Modern witchcraft combines feminism, self-help, and wellness. But is there more to it than pretty crystals, stunning Instagram pictures, and lucrative business opportunities?
Gala Darling reveals that her spiritual awakening was like the moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy wakes up, miraculously transported from the sepia world of rural Kansas to the technicolor land of Oz.
Darling is standing beside her altar—a round, pink table laid with energy-charged crystals and magic candles—at The Wing, an all-women social club in Manhattan where 60 members and guests have signed up for her “Radical Self-Love Workshop.”
A 33-year-old writer and self-help guru, she explains how her years-long fog of depression lifted when she discovered “tapping,” an ancient Eastern healing technique that she describes as “a combination of acupuncture and cosmic psychology.”
The audience is rapt because Darling isn’t just a self-help guru but a stylish, sassy witch who swears often and radiates cool-girl vibes. She used to be “really goth and cynical” and thought tapping was “bullshit”—until, she says, it worked. Now she casts spells on Donald Trump.
Darling is tall and striking, with alabaster skin and kohl-rimmed green eyes. She wears a rainbow sherbet-colored maxi skirt, a grey tee knotted above her navel, and a silver pentagon ring. Her black hair is dip-dyed a raspberry, purpley pink shade that almost matches her lipstick. All of this makes for a punk rock-meets-My Little Pony aesthetic, complete with bicep sleeve tattoos and glittering fingernails.
Darling looks every bit the Instagram-famous modern witch, with nearly 60,000 followers. Being a professional witch and self-love priestess is her full-time job. (She declined to tell me me how much she earns through her practice.)
At a time when millennial women are embracing wellness fads and are hell-bent on toppling the patriarchy, the contemporary witch is their enlightened, rebellious role model.
She has seen a resurgence in pop culture over the last few years, from the campy and wildly popular 2013 TV series American Horror Story: Coven to Robert Eggers’ 2015 film The Witch. Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop sells tools for female-oriented practical magic like jade and rose quartz “yoni” eggs that purport to do more than just exercise your kegels.
Celebrities like Katy Perry, Victoria Beckham, Cara Delevingne, and Lena Dunham are hooked on crystals’ alleged healing powers and positive vibes (it doesn’t hurt that they’re also pretty). Adele chalked up her lackluster Grammy’s performance last year to misplacing hers. (Click to Article)