What You Need To Know About TikTok’s WitchTok Craze

October 25, 2021

Halloween is a little under a week away and, to get in the spooky spirit, language learning app Babbel wants to get you in the know on the newest craze on TikTok: WitchTok. According to Babbel, WitchTok is an online community built on TikTok that revolves around the practice of traditional magic and witchcraft. This includes the use of spells, crystals, charms and other resources, as well as tarot cards, astrology and even psychic practices. Many younger witches on the platform have an approach that’s similar to an alternative wellness movement, which concentrates on the use of crystals and affirmations. If you’re newer to the trend of WitchTok, Babbel has you covered with the most popular “witchy” terminology to help you get into the craft, or at least to better understand it. —Vita Daily

coven. A gathering or community of initiated witches, usually led by a high priest and/or high priestess (a senior witch in a coven who is given a superior status to others). In the world of TikTok, though, covens are less common, as witches tend to work independently. It should be noted that many witch influencers seem to be acting in a similar manner to high priestesses or priests, as they provide guidance, and sometimes even warnings, to other witches on the platform.

green witch. The Green Witch embraces nature by drawing on the energies from the earth and untamed things. They rely on plants, flowers and herbs, and call on nature for guidance. Although the concept of a Green Witch in popular culture can be linked back to the Wizard of Oz’s wicked Witch of the West (and her signature green hue), Green Witches in reality, and on WitchTok, are presented as having a healing, nurturing energy. The community of Green Witches on TikTok give tips on how to heal with plants and how to produce the best homemade offerings.

herbalist. A herbalist is someone who uses plants for healing. They are not seen as doctors, though some practitioners are also referred to as medical herbalists. The witch community on TikTok discusses “herbal tips” and their uses in witchcraft, with terms that are unique to this community like “grounding,” connecting your personal energy with the earth and “gathering” both plants and energy from local sources.

crystal witch. Similar to the concept of a Green Witch (who finds their connection with nature), a Crystal Witch covers and practices the power of crystal magic and its associated energies. Crystal Witches use chakra cleansing and healing, which is based around the belief that certain crystals vibrate at unique frequencies and can be used to heal or alter your energy. The past few years have seen a surge in recognition for crystals in popular culture thanks to celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian supporting the idea that crystals can evoke healing and positive energy.

cosmic witch. Cosmic Witches focus on how celestial energy, the energy emitted by celestial bodies residing in the spirit world, influences the inner self. Within the TikTok community, Cosmic Witches work with astrology and astronomy, and provide people with tips on practicing astrology, timing their spells and activities with celestial events, and exploring their interest in moon cycles.

gray witch. A Gray Witch balances her powers between the magical forces of both black and white magic. Gray magic—in the world of WitchTok—incorporates both benevolent magic and cursing, with the aim of creating more justice in the world. WitchTok for Gray Witches features hexes and promotes the beneficial practices of working with spirits, celestial spirits and ancestors.

eclectic witch. Known as “cherry pickers,” Eclectic Witches are drawn to what feels natural and good to them on a personal level. TikTok’s witch community is often seen as being made up of Eclectic Witches, who are collectively trying to normalize conversations surrounding witchcraft and magic, with the goal of exploring how their passions can positively impact the evolution of the planet. WitchTok is a community open to all kinds of witches, which is why many Eclectic Witches find a home within this space.

baby witch. Baby Witches are inexperienced witches who, as they learn and grow within their practice, focus first on research and protection work. As WitchTok is an open and welcoming community, many Baby Witches gravitate toward this space as it lacks judgement and promotes open education.

familiar. Many TikTok users refer to their pets (more often than not, cats) as their familiars, which derives from medieval folklore, where familiars were believed to be supernatural entities that would assist witches and cunning folk in their practice of magic. Given pets ability to provide companionship and emotional support, many young witches see their pets as their familiar.

hex/curse. A “hex” is a form of magical attack or self-defence, and it can bring about anything from getting someone to keep their distance to great misfortune or physical harm towards the person at which the hex is directed. In 2020, Baby Witches from TikTok attempted to hex the moon because they were angry with the state of the pandemic. Most people did not take this attempt seriously.

shadow work. Shadow work is a process of inner alchemy in which a witch brings unconscious internal personal traits to the surface, in order to integrate and heal. A witch’s shadow points to where they need to give attention and self-love. The hashtag #ShadowWork on TikTok has a combined view count of over 175 million, with some of these videos showing easy, simple advice on pursuing shadow work, such as, “Write five things you love about yourself.” Other videos delve deeper, analyzing “inner child” issues such as guilt, abandonment, trust and neglect. This helps to address the “dark” or “shadow” side of a witch, to help them become healthier and more whole.

deity. A god or goddess in witchcraft. Historically, deities referred to a supernatural divine being such as Zeus, Athena, or Aphrodite. On WitchTok, a deity is similar, however the way you can connect with your deity has evolved. WitchTokers have a personal relationship with their deity rather than a collective one, with trends on WitchTok including: How to find my deity; I’m dating my deity; and Working with a deity.

altar. In non-magical life, an altar refers to a raised structure in a Church, used for prayer or religious rituals. However, in the witch world, an altar is a surface that a witch uses solely for activities such as casting spells, chanting, leaving offerings, and communing with a deity. Many can conjure the image of an altar to mind easily, as these items make regular appearances on popular shows and TV series like Fear Street and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. On WitchTok, altars tend to be less dramatized: typically, they are covered in a symbol-adorned cloth, which protects it from ash, liquids, and candle wax, as well as religious and ritual items like incense, wands, chalices of water and cauldrons.

pentacle. A magical amulet inscribed with a five-pointed star that is often placed on an altar. Pentacles are used to both summon spirits and shield the wearer from malevolent forces. Within the TikTok community, witches explore protection pentacles, and can help to decide what pentacles best match your needs, and how you should orient a pentacle based on your desires.

book of shadows. A Wiccan’s personal grimoire (pronounced grim-WAHR); a Book of Shadows is used to store information that a witch needs, such as recipes, and instructions for spells, rituals, and hexes. The origins of the Book of Shadows started with Gerald Gardner, the creator of Wicca during the 1940s and has carried on today. It’s common for those in the WitchTok community to give tips and tricks on what is best to put in your Book of Shadows, how to categorize your book, and tips for Baby Witches. WitchTok showcases a diverse range of grimoires, as each one is created and customized based on a witch’s magic, preference, and style.

closed practice. A closed practice in our world often relates to a doctor not taking patients, however in the witching world, a closed practice refers to spells or rituals that can only be practiced by people who are descendants of a specific cultural heritage. Aspiring witches and Baby Witches must respect closed practices to avoid appropriating a specific culture or heritage. Closed practices include cleansing with white sage, Voodoo/Hoodoo, and having Pow Wows, which refer back to tribe-specific rituals amongst Indigenous communities in North America. It’s also important to note that terms like “VooDoo” and “Pow Wow” should not be used jokingly, casually or out of context, both within the WitchTok community and beyond, as these are sacred practices that deserve respect in all contexts.


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