Laurie Cabot is one of the most high-profile witches in the world. She is an author, artist, and businesswoman. She is the founder of the Witches League for Public Awareness or WLPA, a watchdog aimed at correcting many misconceptions about Witchcraft.
Laurie was born on March 6,1933 in Oklahoma. As early as six years old, Laurie had been aware of her psychic gifts and would often find herself in trouble for discussing information she picked up through her extrasensory perception. Laurie had an early affinity for witches, and in her book ‘Power of the Witch,’ she wrote about the magical and mystical experiences she had felt as a child.
In 1947, Laurie moved to Boston to finish her high school education. It was at this time when she began her comprehensive study of religion. A witch working at the library encouraged her to look beyond Christianity and into other belief systems. This witch introduced her to two other witches, and together they taught Laurie the craft. At the age of 16, they initiated Laurie into a coven. After being anointed with oil and dubbed with a sword, Laurie took up the sword and struck it in the ground saying, “I return to earth my wisdom and henceforth call myself a witch!”
Living in the Latin quarter of Boston, Laurie made a vow to live the rest of her life as a witch would. She wore traditional witch clothing and wore her pentacle around her neck. She also wore black eye-makeup to emulate the Goddess.
Move To Salem
Laurie moved into Salem and rented a house with a friend. In Salem, Laurie started teaching ‘Witchcraft as a Science’ at Wellesley High School. Later on, she taught classes at the Salem State College for seven years. Laurie describes the ‘Science Tradition of Witchcraft’ as a mixture of Celtic and pre-Gardnerian. It adheres to the ‘Wiccan Rede’ and the ‘Three-Fold Law of Return’.
Despite her characteristic flamboyant style and her being opinionated, her reputation grew at a steady pace. More and more people would seek her advice. She worked as a consultant and helped the local police with her psychic abilities.
The Official Witch Of Salem
Laurie Cabot was the epitome of what every contemporary witch aspired to be: pioneering with a passion for civil rights. She became famous in the United States. In the 70s, she filed a petition to be called the “The Official Witch Of Salem.” This upset the witchcraft community and the government as well. Laurie was accused of commercial exploitation and self-seeking recognition. But Laurie was unperturbed. She continued to build her reputation and use it to aid her work in the local community.
She wanted to make Witchcraft a recognized religion. In 1973, Laurie started what was to be one of Salem’s main annual events, the ‘Witches Ball,’ which is a celebration of Samhain. This attracted media attention and over time has drew national and international crowds.
In 1977, Laurie finally received the title, ‘the Official Witch of Salem.’ The governor of Massachusetts bestowed upon her the Patriot Award, an award issued by the governor to honour awardees for their public service.
The Witches’ League of Public Awareness
Laurie was a defender of witches’ civil rights, and would urge witches to make a stand for equality, rights, and public image. In 1986, she founded The Witches’ League of Public Awareness, an institution that serves as a media watchdog and civil rights advocate for witchcraft. As its mission statement goes: “The Witches’ League for Public Awareness is a proactive educational network dedicated to correcting misinformation about Witches and Witchcraft. The work of the League springs from a shared vision of a world free from all religious persecution”.
Laurie wrote the following books: Practical Magic: A Salem Witch’s Handbook, The Power of a Witch, Love Magic, and Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition, The Witch in Every Woman: Reawakening the Magical Nature of the Feminine to Heal.