Practical Magic | The rise of modern day witchcraft
A few months ago, my friend El and I went on a gorgeous yoga retreat with Liz in a cabin in Wicklow. There were hikes in nature, chats by the fire, nutritious, delicious food and, sitting on the mantlepiece, a deck of tarot cards.
We giggled like teenagers as we shuffled the deck. I pulled cards for her first, mimicking instructions I’d seen in person or in movies – a simple past-present-future spread plus a general overall card. We leafed through the tiny manual that came with the deck, reading out sentences like, “Two of Pentacles, reversed: Taking on too much. Time to concentrate on one thing at a time; master these before expanding” and nodded our heads in wonderment at how on the nose they were.
It wasn’t that we wanted to believe in magic – I grew up on a circus, I know the tricks – but it was a chance to to tap into our own intuition, to explore our gut, instinctive reactions to those images and descriptions, to tap into fears and hopes that are already there.
A few weeks later, El half-jokingly bought me a deck for my birthday (it’s bad luck to buy your own). We tried to explain how much the cards we pulled had resonated, as our boyfriends gently mocked our gullibility.
Thing is, tarot cards seem to be popping up in more and more places, along with cyrstals, candles and all sorts of witchy things. Described as “like Google for the soul”, they seem to be tapping into some common appetite to check in with ourselves. To make time out to think about your plans, your big picture stuff.
So I went on a hunt, and found some other explorations on the theme:
- The Guardian‘s Kim Kelly asks: Are witches the ultimate feminists? while their fashion section explores why witchcraft is all the rage (“Today’s modern witch is as likely to cast a binding spell on Donald Trump or espouse the virtues of motherwort as she is to celebrate the vernal equinox or mercury retrograde finally ending”)
- Cute Mystic Hand temporary tattoo from Tattly
- Former Sunday Times Style mag fashion journo Ruby Warrington recently released Material Girl, Mystical World, a book dedicated to exploring modern day mysticism.
- Love the look of this deck (which even features Frida Kahlo)
- “When you feel powerless against a world of change in which the dark side appears to be winning, who doesn’t want to conjure some magic to make it all go away?” A great look at how magic has been conjuring its way into popular culture
- Sabat is a hip new magazine exploring contemporary witchcraft
- The New York Times goes inside a creative collaborative “coven” in Brooklyn
- Teen Vogue even have a pretty slideshow of witch-themed buys