Want to make life a little more magical? Meet the witches who practice magic and work together to learn more about the mystical, sharing it with the local community.
The Austin Witches Circle is a group of witches whose members follow different magical beliefs and share their knowledge with one another. This community includes over 2000 witches, a number that has grown since the group’s founding. Jessica Beauvoir is the founder and organizer of the group and owns Eris Apothecary, where she sells teas, oils and potions, some of a magical nature and some purely for wellness purposes.
Beauvoir said she created the Austin Witches Circle, because when she moved to Austin from North Carolina, she couldn’t find people who were interested in her products. So, after talking to other people in Austin who had similar issues, Beauvoir decided to create a community where witches could learn from each other and also find places to sell their crafts.
Beauvoir said she is a self-taught witch and was turned on to witchcraft through a process of self-healing. She said a lot of learning occurred through research into food, medicine and older practices of
“I think witchcraft and magic has been so empowering for me,” Beauvoir said. “I feel like I come to things from a place of healing or a desire to heal and understand myself.”
Ciara Phillips, a member of the Austin Witches Circle, was raised in a traditional Appalachian family that practiced Voodoo or Conjure forums. Phillips grew up learning about magic, and as her family’s craft focuses a great deal on community, she decided to join the community. Phillips also attends the Witches’ Market that are held by the Austin Witches Circle, and she said the markets helped her feel more grounded in Austin society.
“The markets are very important in letting us know we’re not alone,” Phillips said. “Sometimes it can feel that way if you’re not part of a coven or grove.”
The Witches Circle is home to an extremely diverse group of witches, and Beauvoir said anyone who considers themselves a witch is going to have different beliefs. She said she follows chaos magic, which fully supports the belief that there’s no one right way to practice. Phillips said that magic differs even in her own family.
“Everyone in my family has specific gifts, and we don’t always get the same ones,” Phillips said. “One of mine is putting down the dead, being a psychopomp.”
Beauvoir said there are also many holidays that witches celebrate that can be very personally important, especially in the fall. Nikki Moniz is a member of the group and celebrates witch holidays, such as Samhain and the Dumb Supper, or the Silent Supper, with her family. She said one of her family’s big traditions was the Silent Supper. “You pick a loved one you want to honor and then you cook their favorite thing,” Moniz said. “But the whole meal is silent. No talking, no nothing, but you make sure you set a plate for them.”