Social media is a great tool for connecting people who share the same niche interests. No matter what your belief system, hobby or lifestyle, you can find an online group for it — including witchcraft.
That fact has many Christ-following parents deeply concerned, as it’s now easier than ever for kids to locate, follow, learn about and participate in witchcraft, occultism and neo-paganism — all pursuits that are antithetical to the Christian faith.
For example, #witchtok is a surprisingly popular hashtag on TikTok and currently sits at over 21.1 billion views.
Many of the videos are instructional, showing viewers how to perform spells of protection, revenge, healing and love, how to recharge crystals and read tea leaves, among other topics.
According to those who dabble, there’s been a recent movement toward witchcraft as young people find themselves seeking the spiritual but avoiding mainstream religions.
“WitchTok content is so relevant right now because we learned last year we can’t control [things],” 33-year-old Adam Wethington, who reads tarot cards, told USA Today.
Gabriela Herstik, who wrote “Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft,” says that people are seeking something more in life, and many have been drawn to witchcraft for that reason.
“We live in this very intense, dark age. … People want purpose, and they want connection,” she said. “But beyond that, they want something that helps them connect to something larger than themselves.
“Something that helps them feel like there’s a purpose, and magic does that. Magic is a way to align with your purpose, your power.”
It’s certainly not just TikTok that provides access to these practices, either. Anywhere social media offers an opportunity for like-minded individuals to come together, the occult has a presence, as it does in the world around us.
Psychics and astrologers also confirmed to CNN that there has been a huge uptick in interest in their services since the pandemic, suggesting that more people than ever are interested in the supernatural — but not Christianity.
Such practices certainly have a real draw on people, directing them to look inward or to deities or powers other than the Christian God, offering them the promise of dangerous abilities and a tantalizing sense of worth.
In 2019, Focus on the Family covered the story of one young woman named Kathy who found herself pursuing that sense of mystery and fulfillment.
“I was always kind of artsy, different and non-conformist,” Kathy explained. “Wicca attracted my interest because it appealed to those facets of my personality. It was certainly non-conformist, and I liked the mystery surrounding it.
She found a Wiccan high priestess who mentored her, assuring Kathy that all they did was “white magic” — but she also alluded to darker forces.
“The more I learned, the more things started to spiral downward, deeper and deeper into darkness and black magic. I became very good at what I was being taught. My teacher never acknowledged Satan but did say there was something called ‘the abyss’ that we should avoid.
“One hot summer night I was lying awake in my bedroom when all of a sudden the room became very cold. I started to shiver and broke out into a cold sweat, although it was the height of summer. A cold wind blew in through my windows, startling me. Now I was terrified. I hugged my knees to my chest and gasped as a legion of what can only be described as black demons encircled my head, all laughing at me. I started screaming out my Wiccan spells to rebuke them, hoping they would disappear. That only made things worse. The laughter escalated with each spell I tried.
“Then all of a sudden I remembered my days in Sunday school as a child and the teachings of Jesus. I hadn’t thought about that in a long time. In a loud voice I called upon Jesus Christ to rid the room of this dark presence. Instantly they were gone, and my bedroom was once again calm and warm. My life was never the same after that.”
Now Kathy wants women like herself, drawn to spiritual practices and their seeming empowerment, to reconsider.
“A lot of women think that by practicing Wicca, worshiping this so-called goddess, that they are celebrating their womanhood,” she said. “I am here to tell them there is a lot more to it than that. Lots of them haven’t had the experiences I have. But they can and will if they stick with it. It’s like the warning on a pack of cigarettes: ‘Wicca is dangerous and could be hazardous to your health.'”
As usual, the threats that people face these days are rarely new — there are merely new ways to access and share them. Being aware of these trends and talking to your kids are some of the best ways to protect them from even the oldest of dangers.
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