When rapper Azealia Banks tweeted “I’m really a witch,” millions of young women sat up and took notice. But what else is driving the current fascination with the occult among young women?
Imagine modern witchery technology improvements: cell phones, witchcraft emojis, tweeting spells, casting spells with Snapchats, posting to Slack, or cementing them as Life Events on Facebook. To be sure witchcraft still involves tarot cards, magic and spiritual movements like Wicca, aka Pagan Witchcraft.
But besides casting seductive spells on a desirable one, individuality may be the driver. Spokesperson for the Satanic Temple, Jex Blackmore, says that “The Witch” is a story of “female rebellion and accepting outsider status.”
Feminine fashion has responded to this trend with a proliferation of spellbinding pop-culture-driven brands: Dolls Kill, Child of Wild, Gypsy Warrior, Alice Kass and Samantha Pleet all explore the coven concept. Cultish jewelry and objects are de rigueur, while sweat and t-shirts broadcast provocative slogans.
Alex Mar’s recent book “Witches of America” documents this mystic resurgence, profiling priests, witches and necromancers. Cult groups are emerging embracing not only witchcraft, but art and fashion, like the Witches of Bushwick, a Brooklyn collective.
Social media loves this kind of rebellious trend and has created another powerful dimension of support for it. Dolls Kill and Gypsy Warrior alone have 750,000+ followers on Instagram.
Movies and TV shows like “The Witch,” “Maleficent,” “FX’s American Horror Story: Coven,” and WGN’s “Salem” have exponentially fueled interest.
Trendy blogs like Charmcore are written by and give advice to budding witches. Witch-themed books and articles also began ramping up starting in Fall 2014, when nearly 2,000 witch-related titles were released, including 23 history books, almost 400 books classified as “paranormal romance,” and another 600 books as fantasy.
Modern stereotypes are no longer hags, which could stimulate aspirational dreams for young wannabes. Angelina Joli in “Maleficent” and Charlize Theron in “Snow White and the Huntsman” are gorgeous and powerful.
But perhaps this is just another swing in the pendulum of fashion. Some forecasting gurus have surmised that post-Normcore (the Birkenstock-ish plain trend), designers sought to create magic again. Let’s just hope the magic continues. Welcome to the chic dark side.
All books are available at amazon.com. Click on title to order.
by Jane Ann Krentz
Goddess: Myths of the Female Divine
by David Leeming and Jake Page
Cast Spells with Emojis
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