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Do you believe in white magic?

Ipsita Roy Chakraverti took people into a little known domain this Valentine's - the Wiccan world.

india Updated: Feb 15, 2006 21:03 IST

How about possessing a magic spell which will let you check your beloved's loyalty quotient? Nonsense! You might say. But wait a moment before you simply dismiss this suggestion as fantastic mumbo-jumbo, because this spell was cast for all to see and believe in, recently.

The owner of the spell: Ipsita Roy Chakraverti, India's first practitioner of Wicca or white magic and the author of the popular book, Beloved Witch. The occasion for the demonstration was Valentine's Day and her magical love lessons held the audience spellbound, quite literally!

Was the date, February 14, chosen deliberately to display the craft. Ray explains, "February 14 is said to be the day of invoking Wiccan goddesses – Minerva (meaning men or mind) of Rome and Athena of Greece. Co-incidentally India also celebrates Saraswati Puja in the month of February”.

The world of witchcraft came alive as Ipsita began her demonstration with the bowl of Aphrodite ( a crystal bowl) and an Athame ( a knife). Magic spells rent the air as she delved deep into the significance of dipping an Athame into the bowl and rolled out a chant. She felt the pulse of a few in the audience and revealed to them secrets which astonished them. Soon enough there were more and more people from the audience lining up before her.

But is witchcraft truly a science? Can it really heal and help? Is it not associated with all that is dark and negative? These are the very issues Roy Chakraverti has sought to dispel via her craft. A scholar of the western tradition of Witchcraft or Wicca and eastern Dakini Vidya, she has taken up the cause of women branded witches and fought to bring about social change and women's empowerment. She has worked hard to dispel the stigma and scepticism associated with witchcraft and brought to light its healing powers.

 

Ipsita Roy Chakraverti

Photo: Pomy Issar

Says Roy Chakraverti, "Unlike the conventional belief of altruistic love, Wiccan love begins with self-love. You cannot love another, until you respect and love yourself.

"A special word of advice for women: wrap yourself in mystery. Love but don’t surrender yourself to your beloved, ” she says.

At the event, organised by the Oxford bookstore in New Delhi, she took the audience into a world of crystals, candles, roses and chants. Roses in ‘witchcraft’, you might wonder, when skulls, blood and bones are what it is thought to be associated with. "Wicca does not believe in mumbo-jumbo. It begins with a disciplined mind and an aesthetic ambience that requires visual elements, " she says.

“A person has to be in an Alpha state of mind – a state of equanimity- to immerse oneself in the power of chants. Normally, we are in the Beta state of mind”, she further elucidates.

Ultimately, her craft seems to be a question of faith - for believers and skeptics alike. Some believe she is a philosopher, ahead of her time. Some raise eyebrows and scoff at it.

For the Wiccan woman, though, it is a science which can help people realise that the power of healing is around them. One just needs to be in tandem with these natural forces to experience their power.

This is what she has tried to explain in her autobiography, Beloved Witch. The book is part of the Australian National Library's collection under the category of Comparative Religion.