Thanks to a whole new host of spookily glam Insta-witches, black magic is experiencing an unprecedented surge in popularity
Our curiosity with witches is by no means a new phenomenon. Triumphantly holding its place as one of the most popular trick-or-treat costumes of the ‘90s, ‘the witch’ is an identity that carries a timeless aura of mystique – and we all witnessed the soaring popularity of supernatural TV shows such as Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage.
In fact, so great is our fascination around all things ‘toil and trouble’, that we’re increasingly seeing more millennial women turn to the age-old remedies of witches to help them mend modern woes, from wellness practices, to mindfulness hacks and fashion trends. The tag #witchesofinstagram now boasts over 3 million posts and ‘grammers like @thehoodwitch (444k followers) are proving that witches can be influencers, too.
Offering up ‘Everyday Magic for the modern mystic’, @thehoodwitch uses the medium of visual storytelling to give readers advice on everything from owning their menstrual cycle to understanding the essence of luck and good fortune.
Also rapidly gathering a legion of fans is Courtney Brooke, aka @light_witch, a feminist sorcerer who utilises her moody feed to share dreamy nature photography with her 123k followers, as well as images of modern witches to provide her 123k followers with serious gothic wardrobe inspo.
Even high-street retailers such as Topshop and Urban Outfitters are offering the kind of traditional ‘Wiccan’ accessories (think pentagon jewellery and spell books) that would have got you executed in the 1400’s.
According to Semra Haksever, author of Love Spells: Rituals, Spells And Potions to Spark Your Romantic Life, our growing obsession with witchcraft isn’t all that surprising. ‘In many ways, it’s just another way of exploring wellness and spirituality,’ she says. Hot on the heels of mindfulness, crystals and reiki, is our growing obsession with witchcraft just a natural progression? Or is the reality darker? Could witchcraft- a space arguably inhabited by women alone- be offering us a way to vent our frustration at the status quo, and even seek revenge? Lana Del Ray famously admitted to casting a hex on President Trump in 2017.
So, if you want in, for £19.20 (plus delivery), you can order an XXL sage smudge stick to arrive at your door within 20 minutes (thanks Deliveroo). Incidentally, you can also order crystal eggs, rose quarts and Howlite wands (said to help heal, encourage romance and relive stress, FYI).
Your Basic Witches Starter Kit
Add these to your shopping list for maximum sorcerer points
- Sage smudge sticks or Palo Santo. Because nobody wants a dirt aura. (From £1.99, Etsy)
- Your coven. Witches don’t ride solo, so you’re gonna need to recruit the Salem to your Sabrina.
- Salt. Don’t waste those flakes of Maldon on your supper, use them to create boundaries and remove negative energy by sprinkling some on the corners of rooms, or at your front door.
- An old key. The best talisman for manifesting your desires, don’t forget to charge it with your intention ( a few chants will do it, but add moonlight or smoke for extra oomph) before using in spells, advises Erica Feldmann in new book Hausmagick.
- Amethyst. Loved by mystics in the medieval ages for it’s calming properties, no basic witch should be see without it.