Katarzyna Majak’s Portraits Of Modern Witches

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Katarzyna Majak‘s “Women of Power” photography series captures the faces and dress of earth-worshipping Polish women who are powerful among their particular spiritual sectors. The vast majority of Poland’s people (90%) are practicing Catholics. When Christianity was introduced to Poland a few centuries ago, it erased most traces of paganism, witchcraft, and shamanic traditions. The women Majak photographs – ranging in age from their 30’s to their 80’s – represent the very small minority of Polish women who practice alternative spirituality. For many of these women, this series depicts their first public display of power. They “practice a wide range of spiritual paths and spiritual systems. A few are traditional healers (so called ‘whisperers’ who mix religion with primeval superstitions to heal and remove spells using prayers) whose traditions survived on the Belarusian border. Some are women who had grandmothers who could ‘see’ or were herbal healers and who are working to revive what would otherwise be dead traditions.”

Porter Contemporary, where Majak’s work was featured in 2012, writes, “When asked what being a witch meant to one of the subjects in the series, she replied ‘A witch is a woman of knowledge who takes a broom and sweeps to cleanse the world.’” (via feature shoot)

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  • Alks

    Please do your research before posting… As a ethnographer (but you can look it up on wiki), Poland was christianized in 966 A.D ,so not few centuries (although paganism was present for 2-3 centuries after). Other thing is percentage of practicing catholics:
    This is data from few years ago. Spirituality is getting in fashion as Catholic church decays. Quite interesting, nonetheless lets keep it in the realm of historic facts…

  • Nina

    The chart you are showing refers to “practicing Catholics” (those attending masses) and not how many people are actual members of the Catholic Church in Poland. I will kindly refer You to the text here which says Poland has 92,2% of Catholics… http://natemat.pl/52507,ponad-35-mln-katolikow-w-polsce-najwiekszy-odsetek-na-swiecie

  • Alks

    from the article above: “The vast majority of Poland’s people (90%) are practicing Catholics.” I was referring to that and that what’s chart is showing.

    I’m aware that majority of polish people has been christianized, but the number attending the masses is different. It’s also quite hard to step out of church. Apostasy procedure is complicated to say the least. It requires two witnesses, baptismal certificate and few visits to local parish.