Pagan Vendors have a Marketplace of their own

Hold onto your cash registers, vendors, a new player is in town and is set to change the way you do you Pagan business. Pagan Markets is not only joining the selling platform game. With an expansive network of sellers and buyers, the previous blocks and purges that vendors have faced on sites such as Ebay and Etsy can be a thing of the past.

Sadie Odinsdottir, woman of a multitude of talents, was able to share her insight.

We are super excited about this new marketplace and we are getting a lot of support. I think the Pagan and Metaphysical community has been needing this for a long time.

Pagan Markets site image

The platform is welcomes services and products that are currently targeted for deletion by major corporations. Magic centered items, ritual tools, and other services find a home here. This is an innovative solution to an ever growing problem of sellers being forced to lose their inventory accessibility for their customers.

“Many have told me their shops are being closed without so much as notice,” said Etsy-seller Ashley Coulton, who is petitioning Etsy to rethink the policy clarification. “I do worry about the effect this will have on my business … I do believe the actions of Etsy are in fact, discriminatory toward Wiccan and Pagan faiths.” –Inside the (literal) witch hunt that’s devouring Etsy

In response to inquiries regarding the complaints of this nature, Etsy issued this statement:

“Etsy strongly believes in freedom of thought, expression, and religion, and we will never institute a policy that discriminates against sellers for their religious beliefs or practices.”

This policy change comes along the crest of a wave of other assaults on the businesses of the magical and spiritual business sphere. While the selling platform is one front, the industry also took a hit when microtransaction processor Square began removing and rejecting the sales of occult merchandise.

Square’s user agreement states that by creating Square accounts, businesses won’t accept payments in connection with a host of prohibited activities or items, including illegal activity, drug paraphernalia, “hate products”, escort services, and “occult materials.” – Witches Are Being Kicked Off of Square For Selling ‘Occult Items’

Businesses need the ability to process monetary transactions to survive. That is a simple fact. In order to thrive, they need consistent, impartial, and fair services that facilitate this. The growing movement toward classifying magical and Pagan spiritual services created a demand.

The Pagan Markets platform provides those services. Sellers are able to embed their shops into the site, have shipping fees calculated by the site, and utilize other features tailored to their needs. This could be argued to be a natural progression from the Pagan Business Network’s visions. Veterans to the cause of enhancing the success of Pagan business, Charissa Iskiwitch ,and her staff of makers and shakers, have a plan. They have the knowledge, networks, and contacts that give a depth and dimension to their experience that is uniquely suited to the task.

What sets u s apart is the fact that we have, Charissa, myself, and other, to help with the legalities of what can and cannot be sold in this kind of marketplace. As well as, the mentoring and assistance for new business owners. –  Sadie Odinsdottir

Easy to use instructions help even the novice internet seller set up their accounts. The embedding feature also allows for greater exposure of brands. In addition to these advantages, the site also has a support group on Facebook that allows for valuable tips and advice that make this a wraparound service.

Money is good. Manifesting money is better. Finding folks who can help you do that is priceless

But do not take my word for all of this. See if for yourself. Visit Pagan Markets today, and tell them Kenya Coviak sent you. That is always good for a smile.

 

 

Book Review: The Good Witch’s Guide : A Modern Day Wiccapedia of Magickal Ingredients and spells

Written by: Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell, pub 2017 Sterling Publishing Co. 305pp

The Good Witch’s Guide is not your average, everyday introductory or advanced peep into the Craft. To be honest, owning quite a few of these guides, myself, I was used to the standard Wiccan/Witchcraft encyclopedia reference materials. Most of them, I find, are stuffy, and to be clear, I’m not a huge fan. When I cracked open this book, I was expecting this to be just another reference guide, however; I found myself pleasantly surprised. This book is a real page turner.

The Good Witch’s guide is full of wonderful spells, incantations.

There is a guide to crafting your own personal Magick and yes, stones, essential oils, colors and herbs.

It has everything from Witchy Wisdom, rituals and formulas, spirituality, folklore, health and health remedies.

Of course, there are sections dedicated to candle Magick, brewing your own potions, tinctures and salves.

This book is jam packed with all kinds of recipes for Sabbats and special occasions.

Want to know how other Witches are casting their own versions of these spells? There’s even a section dedicated to that!

There are tons of traditional spells that are tried and true and all of the “how-to’s” that go along with them.

In this authors humble opinion, this may very well become the definitive guide for all who take the time to read it. The Good Witch’s Guide is a pleasure to read for the Beginner in the Craft all the way to your most Adept Student. It can be used strictly as a reference manual or can be read cover to cover without the monotony of other reference guides.

On a more personal note, this is one book is one that I will cherish and read again and again!

Laurie Bates
Falcon Lunafyre

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Witchs-Guide-Modern-Day-Ingredients/dp/1454919523/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495484984&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Good+Witch%27s+Guide

Tips On the Go: Remembering to Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor

 

As a member of the local business community, I am often approached by friends and other business owners with queries on business tips, marketing techniques, and overall tricks of the trade to get their brand out there. Out of all the questions I’ve ever been asked –or have ever asked, myself!– the one question that I have found which provides the most insight into the very unique experiences each business owner has gleaned traveling their own paths is,

“What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given, or could ever give to anyone?”

The best business advice I have ever received is the best advice I could ever give. Ironically it has absolutely nothing to do with professional business techniques, management, or even PR.

Image: Charleston Gardens

No mater how much you have left to do ahead of you, pause for a moment to look behind you and cherish all you’ve already done.

Running a major event and everyone’s running around like chickens with their heads cut off? Pause, look around you at the success you’ve made, at the people enjoying themselves, and know that you (and your team!) have made it all possible.

Got a long list of items you’ve got to get up on your website, get bar coded, post the unique blurbs about every one, analyze the trends and the traffic to your site? — Stop, look at what you’ve already sold, what you’ve already done, and feel blessed to have done well enough that you have to put new product out so quickly.

So many business owners –both online and brick-and-mortar–, event coordinators, and traveling vendors get lost in all the chaos and upkeep, trying to keep up with the times and the rapidly changing economy. Not enough of us make the time to take a look at all we’ve already built.

After all, there’s no use in planting a garden if you’re not enjoying the view, right?

This is something I’ve learned the hard way over the years, and it has been a gainful journey.

 

Why We Should Support Our Own Resources and Community

Have you heard the dust-up at Patheos, over whether or not writers should write for (and be paid a bit by) the  evangelical company that now owns Patheos?

Or what about last year’s mass closing of Etsy shops that deal in the metaphysical, because you can’t prove any of it works?

Have you ever read about someone being turned away from a food pantry because they belong to the wrong church, or being told they can only be served by a soup kitchen if they listen to a sermon by the church running it?

If you haven’t realized it by now, all of these things go hand in hand. When we are dependent on the wider community, we end up playing by their rules.

generic Main Street image

If we were better at supporting our own community resources, we wouldn’t be so bound by the rules of others.

In business, while there are benefits to using a site like Etsy or Amazon and the traffic they drive….those customers are their customers, not ours. They have the power in the relationship, and we sell our goods at their pleasure. When someone realizes that we’re not really their cup of tea, or when an anti-Pagan group gets the ear of someone in management, we can lose all the following we’ve built, with no recourse and no warning.

The same holds true for writing. Why are Pagan books hard to find in mainstream book stores? Because the community that finds our existence distasteful is a bigger part of their income, and keeping our books off their shelves is better for business.  Better to publish ourselves, or through Pagan owned publishers, and to sell through our own sites, or through Pagan stores and websites, who will actually carry a wider range of Pagan options.

And, by the way, when we’re buying from those places, we’re supporting our own community. While I am not a fan of the “poor Pagan” stereotype….even poor communities (especially poor communities) benefit when their money is spent in their community, supporting others who support them, rather than being spent in the wider community, where it’s harder for that money to come back to us.  Money is just another form of energy, and energy goes where we direct it, so let’s direct wisely.

red, yellow, green, and blue arrows making a circle

When we take care of our own community, we have more resources to do more interesting things – more festivals, more temples, more food pantries and help for those in need, more jobs for those in our community, which allows them to also route money back into our communities.  This is how communities grow, and how businesses within communities survive and thrive.

Charissa Iskiwitch, she changes everything she touches

The words renaissance business woman is not something that many toss around, but that is exactly the phrase I would use for the person who I will be interviewing. Her name is Charissa Iskiwitch and this is why you want to know her.

Charissa Iskiwitch

For those who do not know the woman behind the curtain of one of the most dynamic growing organizations founded for Pagan businesses, who is Charissa Iskiwitch?

I am a practicing witch, healer, teacher and business owner.  I was born and grew up in Northwest Georgia.  I learned a love of nature and plants from my mother and grandmother and a love of doing things with my hands from both sides of my family.  I live on a 21 acre farm in Southern Appalachia with my husband and a whole herd of cats and dogs.

Let’s start at the beginning. How long have you been a Pagan and a business woman? And when did the two intersect?

I have identified as Pagan since the mid 80’s when I met a phenomenal wise woman that took me under her wing.  She invited me into her Circle and treated me as if I was one of them.  The entire Circle taught me all about their ways from the folk uses of herbs and animals to the spiritual side of gratitude to our gods.  I was always extremely spiritual and active in whatever church I was involved in even as a child and teenager.  This path touched me in a way I had never been touched before and sparked something inside me that has never gone out even all these years later.

My father was a business owner and he instilled in me the need to work for myself.  I have had jobs.  But I have also always done my own thing.  As a teenager I worked in fast food restaurants while building up an Avon business.  I worked at the library in college and started a dorm room business cutting cadets’ hair and sewing patches on their uniforms.  (I went to a military college) I later sold other lines like Princess House and Pampered Chef, made crafts with my sister and sold them at craft shows, started a firm to oversee tax credit properties and keep them in compliance with government regulations and went into business with my husband making coffee mugs with photos on them. This was all before the internet so marketing was much more expensive and on a smaller scale.

Currently my husband and I run Charissa’s Cauldron (http://CharissasCauldron.com ) and Kit’s Flea (http://kitsflea.com ).  Charissa’s Cauldron carries things I make as well as some other magickal supplies.  I make natural remedies, hoodoo waters and some other little tidbits.  I do some art but have not ever listed it in my shop.  I might decide to at some point. 

Can you tell us a little more about your business?

I started Charissa’s Cauldron shortly after we moved out into the country.  I have studied and worked with plants and other natural materials for years.  As an herbalist moving to a property that has both fields and woods was a dream come true.  The first line of products I decided to offer was flower remedies.  I have worked with and made flower remedies for years for family and friends.  Having access to so many different plants gave me the opportunity to have an ever expanding line of remedies to which I later added crystals. 

Charissa’s Cauldron

Since then I have added a line of Goddess, Lunar and Elemental Waters to the brand.  I sell retail through the website and have several shops and vendors selling my product on consignment.  I offer a unique program for retailers allowing them to not only make a profit from items sold in their store but also from sales made on my website.

What was your first brush with the wonderful worlds I like to call the American Neo Pagan Diaspora?

I was a part of what most Pagans would call a coven when I got started.  We just called it Circle. I went through 5 years of rigorous training.  The people that I circled with then had some unfortunate experiences with the greater Pagan world and instilled a little bit of fear in me about networking outside the Circle.  So later, when I was forced for geographical reasons to become solitary I stayed that way for quite a while.  Then I found a small shop that promoted a more social approach.  I kept quiet about my experience and played it as if I was brand new because my people had told me that I would not be accepted and could even be harassed. 

I realize now that was a mistake based on their limited experience with a local traditional Gardnerian coven.  It did make it harder to be taken seriously as a leader later on because some people remember me being “new” in those days.  I know that sounds crazy but people tend to do a lot of stupid things based on fear.

This led to your involvement and eventual leadership roles in your communities. Tell us what that was like.

When I first started seeking out others after going solitary I found covens galore but not much locally for solitaries.  Finally a friend forwarded something from Meetup.com to me.  It was a time and date at a local restaurant for witches to meet in our area.   I went with two friends and we found that that restaurant and time and date had been set automatically by Meetup.com.  There was one couple there.  There was no real life organizer setting up the meetings or planning any kind of activities.  So, my two friends volunteered me to step in as organizer.  That was in 2004. 

North Georgia Solitaires – PublicFBimage

The following year Meetup.com started charging organizers to use the service so we moved to a Yahoo Group as our means of communication.  Shortly thereafter we changed the name of the group from Marietta/Roswell Witches Meetup to North Georgia Solitaries (http://NGSolitaries.com).  From there we grew into a group that traveled together to festivals, put on festivals, put on open rituals every Sabbat, did community service work and helped local businesses network.  We started a charity – Pagan Assistance Fund and ran that for a few short years.    

Looking back, when you were earning your stripes in leadership and the social webbing of the various causes and societies, what do you wish you could have told your younger self if you had a time machine?

Do not be afraid to be who you are.  Do not let others bully you because your pedigree does not fit into their experience.   If you want to teach, teach.  If you want to heal, heal.  Helping others build their dreams is something you are called to do but do not let it derail your own dreams.

How different is it now?

The popularity of Wicca being the exclusive club that is somehow better or more legitimate than all others has shifted.  It is no longer unpopular to admit that your practice is not Wiccan.  As for leaders, I believe that true leadership is about walking the walk you talk about.

Too many leaders are out there telling us what to do and how to behave but not doing the “boots on the ground” work.  We still do not have a lot of the resources available to us as Pagans that the more mainstream businesses, religions, musicians, authors, artists, journalists and events have.

What things have improved? What things have seemed to regress or degenerate?

Society in general has changed both in positive and negative ways due to the internet.  Before the internet it was harder to find other Pagans to network with.  You had to actively seek them out in person or using snail mail.  Now you can find thousands on social media from the comfort of your own home.  On the flip side of that arguments can escalate within minutes because social media allows for instant responses before people have a chance to think things through.

Charissa Iskiwitch

 

What do you feel about the current state of Pagan leadership right now?

I believe there are many good people trying to do good things for the Pagan community.  There are so many more Pagans than there were 40 or 50 years ago.  Consequently, there are more people stepping up into leadership roles.

When it comes to our role in the landscape of U.S. Society, do you feel we are coming into our own as a group to be listened to in the places of power, or are we still back at the Starhawk point of activism?

I believe we still have a way to go.  The current political climate in the country makes me believe that minorities of all kinds, especially religious minorities have much more work ahead of us before we can expect widespread acceptance.

Do you see any new “Starhawk” level leaders on the field right now?

We owe much to the leaders that pioneered the freedoms we now enjoy.  We still have a lot to do and need leaders to step up and work to create a cohesive community for Pagans and remove the barriers that isolate us from mainstream society.  We have quite a few leaders that work through interfaith organizations to bring down some of the barriers.

Image: Pexels

Where have we progressed, in your view, when it comes to our festival relevance insofar as incorporating our gatherings with that of, say, the level of the local Baptist Picnic, or Elk’s cookout, in acceptance?

We are already starting to see a little more acceptance.  However, the social climate has taken a bit of an ugly turn recently causing some of the more vocal mainstream religious groups to target anything they do not understand and consequently fear.

When will we get there?

I believe it will get worse for all minorities before it gets better.

Do you believe it will be in our lifetimes that Paganism is on a par of freedom with other mainstream religions in this nation?

I would love to believe it will but I believe we will need another generation or more before the people running the country have evolved past the fear of differences.

What role do Pagan Businesses and Media play in making that happen?

I can only base my opinion on my own experiences.  I find that behaving professionally and speaking with tolerance effects more change than accusing and pointing fingers.

By being afforded first hand vision of how the sausage is made, so to speak, what has given you the perseverance to continue?

My father served in local government and instilled in me the need to serve community.  As early as my teen years I did what I could for my community.  From organizing a movement in my high school to make an unused corner of the property into an outdoor mini-park for students that wanted to spend their lunch or study hours outside, to traveling with my church group to lower-income communities and do chores like clearing an overgrown yard, painting houses, home repair and helping with the local Meals on Wheels program. After college I started a pet rescue operation in St. Louis helping to reunite lost pets with their owners and get unclaimed pets out of the pound and into foster homes while we looked for forever homes. When I joined the Pagan community it was natural for me to be drawn into service.

Image: Unsplash

No matter what kind of community service you are doing there are challenges.

Organizers and leaders must overcome those challenges for the good of their community. 

I continue to serve because I love community and people and feel that it is our duty as humans to try and bridge the gaps between different facets of the world so all can enjoy a safe and helpful community.

For a while you were doing events with Pagan Pride Project. How was that? And how did it affect your views on Pagan businesses?

Actually, I did not organize a Pagan Pride myself.  I support the Pagan Pride Project whole-heartedly.  For several years my organization, North Georgia Solitaries, provided labor for loading and unloading at Atlanta Pagan Pride.  One year we hit the road and attended Savannah Pagan Pride as a group and got there early so we could provide loading and unloading help.  We find that having a group of people helping vendors to unload and set up keeps traffic moving so other vehicles can pull up and get unloaded.

I was on the board of Church of the Spiral Tree that put on Auburn Pagan Pride a few years ago but I have to say that Linda Kerr did most of the work on organizing that.  I just helped out by providing ritual, a children’s activity table and a couple of workshops.  I offer my graphic design services free of charge for programs and marketing to any Pagan Pride that wants it.  I always donate product for fundraising to as many of the Pagan Prides I can.  

I organized two local events, Beltane Bash and Pagan Pathways Festival in addition to an open Sabbat celebration every Sabbat as well as an annual Litha camping trip for several years.

What was the thing that sparked your passion to create the Pagan Business Network?

My health the last few years has kept me from staying as active in the local community as I would like.  I am able to attend events if I do not have to travel too far, but the physical elements involved in putting on events was too much for me.  When I decided to start Charissa’s Cauldron I was looking for ways to network.  I did not find anything more than a few Facebook groups where you could post ads.  I wanted more.  My father taught me that if you cannot find the kind of organization you are looking for to create one.

I have been a member of many business networking organizations, some geared for women and some for local businesses.  They work.  I created a network for women business owners in my local community when I was running my family’s insurance agency after my father died. It just made sense for Pagan businesses to have a network.

Was this mainly an intellectual motivation that drove you, or was there something more at play?

I like to say jokingly that when I started my own business I got lonely.  That really is not that far from the truth.

Running a successful business means you must wear many hats.  Not all of us have the knowledge to wear all of those hats effectively.  For online retailers you need to have a place to sell online, create your product and market your product.  If you do not want to use a selling site like Etsy or Amaranth you need to have a way to put up a website.  You need to find suppliers that do not eat up your profit margin, learn how to take effective photographs and edit them, write effective copy, and learn how to market in a way that allows you to sell your product and still have enough left to restock and have a little left over as profit.

PBN News Ad

Having a network means we share our knowledge.  We are building lists of resources such as suppliers.  By adding an ezine such as PBN News we have a place we can help promote each other, keep up with community news and share information about events some of our businesses might want to be a part of. 

 

Our main website has pages that list all kinds of resources.  We have built some social media channels we use to promote community businesses, artists, authors, presenters and more.

 

When you hear the words, Pagan Business, what do you feel is the mental image most people have now?

I believe vendors and brick and mortar stores offering Pagan type goods come to mind first.

How do you want to change that?

Anyone doing something that requires getting the word out falls into the definition of business I want the Pagan Business Network to use.  This includes musicians, radio stations, authors, artists, podcasters, bloggers, presenters, teachers, clergy, causes, events, vendors, online stores, brick and mortar stores and so much more.

In your experience as a successful business owner, what do you observe to be the most difficult barrier to the success of niche businesses?

Targeting your demographic is crucial.  Today there are so many Pagans working to build a business of their own it makes it harder to get the attention needed.  Then there are big box places you can shop that are able to offer goods at lower prices.  I find that one of the best ways to stand out is to become known in the community.  If you are running a shop online get involved in online communities.  Not as a troll or someone pushing their business but more as someone that shows they care about the community and are willing to share knowledge and be present in discussions. 

You need to build credibility for buyers to feel comfortable buying your product.  Presenters and teachers need to build credibility to entice speaking engagements or students.  Musicians and authors will sell more of their work if they are viewed as approachable.

The Pagan Business Network was designed to do what?

PBN’s mission is to build resources through cooperation and collaboration.  In other words, bring the Pagan business community together rather than treat each other as competition.  We are always stronger together.

Pagan Business Network Ad

You built an empire. Just how expansive is this?

I would say that I am building a network.  I want to bring people together so we can all help each other find success in our chosen paths.

Can you tell us about your vision in the beginning vs. now?

Honestly, when I started this I really only expected to build a small group of businesses.  I did not anticipate how hungry our business community is for something like this. 

Instead of the 20-30 businesses I expected we have over 2000 businesses participating in one way or another.   With that growth the vision has grown. 

I was looking for a group of businesses to share knowledge and skills.  With the sheer number of people that have become a part of this we have expanded the vision to include providing actual promotion as well as a place for writers and budding writers to publish, a way for musicians to get their music heard in more places, and a place for business owners to be spotlighted so they can start building a larger presence.  I hope to see PBN add a few more resources to the table in the future.

What unforeseen challenges have arisen due to this labor of love?

As I mentioned before my health comes into play limiting what I can do.  My biggest personal challenge is setting limits for myself and not trying to do it all.

In what ways have you been able to master them? What has been your main support system?

I cannot take responsibility for mastering anything.  I have found a great team of people that are inspired by a similar vision.  That team makes all of this doable.  In that team I have found some friends that I hope to have for the rest of my life.  My husband keeps a close eye on me and calls a time out when I put my health at risk.  My mother supports anything I do regardless of how crazy it seems.  My chosen brother (meaning not by blood) always supports my wacky ideas and joins right in to help without question.

You are very gifted with creativity, which you have manifested in many ways. How did flower essences become your forte?

I am not sure that they are necessarily my forte.  I do many other healing methods as well.  I was first introduced to Bach Flower Remedies years ago when I was looking for some help dealing with grief.  I felt that I had to step up when my father died and take care of my mother, settle his estate and run his business until we decided what to do with it.  My sisters were not able to do any of that at the time.  I feel emotions deeply and found it hard to deal with the business at hand while grieving.  I found Bach and took them for a couple of years.  While I was taking them I read every book I could get my hands on and searched out as many websites as I could about them.  I started making them and experimenting with my own.  I decided that I was going to incorporate them into my healing methods. 

I am a Reiki master and have certifications in several other methods of healing including herbalism, color therapy, sound therapy and crystal therapy.  Essences just seemed to fit right in.

Pagan Business Network Flyer

Have you found that a change in the way they are accepted in the last few years?

I never really saw any acceptance problems.  Although I have seen some of the mainstream media personalities endorse Bach Flower Remedies.

What inspires your selections of herbs and blends for your products?

I tend to work primarily with what I have access to.  I often tell students they should start with the plants in their backyard before worrying about others.  I can find all the plant ingredients I need for just about any working within walking distance of my back door.

 

 

You have so many projects and creations, what management system do you use? Is there a small pixie with a rolodex in your pocket or what?

No, but I would love to find someone to keep my calendar up to date and organized.  For now I use Google calendars together with Google drive.  It seems to work for me.

Recently a change came about in the disposition of your businesses. Can you share what is going on right now?

My husband called a time out on me after a run of being in and out of the hospital this summer.  We decided that it would be best if I handed off the reins of PBN to someone else.  Rhiannon Hood, an exceptionally talented business owner has agreed to take on the leadership role of the Pagan Business Network.   I am moving into more of a right hand position to assist her.

How has your role changed in PBN?

I will continue to be extremely hands on.  I am currently launching a couple of columns for PBN News and a show on PBN Radio.

What is your wish to see happen going forward? And how do you plan to contribute to this vision?

I would like to see PBN continue to work towards promoting our businesses, giving writers a place to publish and podcasters a place to air their shows.  I want to work towards better promotion for our authors and musicians. 

I want to see PBN bring more Pagan businesses together to help each other reach our goals.  

As for how I will contribute, I will continue to utilize all the business skills I have to help the Pagan business community.

We’ve talked a lot about you and your businesses and your creations, but let’s get into some more heady stuff now. What part do you feel your connection to the Divine has had in your life so far?

Image milada-vigerova

I have always had a strong connection with the Divine.  When I was younger I focused more on the Christian god because that is what my family did.  Now I work more with the Pagan gods.  I have always felt that my experiences are blessings and I should use that to help others.  That is what led me to teach and to do the clergy work I do.

Would you say that you have been walking a path that has been predestined to a point, or are you totally in a freewheel roll?

I believe that a path with choices along the way is offered by the powers that be.  It is up to me to make choices on which way I go.  Each choice I make creates or removes choices.  I would say that my path has been an extremely winding and wandering type of path due to the fact that everything interests me. 

How have your recent experiences affected your spiritual practice? Or has it been the other way around?

I believe that each affects the other.

 As I get older I find more and more beauty in the world around me and more compassion for what others are going through.   When I was younger things seemed more defined in my mind of who and what was good and bad.  I see life and people differently now.

Friends come and go, but spiritual relationships are more lasting and enduring. Do any pillars in your life come to mind that you would like to talk about who have served as mentors, teachers, comrades, and inspirations?

There are so many.  I would start with my parents.  They taught me about community, compassion and creative thinking.  My grandparents taught me the value of hard work.  One grandmother taught me to look at my differences as gifts and not handicaps.  The other, along with my mother taught me the love of nature and working with plants.

You are something of an inspiration yourself. And you are still going. What counsel do you have for the aspiring person, of any age, who seeks to step out on faith and pursue their dreams?

Be smart about it.  Have a detailed plan of what you want and how to get there.  Keep a backup so you do not hurt yourself financially while you get started.  Have faith in yourself and do not let anyone tell that you cannot do what inspires you.

What affirmation would you give them in the face of detractors and underminers?

One step and one day at a time.  Let the negative energy and comments flow off you like water off a duck’s back.

Many people have a theme song, or genre of music, that they turn to get them going and rev them up to win. What is yours?

I love country music when I want to get my energy level up.  I love the ballads of some of our Pagan musicians as well as classical when I want to relax.

And if you had a theme song for your life up to now, what would it be?

“Thank You For This Day” by Karen Drucker

So, what is next for Charissa?

I will continue to build my businesses in 2017.  I would like to get my product into more retail stores and have a plan in the works for that.  I will continue to work with PBN to help others find success in their businesses.

Is there anything you would like to add that we may have missed?

Time for a shameless plug.  You can find my products at CharissasCauldron.com and our flea market at KitsFlea.com.   If any of your readers want to connect with me feel free to friend me on Facebook.  I usually have a tab up when I’m working in case anyone needs assistance.

PBN Blues Series: “I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl” Nina Simone

As a vendor of various supplies for every sort of human need and condition, Pagan and Spiritualist business folk inevitably meet is the question of sex magick. Yessss, sex, that lovely passion that is shared by the majority of the human population. In all its forms, the desire for that physical form of release merits so many forms of potion and possible working that a shop could specialize, theoretically, on this area exclusively given the right place. In this case, we are discussing the magick for drawing sex.

Image: Christopher Campbell
Image: Christopher Campbell

But knowing what form of work is key. Your client may say they want romance, when in fact they simply want a night of fun. Or the opposite case may occur, and they ask for help in achieving the conditions to be ready for a fling, when what they truly long for is a committed relationship. While it is true that you are a merchant, it is good business to read your customer so that you recommend the right products for the situation.

So let us get to our scenario of the day.

All splash, no substance

Zoe P. comes into your shop in a rush of energy. She enthusiastically floats from candle to candle, shelf to shelf, looking at every item that even remotely seems to be related to love workings. The belly dance scarves and sensual oils join her overflowing basket and she bounces towards your counter. As you ring up her purchases, she starts to bite her lip and places her hand on the next to last item before it can be added to the total.

Being an experienced worker, you know that this is usually when the “extra” items are sought. You patiently wait for her request that you know is coming. She looks you in the eye with a wry smile and asks if you have any items specifically for sex. To be exact, she is looking for a way to get more sex from her partner, who has ceased relations with her for the last three months and counting.

Her façade of cheeriness begins to crack, and her voice drops a bit. Zoe P. tells you that not only has the sex stopped, so has all touching in her relationship. NO physical contact is taking place outside of the occasional hand holding and kissing. Her sex life, actually, is dead.

You look at her and tell her to seek a new partner. Being the all-knowing and benevolent shop-keep you are, you give her an attraction candle and tell her to find the picture of the nearest coworker and have at it. She should be busy in no time.

She hesitates, and buys your suggested item. You bag her purchases, satisfied that you have made a hefty sale for the day. You never see her again.

Tell me what you want, what you really really want

Zoe P. comes into your shop in a rush of energy. She enthusiastically floats from candle to candle, shelf to shelf, looking at every item that even remotely seems to be related to love workings. The belly-dance scarves, Love Drops candles,  and orange blossom oils join her overflowing basket and she bounces towards your counter. As you ring up her purchases, she starts to bite her lip and places her hand on the next to last item before it can be added to the total.

Being an experienced worker, you know that this is usually when the “extra” items are sought. You patiently wait for her request that you know is coming. She looks you in the eye with a wry smile and asks if you have any items specifically for sex. To be exact, she is looking for a way to get more sex from her partner, who has ceased relations with her for the last three months and counting.

Her façade of cheeriness begins to crack, and her voice drops a bit. Zoe P. tells you that not only has the sex stopped, so has all touching in her relationship. NO physical contact is taking place outside of the occasional hand holding and kissing. Her sex life, actually, is dead.

Image: creative photo corner-Unsplash
Image: creative photo corner-Unsplash

 

Zoe P. has really just laid it on the line for you. Because of the level of sharing she has opened between you, you cautiously ask her if anything has changed in the last three months. Was there a new job, possible infidelity, arguments, etc.? She tells you that recently, she lost a lot of weight — 100 lbs. Six months ago underwent a makeover for her 40th birthday. New clothes, wardrobe, hair color and cut, and a membership to a CrossFit training group has completed her transformation. Essentially, she is a new woman.

You ask her if her partner seemed to taper off their activities around the time of her transformations. Has this person begun to pull away?  Zoe P. thinks for a moment, and tells you that yes, they have. She then confides that as she changed, he seemed to become shy about letting her see him unclothed, and stopped taking photos next to her when they went out on the town.

You tell her that, of course, you cannot be sure but you feel that maybe her partner feels “unsexy” next to her new image. You suggest some things for communication and self-esteem be substituted in her order. Gentle reassurance, rather than brash one-off sex-pottery seems to be a wiser course for a long term goal. You also recommend some Aphrodesia oil, to kickstart things. To get things in the mood, you suggest she actually uses lyrics from I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl by Nina Simone  as an incantation for her working with the Rose Quartz/Pan Incense set she adds to her basket.

Image: Alejandra Quiroz
Image: Alejandra Quiroz

Zoe P. finishes her purchase, now a very different set of items, and thanks you. The bounce has returned to her demeanor a bit, and the quickness of her steps staccato in the store. A very happy customer walks out of your door with a purchase that feels more “right” to her. But she still bought the hip scarf, of  course.