Are you a word witch?

Kate Beddow
5 min readFeb 20, 2023

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This might seem like a controversial question, and your reaction will very much depend upon your upbringing and belief system. Over the years we have been lead to believe that witches are evil, that they dabble with devil worship, or worse, and they need to be destroyed — literally. Although the last woman to be executed for witchcraft in the UK was Janet Horne in 1727, the last woman to be convicted and imprisoned for witchcraft was considerably more recent, in 1944). It is impossible to know exactly how many women, and men, were convicted of witchcraft over the years, but the number is definitely in the tens of thousands.

So why were these people accused? Well, often the women accused used herbs and natural remedies to heal. They were also often the village midwife. It is easy to see then how easy it would be for people to have a grudge against them. Perhaps someone lost a baby, or their partner, after they had visited this woman for help. Suddenly it is all her fault that they died and they want revenge. That’s just one of many scenarios. Often these women were intelligent and even well read (which of course was not good for women’s delicate disposition), which made them a threat to the dominant patriarchal society at the time. They may have used the power of words to aid healing, it cannot be a coincidence that spelling and spell sound so similar, even though they apparently have different origins as words.

Of course just being an outspoken woman was reason enough to be persecuted. Women were not supposed to have an opinion and definitely not voice it. We only need to look at the likes of Anne Lister, and how local society reacted to a woman having not only a position of power but using her voice. It was not something that went unnoticed and lead to her being beaten and verbally attacked in the streets many times.

What then is a Word Witch?

Well, that’s me, and it might just be you?

All my life I have used writing and words to comfort myself, to work out any problems I had and to self heal. More than that though, I truly believe that you can change your life with the power of words.

Whether you are journaling and working through your current emotions, future challenges or past tragedies, or you are saying affirmations in a mirror the…

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Kate Beddow

Words have power. Writer, coach, therapist and speaker. I work with women to create calmer, happier lives.