No brooms, the witches of Romania ride the web

Reuters
"Repeat after me! To be together with who I want," a family of Romanian witches chant via a video call to a client in India paying for a love spell.
Reuters

“Repeat after me! To be together with who I want,” a family of Romanian witches chant via a video call to a client in India paying for a love spell.

The session, in a decorated shed in a back yard 15 kilometers north of Bucharest, is one of many consultations the family holds online, alternating them with rituals livestreamed on Facebook to build up their digital following.

“A truly powerful witch can solve problems from a distance,” explains 20-year-old witch Cassandra Buzea.

“It’s not the phone or Facebook that are doing the magic. It’s the words that we’re saying, the rituals that we’re doing and it’s enough to look each other in the eye for the ritual to work.”

The power of the Internet has allowed Romania’s busy witch community to gradually migrate their ancient practices onto the Web.

Witchcraft has long been seen as a folk custom in the eastern European country, and many of its estimated 4,000 witches are luring customers from Europe, Asia and the United States.

Buzea said it was the younger generation that had persuaded the old about the powers of the ‘selfie,’ and her mother was quickly on board.

“Nothing’s changed, the craft is the same, but now it’s much easier for us to be in contact with clients from other countries,” said Mihaela Minca, who taught her daughter Buzea the family craft.

They would not disclose how much they earn but said a tarot reading starts at 50 euros (US$56.11).

However, many of the special rituals, often to do with love, health or money, last weeks and can run into the hundreds.

The witches also said they had recently turned their attention to politics, joining anti-corruption protests. Minca said she connected online with nine witches and wizards from across Europe to the US, seeking to put a curse on Romanian lawmakers seen by witches as corrupt.

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