Etsy Bans Sale of Spells, Irks Witches, Pagans

Some claim cultural or religious bias
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2015 8:40 AM CDT
Etsy Bans Sale of Spells, Irks Witches, Pagans
Russian neo-pagans, above, will have to look somewhere other than Etsy.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

Back in 2012, when eBay banned the sale of spells, potions, and other metaphysical goods, many witches and pagans set up shop with Etsy instead. But they're going to have to shuffle their goods and services yet again, now that Etsy—which went public in April—has quietly banned the sale of these items, reports the Daily Dot. It used to be that such items were allowed so long as they were tangible goods and did not promise efficacy. But now that's not even enough, according to the new guidelines: "Any metaphysical service that promises or suggests it will effect a physical change (e.g., weight loss) or other outcome (e.g., love, revenge) is not allowed, even if it delivers a tangible item."

The pagan and Wiccan community is claiming cultural and even religious bias, pointing to the continued sale of more-traditional prayer items such as rosaries and crosses on Etsy. "I give the example of the seller who just this week was told to change the title of her listing from 'Archangel Protection Spell Kit' to 'Archangel Protection PRAYER Kit' by an Etsy rep," one vendor says. "A spell and a prayer are basically the same thing, putting an intention out into the Universe." Etsy, meanwhile, responds that it simply wishes to clarify that it's not in the business of selling services, and wants to "protect our community from business practices that prey upon vulnerable and desperate shoppers—such as those seeking a treatment for cancer or infertility." Amazon, meanwhile, is more than happy to take the new merchants, reports Quartz. (This witch says the TSA fired her for her religious beliefs.)

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