Witches dance takes over the CSU

This past Friday, the Hearth Lounge in the Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University, Mankato was stormed by a group of witches. At noon, the nine of them held a witch dance in full costume. 

MNSU sophomore Lyreshia Ghostlon-Green, a dancer at the event, explained the event in greater detail.

“We were going to do it last year but we couldn’t because of covid,” she said. “It’s really just a fun little dance; we get to dress up for the occasion of Halloween. It’s a great time and anyone’s invited. Greg came to me and was like, I wanna do this, and showed me the video.” 

Greg Wilkins, the Associate Director of Student Activities at MNSU planned the event based on the Youtube video, “Wolfshäger Hexenbru Walpurgis Wolfshagen” which has over 2.2 million views. 

To prepare for the event, the dancers held weekly practices. Ghostlon-Green shared what the first couple of practices were like by saying, “We got introduced, we rehearsed with pool noodles as our brooms.” 

As the performance approached, Ghostlon-Green said that Wilkins, “Threw in a few workshops towards the weeks leading up to this performance to learn to make this broom.” 

She explained that she made it from resources she found on campus and continued, “It’s just twigs and leaves all twined together. And then he had another workshop where he taught us to make horns, and I made these over the weekend with papier mache.” 

Wilkins then added, “I hosted a workshop on how to make papier mache horns using recycled ‘Reporter’ newspapers, tape, aluminum foil, and craft glue with water. And finally, I informed the witches on how to create an outfit by upcycling garments from Goodwill and saving money by going on Thursdays during their 50% color tag sale. Collaborating with the Centennial Student Union, I worked with their Tech Crew for sound as well as using spaces in the building as dressing rooms and for make-up.”

Overall, Ghostlon-Green enjoyed the sense of community she gained from the event the most. 

“I feel like I would have never gotten to know any of these people,” she said. “We wouldn’t have come together if it wasn’t for this.” 

Although Halloween and its festivities have now come and gone, witches can be found year round. Modern costumes are depicted as tall hats and long gowns. The image of a witch that comes to mind may be influenced by individuals that were deemed eccentric in the past and drug through the Salem Witch Trials. However, modern day witches are just like anybody else. 

No longer riding broomsticks, people subscribing to the wiccan religion are considered to practice modern day witchcraft. The worldview focuses on the planet and nature and puts emphasis on understanding energy; the energy from both your environment and yourself. 

Some items modern day witches may use in their practices include candles, crystals, and several types of herbs. Some modern day witches may also keep a grimoire: a journal to track your relationship with witchcraft.

Header Photo: The Centennial Student Union being stormed by nine witches performing a dance in the Hearth Lounge. (Lilly Schimdt/The Reporter)

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