As some of you already know, last week was Witchsona Week: a weeklong project where artists submitted drawings and showed off their inner witches. Anybody can create a witchsona, and anybody can find other witchsonas across a swath of social media platforms by checking out the #witchsona hashtag. But Witchsona Week’s biggest draw is the way that it connects people. This project allows you to combine everything that defines you, from your personal aesthetic to your passions to your pets, and present those things to the people who see and value the magic of what make you you. We sat down with Victoria Grace Elliott, co-founder of Witchsona Week, to talk about the project. We also collected some of our favorite witchsonas for your viewing pleasure.
Here are some ground rules for Witchsona Week:
✧ draw yourself, your characters, anything you like as a witch
✧ fantasy witches, wiccan self-portraits, anything you interpret as “witch”
✧ no warlocks or wizards. witches only, inclusive of all genders
Check out the official Witchsona Week tumblr to learn more about this project.
POMEgranate Magazine: Hey Victoria! Just to confirm, it was you and Britt Sabo that started Witchsona, right? What made y’all come up with the project in the first place?
Victoria Grace Elliott: Yeah, me and Britt Sabo started Witchsona Week back in 2013. It was more just a fun, jokey thing, because Britt is really good at coming up with “sonas” for people. Back then she used to joke a lot about making fursonas, trashsonas, stuff like that. And because both of us had witch-based webcomics, we bonded over this and started goofing off promoting Witchsona Week.
As some of our friends with large fanbases started making witchsonas, a lot of folks on tumblr and twitter started to wonder what it was. We whipped up the original Witchsona Week and tumblr then! The idea was definitely all Britt; I was the enabler.
POME: What do you think about the reaction to witchsona? Why do you think this project resonates so much with people?
VGE: The reaction was initially — and still is, sometimes — overwhelming. Mostly, it’s a lot of fun to see people draw these fantastical self-portraits. We are super strict about it being ONLY witches, because our philosophy about witches is that while the word is by default gendered female, the term can apply to any gender. Making yourself a “wizardsona” or “warlocksona” is kind of like changing the lyrics in a love song to be no-homo. Like, don’t do that. Just be comfortable with a term that’s usually default-female.
POME: Do you guys get a lot of people trying to submit “wizardsonas”??
VGE: Yeah, we have a little group of people that are like “here’s my wizardsona/warlocksona!” or “why cant we do this?” and its like, “No. Stop. Those are Not Cool. [Just] chill.”
POME: Why do you think this project resonates so much with people?
VGE: Witches are great, across the board. We wanted to celebrate them. Witches have had a bad rap in history and in fiction and folktales. They’re always evil, deceptive, or ugly – with little sense of sympathy to their situation or the reason why they might be that way. There’s definitely been a resurgence of “reclaiming” the term and identity witch, from modern paganism to fiction where they’re more common, and that’s a lot of what we were going for. Witchsona Week is about celebrating witches, and making witches something you want to be.
The thing that’s fun about witchsonas – they allow people to really embody something powerful, or creepy, or just fun. You get to take things about yourself – aesthetics/fashion you like but can’t afford or that aren’t physically possible, your favorite animals, fantasy magics you think are cool – and re-imagine yourself as this person. You get to be as honest or as theatrical as you like. It’s sort of like a personality test, but there’s a sense of control and agency. Nobody is telling you what kind of witch you are – you get to decide. I think that’s a big draw for folks, imagining this fantastical version of yourself. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s very satisfying to share that with other people.
POME: Why you think witches are having Their Day right now? (I mean, I personally think it has some ties to the resurgence of how feminism is also having a Moment in Popular Culture, when both feminism and witches had been in this “shrill, annoying hag” box for years before this lovely boom. But, it could be due to other stuff, too.)
VGE: Yeah, I think feminism has a lot to do with it. There’s a mass reclamation of young women, girls, nonbinary folks reclaiming stuff that was previously seen as bad, bitchiness, anger, stuff like that. And it’s not always the fiercer side of things either, although I think that’s been a large movement over the past few years. But also, it’s just a general celebration of old typically-female or feminine archetypes, reclaiming them and re-positioning them from our own perspective. You know, anything like Maleficent, this new understanding of this badass evil queen, rather than looking at her from the Disney Princess perspective and saying “she’s evil and bad because she’s powerful,” understanding that she’s been put into this role by a patriarchal society that doesn’t understand her and finds it easier to demonize her than to understand her.
VGE: Media isn’t quite up-to-date with younger folks and homemade media, but I think that’s a large reason why it’s coming around. That and like, the fact that witches and mages are a JRPG class, hah. We grew up with this other understanding of them from anime and Japanese culture, so it’s a little more fun than the typically Eurocentric version of a witch ([and one that’s] also removed from the baggage of witch hunts and discrimination).
POME: Thanks so much for talking with us!
And now, some witchsonas:
— victoria grace elliott (@fridayafternoon) January 30, 2016
Happy Witchsona Week! pic.twitter.com/4XjUupoCi8
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) January 30, 2016
— Cait Zellers (@caitymayhem) January 31, 2016
— Rebecca Mock (@rebeccamock) January 29, 2016
FOR THOSE WHO MISSED IT: my costume today is my own damn witchsona pic.twitter.com/le5zyVcfkW
— phee hawberries ☀️ (@hawberries_) October 29, 2015
With all of the excitement of spooky!witch Katie, I'm thinking of revamping my actual witchsona! pic.twitter.com/q8OQJjCvTE
— Katie ✨ (@ocarinia) October 21, 2015
witchsona. witchy power is magical dolls. enjoys fictitious magic series. wears a cloak (from renfest) pic.twitter.com/vTXz1q3SIz
— ????chrissie???? (@chrissiecald) January 31, 2016
— Khanitha (@khanithakat) January 14, 2016
— the witch rachel (@rachelvice) January 28, 2016
CC Note: Apparently, some would say that a picture of a supposedly haunted witch cookie jar with a seering gaze doesn’t count as a Witchsona, so here is an alternative.
— CC (@presidentcc) February 2, 2016
Do you have a Witchsona to share? Drop us a link in the comments!