Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft

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Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft  Empty Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:44 pm

“I’m really a witch,” rapper Azealia Banks quipped last January, shortly before all hell broke loose on her Twitter account.
Banks is known for her online rants. She tends to share fairly dense ideas, spontaneously spun out in punchy lines liberally interspersed with curse words. I don’t know a person on this earth who can agree with every one of them, but her opinions are smarter than she usually gets credit for.
Still, even by Banks’s standards, the witch thing was weird. It came out in the middle of a run about black Americans and their relationship to Christianity:
I wonder if most of the black American Christians in the US know WHY they are Christian. I wonder if they even consider for a SECOND that before their ancestors came to the Americas that they may have believed in something ELSE.
Not uncontroversial, but not wrong. Banks then suddenly took a hard left into what seemed like either a joke, or an unexpected embrace of Harry Potter fan fiction. She went on:
But really, it’s all about magic. The most magical people are the ones who have to deal with oppression, because the non-magical are jealous. That’s why Jews and Blacks have been persecuted over and over again throughout history. because they have the most magic ... all I’m trying to say is that black people are naturally born SEERS, DIVINERS, WITCHES AND WIZARDS. we have REAL supernatural powers, and the sooner we ALL learn to cultivate them and access them, the sooner we can REALLY fix shit.
Then she joked that racism might end a lot sooner if black people could make their enemies sicken and die with a thought, and of course the rightwing publications started sounding the klaxons.
It was the strangest thing: simply by calling herself a witch in public, Banks had managed to evoke real fear. Rightwingers treated her as if she were actually planning to blight crops and hex her enemies, all the while claiming that they didn’t believe in witchcraft.
Given the strength of the reaction, you would think that Banks was the first woman to cross over to the dark side. You would be wrong. Witchcraft – and the embrace of “magical” practices, like reading tarot cards – has recently experienced a resurgence of sorts among young, creative, politically engaged women.
This is largely reflected in niche corners of US pop culture: 2013’s American Horror Story: Coven, in which witchcraft stood in for girl power, was the most popular American Horror Story season ever. A popular Tumblr blog, Charmcore, purports to be run by three witch sisters; it gives sarcastic “magical” advice and praise of the female celebrities it deems to be “obvious witches”. On the more serious side, teen sensation Rookie magazine has published tarot tutorials along with more standard-issue feminist and fashion advice, and Autostraddle, a popular left-leaning blog for young queer women, has an in-house tarot columnist. Speaking of which, those tarot cards are available in trendy Brooklyn knickknack shops and Urban Outfitters, as well as new age stores. And these days, no one thinks there’s anything weird about herbal medicine and other potions.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/24/witch-symbol-feminist-power-azealia-banks

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