Is Witchcraft In Your Blood? 15 Signs You Come From A Family of Witches
Because of the Witch Trials and the forced conversion of our pagan ancestors to Christianity, many of the old magical families either hid their abilities and beliefs, denied them, or simply forgot them over time. You may come from a family of witches and not even know it! Is witchcraft in your blood? Here’s 15 signs you come from a family of witches.
DISCLAIMER: there is debate around what defines a Hereditary Witch and/or a Natural Witch. I believe hereditary witches are quite rare and I don’t claim to know everything on the subject. These things don’t automatically make a person a Hereditary Witch, so ultimately, read and make assumptions at your own discretion.
Before saying whether the hereditary witch exists or not, we have to define the term “hereditary witch”. According to Wikipedia, a hereditary witch is someone who is “born into a tradition of esoteric origin.” Basically, a hereditary witch inherits practice from generations before (mother, grandmother, aunt, etc.) Debate continues as to whether the tradition is passed down over a few or MANY generations or whether the tradition has to be defined (by the family) or not.
Table of Contents
Actual Hereditary Witchcraft: Stregheria, Romanian, and Other Familial Traditions
Today we hop online in a FaceBook Group and see people referring to themselves as “hereditary witches”. And that they come from a “long line of witches”. I’m not saying this can’t happen, because it does. What I’m saying is this labelis often a means of fluffing up egos rather than being truth in many cases. I was introduced to witchcraft by a family member, but I don’t go around claiming I’m a hereditary witch. There are indeed familial witchcraft traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation in certain cultures and families. So what are some of the hereditary witchcraft traditions we know of?
Italian Hereditary Witchcraft Traditions
An Italian form of witchcraft called Stregoneria is passed down from generation to generation in Italian and Southern European families. You may have heard the term “stregheria” which is a close (but more modern) form of Stregoneria. The difference between the two is Stregoneria is more geared towards Catholic folk magic than modern day Witchcraft religion. However, much of the magical practices are the same and so these terms are often confused and can even overlap. Another form of Italian hereditary witchcraft is called Benedicaria, of whose practitioners claim devout Catholicism with folk magic mixed in. If you go to Italy and ask them what they call their practice, most say it’s just what they’ve always done.
Romanian Nomadic Hereditary Witchcraft
In a land mostly spared from the Inquisition and Witch Trials, Romanian hereditary traditions have almost all remained intact. Watch the eye-opening and intriguing video below of REAL modern Romanian hereditary witches.
American Hereditary Witchcraft Traditions
There are magical traditions handed down from family member to family member in the United States to this day. Some include Appalachian folk magic (Granny magic), Ozark folk magic, Hoodoo, Irish American folk magic, and more. Every American has been taught at least a little folk magic, but this alone doesn’t mean you’re a hereditary witch. It takes more than just owning a rabbit’s foot or hanging a horseshoe to make one a hereditary witch. Which leads us to the next section…
What truly constitutes a Hereditary Witchcraft Tradition?
In terms of genetics, hereditary means passed on from the parents to their offspring. We can look at hereditary witchcraft in the same light – a tradition that’s passed down through generations. Technically, it only requires two generations to be called hereditary witchcraft. SO if your mom, grandmother, aunt, uncle, etc. taught you witchcraft or folk magic, then you could claim hereditary witchcraft as a tradition.
HOWEVER, I believe this is where many people get mixed up. Hereditary witchcraft is a robust (and unique to the family) set of traditions, practices, and beliefs. This doesn’t mean (as said previously) that ONE folk magic practice or even two makes you a hereditary witch. There should be MANY. Otherwise, we could say everyone is a witch as nearly everyone has practiced some form of folk magic (think lucky charms, holidays, etc.) Now, if your grandmother taught you how to use herbs to heal and make magic, taught you how to cleanse the air in the house, and told you folk stories of her ancestors’, among other magical customs, you could DEFINITELY claim hereditary witchcraft.
If you read your history…
Some want to deny hereditary witchcraft traditions that include Christianity in any of its aspects. BUT you’ll also notice how even the magical traditions that have survived the longest in the United States weave Christian practices and beliefs into their customs. For example, Hoodoo often uses Biblical verses in uncrossings, healings, and even curses. Hoodoo practitioners will also call upon the aid of Saints from the Catholic tradition to aid in magical workings. Any surviving Native American traditions might also have Christian beliefs woven in because of the pressure the Colonials put on the Natives to convert. So no matter if the hereditary witch believes in Jesus or Hecate, if a folk magic practice with MULTIPLE magical customs and beliefs is passed down from one generation to the next – it could be considered hereditary witchcraft.
We All Have Witch Ancestors!
If we really want to get down into the nitty-gritty of family trees, we’d realize that everyone has a witch, midwife, occultist, or water witch somewhere in our family trees. Think about how many people have lived over the years whose blood is in your veins. Chances are – you descend from witches somewhere in your family tree! So, if we want to get really technical, we could all say we descend from witch ancestors! To learn more about how to find witch ancestors in your family tree, click here.
Without Further Adieu, Here’s the Signs Your Family May Come From a Line of Witches:
1. Grandma “knows things”
Did you have a grandmother or mother who somehow knew things were going to happen before they did? This is a psychic ability known as claircognizance. Many of the old magical families stem from a line of men and women who were once revered and some were even paid to give their predictions to royalty in the old days.
2. You come from a family of healers
Healing seems to be an ability that’s passed down from generation to generation. It’s sometimes strictly energetic, and sometimes it’s mixed with herbal wisdom. If your mother or grandmother (or other family member) taught you how to heal with herbs or how to use your hands to provide healing energy to others, you might come from a line of witches with healing abilities. Is your family seemingly drawn to the healthcare field? Do they believe in holistic healing over western medicine? These are all signs.
3. Strange, superstitious traditions
You might come from a line of witches if your grandmother passed down her strange, superstitious traditions to your mother. And then your mother passed them down to you. Just because they never said they were “witches” doesn’t mean they weren’t. Did your grandma throw spilled salt over her left shoulder? Reprimand you for shaking the rug out the front door instead of the back? Hang horseshoes above every door? Was there a kitchen witch doll in your kitchen that your mom talked to when no one else was around? ONE of these traditions doesn’t make one a witch. Multiple traditions just might!
4. Religious statues and altars
If your mother or grandmother always kept religious statues around BUT maintained and treated them as if they were alive or had magical powers, she might have been a witch. Example – angels in the four corners of the property for protection, tables or shelves dedicated to the memory of ancestors or saints, etc. Shrines and altars can sometimes be mistaken for something else when in reality they are sacred, magical space to grandma or mom (whether they say so or not).
5. You have a family of dreamers
Many witches who come from a line of witches have the natural ability to lucid dream or astral project (or both interchangeably). Did you grow up having intense dreams of flying, floating, falling, or entering other worlds through doors? Did you grow up having dreams in which you knew you were dreaming and were able to control your dreams? Many witch families are dreamers by default. This ability often overlaps with claircognizance in which dreams foretell the future.
6. Hauntings were normal
If you grew up with a family who acted as though spirits, hauntings, and ghosts were commonplace, you might be from a line of hereditary witches. Witches often have the ability to sense, see, and/or hear ghosts and other spirits. If your family knew how to communicate with resident ghosts and/or get rid of troublesome spirits, added bonus!
7. You were taught how to use herbs
Hereditary witches are usually taught how to grow, harvest, and use herbs in their cooking and also for medicinal purposes. My grandmother used to send me out back to pick wild mint that she would add to her sweet tea batch in the summer. And somehow, when I fell off my bike and skinned my knee, I instinctively knew to break off an aloe vera leaf and apply the sticky substance to my wound. If you were taught how to garden and use herbs, you might be from a line of witches. There’s stories of my great great grandmother being an herbalist who made her children wear necklaces of herbs to ward off the flu and cold.
8. Telepathic connections
If your family is a line of hereditary witches, telepathic connections between family members are prominent. Once, just once, my mother, brother, and I all had the same dream the same night. Dreaming the same thing is common. If your mother calls you at the exact moment you were thinking of her, this is also a sign of a telepathic connection. If you and your brother text each other out of the blue, this is a telepathic connection.
9. Family wasn’t “normal”
You might have grown up wondering why your family wasn’t “normal” like the other families on the block. Maybe your mom kept rocks in the windows and welcomed in the neighborhood raccoons and wildlife. Maybe grandpa had an affinity for bonsai trees and the whole yard was covered in them. If your family was markedly abnormal (and proud of it), you might be a hereditary witch.
10. Witch Birthmarks
Sometimes a strange anomaly occurs in a family – everyone has the same birthmark. Do you and your mom, brother, and grandfather all have a heart-shaped birthmark over your navel? A red crescent moon birthmark on the back of your neck? Etc. Families of hereditary witches sometimes carry something called a “witch’s mark” in the form of birthmarks that tend to pass from generation to generation.
11. Outdoorsy and Animal Lovers
I grew up in a family of outdoorsy people. My grandfather loved to camp and travel. Grandmother enjoyed being in the garden. My mother owned horse farms and was always outside with the animals. Which brings me to the next point – if you grew up in a family of nature lovers and/or animal lovers, you might be from a line of witches. When the family members who are animal lovers also take in strays and seem to attract wounded or lost wildlife (more so than anyone else you’ve met) – this is a sure-sign they have a special ability and could be a witch.
12. Feeling energies
Was your mom able to walk into a room and feel the energy there? Maybe you’ve heard her say something like, “this place feels icky.” Or maybe she has a hard time breathing in certain places. If your family members were able to “feel things” from certain places or people, they might be clairsentient which is another ability in hereditary witch lines.
13. High anxiety and social disorders
Something I’ve seen time and time again with hereditary witch bloodlines – they carry a “gene” for anxiety and social disorders. Grandma couldn’t be in public places for too long. Maybe your mom had high anxiety about leaving the house. Perhaps even your brother had a social disorder of some kind. Can these seemingly mental health problems be attributed to something deeper – maybe your family members are empathic! When empaths absorb energies from others, they are prone to anxiety and social disorders.
14. Your family claims their magical heritage
This is an obvious one. If your family claims their magical heritage, you are DEFINITELY from a line of witches! Some magical traditions might include: hoodoo, water witching, Orisha worship, Appalachian folk magic, Pennsylvania Pow Wow, Hungarian witchcraft, Stregoneria, Romani witchcraft, Scottish Cunning ways, etc.
15. Stories of ancestors being “herbalists”, “midwives”, “healers” or “granny women”
Did you grow up hearing stories of your ancestors being strange things like granny women, witch masters, or water witches? Was great grandma an herbalist or used folk remedies to cure her children and family? If these stories circulate through your family for generations, you might be from a line of witches.
So, are you a hereditary witch?
If you can say yes to more than one of these, you might be from a line of witches. At the very least, you come from a special family with some pretty cool abilities and traditions! We see a lot of people claiming magical heritage online, but to be honest, I don’t think hereditary witches are as commonplace as they seem. When witchcraft is passed down from generation to generation, it is a rare and special thing. BUT I would venture to say that fifty years from now, the world will see a HUGE resurgence of hereditary witches. This is because of the popularity of witchcraft in this day and age. The young women and men who are witches today will become parents, pass down their beliefs and customs to their children, and possibly their grandchildren. Henceforth there will be more hereditary witches in the future than there are nowadays.