It’s been an eventful year for Etsy. This month the online crafts marketplace turns ten years old. Its IPO debuted in April. Oh, and it’s just updated its rules, forbidding the sale of spells, enchantments, and any supernatural service which promises to change your life.
You might not have known that Etsy was full of witches, or “spellcasters”, as many identify themselves. Historically, the website has been a favourite for supernatural sellers, and not just because its DIY aesthetic fits with home voodoo and casual shamanism.
But now, in a move even clairvoyants might have missed, the witches of Etsy are being ousted from their online home. Forum threads have sprung up filled with embittered hoodoo practitioners and sellers of healing crystals, detailing the ban of sales of “spell packs, herbs, and blessed jewellery.”
Victoria Zasikowski, a seller of spells and readings on Etsy and Bonanza (another online marketplace more tolerant to sellers of “intangibles”) contacted me by email about the notifications she and other sellers had received. “Shop owners like myself discovered ‘Shop Suspension’ notification emails in our inboxes,” she wrote. “Huge numbers of sellers there have been affected, and will continue to be affected… Swathes of us have now had our sales and shop views tank, and there is great distress in the metaphysical community.”
Looks like my secretly planned charms and spells Etsy store is now dead in the water.
I’ll probably have to peddle my witchery and magic rocks along side the filthy soap makers at the flea markets.