Out Of The Broom Closet: Lifting The Veil Off Male Witches

Warlock_slidePhoto: RichieDrawz Productions; Illustrated by Jenny Kraemer.
Growing up, my exposure to witchcraft and wizardry was dominated by Harry Potter, Gandalf The Grey, and lesser known fantasy figures like those in Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy. Fantasy being the key word here, as that is what those worlds were: fictional realms fated to live only in my imagination.
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As I got older, witchcraft sifted through my cultural vernacular, but always with a grain of salt — and always feminine in nature. Men were wizards and wizards weren't real. (Why I never thought to question a wizard's existence when I believed in female witches is beyond me.) And, warlocks? Man, those were the characters to avoid in the fictional narratives I poured over. Warlocks were the villains. How naive I was.
You see, witches do exist among us — male witches, in fact. And, here in New York City is one of the most influential. His name is Mark Eadicicco. Together, he and Richie Drawneek run Practical Magick, "The Witch Shoppe of Staten Island." Mark is a born witch, having come out of the proverbial broom closet at the age of 13 and is a far cry from what popular culture has made male witches out to be (the bad guy). Rather, he's quite the opposite. He's the coolest witch around — just don't call him a warlock.
(Note: We conducted this interview with Eadicicco over email and have intentionally kept his spellings of witchcraft-related terms capitalized, as is his preference.)
First off, I've heard the term "warlock" puts a bad taste in witches' mouths. Why is that?
"The word 'Witch' is an amazing word. It should be held with reverence — as many people, such as myself, study and prepare our lives to practice Witchcraft. It is a title that deserves the respect. It takes a strong man to call himself a Witch, because being a Witch calls upon the feminine energy in balance with your masculine energy so that you live your life in balance. The word 'Warlock' angers me in such a way, because to me it is a sign of utter disrespect. To me, personally, the only time the time 'Warlock' was used in a positive way was with Uncle Arthur on Bewitched. 'Warlock' was used during the burning times: a time in history in which people were tortured, murdered, and wrongfully imprisoned for being accused of practicing Witchcraft or Magick. Today, there are people out there who try to create controversy to get their names in the news calling themselves a 'Warlock' but to me that’s selling out. I am a Witch; a Man Witch, and I'm proud of it."
With that said: What is a witch? Certainly it's more than spells. Is it hereditary?
"A Witch is a Witch. Whether male or female — we all prefer to be called 'Witch.' And, yes, Magick can be hereditary, 100%. (As a Witch, we spell Magick with a 'k' at the end of the word. This differentiates [it from] the regular word 'Magic,' which is [typically] associated with a Magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat.) My mother was a practicing Witch and many of her aunts and relatives were practicing Witches. I bet you if you ask anyone whose grandparents came from Europe some of the practices they do during their daily life can be traced back to a form of Magick.
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"But, I believe that everyone is born with some sort of Magickal ability, but there are some of us who are innately born with a stronger ability; an ability to reach out into the universe, work with energies of nature, and, most importantly, be a strong individual who can stand up and speak up about our religion. Being a hereditary Witch made it easier for me to embrace my gift, and also take to learning the ancient ways a lot quicker than someone who is just beginning."
So, can I become a witch?
"Anyone can learn to be a Witch, but what scares me is when people seek out Witchcraft or Magick as a form of revenge, or to cause havoc onto others. That is not what we do."
warlock_embed2Photo: REX USA/Photoservice ElectaUIG/Rex.
Let's go back to the idea of hereditary "Magick." Did you ever "come out" as a witch?
"I had my 'coming out' of the Broom Closet when I was 13. As a young boy, I always knew I was different, and I would tell my mother, 'Mom, I feel a change in me.' And, she embraced my Magick 100%. More often than not, the events in our life as we experience change (like childhood and adolescence) make us think more about the core of ourselves. That's when we find spirituality. I see a lot of younger people coming out today and proudly wearing their Pentacles (the Five Pointed Star which is a Witches’ sign of protection), honoring the balance of the universe, and practicing their Magick to help others."
Do you ever feel pressured to hide your true self?
"Absolutely not! At first, many young Witches who are new to the path (or who are taking classes with me) tell their friends and family that they're 'Spiritual.' But, as time progresses, and their confidence and knowledge grows, they become more comfortable in calling themselves Witches. Since Male Witches are a considered 'rare breed,' many of us band together and form covens of solely men. But, I feel that segregation in Witchcraft (as the religion that it is) only sets us back and doesn’t promote progress. Being a Witch is just part of who I am. I will never hide who I am or what I do. I'm proud to be a Witch."
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How do you address non-believers?
"The most common question I get from non-believers is: Are you a 'good Witch' or a 'bad Witch'? And, I always rebut the question with: 'Are you a good person or a bad person?' Being a Witch — especially a Witch who is in the public eye — my role is not to make people believers. Rather, it's to educate them on who we are and what we do."
Amazing. I guess my final question would be: Why do male witches get such a bad rap?
"Unfortunately, male Witches get a bad rap — especially in Hollywood and in the movies — because they're usually abusing their Magickal power to take over a situation or control their love interest. They're portrayed as being evil. I feel that I was placed on this earth as a vessel to educate the masses and break all the negative stereotypes. My expression is 'Male Witches Have Balls — and not just crystal ones.' It's an expression I came up with because in a female dominated religion and philosophy, I need to be tough but approachable so that people, such as my clients, feel comfortable coming to me for their Magickal and Psychic needs know[ing] that I have a gentle ear with a no-nonsense attitude."
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