By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter
Senior Anthropology major Bobbi Morneault has been working on her Capstone Project about the Misconceptions of Witchcraft throughout the school year. As part of her major, Morneault will be sharing her project on Symposium Day, a day where students present semester and/or year long projects throughout campus.
Morneault described Capstone as being akin to a senior thesis. “We have to pick a topic and drum up a research question,” said Morneault.
Morneault’s project focuses on debunking myths about Witchcraft. Morneault believes that misconceptions come from what is presented in popular culture. These misconceptions about witchcraft include associations with the fantastical spells in “Harry Potter,” but that is not what witchcraft actually is.
“Witchcraft itself is a broad umbrella term,” said Morneault. “A lot of people automatically think of Wicca, which is a branch of witchcraft, that is true. But it is not all-encompassing. I would describe Witchcraft as a set of practices that are different from any other religion because it is not religion based.” Rather, Witchcraft is a way to connect to nature and the divine by using magick such as spells and meditative states.
According to Morneault, the project is in the early stages and has been submitted to Dr. Gaelyn Aguilar. After the subject of the project is approved, Morneault will start the research phase. This includes handing out surveys and interviewing people on campus about their understanding of Witchcraft. As a part of the research phase, Morneault is going to ask those in the Witchcraft community about their opinions on the misconceptions.
Morneault said, “What really inspired me to do this was the fact that when people hear that I self-declare myself as a witch, they always think about magic they can see and not magick that you feel. It’s very popular culture versus practical culture.”
Morneault has been a witch for about three years, and includes divination in her practice. “Palm readings, tarot reading. Divination broadly means telling the future. I like to dabble in the arts. I speak to the universe a lot. A lot of self-affirmation on a daily basis,” Morneault said.
Morneault said that she hopes that people who come to her Symposium will learn something that they didn’t before.
“That’s kinda the whole point of Symposium, right? They either reform their knowledge about the subject at hand, or they learn about the subject at hand,” Morneault said.
Symposium Day this year will be on Wednesday, April 25th.