The Working Witches of Los Angeles

By Mark A. Kellner | Posted June 17, 2019

Until fairly recently, there were two basic reactions to someone declaring themselves a witch: One would be to evoke memories of the Hansel and Gretel fairytale—and then run in the other direction. The other would be to acknowledge an interest in the so-called dark arts, but to do so quietly.

Now, however, you can read a relatively fawning account of your friendly neighborhood witch in a mainstream daily newspaper—in this case, the Los Angeles Times, which recently spotlighted “The working witches of Los Angeles,” who, the paper said, “just want you to be your best self.”

For instance, there is Amanda Yates Garcia of Los Angeles, who was once an arts educator. But for the past eight years, she has been a “professional witch” operating out of her home.

One Busy Witch

She’s one busy witch, the newspaper reported, with Tarot card reading sessions, a podcast, and the devising of a “purifying ceremony” for a new business on one day’s schedule. Oh, and Yates Garcia needed to get her nails done “for a reality TV appearance.” No time for lunch, the paper said, not when there’s all that to do—along with working on a memoir, due soon at the publisher’s offices.

Yates Garcia, who goes by the name “The Oracle,” keeps one eye on marketing, relying heavily on social media to promote her work. “If you think being a witch is just sitting around doing spells all the time, you think wrong," she told the newspaper. “Half my business is being on Instagram.”

In the hills of northeast Los Angeles, another "working witch," a former celebrity stylist and musician, holds spiritual sessions for up to ten women at a time. In these gatherings, she “channels spirits” and shares insights with clients, for $200 per person. “I kind of picture it like we’re all sitting around an old ’70s kitchen table,” she told the Times. “We have a chat.”

But it’s not all hocus-pocus for these “working witches.” They spend much of their time with clients in counseling sessions, listening to problems and offering advice.

Yates Garcia will tell customers seeking more courage to go out and take a course in public speaking, for example. “It’s not like you wiggle your nose and your life is completely different,” she explained. “We work incrementally. If you want to win a Grammy, but you haven’t written a song yet, we have a lot of work to do.”

Did the Witch of Endor call up the dead?

What God Says

That work, however, goes against what the Bible teaches: In Leviticus 19:31, we read, “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them.”

In the book of Deuteronomy, God is even more explicit: “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:10–12).

Such rebellion against God’s command can have fatal consequences, as we read in the story of Saul found in 1 Chronicles 10:13, which reports that the king “died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD … because he consulted a medium for guidance.”

What’s behind the growth in witchcraft and its customer base? Anthropology professor Sabina Magliocco of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, told the newspaper societal pressures are a factor. “Studies have shown that people turn to magic and ritual in high-risk and high-stress situations,” Magliocco said. “And that describes the world for a lot of people right now. People are flipped out.”

As the Times mentioned, support for witchcraft “is not fringe thinking.” A 2017 Pew Research Center study reported that 41 percent of Americans believe in psychics, while 42 percent believe that inanimate objects such as trees and mountains are imbued with spiritual energy. Even more astonishing, while 37 percent of all Christians surveyed said they believed in psychics, 24 percent of those who claimed to be “evangelical” said they do too.

The Los Angeles Times account suggested this growing base of people who accept psychic phenomena is the new customer base for these “working witches,” many of whom post on Instagram to promote their services.

Those who want to know how to best live life, and what the future holds, should not consult witches, mediums, brujas, or those who “channel” messages from “spirits.” Instead, the Bible is a reliable guide for all who seek God’s best in their lives.

The late Roger Morneau’s story is an instructive warning against dabbling in the occult. Before his passing, Morneau shared his testimony with Pastor Doug Batchelor about what “A Trip into the Supernatural” nearly did to him. After being saved, Morneau spent the rest of his life sharing about the dangers of such practices.

Last year, a caller to Bible Answers Live asked Pastor Doug about whether or not it was okay to consult mediums. The answer is clear: Don’t do it—and Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan Ross explain why.

Mark Kellner
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.

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