Forget cottagecore, this witchy trend is sure to put a spell on you… Halloween may be over but the witchcore aesthetic is here to stay!
What is Witchcore Aesthetic?
The term ‘witchcore’ was originally coined on TikTok, an app where many self-identifying witches congregate to share magic, stories and witchcraft inspired content. The hashtag #Witchcore currently has 100.6M views, while #WitchTok has amassed an impressive 34.2B.
Witchcore is an aesthetic centered around ancient practices, a connection with nature and gothic style. Think potion bottles, casting spells, large-brimmed hats and all things witchy.
Search the term on Pinterest and you are sure to see an array of witchcore visuals; items like tarot cards, crystals, incense & sage burning, mushrooms, supernatural imagery, spooky decorations & several pictures of Stevie Nicks. Although similar to whimsigothic, this movement takes an a more literal meaning.
The aesthetic of witchcore can generally be broken down into two sub categories, dark and light. The dark more influenced by goths, punks, the victorian era and dark academia vibes, while the light is more earthy and ethereal, often using glitters, shimmers and taking inspiration from fantasy themes.
The author of Craft: How to Be A Modern Witch, Gabriela Herstik, said, “While we don’t have the opportunity to express ourselves outside of our homes, there’s a comfort in wearing something that makes you feel connected to your magic. Things like TikTok and Instagram pick up the pace of this self-expression.”
More than a Pinterest Aesthetic?
To many, thinking of witchcore as an aesthetic does not do it justice. This is a lifestyle rooted in self-care, self-empowerment & overthrowing the outdated standards of the patriarchy.
The previously popular cottagecore was at the forefront of everyone’s mind in lockdown 2020; this was a movement centred around spending time in nature & frolicking through fields while wearing beautiful vintage dresses. Meanwhile, witchcore was gaining traction with those already drawn to mysticism, magic and all things supernatural.
The pandemic is still going on, countless global catastrophes have occurred & the general mood is much darker; of course this is a time when the public turn towards empowerment through any means, whether that be through magic, fashion choices or finding a supportive community of likeminded people.
Although witchcraft is the clear influence of this movement, it is interesting to see how themes of connecting with nature & establishing a unique & personal sense of style continue to lead the way nearly three years on. Naturecore, goblincore & mushroomcore are all niche sub-categories combining style & nature in ways not seen before.
Witchcraft at it’s core is political. During the BLM protests hashtag #WitchesForBLM appeared on TikTok, users were sharing spells to protect those protesting & encouraging others to join the cause, these videos have now been viewed 47.1M times.
“The witches or practitioners are using [their] power to help aide in healing and protecting people of color, or anyone affected. Some witches are also taking the advantage of this great energy to hex the oppressors,” says TikTok user & practicing witch, @.gemini.moon; “witches, from the beginning of time, have worked with the people. If we see things that are out of balance we try our best to manifest that balance back,”
@wildspellcraft Spell work is personal for me so I rarely post it at all. There are several steps missing here, but this could be done as is. Sharing to say that human rights aren’t a “difference of opinion” to me. You either have empathy or you don’t. #politicalwitchcraft #witchyactivist ♬ For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Practices such as cleansing rituals, setting intentions, gem collecting or moonlight potion making, all hark back to our ancestors. They have always used the change of season, nature & herbal remedies to care for themselves and their communities.
Catherine Tosenberger, PhD, an associate professor of English literature and cultural studies at the University of Winnipeg and folklore specialist says, “The way I understand magic, it’s a mode of creating change. It’s practiced traditionally by people who don’t have access to other forms of power, it’s been a way to protect yourself in a world where all the official institutions are set up to persecute you.”
Witchcore Visuals – Interior Design & Decor
All witches must create a safe sanctuary for spell casting and self care. It has been proven that scent, colour and aesthetics can change your mood, increase your confidence & change peoples perception of you. This is certainly something to keep in mind when decorating the home.
The burning of incense, candles and essential oils create a soothing atmosphere while tying in with all kinds of magic. There are so many holders and burners that lean into the witch aesthetic! (Be careful burning white sage as this has been linked with the cultural appropriation of indigenous people and environmental issues when farmed; smoke cleansing can be achieved using herbs, wood or other safe-to-burn materials that possess cleansing properties.)
Thrift shops are essential to adorn the home with unique items and create that mismatched apothecary vibe! Jars lined up & filled with herbs and foraged items, wine glasses and vessels in all shapes and colours, a collection of loved books with broken spines & dog eared pages, plus knick knacks & ornaments symbolic to your practice.
Vintage items that hold history will forever have a place in a witchcore house, think old wooden bookshelves, bold throws and velvet fringed lampshades. The combination of natural elements and rich materials make for a whimsical ambience sure to make any witch feel at home. See Sabrina the Teenage Witch for decorative inspiration.
Display your practice with an altar! The set up of an altar is a personal thing; with items changing depending on the type of craft followed, the change of season or change of practice. Typical items would include an altar cloth, symbols of the four elements (earth, wind, fire & water), crystals, essential oils, flowers, herbs, tarot cards, a cauldron, statues of deities, pictures of loved ones, a book of shadows or handwritten notes.
Need to build your crystal collection? UK based brand Luna Amatores have a wide selection of crystals available here.
Handmade items are a must, from pottery to sewing, there are so many areas of witchcraft that require nimble fingers. A Hearth Witch in particular knows how to make a house a home, continually making items such as soap, crochet and wreathes to make it a special and sacred place. Kitchen witches fall into this category making steaming pots of tea or freshly baked pies as a feast for both the stomach and the eyes.
Bring the outside in with plants & crystals flowing throughout! Display drying herbs on a rack, fill every corner with vines, succulents and floral displays. Earth witches in particular take great pride in their connection to nature, some will choose to display insects and bones as décor.
We’re obsessed with this Celestial Plant Hanger from UK based small business, Dreadful Pigeon:
Last but not least, no witchcore home would be complete without a trusty old broom propped up in the corner.
Witchcore Clothing Inspiration – Fashion & Glamour Magic
Fashionable witchy women have always been at the forefront of alternative pop culture, have a look at this article featuring 13 iconic witches who’s fashion moments continue to influence style today.
Whether you are influenced by the gothic elements of witchcore, or more likely to wear an ethereal gown and listen to Fleetwood Mac, there are some themes that remain constant throughout. For example, no witchy wardrobe would be complete without a rich assortment of lace, velvet, crochet & silk; an eclectic mismatch of heavy and light materials is an absolute must.
It is for this reason that thrift stores again are absolutely essential. Collecting unique, vintage pieces and throwing it all together in an aesthetically pleasing layered look is exactly what witches do best!
Don’t forget to accessorise! Some prefer to be dripping with jewellery, feathers and celestial pieces, while others prefer a statement accessory such as a wide brimmed hat or round reading glasses. A witches adornments can say a lot about their preferred practice.
As with everything in witchcraft, it is key to keep your style personal and meaningful to you. Fashion often come with greater political meaning and witches are firm believers in dressing for themselves, not societal standards.
When creating a witchy wardrobe it is key to note it’s not all about the clothes! Glamour magic is a subtle practice that builds confidence and can change the way others see you. It is about stepping into your power and showing your best self. This can be through clothing, makeup, scents, talismans, bath magic or mirror mantras.
Chelsea Selby, professional witch and owner of Witch Baby Soap, suggests finding your “power colour” as it can help you gain authority and confidence. She also believes using symbolic ingredients throughout your beauty routine to achieve your goals of the day; “If I’m proposing a new idea at work that I want the team to get on board with, I will often wear a honey-infused lip balm so my proposal sounds sweeter.”
Other practices include wearing relevant crystals. For example carrying jade can encourage luck in relationships, or wearing rose quartz over the heart chakra can help to overcome the insecurities holding one back from success. Another option is to make a charm and wear it throughout the day.
A Trend for Weirdos & Witchcraft…
Despite the term only being around for a few years, it is clear that witchcore itself has been around for centuries! Scaring the squares and empowering the powerless, we love this movement for the sense of community and self-validation it brings.
This is one for the outliers & underdogs, the edgy & eclectic, the magical & mysterious, the powerful & political; witchcore forever in our opinion!