After examining and critiquing the archetype of the male hero for a decade, I began thinking about female archetypes that had also been exploited for power. This led me to the witch, who was used historically to oppress and instill a fear of the feminine in our society while the masculine archetype of the hero is used to empower and instill righteousness.

Potion Making, Salem, Massachusetts. 2019 ©Allison Stewart


The archetype of the witch defies definition or classification. The witch is a shapeshifter, the projection of our innermost desires and fears, and the embodiment of feminine power.  She is both a fairy tale villain and an enchantress, daring to live outside of the norms of society. In witchcraft there is no dogma but there is always ritual, where witches work with the forces of nature to re-enchant the world.



As contemporary society shifts and expands, a larger space for the witch is being created, allowing witchcraft to become more normalized than ever. Social media and online spaces have made it easier for witches to build community.  They gather to share knowledge, celebrate holidays, perform rituals, and cast spells. Although it is highly unlikely they will be hanged for practicing witchcraft in the United States, the accusation of witchcraft is still used in many parts of the world to enable oppression, the seizure of property, and to justify murder. The United Nations officials have reported a rise in women killed for witchcraft across the globe over the last decade. Despite the continued condemnation of the witch, the ever defiant other continues to practice their craft.




This project is ongoing. If you identify as a witch and would like to be included in the project, please email me at


Proctor’s Ledge and the Hanging Trees, Salem, Massachusetts. 2019 ©Allison Stewart


Allison Stewart grew up in Houston, Texas and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Her work focuses on social commentary and critique of the evolving American identity and the archetypes we celebrate and condemn. Her work has been published and exhibited internationally, including Cortona On The Move, the Aperture Foundation, The Wright Museum, The New Mexico History Museum, The Griffin Museum of Photography, The New Republic, Die Zeit, Wired, Mother Jones, and Vogue Italia. Her work has been honored by the Magenta Foundation, IPA, the Texas Photographic Society, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Houston Center for Photography. Her work is included in the Rubell Family Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The New Mexico History Museum Palace of the Governors Photo Archive, the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association, and private collections. Allison is a founding member of the Association of Hysteric Curators.


Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 24-70mm lens, iphone 7 camera

Nancy McCrary

Nancy is the Publisher and Founding Editor of South x Southeast photomagazine. She is also the Director of South x Southeast Workshops, and Director of South x Southeast Photogallery. She resides on her farm in Georgia with 4 hounds where she shoots only pictures.

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