Witches are up in arms and – presumably – falling off of their broomsticks at the news that the popular beauty product brand Sephora have begun to sell witch ‘starter kits’. Those whom practice witchcraft – or ‘Wicca’ as it more properly known – have accused Sephora of cultural appropriation.
In a tie-in for Halloween, Sephora’s ‘Starter Witch Kit’ contains a pack of tarot cards, a rose quartz crystal, a sage stick and a small selection of spooky perfumes. The French-based fashion company have reported encouraging sales, but the small boxes of treats have been condemned by people who follow the Wiccan religion.
Sephora jump on the ‘black magic bandwagon’
One commentator said: “Sephora is selling witch kits to white girls who see it as a trend when in reality witchcraft was started by Africans and Native Americans. It seriously just makes me sad how people are using other people’s religions/cultures as a bandwagon to sell for Halloween.”
The R&B singer-songwriter SZA, whom has been nominated for both Grammy and MOBO Awards, joined in with the condemnation of the kits. She said via Twitter: “This whole over the counter tarot cards x Sephora starter witch kit dangerous es hell and very headass .. don’t do magic at the mall kids.”
However, some people claim that the outrage is not about cultural appropriation, but the fear of some Wiccan practitioners that Sephora’s witch kit will hit the sales of their own products, which they sell without the intervention or investment of a major partner.
Are black magic witches fearful of losing sales?
One posted on Twitter: “I don’t understand girls, how are you gunna be mad @ Sephora for selling witch kits when you’re selling the same stuff on your ~spooky~ etsy shop?”
Despite what Wiccan black magic practitioners claim, the Wicca religion developed in England in the 1900s and was re-introduced in the UK in 1954. In the USA it is now estimated that there are around 135,000 adherents of the Wiccan religion. In the UK that figure is thought to be close to 12,000.