The Hipster Witch: Aesthetics, Empowerment, and Instagram

“Who the hell is Lisa Chamberlain?”

Corvus looked up from scrolling. Ever the attentive friend, she’s been closely monitoring my new book’s progress on Amazon. As it’s gotten closer to the release date, she’s become very familiar with the top 100 charts in “Wicca” and “Witchcraft” on the site.

“No, seriously,” she said. “I’m looking at the bestsellers in Wicca, and I don’t know any of these authors. Have you read Lisa Lister?”

“No, but I know what book you’re talking about. It’s all over Instagram right now.”

“How about Shawn Robbins? She’s got two books in the top ten right now, and all her bio says is that she’s a psychic, paranormal researcher. Dude, Lisa Chamberlain has, like, a dozen tiny books. And she writes about Heathenism and runes too?”

We spend several minutes like this, with Corvus asking me if I’ve heard of so-and-so and me going, “Nope.”

Maybe we’re just old. This is usually how I feel when my tenth graders make me classroom playlists and all I hear is autotune and synths. I still think of myself as young and cool, but since becoming a teacher I know that this is, in fact, untrue. We’re closer to forty than thirty, and our favorite books about Wicca and witchcraft came out mostly in the seventies and eighties. Hey, it was bound to happen.

But there’s something else going on here, and I don’t think it’s just us and our inexorable senescence.

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