Alternative MethodsConventional Methods


March 29

“Mysticore” is the New Norm: Inside the Trend That’s Casting its Spell over the Culture

Marian Yates
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 5 min.

Welcome to the season of the witch. Recently, the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosted a Witches Brew film festival, which included the acclaimed new film “The Witch.” Lately it isn’t uncommon to see glossy magazines like Nylon with headlines that start “The Witches’ Guide to…”, while new publications like Sabat, an aesthetically driven magazine that explores contemporary witchcraft, are attracting attention from readers and design snobs alike.

Stores specializing in metaphysical sundries (think ritual candles, blended oils, sacred herbs) like Spellbound Sky and House of Intuition in Los Angeles, while not brand-new, are suddenly crowded. In Brooklyn, Witches of Bushwick has evolved from a venue on the underground party circuit to a social collective that celebrates witchcraft as a feminist art and collaborates with fashion companies like Chromat. Of course, for those who prefer whipping up potions at home, several new witch- and occult-themed subscription boxes deliver the magical arts to the doorstep.

Not just witches are enjoying a cultural renaissance, though. All manner of magic is in the air, as the New Age movement’s lighter granola-and-Zen fare has given way to the practice of a more modern mysticism, where conversations about conjuring, personal shamans and powerful potions can be intense as they are ubiquitous. While social media and feminism have brought witchcraft to the fore, the new kaleidoscopic array of spell casting, ritual observing (from pagan holidays to full moons) and crystal charging draws from traditional mysticism, magic and paganism. Served buffet style to an eager audience of open-minded converts, it’s shining a white light on everything from fashion and health to politics.

This may be the most prevalent, hidden-in-plain sight trend that you couldn’t quite put a finger on since “normcore.” Last fall the folks at trend-forecasting firm K-Hole — which coined the term “normcore” — looked into the cultural crystal ball to release a paper dubbed “A Report on Doubt.” Normcore, that infinitely hashtag-able trend that tapped into a “post-authenticity coolness that opts into sameness,” stood against style clichés and aggressive street-style peacocking — it promised freedom through assimilation. After an endless stream of articles about how wearing dad jeans was indeed the ultimate hipster power move, time had come for the cultural pendulum to swing. K-Hole’s new prediction was that logic and “sameness” were becoming relics and people were about to head into the mystic.

Call it post-reason or pro-intuition, this new phase rejects the positively beige normcore values in favor of highly personal, emotional responses to fashion, culture and politics. (Donald Trump’s rise certainly reads as more of a manifestation of personal desire than a reasonable course of action paved by logic and solid judgment.) Dubbing this new philosophy “Chaos Magic,” a term that’s been bantered about in the postmodern Magick community for decades), K-Hole prophesied, “The fundamental element of magic is the ability to manifest or sublimate things.”

Plus, K-Hole observed, “Chaos Magic lives in the same realm as the cult of positive thinking. But it goes beyond making mood boards of high end apartments you’d like to will into your possession… . You opt into whatever belief system you think will help you reach your intended goals.” Put simply, K-Hole’s version of Chaos Magic is the antidote to overthinking, a means of manifesting individual desires onto the universe — a “radical DIY.”

The report has been cited by Vogue, which found Chaos Magic in the personal imprints of designers like Nicolas Ghesquière (who penned a letter to accompany his debut Louis Vuitton show) and of Riccardo Tisci (who for Givenchy’s spring 2016 show brought in Marina Abramovic to craft a spiritual mood). Meanwhile, designer JW Anderson has evoked the trend more literally, sewing celestial symbols into his knitwear.

Check social media: A search for #witch on Instagram yields about 2,375,000 posts — whereas one for #kardashian scores only 1,630,000. Search next time at a boutique: Tarot decks are coming back in high style, thanks to retailers like the Wild Unknown — its artful cards are in stores across the country, from upscale meccas like ABC Home in New York City to indie hot spots like Skylark in Venice Beach, California. K-Hole was right, “mysticore” is the new norm.

But why? In an editorial earlier this year, N+1 recalled the postwar era’s suspicion of New Age thinking, heralded by Theodor Adorno’s criticism of horoscopes, based on his reading of the Los Angeles Times’ astrology column in 1952. In Adorno’s mind, astrology was a superstition that encouraged political passivity.

Maybe he was onto something. Consider the simple maxim: In uncertain times, people turn to religion to make sense of the world around them.

Today, however, as traditional Western religion loses some of its appeal (a recent Pew survey found that as of 2014, fewer adults, especially millennials, describe themselves as religiously affiliated), mysticism, witchcraft and magic are stepping in to fill the spiritual void.

“It correlates with nature, clean living movements, and earthy values,” said Elisabeth Krohn, Sabat’s founder and editor. “Whether you blame it on Trump, global capitalism or Internet culture, I feel many crave a less cynical world, something non-linear, even mystical.”

The current surge of mystical thought is also directly tied to the sense of personal empowerment that modern feminism works toward. “The witch as an icon is resonating right now because we’ve entered a fourth wave of feminism,” said Pam Grossman, author of What Is a Witch and co-founder of the Occult Humanities Conference at New York University. “We are redefining what power, leadership, beauty and value look like on our own terms. And the witch is the ultimate symbol of female power. Doing witchcraft is a way to connect to that energy, which is so needed right now, as we’re beginning to collectively course correct thousands of years of sexism and oppression.”

A visit to the temple of Instagram (and Tumblr and Snapchat) makes it easy to see how mysticore appeals to the generation of internet autodidacts that grew up on Harry Potter. In social media, the idea of tapping into something ancient is suddenly accessible, personal and highly individualized, which is very much in line with the idea of Chaos Magic itself (even in its original, non-trend-spotting incarnation).

“I don’t believe that those who dabble in mysticism because it’s a trend or passing curiosity actually take anything away from more ‘serious’ practitioners,” Grossman said. “For some people, that tarot deck that they bought just might be the gateway to a road of deeper inquiry. Or it may be something they toss aside in a month. It doesn’t hurt anyone in either case.”

Whether individuals are searching for obscure Aleister Crowley texts while planning an equinox ritual or just matching their nail color to the crystals the choose-your-own adventure nature of mysticore gives it a flexibility almost unmatched in the world of trends — except for maybe athleisure, which is flexible by nature. And for those looking for a place to start, the Hoodwitch’s Bri Luna, another Vogue favorite, recently collaborated on a nail-polish line with Floss Gloss.

Grossman, for one, doesn’t see mysticore going away anytime soon. “Magic is a shape-shifter,” she said. “It doesn’t care what form it takes. It just wants to flow and be known.”

LAURA BOLT/SALON

Comments

Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
or
Services
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter
Sort
 

All categories

Angel Healing
$10 USD
Mental Health Advice & Tips

I can help you with past issues and give advice and tips on how to better your life. I can see through my third eye and receive messageson what you need to do …

Beings Of Light
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Discovery call

Are you interested in supporting your health with safe and effective holistic medicine? Not sure if you should switch diets, work with a health coach or explor…

Suzana Da Costa
Wellness Coaching
$50 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Consultation

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Career Coaching
$195 USD
Holistic Lifestyle & Nutrition Coaching

ARE YOU TIRED? STRESSED OUT? STRUGGLING WITH YOUR WEIGHT? UNDER SLEPT? LOST YOUR ZEST FOR LIFE?

If this sounds like you, then you don’t need a new diet… you n…

David Giddings
Bach flower therapy
$120 USD
Bach Flower Essence Consultation

Exploration of where you’re feeling stuck or limited in life and recommendations of Bach Flower Essences to help loosen and dissolve old patterns.

Suzana Da Costa
Cognitive-behavioral therapy
$100 USD
Subliminal therapy

In this service we will use Subliminal therapy and Sound healing as alternative to tradition cognitive behavioral therapy.

We are born with our thoughts. Do n…

Ahmed Amin Youssef
Psychic Reading
$10 USD
I will do oracle and tarot card readings

I will do oracle & tarot card reading in any area of your life. You will get answer from the Angelic, Elemental, Faerie or Galactic realms. I will share wi…

Wisdom Realms
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Intro 2 Alignment Healing Chant

Namaste.

That is my greeting to the spirit within you. Join me for a welcome introduction session to celebrate my arrival at Core Spirit!

For 15 minutes I wi…

Ti3rc3 Fire
Mediumism
$55 USD
Psychic Medium Readings

READINGS Currently, all readings will be offered virtually. Appointments are available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9am-1pm (UK Time Zone). When we…

Jan Morgan
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Ask a Question?

Supportive reflection of a current question that you would like clarity around. Using the SMART method to seek quidance in stepping onto your path of potential…

Beverly Lynn
Oracle Cards Reading
$25 USD
Psychic Reading 15 Minutes

Well-versed in the main 5 clairs, I will Intuitively answer your questions for 15 minutes.

Jyll Hoyrup
Emotional Stress Release
$150 USD
Creatrix® Breakthrough

This is a revolutionary process, SPECIALLY designed for women. You will be able to clear your most depeest BLOCKS and limiting beliefs. 

This is the only too…

Tamar Viva
Distance Healing
$10 USD
Energy Healing (Distant)

Distant Energy healing promotes relaxation, reduces tension and stress and will support an overal sense of well being after a treatment. It is an effective ad…

Beverly Lynn
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading

I offer tarot readings with a 100% accuracy rate.

I don’t do deity readings or readings about a third party. That to me, is a violation of the person.

Zara Kalil
Emotional Freedom Technique
$10 USD
Transform Your Relationship With Your Money

In this session, you will learn the basics of Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. Together we will use that technique, sometimes called simply tapping, to sor…

Nancy Allen
Personal Development Coaching
$10 USD
Anxiety and Depression - Coaching Consultation and Assessment Call

Are you looking to begin making a change in your life and become the best version of yourself by breaking free from the emotional barriers that has been blocki…

Amritha Kailas
Mind Control
$72 USD
Women's Emotional Wellness and Transformation Coaching

Are you dealing with confusion, low esteem, anxiety, depression, overthinking , relationship issues and trying to find focus, confidence, purpose, peace and b…

Amritha Kailas
Past Life Regression
$10 USD
Soul Readings

Your Soul is an accumulated repository of existential experience.

Access your creativity, things you learned from past lives.

Healing, you learned how to mak…

Core of Your Spirit
Emotional Freedom Technique
$105 USD
EFT tapping - Heal your past and uncover your authentic self

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is also know as EFT tapping. It is a mind-body approach which helps us to improve our physical, emotional and mental well-be…

Sina Weber
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Single Card Pull

I will pull one single card for you to answer any question or concern. Typically, these types of quick readings are good for yes or no questions or simple answ…

Megan Zavar
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
One Question Tarot Reading

I’ll answer your question through Tarot and Oracle cards. I don’t restrict myself on the number of cards which will be used to give you guidance and clarity on…

Shanen Keith Hernandez
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Love Reading

You can ask me up to 3 questions about your love situation and I will answer them all.

Sonya
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
General Tarot Reading

A three card spread to help you identify issues in your life and how to resolve them.

Tiffy