She might look like any other 23-year-old – but Frankie Castanea is a practising witch who casts spells and even hexes wrongdoers in the name of justice.
She got into witchcraft from around the age of 16 and also worships the gods Diana and Hades who she says send animals to follow her as signs.
Just don’t expect this very modern “witchtokker” – who boasts more than a million followers on TikTok – to be wearing a pointy hat.
Frankie says: “I define being a witch as creating change in your own life and the community around you. The very basic way to create change is spells, but it goes a lot further beyond that.
“It’s caring for other people in the community and wanting to make change in the best way.
“There’s a very stereotypical idea of what a witch looks like – The Witches by Roald Dahl is a very good example of that. They are still seen as something that is other or not really acceptable to society.
“A lot of people operate off those stereotypes – not that it’s normal people using magic in a very practical way.”
Frankie uses spells for everything from healing to encouraging positivity and self-love, which involve combining herbs and other materials with candles and focusing on your desired outcome.
“I usually start with my intent,” she says. “What I need done. So let’s say I need to protect myself or a friend or I need to get focused on something, I start there. Then I correlate that intention to the type of herbs I need.
“I like doing candle spells so I will correlate my intention to a candle colour and from there I’ll create a sigil or chant, write the sigil on the candle or place herbs around the candle and let it burn.”
Frankie admits she has performed hexes to punish those who do harm to her clients.
“My baneful magic is saved for situations where there’s a power dynamic that needs to be fixed,”
she says. “A lot of times, all they need is this person’s energy staying away from them or for a bad person to feel regret or guilt.
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“That’s a very basic binding spell and a banishing. When a lot of people think about hexes, they think really bad stuff is going to happen.
“It’s very rare – I’ve only done it a couple of times where the person was like, ‘I really want this’.
“A hex will seal them into something, stopping them from moving towards that individual.
“I won’t disclose all the ingredients I use but it can be peppers, pins, things that are not very pleasant, to sow discord into the life of that person.”
Frankie did try to curse someone as a teenager but it backfired.
“Doing hexes for petty reasons to me is never a good idea from my own experience,” she adds.
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“It was this little curse on someone I felt treated me badly. I hung it outside my window – mistake number one – and one day I opened the window and it fell off and rolled directly into the gutter.
“It stayed there for about four years.
“There was a lot of bad energy which stuck to the house but things started to get better once we removed it.”
Frankie, who lives in Colorado in the US, worships the Roman goddess Diana and the Greek god Hades, and will make offerings for protection.
“They both have an altar by my window,” she adds. “I feel their presence.
“Not often because they’re busy, but when I pray to them – there’s a level of presence.
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“The other way they show up is with animals – Diana will send me stags, sometimes three crows.
“I get followed around by a lot of animals – hawks are frequent.”
Frankie believes anyone can become a witch and she’s written a manual – Spells For Change – showing how to follow in her footsteps.
The book covers everything from constructing spells, cleansing and protecting yourself and your home, to banishing unwanted energy, binding those who do harm and the properties of various crystals and herbs.
She says: “If you feel called to it, if you’re interested in it, that’s enough of a reason to study it.
“I want people to read this book and have something that helps them create a foundation or shows them a new perspective.“
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So how much power can a modern witch wield? Can they resurrect people from the dead – as in the Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman film Practical Magic – or influence world events?
Frankie says: “I’m sure there’s a witch somewhere that says they have the ability to – whether they can or can’t is not my business.
“I am someone who believes the rules of our world, science and physics, still apply to witchcraft so it would be very difficult to raise something from the dead.
“In the past, there’s been spells towards elections and influencing votes.
“That’s very difficult and complicated and there’s a lot of ways it could go wrong.
“Say you are influencing a politician – you have to influence everyone around that politician as well. That’s a lot.”
Frankie’s book Spells For Change is out on October 14.
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