London-based Norwegian Elisabeth Krohn defines herself as a witch. She is the editor of Sabat, a magazine about modern witchcraft. The girl from Oslo is fascinated by the dark female characters out there. Read more about Norwegian witchcraft.
Elisabeth is Founder, editor-in-chief and creative director at Sabat Magazine, co-founder and managing director at Dreadful Press and editorial advisor for Suspira Magazine. Formerly fashion writer for Glass Magazine. She was also art director for the free newspaper Again Magazine for the charity Love Your Clothes in 2015.
Elisabeth Krohn explains that today’s witches do not necessarily cast curses or do magic, but use crystals, tarot cards and meditation in an attempt to develop themselves and others. Some years ago, she was inspired by the esoteric inclinations of Swedish painter Hilma af Klint and curated an exhibition and catalogue where six artists presented their visions of modern Witchcraft and feminism. With disciplines ranging from photography to sculpture and painting to performance, each of The Six presented their personal Witchcraft for the future.
International living witches
American rapper Azealia Banks caused a Twitter storm when she declared in 2015 that she was a witch. Banks elaborated in later interviews that she practiced purification rituals that involved hatching eggs on herself.
When pop icon Beyonce released her symbol-heavy record “Lemonade” In 2016, she embraced strong, wild female figures and black magic.
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Elisabeth launched Sabat Magazine in March 2016. The magazine was shortlisted for the Stack Magazine of the Year Award in 2016 and 2017, and commended in the category Art Director of the Year 2017, and took home a Pencil in the Independent Magazine category at the D&AD Awards 2017. The full Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée – Major & Minor Arcana – was a finalist in the Antalis Creative Power Award (Packaging & Promotional) in 2022.
Living Scandinavian witches
“I don’t feel quite at home in the concept of witchcraft and the modern new age movement. It is the connection to nature that stands out the strongest for me. I look back to the Norse, to Sami religion and western esoteric theory,” says Swedish Mimmi Strinnholm @thislemilk.
“I don’t know if I want to call myself a witch, but I’m part of a movement of people dressed in black who look back on our history and believe in spirituality, intuition and the forces of nature,” says Norwegian Sara Hestetun @sarapest
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The last person to be executed for witchcraft in Central Norway
The case of Lisbeth Pedersdatter Nypan and her husband Ole was brought to international attention with the publication of Rossell Hope Robbins’ Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology (1959).
The ageing couple, who owned a farm at Leinstrand in the modern-day municipality of Trondheim, had their estate confiscated and were both executed in September 1670. Then the case was closed.
However, the memory of Lisbeth Nypan has survived in the public imagination, and she is something of a Norwegian ‘national witch’, surrounded by numerous myths and stories.
In recent years fictional tales, local historical and genealogical books, yearbooks, and encyclopedia articles have told her story; in 2005, she was even memorialized with her own statue in front of Nypvang primary school in Trondheim.
Norwegian Witchcraft, compiled by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Kirsten Iversdatter (Norwegian Scitech News)