Coven (2023) Movie Script


(eerie vocalizing)

A long, long time ago,
There was a meteor shower in
the balkan peninsula.
When the people saw the stars
falling from the sky,
They believed them to be
dragon spirits,
Come to grace their land
with strength and vitality.
Wherever they fell,
on a mountain, a forest,
A river, an animal or a human,
Those beings became inhabited
with the dragon's blood
And the dragon's spirit.
Vlad the impaler, more famously
known as dracula,
Was said to carry
the dragon's blood.

When the dragon men had children
with human women,
The female babies were said
to be witches.

(crows squawking)
The term "witch"
Has really gone through a
Whereas before, it could be
a death sentence
If you were called that,
there has been a movement
To reclaim it as something
to be proud of.
Leilani: Giving women power is
a thing where it's just, like,
Cultures don't want to do it.
Praying, for me, is a spell.
Burning candles in the church
is a spell.
They just don't call it that.
And it's men at the helm.
So it's okay,
because they're doing it.
But if it was a woman, it would
be a completely different thing.
Andra: Patriarchy has robbed
women of their voices,
Of their power, of autonomy over
our bodies, of confidence.
Anne marie: Young women are
waking up and saying,
"hang on a second.
I can be powerful.
"I can play with the dark side.
I'll show you.
"I'll exercise my power."
Leilani: I think also
it's become a trend.
It's cool.
Okay, but this is real.
This is real.

This is called a spirit rattle.
They are said to rattle
and shake
When there are spirits around.
And if there's no wind,
that is how you know.
And people hang them around
their houses for warning.
That is so cool.
(woodpecker sound)
Andra: You know, like, the whole
used to be animistic,
And people would look around
them and they'd see everything
As being alive and all of us as
being deeply interlinked
And deeply sacred.
I always was raised with a lot
of those beliefs
And I grew into them,
and they always just felt true,
And right and natural
to me.
As a kid, I was really just
drawn to nature,
'cause we lived in the country,
so I'd just go out in the woods
And I'd just be collecting rocks
and sticks,
And finding trees and making
these, like, little altars,
And I don't know what I was
doing with it
Or who I was, you know, thinking
of when I was doing it,
But it just felt, like, kind of
something I was called to do.
You know, when I was getting
more drawn to witchcraft
Or wicca, I was like,
"hey, okay, I was doing that."
I was really kinda doing it
without thinking about it.
For me and this journey so far,
It's been very isolated.
You know, I've been doing my own
kind of practice
In the way that I feel
comfortable, which is by myself.
And I feel like there is more
that I can learn
And more that I can experience.
I was hoping to find, like,
Someone like you to talk to
about it,
To learn from, to, like...
Maybe know what next steps are,
Because, yeah, I feel like I can
only do and practice
So much by myself.
I would really love for you to
come and meet
Some of my teachers and some
people that have held space
And, like, taught me things,
And see if you resonate
with any of them.
I would love that.
Witchcraft helps us to reclaim
our own narratives,
Especially when it comes to
women's knowledge.
A lot of women's traditions are
rooted in intuition
And in emotions and in empathy
And care for our communities
and care for our families.
And women have traditionally and
historically always understood
Power as "power with."
If you share your gift with me,
and I share my gift with you,
We have a better, stronger
And we all get to thrive.
(singing in kenyan dialect)
As a kid, there was two things
That I really was, like...
"I'm going to do this."
Like, "I'm either going to
become a singer
"or I'm going to become a monk."
(singing continues)

(audience applauding)
The idea of me being a singer
became solid,
Became real.
But there is another path
connecting to
The something else,
the other.
I personally believe there is a
string of truth that connects
All religions and all stories.
And then surrounding that string
of truth is bullshit.
It's such a small thread,
But it does connect and
it is there,
But you've really got to swim
through all the rest of it
To find it.

All my life I've had really
Really vivid dreams.
Always flying, always having
lucid dreams,
Prophetic dreams.
The dreamscape is, like, a very
interesting place
Where I'm still trying to learn
about it more.
I have nobody to talk to about
that kind of stuff.
Because back home in kenya,
there are those people,
There are witches,
there are shamans.
They just aren't called that,
because most of the country
Is very religious.
You don't share that.
It's a private thing.
(birds squawking)
(door creaking)
- So, you want to be a witch?
- Laura: Yes.
Wicca is not a democracy.
It's a benevolent dictatorship.
The words of the high priestess
are law.
They're non-debatable.
The rules of the coven is
You have to study diligently and
do what you're told.
You have to ask to be taught.
You have to show up on time.
You don't complain.
What do you think a witch is?
I don't want to change the
outside world.
I want to find ways to, like,
more understand and connect
With myself and nature.
So that's kind of
what I understand as a witch,
Is somebody who is very
Being a witch is also being--
becoming a priestess.
- Laura: Okay.
- So this is what we teach you.
Because everything behind that
for us,
Is about the goddess.
Everything was given birth to
by the goddess.
The earth is alive.
She breathes.
She has hot flashes.
She has eruptions.
She gets angry. She gets calm.
And-- and we have to live in
harmony with that.
So by our magical actions,
we are giving energy
To that process.
That's what witches do.
There are different paths to
create the different head spaces
That we work with.
Mushrooms, especially,
Create an incomparable state
In your mind.
- Mm-hmm.
- How do you feel about drugs?
- Mm-hmm. Me?
- Yeah, you!
Oh, I-- I don't judge them.
I've done them, and I...
How do you feel about being
naked, in ritual?
With boys and girls,
in the moonlight.
If I felt safe with the people
that were around,
I would be very open to it.
Okay. Well, that's really
important, right?
- Yeah.
- Because witches like
Being naked and dancing
- (laughing)
- amazing.
(eerie warbling music)

(warbling continues)

I always knew I was a witch.
I just always was fascinated
with magic,
Fascinated with witchcraft,
Fascinated with all of the
spooky things.
My family was a very religious
family in kenya.
Very tight knit.
We're also refugees during
the eritrean ethiopian war.
So everything was about family,
read the bible,
Go to Sunday school,
do the right things.
Knowing that, I was like,
"I'm a witch!"
Andra: There was never moment
I had to come out to my family
As a witch.
I was raised with my
grandmother's stories.
We knew ourselves to be
surrounded by spirits
At all times.
We knew the land to be alive.
My mama is romanian
And my dad is romani.
I moved to canada with
my parents
When I was less than
a year old.
They were fleeing
The corruption
and political instability
And poverty that was left
behind there,
After the fall of communism
in 1989.
Leilani: When we moved
to toronto in the '80s,
It was still family first,
church first,
Until I became a teenager.
I started taking a bus
to a new school.
Just, like, a couple steps up
from the bus stop
Was an occult shop.
And so every morning,
I'd be standing there
And turning around and seeing
that occult shop there
And I'm like, "what is that?"
And then I started going into
the store.
I saw books on astral
Candle magic.
And the first thing that really
caught my eye,
Because I am a dreamer,
is "understanding your dreams."
And so that was sort of like
my gateway drug
Into the world of spirituality.
I did a love spell for my
friend, which was a big mistake.
We were, like, in grade nine
or something.
Somehow he found out about it
and was--
The next day, was furious.
He was jamaican.
It was the first time I've ever
had somebody say, "you're obeah.
"don't put obeah on me."
And I was like, "what?"
I didn't know what that is,
But I knew that it was negative.
And I knew that it
was a thing of like "witch".
They did end up dating,
for like two years, so...
Andra: Definitely there were
people who made fun of me,
And it wasn't just on the
grounds of witchcraft.
It was, you know, for being
different overall and generally.
Laura: When I was in grade 10,
I was bullied
And it got to the point
Where I couldn't go to school
And I eventually had to
change schools.
The rumors that were made-up
about me
Was that I was a lesbian
and a witch.
It's kind of poetic in the fact
that I did come out,
And I am a lesbian,
and I am a witch.
So I hate that the bullies
were right.
I don't know if they saw
something in me
That I wasn't yet ready to see.
Leilani: Being a witch did help
me open up to my queerness
Because the personal spells
I was doing on myself
Was about opening myself up,
loving myself more,
Being more truthful,
being more honest,
And for people to accept
my honesty of who I was.
So, honing in on
my witchiness
Made me stronger and prouder.
Oh, hi!
Hello, beautiful witchy friend.
- Hello. How are you?
- I'm good. I'm really good.
It's so nice to see you,
my witchy friend.
I know. I miss you so much!
I kinda have some things
to talk about.
Ooh, I'm excited. Okay.
I recently went to go visit
A high priestess,
And she runs a coven,
and she was just asking me like,
What am I looking for and what
am I comfortable with?
And it got intense.
She was like,
"how do you feel about being
naked around men and women?"
And I was like, "well,
I'd have to be comfortable
"with those people
to be able to do it."
And then she's like,
"how do you feel
"about hallucinogenic drugs?"
And, like, you know how I feel
about that.
I was like, "oh, I'm scared."
I think in the moment,
I just tried to be like,
"oh, yeah, that's fine."
but in my head, I was like,
"oh, I don't know if that's me.
"I don't know if that's for me."
Anne marie: Besom, besom,
witches broom,
Sweep out darkness,
sweep out doom,
Pretty ladies,
hallowed ground
Of demons, imps,
and hell's red hounds.
Who seeks to enter this circle?
Laura, enter not the circle
unless you take your first step
Without looking before
or behind, without caution
And with nothing held
in reserve.
Go ahead.
Spirits of air, hear my call.
Bring to us the strength
and wisdom
That is yours alone to give.
Blessed be.
Blessed be.
I do bless and consecrate
this circle,
This place and all those
gathered here in.
Very seldom
do you come upon a space,
A time like this,
Between an act and an act,
When you may stop and simply be,
Or wonder who you are after all.
Do you pledge yourself
to the goddess
And the horned one
to love and honor them?
What does the goddess stand for?
And family, community.
And togetherness.
Anne marie:
What does the god stand for?
Strength and unity.
What do you stand for?
(rooster crowing)

Leilani: I read all those books
of these women going on journeys
And finding their teachers,
And I begged and wished and
prayed for it.
And when I met francesca,
or sun-sun, my wife,
I talked a lot about it
with her.
And when we went to jamaica
the first time,
She told me, like, "you should
meet my friend, abbcca.
"he's a really magical person."
Whenever I talk to him, I'd
always ask about my past life.
I know there's something about
my past life and I need to know.
And he would always laugh,
and be like,
"you ask too many questions."
but I guess I wore him down.
So, like, me and francesca
were told
To do a certain spell, I guess,
Where we would read a certain
psalm from the bible,
Fast for a few days, say these
And so I asked,
"I want to know my past life,"
And me and francesca
both fell asleep
And I had the craziest,
wildest dream.
And then abbcca, had called us
later that evening.
And when I told him my dream,
he just started laughing
And he was like,
"what did you ask?"
And I was like, "I know you said
not to ask about past lives,
"but I asked about
my past life."
What I dreamt was that
I was in a hotel,
In France, with these two men.
The older brother held up this
round gold plate
And was showing it,
and yelling at me.
"tell me how to use it!
Tell me how to use it!
"I know your grandfather told
you how to use it."
And I said,
"I don't know how to use it.
"he didn't tell me how to use
this one. I'm not sure."
And the man yelled back and was
like, "you do! You do!"
And I went and grabbed it.
And as soon as I grabbed it,
I teleported somewhere else.
So I woke up and told him
this dream.
And then he was like, "okay, I'm
going to tell you the name.
"I'm going to spell it out
for you."
And I was like,
"helena blavatsky?"
I have no idea who helena
blavatsky was.
Russian occultists were never
in my mind whatsoever.
Like, never. I didn't know about
anything that she had ever done.
Further looking into it,
Her grandfather was
a master mason.
And she actually had gone in
And learned a bunch of stuff
But it was just so interesting
that it connected with my dream,
That I was like, "am I helena--
am I helena blavatsky?"
And then I became obsessed.
It took over me,
The idea of helena blavatsky,
the idea of reincarnation.
I decided I am no longer
I am now witch prophet.
(autotuned sample playing)
w-w-witch prophet
Are you a witch?
Leilani singing:
I'm a good witch
I am witch prophet.
And let me stand in this power
for real.

If helena blavatsky was, like,
this ultimate witch,
This ultimate spiritual person
who believed in reincarnation
And had unlocked something,
Then why did the pick this life?
This life must be important.
bow down to the queen
call me empress makeda
queen of sheba
bow down to the queen
I'm the keeper of history
you negus can't sit
with me, no
tried to control me
but your tricks cannot
hold me down
never hold me down
you thought you would
mould me
forgot I'm the one wearing
the crown
I'm the one, I'm the one
yeah, bow down
Andra: I believe that time
isn't linear.
The past and the present
and the future
Are always overlapping.
Definitely, I carry all of
my ancestors,
And I carry my mother, too,
But, um, my dad was
the one who...
...Really passed on his deep
connection with the land,
His deep connection with
the other worlds.
My family on my dad's side,
we are zlatar,
Which is the goldsmithing clan.
So that's why I wear these
I feel like I'm at a crossroads
in my life with my practice.
And I think that definitely
has to do with
My ancestors
and with my bloodline
And getting to be on the land
that I was born on.
So I would really love to
be able to go home to romania.
I would really love to be able
to sing to that land,
To sing to those spirits.
I believe that I am here
right now,
In this human skin,
To sing to the land
and her dying.
Monica: It's important to
connect with our past.
We held a lot of these pagan
practices and animus practices
Pre-organized religion.
And I think in connecting
to our ancestry,
We can understand earth-based
practices now,
And put them in a contemporary
So I think it's a reconnection
that's really vital
Because that's where paganism
comes from,
And a deep connection
to the earth.
Laura: So yeah, you mentioned
that you run a coven.
I was wondering,
if it's okay, like,
- Can I ask a bit about that?
- Oh, absolutely.
I wanted to be a coven of
solitary practitioners
Within a group and have
everybody find their own roots,
Their own ancestry.
Unless you're indigenous,
You're a settler culture,
and it's important to understand
Where you originated, what time,
what year they left,
Will give you an indication of
what was going on at that time.
- Okay.
- So, uh,
If an ancestor left in, say,
1750 from ireland,
You can find out, do a little
research on 1750 ireland,
And look at folk magic practices
that were going on at that time.
And there's a good chance that
you've retained
Some of those vestiges of
the practice.
And you might start to look at,
say, throwing salt
Over your shoulder differently,
- Laura: Right, yes.
- And you might stop
Seeing things as superstition
and just folk tales,
But actually anecdotal histories
and practices.
Just hearing how you're
describing that,
It's, kind of... I feel like
there's more there.
Monica: There is.
(distant siren wailing)
- Oh!
- That's mommy!
Mom! So I know that your second
cousin, kathy, is kind of, like,
The keeper of the information
of our family,
- Like genealogically, right?
- Keeper of the secrets!
There's always one person in
every family that seems
To get ancestry-interested.
And so, because I told her,
I said that laura identifies
as a witch.
And she went, "oh, really?
Does she, sort of, feel it?
"does she have any sense of
something or...?"
And I said, "well, I don't know.
I have to ask her.
"but I think she seems
"she reads tarot cards,
"and I think she has a sense
of something."
And she said,
"oh, very interesting."
- And I said, "okay."
- well, what do you think?
Do you think she'd be open to me
coming to see her,
To talk to her about all this?
I mean, you can reach out to her
and find out.

Kathleen: It's so nice to
finally see you in person.
I've only seen you guys in
- And always great shots.
- Oh, thank you!
But you, in particular,
look so much like your mom
When she was younger.
When we were teenagers,
we had some fun together.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
So, you have stuff to tell me.
I do have stuff to tell you!
Stuff to talk about.
I identify as a witch, and I
wanted to just talk to you
About that and see if we can
trace back our family history
And see if there might be
anything in there
That might answer some questions
for me.
In scotland, william,
That's your great-grandfather,
Was born in a place called
crook of devon.
Mm-hm, okay.
And there is a castle there
called castle tullibole.
- Mmm.
- And, I believe,
There is a...
Loch leven is nearby.
But christina's side, anyway,
her family goes way back,
To pilgrims.
There's so many different lines,
and, you know,
I did not print
the whole thing out,
But your ninth great-grandmother
Was mary towne easty.
And she was hung with one of
her sisters in salem,
Laura wow.
On the 22nd of September, 1692.
I don't know why, I just feel,
like, really emotional,
- Like I might cry.
- Kathleen: I did, I cried.
- Yeah.
- It's heartbreaking.
To think that, maybe,
witchcraft, it is a real thing.
But to blame people who...
Yeah. Exactly,
and that's the thing, like,
The women that were hung
at that time, you know,
Maybe they spoke out,
or they were, you know,
Stronger-willed women,
or they weren't conforming
To what was expected of them
at the time,
And that's why they were really
targeted, and so,
Just finding this out
Is so wild to me.
That's mary.
Does it look like anybody
you know?
- Isn't that something?
- Yeah.
- It looks like you.
- Do you think?
- Yeah
- I do.
Yeah. That's crazy.

Andra: It's really hard being
back here.
It's hard being back home.
It's hard looking for that sense
of home and that sense of family
And coming into this space,
which is my ancestral home,
You know, and finding it empty,
When the last time my grandma
was alive and living here.
And before that,
my dad was here.
So it's that strange
Of tradition...
And things that feel really
lasting and eternal
And time passing, too.
I want to learn and embody
The various traditions,
The different ancestries that
all live in my body,
And to learn how to honor
all of them.
Whether they're histories
of violence,
Or, like, being oppressed,
Or being on the other
end of that.
Because I think when we honor
our ancestors,
It's really important we honor
all of our ancestors,
Not just...
Not just the wholesome ones.

(speaking romanian)

Laura: So, I...
Well, mary and I met kathleen
for the first time.
- We've never met her before!
- I know.
- And she lives so close!
- I know.
And she had a pretty significant
- While we were there.
- Oh?
She told us that we can trace
our heritage
Back to the salem witch trials.
Who? Whose heritage?
Our heritage,
like your dad's side.
- No, but my dad or mom or...
- Your dad's side.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
- To salem witch trials?
- Yeah, like seven generations.
Your sixth great-grandmother
was killed,
She and her sister.
- Were hung?
- Yeah.
- As witches?
- Yeah.
And just finding this out about
our connection to salem
Unlocked a memory that I had
from when I was a kid.
And I don't know if you remember
it and I really hope you do,
But do you remember when we
would talk about, like,
Who we think we were
in a past life?
Oh, yeah.
And I feel like
I always was like,
"I think I was killed in the
salem witch trials."
You did, you always said,
"I was a witch
"in the salem witch trials."
yeah, but I don't know...
I didn't take it to the
next level
That you had a past life
- Of course.
- If that's what you mean.
- Yeah.
- Like, I didn't take it
- To that level.
- Right.
It just was,
"I think I was a witch,"
And it didn't surprise me that
you'd think you were a witch.
why wouldn't it surprise you?
Because you always loved
witchy things.
I am scared
for what lies ahead
unknown mysteries
in my mind I see
where do I go
when I close
my eyes
You're only interested in
the sound of my voice
Because the sound of my voice
always makes you feel
Very comfortable, relaxed,
and secure.
You're going to feel a very
powerful pull
Taking you back in time,
Regressing back to a previous
Look up for the door with the
white light above it.
Move towards that door.
I'd like for you to reach out,
turn the knob,
Open the door
and step right through.
What are you noticing?
I don't want to move.
My back's against the door.
Vivian: Okay.
Why is your back against
the door?
I don't know.
I don't know.
I'm scared, I think.
Okay. It's okay.
I don't know why.
Vivian: Take a moment,
take a breath.
- Why is she scared?
- I don't know.
Just watch and observe.
I don't know.
It's okay.
I keep seeing a man
In a black hat.
He's tall.
He wants to take me somewhere.
Vivian: Are you walking
with him now?
Yes. I'm walking down a path,
the clearing,
My house is behind me.
I see people standing up
on a platform.
I want to say their hands
are bound, but I don't know.
What else do you notice?
My throat hurts.
Why does your throat hurt?
It feels tight. I'm scared.
It feels tight. I'm standing
on the platform now.
By myself.
They don't believe me.
They don't-- it's too much now.
How does it feel?
Laura: My throat and neck
are tight.
This rope, it's tight.
Are you still alive?
Laura: I don't know.
I'm somewhere else now.
What are you experiencing now?
Just in a green field.
There's stones,
Like a... Like a tower.
Vivian: So it feels like
a different life
From what you were
experiencing before?
What do you notice?
What are you wearing?
A green dress.
Maybe she went up the tower.
She's in a room.
Candles burning,
writing down on paper.
Vivian: Now, I'd like for you
to relay a message
From your past life self to
your present life self.
They both want me to...
...Believe in myself
And trust myself.
Let go of fear and be stronger

It was almost, like, in between
a dream and a memory.
A memory that I didn't know
that I had.
This is exactly what
I was wearing
In my past life regression.
It's called a witch's gown.
It was probably worn
when individuals
Were examined and questioned.
This is a full account of the
salem witch trials
Based on the records that they
kept at the time.
And there's a whole section
on mary easty.
"so, after midnight,
she was aroused from sleep
"by the unfeeling marshal,
"torn from her husband
and children,
"carried back to prison,
loaded with chains,
"and finally consigned to
a dreadful, most cruel death.
"her husband, referring to
the transaction
"nearly 20 years later,
"justly expressed what
all must feel,
"that it was 'a hellish
So researching her and being
able to trace it back that far,
It's made me want to go back
even further.
I know, kathleen had found
Some ancestry that leads back
to scotland.
So I'm wanting to do more
research about that
And dive into that part of
my family as well.
(birds chirping)
Leilani: And I was like, so,
I wonder if that...
When we talk about past lives,
And when we did the whole thing
with abbcca,
I realized that francesca
has been with me in many lives.
And in the most recent life was,
or the most recent one
That we can remember is the one
with helena blavatsky
And her partner, henry olcott,
Who wasn't necessarily her
romantic partner,
But they were always together.
And they always worked together
as a partnership.
I'm 50/50.
I'm not sure if I feel connected
with his image or something.
Leilani: It's because you see
a man with a long beard.
- Beard, yeah.
- And so you're not connecting.
But, I mean, she doesn't
look like me.
Yeah, I know, but there is
something about her vibe
That I can see, where there's
parallels, you know?
Yeah. So I had found out at one
point in her life,
She had gone to paris
to play concert piano.
But I think my sole issue
in past lives has been
Picking between the music
or the magic.
So with helena,
She picked the magic and
the spirituality,
Whereas in this life, I've
picked the music,
But I'm also incorporating the
magic through my music.
So I'm still connected,
in a way,
But I think this is
a better way,
In this age now,
to connect to more people.
It's probably easier through
music than it is
Through 7,000 pages of a book.
With abbcca, he was great,
But we haven't spoken to him
in five years.
He's disappeared.
The last time we spoke to him,
He said he's going away, and
when he comes back,
He'll be a lot younger and we
will not recognize him.
So anytime I meet anybody young,
who I think is magic,
I'm always like...
"are you?"
I do that to my dog, too.
I'm like, "are you?"

(chanting in romanian)
(chanting continues)

Laura: Scotland, to me,
Holds a lot of history
In witchcraft,
And there's a lot of mysticism
that I associate with this area.
And I want to connect to an area
that is so steeped
In that history to see
if that can somehow awaken
Something else in me.
Another big reason that I wanted
to come here
Was because of
what I experienced
During that past life
Part of me felt like
The second part of that memory
Was connected to scotland.
I think I just have to see it
for myself
And see what it feels like.
So, being here at loch leven,
I'm already kinda feeling a bit
(gulls squawking)
So, what I saw
In my second
past life regression
Was a single tower
Behind me,
and rocks and water.
Like, this is... It is what...
It is where I was.
I believe it is where I was.

I think how I'm feeling
is validated...
...In what I've experienced
In my journey so far.
And just feeling like
I want to...
...Learn more.
That I have this connection here
And it runs deeper than
I expected.
Finding out kathleen was able to
place our family here,
I have been in contact with
this gentleman
Named lord moncrieff.
He's edited a few books about
the history of the area,
So I'm hoping that he might help
me trace back my heritage
Even further.
His family was involved in
a witch trial that took place
In the area, but his family
were the accusers.
Moncrieff: It all started when
over at that farm,
A lady had an argument
with the farmer
Over the how
to fertilize the land.
And it got very heated.
But unfortunately,
During the argument,
The farmer had a stroke,
and of course,
Everybody in the area
thought the lady
Had actually cursed the farmer.
And when they then accused her
of being a witch,
They thought,
"well, we found one witch,
"there must be a coven."
And in the parish of
crook of devon,
They then searched far and wide
To find 13 witches,
Because a coven of witches
is 13.
And unfortunately,
11 of them were strangled
And then their bodies burnt.
And what year was this?
This was 1662,
Which is actually the worst year
For witch hunting in scotland.
Laura: But what he's done is
he's created this maze
To honor the victims of that
witch trial,
And just to raise awareness
about what happened.
And, in a way, to make
For what his family did
in the past.

This seems to be going
pretty good.
Moncrieff: Yep, I'm afraid
you've chosen a dead end.
(laura laughing)
- So, we're at a dead end.
- Yeah.
- There's a word here, bigotry.
- Yes.

Laura: I have been, kind of,
on this search
To trace back my family
And through my grandfather
on my mother's side,
His last name is beverage,
and his father is from scotland
And the relatives were from
this area,
Like kinross, crook of devon,
loch leven.
And so I just wanted to come
here and just talk to you
About this area and see if you
might be able to help me,
Kind of, maybe fill in some of
the missing pieces
In that family tree that
I've started.
Uh, I have done some research,
and I can tell you
That an agnes beverage
was mentioned
By one warlock and four witches
As being part of their coven
Who met the devil twice.
Yeah, and I can also tell you,
The devil wore a spanish cape.
The fact that one of my
relatives would have been named,
Not necessarily tried,
but named...
- In those court hearings...
- Yes.
Where people could just,
kind of, accuse anyone.
And a lot of the people accused
were women.
Actually, the very lowest people
in society
With no property
were very seldom accused.
It was the people
in the middle of society
Who may have also had property,
And the land probably would have
gone to the person
- Who actually accused her.
- Wow.
But I was also able to link
a family member
To a churchyard at fossoway.
Moncrieff: That's about
two miles away from here.
- Okay.
- By the river devon.
Wow, you really wouldn't
know it's here
- Unless you already knew.
- Mm-hmm.
It's so hidden in these trees.
It's so cool looking.
Moncrieff: Yeah, well,
let's see what we're gonna find.
Oh, I'm so excited!
Oh, this is so cool!
What does this one say?
Yes! E-r-a-g-e!
17... What's this?
So, 1710.
Wow, so this is...
The beverage stone.
The beverage stone?
Moncrieff: The gravestone of
several of the beverage family.
Laura: Wow.
Now we have a grave in a
particular parish,
I can now look at the owners of
the farms around here
And find out who the first
owners of the farms were.
Wow. Now, knowing that I can go
even further back in this area,
That would be amazing.
- Okay.
- Okay!

Andra: I hope that you fly
and I hope that you run
over fields, over mountains
and valleys and then
I hope that you find the place
you call home
under your feet
wherever you roam
she sings like a song
and she swims like a seal
her fox blood is hot
so her heart you will steal
then when you fly
where the tracks meet the sky
where the rocks
meet the earth
and no time passes by
I hope that you fly
and I hope you don't fall
when I throw you, your wings
will catch the storm's winds
and I hope that you find
the place you call home
under your feet,
wherever you roam
This is hoia baciu.
It's considered the world's most
haunted forest,
And it's known for these
beautiful trees
That all spiral up.
And nobody knows why
they do that.
There are many portals
in these woods.
I grew up hearing stories about
how a deer would jump
In behind one tree and disappear
and not come out the other side.
Or there's a story of a little
girl coming here in the '70s
And disappearing.
And five years later,
Reappearing in the same
white dress, untouched,
The same age that she was
when she first walked in.
Being here now, I can feel
the energy of the woods
All around me.
The spirits and the life
all around me.

(peacocks calling)
Now, laura, because we found
the oldest beverage gravestone,
It gave me some hints as to
where to look
- For more information.
- Okay.
Now, what I've done is I've
looked in the transcripts
Of the kinross house vaults.
Now, the owners of kinross house
were the big land owners
Who recorded everything and all
what was going on in the area.
The oldest recorded beverage
Was mentioned in a document
in 1510.
Oh my god!
And another amusing thing is
I've actually discovered
That one of your ancestors
is related to a person
Who created a ghost.
One of your ancestors was
married to a person called kelty
And he had a drinking
With one of the soldiers
of king james,
And they both got totally
And they both went unconscious,
But only your relation, kelty,
woke up.
The trooper died,
and he was buried in a place
Called trooper's dub,
and he is now the local ghost.
Moncrieff: Now, I've also
discovered the farm
That's most associated with your
side of the family.
It's called pittendreich,
And I would like to take you
Because I think it will give you
some closure.
I would love that.

Queen erzulie: The way that we
form black witch university
Is we knew there was a need.
Because as black witches
Growing up in basically
non-black spaces,
Access to information has always
been eurocentric,
The spiritual teachers,
the books, all of the things
That you have mainstream access
to are created
By and for, you know,
white people.
So then that's how black witch
university was born.
It was born out of a need for
that personal space,
For that love,
for that mentor who knows
What you're going through,
who knows where you've been.
Are you looking?
Are you searching for something?
There's something is ready to
open and receive you.
Yes. I've always been looking
for a teacher
Because everybody has been white
that I've dealt with,
Except for my first teacher,
who is jamaican,
But he's disappeared.
I have no idea where he is.
I-- I actually, I don't think,
and I say this all the time,
I don't think he's actually
human, I think he's an angel
- And comes in and out.
- Mm-hmm.
So he's disappeared for right
now, but... Yeah.
Let's see what we've got
going on here.
You are holding onto something
That needs to be let go of.
There's something,
it is a very heavy weight, okay.
- Sorry.
- Don't apologize.
You're doing the work.
And that's what is important.
I'm like, swallowing my tears,
like, get back down in there!
Sorry. Ah!
Sorry. I use humor to...
- I do the same thing.
- ...Shift out of my...
That's okay.
You're in control.
You're looking for teachers
and gurus,
But the truth is,
you are your best teacher.
You are your best guru.
You are the one that you can
trust above any and all others.
And when you receive that,
when you accept that,
Then the people who are
supportive of you
And your journey
and your priestesshood,
They're going to appear.
And you're going to feel that
because you accepted,
"I am the queen of this realm.
I am the queen of my reality.
"I'm the empress of this place."
So then you meet like-minded
They come in, they support you,
uplift you,
And help you move onto
the next level.
(footsteps approaching)
(bird trilling)
(crow squawking)
Now, laura,
this is pittendreich.
It's a very old scottish town.
And one of the owners was
thomas beverage,
Second son of the late
john beverage,
Sometime tenant in dalkeith,
By christian grieve.
Now, christian grieve was
the last witch
To be executed
at crook of devon.
And actually, she was brought to
trial earlier in that year,
But found not guilty by the
whole size.
And then probably because they
realized they had only ex...
Uh, they found 12 witches.
They brought her back,
To get the 13th witch,
and executed her.
Oh my god.
There has been this pull in me
to come here
To find out more information.
And I just never expected to
have this much of a connection
To the trials
that happened here.
And just through just taking a
chance in coming
And meeting you, I would have
never known this.
You know, and this is sad
to say,
But when you can contextualize
something like these trials
And link it to your own family,
It does hit differently.
And it is just really putting
into perspective this...
What these witch trials truly
stood for.
I think it was these middle
class women.
These women that possibly
had something
That other people wanted.
And the way in which people
could take something
From these women
and disempower them
Was through accusing them
of witchcraft.

Andra: I'm hoping to find
something that feels like home.
I'm hoping to find a path and a
tradition that feels like home.
And I'm coming to realize
That's not necessarily something
That anyone can give to me,
But something that is already
in myself
And that I already carry.
This is my favorite place
in the whole world.
My mom and my grandfather
got this house
When she was very, very little.
And there was no electricity
back then.
I don't even think there was
An outhouse here of any kind.
This room actually is
where my dad,
Because he gives me way too much
Um, said that I was conceived.
And he said that on midsummer,
When my mother was pregnant
with me,
He heard bells in the night.
And he went out into the yard,
And found a giant ring
of trampled grass.
And he said there were
And it looked like people had
been dancing there.
This land has always been
a part of me.
Its magic has always been
a part of me.
My grandmother used to walk all
the way to the back
Of this fence here every evening
when I was little.
And it was the only time she
wouldn't let me come with her.
And I asked her what
she was doing.
And she said she was praying.
And for a long time,
I assumed, you know,
that meant...
Very christian prayer.
And much later I told her, "oh,
I really can't stand priests.
"I can't stand churches.
I can't stand dogma."
And she said, "me neither,
because I feel closest
"to creation when I'm outside,
"and this is where
I talk to god."
So this was her boundary.
Beyond this fence
is the carpathian mountains,
And it's wild and it's free.

Leilani, welcome to new orleans.
And, of course,
Our first stop today
is actually here,
At st. Louis cemetery
number one.
Now, a lot of people will tell
you that this place is famous
Because of one woman, her name
is mademoiselle marie laveau.
It is said that she is the most
powerful voodoo priestess
In new orleans, and it's also
said that she is buried here,
But as a high priest in not one
but two forms of voodoo,
I promise you,
she's not buried here.
You need to know that being a
black woman in this city,
Where the authenticity lies and
where it doesn't lie.
And here's an example of that.
What do you know about voodoo?
I don't know anything about it
other than-- like, uh,
One of my past lives came
to new orleans
And was taught by a voodoo

I'm excited to see and
to learn again.
Robi: Everything you've heard
as far as voodoo on tv
- Is 95% false.
- Yeah.
We don't go around killing
babies. We don't drink blood.
We don't take the chicken and
blood and rub it
All over our bodies and worship
the devil.
Yeah, which is what they say the
opposite of what it is
To stop people from learning.
That's what this is all about.
How do you keep people to
continue to serve you?
- How do you do it?
You make them scared of anything
outside of their norm.
So you make your people scared
of this new thing
By making up lies,
like devil worshiping...
Killing cats and drinking their
blood and using their bones
- To do divination.
- Yeah
Create the doll that they stab
pins in,
Even though that's european
- Yeah
- that originated in England.
They applied it to us to make
people scared of us.
So we don't even really stab
pins in dolls to hurt people.
- Yeah.
- It's all a power dynamic,
It's all a marketing ploy.
It's all control.
I don't want to carry
a thought of something,
A negative thought about a
religion or a practice
Just because I don't
understand it,
And because I never learned
about it,
Or what I learned was a skewed
idea of it.
So I'm really glad that
first of all,
That you're so well versed in
everything that you're saying,
But that you're so open to
sharing with me, so thank you.
Of course, it's your birthright.
No matter where you come from.
If you're a person of color, no
matter what color that may be,
Irish, indian, african, chinese,
This is all your birthright
If you are a part of a people
that were discriminated against,
- This is your birthright.
- Yeah, yeah.
I love it.

Laura: I'm here now at
witch's hill,
In the peirce farms.
It's now a wedding venue,
But it's where mary's son,
where his home used to be.
After mary was accused,
She was found not guilty
And was released for two days.
And this is where she came,
thinking that she was safe.
And then within two days,
she's back in jail.
She was there for, like,
over five months,
And the conditions,
I can only imagine,
were terrible.
And this is where mary
And her husband lived.
This is their property, so...
This tree would have existed
when she lived here.

Retracing her steps,
It makes it more upsetting.
Because you think about
the person
As not just a name on
a plaque now.
It just hits home more, I think.
There's been a lot of
connections that I'm making
In this journey for myself.
I have just recently
been looking into my history
And I've already found two
documented examples
Of women in my family
that had lost their power,
Lost their autonomy,
and were put to death for it.
More or less, I feel like
I'm a witch, politically,
And for a feminist reason,
more so than anything else.
But at the same time,
I feel like I'm a very
spiritual person.
I feel very connected to
my family and now my ancestors,
And I do feel like...
There's some healing
that I can do through that.
But I don't think it can be
in a very...
In a box of a prescribed
And so I think if I'm going to
keep going forward
With this journey, I'd have to
start my own coven, in a sense,
Where it can be equal and it can
be balanced and it can be people
With the right intentions.
I kind of want to start, like,
a queer coven.
So I found this out about
my heritage,
And I've always felt this draw
to witchcraft
And to here specifically,
But I don't know how to bridge
those two pieces,
If you know what I mean.
I feel like, okay,
So I've got this historical
This ancestral information.
And I also have this draw
to the craft itself.
And how do I link those two?
So, taking into consideration
your connection...
- Mm-hmm.
- Your...
Very biological connection,
um, to mary easty,
They've actually discovered
the location
Where the people were hanged.
So I think it's going to be
really important for you
To make a connection there,
do a little ritual,
And, you know, do a remembrance.
I feel like that will be
a good way for us
To make that connection for you.
- I appreciate that.
- So, yeah.
I just saw a butterfly,
and I'm trying to avoid it.
- What color was it?
- It's a monarch.
- Yeah.
- That's oshun.
Leilani: I'm actually terrified
of butterflies.
They are sacred to
a river's spirit
Because the mississippi river
is right there.
Her name is oshun and she's the
spirit of love,
Drumming, and dance.
You're standing on a congo
pattern right now
- That represents that dance.
- Yeah.
So there's going to be
butterflies everywhere.
- Please don't run from them.
- Yeah, I won't.
- (robi laughing)
- I won't.
I love everything except for
I can pick up a snake. I can
whatever, that's not a problem.
It's the butterfly,
and I feel like it's connected
- To something.
- It is.
It's connected to the river
spirit, oshun,
Which you embody without
realizing it.
Oshun is a spirit of love
and beauty.
You're a very beautiful woman.
You're running away
From the one thing that can
actually save you.
- Yeah.
- Embrace it.
- Yeah.
- You're here.
And we gonna do a blessing for
that today, by the way,
Just so you know.
So you might as well
Get out your feelings and
get ready for it.
Yeah. Oh, I'm ready.
I'm ready.
So the tree that we're about to
do the blessing for you here
Is known as the egungun tree,
Which translates to
"the ancestor tree."
Now, our families have been
praying at this tree
Since slavery.
It's just that old.
This is sacred land, and that
makes it the sacred tree.
- So it's very important.
- Yeah.
Just realize how important
this tree is.
A lot of our ancestors prayed
at this tree
To earn their freedom
from slavery.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Robi: Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Robi: Ashay.
(shaking rattle)
(rhythmic drum beat)

(shaking rattle)

There's your blessing.
- Finis la!
- (drumming stops)
- There's your blessing.
- Thank you.
Now the blessing was done for
prosperity, for love,
For money, for happiness,
maximum health.
That's like a cure-all for
any problems that you may have.
We pour the liquor to represent
all the spirits that take it.
The fruit is left to many
spirits, but most importantly,
Papa shango, who is the spirit
of prosperity.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Robi: Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
When we say ashay, it's
acknowledging all the children
Of the spirits.
You are ethiopian, right?
This is just as much yours
as it is ours.
So we did this for you
to continue with your journey,
Continue to spread the truth,
Continue to be a beacon
of light,
Especially for people of color
Who are trying to find
their way.
- Ashay.
- That was so nice.
Robi: So if you actually look
at the tree,
You'll notice that there's a lot
of money sticking out of it.
You see, it goes all the way
around the tree?
- Yeah.
- Each one of the pennies
That you see inside that tree
is a prayer
That someone has prayed
to their ancestors.
Remember, you can never reach
the elevated spirit,
The lwa and the orisha,
Without going through your
ancestors first.
- Ashay.
- Ashay.
All right, so each one of these
pennies you see inside the tree
Is a prayer that someone has,
prayed. And the tradition is
You say the prayer that you want
in the penny
Of everything you want,
Then you leave the penny in the
trunk of the tree
And the ancestors take the
prayer up to god for you
So that god can answer
your prayers.
So go ahead and say your prayer
in the penny.
Once you're done,
go ahead and come up here
And reach and put it
inside the tree.
And that will end and finalize
- That we've been doing.
- Okay.
- (crying)
- it's okay.
- Sorry.
- Don't apologize.
This is your birthright.
Receive it.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
So you take your time and do
what you need to do.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Robi: Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Ashayo.
- All: Ashayo.
- (groaning)
- robi: It's okay if it falls.
- It's okay.
- Just leave it?
- Robi: It's supposed to fall.
- Okay.
Let it fall.
Most times it means the
ancestors hear you.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Robi: Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
- Ashay.
- All: Ashay.
Robi: C'est fini.
Bon travail.
One of the things I talked to
you about that I noticed
Within you is that you not
receiving what's meant for you.
You start running away from
butterflies. That's oshun.
That's the spirit that's trying
to get in contact with you.
You are african,
and this is your birthright.
So this is something for you to
be emotional about,
Be upset about, and be proud of.
Embrace it. Own it. It's yours.
It's your birthright.
- That's right.
- Robi: I am proud of you.
- Thank you.
Very proud of you.
You've been running from this
for a long time,
And now you are here
to receive it.

Sandra: So this is
the actual location.
Proctor's ledge is the actual
Where they were hanged.
Laura: This is where
she drew her last breath.
So, frankincense and myrrh
To cleanse and bless the space.
Now, we want to use this oil
to anoint the candle.
I anoint and consecrate
this candle.
I anoint and consecrate this
To draw in the spirit
of mary easty.
...To draw in the spirit
of mary easty.
Okay. Now, what we want to do
is take some of these herbs
That we're using as the offering
and place them
On the outside
of the candle as well.
- Laura: Okay.
- To connect.
Yep. That's great.
Okay. Wonderful.
And the lights are coming on
too, because we've reached dusk.
Mary, laura is your descendant.
She is a part of your legacy.
I have felt you, and I didn't
know that it was you
That I was feeling until
I found out.
I've been on this journey to
connect with you.
And I'm hoping that...
I can do that,
And I can call to you
And honor you,
Today here
and in the future.
Being here and giving this
I just want to...
Like, I know she's already
at peace,
But I just want to let myself
know that that person
That I felt in that regression
is at peace.
Her legacy is that...
There are other strong women
Rising up and claiming
their power.
And may this never happen again.
(birds chirping)

(eerie female vocalization)

(birds chirping)

bow down to the queen
bow down to the queen
call me empress makeda
queen of sheba
bow down to the queen
I'm the keeper of history
you can't sit with me,
tried to control me
but your tricks could not
hold me down
never hold me down
you thought you
would mold me
forgot I'm the one wearing
the crown
I'm the one, I'm the one,
bow down to the queen
call me empress makda
queen of sheba
bow down to the queen
I'm the daughter of mystery
you can't sit with me,
I am black, yeah,
black as the sun
obsidian, obsidian, yeah
bow down to the queen
call me empress makeda
queen of sheba,
bow down to the queen
I'm the keeper of history
Hail and farewell.
Hail and farewell.