NEW PALTZ, N. Y. (CBSNewYork) — At a time when participation in traditional religions is declining among Americans, the practice of witchcraft is said to be on the rise.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman went inside the secret world of modern-day witches to explore why so many say they’re falling under its spell.
“I am the high priestess, ” Lisa Stewart said.
“To be a witch is incredibly relevant in today’s society, ” Anton Stewart explained.
Nestled in the heart of the Hudson Valley is the Church of the Eternal Circle, the only legally recognized Wiccan Church in the state of New York.
“We follow the tradition of the craft of the wise — witchcraft — and we are witches, ” Stewart said.
For the first time, members invited CBS2 to attend their services.
“The time is right, ” Lisa said.
Stewart and her husband Anton are the founders of the church.
“There are definitely more of us than you think, ” she said.
It’s estimated that as many as a million people identify as being a witch in the U. S. with 20 percent of that population said to be in New York.
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