From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics

From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics

Women of all ages, scantily clad, dance to the beat of relentless, ear-splitting percussion, intoxicated by psychedelic substances that heighten their senses and push them to the limits of human consciousness. Is this a party or a witches' Sabbath? Judging by the description, it could be both, as the two seemingly disparate worlds share common roots (and when we say roots, we don't just mean in a metaphorical sense).


From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics


The Origins of Witchcraft

The term "witchcraft" doesn't carry the simple meaning of "wise craft" as some modern interpretations might suggest. While it comes from the Old English wicca (male) or wicce (female), its roots delve deeper.

The word traces back to a Proto-Indo-European root *weyk*- meaning "choose" or "separate." This meaning evolved into the concept of "consecrated" in the Latin word victima, referring to a sacrificial victim.

However, with the rise of Christianity, these women were increasingly demonized and persecuted, their practices branded as satanic.


The witch hunt

The most infamous period of witch persecution was the Early Modern era, particularly between the 15th and 17th centuries. This period saw the publication of influential anti-witchcraft manuals like the Malleus Maleficarum, which fueled the hysteria and led to thousands of executions across Europe and North America.


Malleus Maleficarum: A Weapon Against Witchcraft

The Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of Witches), a notorious medieval text on witchcraft, was authored in 1486 by the Dominican inquisitors Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. Its primary purpose was to guide judges in identifying, interrogating, and imprisoning witches. The book was presented to the Faculty of Theology at the University of Cologne on May 9, 1487. According to the Malleus Maleficarum, three elements were essential for witchcraft: evil intentions, the assistance of the Devil, and God's permission.

From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics

The Malleus Maleficarum had a profound impact on the witch trials that swept across Europe, shaping the legal and theological framework for identifying and punishing witches. Its influence extended well beyond the Middle Ages, with its ideas persisting into the early modern period.


The witches in the modern styles

The image of the witch has long been associated with wildness, rebellion, and a connection to the natural world. This imagery has found a powerful resonance in modern electronic music, particularly in genres like gothic, hardcore, industrial, and psychedelic music. Here, the witch's aesthetic serves as a potent symbol of defiance against societal norms, embracing the fringes of society and reveling in the raw power of sound. It manifests in aggressive fashion choices, such as leather jackets, spikes, and dark makeup.


From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics


The witch's attire, often depicted as flowing robes, animal skins, and adorned with occult jewelry, embodies an untamed spirit and a rejection of conformity. This aligns with the ethos of many electronic music subgenres that challenge mainstream conventions and push the boundaries of sonic expression. The DIY, underground nature of these genres mirrors the solitary figure of the witch, forging their own path outside of established structures.


What is witchcore?

Witchcore, an aesthetic movement that celebrates witchcraft, nature, and magic, has taken the internet by storm, particularly on TikTok. Its roots can be traced back to folk culture and feminism, blending elements of Wicca, Paganism, and popular magical practices.

But it's on social media that witchcore has found its fertile ground to explode. Videos showcasing the creation of potions, full moon rituals, and the tending of herbs have captivated a vast and diverse audience, drawn to the mystical atmosphere and the message of connection with nature.


From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics 

Photo above: Beastie Claws and New Tech Claws Ring by Costume Therapy


A Bewitching Blend of Nature, Magic, and Social Media

Beyond its aesthetic appeal, witchcore promotes a more conscious and environmentally friendly lifestyle. The use of natural ingredients, creative recycling, and the appreciation of local craftsmanship are just a few of the principles that guide this movement.

Within the world of witchcore, two main subcurrents stand out: dark witchcore and light witchcore.


- Dark Witchcore

From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics

Dark witchcore embraces Gothic and punk aesthetics, favoring dark colors like black, purple, and burgundy. Dark atmospheres and symbolism related to death, the moon, and dark magic characterize this style. Macabre objects such as skulls, bones, black candles, ravens, and other nocturnal animals are iconic in dark witchcore. Among the stones used are onyx, obsidian, amethyst, and lapis lazuli, associated with magic and protection. Belladonna, mandrake, and sage are just a few examples of herbs used for rituals and potions.


- Light Witchcore

From Sabbath to Dance Floor: Witches' Myth and Aesthetics

Light witchcore, on the other hand, draws inspiration from fairies and white magic, favoring pastel colors like lavender, light pink, and sky blue. An ethereal and bucolic atmosphere permeates this style, with references to fairy nature and benevolent magic. Wildflowers, lavender, mint, and sage are common edible and aromatic herbs in light witchcore. Amethyst, aquamarine, rose quartz, and moonstone are stones often used for their association with healing and love. Butterflies, dragonflies, unicorns, and mushrooms are recurring elements in light witchcore aesthetics.


Headfirst into the Witchcore Realm: Essential Bands to Explore

Seeking to immerse yourself in the bewitching sounds of witchcore music? Look no further than these artists:

  1.  Salem: their ethereal vocals and haunting melodies weave a spellbinding soundscape that perfectly captures the essence of witchcore
  2.  Crystal Castles: a chaotic blend of electronic beats and abrasive pop vocals that exude raw energy.
  3. Acid Witch: dark, pulsating doom metal infused with punk and industrial elements and a deep touch of the occult.
  4. BLVCK CAT: let their witch house soundscapes transport you to late-night rituals filled with mystery and intrigue.
  5. Grimes: experimental electronic pop contaminated with mysticism and otherworldly vibes
  6. Arca: genre-bending productions that often incorporate soundscapes reminiscent of dark forests, in an unsettling yet captivating atmosphere


Cinematic Sorcery: Must-See Witch Movies for a Bewitching Night In

Venture into the realm of cinematic witchcraft with these films that explore the themes of magic, power, and the supernatural:

  1. The Craft (1996): A high school coven of teenage witches unleashes the dark forces they've invoked when their rivalry spirals out of control.
  2. Black Sunday (1960): A tormented witch seeks revenge on those who wronged her, using her dark powers to terrorize a group of unsuspecting victims.
  3. The Wicker Man (1973): A police officer is sent to a remote Scottish island to investigate a missing girl, only to find himself at the center of a terrifying sacrificial ritual.
  4. The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (2015): A Puritan family living in 17th-century New England is torn apart by witchcraft, black magic, and the forces of evil.


- Dark or Light? Find Your Witchcore Style:

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.