I’ll be honest, when I first came across Ariela Crystellia’s page on Shopee, I thought it was a scam. Crystals and even enchanted jewellery are normalised by now, but spell-casting was what threw me off.
“People are buying this?” I mused to myself. “And it’s got a five-star rating?”
But as I continued scrolling through the shop, I began to realise there was not only a level of legitimacy here but a sense of earnestness too.
Terms like “white magick” and “green witch” piqued my curiosity, and I decided that I had to reach out to the person behind the shop—Ariela herself.
I wasn’t sure if she’d want to get into the nitty-gritty of her background and details, but to my surprise, she was more than happy to share.
Based in Penang, Ariela’s Shopee business is actually a side hustle. With a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in psychology, Ariela’s full-time job takes up most of her week, so she can only work on clients on her off days.
“I used to take multiple bookings per day even during my work days, however, it does not work in my favour so I have reduced bookings to only one to two bookings per day,” she shared.
Welcome to the world of witchcraft
Many girls (myself included) may have found themselves interested in the topic of witches growing up, thanks to comic books and shows like W.I.T.C.H, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Unlike most girls, though, Ariela’s interest in witchcraft didn’t just stem from popular media. It turns out that her very own ancestors were shamans and spiritual healers.
“I decided to learn it initially as a means for me to cope with personal issues and mental health issues, which greatly helped me back then,” Ariela shared. “It still does.”
This is a decision that has led to a fair share of arguments and misunderstandings between Ariela and her parents, who decided not to pursue witchcraft.
But Ariela knew it was something she had to do, having had intense dreams about practising witchcraft since learning about her lineage.
Ariela started learning the ways of witchcraft through books and online courses. She has also obtained certifications in witchcraft, particularly in white magic.
“But of course, to successfully practise something requires experience and knowledge,” she said. “I have been practising for almost two years now and I am happy that 99% of feedback from my clients is positive.”
A bewitching business
Noticing that there were people out there who would like to know more about witchcraft, Ariela realised that she could make a business out of it.
She also realised that spellcasting in particular was something she could do, as she believes it can help people heal through it.
So, Ariela began to offer her spiritual and tarot reading services through platforms such as Instagram. But upon seeing others promoting their spiritual and tarot reading services on Shopee, she decided to start to list her services there too.
Considering that witchcraft is still a taboo topic in Malaysia, Ariela was surprised to find that the reception on Shopee has been “overwhelmingly positive”.
“I did not realise a lot of people would be very interested in my services,” she said. “I am even more enthusiastic to help people now.
She has also started taking bookings for in-person tarot readings, but not spellcasting yet due to her busy schedule.
With that said, delivering her services online is still her preferred method.
“[This is] as I can do it whenever I am fully energised, even early in the morning as soon as I wake up, instead of waiting for my client to come to my home,” she explained.
Spelling out spellcasting
While tarot readings are more common nowadays, with tarot decks and guidebooks being rather commercialised, spellcasting remains a rather uncommon service in Malaysia.
“My spellcasting method is very private, which means that most of the time my clients will provide me with their personal information (as agreed) such as their full name, date of birth, and their clear intentions,” Ariela explained. “And most importantly, their photos.”
Once she has gathered all the required information, Ariela will begin the spellcasting process, which starts at RM55 for basic spells, and RM90 for more powerful ones.
The spells that Ariela casts are essentially boosters to what the customer wishes or wants.
Specific spells that she can cast include abundance, wealth or money spells, anti-anxiety spells, good night sleep spells, protection spells, and self-love spells. Those looking for something other than these listed spells can reach out to Ariela for more details.
According to her Shopee page, Ariela works with herbs, flowers, and crystals in her craft, while being devoted to her deities, who are Athena, Aphrodite, Hades, and Anubis.
“Devoted deities are deities that I work with during my spellcasting sessions,” Ariela explained. “I ask for their guidance to successfully cast the spells.”
The process takes a maximum of ten days, which takes into consideration Ariela’s full-time job and long waitlist.
After the spell has been cast, Ariala will send photos and videos as proof.
Critics of the craft
Considering the nature of her business, Ariela surprisingly has only received a couple of criticisms, one being from a client who thought her reading was “all over the place”.
“There has been an occasion where I received a random message on Shopee saying ‘why are you scamming people’ or something along those lines,” she recalled. “I dismissed this person by saying ‘try to book a service from me and let’s see if it’s a scam or not’.”
While criticism is few and far in between, witchcraft is clearly still a taboo topic in Malaysia.
As such, Ariela has taken the measures to put disclaimers on her post, saying that people should only engage with her services if they believe in the spiritual world.
However, just because Ariela’s services are on the more “authentic” side of the scale, she recognises that there are less savoury characters out there who are scamming people in the name of witchcraft. Seeing as witchcraft services can be quite pricey, some people have taken and will take advantage of that.
Ariela herself has not personally encountered this, but she has a client who’s fallen victim to such a scenario.
With this in mind, it’s important for those seeking out such services to check out the reviews first before purchasing them.
Making magic more approachable
Beyond offering spells and readings, Ariela hopes to destigmatise witchcraft and educate people that witches and shamans aren’t inherently evil.
“I feel like the depictions in novels, books, and movies have brainwashed us into thinking that most witches practise black and harmful magic like hexing, jinxing, and cursing,” she said. “I would like the public to know that witchcraft, especially modern witchcraft is not bad at all.”
With platforms such as social media and Shopee, it has become easier than before for Ariela to not only spread this message but to fulfil her goal of helping as many people as she can.
“That’s all that matters to me,” Ariela concluded.
- Learn more about Ariela Crystellia here.
- Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Ariela Crystellia