Monday, 12 April 2021

When London's Esoteric Shops Are Opening Their Doors

With non-essential retailers now allowed to open for customers, I'm delighted to say that most of London's esoteric shops and witchcraft suppliers are welcoming customers back in person. Here's a list with the details:

Atlantis Bookshop
The Atlantis Bookshop will be opening its doors once more on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10.30am to 6pm, starting Thursday, 15th April. Bali and Geraldine (pictured, photo supplied by Atlantis) will be working from home Monday to Wednesday each week, so you can still phone and email to order books. Geraldine and Bali thanked their customers and friends for all the messages of thanks and support during the downtime and said: "To say we are excited to be able to get back to Museum Street and see you, our dear and wonderful customers, is an understatement. We cannot wait to see you all in real life again soon." Atlantis Bookshop is at 49a Museum Street, London, WC1A 1LY. You can still order books by phoning 020 7405 2120 or emailing and you can visit the Atlantis website for more details and sign up for a newsletter.

Buddha on a Bicycle
This shop selling Buddhist and Hindu items as well as crystals is open again on 12th April.  A message on its website said: "To celebrate our re-opening from April 12th, for one week only every BOAB customer who buys online or in-shop will be given a 10 per cent discount, free tote bag and a BOAB badge. Welcome back!" Buddha on a Bicycle is at 27 Endell St, West End, London, WC2H 9BA.

House of Spells
I've not been able to find out precisely when the magical merchandise shop House of Spells is physically open again, but you can browse its website and get little discount online using this link: The shop is at 69-71 Charing Cross Rd, West End, London WC2H 0NE. 

Kirkdale Bookshop
While this lovely bookshop isn't specifically an esoteric store, it does have my own special blessing, so I'm delighted that I'll be able to pop in again in person to say hello to the staff. Kirkdale Bookshop is probably the oldest independent bookshop in south east London. It is the closest to where I live, and has kindly stocked my own books on magic. It is reopening its doors at 9.30am on Monday 12th April and is at 272 Kirkdale, London SE26 4RS, near Sydenham station. @KirkdaleBooks tweeted: "The end of the Kirkdale cocoon experience. Thank you for your support during this chrysalidal period. See you on Monday." You can find the website here.

Treadwell's Bookshop
Treadwell's esoteric bookshop is intending to open its doors on June 1st. The shop's wonderful stock of magic books and other items continue to be available for online shopping, as well as online events including talks and workshops. Treadwell's is at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury. (The photo at the top shows a shelf of books at Treadwell's, including the community book I edited, Every Day Magic)

Stepping Stones of Greenwich
Stepping Stones, a mind, body, spirit shop at 97 Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, London, SE10 9TS, re-opens on Monday 12th of April at 10am. You can pop to the shop up to 6.45pm, Monday to Sunday. . Psychics Brian, Julia, Roz and Saira will continue to work distantly by telephone, WhatsApp or Zoom video call for a while longer. For appointments call 02088532733 or email: You can find out more about its services on the website.

Mysteries of Covent Garden
This metaphysical stockist at 34 Shorts Gardens, London, WC2H 9PX is open from Monday 12th April. A message on its Facebook page said: "We can’t wait to see you lovely customers." The shops normal hours are Monday to Saturday, from 10.30am to 7pm, and on Sundays noon to 6pm. Readings via Zoom are also available or you can call 0207 240 3688 to make an appointment. You can find out more via the website.

She's Lost Control
This specialist crystal and esoteric supplies dealer is open from 12th April. The hours are Monday to Friday, 10.30am to 6pm; Saturday, 10am to 6pm; Sunday, 11am to 5pm. A message on the website said: "We can’t wait to see all your lovely faces again!" The shopping sanctuary is at 74 Broadway Market, Hackney, London E8 4QJ. She's Lost Control also runs an extensive online store and online events. You can find out more on the website.

The Astrology Shop
According to its website, the Astrology Shop is intending to open  on Monday 12th April. It has been offering a collection service so you can phone 0207 813 3051 during normal shop hours to reserve an item, then pick it up in person. The shop hours are 11am to 5pm on weekdays and 6pm at weekends. It  is at 78 Neal Street, London WC2H 9PA, You can find out more at its website.

Watkins Bookshop
Watkins re-opens on Monday 12th April, and the opening hours will be 11am to 6.30pm, seven days a week. In a tweet, @watkinsbooks said: "It’s been a long, long time coming but we are excited to welcome you all back to the shop!"  Watkins is at 19-21 Cecil Ct, London WC2N 4EZ. You can find out more about the shop at the website.

Wicca Moon

Wicca Moon of Eltham will reopen on Wednesday 14th April. Normal opening hours are 11am to 6pm from Wednesday to Saturday. You can find the witchcraft shop at 50 Well Hall Rd, Eltham, London SE9 6SH, and can also visit the website to buy magical supplies online here.  Shirlee Moon said: "We're so looking forward to welcoming you back. We are now also taking bookings for in-person readings and healings! Get in touch via our online shop, or give us a call on 020 8850 7803 to make an appointment."

13 Moons
A sister shop to Wicca Moon, 13 Moons will be reopening at the end of April at an address in Hackney Central, with  lots of offers. The shop has been providing an order-and-collect service throughout lockdown. For more details you can find 13 Moons on Facebook.

If you know of any other esoteric shops in or near London, please leave a comment with the details so I can include them in future updates.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Pagan Portals Scrying: Unwrapping the First Copies


Here's a video of me unwrapping the very first copies of my latest book Pagan Portals - Scrying.  These are my author copies, it won't be officially published until early next year, but is available to pre-order from publisher Moon Books' website. Here's the description of the book, also from the website:
Scrying is the practice of looking into crystal balls, mirrors, water, fire, clouds and many other things to see visions, find messages and gain knowledge. It can be done for personal guidance, for inspiration, to find the answers to questions, to look at distant places or other realms, or for fortune-telling and prophecy. It is a form of divination that taps into our psychic senses and powers of intuition. Pagan Portals - Scrying shows how anyone can learn to develop the necessary skills to scry in a variety of different ways.
You can also view Pagan Portals - Scrying on Amazon.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Extract from The Secret People by Melusine Draco

Here is an excerpt from a superb book by Melusine Draco: The Secret People. This extract is taken from ‘The Parish Healer’ chapter under Old Wives’ Tales - a dismissive expression normally used to indicate that a supposed truth is actually a superstition to be ridiculed. Melusine explains that such ‘tales’ were considered to be unverified claims with exaggerated and inaccurate details, often focussing on ‘women’s concerns’, discouraging unseemly behaviour in children, or folk cures for ailments ranging from a headache to in-growing toenails. 

Old Wives’ Tale
Old Women’s Sayings was a song published on ‘Broadside’ by a number of 19th century printers, the earliest being John Pitts and James Catnach. A broadside was a large sheet of paper printed on one side only. They were usually posters announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements. Broadsides are difficult to date accurately since all the printers copied each other’s work as a matter of course, but the earliest versions seem to date from c.1835. 

Draw near and give attention
And you shall hear in rhyme
The old women’s saying
In the olden time.
High and low, rich and poor
By daylight or dark
Are sure for to make
Some curious remark
With some foolish idea
Your brains they will bother
For some believes one thing
And some believes another.

These are odds and ends
And superstitious ways
The signs and tokens
Of my grandmother’s days.

The first thing you will see
At the house of rich or poor
To keep the witches out
A horseshoe’s o’er the door;
Bellows on the table
Cause a row by day and night
If there’s two knives across
You are sure to have a fight;
There’s a stranger in the grate
Or if the cat should sneeze
Or lay before the fire
It will rain or freeze.

A cinder with a hole
In the middle, is a purse
But a long one from the fire
Is a coffin – which is worse;
A spider ticking in the wall
Is the death-watch at night
A spark in the candle
Is a letter, sure as life;
If your right eye itches
You’ll cry till out of breath
A winding sheet in the candle
Is a sure sign of death.

If your left eye itches
You will laugh outright
But the left or right
Is very good at night;
If your elbow itch
A strange bedfellow found
If the bottom of your foot itch
You’ll tread on strange ground;
If your knee itch you’ll kneel
In a church, that’s a good ’un
And if your belly itch
You’ll get a lot of pudden.

If your back should itch
I do declare
Butter will be cheap
When the grass grows there
If the dog howl at night
Or mournfully cry
Or if the cock should crow
There will be someone die;
If you stumble up stairs
Indeed I’m no railer
You’ll be married to a snob
Or else to a tailor.

A speck on your finger nail
Is a gift that’s funny
If your hand itch in the middle
You will get some money;
Spilling of salt
Is anger outright
You will see a ghost if the doors
Should rattle in the night;
If your sweetheart
Dreams of bacon and eggs
She’ll have a little boy
That has got three legs.

The cat washing her face
The wind will blow
If the cat licks her foot
It is sure to snow;
Put your gown or your jacket
On, inside out
You will change your luck
And be put to the route [sic]
If your nose itches
You’ll get vexed till you jump
If your great toe itch
You’ll get a kick in the rump.

If a girl snaps one finger
She’ll have a child it seems
And if she snaps two
She’s sure to have twins;
And if she snaps eight
Nine, ten, or eleven
It’s a chance if she don’t
Have twenty and seven;
If you lay with your head
Underneath the clothes
You’ll have an ugly old man
What has got no nose.

If you see a star shoot
You’ll get what you wish
If a hair gets in your mouth
You’ll get as drunk as a fish;
If your little toe itch
You’ll be lost in a wave
If you shiver there’s somebody
Going over your grave;
If you go under a ladder
You’ll have bad luck and fall
And so say bad luck
Is better than none at all;

So to please outright
I have told you in rhyme
The great superstition
Of the olden time.

Many of these sayings passed into family use although some differed around the country. For example, an itchy palm was said to show money was on the way, but some believe it’s the right hand, while others say: ‘Left hand receive,’ and rub the palm against wood. The explanation for the latter was that the receiver shook hands with the right hand, as they were receiving the ‘gift’ with their left. ‘It works every time,’ admitted one country woman. ‘It might only be a penny found in the street, but it has to be unexpected.’

In recent years, research has show that more and more of these old superstitions have more than a grain of truth in them, or have detected the logic behind the casual warnings. Whether they are fact or fiction, most people have grown up with their use within the family.

You can view The Secret People on Amazon. It is published by Moon Books, and you can see Melusine Draco's author page.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Magical Online & London Events in the Next Weeks

Here's a list of events and activities for pagans, witches and those with similar interests over the next week or so. Most are still online, but a few are outdoors and socially distanced. I generally list events in the UK, especially in or near London, but some are outside that time zone. If you know an online or London-based ritual, talk, meeting or workshop you want included, please email me at

Wednesday 7 April; (every Wednesday); Wellbeing Wednesdays with Nadine and Caitriona. Online event. Time: 12.30pm. Tickets: £6 per session or £20 per month. 

Wednesday 7 April; Intuition Masterclass. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Tickets: £5-£20. Time: 7pm.

Wednesday 7 April; Tarot for Beginners. One-evening Course with Mani via London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. Online event. Time: 7pm. Tickets £27.

Wednesday 7 April; Drumming and Meditation Online with Taz Thornton. Monthly event, first Wednesday of the month. Time: 7pm Price: free.

Wednesday 7 and 14 April; Tarot Symbolism II: the Major Arcana: Two-part workshop led by Suzanne Corbie, via Treadwell's online. Time: 7pm start. Tickets: £40/£36.

Wednesday 7 April (every Wednesday); The Witching Hour on the Witches Inn YouTube channel. Time 8pm. Free.

Wednesday 7 April; Calming Sound Journey. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 8.30pm. Tickets £5-£15.

Thursday 8 April; Work with Shamanism to Grow Personally and Professionally. Online event with Harriet Goudard every Thursday. Time: 10am. Free.

Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 April; Annual readings from The Book of the Law for the Thelemic Holy Days, by The Atlantis Bookshop. Online via Zoom. Free event. Time: noon. Zoom details: Meeting ID: 769 0055 5905 Passcode: Jj77SV To sign up to the Atlantis Bookshop mailing list for details of events, visit

Thursday 8 April; (weekly event); Midweek Meditation with the College of Psychic Studies. Time: 3pm. Tickets: free for members/£7.50 for non members.

Thursday 8 April (tbc); Shooting the Wild Witch Breeze. Facebook Live Chat with Rachel Patterson and Elen Sentier. A new chat video usually every two weeks on a Thursday. Time: 7pm.  Free.

Thursday 8 April (every Thursday); CJ Romer on 'The Strange Case of Morven Alexander'. Online ASSAP talk. Time: 7pm. Free event. Tickets available to all ASSAP members. To join ASSAP, for £5 per year, visit

Thursday 8 April; Practical Magic: Washes and Baths. Online workshop with Hannah Sanders via Treadwell's Online. Time: 7pm start. Tickets: £20.

Thursday 8 April; Tarot - Major Arcana. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Tickets: £20-£30. Time: 7pm.

Thursday 8 April; Celestial Moon Witchcraft Beginners Open Circle. Online event via Zoom. Time: 7.30pm. Tickets £5. Places must be reserved by Wednesday 7 April.

Thursday 8 April; The Demonology of King James. Online talk at South East London Folklore Society. Time: 8pm. Tickets: £3/£5.

Thursday 8 April; Call to Prayer for an Online New Moon Becoming Ceremony with Starlight Temple. Time: 8pm. Free.

Friday 9 April (every Friday); Friday Live Chat hosted by Rachel Patterson, author of the Kitchen Witch series of books. Time: 9am. Free event.

Friday 9 April; Sorita d'Este speaks to Magin Rose, an artist whose work features on the cover of Hekate: Her Sacred Fires & Hekate:Keys to the Crossroads. Free event. Time 9pm. Tickets:
Friday 9 April; Llewellyn's Virtual Author Forum: Elements of Witchcraft. Llewellyn authors Lilith Dorsey, Astrea Taylor, Josephine Winter, and Dodie Graham McKaytalk about the Elements of Witchcraft series . Free  · online event. Time: 8pm.

Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 April; Family Storywalk Weekend with Rich Mix and London Dreamtime. Downloadable audio walk with storytelling. Price: Free but you must get a ticket here: Details: 

Saturday 10 April; Richmond Park Walk. Outdoor socially distanced walk with Mani via London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. Meeting place: Richmond Gate, Richmond TW10 5HR. Time: 1pm. Tickets fee but you must reserve a place.

Saturday 10 April; INIPI New Moon online event. Organised by Aho Studio. Time: 1pm. Tickets: £80. 

Saturday 10 April;  An Evening author and artist Sapphire Moonbeam. Online talk as part of the Magickal Women Conference Spotlight Speakers. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £5.

Saturday 10 April; Chaucer to Carter: The Intersections of Folklore and Literature with Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman. Online lecture organised by the Folklore Podcast. Tickets: £5. Time: 8pm.

Saturday 10 April;   Tall tales and wee folk: Stories of giants and the mischievous fay with Jason Buck and Bluebird. Online event. Tickets from £7.50.

Sunday 11 April; Sisters of the Moon Aires New Moon Circle
by Sisters of the Moon. Time: 7pm. Tickets: £0 – £16.76.

Monday, 12 April (every Monday); Mindful Still Life Monday Sessions with London Drawing, via Zoom. Two sessions: 12.30pm and 6pm. Free, but donations welcome.

Monday, 12 April; The Psychic Workout online workshop with Maria Antoniou. Online event with the College of Psychic Studies. Time: 1pm. Tickets £55/£75.

Monday, 12 April (every Monday); Mindful Mondays with Caitriona of Be Happiest. Online event. Time 7pm. Tickets: £7 per session or £25 per month. 

Monday, 12 April; Everybody Believes in Something: Researching Paranormal Belief. Online Zoom talk by Malcolm Schofield via the Society for Psychical Research. Time: 8pm. Tickets: £5/£0.

Monday, 12 April; New Moon Circle. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 7pm. Tickets £5-£20.

Monday, 12 April; Wicca Aries New Moon Rite and Warrior Magic with Mani via London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. Online event. Time: 8pm. Tickets free but you  must reserver a place.

Tuesday 13 April (usually every fortnight); Heron Drums Online Shamanic Drum Circle via Facebook or Zoom. Time: 7pm: Details:

Tuesday 13 April; Astrology Circle - Pluto. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Tickets: £5-£20. Time: 7pm.

Wednesday 14 April; Past Life Journeying with Lucy Porter. Digital event organised by She's Lost Control. Time: 7pm. Tickets £5-£20.

Wednesday 14 April; The Discovery of The Modern Goddess.  Zoom Lecture by Ronald Hutton  through the The Last Tuesday Society. Time: 8pm. Tickets £4 - £10.  ·

Thursday 15 April; Aphrodite's Flame Monthly Vigil. Join Aphrodite's Flame Keepers to tend a candle flame from for as long as you wish in your own home, from dusk to dusk. Venue: Worldwide. Details:

Thursday 15 April;  Queering Magic: Astrological Minor Arcana: 5, 6, 7 Discs (Taurus). Workshop with Nicole Bettencourt Coelho, via Treadwell's Online. Time: 7pm start. Tickets: £20.

Thursday 15 April;  Being Baphomet. Online workshop on the magic of opposites with Julian Vayne, author of Chaos Craft, via Treadwell's Online. Time: 7pm start. Tickets: online live £20, delayed viewing of recorded lecture £18.

Thursday 15 April; Talking With The Dead - The Great Victorian Hoax - A Devious History. Online talk. Time: 8pm. Tickets: £3.

Thursday 15 April; Obsidian Mirror and Lucid Dreaming. Free  · online introduction course. Time: 8pm.

Friday 16 April; Carl Jung and the Paranormal online talk by Vivianne Crowley via the College of Psychic Studies. Time: 7pm. Tickets £18/£20 .

Friday 16 April; Cunning Folk Reading Group: MR James. Online event. Time: 7pm. Price: Free.

Friday 16 April; Magic Wands. Online talk via Children of Circe, a private pagan group run by Richard Levy and sponsored by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. You have to join the group to take part. Time: 8pm. Free event.

Saturday 17 April; 1-Day Wicca Course for Beginners. Woodland based, North London, outdoor event with Mani via London Woodland Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. This will follow government regulations for meetings. Venue: A secluded place in Queen's Woods, High Gate, North London. Time: 10.30am. Tickets: £25.

Saturday 17 April; Christina Oakley-Harrington talking on Is a Wiccan Coven Initiation Right for You? Part of Witchfest Online organised by Children of Artemis. Time: 4pm. Free event. For more details and linke:

Saturday 17 April; Wild Witchcraft. Online talk via Children of Circe, a private pagan group run by Richard Levy and sponsored by the Doreen Valiente Foundation. Time: 5pm. Free but you have to join the group to take part.

Saturday 17 April; As Above, So Below: Meeting Grief and Death. Start of online course by Irisanya Moon and Yule Danu. Dates: April 17, May 15, July 17, August 21, September 18. Price: $60 - $100 per class.

Sunday 18 April; Anti-Pagan Prejudice: the Untold Story. Free  · online event with Interfaith Glasgow. Time: 4pm.

Sunday 18 April; Waffling Witches. Free  · online event with Rachel Patterson and Kitchen Witch Coven of Natural Witchery. Time: 4pm. Price: free · 

Please note that I am not responsible for the content of any of these events. Contact the organisers directly if you have any questions or to check ticket availability or changes to times. Where a practitioner is offering information about magical protection, this is *not* medical advice. 

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Witches Online: TV Programmes & Games Driving Trends

I’m not a TikTok witch, but I think everyone’s been doing things online more this past year – including witches. And what’s more, witches and witchcraft have become increasingly fashionable. I’ve seen a lot of threads on social media discussing whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. In this post I’m not going to tackle the subject of newcomers to the craft – or “baby witches” as the trending phrase seems to be – and how best to introduce them to real witchcraft rather than the TV version. That’s for a later post. What I’m going to be blogging about today is a few of the witch-themed things like TV programmes and games that are driving the fashion.

Fictional Witchcraft on TV

I’m sure anyone likely to read this post is aware of the hugely popular Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The American series about the teenage witch Sabrina Spellman was based on an Archie comic book series of the same name, which also inspired the earlier 1996 series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sadly the recent version only ran to four seasons before being cancelled, but you can still find it on Netflix. I must admit I really enjoyed it, although opinions on pagan social media groups are usually divided. The issue is that Sabrina is a Satanic witch rather than a pagan. Some people feel this gives newcomers the incorrect idea that real-world witchcraft is about worshipping the devil and cursing rather than celebrating the seasons and doing healing spells.

More recently, WandaVision came to Disney+. This is based on more magical characters from comic books: Wanda Maximoff, or the Scarlet Witch, and her partner Vision. This takes inspiration from 1960s TV sitcoms I Dream of Jeannie, about a genie living in 20th century America, and Bewitched, about a witch who marries a mortal and tries to be a suburban housewife, but using a little magic to solve everyday problems. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but WandaVision also has an appearance by another witchy character.

Witch Inspired Slot-Based Games

I’m not really a gambler, but my fellow blogger Alex pointed out to me that the world of online casinos has been booming lately, and one surprising theme we can see pop up in them is magic! While it’s no surprise to see that classic table games like Poker, Roulette, and Baccarat do well on these websites, the popularity of magic and witch-themed slot games was somewhat of a surprise. You can take a spin on this site, and give these fan-favorite modern games a try right now.

It seems that everyone wants a bit of magic in their life in one way or another and themed slots do an excellent job of giving it to them. While we can’t miss that many of these themed slots take a silly approach to the witch trope, it’s still nice to see witches not depicted as terrifying monsters. These action-packed games incorporate the witch theme into gameplay by adding symbols like cauldrons, spell books, and hats, along with mysteriously haunting music.

Looking Ahead

I’m going to be blogging more about Witchcraft online in the future, but in the meantime, do leave a comment about your own favourite witches in popular media.

Note: Please be responsible when spending online.