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Khundekling

Witches of Instagram

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It’s not a problem using it for me, I sometimes use it, i think my above post was unclear. It’s more that it is so widely advertised as ‘the main cure-all witch herb’ when historical Native American use differs and from what I understand (I’m English so this may be wrong, it is from Native American’s I’ve spoken to etc.) and would be more often be referred to as medicine rather than witchcraft. It’s the misinformation around it, the idea of it being the best things possible to use in cleansing space of negative entities etc. I find that rosemary, juniper and pine can be much more useful than white sage in cleansing, getting rid of negative and heavy entities and energy etc. So, just the misinformation and weird obsession with it that bothers me, rather than the use.

 

It was the use of ‘witch’ I meant in the first paragraph about Sephora, so the idea that white English and Americans do not grow up in a culture that respects or even truly believes in Witchcraft in most cases. Cultures who do are often portrayed to be ‘behind’ or ‘backwards’ in development. That is the kind of thing that I hear a lot from people and something which is an indicator of total lack of respect for cultures outside their own. So, it’s the lack of recognition that watering the idea of witchcraft down does not matter because ‘witches don’t exist’. Some of my friends were pretty taken aback by some views when they came to live here in England, as for them this watering down would be asking for a witch to curse you. Obviously there is a lot here and there are varying views on what should be portrayed, how etc. I could write an essay arguing against myself because there are so many points to make around it, but my feeling is there is some disrespect in the witch kit, though in some ways, it’s not a big deal to me - more the underlying issues that are. However, thought I’d better explain better as I’m not against white sage use, just constant misinformation.

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I also agree with BlackbirdSong regarding the use of White Sage. It's not whether people use it or not, I use it in various ways, it's the way it's being advertised at the moment. It's for those who don't like to do their own research and like to be spoon fed their practices. It is a good cleansing herb but there are many other ways, which I'm sure we all know about here, but there are a lot of "wonnabe witches" out there who think there are only set ways of doing things. 

Look at the Altars on IG, probably 8/10 will have an Abalone Shell, Sage smudge stick and feather.

Now this will sound hypocritical but I did buy a sage stick a while back, as I had run out, and the cheapest/fastest delivery ones that were available were the Smudge kits. I used the sage in a cleansing mixture that I make but it did make me laugh when I took the feather out of the box. What's wrong with just giving it a blow? My cat on the other hand loved the feather.

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sorry this maybe not pertain to the current conversation above but I will say that if none of you have seen this woman's instagram and or her artwork I highly recommend searching her out, @0ld_hag

her profile is private my wife is friends with her but its amazing. you can also find her stuff online she has a couple websites too just search Darby Old-Hag Lahger.

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I agree with blaclbirdsong as well if that wasn’t totally clear, the primary purpose of my comment was to address the witch kit and disrespect towards witchcraft as a culture. Which I agree, became socially acceptable because many don’t believe in it. And let me say as a STEM major who hopes to acquire a graduate degree in the future, I am constantly annoyed at the fallacy of “if there’s no scientific evidence FOR something then it doesn’t exist” this is completely untrue of both science and logic. At times I’ve struggled to feel proud of my beliefs and practices because of the scientific community I belong to as well. But because I was educated specifically in the workings of logic, I understand that it’s not US being illogical when someone wants to arrogantly disrespect our culture by calling us crazy.

Edited by FancyShadowCat

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I just want to point out that I'm not against those who use Instagram, I use it myself and I enjoy looking at the pictures with a witchcraft theme. It's a great platform for artists and marketing. It's when the meaning of witchcraft gets lost and mocked is where my beef lies. 

 

Take this image for example...

 

post-4318-0-21506700-1538658574_thumb.png

 

If it was just a Harry Potter image then great, but look at the hashtags!   :censored:

post-4318-0-21506700-1538658574_thumb.png

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I just want to point out that I'm not against those who use Instagram, I use it myself and I enjoy looking at the pictures with a witchcraft theme. It's a great platform for artists and marketing. It's when the meaning of witchcraft gets lost and mocked is where my beef lies. 

 

Take this image for example...

 

attachicon.gif IG1.png

 

If it was just a Harry Potter image then great, but look at the hashtags!   :censored:

 

Depulso Bullshit!

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Instagram illustrates quite well the effects of commodifying witchcraft.

 

I agree it is a great tool for self promotion and for artists and creators to get their works out there, but the downside is that can get lost in a sea of copycat behaviour and surface level understanding and imagery.

 

In some ways this is nothing new, but I sympathize with those getting huffy seeing what is portrayed and labeled as witchcraft on that social media site .

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What do you all think of the view that this misrepresentation of witchcraft or trad witchcraft helps us in a way, with respect to the secrecy component? People not understanding what witchcraft is because of this misrepresentation might help some keep their secret I suppose, and then in turn possibly help their workings. This is a viewpoint I saw in another thread here but I want to see how many are in agreement, and if you’re actually okay with instagram misrepresentation for this reason, or similar reasons.

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I think the problem is that witches are viewed like "other monsters". They have been so over used in stories and movies people don't really know what witchcraft is or what it mean. Today if you say to someone what is a witch they will say a Wiccan or Harry Potter. But Potter wasn't even about witchcraft. And Wicca is a religion which most don't even get. I do think people not getting witchcraft or thinking it is fake does help with secrecy. Sort of a smoke screen in what one might be doing compared to what people think we are doing. And today due to Wicca many think of it harmless. It can be annoying to see witchcraft used like the photo so all one can do i put one's self out as a witch and show what a real practice is like say Sara Lawless or just avoid it all together. I don't think we can every really get it to a point people will get it or not annoy us at some point with stupid crap. 

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This is such a love / hate relationship for me - I have connected with a solid small group of wonderful practitioners who are very talented and even though we share common ground we also have our own individual style. Howeverrrr...finding such gems is a pretty annoying experience on IG. If you search the most popular tags like witchesofinstagram you'll find a seemingly never ending stream of posers. And one of the things I highly dislike is posers - people who do not have the talent/interest etc. to actually become what they pretend to be. All they are able to do is take boring selfies and staged "rituals" as well as bragging photos of their "occult" books and "tools" etc. I have zero tolerance for this and block such insufferable nobodies if I have the time to do so. And then you have the usual attention seekers that add a bunch of people who they think might add them back so that they can appear popular/successful and if you don't add them back (something I don't unless I actually enjoy their posts) they unfollow. Wow..people never fail to misunderstand life. But, if you manage to crack the code - as in figure out the right hashtags you'll find some really fine people on there. Even though it is a mess to try use IG to spread info - very unfriendly to write long descriptions and messages - it is easy to connect with people you have something in common with. 

There are many good sides to IG, and many bad, but for now I find it worth while. I can't, and don't even want, to spend every day on social media but it is nice to have a place to go to connect with people of similar interest if you feel like it.

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I can safely say that I don't follow any witchcraft on SM... neither Facebook nor instagram. Once a long time ago I looked & found some groups etc, but the posts neither interested me nor educated me in any way.

As you say, it was all just smoke & clouds. I was quite disappointed tbh at the lack of interesting topics, so I keep coming to this forum if I wish to educate myself.

 

Also again there is the privacy factor, I keep my craft a secret for multiple reasons.

 

I often saw very young people trying the craft & it's kind of nerve racking because if something went badly wrong then they could be traumatised for life. Also there were too many people who clearly didn't practice which was obvious from their descriptions of castings etc. Individual's stories kept changing & it was just too much B.S for me personally.

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I totally get where you're coming from with Instagram, though it is essentially SM based on aesthetics. I know it's all about creating a look and I really do feel a bit fed up sometimes with the posts under witch-related hashtags on there. It does seem for show and no substance, I think Insta probably spawned the concept of the basic witch. I just avoid it now, I do feel like it undermines tradition and I think about it a lot....I thought it was just me! The fact that "witches of Instagram" is one of the most trending hashtags on there says it all really. On one hand I want to be like "NO that's not it..." but privacy is way too important to me. It's trying to maintain the respect are seriousness of the tradition from a point of not revealing it.

 

I am in a witch group on FB, but it's a small controlled closed group with witches who are all on the same wavelength.

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I'm a generous person in many areas of life but my craft is very much my own. I'm not interested in sharing it beyond a handful of rl people and the wonderful community here. Let the 'witchesofinstagram' pose with their candles and pentagrams and heavy eyeliner. It just makes it easier for me to walk through the world dressed like a 'working mum' :D

 

Secrecy matters to me for all sorts of reasons. For me the craft is about will and connection, not props. Maybe my path is more internal and stripped down than some. I like sage but I grow lavender and rosemary so have a better connection with them. The cultural appropriation thing is thorny because I'm pragmatic about using whatever works as long as I have earned the connection so I can't really complain when I see people calling on Celtic goddesses. It doesn't stop me rolling my eyes though :D

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I have given thought to use of Instagram as a way of socializing with other witches without meeting them in person. I don’t have an IG so I’m not sure if this is remotely true, but I can see use in that even though I’m sure this forum is superior in that regard. After reading a few threads on here I’ve gathered that some witches out there are more interested in proving to you that they’re stronger than you than becoming your friend. And though they would likely be the minority, I prefer not to find out through meeting one in person.

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Just now seeing this because I'm new, and to be completely candid, the only experience I have with Instagram is posting adoptable pet pics for my employer... but I've seen some of what you are referring to when friends show it to me on their phones.

 

I don't really have a big problem with it, and I agree that it is amazing so many can be open now (that is definitively something to celebrate)... however, the tone of a lot of the pics is what I would call "egotistical virtue signalling." It is very "look at me, I'm so special!" And, I can just remember my grandpa saying that, "if you have to say it/show it off..."

 

Anyway, that's how a lot of those posts make me feel personally. I'm not much for social media, by and large. Just not my cup of proverbial tea.

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