Sephora is Selling Starter Kits for Witches

witch hands, sage, and crystals surrounding a dollar sign

Sephora is cashing in on what the latest trend – witchcraft. The millennium-old practice is finally ripe for commercialisation now that Instagram exists, and sage can be coloured in pastels.

The Pinrose-made witch kit from Sephora is available for US$42 and contains:

  • A tarot deck
  • A selection of fragrances
  • A white sage bundle
  • A rose quartz crystal

Note the presence of musical artist Prince’s “love” symbol instead of an actual rune.

Conveniently launched in time for Halloween hype, these kits are the perfect way to accidentally hex yourself.

That is, if a real witch doesn’t hex Sephora first. White magic practitioners around the world are incensed that the company is taking over the provision of magical goods to aspiring witches. Tumblr user themori-witch urges consumers to “support small, witch-owned businesses.”

The mass-production of witch paraphernalia is a concern for many small businesses, and many good Christian souls. More importantly, however, the harvesting of white sage is a massive sustainability red flag.

White sage is used extensively by Native Americans for its anti-bacterial properties and for ceremonial purposes. It took off in the U.S. as a smudge stick as the settler Wiccan culture was influenced and shaped by its environment.

Its inclusion in this mass-produced pack obviously raises questions about sustainable sourcing, and in any case, it certainly takes the sacred plant out of its indigenous setting – which some witches have a problem with. Remember when we priced quinoa out of the mouths of its Bolivian farmers? Let’s not do that with sage.

Sephora isn’t the first brand to make money off the back of Wiccan practices. Dior’s 2017 summer line was inspired by Motherpeace Tarot cards, and Nordstrom recently released a wellness crystal set.

Fourth Ray, a brand owned by the same company behind Kylie Jenner’s lipkits, is set to sell a Ritual Box for US$150.

There have been numerous attempts to explain the rise in new age spiritualism and white witchery. Some believe it’s the divine feminine uniting in the face of patriarchal backlash. Others blame millennials for killing the crucifix market. Economists point out that every depression sees an upswing in spiritualism, and it’s just thanks to the visual window of Instagram that we can actually watch its spread instead of remaining piously ignorant.

Witchcraft isn’t an aesthetic – it’s a religion. Some critics have suggested Sephora create starter kits for all major world religions. The Catholic one could include a crucifix, a knock-off Saint’s bone, and a little bottle of holy water.

Rose quartz – the rock included in the starter kit – is the stone of universal love. It inspires trust, peace, and harmony. Perhaps with enough 14-year-olds clutching the rocks in their tiny, manicured hands world peace could come at last.