The true definition of “bewitch” is entirely about magic and witchcraft. Webster defines it as “to cast a spell over.” It is causing someone to do something by magically moving them or changing their mind. So how can we be bewitched without magic? By allowing ourselves to be.
Since I am sharing this on my writing site, I’ll tie this into writing. These are topics you can incorporate into any story as part of the main plot or as a contributing factor.
One of the biggest sources of our bewitchment comes from the media. It is through the media that our fashion comes from, our sense of “truth” is told, and what topics are considered important enough to discuss. What is happening now in one area of the world that was on everybody’s tongue is still going on but no one knows because the media won’t discuss it. Through the media outlets, society is led along through a variety of smoke and mirrors.
Think back on all the news stories that were later revealed to be “fake news” or were only partial truths. Reputations have been ruined due to the media bewitchment. Business have been ruined. Wars have started. The media has a very powerful form of bewitchment because we have been taught to believe everything that is funneled through the various media outlets.
The media might be the most powerful source of bewitchment, but I think Society is running a close race with the media. Through Society, we are told what is acceptable and what is not. If Society says women should be treated a certain way, we are pushed to do just that. When Society makes changes, it is the equivalent of a major earthquake and has a lot of repercussions that ripple throughout Society. Sometimes it can be bloody, but it always causes pain until the aftershocks subside.
Society norms bewitch us. It is unacceptable to challenge Society’s rules. Society will pressure us to blind us to many truths. We are bewitched into believing what Society wants us to.
Families have a way of bewitching us. They set up traditions and instruct us on the appropriate way to act. They sometimes even rewrite history for us and convince us of their “truths”. Families can change the past and attempt to mold our futures.
Through families, we can be misled into many falsehoods that can only be pushed aside when we grow older and begin to think for ourselves. We can easily be misled until we shake off the bewitchment.
We can even bewitch ourselves. Maybe we are the biggest contributors. We tell ourselves lies all the time and begin to believe them. Think of how often we have misled ourselves into thinking we made the right decision, acted ethically, or know who we really are. In order to hide the truth, we are willing to bewitch ourselves into thinking differently about ourselves and our actions.
Use these bewitchments in your writing. But also think upon them. Look around your own life and see where you are bewitched. You can break free if you want. You don’t need magic to be bewitched. We allow anything to do that job.