Tree City Witch: Dear Instagram, Magick Can’t Be Bought

Tree City Witch: Dear Instagram, Magick Can’t Be Bought May 4, 2017

I am not a snarky person. I am one of those heartfelt sincere types.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts here or other places (my own blog, my old Tarot column on Beliefnet) then you already know this about me. Sincere. Heartfelt. I am not a walking self-improvement meme either. I try to avoid the platitudes and sunsets in my writing.

And I got no beef with Instagram, but I’ve noticed a trend and maybe you have too. It’s not a new trend. Capitalism and marketing are not new.

"The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse.  From WikiMedia.
“The Crystal Ball” by John William Waterhouse. From WikiMedia.

See, all you really need, in my humble opinion, to do your magick, is your emotional force, your mind, your will. This is not a new opinion in the occult, but it’s one that I also hold. That said, it’s not so easy peasy to harness (much less have clarity in regards to) your emotional force, mind, and will. Not so easy at all. Easier to buy something shiny and new.

You don’t need anyone or anyTHING to do your magick effectively. You don’t need any crystal or candle or Tarot pack. You don’t even need a single herb. Why? Because YOU exist. powerful you.

What do you need? You need to KNOW. You need to know who you are and what you want. You need a modicum of seichel (brains in Yiddish) and the humility to know when you’ve made a mistake. If you are a Witch or Magician who has not made an obvious mistake yet, then you’re doing it wrong or not often enough.

What is your Witchcraft to you anyway? Eyeshadow? I have nothing against eyeshadow, but if magick is mere surface or trend? It’s mere trickery then. Marketing. Aesthetic.

One time I got into a little Internet squabble (which ended in a Facebook defriending. Rare for me. I usually don’t debate).

I dared question a young gothy gent how he knew for sure that who he tried to summon was actually who showed up in his bedroom, post-spell.

Innocent question? Maybe. Maybe not. But a sincere one.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to beautify a ritual. I’m a Jewish Catholic Witch. Obviously I love ritual. There’s nothing wrong with feeling your spells must have x,y,z. Spells are recipes. They have ingredients. My irritation is when Witchcraft is sold purely as aesthetic and product.

I know what you may be thinking: too bad. Welcome to Earth, child. This is the way of the world. Also, the history of the selling of magickal curios is an interesting one and we all gotta make a living. Believe me I know. I’m a self-employed card reader/astrologer/writer/teacher, but I also know that when we valorize the outside over the inside, we lose. That when the inside is reduced to a sunset meme and a Ted Talk, we lose, no matter how awesome the sunset or the talk.

The heart matters. The heart matters and matters and matters. And the heart can’t always be found on YouTube. It’s beating inside you.

You don’t need that pricey custom-made oil to do your magick just like you don’t need perfect teeth to acquire the girl or guy of your dreams. Heartfelt and sincere can be ugly at times and will rarely be as fashionable as something we can package and mail off to you for $99.99 plus shipping.

I am not anti-social media nor anti-Internet nor-anti making a living nor anti the selling of magical objects but when I do my cursory Intstagram stroll I feel empty. Yes I post there some, a little Tarot, a little feline, a little daily life, a little promotion but sometimes I feel the almighty coupon code has replaced the Holy Spirit.

Craters on Mercury, photo by NASA via WikiMedia.
Craters on Mercury, photo by NASA via WikiMedia.


Mercury is no longer retrograde but this doesn’t mean business as usual yet.

The few days before a Mercury station, and the few days after, are the most wobbly and weird. You may want to double check your travel plans and calendars. Something could slip through the cracks.

The other astrological news of note is that there isn’t any. Not for the rest of this week. The Sun is in Taurus and the moon will change signs every couple of days as she usually does, but otherwise it’s quiet.

Next week, however, is intense. Among other action, we have a Full Moon in Scorpio (everyone’s favorite) and a Mercury Uranus conjunction on the same day.

For you non-astrologers, a Mercury Uranus meet-up in the sky (in the sign of bellicose Aries) is fast, possibly furious. How will this play out in your life? Well, as I often tell people, you have to check your chart, you have to know your chart, but Mercury rules messages and messengers, kinda like the Pages in the Tarot. Mercury rules news and information. Also, messenger in Hebrew is the same as the word for “angel.” Hmm.

The common key phrase for Uranus is “expect the unexpected” so you may receive some surprising or exciting news. Also, Full Moons tend to reveal what’s been hidden from view. Something comes to light in the Aries part of your chart. Some truth, some knowledge, some desire, some fire.

You ready?

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