beware

The Bad Witch’s Guide

October, 2017

 

 

Bad Witch’s Guide to Pinterest

 

I am a bad witch. There are a long list of reasons why I am a bad witch. Having been out of the broom closet for some considerable number of years I would on occasion get asked “but you’re a good witch though?” My response to that depending on the person asking but I found I started to say “yes, a very, very good witch” rather darkly as it usually got the point across.


It might surprise you to find out I like Pinterest. However my major problem with it is the “magick” and spellcraft on there is often utter twaddle. I like collecting (rather nerdy) art, food and crafting ideas, positive quotes to get me through those grey damp days. Magickally though it’s often pretty but not effective. If you’re going to write a chant, and enchantment (to be sung or spoken aloud, which is what enchant means) it has to have a good tone and rhythm to it. It has to be a jingle, an ear-worm, something that has the power and dynamism to buzz around your skull and out into the universe.

 

(Primitive Altar from Pinterest.)


I grew up in with ugly but effective magick. Really on the farm that was the sort of aesthetic. If it worked it didn’t matter what it looked like (but odds are it would look dangerous and sort of a mess). My first cauldron was an empty white animal feed bucket. My wand a stick. The things I made look crude but worked. The woven herbs and grasses had a grace but I’m not sure they’d pass the Pinterest standard. Maybe with the right filter.

 

(Hanging Herbs on Pinterest.)


Of course it is gorgeous to make pagan artworks, pagan aesthetics and so on. From crystal mandalas to circles of herbs and flowers, I’m just not sure my practical witch brain is wired to wasting so much time energy and supplies on one thing. Some of these images are glorious but you’d need a bail of lavender! I have a lot of herbs, I don’t have them in that kind of quantity. I also have a dog, child and husband and odds are taking up a whole room in our tiny house, on the floor or otherwise would not end well. Wonderful for a photo, not practical witchin’. I don’t hang my herbs up for how they “look” (I don’t even have a drying rack or anything it’s just a series of make-shift jute clotheslines and bundles) I hang them so they don’t rot so I can use them when they are out of season.

 

(White Dress Women in Forest from Pinterest.)

 

Again wearing a lot of interesting make-up and standing in a thin white dress in some moody woods looks awesome, you’ll catch your death if you try it though! Outside witch work requires sturdy hiking boots, sunscreen and good thick coat.


My point is that this sort of aesthetic over function exclude those who don’t or can’t match how these things look. Don’t have a bail of lavender, can’t do magick! Not thin, white and gorgeous? Can’t do magick! Not got five tons of crystals? Can’t do magick! All of which is the reverse of the truth.


Magick is in the ordinary. In the ugly. In the old and odd and hairy. It’s in the bones, the cherry stones, the dirt, and clay and mud. It’s in the scars, the dance, the feeling of it. There is power in the beautiful but that is not the only place there is power.


The utter twaddle on Pinterest in terms of spellwork and chants is so poor as to make me physically wince on occasion (and don’t get me started on some of the utter rubbish that passes for “sigils”). It shows a lack of understanding of the basic mechanises of spellcraft. It’s either over wordy, or not specific, or drawing from all kinds of places I would NOT mix together and calling on things in ways that are dodgy at best, and wildly unsafe in others. A spell tends to work best when it’s short, sharp and pithy.


A “get well soon” card is a healing foci. More specific ones like:
Root, shoot, bud, flower. Grant me now your healing power. Heal________.
You can easier charm this over a bunch of flowers, or even a healing soup. Not pretty (or might be) but effective. Of course having a root, a shoot, a bud and flower added to what you are chanting over helps and for the love of tea, please don’t do it “in your head”. Enchanting mean to sing, to sing into being. It is a powerful and amazing magick that might be odd to do on the bus works wonders almost anywhere else.

 

(A Large Pinch of Salt!)


While free resources can be amazing take what you find on Pinterest with a large pinch of salt. Do your own research, preferably offline and turn off your phone. A lot of the “healing” spells I looked at were binding spells and not very “healing” at all. While I am not “anti” left-hand work, left-hand (or darker) is what it is. Read between the lines, and look at things like a witch. Look at what is missing, what is not said. Oh the sigils are just completely made up, which is not to say they won’t work they are just not based on any ancient system I’ve seen and seem to based more on the Mortal Instruments book series instead.


Make a mess with your magick. Hexperiement, with what works for you and it doesn’t have to be pretty. Make a mess. It’s how it feels that matters, not how many likes it gets!