Proving the internet may truly be cursed, a viral TikTok video from early 2023 claimed to show singer Taylor Swift literally practicing witchcraft onstage during her "Eras" concert tour that commenced in March 2023 and wrapped up by the end of the year.
The TikTok shows Swift and her backup dancers performing against a foggy forest backdrop, holding up golden orbs as fiery yellow light bursts out from behind them. Both the caption and voice-over video claim Swift is performing "witchcraft." Swift was actually singing a slowed-down version of the lyrics from her song "Willow." The video shows her singing the line, "Wait for the signal, they'll meet you after dark."
A YouTube video from November 2023 purported to analyze "Taylor Swift's Dangerous Descent into Witchcraft Sorcery & Casting Spells." The caption stated:
Taylor Swift seemed like a sweet professing Christian pop country singer. So what happened to her? During her Eras tour as you'll see in this video, Taylor is clearly dancing witches' coven ceremonies during her Willow song, and she is posting about witchcraft, sorcery and casting spells. A witch school even welcomed Taylor into their tribe. Tragically though - even if Taylor genuinely doesn't believe she's a witch - she is glorifying witchcraft and is influencing audience members toward witchcraft.
Swift's onstage performance was clearly a live-performance adaptation of the music video for "Willow," in which, at the 2:16 mark, a number of golden orbs surrounded by fiery light rise up in a forest as people in capes dance around it.
Swift sang about witches and witchcraft in her 2020 albums "Folklore" and "Evermore," which led to speculation about the singer's interests and inspirations, not to mention her religious beliefs. But, like most artists, Swift draws from a range of experiences, including her own, and is known for using heavy symbolism in her music. Besides incorporating sorcery-related themes and images into her performance of it, the song "Willow" also has a so-called "witch remix," and Swift's official X account has shared how she connects with witches in her work, for example:
Swift publicly identifies as a Christian (and did so as recently as 2020). We have reached out to her representatives and will update this story if we get more information.
Does incorporating fairy tale symbolism in some of her songs and performances mean Swift literally practices, or promotes the practice of, witchcraft? It does not.