The dark, smoky room seemed fitting for a class on witchcraft spells.
I followed the address on the Facebook event page to a nondescript office and storage space on the West Side. The hair salon inside was closed for the evening, but a group of 13 eager spellcasters waited in the dimly lit backroom. Lush trays of freshly cut roses covered the table draped in strings of green and red lights where we sat. The tinge of burning sage permeated the air. Moonlight’s Apothecary owner Jordyn Copeland introduced herself.
“I teach spells,” she said. “I want to teach people how to harness their own powers to change their realities.”
Witchcraft is largely based on pagan traditions and seeks a harmonious and balanced way of life. In practice, modern-day witches often pull ideas and beliefs from a variety of ancient traditions and religions. Many of the attendees I spoke with (all women) had never done anything like this before. The crowd blended practicing witches with the “Well, this sounds like something fun to do tonight” crowd. Copeland spent the next hour carefully detailing which items commonly go into bottle spells. Typically using small mason jars, bottle spells are, according to Copeland, “simple ways to make something powerful.”
We learned that rosewater, salt, herbs, and tears (of joy, preferably) are common ingredients in bottle spells. The spells can be used to conjure romance, break a bad habit, or find financial success, among other positive goals. Then we got hands-on and chose our spells. (I may or may not have been at the table that picked love potions.)
“I cast a circle of love and light,” Copeland chanted before we commenced to help “charge” and activate the ingredients. The “Think of Me, Honey” spell requires honey, flower petals, and Jezebel root, among other ingredients. The key addition is a handwritten note or photo of the love interest. Overall, the evening was meditative, engaging, and fun. I left with the magical jar I made.
Witchcraft-related events and celebrations of pagan holidays are nothing new in Fort Worth, but the gatherings have traditionally catered to followers of the ancient traditions. Brandi Beckwith saw an opportunity to connect with the public at large through Witchy Bazaar, a crafts fair first held last March. The witch noticed that many members of the Facebook group DFW Witchy Shit had side hustles selling crafts or services like tarot card readings.
“I’m a big fan of small business,” Beckwith said. “I asked the group, ‘Why don’t we hang out one day, sell our shit, and get to know each other?’ The interest was really high.”
The event drew hundreds of curious shoppers. Spurred by the success, Beckwith made plans for a bigger crafts fair. This Saturday evening at The Hive FW (2801 St. Louis Ave.), 40 vendors selling potions, spells, and other handmade items will join bands, belly dancers, a dance troupe, and food trucks for a witching party. The BYOB event is family-friendly and intended to celebrate the summer solstice, Beckwith added.
Currently in her late 20s, Beckwith got into witchcraft as a pre-teen by reading “Witch Lit” like the novels of Deborah Harkness and Elizabeth Mikesch. While pop culture was peddling Barbie and Britney Spears as role models, the strong independent women portrayed in the Wicca books resonated with Beckwith.
She’s quick to dispel long-held myths about witchcraft. “The Fort Worth witch community is huge, diverse, and welcoming,” she said. “Anybody and everybody is welcome. We don’t cast curses and hexes. It’s a way to connect with others and [gain deeper understandings about] ourselves.”
Her daily practices include tarot card readings, brewing special teas, and holding crystals that prepare her mentally for the day ahead.
“It gives me a chance to check in with myself both mentally and physically,” she said. “It’s this beautiful way to reconnect with my environment and the world around me.”
Seeing folks from all walks of life attend the bazaars has been encouraging, she said. One of the goals of the event is to break down the fear and misunderstandings about witchcraft. “You don’t have to be a witch to enjoy the event,” she said. “There is magic. It’s the energy that bonds life — that sliver of the unexplained, that magic in between [what we can and can’t explain]. It’s been there the whole time, whether you call yourself a witch or not. That’s what we’re celebrating.”