Etsy, The Craft-Selling Website, Is Hunting Witches
Wiccans of yesteryear were forced to scour the woods around their villages for ingredients to make potions, gather crystals and raise gods and goddesses. Today’s Wiccans just need to go to Etsy to find potions and crystals — that is, until Etsy changed their policies to exclude magical witch elixirs and crystals.
Etsy, the online craft marketplace which has over 30 million items, used to have sections which included healing crystals and potions sometimes purchased by Wiccans and other supernatural practitioners. Etsy changed its policies earlier this year in a move that some believe deliberate targets Wiccans.
Etsy’s policy change states that craft-makers and online sellers can no longer vend items that fall under “any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) — [are] not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item.” Etsy has suggested that vendors change the wording in their item descriptions to keep to their rule change, but people in an online forums have accused Etsy of discriminating against witches.
Many Etsy shops that sell metaphysical “magical” items have had no option but to close their stores. Magic soaps, protection spells and healing crystals were once popular items, but they’re also items that (without the promise of magic) can be made in any home with the assistance of Google.
According to the The Washington Post, there are still Etsy stores selling teas and “natural remedies” for ailments like headaches and blood pressure. Brazilian priestess and Etsy shop owner, Iya Ekundayo, told the publication the reason that the other rule-abiding stores are still up is because they “fit the cookie cutter mold of God, Jesus, baseball and apple pie,” whereas her shop does not. She’s not alone in that idea; people have started a 4,000 signature petition in hopes that Etsy will end the ban.
But it doesn’t seem that Etsy was only targeting witches because they also banned items promising weight loss. Etsy’s rule change could be the result of a lawsuit filed against them in May 2015 claiming that over five percent of Etsy’s items are counterfeit. To avoid any future lawsuits, Etsy told sellers not to make promises in the items they sell.
(featured image via Joe Penniston)