A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever.
When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick. But witches in various guises have been with us for millennia. In Waking the Witch, Pam Grossman explores the cultural and historical impact of the world’s most magical icon. From the idea of the femme fatale in league with the devil in early modern Europe and Salem, to the bewitching pop culture archetypes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Harry Potter; from the spooky ladies in fairy tales and horror films to the rise of feminist covens and contemporary witchcraft, witches reflect the power and potential of women.
In this fascinating read that is part cultural analysis, part memoir, Pam opens up about her own journey on the path to witchcraft, and how her personal embrace of the witch helped her find strength, self-empowerment, and a deeper purpose.
A comprehensive meditation on one of the most mysterious and captivating figures of all time, Waking the Witch celebrates witches past, present, and future, and reveals the critical role they have played—and will continue to play—in shaping the world as we know it.
Pam Grossman is the creator and host of The Witch Wave podcast and the author of What Is A Witch. She is co-founder of the Occult Humanities Conference at NYU, and her art exhibitions and magical projects have been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, and The New Yorker. Her writing has appeared in such outlets as Sabat Magazine, HuffPost, and her occulture blog, Phantasmaphile. For her work as the Director of Visual Trends at Getty Images, she was chosen as one of Adweek’s Creative 100 and Marie Claire’s “20 Women Changing The Ratio.” She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two feline familiars. You can find her at PamGrossman.com and @Phantasmaphile.
“Students and scholars will savor Waking the Witch’s historicism—which is brilliant—and practitioners will thrill to its understanding and inspiration. In a world of boundless choices, this is one of the singularly finest works for understanding modern witchcraft. It will never leave my bookshelf.”
– Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of Occult America and The Miracle Club