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September 24, 1997|
Those who don't know much about modern witchcraft might want to start by reading the site's FAQ section, where witches are defined as practitioners of "a nature-based religion which recognizes the feminine in divinity and follows the seasonal cycles" and where such questions as, "Why do Witches wear black?" and "Do Witches cast spells?" are answered. (No, not all witches wear black -- many prefer green or purple -- and yes, witches do cast spells, but the word is misunderstood.)
The Witches' Voice also serves as a community center. Many witches gather in the Magic Beans coffeehouse, an active live-feed message board where online hugs seem to be more popular than withcraft pointers. Other features include a bulletin board where various members have posted pictures of their cats (most of which aren't black or sinister-looking), an updatable database of witch gatherings around the country, and links to everything from the Organization of American Druids to the Military Pagan Network.
According to the site's organizers the witch community has long been fractured by "witch wars," making it difficult for the community to wield any real clout. But there has been a growing movement toward pagan unity in the last year or so, fueled mainly by the connections witches have made over the Internet. Finally, witches may have found a home out of the broom closet.
Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.