Why The Witch Is The Ultimate Feminist Icon

"She's self-defining in the same way women are defining themselves today."

Witches are having a cultural moment. From "American Horror Story" to "Witches Of East End" to Jenji Kohan's upcoming series about the Salem Witch Trials, the magical woman is seeing a resurgence in pop culture -- and also gaining new respect as an enduring feminist symbol.

HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd took a closer look at the feminine mystique of the witch on Thursday during a conversation with a pair of witchcraft scholars, including Kristen Korvette, who created a new course at The New School called The Legacy of the Witch.

Over the course of history, the witch has been both "a victim and a victor," Korvette said. The broad spectrum between persecution and power creates space for any woman to find a connection to the witch as a feminist icon.

"Young women in particular are looking for an archetype outside the tired virgin/whore binary that we're offered, and the witch can do just that," Korvette said.

According to Pam Grossman, a curator, writer and teacher of magical practice and history, the witch is self-possessed and in control in a way that resonates with modern women. She explained:

Traditionally female archetypes get power from other people. Think about things like the mother, the queen, the daughter -- these are all lovely archetypes for women, and yet they're deriving their power from their relation to other people, whereas the witch, she has power unto herself. She perhaps draws power from something greater than herself or from nature, but it's really coming from within herself. It's not because it's in relation to someone else. She's self-defining in the same way women are defining themselves today.

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