Speak No Evil: Wiccan witchcraft growing in Hudson Valley
Wiccan witchcraft is now one of the fastest growing religions in the Hudson Valley, and News 12’s Tara Rosenblum set out to find why.
Rosenblum’s investigation revealed that the modern-day witches can be found in all walks of life from nurses to lawyers to churchgoers. Some believers feel that they would be less respected in the community if they revealed they were witches and have kept quiet because of that. But for the first time, a local group allowed a news crew into their holy space because they say they have an obligation to let people know they are here. News 12 cameras were rolling for a recent healing ritual.
Third-degree Wiccan high priestess Lisa Stewart said the duotheistic religion is a mysterious, feminist and nature-focused religion that rewards faith and patience with magic. They said their magic is capable of things like curing illnesses, getting a raise at work and helping people find love.
Wiccans adhere to a strict moral code similar to the concept of karma. They believe that whatever your action is, good or evil, it will come back to you threefold.
Stewart and her husband run the only legally recognized Wiccan church in the state. The Church of the Eternal Circle is housed right behind their metaphysical shop in New Paltz. Customers can have their spirits cleansed, spells cast or long-lost loved ones summoned.
Stewart said that on most Fridays, if the weather is good, they have to turn people away.
“We're pretty much the cornerstone of the Craft of the Wise,” said Stewart. “We have been here for 24 years.”