Friday’s new moon was just another astrological phase for some students. But to others, it marked the beginning of a new community.
Witches and Witchcraft, a new student organization dedicated to providing a space for people to talk and learn about the many different aspects of witches and witchcraft, met for the first time Friday at the Labyrinth Garden to discuss plans as Ohio State’s first Pagan club, Angelina Puerto, founder and president of the club, said.
Puerto, a third-year in sustainable plant systems, said she plans to discuss topics such as well-known witches and historical events, as well as work through a number of practices like rituals, tarot readings, bone throwing, casting spells and using crystals.
“I really want to let people know that witchcraft and witches are not the bad stigma that they all get,” Puerto said.
Puerto said she got the idea to start the club in January when she was unable to find anything on campus involving witchcraft.
“With a school of 60,000 kids, for every 10 that think I’m crazy, I know there’s one at least that wants to learn more about it,” Puerto said.
Though she has only been practicing witchcraft for a year, Puerto said she remembers feeling a strong connection with animals and nature since childhood.
Hannah Rodas, a club member and a third-year in human development and family sciences, said she was introduced to witchcraft when she met Puerto during her first semester at Ohio State and she realized the two had a lot in common.
Rodas said her role in witchcraft comes from her practice in meditation, something she described as a tool that can improve a person’s mindset and perception. She said her goal in the group is to teach meditation.
“Witchcraft is more about getting to know yourself better and getting to understand the kind of power that you possess,” Rodas said.
Rodas said she is eager to see the kind of community the club can develop because witchcraft is accepting and requires an open mind.
“Everybody needs to be able to define their own spirituality in one way or another and find a practice that works for them, and I think with the craft specifically, that allows that,” Rodas said.