Lorde: ‘I am not weirded out by ghosts or spirits. I am basically a witch’

Met Gala 2016 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology'

I choose not to treat Wiccans, or “witches,” as a joke. I think Wiccans are cool. I respect that they’re doing their thing and I hope that other people will respect them too. I think there should be more Wiccans in the world. The American Wiccan community has already held a mass spell against Donald Trump, in an attempt to get him to stop destroying everything. Witches are also organizing their own Witch Resistance against fascism. I say the more the merrier. My point? That Wicca is a real thing and some people – LORDE – should not blithely refer to themselves as “basically a witch.” Which is what she did.

She honoured the late David Bowie with a tribute performance of Life on Mars at the Brit Awards last year. And on Saturday, ahead of the release of her upcoming Melodrama album, Lorde revealed that she felt the presence of the late singer’s ghost while creating the album. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph about her disembodied connection to the legendary musician, the 20-year-old also declared herself to be ‘basically a witch.’

‘I have always felt connected to [David Bowie], even though I spent only about five minutes in [his] company,’ she said. ‘I felt he was watching over me in a way. It would be no surprise to anyone I am not weirded out by ghosts or spirits. I am basically a witch.’

Speaking to BBC Radio One last month, the Green Light singer said that since his passing, he hasn’t left her side.

‘I feel like the whole time spent writing this record, I’ve had him in my thoughts, I’ve had him in my heart,’ said Lorde. ‘It’s hard not to make something and not think, ‘What would David think of this? If I could play it to him, what would he say?”

[From The Daily Mail]

I’m uncomfortable with the idea that Lorde feels like she has any kind of ownership of David Bowie’s memory. While I’m sure Bowie was important to her, and that he was probably lovely to her when they met, the way she talks about him feels… I don’t know, slightly icky. It would be like Taylor Swift claiming that she’s sure Janis Joplin’s ghost was watching over her. It’s eyeroll-y. As for “I am basically a witch” – prove it!! CAST A SPELL TO FIGHT FASCISM OR GTFO.

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46 Responses to “Lorde: ‘I am not weirded out by ghosts or spirits. I am basically a witch’”

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  1. Alleycat says:

    So instead of being with his family, he chose in his afterlife to stay by her side? Someone he only met for a few minutes? She sounds like Taylor because of course they both find themselves that important. Of course one of the greats would choose HER. That’s the problem with celebrity, they get told that they are the most special, when they’re not.

    • Tiny Martian says:

      Actually, she sounds like a lot of the “fangirls” of just about any male celebrity, anywhere. Especially the “I have always felt connected to…….” part.

  2. detritus says:

    I will write it off as her being a silly teen still.
    It was a pretty silly thing to say, all of it.
    And if Bowie is watching over anyone, it’s Iman and his kids, but I very much doubt she meant to be offensive.

    • V4Real says:

      Wait, now she’s a silly teen. But a few years ago she was the smartest teen ever according to a lot of people.

      Lorde is no different than a lot of pop stars that she dissed. She was packaged as something different but now she has joined the ranks of Swift, Cyrus, Grande and the rest.

      • Erinn says:

        I give her a pass. I think she’s still a lot more ‘real’ and has a lot better of a head on her shoulders than most of her peers do. But at the same time – the brain is not done growing until about 25. Especially when it comes to making good judgments – and I’m willing to chalk this story up to poor judgement. Nobody is one thing all the time – it’s perfectly possible for her to be smarter/wiser than most people in her peer group while still making mistakes along the way.

      • detritus says:

        She can be both smart and silly, they aren’t exclusive.
        Especially for a teen.
        I still put my foot in my mouth when joking (and not), and I’m a grown ass (debateable) adult.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “She can be both smart and silly, they aren’t exclusive.”


  3. Lolo86lf says:

    “The American Wiccan community has already held a mass spell against Donald Trump, in an attempt to get him to stop destroying everything.”!!! I don’t know exactly what Wiccans are or do but I love them because they cast a spell on Donald Trump. Anyone who fights him is automatically my friend. Please excuse me, I am signing off here to go educate myself on Wiccan culture right now because I am becoming one. Do they allow men?

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      They do, and you should. I have a couple of wicca friends and they are nothing but lovely and warm.

  4. Birdix says:

    None of this was worded well. Witch wasn’t the right word–their business isn’t communicating with the deceased. As for Bowie, it is a little cringey–but I suppose there’s no limit to a spirit’s attention–as in everyone could have that feeling because the spirit doesn’t have to be in one place?
    I had a wiccan apartment manager years ago who sold wiccan products out of her apt. I imagine most wiccans are lovely but she was beyond eccentric, even her cats freaked me out.

    • Neo says:

      Agreed. She’s silly but I don’t think that it’s fair to say she was implying #GhostBowie chose her over his family.

  5. WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

    Okay then! I see her friendship with you-know-who has taught her well the samurai art of getting attention. I like her second witchy outfit. Very 90s.

  6. Yellowrocket says:

    I can’t express how happy it makes me to know that somewhere, there’s covens of witches casting spells against Trump.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Me too! I am plagued with the boring fate of being an atheist, which I would love to change in favor of some flavour of wiccan belief system, if only I were able to believe in anything. What a blessing that must be. I would pay a good amount of money just to be allowed to spectate on those anti orange rituals.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Same. But my first thought after reading that part was “The spells don’t seem to be working!”

      • The Recluse says:

        Considering how miserable he is and how his own actions are gumming everything up, perhaps there’s something to it?

  7. She exhausts me. I am basically a bitch.

    • Snowflake says:

      Hey, me too! 🙂

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Erin extra points to you 😀

    • Lionika says:

      Hahaha Erin I <3 you! "I am basically a bitch." I am going to use the shit out of that one.

    • G says:

      I don’t mind her generally but have little patience for these kinds of comments from anyone. I don’t think she meant to offend though, and she may not have even meant it literally. She’s young, creative, and her mother’s a poet, right? Bit airy-fairy, but it’s hardly Jaden Smith-level.

  8. Nancy says:

    Oh come on Lorde, you know David’s spirit was with Lady Gaga and her tribute….lol. Hopefully he is resting in peace after a lifetime of amazing work and isn’t visiting his little groupies on Earth! Pretty much think if his spirit was anywhere on the planet, it was with Iman and his family. Anyone call Ghostbusters?

  9. Anon says:

    The combo of the headline and cover picture made me LOL.

  10. Brandi says:

    Not all witches are Wiccan.
    Not all Wiccans participate in binding spells such as the one on Trump. People who believe in the Wiccan Rede believe what you put out in the universe comes back to you.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      It’s the Law of Three and is very seriously followed by many practitioners of witchcraft (I’ve been a practicing Green Witch for over 25 years). What you put out comes back to you threefold.

    • Jenn says:

      Oh, ha! Downthread I posted excitedly about the monthly “Bind Trump” event, “even if you don’t believe in binding! There’s other stuff you can do!” — and EVEN THEN, it did not occur to me to point out, as you rightfully did here, that many-to-most witches *don’t* believe in “binding.” Thanks for stopping to point out this fact.

      I think MOST magical practices actually denounce the taking of free will and autonomy from others. The Wiccans have the Rede. Protestant Christians who participated in the “deliverance” movement of the ’70s — like the exorcists from the period-piece movie The Conjuring, for example — believed you couldn’t/shouldn’t dispel demons without the individual’s presence and/or consent. (I just read Pigs in the Parlor and there’s a huge amount of text devoted to this very subject, about how you can maybe only “free” a person from demonic influence for a month or something like that, just long enough for them to have the clarity-of-mind to make their own decisions.) And then, even with the “laying of tricks” in hoodoo, you’re supposed to bathe afterward: the idea is explicitly to cleanse yourself spiritually from having potentially influenced or otherwise affected someone else.

      So yeah! Important point, definitely worth emphasizing to folks who might get the wrong idea. Witches aren’t actually running around hexing people, which is a misconception the Bind Trump group may have lately helped fuel. That group’s activist aims, while benevolent, should not be construed as representative of Wicca at all.

  11. Aang says:

    A lot of people go around casually calling themselves Christian but actinging nothing like Christ, so it’s not a new problem. I once had an Auntie tell me that all white witches are fake because the creater left the power to do good or bad medicine to the natives only. It really struck me that anyone could be that ethnocentric, and ignorant of history.

  12. Beth says:

    I also am not weirded out by ghosts and spirits. When I was younger, I believe something I saw was a ghost. That in no way makes me a witch though

  13. FishBeard says:

    I like Lorde, but my god was that comment ever self-aggrandizing. Like other commenters have already stated, if his spirit is with anyone, it’s with his family. I know Wiccans, but I don’t know if they’d be anymore offended by her labelling herself as a witch as they would be by little kids who dress as witches for Halloween. Which is to say that they couldn’t care less.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Wiccans don’t own the term “witch.” Like someone else stated above, not all witches are Wiccan. I’m a Green Witch. I am not Wiccan.

      • Bootsie says:

        If you don’t mind me asking, what’s the difference between a Green Witch and a Wiccan?

      • AnotherDirtyMartini says:

        Ooo, yes please. This is fascinating.

      • Jenn says:

        Helpful link! http://www.kitchenwiccan.com/pagan-wiccan/types-of-witches/

        Anyone, feel free to correct me — I know it can get touchy when discussing different types of faith traditions versus practices, and I don’t want to misrepresent anything! — but I think the main theological difference is, Wiccans worship the god/goddess (“Lord” and “Lady”) duality. In *practice*, Wicca is comparatively very structured, organized, and even somewhat liturgical, with specific tools you use, and it has a definite contemporary origin — Gardner? Gardner brought contemporary Wicca to the mainstream? — although it purports to be much older.

        It’s murky, though. “Paganism” in general is loosely defined as nature worship, so there’s gonna be a lot of overlap with beliefs and practices. But I personally think of a Green Witch as a solo practitioner who is concerned with “earth magic,” like gardening and herbalism? It’s very practical — which isn’t to diminish the spiritual component, just to say that it’s very “elemental.” Does that sound right?? (I love how I’ve been studying for seven months and still can’t answer this properly.)

  14. serena says:

    I don’t like it either, I mean, nobody’s saying she couldn’t be a fan or workship him.. but to go as far as that..seems a little bit too much. Why would he watch over her, when he barely knew her? Meh.

  15. Lionika says:

    I don’t care about the witch comment that much, I guess she’s just leaning into her public image? The Bowie thing is cringe though. I agree with Kaiser’s feeling of ickiness at this “ownership” thing. I really don’t like it when people (even normal non-celeb types), do this type of thing where they make a deceased person all about themselves. It’s fine if you care about/love/admire someone. But it’s best to think twice before making them/their passing about you and how you feel (unless you really were close to that person and in that case, you wouldn’t think of it, you wouldn’t have to make a point of it). Also the discrepancy between Bowie’s and Lorde’s musical talents (and yes I’m aware that Bowie said a nice thing about her or something?) makes this even worse! Like Taylor and Janis, seriously.

  16. justcrimmles says:

    Hate to be that person, but goodness, when she smiles, it changes her face dramatically. In a good way.

  17. Susie says:

    She’s young. I said stupid stuff all the time when I was young. Hmmm. And when I wasn’t young. The difference is, no one wrote it down. (Although I agree with the author on the Wicca thing. I was DELIGHTED when they were casting against evil).

  18. DragonWise says:

    She is young, and was given a huge platform before she had much to say. This was awkward and presumptuous, sure, but who hasn’t said weird shit when young? I’m actually a bit glad she’s coming across as the barely-adult person she is, so people can stop acting like she is the voice of her generation.

    • Lionika says:

      good point. “…given a huge platform before she had much to say,” is accurate for so many young celebs!

  19. London Look says:

    I find Lorde fascinating and incredibly boring at the same time.

  20. Pandy says:

    Well that comment should dispel her high girl image lol. Twit. Poor David, harnessed to
    anybody now.

  21. raincoaster says:

    Is she trying to become Winona Ryder from Beetlejuice?

  22. Naddie says:

    This celebrity worship is annoying. These people talk about David Bowie like he was some kind of demi god.
    Also, not getting people calling her a teenager. She’s not a grown woman, but she’s 20 already.

  23. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    What a sad witchie poo…with a horrid case of indigestion.

  24. Jenn says:

    Leaving the Bowie part out of it, “witch” seems like an okay use of the word here? Feel free to school me if I’m wrong, but… this is an appropriate use, right? Like, for better or worse, neo-paganism and contemporary witchcraft have a LOT of overlap with shamanism and traditional ancestral stuff, and both divination and folk magic certainly rely on having hopefully-benevolent spirits around. So yeah, I think most practitioners of witchcraft — witches, if you will (not all witches are Wiccans!) — do believe in spirits, do believe in having “familiar” spirits, and would certainly call upon those patrons in times of need. (This isn’t to leave out other faith traditions and/or new-agers — a lot of different cultures believe in spirits, angels, gods, demons, saints, and the possibility of divine intercession.)

    Anyway. Despite the egocentrism of Lorde’s remark, I agree that Bowie still feels very much “alive” and present, and always WILL feel “alive” creatively, because of the forever-resonance of his music. In that regard, I would say that I, too, believe in Ziggy Stardust! And I agree that people will continue to be inspired by him (whether or not those people are self-avowed “witches” or feel like Bowie is haunting them *personally*, hahahaha).

    P.S. Thanks for bringing attention to this, Celebitchy! There is a long, important anthropological history of magical resistance against oppression — especially when you look at discrete groups of folks throughout the eras and the injustices they were fighting against.

    For those interested, the once-monthly “Bind Trump” ritual has an official Facebook home — search for it and you’ll find it! For those who object to doing a “binding” spell (and a lot of group members, including Wiccans, indeed do), the page also functions as a repository for alternative rituals. Some participants — including Christians! — prefer, for instance, to pray for the protection of the marginalized and disempowered groups that are most endangered by the current political climate. Just for example! My point is, it’s a super welcoming group, very intersectional, and folks from all walks of life do participate. If it’s an interest of yours, don’t be shy! No one checks for your “witch card” at the door (although… I do think they check to make sure your Facebook profile is “real,” but that’s it). Join in!

    • jenn says:

      P.P.S. Sorry I’m so wordy!!!! But a fellow commenter duly pointed out upthread that the monthly “Bind Trump” ritual should NOT be taken as representative of the Wiccan community. That is correct. In fact, the magical community at-large has been enmired in a back-and-forth about whether it’s morally acceptable to “bind” anyone, and whether it’s okay to apparently endorse doing so—particularly to laypeople and newcomers who might not understand why the ritual could be spiritually dangerous. It’s a very fraught argument!

      When I alluded to “alternative rituals” in my above comment, I was referring to the internal and ongoing argument over “binding” as a practice. But I unfortunately neglected, in that comment, to stress that the majority of Wiccans are actually quite opposed to “binding”; my enthusiasm got ahead of me. This Celebitchy post is great, but there’s an implication that Wiccans are all performing binding rituals against the current administration, and that simply isn’t true—not least because most Wiccans don’t believe in binding others (despite whatever the movie The Craft suggests). I apologize if anything I said was inadvertently misleading. Thanks!