Venezuelans are increasingly turning to witchcraft practices for relief from the socialist country’s devastating humanitarian crisis, the Venezuelan outlet La Patilla reported Thursday.
According to the report, the situation has become so severe that many people are now turning to sorcerers who can provide some “light” to their lives. Workers at the Temple of Fortune store, located in the center of Caracas, reveal that every day they hear different stories from each of their customers who try to buy products there, ranging from tobacco to candles.
“Different types of people arrive to buy candles, they tell us that with that they can improve their fortune … different people arrive every day, they even ask for rituals for love,” said one of the employees.
While majority Catholic, many Venezuelans also engage in spiritual and magical practices outside the Church. La Patilla highlighted the legend of Sorte mountain, located in the Bruzual municipality of Yaracuy state, where believers from the indigenous cult of Maria Lionza visit to perform rituals with the hope of improving their lives. Many still see the practice as taboo and a form of a religious cult.
Every October the “Baile en Candela” (“Fire Dance”) is performed by the local indigenous community, often catching the eye of both the national and international press.
The growing popularity of witchcraft has led to the raiding of cemeteries in search of valuables and human remains for witchcraft rituals, France24 reported last year.
The use of witchcraft has also inspired multiple reports theorizing that the late socialist dictator Hugo Chávez was interested in such activities. In May, one of Chávez’s close military aides leveled scandalous accusations against his Cuban ally and counterpart Fidel Castro, suggesting that he killed Chávez after seducing him with “women” and “witchcraft.” He did not provide any additional information or potential evidence for the claim.