Woo-Woo People are the Biggest Untapped Anti-Racists

Here’s how to reframe and harness the woo, with tips.

Jenara Nerenberg
4 min readJul 28, 2021

Spiritual new age woo-woo has struck a chord for a reason in the West — we are nations of trauma. The trickster of colonialism and white supremacy is a powerful elixir, an addictive substance that robs everyday people of a realistic grip on the world, and the whole idea of getting “grounded” and being mindful is to counter that crap.

Which is why it’s important for white people, especially spiritual white woo-woo women, to understand the far-reaching potential of the woo to actually combat capitalism, neoliberalism and the plague of whiteness. They are an untapped market, a potential source of organizing power. But they need to get it right. Here’s how.

I write as someone who grew up as a minority white kid in majority Black and Brown schools and neighborhoods in San Francisco and as someone who grew up in a multiracial family of Muslims, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists and Baha’is.

Essentially, any kind of challenge to the status quo is a form of queering, a way of dislodging from our ingrained programming. The rise of the woo is a threat to the status quo, in its purest form (not the corporate coopted form — we’re talking heart energetic stuff).

Here are my suggestions for reframing the woo:

Don’t stop at “feeling good.”

Working on mindful, grounded, body-based work of trauma release and burnout recovery is vital work, and signifies something larger — what’s happening in your body is not only about you.

Tired of a corporate job that leaves you feeling worthless, like a machine or hamster? That’s happening on a systematic level. Tap into that and feel into how your perspective changes. If you don’t like what’s happening in your body as a result of this system, then you shouldn’t like what’s happening for others. What will you do with your realizations?

Seize the moment.

Seize the electrifying energy of empowerment that comes with “awakening” to realize you are a vessel for change. This is political. This is about human agency and organizing power. Now that you’ve “emerged” from your cocoon and realized your conditioning…



Jenara Nerenberg

Author, Divergent Mind (HarperCollins). Journalist at UC Berkeley & Garrison. Founder, The Neurodiversity Project. divergentlit.com