The Season of the Witch

Selfie of me wearing Illamasqua's Pristine lippy.
Selfie of me wearing Illamasqua’s Pristine lippy.

So being a witch is in– even Urban Outfitters is getting in on the haute occult game, selling crystals and divination tools, usually the wares of the local, independent pagan or New Age shop.

This look is a simple resurrection, Stevie Nicks, but paired way down: 1970s Victoriana dresses in black, layers of jagged hemmed garments worn in an undefinited sihouette.  If you look like you just stepped out of your chicken-footed cottage, you’ve got it right.  It’s all the rage.  But what if the rage is you, and has always been? How do you ride the tide of fickle fashion when the High Street is cashing in on what you love? I say, keep doing it, and do it like you mean it.

A Polyvore Set featuring Feral Strumpet designs.
A Polyvore Set featuring Feral Strumpet designs.

The upside of all this is now that these trends have names–Dark Mori, Nu Goth, etc., I’m able to find my style sisters–like-minded souls on Instagram and Pinterest, mutual style inspirations and co-cacklers. Here are some witchy discoveries– recent and not-so-recent- that I’ve found whist searching the web for fellow darklings.

The Hermit card from the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans
The Hermit card from the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans

The Wild Unknown Tarot- She dresses like a witch, walks like a witch and even talks like a witch, but can she divine the signs? Herein we separate the crones from the drones.  The Wild Unknown Tarot is new to me, and the imagery resonates profoundly. Though I first learned the craft through Tarot, I often felt scolded by my Rider Wait training deck, and when I switched to the Golden Tarot, the feeling didn’t change.  I came to reading Runes years later.  They speak to me with more immediacy and appear as allies rather than ominous harbingers, as the Tarot often did. Still, when I saw this deck it rekindled my fondness for Tarot, simplifying the meanings and rooting them in the earth and nature.

Black Lippy in Pristine by Illamasqua.  Part of this trend is black lipstick, and though I have been a non-orthodox sort of goth most of my life I have shied away from this make up staple because I couldn’t find a black lippy with enough coverage and mixing my own out of eyeliner, eyeshadow and chapstick was unpleasant. So one of the benefits of this mainstreaming is that almost everyone is coming out with a black lippy formula.  I have tried many and so far Illamasqua’s Pristine is my favourite.  I do love this make up brand for its original formulas, many of which are supremely wearable and natural looking despite many of the OTT Instagram make up posts using this brand. I do love that they often use older women in their ad campaigns and a variety of face shapes and types of beauty.  They are cruelty free as well.

Image of A England Fotheringhay Castle polish by @lakodom on Ink361.com
Image of A England Fotheringhay Castle polish by @lakodom on Ink361.com

A England Polish in Fotheringhay Castle.  This is my newest obsession, this lichen-green polish with a mysterious scattered holo. I do love this brand, founded by designer Adina Bodana.  Her collections are inspired by English history, paintings and lore.  This particular colour is part of her new Elizabeth and Mary collection and is named for the final place of imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, who was tried and executed in the castle. I love all the movement and depths in her polishes, but this colour is particularly magical. Once I was at the 18th century folly based on Stonehenge which is called the Druid’s Circle.  Moss and bracken have taken over the site giving it an ancient feel.  The site itself has a fascinating if somewhat disturbing history which I’ll save for another post.  But one day during a late summer visit I found deep in the shadows of stone some biolumensecent lichen– green glowing sequins worthy of an Arthur Machen story.  I have researched to find out what kind of life form I had seen, to no avail. It was indeed something from the Twilight realm of the fey. This polish is exactly the same colour.

swirlSwirl Clothing- Ok, I didn’t discover this company recently, but I have to give a shout out to my homegirl Sal and her clothing company.  She designs witch dresses in all sizes, including plus sizes. The simple shapes are perfect foundation pieces for a layered dark mori look, or a minimalist Nu Goth shape when paired with one of my rosary necklaces and perhaps a wide-brimmed hat. Sal has a brick and mortar shop in York as well as an online shop.  I wear her dresses almost every day.

How we adorn ourselves is our most immediate form of self-expression– it can be the most intimate descriptor we have of ourselves.  When fashion takes these shapes and ideas and sells them back to us, we have to keep playing and keeping things true to our own identities while supporting other independent, pagan, heathen and witch-friendly businesses.   What, if anything, in this current trend is inspiring you? What gems have you found?

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