In 2020, witches are everywhere. They're on our TV screens, on TikTok, and, yes, even on dating apps. According to Tinder, this September saw an all-time high of members who self-identified as witches in their dating profiles. Formerly among them (and now in a happy relationship) is witch and psychic medium Michael Cardenas, aka @oldeways on Instagram, who uses his knowledge of both witchcraft and online dating to help figure out some easy at-home practices that both witches and non-witches alike can use to help attract the partner of their dreams.
"I consult with people to see the energies that they're seeking: 'What brings you here? What have you been experiencing?'" he explains. "If someone says, 'I haven't been able to date in three years,' which happens a lot actually, it's either they're having a love drought, it's not coming in at all; they're not able to hold onto a relationship; or they keep attracting the same type of person. Then, we'll pull a few cards and investigate what's going on with that and try to find the best answer for them. Most of the time, it's a cleansing. Other times it's some deep spiritual healing that needs to happen."
Here, Cardenas explains how to set intentions with your phone, how to put in the work, and what honey can do to help a first date.
How can witchcraft and its practices be applied to dating? What are the biggest misconceptions of what can be done and cannot be done?
Let's start with what can be done and cannot be done. What you cannot do is manipulate someone into liking you. That's not something that's done. It's done in movies and I think that's what generally people think of witchcraft in general — the manipulation of people. There's never a manipulation involved. If you do try to tap into manipulation, you might get what you want in the short term, but in the long term, it's just going to be chaos.
If someone is looking to start a new relationship, what are the first things that they can do to get that good energy out there?
A spiritual bath is a good introduction to anyone that wants to start influencing their own energy. Spiritual baths are very good; they make us feel really good on a physical level, and they have all kinds of physical properties that help us to relax and so on and so forth. But depending on what you add to the actual bath, it can influence your aura or the energy around you. Sometimes baths are more focused on cleansing, if you're going through a rough time period or whatever. For love, we like to do what's called sweet baths. With Tinder, I created a bath that is really simple — it's with honey, rose petals or your favorite types of flowers, and your signature scent. Add it to the tub and while you're in the tub, you're going to focus on your intentions and that's pretty much it.
What is the difference between setting intentions and manifesting?
Manifestation is more of a process, so it starts with an intention. If you're coming to manifestation as a witch, then there's going to be a whole lot of different steps than your normal person. You would start with an intention — so say mine could be to clear negativity. I'm going to put that intention into action by casting a spell. I'm going to take all the different elements and implement them. I'm going to use candles. I'm going to use water. I'm going to use crystals. I'm going to use oils. I'm going to use incense. That's how we put that into action. Then the next step is for you to actually take action. For me to clear the clutter in my home. Actually cut ties with people that are bringing negativity into my life, or cutting ties to things that I'm doing that are bringing negativity into my life. That's how we fully manifest something.
I find that when intention and ritual are omitted, you can definitely have a result, but it doesn't have as much longevity to it and it doesn't have as much of a personal impact on me. Trust that the manifestation process goes so deep sometimes that it creates a lasting change. Intention setting would just be like, "I would like for there to be less negativity in my life." That's it. That's the intention. You're not putting anything into action. You're not ritualizing it. It's just a thought and that's it. It's a seed.
How do affirmations play into this?
Affirmations basically help to reprogram the brain. It helps to reprogram the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. It helps to replace the self-sabotaging thoughts that would basically get in your way. That's good for people that want to work with witchy tools and people that don't. Affirmation at the most basic level will help to replace negative thoughts.
Now, this is in no way trying to spiritually bypass things that you actually have to deal with. I think it's really important for you to process your negative thoughts and try to sit with them. We're not trying to make them go away. But once you're feeling a little bit better and you decide that you want to change your thinking — this has to be something that you want to do. Positive affirmations are great because they help to change the conversation between you and the universe, you and yourself, and you and others. It starts off really simple, but once you start to change those thoughts within yourself, you're going to have different types of conversations with people. You're going to put out a different ripple effect.
What about dealing with things in the more physical world, like color magic and items of decoration?
Those are just some of my favorite things to do because they're the most practical and I'm a Taurus. There have been studies done about color and the effect that it has on you. There have also been a lot of spiritual healing modalities involving color. We have collected some information on what it can actually do to you, but if anything, it just affects you on a psychological level.
With decorating, I suggest creating little altars or little sacred spaces dedicated to what you're trying to manifest. It's like creating a physical vision board. It not only gives you a visual representation of what you're after, but it also informs the subconscious mind. On a magical level, it gives you almost a map of what you're going to manifest. If you want to manifest love, I always recommend doing things in pairs. Two pieces of rose quartz, two flowers. If you want to be super committed, you could put out a faux diamond ring or something like that. It really depends on the person.
How do we put that energy into our phones if we're using apps like Tinder?
The center of the universe is now on the phone. It used to be the central sun, and now it's the phone. In magic, we use black mirrors for meditation, for divination. In old school, they would call spirits through the mirror. The phone is essentially like a black mirror, literally a pitch black mirror. We're bringing energies through our phone. I'm always telling people to take a break from your phone. Don't watch that violent video. Don't pay attention to things that are just going to piss you off. Don't engage in that. Sometimes it's unavoidable and you have to be informed about certain things, but when you can control it, I tell people to limit their phone.
Something like a dating app is generally something fun and it's super positive and it's something that helps you attain your goal. But we're going to be intentional. Once again, the intention is to attract someone into our lives. You're going to ritualize that by taking your favorite perfume or oil, then open your phone, and I recommend being as specific as possible, so opening up to your Tinder profile. You're going to take the oil and you're going to lightly anoint the four corners of your phone, while you're focusing on the type of person you're looking for. Set that intention and then you're going to put a physical action into it by swiping.
Let me say this: It's going to be a process. It's going to be difficult to change things within that moment. But you will be very surprised that after you take a moment to set your intention and you do all of these ritualized actions, I want people to notice the type of experience that they have. Was it more fun this time, because you were expecting it? Because it was more fun, were you more open to lighthearted conversations? Did the lighthearted conversations lead to something that you didn't expect? Because magic will open the gateway to the unexpected sometimes, but because you set the intention yourself, it's a good surprise.
Do you have any tips to make the first date go well before you're about to go out and meet them in person for the first time?
It's as simple as getting yourself a jar of really good organic honey and keeping it on hand. We use honey in magic to sweeten things up. Like attracts like in magic and it's a sacred food, it's a whole food, it has tons of magical properties to it. Basically, you're going to take the honey and you're going to put your finger into it and you're going to taste it while you're thinking about how you want the date to go. Set up your list of things of how you want the night to go. The added benefit of it is that because it's a sweetening agent, your words will be sweet. Your words will have an allure to them. The person will pay attention more. You will also, in the process, experience sweet words from them if that's what you're looking for. It's as simple as honey.