I manifested you would read this

“Witchtok” grows in popularity, spreading spiritual practices—and misconceptions.


photo by Sophie Woodburn

Tarot card readings have showed up on everyone TikTok “for you” pages as spirituality has soared in popularity over the past few months.

TikTok brings people from different walks of life to connect and reach new audiences with little judgement. From straight TikTok to frog TikTok, a new version has sprung: “witchtok.” A combination of global strife and an almost year-long pandemic has created an abundance of free time, and has sparked a surge of interest in the ways of the universe. There are endless preconceived notions about witchcraft, but despite societal constraints telling us right from wrong, westernized manifestation, divination, and other occult practices have landed on our TikTok “for you” pages.

Manifestation is the ability to attract whatever our mind desires through thinking and speaking it into existence. You can do this by scripting or the 3, 6, 9 method. Divination is the practice of determining the hidden significance of something or foretelling the future, and is a personal favorite. Examples of divination include astrology, the study of the relative positions of stars and its effect on human affairs, or tarot cards, a pack of cards used to predict the future or gain insight on an event or question. 

Divination and manifestation are the easiest ways to connect to spirit, because they can reveal things that you may be neglecting or show you what the next step is. But this is not the only reason they are so popularthese practices are fun too. Devoting an entire afternoon to your newest spiritual project like creating an ancestral altar or designing your own scripting journal is the best part, and worth the effort. For a novice, starting with tarot or crystals is the best course of action. However, manifestation and divination are not the only things being discussed. Reality shifting, crystals and spells have also become increasingly popular.

Manifestation and divination are perfected through practice and will-power, like a sport, and many are just now getting into them with their abundance of free time. TikTok is a good place to start, and although YouTube has many videos concerning these topics, a 60-second video explaining multiple topics is better than a 15 minute explaining one. TikTok will teach you how to do something that would take you months of research in no time at all, and touches on every concept imaginable. There is much to learn, and TikTok allows you to absorb endless information like a sponge. The main goal of every practitioner is to help people realize their full potential, and TikTok is the best platform to do this.

Despite the pros, using TikTok’s platform to get your voice out there has a few cons. Not fully grasping the precursors such as research, cleansing or protection can be potentially damaging to a beginner, and although TikTok has helped to spread information about tarot and manifestation, witchtok has further westernized and sugar-coated spiritually. Making things seem easy or feeding into a false narrative can lead to disappointment in the future if your manifestation does not pan out the way you anticipated or if your “love spell” fails, which is why it is so important to do your own research and follow credible creators. 

 Due to TikTok’s algorithm, smaller witchtok creators have trouble getting views, undeservingly, because the algorithm favors dry content, like dancing or smiling at the camera. Furthermore, because everything you see is carefully calculated and matched to your interests, everything you see is not necessarily for you. “If you are seeing this, it’s a sign so stop scrolling” is common but misleading. Trying to make a message fit where it does not will cause more problems than solutions, and despite the fact that it may be for you, more influencers should add a disclaimer in their videos for the newcomers. 

False information that is commonly circulated could be dangerous in the hands of beginners. Older witches and practitioners are clocking the younger generations for spreading false information on things like spells, reality shifting, and even tarot. A small portion of readers may be pre-pulling cards, to again, tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. 

“Take what resonates” is a common saying, and despite the faulty information, everything is relative, and a majority of the information is credible.  Across the countless religions and belief systems, the concept of spirituality can mean many different things, and in general, have divergent ideas on the same concepts. Pagan and occult practices stem from Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Native American and African practices, or even theories of the universe based on science. You do not need to carry the same beliefs as the next person, and everything is left up to discussion and interpretation, as in any religion.

Educating yourself and doing your own background research into history or practicalities is the most crucial aspect to spirituality, and should always be the first step in starting something new. Recognize where your beliefs stem from, and give credit where credit is due. If you are looking to get into spirituality, TikTok is a good place to start.