be used to correct some misinformation about witchcraft for practitioners and nonpractitioners alike, and to sate curiosity. Thank you to everyone who participated or expressed interest. Here are the results, in image and PDF format.

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Why start a museum about contemporary witchcraft?

One of the things I love about witchcraft is how differently everyone does it. Witches have opinions. Lots of opinions. We’re a rebellious bunch, and I love that. I don’t want everyone to practice magic the way I practice magic, anymore than I want everyone to paint the way I paint. The joy of any art form is in variety and experimentation. And to me, witchcraft is first and foremost an art.

Which is the main reason I’m starting the Museum of Contemporary Witchcraft. I’m slowly collecting witchcraft zines, books, and artifacts, with an emphasis on DIY and handmade artifacts instead of the mass-produced items. I’m also getting ready to ask a lot of witches a lot of questions, starting with the Witchcraft Census, a short survey you can fill out here

I don’t have a huge budget for this, but currently I’m buying zines and small magical items from folks who would normally be selling at events. Once the world gets less distant again, I’m planning on taking my show on the road, doing outreach at witchy events, trading zines and spells, soliciting donations of old spells folks want to be rid of, interviewing witches, etc.

So with that, welcome! I hope you’ll join me on this journey!