eCite Digital Repository

White Witches and Black Magic: Ethics and Consumerism in Contemporary Witchcraft


Ezzy, D, White Witches and Black Magic: Ethics and Consumerism in Contemporary Witchcraft, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 21, (1) pp. 15-31. ISSN 1353-7903 (2006) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

The definitive published version is available online at:

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.1080/13537900500381609


What is white Witchcraft and how is it different to black magic? The books and practices of the purveyors of white Witchcraft are examined alongside other popular Witches oriented toward consumerism. White Witchcraft is also compared to traditional Witchcraft. I argue that white Witchcraft is a marketing label for a type of Witchcraft consistent with consumer Capitalism. White Witchcraft emphasises growth and success eliding the understanding of loss, death, and the dark that is found in traditional Witchcraft. White Witchcraft also celebrates individual pleasure and instrumental self-gratification at the expense of locating individuals in ecological and human networks of relationships. Consumer-oriented Witchcraft has popularised and facilitated the growth of Witchcraft, but consumer capitalism has also shaped Witchcraft to be consistent with consumer values and ethics. The purveyors of white Witchcraft do not challenge or question the goals and values of consumer capitalism, but explicitly celebrate them. The mass media and consumerism are central sites of ethical struggle for contemporary Witches.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Other Indigenous studies
Research Field:Other Indigenous studies not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Religion
Objective Field:Religious structures
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:39013
Year Published:2006
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2010-05-25
Downloads:28 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page