(photo by Liz Ruttenbur) During a midsummer retreat, the high priestess of the Moondance coven teaches young women about edible plants in the wild
(photo by Liz Ruttenbur)
During a midsummer retreat, the high priestess of Moondance coven teaches the young women about edible plants in the wild

Witches have always been tied to Halloween lore. However, it has taken centuries for men and women of the spiritual belief in witchcraft to shake the popular belief that they believe and worship the Devil and that their practices are evil.

No one in the Ogden area has fought harder in creating a positive example of a good witch than the Moondance Coven’s high priestess, Michelle Savage.

The Moondance Coven has done various charity work, including knitting and crocheting hundreds of caps and gloves for the homeless, and helping clean up the Ogden River parkway.

Although some of the witchy stereotypes are true, there may be more science behind witchcraft than people think.

Witches believe the world is made up of energy not a mystical energy, but the same energy that is studied in labs across the globe.

“I think they are exactly the same — calm down, science people,” Savage said. “The energy of any living thing can be photographed and measured. We all know that everything is made up of energy. Nothing is solid or fixed; it is just a matter of different density of atoms. Our own energy field can be manipulated by us to change and affect our surroundings.”

Savage doesn’t go into each new witchy endeavor blindly.

“When I read about a new technique in witchcraft, I do my research in science,” she said. “I find out how it could work. Then I try it out several different ways, using those concepts until I figure it out and get it right.”

Quantum physics is a field of science that pushes the boundaries of the possibilities in the universe through the study of quantum theory. In the double-slit experiment, particles which have acted the same way countless times will change their behavior when observed. This baffles scientists to this day.

The double-slit experiment led most people to wonder whether or not the particles that make up the universe can behave in a way scientists and scholars don’t expect. This relates to the theory that people can have an impact on the world around them just with their thoughts.

“We focus our intent and believe that what we need will come to us when it is supposed,” Savage said. “They are much like prayers in that they focus our intent and are a psychological cement to help set our goals. Everyone does this in a different way.”

Brad Carroll of Weber State University’s physics department isn’t convinced that the mind has any effect on particles and energy.

“I just don’t see any way that the energy of the human brain could be used to manipulate particles,” he said. “There have even been experiments trying to test this, but none of them have produced any convincing evidence.”

Last year Carroll, for fun, conducted his own work on the possible properties of a ghost, which provided an explanation as to why ghosts would appear to float.

Although most doctors don’t endorse alternatives to medicine as a primary form of treatment, many do encourage patients to do anything to keep their spirits up, giving credence to the power of positive thinking. 

“Every doctor knows that the placebo effect is real. Our minds obviously have power,” said WSU student Crystal Cline. “We can create anything so long as we sincerely believe.”

Although science has taken humanity far in its knowledge of the inner workings of the universe, new things are still being uncovered.

“As much as I love the science of it all, though, I have come to realize that it can’t explain everything that I see and experience,” Savage said. “Sometimes you just have to accept that mere humans cannot know everything and allow things to happen. I know exactly how rainbows work, but when I see one, I brush that explanation aside and look at it with the wonder of a small child for the beauty such a seemingly random thing can create.”

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