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Article: "Mysticore: is the new norm


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#1 Faolana

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 04:54 PM

Wondering what people's thoughts are on this article. It essentially posits that witchcraft is becoming mainstream...

http://www.salon.com...er-the-culture/


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#2 Madame

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 08:51 PM

It's definitely trendy right now. Not for the first time, though, as the first comment mentions, but I do think that this sort of stuff has always been trendy in some way. Kabbalah was all the rage in the late 90s/early '00s thanks to certain celebrities. Wicca was popular around the school age goth and hippy kids around the same time. What's different now is probably that Christianity is being forced to take a back seat more now than ever so more people feel freer to explore other things. In the Bible Belt it might not seem as such, but elsewhere in the US it is. Don't forget the power of social media. When I was in my early teens and reading about Wicca, I had to go to the library and hide in a corner and hope no one I knew would recognize me. Kids now can do it with relative privacy on their smartphones and computers. Social media promotes hivemind, so anything can become trendy much easier now.

Is it a fad? Could be. I'm not really bothered either way about it. I'll always continue doing my thing. So long as there isn't an 80s style Satanic Panic backlash, I feel neutral.


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#3 althea

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 12:01 AM

Maybe It has always been trendy because of the misconception about witchcraft and magick. I think that the only "problem" on it is that a lot of people study it and understand it, but also may be casting spells, doing magick without reading nothing about it and not knowing what they are doing and the risks of it. But, it is also good because the witchcraft may be more accepted.


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#4 odalibuc

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 07:29 PM

Maybe its the cynic in me, but I'm kind of concerned about witchcraft becoming more mainstream. While I am delighted that there are more resources available online to open the door to new witches, misinformation is quite common and many of the sources that I've found on witchcraft were actually about Wicca, and they just didn't call it "Wicca". I'm also a bit worried about how witches that live in a household that is very anti-witchcraft will be able to learn more about the Craft without putting themselves in danger. I hide my witchcraft from my family just because I feel my practice is a deeply personal experience; I shudder to think how more conservative parents or guardians would react. So while I'm glad that it seems the Craft is getting more positive attention, I do agree that another 80's style backlash would be detrimental, and if witchcraft becomes catches the public conservative eye negatively one too many times... Well, let's just hope it doesn't.


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#5 SelkieBlythe

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 08:09 PM

I think these are valid concerns about the backlash. In high school, I lived in a very Christian area that did have some satanic activity - specifically with blood sacrifices. I remember walking to school one day and finding a great blue heron with it's throat slit and laid out within a ritual design of bones and things, and it was pretty horrible for me. There were rumors that kids had gone missing... you can see where this goes. People were really on edge, and when I was caught holding an amethyst crystal, a classmate asked me if I was a witch and did I worship Satan. It was an amethyst! The very fact that I had a pretty stone made me suspect. If they found out that I read tarot (I kept that a secret) or communed with nature, I was done.  My poor sister had a crow land close to her during lunch, as they tend to do with both of us, and that was it for her. No one would go near her. Good thing they never found out we used to have pet pigmy goats, or we'd have been stoned to death!

 

So, people getting freaked out and going ultra-conservative is always a concern, and has always been a concern. But there's always that portion of the population who are attracted to the trend, and then find something real in it. I think when the masses see that people are finding some truth in their path and discovering who they really are, it freaks out those who aren't ready for that kind of self-acknowledgement. I moved away, and actually deeper into the bible belt, where ironically I found more people like me, and more freedom to express who I was with a little more safety. So, I guess, just be careful and aware of who's around you, and enjoy having better access to things for the time being! Also, when you can re-inform the mis-informed, that helps. And the fact that witchcraft is trendy means that people are more likely to listen now. 


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#6 Kalinia

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 01:35 PM

I think social media platforms like Tumblr is what's making it so hot right now. But as I think back it's always been considered a fad in the stages of my life. In high-school it was a fad among the goths of the city, in college it was the college cliques of witches and now it's a bit of a fad for Tumblr feminists and people in general.

I do see a lot more articles and postings and such but it's very very Wicca dominated.

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#7 Faolana

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 02:50 AM

I guess it just rubs me the wrong way because I fear true information becoming more and more difficult to find, old stories and old ways being lost and people playing with energies they don't respect. I fear the Harry Potter generation growing up believing that is how magic works...


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#8 Kalinia

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 03:15 AM

That is a great point to bring up. It's something g I struggle with sometimes. I yearn for truth and knowledge and get lost in my journey when so much clutter is everywhere. It can be harder to learn
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#9 NamedForTheMoon

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 05:56 PM

That is a great point to bring up. It's something g I struggle with sometimes. I yearn for truth and knowledge and get lost in my journey when so much clutter is everywhere. It can be harder to learn

 

This is so true.

 

I read that article. I was surprised to find that there were witch subscription boxes. I had to google it for myself, and yep, there are several people putting out witch subscription boxes. Also, "Kits for new witches, with herbs, candles, oils, crystals, and a wand! Get yours now!" Eee...

 

Plus, besides witchcraft, you have other types of magic, like the kind of ritual-ceremonial magic that has descended from the Golden Dawn and Hermetics. Sigil magick. Demonolatry, Satanism, the list goes on. It is really easy for people to get really confused. I admit, it's confusing for me, too. What constitutes as witchcraft? Which parts of the other magic can you work into witchcraft? Are you still a witch if you do that? What makes a witch, a witch?


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#10 Kalinia

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:31 AM

I think witchcraft can be considered anything where Magick is involved. Spell casting/crafting , with a lot of other practices and beliefs Thrown in depending on where the witch originates as well as their beliefs/practices . I'd say a person can work in any part that they wish and it's up to them to decide if they are a witch who actually practices witchcraft vs a "witch" who does not but glorifies the word.


The term witch and witchcraft can be simplified Imo.. But actually practicing and learning and evolving... And figuring out what is "real" what belongs where etc.. Is the tough part.

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#11 Zombee

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 05:11 PM

I sort of associate witchcraft going mainstream with safety in numbers for witches. In a way, humanity is learning something about itself, how its' group mind works, like the "hundredth monkey" syndrome. Our species needs to mentally evolve. I suspect that maybe witchcraft holds a key to the truth that directs positive change. The more people who pay attention, the more chances the planet has of being here tomorrow and the day after.
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#12 SelkieBlythe

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 06:20 PM

So, Target has some graphic T's with occult, astrological, and alchemical symbols on them. I definitely bought a few. 

 

I like the idea that it's safety in numbers, and a sign that humanity is learning about itself. That's a really positive way to see it.


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#13 Duchess

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:28 AM

Personally I don't mind if it becomes trendy for a while, it won't last for very long, but we may get a few more interesting people in the fold then we otherwise might have. It reminds me a lot of what's happened with the goth subculture. When I was in college it was still very much an outlier subculture, and I was the only goth in a school of 6,000. Then it become very trendy (curse you, Hot Topic!) and you couldn't walk down the street without tripping over a Baby Bat. Eventually it gave way to other trends, but there are still Elder Goths hanging around, both from the original 80's subculture, and those who got into it because it was trendy. And they tend to be very interesting people to strike up conversations with (plus one's black finery is so much better when you make real money). I think this trend of witchcraft will go the same way. You'll get lots of people who are interested in it, and most will move on, but some will stick around and follow the path who may never have gotten a chance otherwise.


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#14 IslandBruja

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Posted 27 September 2016 - 04:40 PM

Ugh. Maybe it's the cynic in me but I'm guessing the reason it's trendy with hipsters now is because it contains the word "craft" :P

But just from reading tarot and being in the art & design world I can tell that everything "mystical" is popular now because everyone and their llama are crowdfunding their own tarot deck and they're all selling out at an absurd rate (regardless of the quality/depth, or complete lack thereof)...

That article made me nauseous, though. ("normcore"?? I'd never heard of that but the way they choose to describe everything was so ridiculous: "Whether individuals are searching for obscure Aleister Crowley texts while planning an equinox ritual or just matching their nail color to the crystals the choose-your-own adventure nature of mysticore gives it a flexibility almost unmatched in the world of trends — except for maybe athleisure, which is flexible by nature."
Where's the vomit emoji??!)

I couldn't care less that it's trendy (I've always been the kind of person who does/wears whatever resonates/suits ME best regardless of whether it's considered the height of fashion or utterly gauche at the time (which, given the absurd pendulum swing of trends, the same exact things have been all-of-the-above in my lifetime)), but what bothers me about this (other than having read that article's absurd assemblage of words) is exactly what Faolana mentions below about true information becoming even more diluted and obscured.

I guess it just rubs me the wrong way because I fear true information becoming more and more difficult to find, old stories and old ways being lost and people playing with energies they don't respect. I fear the Harry Potter generation growing up believing that is how magic works...


And given that Salon article, the sheer tonnage of bullshit that's going to be shoveled into/onto the existing resources is going to be unprecedented...

As for the Harry Potter thing, I never watched Charmed (I found it far too cheesy to endure an entire episode) but I know many people talk about the ill-effects that show had on people's perception of magick - but it's so far removed from reality that I don't see much harm in it... they're not going to get anywhere trying to conjure a Patronus or befriend a blast-ended skrewt, right? ;)

Edited by IslandBruja, 27 September 2016 - 04:43 PM.

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#15 Llyr

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:09 AM

I am not sure if traditional witchcraft is getting more main stream. I think wicca is getting more mainstream simply because young peoples social attitudes are different to what peoples were a decade ago. In my experience UK kids are now brought up with technology where they can access a lot of information. But young people don't socialise like people used to, they lock themselves up and play on PC's or X-Boxes. They socialise in school, they socialise if they are part of a team (soccer, rugby etc) and they socialise in university.

 

I think wicca is turning into the new hippy era where it is cool to be different and they socialise in groups (covens) and have fun and harm none while learning a lot of ritual and a little magic. That attracts a lot of young adventurous adults male and female, and I think for most of them it is a phase they go through, some stick at it and a very small percentage learn more and switches to more traditional practices.

 

Wicca is hugely marketed now and extensively uses the word witch and witchcraft. So in my opinion it is providing the illusion to the unknowing public that witchcraft today is wicca and it is cool and they love everyone, harm none blah blah blah

 

so in that aspect I agree it is becoming main stream. However, in terms of traditional witchcraft of which dark witchcraft is practiced also, I am not so sure that is becoming more main stream.


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#16 odalibuc

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 01:23 AM

Reading through this thread and that article again, I finally figured out something that has been nagging at me in the back of my head for quite some time about this. If you would allow me to step onto a soap box briefly, I would like to compare the "trendiness" of witchcraft to the "trendiness" of queerness. I see many arguments in other social circles of mine, and many of them boil down to "you're not REALLY gay/lesbian/bi/pan/trans/ace, you're just getting swept into the trend!" or "there are so many more gay people now than before, and where did all of this other stuff come from? Back in my day, everyone was straight and no one was trans." And all of those arguments are, quite frankly, a load of bull. There are SEVERAL reasons why people didn't notice the queer community before, and I think many of them apply to witchcraft. To summarize a few:

 

1. People were afraid of being stigmatized, fired, and even lynched for their gender and sexual orientations. Now that the atmosphere is less hostile toward the queer community, more people feel safe enough to be open about their queerness. I think the same is true for witches in some areas.

 

2. The people that record and perpetuate their beliefs about how things were "back in the day" often erase signs of anything they were biased against, especially queerness. For further reference; I would like to direct you to the excavation of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. When their tomb was excavated, archeologists preferred to believe that they were "very close friends" and that "there had been a mistake with their burial", despite one of them being consistently portrayed like a female in the hieroglyphs and as subservient to the other. Anyone with eyes can see that they were very clearly lovers. (http://www.nytimes.c...brace.html?_r=0). Knowing humanity, it is likely that witchcraft and witches have gotten a similar kind of erasure throughout history.

 

3. Before the internet, it was nearly impossible to find unbiased information about queerness and queer issues, let alone find another person you knew that was also queer. Many people simply didn't know it was an option. I for one, was not aware that any of the terms I now use to describe myself even existed, let alone that there were other people like me in the world. Like the queer community, witches have been able to use the internet to learn more about themselves and the paths they feel they have been called to take, as well as find solidarity with like-minded people.

 

In short, witchcraft may not be as trendy as some people may think. Its just that more people feel comfortable talking about it without locking their doors and soundproofing their rooms.


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#17 IslandBruja

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 02:20 AM

I completely agree with you, Odalubuc, on your assessment of people's dismissal of historical "types of queerness" (I didn't even know people argued about that stuff - to me it's just common sense that they wouldn't be advertising something that could literally get them killed).

As for applying the analogy to the trendiness of witchcraft, of course people are more comfortable being out in the open about it, but the difference here is several-fold:

1. You can literally buy "witchiness" to adorn your home and body because it's the new, hot thing of the season (which we know MANY people do every fashion cycle).

2. There's a difference between people being more open about being witches due to the exchange of info online and a MARKETING FIRM *declaring* what's the next new IT thing for people to look out for, which creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: they say it's the next trend so shop owners and designers start putting out more product for people to buy/covet, then more people are seen having said things which makes other people buy/covet them and the cycle continues until the "trend setters" decide a new injection of products and profits is needed so they come up with a new "trend" (bc you can't possibly wear the same style of jewelry/boots/dresses 2 seasons in a row! *sarcastic gasp*)

As I mentioned above, I couldn't care less what's trendy or not, even if it happens to be something I'm into, but my problem with the trendiness is the misinformation and flat out bullshit that's going to inundate the "market" (by people either just trying to make a buck or other misinformed people using those bad sources to inform their own work) which will make it even harder to find REAL information, etc...

Edited by IslandBruja, 01 October 2016 - 02:40 AM.

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#18 Nera

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 12:32 PM

I honestly don't think true witchcraft is becoming mainstream, just by the nature of it being on the fringes of the society. And I'm talking about the true Calling, you guys know what I mean. Sure, there are many books available to buy, but you just can't buy the experience of working with the Other.


Edited by Nera, 02 October 2016 - 12:33 PM.

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"There are some who may seem -seem not- as others seem,

who walk life's ragged mile

hid' beneath Man's common guise.

Yet such are they that seem by day,

who walk abroad by night."


#19 odalibuc

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 02:23 AM

Very good points. I guess I've just been seeing a lot of similar arguments between communities lately and people saying over and over "People in my day weren't queer/disabled/were all good Christians", and I guess I've just gotten quite sick of all of it. But Nera brings up an excellent point. You can dabble all you want, you can put forth all your effort, but if the path you're trying to walk isn't for you, it's not going to let you walk it.


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#20 IslandBruja

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 12:54 AM

An article I saw today brought this old thread back to mind...

It's in USAToday and titled "Witchy fashion is 2017's most exciting, subversive trend" -
http://amp.usatoday....tory/479771001/
(so, if it's on runways now, is there some reason it's "subversive" other than the fact that it's "witchy"? :thinking:)

Once again, I had to repress my gag reflex with some of the writing:

"...there are many archetypes of the modern witch, including "goth witches in black maxi dresses and capes, Wiccan girls in flowy boho looks with handfuls of rings and jarred herbs, sea witches with mermaid hair and tattered shipwreck looks, prairie witches in calico dresses magicking tumbleweeds across the dirt, (and) pink-haired mall witches in anime buns and belly shirts.""

"MAGICKING TUMBLEWEEDS ACROSS THE DIRT" ...
"MALL WITCHES"?!??
:vomit:

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