In between the rise of WitchTok and the millions of #WitchesOfInstagram posts, it's no question that millennials and Gen Z have fully embraced witchcraft. An all-encompassing spiritual practice that provides practitioners with clarity, reassurance and guidance, it's something that can also be applied to many different aspects of your life, including your romantic endeavors.
Needless to say then, it shouldn't be a surprise that Tinder — the de facto dating app of our generation — also reported a dramatic increase in swipers using witch-related terms in their bios in just the past year. And so, in honor of spooky season, the app recently partnered up with professional witch and psychic medium Michael Cardenas of Olde Ways to show users how they can use magic to manifest a better dating experience — and you may be surprised at what a difference it can actually make.
Before we get to the spells themselves though, we have to talk about manifestation itself. As Cardenas explains, manifesting good matches is something that starts with energy, which is "accessible from anywhere and can pierce through anything" — even your phone screen. Case and point? Think about the way you feel after a good phone call versus a negative one. Or how you're directly physically or emotionally affected by watching a funny clip versus a disturbing video.
"Our phones are basically like portals of energy and information that we can access at any time," he says. However, he points out that while everyone has the ability to manifest, what it really comes down to is "paying attention to what's happening" and validating your own experience.
"Saying, 'This is actually real. This is something that's happening within myself. I'm not imagining things,' that kind of focus and attention will be what amplifies things," Cardenas says, before outlining the basic three-step manifestation process: Intention, ritualized action and physical action.
"Everyone is constantly manifesting on a daily basis, whether they call it that or not," he says, explaining that the act of stating what you intend to accomplish with your actions "is the seed."
"Then, doing a ritualized something [is the next step]. If you're more witch-inclined that could be lighting a candle. For other people, it's taking a self-care bath, or just having a moment with yourself and being like, 'I'm setting my intention that today's going to be a good day and I'm going to meet someone that's in alignment with me,'" he continues. "And then, it's about doing a physical action, which in this case would be going on Tinder and swiping. So it's putting those three things into action... that's the manifestation process. And we do it all the time without thinking about it."
However, he also advises people to be patient and "understand that this is going to be a process." And rather than expecting your soulmate to instantly appear, pay more attention to "what your experience is like after [your manifestation]" — even if the changes are subtle.
"[Ask yourself], 'What was the overall experience and how did it differ from the last time?' And then, take a personal log of that," Cardenas says, before using his own dating app experience as an example.
"But from my personal experience when I've done that, I've seen that it's weeded out creeps," he laughs. "And I was getting a lot of that. But I noticed that when I was more specific, I was attracting a particular type of person."
And while it may be tempting to jump right into manifesting better matches, Cardenas points out that it's generally important to remember that a lot of this hinges on turning the mirror back on yourself by "studying your intention" and "making sure you're in alignment with what you're asking for."
Which means that if you're new to all of this, the best way to begin is by doing your research and/or seeking out consultations from seasoned witchcraft professionals — tarot readers, psychics — who can see whether now is the best time to be looking for love. Or if you should be focusing on internal work and fixing your own energy beforehand.
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"They'll see whether it's the best thing to call someone to you now. Or are we just going to experience a bunch of blocks, so we have to do some spiritual cleansing instead?," he explains. "So we're gonna tap in and see what the correct course of action is. And if that energy is not there what we're not going to do is manipulate that situation."
Cardenas clarifies that his advice only applies to the attraction of better matches and isn't about trying to "bend a [certain] someone's will." After all, as he says, the "whole idea that love spells are used purely for manipulation or to make someone like you is not a real thing."
He warns, "You can't make someone like you. And if you do try to assert your will over someone and you are successful, it's going to be very temporary and it's gonna be very chaotic. You're going to find that things really backfire on you."
Granted, if your intentions are pure, don't let this scare you off. Because ultimately, Cardenas says that in any sort of witchcraft-related situation, you should be "trusting yourself and your intuition." And it's important advice, especially as more and more people begin to open up to the possibilities of manifestation — whether it's purposeful or carried out on an unconscious level.
"People are already [manifesting] and they're already comfortable with it. So they're already doing these practices without even knowing it," he explains, using things like self-care rituals or the buying of a trendy rose quartz candle with the intention of "loving [yourself] more and healing" as examples.
"It's not going to be about manipulating, or putting people in jars, or doing things against other people's wills... [It's all about] the intention," Cardenas says, before adding, "And when you do it from an innocent perspective of, 'This felt good to me and my spirit felt good with it,' that's what witchcraft is."
So if you feel ready, check out a few of Cardenas's Tinder manifestation rituals, below.
3 Spells for Attracting Love on Tinder:
1. Empower Your Phone
These days our day homes are portals of information, imagery and even energy. You can influence the type of energy you are giving and receiving by empowering your phone before you swipe!
- You will need: Your phone and your favorite cologne, perfume or oil.
- Directions: Take your phone, open to your Tinder profile, and lightly anoint the outer four corners using the fragrance of your choice while focusing on the type of person you're looking for. Visualize it. Feel it. Take a deep breath. And swipe.
2. The Love Bath
A luxurious self-care bath can not only leave you feeling more relaxed and pampered, but it can also refresh your aura (the energy surrounding you) and help you attract love on Tinder.
- You will need: Roses (or flowers of your choice), some honey, and your favorite perfume, cologne or oil.
- Directions: Tidy up your bathroom and then set the mood by lighting candles, diffuse some essential oil (ylang ylang is great for this purpose) and put on your favorite music. Take your regular shower to wash the day off and then draw yourself a bath. Add flowers, your favorite scent and drizzle some honey. Soak for 25 minutes or longer and enjoy while focusing on your desires. Simple yet effective.
3. Magic Mirror
We have all seen the image of the wicked queen from Snow White in her mirror, but mirror magic is actually not so spooky or dramatic and has some pretty ancient and multicultural origins.
- You will need: You can use your bathroom mirror, compact mirror or a hand mirror purchased for this purpose.
- Directions: Look into your eyes, connect with yourself and say some affirmations. This might be awkward at first, but if you say them daily it can positively shift your reality. An example of affirmations you might use is "I am loved. I am open and receptive to love. I acknowledge my beauty. I appreciate myself. I love myself."
Welcome to "Sex with Sandra," a column by Sandra Song about the ever-changing face of sexuality. Whether it be spotlight features on sex work activists, deep dives into hyper-niche fetishes, or overviews on current legislation and policy, "Sex with Sandra" is dedicated to examining some of the biggest sex-related discussions happening on the Internet right now.
Photo courtesy of Michael Cardenas (of Olde Ways)