Last summer, TikTok user alanna_kathy37 uploaded a reel that took social media for a spell. “Do I believe in witchcraft? Yes.” It starts, “Do I believe that the vast majority of it is spicy psychology? Yeah.” She continued. The video is actually quite funny, check it out if you haven’t. Like all good things on the internet, it has inspired hundreds of clones from people all over who have jumped on the “spicy psychology” bandwagon. While I haven’t joined in on the fun, the term has been on my mind since I saw it this past July. Is the vast majority of witchcraft spicy psychology? She is definitely onto something.
Witchcraft is an ever-evolving amalgamation of practices that looks different depending on where you come from and where you want to go. I do my best to stay away from defining it for others, but if we were to take a look at the majority of published material on contemporary witchcraft, we would find that it is loaded with fundamental psychology. I took out my college psychology 101 textbook from college and almost everything in it could be found in some form or another in a top selling witchcraft book that has come out over the past thirty years. Even I used a lot of psychology in my first three books, and for good reason.
Psychology is the study of the mind and witchcraft is a mental practice. Our basic training tells us to seek control over the mind as an avenue towards spiritual progress / magical success; why wouldn’t we use psychology to do so? Studying it allows us to better understand how we function, why we do the things we do, and how we interact with the world around us. It is also a study that can bring deep personal healing, something that might be required before you can start shooting lightning from your eyes. (kidding about the lightning bit.)
I want to make it clear that psychology isn’t the point of what we do, but it might need to be for a while, especially in the beginning of our practices. If your goal as a witch involves things like power, success, recovery, or stability, then working through fundamental psychology will undoubtedly be at least half of what you do, if not more. Why? Because we are often the biggest blocks to those things manifesting and psychology shows us how to get out of the way so magic can do its thing.
“Do I believe that pretty rocks will make me feel slightly better in this hellscape of an Earth?” alanna_kathy37 concludes, “ABSOLUTELY!” Yeah, and so will talking to someone about what’s on your mind.
If you are interested in a book the bridges psychology and magical process flawlessly, I recommend Durgadas Allon Duriel’s book, “The Little Work.”