I am a Witch, and the High Priest of the Salem Tradition of Witchcraft. I am a saint to some, a heretic to others, but a witch nonetheless. I live my life openly as a witch. For many years, I have watched the word “Witch” become watered down and sanitized to the point where there is no room for the ancient arts of magick, spell casting, and Mediumship. I am a Witch, not a Wiccan. Being a hereditary Witch, I see life as a magickal garden, whose fruits infuse those who taste them with a gift. That gift is magick. Since I could crawl, Witchery has been schooled into my every thought, action, and deed. The way of the Witch is a powerful one. There are secrets hidden within the hedgerows of life that few can see, much less can capture. I have dedicated my life’s work to those brave souls who have reached out beyond the “norm” and were unafraid to seize the opportunity to live their lives to that of legend. The training I received I pass on to those who find me. Through the smoke and fire of the centuries, the hereditary witch has survived, weaving tales of love, courage, and magick into life’s tapestry. To me, the arts of witchery are noble and royal, and that is how I teach them. Seeing the need to see our people evolve, I have worked very hard to open the beautiful door of mystery to a hungry world. It has worked for many have knocked!
I washed ashore on the city of Salem, Massachusetts, the famed “Witch city,” young, alone, and very innocent to the devouring politics of the new way of Wicca. I only had one thing upon arriving in Salem, which was a living magickal legacy that my ancestors had given me. It has been by teaching others to birth the magickal power of witchcraft within themselves that I have survived here, and have become well known. Over the years, many people have joined my family of witches and have enriched the psychic seascape of this small New England town. I knew I was being guarded and lead by my family’s spirit familiars, and, to this day, they still protect and keep me safe in the often-turbulent sea of religiosity that occasionally floods the craft. Witches know that being spiritual often has nothing to do with being religious; seeing this truth, I knew I needed to join in with other belief systems so they could get a picture of who the Witch really is. So I opened myself up to others in the religious community here in Salem, to those who were not witches. It was not as scary as I though it would be. In 1989, I attained status as a legally ordained minister of the craft. Soon after this time I was among the Witches who founded W.A.R.D. (Witches Against Religious Discrimination), an anti-defamation organization aimed at correcting the many misconceptions about Witchcraft, and assisted in my role as Massachusetts chapter head. This organization I helped to conceive is still thriving wonderfully, having taken on a life of its own! I love it when magick works that way. In 1990, by forging a chain of mutual respect (and perhaps a dash of special magick) between myself and other members of Salem’s clergy community, I was invited to be the first Witch recognized as a legitimate minister here, and was asked to hold a seat on the city’s Interfaith Council. This was the first time since the smothering madness of 1692 that a witch was taken seriously in Salem, and not relegated to a tourist attraction or a “dog and pony” show. This act of courage and faith brought down the giants of fear and intolerance, blazing a trail of interfaith relations for other friends of mine in town to follow. Because of these early works, other traditions of Witchcraft took this as a sign that a new day for Witchery was forthcoming and have also forged these alliances with other faiths.
The Salem Tradition of Witchcraft is both an old way and a new way. While in keeping with my old world Witch training, I have managed to combine my skills with the type of glittering magick found only in Salem. The Salem Tradition mixes old world magick with the mystique of this modern day Witch Mecca. Those I train in the art of witchery possess a sharp, edgy worldview of a very ancient way of life. I make it a point that the seeker knows the ways of hereditary Witching families. I teach the science of witchcraft, magick, and psychic development. Let's face it, being a witch means being magickal and honoring our ancestors. Much to my surprise, my brand of Witchcraft has been held dear by those not only living in Salem, but also by practicing Witches all over the World. You might find the Witches of Salem in Ireland, England, Brazil, Canada, and even China. The magick of Salem lives in the Heart. We are a growing tradition, and once a year, practitioners of The Salem Tradition of Witchcraft gather in October along side their coven family and myself for a yearly gathering of enchantment! And what a reunion it is! Witchcraft, when applied practically, can elevate the small, unnoticed things of life to greatness. After all, look what it has done for me; it took one young man, who dared to face the odds, and dared to believe, and spun his life into alchemical gold! It still astonishes me when I see headlines that read things such as “The Salem, Witch Shawn Poirier, has been recognized as an adept psychic and Medium. Shawn is seen as the Spirit of Salem itself.” Boy! How a wildfire can start from a single spark! Over the years, I have been featured in countless interviews in the United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Russia, France, Canada, and here at home. I am sure my grandmothers would be proud! When I lecture about witchcraft and magick, I like to make it a dynamic experience for all those who attend. I strive to be a teacher with a unique flair for taking magick out of dusty old spell books, and whisking the power of the witch into your heart as a living reality. Remember, the best teachers sit at the feet of those who seek them, and not the other way around. I know that every new student, every one I touch by my readings, and all those whose ancestors I have channeled, become a part of honoring my family and tradition. I am grateful for the gift of teaching!
I have spoken on such topics as spiritual communication, Witchcraft, and the hidden powers of the psychic mind at many esteemed universities and colleges such as Wellesley College, Salem State College, Emerson College, Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts, to name a few. If you have not guessed by now, a part of me relishes being an absolute “ham,” so I have been known to frequent television and radio venues, including The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel, MTV, The BBC, Playgirl magazine (not “in the buff”—after all, a witch must retain some mystery!), and countless spots on National Public Radio! However serious or campy these appearances have been, they all have helped to educate the public about Witchcraft. After all, you are reading these words, so my spell most be working! At one time, Witches had to go about secretly, whispering just above the silence. Now we, as a people, can come out of the broom closet, and be seen and sought out! From my moving to Salem, almost getting lost in shuffle of local drama, to working with celebrities such as Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, Joan Rivers, Vincent Price, I can say to like others of like mind out there, who stand on the front lines of Witchcraft, you've Come a long way baby! Still, my greatest joy is in creating magick for those I meet everyday. I live in Salem. It is my home, here among the Witches of Salem. It is always a pleasure and an honor to serve you. Take my hand. Let's fly!