Dressed in head-totoe black robes, Mara Carter lets her fingers hover over a steaming hot cauldron as she chants quietly and a black cat looks on ominously.
Candles flicker, incense smokes and a spell book, filled with mystical symbols, is laid open in front of her to read from. It’s a scene that wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter movie.
But this isn’t a film. Mara is at her unassuming home in suburban Sydney – and she’s a real-life witch.
“Witchcraft has given me the freedom to be who I want to be,” the 55-year-old tells New Idea.
From the Wizard of Oz to The Craft, the black-caped, cackling witch has been a fixture in popular culture – and a subject of fascination and fear – for centuries.
Mara’s own path to ‘the craft’ began early. Raised in a conservative Catholic environment in her home
country of Argentina, she felt the call to the otherworldly realm at a very young age.
“As a child I was fascinated by everything witchy and occult,” recalls the mum of three. “My favourite show was Bewitched and my first supernatural experience was as a child, when my sisters and I used a ouija board and scared ourselves silly! I always felt that there must have been more paths to choose from.”
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