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Vanessa Hudgens Witchcraft

Vanessa Hudgens says she manifested her fiancé. What was on her list?

In a new documentary, Hudgens explores her spiritual side, including the practice she said led her to love.

Vanessa Hudgens Witchcraft

Vanessa Hudgens on engagement, paranormal movie ‘Dead Hot’

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April 14, 2023, 5:40 PM UTC / Source : TODAY
Gabriella no longer. Vanessa Hudgens may have risen to fame as a kind-hearted high schooler in “High School Musical,” but she’s long graduated from that phase.

In the new Tubi documentary “Dead Hot,” Hudgens shares what she’s been up to lately (beyond, of course, building her Netflix Christmas romance empire): Exploring what it means to be a modern witch. While she jokes that she’s embracing the “dark side,” the documentary is really about how she’s using spiritual practices — like meditation and prayer — for empowerment. “I want to take away the (stigma) of witchcraft being something evil. It’s beautiful, it’s empowering. It’s about sisterhood and lifting other women up and allowing people a safe space to connect,” she says in an interview with TODAY.com. Her foray into spirituality, she says, led her to her fiancé, Cole Tucker. Hudgens says Tucker is proof of “the power of manifestation” at work.

In February, Hudgens shared that she and the baseball pro are engaged, a year after making their relationship Instagram official. Before meeting Tucker, she literally “had a list” of qualities she was looking for in her next person, she tells TODAY.com. “You have to figure out what you don’t want in order to know what you need,” she says.

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As for qualities on her list? Hudgens can name them. “Someone who can celebrate themselves so that they can celebrate me. Someone who has an innately positive outlook on life, because I do. Someone who works to live, not lives to work. Someone goofy,” she says. After her first weekend with Tucker, she says she knew she found her person. “I was like, you literally check all of my boxes,” she says.

“Dead Hot” also explores other spiritual practices, like witch circles and ouija boards. At one point, Hudgens and her friend and co-star GG Magree react to encountering what they say is a ghost.

When asked whether she’s been changed by this look through the veil, Hudgens says that brushes with the afterlife aren’t anything new for her. “I used to live in a haunted house. I would see this chick all the time. Ghosts are all around us. I’m totally OK with that,” she says.

Seeing ghosts is one thing, but it took a trip to Scotland for her to have her “conscious awakened,” and set her on a path toward witchcraft.

“I was working with a makeup artist who comes from a long lineage of witches. She was breaking it down to me. I had so many questions. And I was like, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has these questions,” she says. Now, she’s come to define what it means to be a witch on her own terms, and says she fully embraces the title. “I could call myself a witch, and another person call themselves a witch. What we believe and what we are inspired by could be completely different things. But (it all comes down to) connecting to spirit,” she says. Hudgens, in the documentary, calls upon Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic and witchcraft, for guidance, and explores what she calls her innate psychic capabilities.

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“I feel like I’ve been calling things ever since I was young,” she says. “When I realized that is foresight, I was like, maybe I should learn how to hone into this.” Her gift was made public during last year’s awards season. Austin Butler, nominated for an Oscar for his starring role in the biopic “Elvis,” recalled how a “friend” said he should play the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll one day. He later clarified the “friend” was actually his ex-girlfriend of eight years: Hudgens.

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Hudgens has the gift, perhaps, of knowing things before they happen. And with this documentary, she hopes that we get to know her in a new way.

“The public only knows what you allow them to see. I feel like people have been invested in and followed my relationships over the years. But other than that, people don’t know that that much. This is so authentic. This is coming from a pure place,” she says.

And if you’re not convinced by her spiritual seeking, Hudgens says, “That’s OK.”

“You don’t have to believe me. I’m not asking you to believe me,” she says. “I’m just sharing a moment of time in my life, where I’m searching for something more and meaningful. And I find it really beautiful and empowering.”

Elena Nicolaou is a senior entertainment editor at Today.com, where she covers the latest in TV, pop culture, movies and all things streaming. Previously, she covered culture at Refinery29 and Oprah Daily. Her superpower is matching people up with the perfect book, which she does on her podcast, Blind Date With a Book.

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