Toxic "Witch Aesthetic" Expectations
We’ve all seen lovely photos of witches with long nails, crystals and plants on every window sill, a familiar basking in the sunlight of their cottage, or images of skulls and candles. Witchcraft is an Instagram hashtag with over 220 thousand posts and a million on Tumblr.
And it can be toxic.
Social media has been helpful in this rise of new witchcraft and paganism – it connects older witches with baby witches, educates, aids, and creates a sense of community. But of course, it holds a darker side of expectations to be perfect, to have all the tools, and even the look of a witch.
The reality is, there are so many types of witchcraft, and not all of them involve cozy cottages or skulls. While a green witch might have hundreds of plants, a beginner green witch might only have one.
It’s important to remember everyone goes at their own pace. Witchcraft is such a personal practice. And your witch aesthetic might be completely different from another witch’s – and that’s okay.
It’s like interior design. Everyone has their personal preferences for colors, furniture style, and accessories. In reality, it’s probably a mix of different styles you love and feel comfortable in. Even so, real people’s rooms rarely look like magazines. Your “witch aesthetic” is the same.
It’s about personal preference, and it doesn’t have to look Instagram perfect at all times.
If you find you’re looking down on yourself and your craft while scrolling through social media, take the time to set the phone down. Go back to yourself, and express gratitude. It’s okay to want inspiration, to want more tools, and to save up for them. It becomes a problem when the images you see on the internet negatively affect your own self-image – and therefore hurts your craft. Express gratitude for what you have, and recognize building a perfect, fully decorated altar, desk, or room takes months and sometimes years.
No matter if you’re a beginner or have been practicing for years, everyone’s image of witchcraft is completely different. And your image, seen through your spaces, is just as beautiful as the ones on Instagram.