[This issue, we sit down with noted witch and diviner, Alura Rose. Here. she discusses life as a witch in modern-day Salem; her development of a fairy tale-based divination system; and the magic inherent in those classic tales.]
Eternal Haunted Summer: How do you describe your personal spiritual path? Are you part of a tradition, or are you solitary, or more eclectic?
Alura Rose: My personal spiritual path has been such an adventure. I started with a coven about twenty years ago but had to move and couldn’t continue with them any longer. Ten years later, I was blessed to find Christopher Penczak and The Temple of Witchcraft. I am a Fourth Degree Witch with them. I have also worked with Laurie Cabot and am a Priestess in her Tradition as well. The two work well together as she taught Christopher.
The Temple of Witchcraft is eclectic and even though I do not really like being defined that way, I guess I do fall into that category, especially with the Fairy Tale Course.
EHS: So, what’s it like being a witch in Salem?
AR: It has been an amazing experience to be a witch and Tarot Reader in Salem. I work at Enchanted on the Wharf. The name is perfect for my love of fairy tales. I have been leading Full Moon Rituals there for over two years now. Each one is a diffident Fairy Tale theme.
I used to imagine what it would be like to work in Salem. It’s kind of like the Professional Witch’s dream . I always wanted to personally meet Laurie Cabot but I don’t think I ever thought I’d be working right alongside of her.
EHS: You recently created a rune set based on fairy tales. First, why fairy tales?
AR: I have always been in love with Fairy Tales. The magick that they hold.
A yearlong assignment with the Temple of Witchcraft was to explore myths. I kept having a hard time and so started looking at my ancestors’ lineage to see if I could connect. My Grandmother was German and when I typed German Myths into the search engine, Fairy Tales came up. I was delighted but not sure if it would be sufficient. Later that night in meditation, my Goddess came to me and said, “You need to bring this to the world.” That was how the matter of Fairy Tales and Witchcraft came about. The Runes are an extension of that work and the experience of being a reader.
EHS: How did you create the runes? How did you decide which fairy tales to use and which symbols to employ?
AR: Originally, I wanted to make a Fairy Tale Tarot Deck with some of my paintings but doing 78 art pieces can be very time consuming. I tried to think what other medium I could use in relation to Divination. I was a psychic fair and I purchased a “Witches Runes” set. I found it so easy to use these because I had a connection to the symbol and it occurred to me that Fairy Tales would also trigger that connection.
I call it “Fairy Tale Divination” now because I have also added some charms and objects that trigger Fairy Tale inspirations. The way that I choose the symbol is by sitting with them and seeing what emotional and physical responses come up and how that could be useful in a reading. The symbols represent the Fairy Tale or Tale(s) and I pull from the tale to do the reading. For example, if the Spinning Wheel Rune came up in a reading, it could be a warning of danger being near, as in the case of Briar Rose aka Sleeping Beauty, but also that the experience will make you stronger and wiser. The Fairy Tale Divination System is still evolving but I hope to have it for sale at some point.
EHS: Your course, A Year of Fairy Tale Magic, will launch in August. How did you go about designing the course, and what is your goal with it?
AR: I am very excited to be offering “A Year of Fairy Tale Magick.” The first Fairy Tale Full Moon Ritual that I ever did had overwhelming attendance. One of the people attending came up to me after and asked if I was going to make it a Tradition and that if I did they would follow me. It gave me inspiration and the more that I researched the more that I found that it wasn’t just a thought that I had, had. I found books by famous witches that related to doing some sort of Fairy Tale Magick. I just am taking it to a further level.
I want to note that it is not meant to be a Tradition on its own, though I could see some people doing that. I designed the course around some of the Full Moon Rituals that I have been doing or at least their intentions. It is a course of personal growth using Fairy Tales and Wtichcraft together. I usually describe my Fairy Tale Magick classes as showing you how Fairy Tales hold the Secrets of the ancient Goddess Tradition, but this course is so much more.
My goal is to empower others on their own journeys but to show them the magick that is within each fairy tale. The course will be lots of fun. Each month we will focus on a different tale and have a meditation to align more with it. There will be ritual work, spells and so much more. Even some silly components like blowing bubbles to get the attention of fairies. There will even be a private Facebook Group for those who want to connect with others and myself, if they so desire.
EHS: Can you give us a hint as to which fairy tales will be featured?
AR: Only a hint….? First of all, I want to say this course is designed for adults. A children’s course will follow eventually but this one is focused on adults. These are not your childhood or Disney Fairy Tales. I use the Fairy Tale’s original tale which in many cases can be … well … grim.
Some of the Fairy Tales used in this course, most people may recognize but there are some that they may not. A few to be used are Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, The Fisherman and his Wife, and the Princess Frog.
EHS: Where can people learn more about the course, and can they sign up for specific months?
AR: To see the most results and growth from the course, people should do the whole year. That is twelve Fairy Tales, one each month. There are promotions and deals toward the cost of the course being done up until the starting date. There is also a monthly payment option, so I am really trying to make it reasonable for everyone to do the year. If someone wanted to sign up only for specific months, yes, they could, but it would be at a slightly higher cost and again, the most benefit will come from doing all of them. The course is designed as a yearlong self-discovery, so best to choose that option.
EHS: The Fairy Tale Witch blog covers a wide variety of topics related to magic, divination, lore, and fairy tales. Which post has been the most satisfying to write? Which has generated the most response from readers, and are you open to suggested topics from you readership?
AR: The Fairy Tale Witch blog has been so fun to launch. It does cover a wide range of topics as I am still finding my audience, so yes, definitely open to suggested topics. (They can email me them at Alura@PoisonedApple.org)
The post that generated the most response in the quickest amount of time was titled “The Thing with Dolls.” I think my passion for old dolls comes to light with this post. The last doll photo is my own personal doll and the dolls in the wall were interestingly found on the home that we purchased last year. Many responses from readers suggest they are not as fond as old dolls as I am. It was a fun article to write.
The one that was the most satisfying and the most difficult to write was the “From Salem’s Witch Trials to Present – Our Legal System Still Serves Injustice” because it hits home for me. I have been doing Prison Ministry work for many years now but also my family has gone through an issue that I hint about in the article. It is a community/world issue that makes it more important, satisfying and as a Priestess necessary but it was hard to write.
EHS: Your Poisoned Apple storefront appears on Etsy. What advice can you offer those who are considering an Etsy shop, and what are the positives and negatives of selling occult/magickal/Pagan items there?
AR: I have been selling on Etsy for about five to six years now. When I started out, I wasn’t selling as much as I do now and it was great. I think it is good for the hobbyist but as a business, not the greatest. I have found that even though they will publish your listing for twenty cents, other fees add up. First, it is twenty cents for four months, so if your item doesn’t sell for two years that fee is now $1.20. That may not be a big deal but the key to success is to have multiple listings. The more listings you have, the better it seems to be, so now it starts to add up. When someone purchases an item, there is a fee for it being sold and then another fee to have the funds transferred to your bank account. This seemed to change when they went from a private to public company. I really did not realize how much they were taking until recently when I sat down to come up with a business plan. I am not sure of a better option at this point but am ‘shopping’ around for one.
I haven’t really had any negative experiences with selling occult/magickal/Pagan items there. I know when they became a bigger corporation, they were trying to do away with anything labeled as spells but many of us witches signed a petition and I think that has passed for now.
The positive is that it is easy to use and set up. Truthfully, most of my traffic to them comes from my own networking or Facebook pages. (There is the negative.) Again, great for a beginner or hobbyist, not so much for the Professional or Business.
EHS: Which books, sites, blogs, et cetera do you recommend to those who are interested in fairy tale magic?
AR: My blog definitely, I am not sure of any other blogs for Fairy Tale Magick but I also do have a mailing list that I send info out at times. The sign up is located at my personal website.
I do have some books that I would recommend, they are:
The Twelve Wild Swans; A Journey to the Realm of Magic, Healing and Action by Starhawk and Hillary Valentine
Breaking the Mother Goose Code: How a Fairy Tale Character Fooled the World for 300 years by Jeri Studebaker
The Initiatory Path in Fairy Tales: The Alchemical Secrets of Mother Goose by Bernard Roger
EHS: What other projects are you working on?
AR: I am still in the process of creating a Fairy Tale Tarot. It has been done a few times before but mine will focus more on the shadow aspects of the Fairy Tale.
In addition, I am trying to work out details and make time to write a book on Fairy Tale Magick.
EHS: Which book fairs, conventions, or other events will you be attending in the foreseeable future?
AR: I am continuing to do Full and now Dark Moons at Enchanted in Salem, MA. I also have a Poppet, Candle Magick and Fairy Tale Magick class coming up through the summer at this shop. I read Tarot and my Fairy Tale Divination here every Thursday as well, so if you are in the area and want to experience it first hand, please stop by.
On July 15th, I will be doing readings at Zuzu’s Summertime Expo at the Double Tree Hilton in Danvers, MA and July 21-22, I will be in Augusta, Maine at The New England Metaphysical and Holistic Festival, held at the Augusta Civic Center where I will be doing Readings, teaching a Fairy Tale Magick Workshop and my shop, Poisoned Apple will also be there selling Fairy Tale inspired magickal items.
I’d like to also note that I am available for readings on the phone much of the time and just email or visit my website to set that up. I would also like to invite readers to see what else I may be brewing up next by following my Facebook page.