She has spent months researching witches, photographing them and conducting interviews. Portraits of them recently appeared in the book «Hexenwelten». Raja Läubli (36) is showing her art at the Photo Switzerland 2022 exhibition in Zurich from today, Friday. “Witches are actually not my world at all,” explains the woman from Zurich. “But I like to immerse myself in another world, especially in subcultures, to be able to understand them better.”
Among the women portrayed by Läubli is Patriczia Blättler (52), who describes herself as a witch. “In a good sense,” emphasizes the woman from Winterthur. “I have nothing to do with black magic.” Blättler runs a practice in which she offers so-called aura readings and soul messages to those who are interested or does tarot consultations with them. These are “sensitive sessions” that can serve as a personal assessment. “I can make a pretty good living from that,” says the former KV employee.
An expanded perception
Blättler says that even as a child she had the feeling that she had an expanded perception. For example, she once felt the death of a loved one before it actually happened. But she often feels even banal occurrences in everyday life before they happen. “It’s a curse and a blessing at the same time,” says Blättler. She’s been trying to fight it for a long time. “But you can’t win against his nature, his spirit.”
She was in her thirties when she realized this. Blättler gave up the secure office job and trained as a medium in England and Switzerland. “Every new beginning in life is good,” she says, “especially if it brings you closer to your true purpose.”
Not just good experiences
Blättler admits that she hasn’t always had good experiences when she introduced herself as a witch. “Many prejudices against this word are still negative,” she says.
The photographer also realized this: “It was very difficult to convince these people of my project. Many were afraid to identify themselves as such in public.” Rightly so, says Läubli. She also encountered many “nonsensical prejudices” in her environment. But: «The witches that I have met are characterized above all by their individual personalities. They live self-determined and cannot be bent. Which is definitely positive.”
The Winterthur witch still wants to keep her true faith to herself. “Just this much: I always have good intentions and believe in the good in people,” says Patriczia Blättler.
Exhibition: Photo Switzerland 2022 to May 17, 2022, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Hall 550, Zurich-Oerlikon (near the train station)