It's not Salem anymore. We've stepped into a new age of witch hunting. Instead of being burned at the stake, witches are being weaned out because our craft is now commercialized. Our tools of protection are used to profit those that are unaware of their spiritual applications.
I walked into an Urban Outfiters and saw a bundle of sage for sale. Urban Outfiters is known for appropriation for profit, but I was enraged. All I could think about was how ancient methods for protection and rituals are being sold as the newest trend. I imagined teenagers strolling in to buy sage and incense to cover up the smell of weed from their parents or RAs because they smoke inside their dorm rooms. People walk into stores and buy crystals for decorative purposes unaware of the meanings behind the stones (and the fact that you have to cleanse them if you want to feel their energy to the fullest potential).
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bruja (witch) in training and am still learning the rituals and uses of a bruja's tools. The difference is (aside from the fact that witchcraft is a part of my spiritual practice) I do my research. I am aware I need to understand what it is I'm buying before I use it. If you buy these things without knowing what they are you can bring the wrong type of energy into your life. One time, a friend of mine bought some incense to clear her house of smoke smell. What she didn't know was that the incense she bought were for summoning and making connections with spirits. This is not what she wanted and not what the house needed since there had already been negative spiritual energy there.
I'm not saying that people who don't come from a cultural or spiritual background of brujeria (or witchcraft, whichever you prefer) don't deserve protection and can't use the methods we do for healing. Everyone deserves access to healing and if these methods work for you by all means use them. But before you buy those pendant shaped earrings from forever 21, before you whip out those tarot cards you got at Hot Topic for a party, know what you're doing. If you don't know, if you don't care you're doing it for the trend and you're a part of a problem. And you're taking business away from vendors that actually know what they're selling.
If you're actually interested in the healing methods of brujas or alternative medicine, here are some stores through instagram of independent vendors that actually practice: