Witch, Please

If you’ve checked the campus bookstore lately, you might have noticed the surprising amount of books on tarot, crystals, and meditation lining the display stacks with their pretty, colourful covers. If you’re more of an online shopper, perhaps you noticed the buzz around Sephora’s supposed ‘Starter Witch Kit’, which was pulled from production after actual witches pointed out the cultural appropriation. That's not even mentioning the crystal jewelry, incense, and dozens of witchcraft-themed subscription boxes you can get delivered right to your door. So what’s got young ladies lining up to buy rose quartz and oracle cards, besides how good it makes your Instagram feed look? And since when are there actual witches anyway???

Full disclosure, I'm more of a potion-brewing, bone-collecting, moon-cycle-charting type of witch. I buy 'darks-only' detergent, for goth's sake. I've been reading tarot cards and collecting spellbooks for years, so it came as quite a shock when chalices and Waite Decks started appearing at the mall next to sunglasses and lipstick. I'll admit, I was a little annoyed! This pastel pentagram vibe didn't seem to care much about actual witchcraft; it just cared about 'good vibes' and 'cleansing energies'. Then I thought, hey, what's wrong with that?

While these Basic Witches (sorry, I had to) don't seem to focus as much on 'witchcraft' as my Bitchcraft friends would like, it does seem to have a few noble goals of its own. Mainly, making women feel good about themselves and their power. In today's world, where women are still objectified, sexualized, infantilized, and generally disrespected, who doesn't want something to help them take back their power? For me, it's dressing like Morticia Addams in her college years and doodling sigils in the corner of my notebook. For other women, it's about taking the time to meditate with some incense or adding rose quartz to their water bottles. And that's great!

The focus of this sort of new-new-age ritualism is taking time to do things that make you feel happy and empowered. Dressing like an extra in AHS: Coven tells the world. "Hey, don't **** with me. I'm scarier than you are." Carefully selecting crystals allows you to focus your goals and prioritize traits like health, serenity, and happiness. Reading tarot and oracle cards allows you to sort through your life and figure out where you're going. Not everybody needs to wear the penis-bone of a racoon to feel sexually liberated, although hey: you do you, girl. Sometimes we need to believe in magic, especially our own. And while I welcome anyone interested in witchcraft to delve deeper into the intricacies and nuances of the different, more traditional practices, I understand that sometimes all you want is a pair of amethyst earrings to put an extra bounce in your step. To that I say, you and me both, babe.

After all, there's nothing wrong with trying to Hex the Patriarchy.