Sore Losers : Witches

This month Etsy banned witchcraft! In fact, they banned all kinds of flim-flam. You can still sell crystals, but you can’t claim that they’re magical.

The “metaphysical community” is said to be “furious”.

Of course, you’d think that people who can control the mystic powers of the universe would be able to do something about this, right? Well, one of them has.

Online marketplace for Pagans

(Meanwhile, Bill Nye the Science Guy raised $1.2 Million with his Kickstarter campaign. Maybe science is more popular than superstition after-all?)

  • TheNate

    If only they had some sort of power that could influence reality to their wishes. I mean, can’t she cast a success spell or something?

    • KickFailure

      If only there was a place she could buy the crystals she needs!

      It’s a catch-22!

  • neeneko

    Eh, you can not blame them for being upset. Could you imagine the outrage if etsy banned, say, Christian religious objects? Pagans on etsy got a nasty reminder that their clout is small enough that they can be banned, probably because they were deemed offensive to Christian groups.

    • KickFailure

      I can absolutely blame them. Even Christian items were affected by the new rules.

      You’re still allowed to sell both crosses and quartz crystals. You’re just not allowed to claim that either is magic.

      • neeneko

        That is a bit like that joke from Futurama about ‘all female employees must be willing to pose nude’ being in everyone’s contract, regardless of gender. Technically true, but the rule only practically applies to a subset of employees.

        In this case, ‘magic’ is part of their theological system. If we were going to impact sale of Christian religious objects in the same way then the rule would have to say something about not mentioning god or showing your love for god or other such things.

        It impacts these neo-pagan groups disproportionately since magic is part of their framework, while it is not part of the Christian one. On the other hand, when I look for prayer enhancing objects for sale I get over 100,000 results. So this ban was quite selective in regard to which mystical systems it removed from etsy and which it left pretty much untouched.

        • KickFailure

          I disagree. Magic is a ***HUGE*** part of Christianity. Especially Catholicism!

          They’ve got medallions of all the saints, and they’re all ascribed very specific magical powers. Nobody has a little statue of a Saint because they like the way the saint looks, or because they’re particularly interested in the saint as a historical person.

          If you see a Catholic with a statue of Saint Clare of Assisi balanced on their television set, It’s not because they’re historians interested in the monastic order she founded or her radically left-wing economic
          ideas, it’s because they honestly think their television will function better if they evoke St. Clare, the patron saint of televisions (and other remote viewing technology, probably including Skype?)

          On the non-catholic side, all sorts of magical powers are attributed to things with crosses and other symbols etched into them. I’ve even seen crosses you’re supposed to attach to your car’s fuel line to improve mileage! (Jesus was apparently real big on fuel efficiency.)

          But here’s the thing. A Catholic would still buy those things even if the seller didn’t go into detail about the woo-woo elements. Because that’s their religion. They don’t need to be conned into spending money on it, they already believe. They went LOOKING for it.

          If quartz crystals and such are honestly part of your religion, and not a scam that lazy Etsy sellers have cooked up, you shouldn’t need to be promised metaphysical results. You should know what you want, and be willing to buy it regardless of what is or is not promised metaphysically.

          And that’s the crux of it. Etsy was overrun with con artists trying to take advantage of people who thought wicca was kind of interesting, but didn’t know anything about it. To the point where I honestly think some people were piecing together their own theology based entirely on the nonsense in Etsy listings. And it absolutely was nonsense. I’ve read enough about Wicca to know that it’s REALLY not about buying the right colored crystals from Etsy at 1000 times the wholesale rate.

          “rule would have to say something about not […] showing your love for god”
          That would be silly. It’s very well evidenced that people love God. The part that’s unproven is that God, or any other force of nature, is going to do stuff for you based on the things you buy.

          • neeneko

            Oh I agree “magic”, in a sense, is a huge part of christianity, but they do not call it that, which is why they can still sell their items on etsy.

            And yes, as a well organized major religion they have their code words straight, so members know exactly what to go looking for without having to call it ‘magic’. But at the end of the day, you can by their magical objects on etsy, while pagan ones, with their different code words, can not.

            As for ‘making up their own theology’, while catholics might have a pretty solid set of dogma, there are a lot of ‘DIY’ evangelicals out there with their own ‘personal’ version that is always integrating stuff they see on TV or listings.

            Keep in mind, I am not pagan nor christian myself. But when looking at the ban, on who is impacted and who is not, I do not see ‘con artist vs non con artist’, I see some groups singled out to be cracked down on, while more mainstream ones are not. Looking at how cons actually play out, christian con artists are both more common and fleece their targets pretty badly. But you can’t crack down on them easily because they are so similar to larger groups that will ruin your business if you even sound like you are going after them. pagans on the other hand, make easy scapegoats.