Tis the Season for Witchcraft, Appartently

A few years ago I wrote a short blog on a resurgence of participation in witchcraft in the light of the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.

In another post I noted how the increasing number of so-called religious “nones” who often identify themselves as “spiritual but not religious”, are attaching themselves to a religion that is steeped in similar rebellion.

Back in March, the print edition of The Atlantic published a brief essay titled, “The Witching Hour”, which appeared in the online edition as “Why Witchcraft Is on the Rise”. Written by Bianca Bosker, the article conveys some of the same ideas as the editorial by Michelle Goldberg in my first mentioned post.

Like Godlberg’s post, Bosker focuses on a young woman named Juliet Diaz whose family is tied to the indigenous people of Cuba, and whose family is a long-standing practitioner. Diaz describes herself as,

“…a seer capable of reading auras and connecting with ‘the other side’; a plant whisperer who can communicate with her succulents; and one in a long line of healers in her family,…[and] a professional witch… 

The woman is also a best-selling author on witchcraft.

Bosker, in the course of her article notes that, “the United States’ adult population of pagans and Wiccans was about 730,000—on par with the number of Unitarians,” however, she also notes that not all those who practice witchcraft count themselves as Wiccan or as pagans. 

What is really interesting is that Diaz, according to Bosker, makes an interesting statement about her view, namely that she sees it as, “an embodiment of her truth in all its power”. Bosker notes the those who practice magic, “might embody a religious affiliation, political act, wellness regimen, “hot new lewk,” or some combination of the above.”

See also: Atheists and Their False Dilemmas

Witchcraft has become mainstream with one popular online “influencer” having almost a half million followers and in active collaboration with retailers, including a line of cosmetics, Bosker notes. Not only that, witches are selling their services. Diaz, the author notes, brags about a popular service that she offers that have had numerous successes.

Bosker, admits that the history of witchcraft is nebulous, yet is virtually ubiquitous among the cultures that have been studied.

Like the Goldberg piece, Bosker states,

“The latest witch renaissance coincides with a growing fascination with astrology, crystals, and tarot, which, like magic, practitioners consider ways to tap into unseen, unconventional sources of power—and which can be especially appealing for people who feel disenfranchised or who have grown weary of trying to enact change by working within the system. 

People are turning to witchcraft because of a perceived loss of control. They see the system—political, religious, legal—as s structure that needs to be controlled so they do whatever they have to do in order to control it. People who reject a sovereign God who orders and directs the world according to his will, will inevitably sacrifice themselves in order to gain some perceived modicum of power over their lives. We see this in the fact that it’s people who “feel disenfranchised” without any objective confirmation that they actually are. 

People running to magic often do not realize that they are trying to co-opt power that is not theirs and that those who are allowed to exercise such power will find themselves as enemies of God in the end, because witchcraft is ultimately about promoting injustice and selfish pride rather than actually serving another person in a way that truly benefits both people. 

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