Deborah D’Onofrio is the mother of a high-school student, the wife of “This Old House” Cameraman Steve D’Onofrio, and an active member of the North Andover community.
She’s also a witch. However, you won’t find any black cats or cobwebs around her tidy North Andover home.
“There is nothing scary or odd or spooky about it,” D’Onofrio said of the practice of witchcraft. “If people spent the day with me, they would realize that. It’s very natural and instinctive.”
The stigma surrounding her spirituality is one reason that D’Onofrio likes to speak out about being a witch and educate those who are interested in learning more. For D’Onofrio, who is a green witch, practicing her spirituality is all mostly a matter of being in touch with nature.
“It’s about being connected to the earth first and foremost,” she said. “I treat the world as a sacred place. It’s simple. No toads and dragons blood involved.”
Her main belief is clear and succinct: “There is power in all living things. The earth, elements and creatures all have magic. They are our allies.”
She also believes in a plethora of spirit guides and deities, and in the inherent power of thought.
D’Onofrio’s whole practice is built around these notions. Yoga and prayer appear in her practice regularly, as does meditation.
The less mainstream details of her practice may garner a few raised eyebrows: She uses candles, minerals, herbs and other natural items to add power to her intentions, or spells. She appeals to a variety of deities and is a trained medium and Reiki master.
Just like Christianity and other major religions, witchcraft can cover a wide array of belief systems. The individual-led practice that D’Onofrio follows is different from the well-known Wiccan religion.