Witches are sharing their magical teachings and talents with the masses using Instagram, and the most popular accounts have scored thousands of followers.
Writer Amanda Montell interviewed a few of the well-known ‘witches of Instagram’ for her recent Cosmopolitan.com article about the rise of mystical millennials on social media.
Their accounts feature everything from stylized images of crystals and sage bundles to metaphysical advice for those looking to add more magic to their lives.
Online star: Known as The Hoodwitch on Instagram, Bri Luna has more than 345,000 followers, including actress Gabrielle Union and model Taylor Hill
Eye-catching: Her colorful Instagram page is filled with pictures of crystals and tarot cards, thought-provoking quotes, and bewitching pictures of herself
Many of the women have been able to turn witchcraft into full-time jobs thanks to their social media presence. Some offer tarot readings to their followers via Facetime, while others sell metaphysical merchandise.
The rise of the Instagram witch comes at a time when mysticism and new age practices have hit the mainstream. As Montell pointed out, a quarter of Americans say they are spiritual but not religious, according to a 2017 Pew Research study.
With the country divided and many battling feelings of uncertainty and despair, the witches can offer solace and reassurance to their followers.
‘In the age of Donald Trump, I notice an uptick in DMs after stressful current events,’ New Orleans-based witch Valeria Ruelas told the outlet.
Bri Luna @thehoodwitch
As one of the most followed witches on social media, Bri offers her 345,000 Instagram followers — including Gabrielle Union and Taylor Hill — ‘everyday magic for the modern mystic.’
She now splits her time between Seattle and New York City, but before her rise to fame, she was living in Los Angeles and running an e-commerce business that sold metaphysical objects such as crystals and bundles of sage.
Although Bri declined to divulge her age, she told Cosmopolitan.com that she started her Instagram account to show the world a witch unlike the ones being portrayed on television and in films.
Bri, who is Black and Mexican, explained ‘the representation of witches wasn’t very inclusive’ when she first took to Instagram.
‘The aesthetic was very white, very Salem, very American Horror Story: Coven,’ she said. ‘It was all dark robes and pointy hats.’
Magic: Bri studied witchcraft with both of her grandmothers, and she now works with crystals and tarot cards
Too popular: The Instagram witch had to stop accepting DMs because she was constantly receiving requests for spells and tarot readings
With more than 2,000 posts, her colorful Instagram page is filled with pictures of crystals and tarot cards, thought-provoking quotes, and bewitching pictures of herself.
Bri hopes her beautiful photos will prompt her followers to read the captions of her posts and take away something that helps them connect to their deeper selves.
However, when it comes to people contacting her, she actually had to stop accepting DMs because she was constantly receiving requests for spells and tarot readings, among other things.
Bri still runs her online store, The Hoodwitch, where she sells crystals, tarot card decks, and bundles of sage as well as enamel pins and tote bags.
Growing up, she studied witchcraft with both of her grandmothers, and she now works with crystals and tarot cards.
‘My mom is Mexican and my dad is from New Orleans. Growing up, my grandmother was a curandera, and my dad’s mom practiced southern style conjure and healing remedies,’ she told Latina.com.
Dedicated: Valeria Ruelas, who is known as The Mexican Witch on Instagram, works as a full-time witch after scoring more than 20,000 followers
Bewitching: The 24-year-old from New Orleans shares photos and videos of everything from her tarot forecasts to her personal altar
Valeria Ruelas @themexicanwitch
Valeria, a 24-year-old witch from New Orleans, has turned her social media presence into a full-time job after starting out as a tarot reader for her friends.
Her Instagram posts featuring horoscopes, tarot forecasts, and intuitive guidance videos helped her garner nearly 20,000 followers in just two years.
Valeria used to work as a sexual-health counselor at a hospital, but she was able to leave her job last year to focus on doing readings and spiritual consultations for her followers.
She charges $45 for a 30-minute tarot reading, and these sessions are often done over the phone or via FaceTime.
Next generation: Valeria said she comes from a ‘long line of Mexican folk healers’ and considers magic to be a hereditary gift
Tribute: Instagram has enabled Valeria to reach clients all over the world. She recently shared a picture of one of her fan’s drawings, which shows her looking into a crystal ball
‘I come from a long line of Mexican folk healers, so I consider herbal medicine and magic a hereditary gift,’ she told Cosmopolitan.com.
‘In my late teens, I remember taking out a card from a deck and guessing its meaning correctly, without looking at the book. I felt as if I had already seen these cards. It felt so right.
‘I believe in the Big Bang, I believe in science — but I also believe there’s something bigger behind all that.’
While Instagram has helped Valeria reach people from all over the world, it has also left her vulnerable to online trolls who don’t understand her practice.
‘I have been called satanic and devil worshipper, and just get mocked a lot for my practice being ‘make-believe,'” she told the outlet. ‘That’s what hurts the most — the doubt.’
Talents: Shawn Engel shares her herbal wellness recipes and her knowledge of tarot with her 18,000 followers
Helpful advice: Her page is filled with weekly tarot forecasts, images of crystals, candles, and hauntingly beautiful photos of herself
Shawn Engel @WitchyWisdoms
As an Instagram witch, Shawn shares her herbal wellness recipes and her knowledge of tarot with her 18,000 followers.
Her page is filled with weekly tarot forecasts, images of crystals, candles, and hauntingly beautiful photos of herself.
In response to a recent snapshot of a card reveal on ‘Transcendence Tuesday,’ one fan commented: ‘Thank you for this. I really needed this. Blessings to you.’
Shawn told Cosmopolitan.com that she discovered witchcraft in a bookstore when she was a tween and has been using tarot and holistic healing remedies to help with mental health issues for years.
She worked as a bartender in New York City before she became a full-time witch last July. On her website, Witchy Wisdoms, she sells magic candles and crystal jewelry in addition to scheduling appointments for tarot readings via Skype or FaceTime.
New life: Shawn worked as a bartender in New York City before she became a full-time witch last July
Stuck with her: Shawn discovered witchcraft in a bookstore when she was a tween and has been using tarot and holistic healing remedies for years
Shawn charges $55 for a 25-minute reading, and she also offers classes and bootcamps to help others manifest their desires.
Two months of one-on-one coaching courses with Shawn cost $1,200, and while it may seem pricey, she insists she can deliver results.
According to her website, she has helped her clients manifest everything from modeling gigs to a spot on HGTV.
On her podcast, The Boss Mystic, she navigates ‘the world of entrepreneurship through the eyes of a Witch.’
‘Witches used to be stuck in the broom closet,’ she told Cosmopolitan.com. ‘Social media is a way for us to reach a wider audience.’
Fans: Bakara Wintner, a 28-year-old witch based in Durham, North Carolina, has more than 11,000 Instagram followers, including author Cheryl Strayed and Younger star Nico Tortorella
Career: Bakara is a practicing tarot card reader, healer, and owner of Everyday Magic, a metaphysical supply store. Many of her stunning photos are taken in the store (pictured)
Bakara Wintner @bakaraw
Bakara, a 28-year-old witch based in Durham, North Carolina, has more than 11,000 Instagram followers — including author Cheryl Strayed and Younger star Nico Tortorella.
She came across her first tarot card deck at the age of 21, when she was working as a publishing assistant in New York City.
‘When I got the deck, there was this instant feeling of recognition that had me in tears from the moment it was in my hands,’ she told Cosmopolitan.
Bakara is now a practicing tarot card reader and healer as well as the owner of Everyday Magic, a metaphysical supply store in Durham.
Old pro: She came across her first tarot card deck at the age of 21, when she was working as a publishing assistant in New York City
Author: Last year, Bakara published her own guide to reading tarot titled WTF is Tarot? … & How Do I Do It?
The store, which she founded in 2016, offers good created by witches from around the world.
Many of Bakara’s Instagram photos are taken inside her perfectly curated store, which is filled with crystals, candles, and books.
‘It’s mind-blowingly beautiful,’ one fan commented on a recent post. ‘You have created such a magical space.’
A year after she opened Everyday Magic, she published her own guide to reading tarot titled WTF is Tarot? … & How Do I Do It?