By: Mimi M.



If you are on TikTok for long enough these days, it's pretty easy to find the subsection commonly known as "WitchTok." This side of TikTok is known for it's pretty crystals, spells, and eccentric content creators who give tarot readings or general advice for 'baby witches,' who are witches that are new to practicing witchcraft. Personally, I found WitchTok over a year ago, back in the first quarantine of 2020, and have since been seeing related videos over my 'For You Page.' As my TikTok watching habits have changed in this past year, I've strayed farther from WitchTok and more towards a so called 'basic' feed, full of people dancing and telling jokes instead of relaying spells and rituals. However, even on my 'basic' feed, videos about astrology and manifestation still pop up. That's because in the year that passed, some facets of witchcraft have become common, and even mainstream. While witchcraft itself still isn't incredibly common, the youth of today, particularly teenage girls, have taken aspects of witchcraft and created a new subset of people who are mainly 'spiritual' instead of being classified as witches.

Common practices of these spiritual people are using crystals, manifestation, and astrology to create a better life for themselves. Crystals are rocks that are believed to have influences on humans. It is believed that because all crystals have specific vibrations between their atoms, those vibrations can affect humans and help magnify certain attributes of a person. Most crystals are used for things such as healing, helping intuition, helping ground a person, and just about anything else you can think of. Manifestation is a practice of repeating a saying or phrase to make that phrase come true, using the Law of Attraction, which is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person's life. Astrology is the practice of keeping track of where planets are in our sky, and it is believed that where the planets affect our daily lives. Of course, there are other practices used in this form of spirituality, but these are the most common ones. 

The most important thing about spirituality is that it is a practice, not a religion. Spiritual people, as the term is being used nowadays, use practices but don't all believe in the same gods or religions. This is similar to witchcraft, as witchcraft can be considered a practice instead of a religion. The history of witchcraft is interesting as well.

One place that witchcraft comes from is the belief system of Shamanism, where special people in a community possess magical powers, typically for healing. When a shaman accesses their power, it’s generally believed that their spirit travels to a higher plane where they get their power. This is a key facet of Animism, another set of beliefs that believe in this transcendent plane of existence. Shamanism is believed to be one of the oldest belief systems, and can be seen in other belief systems, like the traditions of druids. Druids were religious authorities in the Celtic world, who officiated worship and conducted rituals. They ate acorns for prophetic powers, and focused on divination, the act of telling the future. Druids also regulated sacrifices. Druids had the ability to curse, as seen by the Romans. Whenever Roman troops would cross the Menai Strait, British druids would curse them. In addition to being religious officials, druids also kept oral history and were in charge of justice. However, when Christians took over the region, the roles of druids were taken by priests. Another form of witchcraft seen through history was the Ghost Dance religion, which began in the late 17th century. The Ghost Dance religion relied on rituals. The main ritual used was a circular dance that ended with the participants collapsing in a semblance of death, where they then reached a trancelike state that allowed them to see their loved ones who had passed. 

While witchcraft and spirituality aren't the same, it is still interesting to see the effects of witchcraft on spirituality, and to see how TikTok and other social media platforms have influenced their practice. 


Sources:

Hackney, Ryan. "Shamanism." dailylife.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1847861. Accessed 13 May 2021.

Jestice, Phyllis. "Druids." dailylife.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1561840. Accessed 13 May 2021.

Greene, Danielle. "Native American Spiritualist Movement." americanhistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/256063. Accessed 18 May 2021.


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