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Etsy Won’t Let Witches Sell Spells

The craft site’s ban on metaphysical services stirs up a cauldron of controversy

(Anthony West/Corbis)
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Etsy is home to crocheted beer koozies, homemade quilts, curated vintage clothing and artisanal jewelry. But if you want to buy a magic potion or pay a witch to bring bad luck on your ex, you’ll have to look elsewhere — The Daily Dot’s Jaya Saxena reports that the popular craft site has banned the sale of spells and other supernatural services.

Saxena reports that when eBay banned the sale of similar goods and services in 2012, many supernatural vendors found sanctuary at Etsy instead. Now they claim that the site has not only changed its rules about “metaphysical services,” but is shutting down stores.

An anonymous vendor told Saxena that Etsy used to allow the sale of hexes and spells as long as they neither guaranteed results nor produced something tangible. The source tells Saxena that Etsy is enforcing its new rules without warning.

Etsy’s website now includes a policy that prohibits “any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) is not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item.” This seems to fall under a general ban on services that aren’t related to custom graphic design, instructional crafting workshops or things that result in new tangible items (think: tailoring or photographic retouching).

Though users can still buy metaphysical objects like oils and crystals, Saxena reports that vendors are incensed about the ban on making claims about their “magickal properties,” especially since objects related to prayer are seemingly exempt from the ban. They claim it’s part of a larger pattern of discrimination against people who self-identify as Wiccan and pagan—prejudices that are being battled by awareness groups like the Witches’ League for Public Awareness and the Alternative Religions Educational Network (formerly the Witches Anti-Discrimination League).

There’s no word about whether Etsy itself is now the target of bad luck spells for its new policy, but one thing is clear — people in the market for amulets or magickal blessings will need to find another purveyor of fine spells for now.

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