Misappropriation and Fuckery at Sephora

Yesterday the Occult community was notified that Sephora is dipping its greedy corporate fingers into the Witchcraft pie in partnership with a perfume brand called Pinrose.

Pinrose is certainly not the first brand to try to cash in on the instant witch fad with their “Starter Witch Kit” and given the colonialist appropriative trend in the wellness sector, they won’t be the last. For only $42 USD at Sephora you too can drop your IQ points and cash them in for ignorance is bliss credits.

“But Dominique, why are your panties in such a bunch?”, you may ask. Grab a Solstice Ritual Tea, adjust your Jade Egg and take a seat on an Authentic Yogi floor puff and I’ll tell ya.

Fuckery and Misappropriation.

First let’s address the Fuckery.

Tarot cards, perfume, sage and a rose quartz crystal. This is what makes up this alleged “Starter Witch Kit” from Pinrose. Any Witch worth their salt is already facepalming so hard that their unborn future generations are already feeling the slap. Literally, NONE of these things are Witchcraft. They are tools that SOME Witches MAY utilize but they are not inherent to The Craft. One does not become a Witch or learn anything of Witchcraft by simply purchasing any of these items.

Witchcraft at its core, is learned through direct teaching and a “passing up” of information. Each generation of Witches add their own knowledge, expertise and experiences to the overall tapestry of The Craft but they do so by standing on the well worn shoulders of the Witches that came before them. No kit, regardless of its origin will gain you access to those mysteries. Witchcraft by its very nature requires sacrifice. A sacrifice that after decades of work will hopefully allow one to lift the shroud of personal knowledge, personal power and a mastery of self. The Witch’s Path is not an easy road to travel. It’s not meant to be easy. It’s no meant to be quick and…it’s not meant for everyone.

Cutesy, homogenized corporate packaging of Witchcraft serves no one but these big businesses gambling to win untapped dollars. They have no care or concern with history, education or the continued progression of a rich and diverse religious/spiritual mystery. It’s unclear from other articles whether this kit even comes with any informational material on how to use these items, where they originate from, or how the creator has deemed them to relate to Witchcraft and how those things start a Witchcraft path. Sephora has refused to comment and Pinrose, at the time of this post, didn’t even have the kit listed on their website.

Now let’s address the Misappropriation.

Becky’s of the world listen up (Sephora and Pinrose I’m especially addressing you). Indigenous spiritual practices are not here for you to steal and commodify in order to make privileged colonialists feel yummy about themselves. Sage is a SACRED MEDICINE. It needs to be treated and used with the respect that only comes from SACRED TEACHINGS. Neither of you have any right whatsoever to sell a SACRED MEDICINE.

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I could go on for pages about how absolutely atrocious this “witch kit” is and the misinformation perpetrates all for the glory of the almighty buck. Instead, I’ll address those Witches who “meh” at the seriousness of what these corporations and fraudulent individuals are doing in the name of The Craft.

It’s very easy to become complacent and apathetic when faced with the commodification of Witchcraft. Fortunately for most folks, they don’t have a daily dealing with the type of people who are created through these types of action. Unfortunately, I do. I have seen what Witchcraft is becoming, how it’s being stripped of it’s sacredness and mystery and welded by those who think they can buy their way into it. It’s not pretty and it makes our existence in the world just that much harder. The path of a Witch doesn’t need to be made anymore difficult than it already is because seasoned Witches refuse to ante in and speak against the misuse of Our Work.

In a Facebook discussion a commenter made an excellent point… When will Sephora and Pinrose come out with a Starter Christian Kit? How about a Muslim Starter Kit? Jewish Starter Kit?… All of these ideas are equally stomach turning, wholly inappropriate and no one in authority of those religions would allow it.

My question is this… When will Witches stop behaving less than and start advocating for Our right to be treated as equal and valid in Our own Spirituality? When will we as Witches stop letting them treat us and The Craft like entertainment?

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17 thoughts on “Misappropriation and Fuckery at Sephora

      1. WTF!

        not arguing.. I just find it ironic that I was making these same arguments at least 20 years ago and everyone said I was a paranoid nutcase….. so nice to see that someone somewhere was actually tuned in…. even after the fact!

  1. instructormcfarland

    I sent the following email to the president and executives of Sephora. I would encourage others to as well.

    chris.de.lapuente@sephora.com
    artemis.patrick@sephora.com
    pr@sephora.com
    president@sephora.com
    legal@sephora.com
    calvin.mcdonald@sephora.com

    Hello,

    I am writing to you about the decision to include the product described as an “entry level witch kit” in Sephora stores.

    I am highly concerned about a retail giant in cosmetics like Sephora entangling itself in religious matters. Not only is this witch kit offensive to those people who practice Paganism and identify as witches, I am highly concerned about the disrespectful tone being set by Sephora towards religion.

    To put this into perspective, will Sephora soon be presenting an “Entry Level Catholic Kit”? Will it include a small crucifix, rosary, holy water, and small wine shooter and bread?

    How about an “entry level Muslim kit”?

    An entry level “Hindhu kit” perhaps a “Buddhist kit”?

    Ridiculous and offensive right? You’d probably have people marching against your stores if it was one of the more main stream and populous religions.

    But being that Pagans are a smaller community it seems your company is going to proceed forward with trying to profit by exploiting a minority religion which is misunderstood and has a long history of persecution.

    I do plan to post this email to you publicly to several Pagan, Christian, and other religious forums on social media. If your company is intending to get into the business of profiting by making light of one religion… when does that spread to others?

    My hope is that you will see that this is probably not the best direction for Sephora to take. As a Catholic man who is in a loving and committed relationship with a Pagan “witch” I am highly offended by the direction your company is taking.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

    Respectfully,

    Chad McFarland

  2. tammy samede

    Is nothing sacred to these corporate people! Hands of our craft! One minute you’re burning us at the stake, the next minute you wanna cash in! It is thanks to such idiocy that white sage is being over-harvested to be sold as gimmicks in so-called new age shops. Seriously? This knowledge is handed down. It is ancient. It is sacred. It is not to be used for self-gain, but to help humanity and the world. I am so sick of how those of us who follow this path are treated! What a rotten state of affairs!

  3. Deborah Duffin

    Is it Pinrose or Primrose like I heard??? I mean, I knew they did Makeup but not Perfumes or other things like Incense!!! Is this for real??? We don’t have a store here but we do have an Ulta Store and I’m sure that sense they do sell fragances in the store. I’m not sure about my local Wiccan/Pagan Store. I will check. Thanks for the information!!!

  4. Peggy Hayes

    Oh good grief. Is nothing sacred anymore? As others have stated, Witchcraft and Paganism as a whole are not viewed as “real” religion and corporate greed believes it has found another cash cow on which to get richer. Anything for a buck, huh? Hopefully there will be enough of an outcry in the community to make them reconsider this ill-advised gambit.

  5. Martin Snow

    I live in the Canadian mid west, I’m imagining the misappropriation and development of a kit… sweetgrass and wild sage, perhaps a vision interpretation book and a spirit naming guide; perhaps a build your own necklace or dreamcatcher. My stomach is in knots.
    This is vile; no other word for it.

  6. Christina Porter

    Um, practicing witch here for oh, let’s say 15 years or so give or take. When did perfume become a staple in the witches’ magickal cabinet? I get scents are magickal, and purposeful, but perfume is just cosmetic. Which belongs in a cosmetic store. but incense/oils and perfume are not really one and the same. I don’t get the connection between spiritual practice, and cosmetics. I wouldn’t go to Sephora to purchases my spiritual based items any more than I would go to a pet shop to buy office supplies. I assume the average consumer is like me, but if they want to buy the pretties, it’s their dollar I guess. Just doesn’t make a lick of sense.

  7. wanda gawronski

    I say, class action lawsuit against them for the sheer mockery they are trying to achieve. Freedom of religion is just that. We have a right to practice what we choose without the continued blatant disrespect corporations show our community. We should all take a stand an be heard. Just as so many others are doing now. Why hide what your ancestors have gifted you?
    @PoweroftheSpirits @ProtecttheCraft

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