Hello witches, witchcraft enthusiasts, dark magic allies and witch-identifying persons,

In light of the evolving threat of COVID-19, the Greater Witches Association of America must sadly confirm that we are rescheduling our midsummer coven. This is the hardest decision we’ve had to make since the great confiscation of everyone’s tights and rags for the war effort in 1941.

The coven will now take place on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3.

To protect GWAA staff and sisters across the country, many of whom are immunosuppressed or have underlying inflammatory conditions, we have decided to discontinue in-person programming and are “crafting” a schedule of virtual activities (fun for ages zero to three hundred!). Join us via our newfangled video-sharing app, Broom, for group spell-ins, virtual palm readings, and craft circles. First up, our fantastic youth outreach coordinator Tituba XIII will be showing us all how to make hag stone talismans!

In the meantime, we want to offer a few simple guidelines to make sure you’re not burned at the (proverbial!) stake before we’re able to loose Satan from hell/the Oval Office in November:

Boil your hands in a bubbling cauldron for 20-30 seconds every chance you get. Make sure to scald the backs of your hands, your thumbs, and the webbing between your fingers, too. (For best results, channel Sister Stevie and sing “Black Magic Woman” twice or until your claws are raw.) You’re also going to want to boil your striped tights, underwear and any other garment that may have come in contact with your broomstick.

Disinfect your broom, too. We recommend a homemade flying potion made of opium poppies, spotted red mushrooms and toad skins. (Fine, you science-loving sorceresses out there can stick with the CDC’s advice and just use Lysol.)

Cleanse and charge your crystals under the full moon. No further explanation required. Get to it, lunar goddesses.

Fashion your pointy black hat into a facemask. Homemade masks don’t provide the same level of protection as surgical masks and N95 respirators. Still, in a pinch, the silky fabric from your hat can help capture nefarious microbes, and its abundance of cone-shaped material is perfect for those of us with a little extra wartage in the schnoz department.

Minimize non-essential magic. Spells requiring fingernail clippings, sweat, excrement or semen carry an increased risk of exposure. If you can’t stand not terrorizing your mortal neighbors, try non-magical forms of harassment such as running a leaf-blower outside their window for seventy-two hours straight.

Practice social distancing. We know what you’re thinking: I’m a witch. I’m already great at social distancing. So true! But now is the perfect time to freshen up best practices. As any witch worth her eyes of newt learned long ago, social distancing is about so much more than staying put in a ramshackle apartment/hovel/witch-in-law unit on the outskirts of town. We have to actively keep people away. Scratch yourself in public and talk loudly about your new kid-friendly oven. Wear your “Mamacita Needs a Margarita” T-shirt. Put on eyeshadow that brings out the green of your skin. Really lean into your cackle (as long as it’s not a dry cough!). Make an eyeball-and-poisoned-entrail casserole and leave it on the doorstep of a convent. Brew a jar of sun/urine/spider leg tea in a communal space with a lot of foot traffic.

Remember, social distancing applies to sexy demons, too. On that note, please refrain from fornication with household pets! This especially applies to talking black cats. If you must have sex with an animal, try a grasshopper. Their relative lack of surface area gives the virus fewer surfaces to live on.

Avoid vampires. Given all the awkwardness surrounding bats at the moment, best to avoid our blood-sucking friends. Save spells that require wool of bat for another day.

Forage for groceries, even if they’re still alive. Amazon and all the e-apothecaries it’s acquired are only delivering “essential items” (we’ll leave our diatribe about the witching community’s needs being discounted by the mainstream for another day), but the good news is, the CDC says it’s still okay to spend socially-distanced time outside, especially if it’s dark and stormy. Which means now is a perfect time to learn to hunt and enucleate your own newts and toads. We’d bet our blackest crystal ball that your local groves and grottos are blooming with virgin burdock (great for counter-magic spells!), catnip (a trance-work must) and blue vervain (let’s get back to love-spell basics, ladies!), ripe to be foraged.

Witch in place. May we suggest reconnecting with that dusty Mirror on your wall?

Limit nocturnal gatherings to two people. It may be tempting to hop onto a broomstick and steal deep into the woods late at night to dance naked around a roaring sacrificial pyre and pledge your eternal fealty to a rotting donkey head. We totally get it. However, as we’ve seen with COVID-19 clusters in witchery hubs including New York, New Orleans and the backwoods of Georgia, this is an ideal way to spread the virus. Hover at home, witches.

Keep your tits warm. Doctors hope that the heat of summer may slow the spread of coronavirus. In the meantime, keep your notoriously frigid bosoms wrapped in heavy woolen shawls. Same goes for third nipples and those gorgeous protruding chins.

Don’t just assume you’re possessed by 12,631 demons; take your motherloving temperature. If you develop a fever and start eating money or vomiting stones, thorns, hair or live eels, don’t joyfully presume that a battalion of drowned French sailors has taken up residence in your gullet. A high fever and nausea are common symptoms of coronavirus. So for the time being, please treat hallucinatory Marie Laveau sightings not as the sign of a successful seance, but as a reason to summon an ambulance, or at least to self-quarantine in the root cellar.

Sisters, we are in the midst of a once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic. For as much as we all would have loved to draw down the moon together this summer, we have to keep our wits about us and avoid the plague of fear. We have weathered far worse: the Black Death, smallpox, the Flu of 1918, pointy black shoes going mainstream. There will be loss of magic and loss of life, but we will emerge in November rested and more ready than ever to annihilate all that is holy. Remember, it isn’t religious fervor that makes witches powerful; it’s the breakdown of civil society and mass wreaking of havoc. Soon, we’ll have both.

Toil & Troublingly Yours,

The Greater Witches Association of America