There’s a video that’s making its way around TikTok right now that’s irritating me so of course, I’m going to talk about it. I’m not going to link the video or the reactions to it because if I’m being honest, it’s the reactions that are irritating me.
I haven’t seen the original video in its entirety because the reactions have just been sharing clips and not linking the original video. The clips of the original video that they’re sharing, though, is of a person talking about how people need to be careful about the Halloween candy their children get because witches will curse the candy. Besides the fact that that’s not true, the reactions to it are making things worse, in my opinion.
One person told the original person something along the lines of, “Why would we curse the candy if we’re going to eat the children?” Others have been making similar videos and mocking the original poster.
Look, I get it. It sucks that the general population has a negative association with witches, that they think we’re all evil and out to get their children. But you know what? Saying things like “we’re gonna eat your kids” isn’t helping matters. Mocking people for their genuine belief or fear isn’t helping matters. Are they wrong? Of course, they are! Witches (at least in my experience) have no interest in cursing children. We have no interest in cursing candy. We are not the proverbial boogeyman that goes bump in the night.
Now, most of these fears that I see are being perpetuated by Christianity and that makes sense. They often quote the verses in the Bible about sorcery and not suffering a witch to live. I won’t pretend to know the context of those quotes nor the original meaning of the Bible as it was written hundreds of years ago. I can tell you, though, that those people who hold this genuine fear of witches and the occult aren’t going to suddenly stop being afraid because they’re being mocked. They’re not going to suddenly stop spreading fear and their ill-informed beliefs because people are making fun of them. You know what can help, though? Conversation.
I wonder if anyone had reached out to the original poster, in good faith, to have a conversation and put their fears to rest. At the very least, did someone try to answer any questions they may have had? In my experience, a lot of misinformation and fears can be abated by simple, open, and honest communication. If we don’t talk to each other, if we don’t listen to each other, nothing will change.
I find that many people in Witchcraft communities, or even polytheist communities, are so opposed to interfaith work. Maybe they have a good reason. Maybe they have a lot of religious trauma to work through, and that’s valid! I don’t expect everyone to find it easy to reach out and talk to someone about faith, witchcraft, and misinformation that’s being spread around. But what about those of us that don’t have a problem with it? I’ll admit, I’m hardly ever the first person to reach out and extend a hand in conversation with someone that could potentially be very confrontational and aggressive. But you know what? I think that needs to change.
I wonder what our communities would look like if we had more interfaith work and conversations and less standing opposite of each other yelling about how terrible the other group is.