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That "Starter Witch Kit" Was Canceled After Massive Backlash On Social Media

People accused the kit of all kinds of appropriation.

Posted on September 6, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. ET

A "Starter Witch Kit" that was slated to be sold at Sephora has been canceled after massive backlash on social media.

Sephora

The kit, made by San Franciso–based beauty company Pinrose, contains fragrances, a tarot deck, a piece of rose quartz, and a bundle of white sage for burning. It was set to retail for $42.

While there's nothing new about witchy, New Agey practices seeping into the mainstream wellness practices (see: Goop), this particular kit struck an immediate nerve.

First, the backlash came from practicing witches, some of whom are Wicca adherents. They called out the kit for turning their spiritual practice into a ~trendy~ kit.

the sephora "witch kit" thing is so disrespectful to actual members of the wiccan community. if someone is actually interested in wicca and wants to follow it they shouldnt be buying "kits", they need to learn on their own/with the help of other members, not a name brand store

Basically they said it's buying the aesthetics of the craft without actually digging into the meaning behind it.

Sephora selling sage sticks and tarot cards with cheap perfume as a witch starter kit is 😒😒😒. The cultivation of supplies and aura of the witch matters when you buy supplies. Though if you're here for basic aesthetics I guess whatever.

Because one person's passing trend is another person's spirituality.

Tbh I’m glad people are pissed about the whole “Sephora starter witch kit” thing because this whole witchcraft-is-trendy-goth phase people are going through has been bugging me for a while???

Which begs the question: What makes a witch?

Now we’re gonna get all these basic white girls walking about with their $20 “witch kit” acting like theyre witches when really they only have a tarot deck, a crystal, sage stick and a couple of shitty perfumes from Sephora and don’t have a clue as to what witchcraft is about LOL https://t.co/vAPqoO5Z38

Beyond that, people also called out the inclusion of white sage in the kit. White sage has a very particular meaning for indigenous cultures across North America.

Sephora does not need to be selling white sage. Non natives do not need to be purchasing sage from non-native sources. Non natives need to stop pretending they’re smudging. There’s nothin cute about exploiting a sacred plant that has no connection to you or your culture.

As Indian Country Today expertly explained, white sage is a sacred plant used in indigenous medical and spiritual practices. There have also been points throughout history when indigenous people were banned from these practices.

"It was sadness because how many times do we have to watch what we hold sacred be destroyed and commodified for the sake of entertainment and profit for non-Native peoples," Johnnie Jae, of the Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma, told the publication.

Essentially, it's appropriation.

Then that led to people calling out the hypocrisy of labeling the witch kit "appropriation" of witchcraft while ignoring how practices are routinely appropriated from indigenous people.

The outrage about white capitalism and Sephora selling “witch kits” with White Sage is actually kind of funny because the internet has BEEN heavily saturated with white girls selling “witchy” items, including sage. Now that Sephora jumped in, everyone’s fake angry

In the end, Pinrose decided to put a pin in the whole thing.

no offense but white people who insist they’re witches are way more heated about sephora selling witch kits than they are about the fact that the over harvesting of sage bc of new trendy demand for it is making it so native americans are no longer able to perform sacred rituals

In a note on its website, Pinrose said, "We hear you; we will not be manufacturing or making this product available for sale."

The statement also clarified that the brand had bought the rights to the tarot artwork and that the sage used in the kit was "grown in the wild in California and is sustainably harvested and sold by Native American owned and operated businesses."

"The product did not reference ceremonial smudging or ceremony circles," it added.

Pinrose declined to provide further comment when reached by BuzzFeed News.

It looks like prospective witches will just have to go back to Etsy.

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