10 Celebrities Associated With Witchcraft or the Occult

Still life with voodoo doll, tarot cards and magic objects

 VeraPetruk / Getty Images

For years, so few celebrities publicly embraced witchcraft that pagans and Wiccans seeking role models idolized stars, such as Stevie Nicks, who did not practice magic but simply had a witchy aesthetic. Today, that's changed as entertainers increasingly come out as witches, dabble in folk magic, or participate in other forms of the occult. Now that more public figures are developing an interest in magic, witches can proudly claim these celebrities as allies or fellow practitioners.

Giselle Bundchen

After New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won his sixth Super Bowl in 2019, he mentioned how his wife, supermodel Giselle Bundchen, has helped lead him to victory year after year. Not only does Bundchen make a "little altar" for him before games, Brady said, she also gives him healing and protection stones, "special drops," a necklace, and has him recite mantras. In addition, she has accurately predicted when he's going to win or lose the Super Bowl, according to Brady.

To top it all off, the athlete quoted Bundchen as telling him, “You’re lucky you married a witch—I’m just a good witch.”

Although Bundchen has not formally come out and identified herself as a witch, many of the practices her husband has attributed to her—having an altar, carrying healing stones, and repeating mantras—are elements of paganism. That said, they are not exclusive to paganism, so until Bundchen clarifies just how she identifies, it's premature to label her a witch or a pagan. It is telling, though, that neither she nor Brady walked back on the "witch" comment, even after it sparked a backlash in conservative Christian circles.

Beyoncé and Solange Knowles

To be clear, Beyoncé Knowles has never described herself as a witch, but when her former drummer accused her of practicing "extreme witchcraft" in 2018, many of her fans weren't surprised by the news—as meritless as the specific accusations against the singer may have been. That's because Bey has incorporated lots of religious imagery, both Christian and otherwise, in her music videos and live performances. She has dressed up as the Yoruba deity Oshun and incorporated Yoruba rituals into her visual album "Lemonade."

During the colonial era, Europeans widely labeled the religious traditions of people of color witchcraft, but this was and is inaccurate. While some African-Americans who explore the faiths of their ancestors identify as witches, many don't. Hence, it's unfair to frame Beyoncé as such unless she does so herself.

The superstar's sister, Solange Knowles, has faced speculation that she's involved with the occult as well. She has shown images of her altar (in a now-deleted Instagram post), tweeted about altars and the spiritual supply stores known as botanicas (in a tweet since taken down), and appeared at the Met Ball in 2018 with a bottle of Florida water. This cologne is considered a tool for spiritual cleansing in a number of religious traditions, including the strain of African-American folk magic called hoodoo. When Solange was spotted with it, witches weighed in on the significance of her carrying the spiritual tool and an obsidian sphere, a stone associated with protection, in a netted bag. They stopped short of calling the singer a witch, however, because Knowles hasn't explicitly declared that she is.

Lana del Rey

In 2017, singer Lana del Rey urged her fans to take part in a group hexing of President Donald Trump starting at the "stroke of midnight" on February 24 and repeating for the next three months, each date in alignment with the waning moon. She also let them know that they could find ingredients for the spell, which included "an unflattering picture of Trump, the Tower tarot card, and an orange candle," on the Internet.

Asked to elaborate on her beliefs, del Rey told NME.com:

"I'm in line with Yoko [Ono] and John [Lennon] and the belief that there's a power to the vibration of a thought. Your thoughts are very powerful things and they become words, and words become actions, and actions lead to physical charges. I really do believe that words are one of the last forms of magic and I'm a bit of a mystic at heart."

A mystic isn't the same as being a witch or a pagan, but the singer clearly felt comfortable enough with the occult to take part in a mass group ritual and encourage others to as well.

Rachel True

In 2017, word spread that actress Rachel True, one of the stars of 1996's "The Craft," reads tarot cards professionally. The form of divination has been in her life for decades, and she said during a Lenny Letter interview that she credits the practice and her esoteric studies with helping her land the role of Rochelle in "The Craft." When she heard a movie was being made about four teenage witches, she said to herself: "If anyone is going to be a little black witch in this town, it's me." During the Lenny Letter interview, she also explained:

"The year before I read for The Craft had been slow, so I really delved deep into esoteric studies and learning tarot. When the script came up, I definitely put a lot of mental energy into it, trying to manifest that part for myself. ...I'd never done a screen test before, so I was incredibly nervous. I think I had a few crystals in my pocket."

More than 20 years after "The Craft's" debut, True is involved in a project about New Orleans voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Though she is a devotee of tarot and is drawn to characters who use magic, she explained in an interview on the Witch Wave podcast in 2018 that she does not consider herself to be a witch.

Fairuza Balk

While filming "The Craft" in 1995, True's costar Fairuza Balk took an interest in Wicca and bought an occult book store in Los Angeles. She sold the store, now called Panpipe’s Magickal Marketplace, in 2001. Balk's ties to Panpipes led many of her fans to assume that she was a practitioner of the craft in real life. But Balk has said more recently that she's never been a practicing witch. Her main reason for buying the store was to prevent it from being turned into a Chinese restaurant. A store employee had been an advisor of sorts to her during the filming of "The Craft," so she bought it and fixed it up to help it survive.

"But people, of course, were like, ‘She bought an occult shop and she’s fully into this and it’s all real,’" she told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. "That has taken on its entire own mythology that’s essentially out of my hands. You can tell the truth and talk to people but they want to believe what they want to believe. What can you do? I’m not involved with that shop anymore. It was a very long time ago.”

Azealia Banks

Controversial rapper Azealia Banks has been outspoken about practicing witchcraft. In fact, in 2016, she made headlines after posting videos of the blood-stained and feather-covered closet she reportedly used for animal sacrifices. She said the closet, which appeared to contain chicken carcasses too, had ended up in that state after “three years worth of brujería,” which means witchcraft in Spanish.

“Real witches do real things,” she said in the video.

Princess Nokia

Like Azealia Banks, rapper Princess Nokia identifies as a bruja. She has said that her late mother was also a witch and that as an Afro-Latina, she believes it's important to keep her family's religious customs alive. Ancestor worship is a part of their tradition, as is honoring the orishas, the West African spirits of the Yoruba faith.

"My religious beliefs are my birthright," Nokia told The Fader in 2016. "I’m a Puerto Rican woman whose family has roots in Regla de Ocha, also known as Santería. I like to honor my West African and Taíno ancestry. I consider it sacred and divine. A lot of practices of Regla de Ocha come with mediumship, clairvoyance, and healing abilities. I view these abilities as gifts."

Gabrielle Anwar

In 2007, actress Gabrielle Anwar of "Burn Notice" and "The Tudors" fame self-identified as pagan while discussing her objections to the institution of marriage, which she said was invented to control women. She suggested that her pagan beliefs clash with sexism and its normalization in society.

"I'm making dinner. I'm being a wife, trying to be as attractive as I can, trying to put out with my sexuality to the degree that will keep my husband interested in me and not in other women," she said. "I'm pulling my weight financially. I'm doing all this stuff, and I'm feeling this incredible inequality... And I'm a pagan. ...and this isn't for me."

Sully Erna

Singer and guitarist Sully Erna of the heavy metal band Godsmack was publicly Wiccan for years, even getting initiated into the Cabot tradition by founder and high priestess Laurie Cabot. Erna has said that he hopes to use his position to help educate others about what Wicca really is:

"The prejudices are hard to fight. It's pretty sad. People don't seem to have a clue, but, on the other hand, it gives me a chance to explain things to them. I'm not trying to convert them; I just want them to understand that Wicca has nothing to do with black magic. It's not about turning people into frogs or practicing black magic."

It's unclear if Erna continues to identify as Wiccan today, but his early embrace of the faith and willingness to discuss it gave pagans a rare role model in the 1990s.

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Wigington, Patti. "10 Celebrities Associated With Witchcraft or the Occult." Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, learnreligions.com/celebrity-pagans-and-wiccans-2561438. Wigington, Patti. (2021, February 8). 10 Celebrities Associated With Witchcraft or the Occult. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrity-pagans-and-wiccans-2561438 Wigington, Patti. "10 Celebrities Associated With Witchcraft or the Occult." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/celebrity-pagans-and-wiccans-2561438 (accessed June 2, 2023).