The Crone Issue of Sabat Magazine completes a trilogy of magazines that commenced in May 2016. Edited by Elisabeth Krohn and designed by Cleber Rafael de Campos, the magazine examines at the occult, feminism and contemporary witchcraft across 164 pages. The issue is packed with brooding, atmospheric photoshoots, interviews with some very unconventional characters and tied together with a rigorous design by Cleber that play with tone, type and shadow. It’s Nice That caught up with the editor to find out more about the final instalment in the trilogy.
The Crone issue completes the Triple Goddess trilogy, what can we expect in the issue?
We explore the Crone or older woman – a feared, ignored and ridiculed female archetype and in some ways maybe the quintessential ‘witch.’ I wanted to understand what changes when we grow up and gain life experience as women and how we face endings in our lives. We look to our elders for wisdom, to feminist protest group W.I.T.C.H. in the late 1960s and witch and anti-ageist activist Dulcamara. We ask The Fates what’s in store and the #witchesofinstagram how to let go of what no longer serves us.
How has the concept of Sabat evolved over the course of three issues? How has the magazine changed in terms of content and tone?
The Maiden Issue was not just the first issue of Sabat, it was the first magazine Cleber and I had ever made. I think the three issues of Sabat reflect a learning curve on many planes. Referencing 1990s pop-culture like Charmed and Buffy, the Maiden was a teen witch just coming into her powers. While she was hexing her exes and flashing black lace, she was also determined to explore her potential. With the Mother and Crone, I think we were able to dive deeper into the witchcraft world but also into more complicated aspects of female existence. People would reach out with their stories with a sense of trust which was really wonderful. While we were learning more, we also found a community of amazing artists, photographers, writers and witches to collaborate with – Pam Grossman, Maria Torres, Steph von Reiswitz and Fay Nowitz to name a few. A total of around fifty people came together to make this issue – contributing their unique perspectives on the craft and making the Crone more multi-faceted than any of the previous ones. Although Sabat grew up, we hope we’ve kept a sense of play and wonder while integrating some witchcraft wisdom.
There are some bold design changes in the final issue, what informed these? How did you work with Cleber to develop the design?
This had to be the most tactile issue of the trilogy and that lead our design decisions – from paper to print finishes. We wanted the physical magazine to be an intimate experience, a level beyond our Instagram content. Embossed quotes, from the three witches from Macbeth, are felt rather than seen. Influenced by the spatialism art movement (Lucio Fontana, Dadaimano and Paolo Scheggi), we opted for die cut lunar eclipses (again a symbol of death and rebirth) that would cut into the titles and reveal and frame the images beyond.
We teamed up with illustrator Marlena Synchyshyn to create the poster and to come up with new formats and dynamic layouts. In general the design of the magazine is contained and minimal. For the #letitgo piece we let that go, inviting designer Dario Gracceva to break our grid and play with type. We also interrupted our soft pastel color palette from the previous issues with a fiery red.
What has the response to the issue been?
So far it’s been really great! We’ve had some lovely reviews and sold half of the printed copies already.
What have you learned about the occult and witchcraft since embarking this journey?
There is no typical witch. There’s a very varied and vibrant world out there for anyone who is interested – one that’s become a lot easier to enter into in the last decade. I’ve only just touched the surface of this well of ancient alternative culture and womanly wisdom and I’m about to fall in now I think.
What next for you and for Sabat?
The Crone issue will be the last of this Sabat lifecycle, but I’m working on a reincarnation that might explore similar themes, although in a slightly different format.
What does the word ‘witch’ mean to you?
A witch is one who dares to stand alone as an individual, who believes her powers to evolve and change herself and her world. She encourages a sense of connectedness yet is aware of her own boundaries. Trusting her intuition, she feels the smallest of vibrations and allows space for magic and mystery.
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