What's it like to have a witch for a mother?
Tova, a self-identified witch who uses her first name only and created the website The Way Of The Witch, spoke with joined HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri for a discussion about witch hunts in the 21st century. During the conversation, she shared what life is like for herself and her children in Utah.
"I live in a pretty small community outside Salt Lake City, and we have some pretty tight-held belief systems here. Although [witches] are not really just out there trying to be different, certainly people know that we live in a different way, they know that we practice things they don't understand, and I think it promotes fear," Tova said.
During her kids' earlier years, the family faced social challenges because of Tova's beliefs, she said.
"As a mother, I've had many instances where, when my children were younger, [the situation was], 'Oh, well, they can't have friends over,' because whisperings were going on -- 'What happens at their house? We don't know, we don't understand,'" Tova said.
As her children have gotten older, Tova said the biggest effect her spiritual practice has had on them is that they're "very careful" about what parts of their lives they share.
As Tova pointed out, being potentially ostracized by peers does not compare to the harsh, violent witch hunts that are still happening in places like Papua New Guinea, where women and children are being abused based on accusations of witchcraft and sorcery.
Mitch Horowitz, the author of Occult America, explains in the video below that "thousands of victims" have faced violence in central Africa as part of the witch hunt fervor.
"It probably has something to do with a rapid urbanization, a mass economic displacement, and in many instances, women and children are the most vulnerable members of any given society, wherever you look," he said. "People who are enraged, are paranoid, are trying to channel their frustrations somewhere usually go after the weakest members of any society."
Learn more about modern-day witch hunts in the video below, and click here to see the full HuffPost Live conversation.