While scrolling on Facebook this past week I saw an article announcing that Sephora, the cosmetics company, will be selling “entry level witch kits just in time for Halloween” made by brand Pinrose. It’s a little reminiscent of Death Becomes Her in the sense that these kits include perfume (elixir of life?) along with sage, tarot cards, and a rose quartz. Despite the mixed reviews (yes, I read the comments) this action by Sephora is an act of appropriation. More importantly, buying this overpriced, questionably sourced, culturally appropriated kit will not make you a witch, not even an “entry level” witch.
You could be the biggest collector of stones in the world and it wouldn’t make you a witch. It doesn’t matter how much sage you burn if you don’t really know what you’re doing and why (burning white sage or “smudging” is a Native American tradition; this herb was not used among European witches). You could even learn tarot and not be a witch (there are many card readers who are not witches). The tools do not make the witch. The financial cost to being a witch is $0.00 unless you want to drop money on items for your practice, in which case I suggest supporting your local, reputable occult shop. Being a witch begins with knowledge and culminates in practice. It is not about the tools. If you’re genuinely interested in becoming a witch, do the footwork of gaining knowledge before you drop any money on supplies.
Some applaud the notion of making witchcraft trendy or “more mainstream” by way of this company selling products divorced from knowledge. Sephora’s kit is not about promoting the acceptance of witchcraft among the mainstream. Sephora’s kit is about profiting off of the spiritual practice of witchcraft. It’s an empty chasm of greed that borders on dangerous, and is a slap in the face to those of us who are on this often maligned spiritual path.
Right now, white sage is at risk from being over-harvested and natural disasters such as forest fires. There is also a huge negative environmental impact due to the booming essential oil business, but that’s a topic for another day. Where does Pinrose source their sage from? Or their rose quartz, for that matter? These are important questions because where things come from and how they were obtained matters, especially when you are a witch.
A cosmetics company pilfering and degrading an entire spiritual path and practice by reducing it to a few trinkets they can make a buck off of while making empty promises to their patrons is a problem. What’s next? The Catholic Kit for “entry level” Catholics coming out just in time for Christmas? Comes with rosary beads, a small statue of Mary and scented holy water you can wear? All paths deserve respect. None should be reduced to an empty aesthetic.
Update: As of September 5th, 2018 Pinrose has announced that they are not going to manufacture or or make this witch kit for sale. Read their response on there website, here