Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Season of the Witch Returns: How Witchcraft Has Gone Mainstream — Again

It’s a Friday night and I’m watching my best friend – a fully sane and high-achieving young professional – rhythmically parade around my apartment to a non-existent beat. She vigorously waves what looks like a massive joint in all directions, filling my entire condo with an earthy aroma.

No, my friend hasn’t had too many glasses of pinot grigio. She’s performing a smudging ritual to cleanse the aura of my new home and clear it of negative energy.

It’d be easy to write her off as a kooky eccentric, except many of my female friends have jumped aboard the same mystical bandwagon. It’s common to see altars in their apartments, not populated with crucifixes or wee Jesus statuettes, but with healing crystals, significant personal items, incense cones, candles and fresh flowers. They don’t use it to pray, but rather to “set their intentions.”

Smudging rituals and crystal altars aren’t the only witchcraft-inspired practices to go mainstream over the last year. Rituals and beliefs that would’ve gotten a woman burned at the stake or hanged in 16th-century Salem and Britain are increasingly the norm. Read More

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