Mia Magik Banducci at her Rage Ritual Retreat; Olivia Reingold attended a virtual session
Mia Banducci from the viral video of her retreat, “Rage Ritual: Unleash Your Anger, Embrace Your Power, Transform Your Life.” (Screen grab via Mia Magik/YouTube)

I Went to Karen Summer Camp

A rage ritual might be the only place in America where the wrath of white women is welcomed.

A couple dozen women, plus one purple-haired man, are screaming at the top of their lungs over Zoom. Some are in their bedrooms, whacking Swiffers and broomsticks onto their mattresses. One blonde woman is outside in the tall grass, heaving in a child’s pose. 

“Let all your pain out,” their leader, Mia Banducci, a 36-year-old self-described “ambassador for the ancient magikal way,” yells while gasping for breath. “Let everything you’ve held back out.” 

This is a rage ritual, an event that Banducci bills as an opportunity to “release emotions that have been shamed or suppressed within you for years, even generations.” 

Earlier this month, the world screamed with laughter after footage of one of Banducci’s Rage Ritual Retreats made the rounds on social media. In the clip, viewed at least six million times on X, about a dozen white women stand along a road in a forest and beat tree branches on the pavement, howling up at the sky. 

“Right now I feel afraid,” one woman bellows in her athleisure. 

But while much of the internet was laughing, including the British rapper Zuby, many looked at the chaos and thought: Where do I sign up?

That includes the nearly fifty participants who showed up to Banducci’s Zoom this past Tuesday for her “first-ever live, virtual rage ritual,” which cost her acolytes $47. The event, which happened at 1 p.m. PST when most employed individuals are still at work, began with a quick call to grab our “tools.” 

“A broom has a great thwack when you use it like this,” Banducci explains from the edge of a bed, thumping hers down on the white duvet cover. “Really satisfying.”

Banducci, known online as “Mia Magik,” is a Los Angeles–based former chef—or, as she put it in a 2016 Facebook post, a “former NYC party girl turned spiritual healer.” Since then, she’s gained a following for her witchcraft tutorials, especially her videos on “sex magic.” One virtual six-week course, “Witch School,” is available for $333 and comes with two “bonus” charms, including a honey jar spell to “add some sweetness to your magik.”

Since Banducci’s video in the woods went viral, she’s been owning her 15 minutes—sporting a pointed hat to promote her “7-figure witch empire” on a podcast and appearing on Fox News for a segment entitled “Why Are Women So Mad These Days?”

“A lot of women didn’t grow up with men who care about them. They grew up with men who abuse them and talk down to them, spoke unkindly to them, and they’ve never had an opportunity to stand up for themselves,” she told Fox’s Jesse Watters. Going on one of her retreats “gives them a really safe space to individually and collectively release some of the anger that they’ve perhaps been burdened by for their entire life.”

The women (and man) who I saw when I logged on for her hour-long Zoom session Tuesday seem cheery—not furious. They quickly display smiles when Banducci asks them to grab a “sacred rage instrument” to bang on a flat surface. One brunette in glasses grins as she wields a red rod for changing light bulbs. A blonde sitting on a carpeted floor has fashioned a switch out of a tree branch.

First, Banducci gives us a six-minute warning about the “powerful purging” we are about to experience, which could lead to the “retraumatization” of our pasts. She encourages us to breathe deeply or sing to avoid these risks.

Then it’s time to tango with our demons. 

She invites us to stand, to “move our bodies a little bit.” The purple-haired man shakes like a teenager at a concert, whipping his hair across his face. At first, it is silent except for our high priestess, gyrating as she tosses her long, brown waves.

Then she gives us a sample of the noises we might make.

“So you’re like this—HAAAAH. Ya. RAAAAAHCK.

“What has made you angry?” she calls out, bouncing up and down. “Who has made you feel not good enough?”

We begin by thrusting our arms into the sky, then pulling them down to our sides, over and over again, while simultaneously kneeling and springing back up. 

“It really moves a lot of energy,” she says, patting the tops of her ribs. “We have energy meridians here.” 

A young witch with long, black hair and a quilt over her shoulders starts rolling her neck and swaying. Another woman in a pink t-shirt leaps from one leg to another, as if hopping on hot coals. Banducci leans down to play music on her computer. 

Chottaladoomdeednyyyy,” an ethereal voice, singing in an unknown tongue, emanates through our speakers. At this point, the coven goes wild. The outside woman yanks up her skirt to bend down and yell into the prairie grass. 

“Who do you need to yell at,” Banducci runs across her bedroom to bark at us. “More, go.”

The vibe is now SoulCycle at Hogwarts. But twenty minutes in, there’s a shift, with Banducci now taking a softer tone like she is tucking us into bed. We are told this is our last chance for “grunts, sighs, groans,” and we collectively turn to the ceiling to emit one final howl. A pink-haired woman named “Spooky Kim” pets her lab mix. Both of them have their eyes closed. 

The session is done, and now the comments start pouring in.

One woman writes, “Complete roars, whaling, and BIG tears from betrayals and totally done with defending myself for living the life I want!”

Another posts, “I almost quit at the start because I had no anger. Halfway through it popped up. . . I was angry with me.”

Yet another comments, “I grabbed too long of a stick and put a two-inch hole through my ceiling.”

Then a girl hits the white hand emoji to ask Banducci a question.

“Hi, I’m just curious,” she says. “If you don’t have something specific to work with. . . do you feel like just showing up and working with the energy of rage is enough?”

The coven nods along in their Zoom squares. They all know what she’s asking: What do we do if we’re not angry at all? What if we’re a Karen without a cause?

Banducci mulls the question, making duck lips as she thinks. Then she says, “More often than not what I’m raging about is, like, injustice in the world. You know, I started doing this practice in the redwood forest where I grew up and I raged far longer about logging of old-growth trees than I did about anything that I was dealing with.”

Then she starts talking faster, her eyes flicking across the computer screen as she’s overcome with inspiration.

“You know, and raging about what’s happening in the Middle East, raging about plastic in the ocean, raging about the enslavement of animals, like, you know, there’s a lot to rage about. And I have found that when we make ourselves vessels for the rage that is due to greater injustice in the world, you’re still composting it, like you’re still alkalizing it, you’re still being in service to it.”

Then, she transitions from one earnest message to another: that rage rituals are best experienced in person. 

“I prefer to hold it in person because I cannot guarantee what’s happening with everyone and integration and all that.”

We are told that we can all experience it if we sign up for her five-day retreat in the Loire Valley, France. The fee is $6,500, plus airfare.

Olivia Reingold is a reporter for The Free Press. Follow her on X @Olivia_Reingold and read her piece “Camping Out at Columbia’s Communist Coachella.”

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