The world’s biggest pop star has dressed as a witch on stage and encouraged her fans to cast spells, says Kate Orson. Should Christians be concerned about her influence? 


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What should Christians make of Taylor Swift? It’s a question animating many, as the popularity of previous articles on this website demonstrates. In one previous Premier Christianity article Martin Saunders praised Swift’s positive Christ-like qualities of kindness and humility and the way she gathers and loves her fanbase.

Rather than trying to figure out exactly what her faith might look like, Saunders concluded that “Sometimes it’s enough just to sit back and enjoy the wonder of a glorious, God-given talent, and to allow them to bring some much-needed light to a darkened world.”

But what kind of light is Swift really bringing? In recent weeks, parts of the internet have been ablaze with accusations that Swift is no Christian at all. 

It’s true that Swift has referred to herself as a Christian, and has sung about praying to Jesus. The problem is there are also many new age and occult themes that appear in not just her lyrics, but on her social media pages and during her on stage performances.

This has led to claims from the former Boyzone singer Shane Lynch that Swift performs Satanic rituals on stage. In an interview with Irish newspaper Sunday World Lynch said of Swift, “You watch one of her shows and she has two or three different demonic rituals to do with the pentagrams on the ground, to do with all sorts of stuff on her stage.’’

There are other reasons to be concerned too:

  • Swift makes a devil horns symbol while performing the song ‘Cruel Summer’ which references her love interest “grinning like a devil” 
  • In the music video for her song ‘Willow’ Swift and her dancers are dressed as a coven of witches in the forest wearing black robes and carrying golden orbs. The song has had a couple of remixes - the ‘lonely witch’ and the ‘dancing witch’ versions. Willow is a traditional material for making magic wands.
  • Her song ‘Karma’ glorifies the unchristian concept of having to live multiple lifetimes to work off our bad deeds. The lyrics depict karma as a god.

All this has led some Christians to speculate on whether Swift is a witch, or even a Satanist. We don’t know what Swift does in her private life, or exactly what her spiritual beliefs are (Saunders is right that Swift “makes only fleeting and occasional references” to her beliefs).

Should Christians be concerned about Taylor Swift? Watch Ex-psychic Jenn Nizza and horror author Peter Laws debate this and more, on a recent episode of Premier Unbelievable

But one thing Swift has been very open about is the way she uses numerology.

Swift’s fans have a fascination with numbers. Swifties tend to get very excited, and follow clues to figure out when her next albums will be released or what Taylor is trying to communicate. For example a series of Instagram posts showed a picture of seven palm trees, six stars and five holes in a fence, leading fans to think it was showing some kind of countdown. 

This might appear at first glance to be the pastime of fans who have taken their idol worship a bit too far. But Swift actually encourages her fans to think this way. In an interview with Swift said of her fans detective work, “I’ve trained them to be that way.’’

In another interview with US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Swift refers to her use of numerology in her creative process. She said, “The numerology thing, when it doesn’t take over on its own, I sort of force it to happen. There are 16 tracks on Folklore, there are 15 tracks on Evermore. Add them up and you get 31. In my mind it’s just 13 backwards. ”

Numerology is a form of divination that was condemned by early Church father Irenaeus who warned against Gnostic teaching by those who attempted to achieve salvation through the search for hidden knowledge. As the book of Deuteronomy says, “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer.” (18:10) Numerology uses numbers to predict future events and even change the outcome. Numerologists believe that numbers have different vibrations so it ties into new age beliefs that people can create the life they want, by raising their vibration.

Swift was born on 13 December and believes 13 to be her lucky number. She writes it on her hand before every show. On a tweet on her 31st birthday, she wrote, “Ever since I was 13, I’ve been excited about turning 31 because it’s my lucky number backwards.”

On Halloween of 2022 Taylor Swift held every position in the US Billboard Hot 100’s top 10. Make of that what you will.

As Christians we must be careful not to cause other believers to stumble by recommending something that could lead people away from God. Just as Harry Potter can make witchcraft seem appealing, Swift could easily lead fans into an occult world of spells and numerology. In fact there’s evidence she’s already encouraging this. In one Facebook post she wrote to her fans, “What a truly mind blowing thing you’ve turned The Eras Tour Concert Film into. I’ve been watching videos of you guys in the theaters dancing and prancing and recreating choreography, creating inside jokes, casting spells, getting engaged, and just generally creating the exact type of joyful chaos we’re known for.’’ (my emphasis)

A catchy song on the radio may appear spiritually benign, but we must be careful in a culture where so many musicians follow occult belief systems. Music is a powerful emotional force, even spiritual at times. We see this in 1 Samuel 16:23 when David plays the harp for Saul, and the evil spirit that has been tormenting him departs. Psalm 103 says, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” As believers we need to be careful what we let into our ears.