Witchcraft was in the mainstream news last Friday afternoon and as usual I cringed at the headlines, expecting more of the same: some con artist exposed for swindling gullible people through bogus hex claims, a satanic crime syndicate described as witchcraft, or the rantings of a paranoid preacher. Instead, I found a small group of real witches performing a real spell with invited media participation.Witches gathered on Friday the 13th at Crow Haven Corner to help New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady break the “jinx” that many football fans believe temporarily follows exposure on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Witches showered mojo on all Patriots, especially Brady, to help the team perform well in their Saturday game against the Denver Broncos and legendary quarterback Tim Tebow.Media coverage was largely neutral, with the witches given space to explain and perform their ritual. The witches emphasized that they meant Tebow no harm, but predicted the Broncos would not win. One news headline did make the statement, totally unsupported in the accompanying story, that Salem witches were “hexing Tim Tebow.” Lamentably, it is common for editors to write headlines without bothering to read the articles in their own papers.The magical element in Saturday’s game made good copy, since Tebow is the conservative Christian darling, painting 316 (for Matthew 3:16) into his makeup before the game and getting down on his knees on the playing field to thank the Lord for victory. In Saturday night’s game, the Broncos were routed by the Patriots, 10 to 45. The Patriots reportedly played brilliantly, with Brady passing 363 yards to Tebow’s 145.In the aftermath of the Patriot victory, crickets were chirping in the press regarding witchcraft involvement in the game. Had the Broncos won, the more fanatical Christian types would have loudly declared victory for God and Jesus, as well as the team, but witches are rather skittish about calling attention to their power. It’s just as well; in the larger scheme of things this was only a football game. The greater victory was some unembroidered public exposure. Even much of the Christian media reported it straight.Crow Haven Corner is my favorite occult shop in Salem. I had a psychic reading with Lorelei, one of the organizers of the ritual, a year and a half ago. At that time I met the Fourth Degree canine member of the coven, Chico, who can be seen in the video link lending his support to the Patriots.