Bint is an interdisciplinary folk artist, witch-mage and experimental musician exploring contemporary applications of traditional esoteric + cultural technologies. Her most recent work uses folk crafts, sound and astrological magic to create multimedia talisman installations. Across all mediums, her work heavily incorporates motifs, methods and materia informed by early childhood training in Islamic art as well as her Egyptian, South Asian and Moorish ancestries. Bint is also founder and podcast host of the Barzakh, a collective aimed at the education and reclamation of Islam’s rich occult heritage.
An avid student of the occult, McCalla Ann sparks conversations through her tarot readings, occult education, art, and poetry . She works with her clients and students to explore magic, and how cognition, psychology, and philosophy affect our daily lives. McCalla has an extensive background in Kabbalistic studies, and has degrees in both Biblical Study as well as Buddhist Philosophy. McCalla's current specialty is the promotion of Ashera worship, as well as a deep an unabashed love for any Hieros Gamos tradition and Bridal Mysticism.
Vex Blòðstjarna has been a long-time esoteric practitioner and hermit, focusing on totemic animal spirits and the Northern mysteries. His practice ties indigenous animism from his surroundings and from familial roots of Scandinavian hunting rituals. Vex is a Mead Brewer, distiller, aspiring herbalist, wild crafter. Vex is an artist of the bones, flesh, roots and flowers of the animal and plant spirits that he venerates, as well as a crafter of Neolithic stone tools. Vex likes fire, exploring chthonic and hidden places (for goblin treasure) and enjoying the company of his four-legged companions.
Meet the 2023 Salem Witchcraft & Folklore Festival Presenters
Vex Blòðstjarna is a self-taught occultist and hermit for over twenty years, focusing his work on living and dead animal spirits, as well as the Northern mysteries. His practice ties animism from his surroundings and from familial roots of Scandinavian hunting rituals. Vex is a Mead Brewer, distiller, wild crafter and the primitive theurge and skin carver of Fera Aruspex. Vex is an artist of the bones, skins, roots and flowers of the animal and plant spirits that he venerates, as well as a crafter of Neolithic stone tools. Vex likes fire, exploring the forests and enjoying the company of his four-legged companions.
Helen JR Bruce
Helen JR Bruce is an author, folklorist and illustrator based in Somerset. Inspired by the rich heritage of British folklore, she collides ancient tales with the modern landscape, inviting readers into the liminal space between story and reality. A lifelong love of Dartmoor populates her writing with witches, Wisht Hounds and the Wild Hunt, while her childhood home of Essex brings the padding paws of Black Shuck and other spectral black dogs. She has published two books in her 'Heat of the Hunt' trilogy, written for numerous magazine and University journals, plus had her short story 'Fenland' recorded for the British Library Sound Archives.
Stefanos Chelydoreus is a devotional polytheist, witch, mystic, and theologian from Athens, Greece with over 18 years of experience. His practice is centered on Mediterranean polytheism with a focus on ancient Hellenic religion, theurgy, witchcraft, and Greek folk magic. Primarily devoted to Hekate, he is the creator of the Equine Serpent, and writes regularly on polytheistic theology, magic, witchcraft, and polytheistic mysticism.
Kamden S. Cornell
Kamden S. Cornell was raised with the occult and magical practice. They currently run a witchcraft based business called Heart & Vine Apothecary in Albuquerque, NM. They are the author of Ars Granorum: The Six Seed Arts of Witchcraft and On Needle and Pins: A Witch's Book of Poppetry and Figure Magic.
Dr Alexander Cummins
Dr Alexander Cummins is a contemporary cunning-man and historian of magic. His magical specialities are the dead (folk necromancy), divination (geomancy) and the grimoires. His published works include Nazarth: Pillars of Gladness (Hadean Press, 2022), An Excellent Booke of the Arte of Magicke (Scarlet Imprint, 2020) with Phil Legard, The Starry Rubric (Hadean Press, 2012), A Book of the Magi: Lore, Prayers, and Spellcraft of the Three Holy Kings (Revelore Press, 2018) and several chapbooks and anthology contributions through Three Hands Press, Hadean Press and Scarlet Imprint. He is a frequent speaker on the international circuit, co-hosts the podcast Radio Free Golgotha, and is a founding editor of Revelore Press’ Folk Necromancy in Transmission series. Dr Cummins’ work, classes, and services can be found at www.alexandercummins.com
David Davis (he/him) is the Folk mystic, writer, and artist behind Porous Palms — a platform founded at the crossroads of magic, culture, and community. As an Animist and student of the Hoodoo tradition, he seeks to contribute to the reclamation and evolution of his Ancestral traditions. This goal is most apparent in his explorations of different magical systems and the near-constant weaving of personal cosmologies. His identity as a Black, Queer individual is also central to his magical expressions, as well as his conception of and relationship to the spirits he engages with.
Nick Dickinson is Headmistress of Circe Academy of queer feral witchcraft through The Cauldron Black in Salem MA, and a professional witch and witchcraft educator with over 35 years of experience working with clients and students in both public and private settings. Ordained and initiated in a variety of tantric yoga traditions (Mahayana Buddhism), and a teacher of 1,000s yoga teachers and psychics, his classes and workshops are deeply influenced by the intersection of classical yoga theory and modern witchcraft practice. Operating through a multidimensional animist lens with a focus on Greek folklore, Nick’s content welcomes all traditions at all levels and can be approached in a purely secular way.
J. W. Dotson
J.W. Dotson, MD is a practitioner of plant magic and astrological medicine, and is on the advisory board of the UCLA Archive of Healing. He is also fascinated by supernatural fragrances and teaches at the Institute of Art and Olfaction in Los Angeles.
Vrylak Faemanna is an anismist, herbalist, adept of the Green Path, Occultist, Marialionza Spiritism practitioner, oracle reader, tobacco reader, naturalista, researcher, musician, writter and artist. They are a researcher with a curious heart, always looking to understand the secrets of nature, studying plants and communicating with their Genii in order to learn about them, and also shares this knowledge with their students. Vrylak dedicates their work to spread the wisdom of nature through social media content, workshops and lessons to the Spanish speaking community in America and Europe. They are also sharing courses in English and bilingual interviews with brothers and sisters of the Art. Their practice is very influenced by shamanism, walking the path of entheogenic allies. Born in Venezuela, land with plenty of magic, lore and land of Maria Lionza Spiritism, they honor the heritage of the ancient wisdom of Indigenous, African and European ancestors who gave them this bright spark of magic.
Scott R. Ferrara
Scott R. Ferrara is a historical archaeologist specializing in colonialism in the northeast United States. He is currently a Ph.D. student at The Graduate Center, City University of New York and teaches courses at Queens College.
Austin Fuller is a Folk Witch living in the pine Flats of west-Central Florida, amongst the sea, swamp, and Forrest. A perfumer, conjuror, diviner, and artist, Austin traffics with spirits at the crossroads, intersecting witchcraft and art. Austin is the cohost of Southern Bramble, a Podcast of Crooked Ways and proprietor of their shop, Bane X Bramble
J.M. Hamade is an interdisciplinary artist, astrologer, writer, and educator residing in New York City. Focusing on the aesthetics of esoterica and the occult, they’re work bridges contemporary artistic practice with archaic forms of knowing. They have lectured, exhibited, and enacted live performances in the conjuration of phantom forms and ritual magic.
Jesse Hathaway Diaz
Jesse Hathaway Diaz is a folklorist, artist and performer living in New York City. With initiations in several forms of witchcraft from Europe and the Americas, he is also a lifelong student of Mexican Curanderismo, an initiated olosha in Lucumí, and a Tatá Quimbanda. For the last decade he has been a member of Theatre Group Dzieci, an experimental ensemble based in NY dedicated to the search for the sacred through the medium of theatre, a co-host on the Radio Free Golgotha podcast, and a co-editor on the Folk Necromancy in Transmission Series through Revelore Press.
Brian Johnson is an independent scholar, freelance editor and research consultant, and translator of historical documents pertaining to the occult. His work is largely concerned with reconstructing the esoteric worldviews and practices of historical individuals, based upon the study of primary source documents
Kadmus is a practicing ceremonial magician. He published the book True to the Earth: Pagan Political Theology through Gods and Radicals Press and taught classes every year for Salem Summer Symposium as well as for The Cauldron Black. He has also presented at the AstroMagia astrological magic conference the last two years including two keynote address, “Towards a High Pagan Astrology” and “Orpheus and Art as a Model of Magic”. Most recently he published the paper "Every Nekuomanteia is a Katabasis: On Navigating Underworld Guardians: Ancient Insights for Contemporary Necromancy" in Hadean Press’ Conjure Codex: Black anthology.
Kelden has been practicing Traditional Witchcraft for more than a decade. He is the author of The Crooked Path: An Introduction to Traditional Witchcraft, The Witches' Sabbath: An Exploration of History, Folklore, and Modern Practice, and All Them Witches: Folktales & Rhymes. Additionally, his writing has appeared in The Witch's Altar, The New Aradia: A Witch's Handbook to Magical Resistance, and This Witch magazine. Kelden is also the cocreator of The Traditional Witch's Deck, and he authors a blog on the Patheos Pagan channel called By Athame and Stang. In his free time, Kelden enjoys reading, hiking, growing poisonous plants, and playing ukulele.
John Magnuson is a folk magic practitioner living in southern New Hampshire. John is an avid gardener of food, herbs, mushrooms, and native plants. John has a passion for textile and fiber arts and how to integrate them into a magical practice.
Moss Matthey is a practicing Folk Witch following a path informed by his Welsh-German upbringing. Based in North Wales, he incorporates much of the magical landscape into his craft. He is involved in the Witchcraft and Pagan community in the UK, regularly attending and participating in events
Coby Michael is an occult herbalist and magical practitioner specializing in poisonous plants, ethnobotanicals and witches’ herbs. He has been a magical practitioner for over 20 years and has delved into areas such as American folk magic, traditional witchcraft, alchemy, astrology and the grimoire tradition. Coby is an author, artist and teacher who recently celebrated the publication of his first book, The Poison Path Herbal: Baneful Herbs, Ritual Entheogens and Medicinal Nightshades, published by Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. Coby is a researcher and writer at heart. He attended Arizona State University where he majored in religious studies with a focus on European witchcraft and American folk magic. Coby contributes articles to The House of Twigs, Patheos Pagan, and the Pagan Archives at Valdosta University. He has written many articles of poisonous plants, entheogens and their applications in modern witchcraft. He runs The Poisoner’s Apothecary, an online educational resource consisting of articles, classes and subscribed content for people interested in pursuing the Poison Path. The Poisoner’s Apothecary supplies over 150 different products featuring custom herbal formulas for entheogenic ritual and magic. Coby has been studying and practicing herbalism for over ten years with a special focus on poisonous plants. He applies this knowledge to his flying ointments, ritual oils and smoking blends.
Sterling Moon is a medium, tarot reader, folk magician, published author, podcaster, and an educator on the mystical and strange. She began reading tarot in 1995 and started teaching and reading professionally in 2013. She’s been sensitive to spirits since childhood, but her gifts didn’t fully come in until she gave birth to her son at age 36. She spent years studying and practicing folk magic and mediumship and working with clients professionally. She’s been exploring haunted places with her family since she was a kid and that experience folded into her spirit communication work nicely. This all led to writing her first published book, Talking to Spirits: A Modern Medium’s Practical Advice for Spirit Communication, which is set for publication with Llewelyn Books in February 2023. She started a school called the Sterling Moon Divination Academy in 2021 where she teaches tarot/divination, mediumship, and more, offering ongoing opportunities for alumni to continue their magical education and build community. She also has a podcast called ‘A Magical World with Sterling Moon.’ Throughout all of this, Sterling spent almost 20 years as a professional advocate for victims and survivors of crime. She transitioned to being a full-time spiritual practitioner in 2022. However, this isn’t just what she does for work. It’s how she lives her life. Learn more about Sterling at SterlingMoonTarot.com.
Nay is a modern day cunning woman and plant-loving digital nomad who can most often be found evangelizing about herbalism and a variety of esoteric topics (okay -- mostly gnomes!) online. Descended from sea-faring story tellers, she is most heavily influenced by the folkloric traditions of the North Sea, Trolldom, as well as Traditional, Sabbatic, and Stellar Witchcraft. She is delighted to be back at the Salem Symposium to share her latest research with a wider audience.
Fio Gede Parma
Fio Gede Parma (they/them/their) is a non-binary, queer, initiate and witch currently living in unceded Gadigal and Bidjigal Country in so-called Sydney, Australia. They are a Balinese-Australian mystic, magical mentor, diviner, and spirit-worker. Fio is the co/author and co/editor of 8 books including the forthcoming The Witch Belongs to the World. They are an initiate of four traditions of witchcraft.
Katarina Pejović is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto. Her SSHRC-funded research examines the legends and grimoires of the sorcerer saint Cyprian of Antioch. In addition to her work on St. Cyprian, she writes on various topics including grimoire history, folk Christianity, Western occultism, and traditions of divination, witchcraft, and magic in Eastern Europe. She has presented at numerous international academic and occult conferences, including at the International Association for Comparative Mythology, Viridis Genii Symposium, and the Magickal Women Conference, and has published with peer-reviewed academic journals and occult publishing houses alike. Her lifelong passion for the unique folklore, sorcery, and spirits of the Balkans forms the roots of her personal praxis; watered by ancestral veneration, enflamed by Quimbanda and dragon-fire, and nourished with an endless curiosity of mystery.
Professor Charles Porterfield is an old-fashioned, no-nonsense, Old Testament reader and rootworker. He is the co-author of Hoodoo Bible Magic: Sacred Secrets of Scriptural Sorcery, and author of A Deck of Spells: Hoodoo Playing Card Magic in Rootwork and Conjure and The Sporting Life: How to Help Yourself with Hoodoo from the Streets to the Sheets. He writes, teaches, and lectures on hoodoo and conjure to help preserve and pass on the roots of the work as well as consults, prescribes, and divines work for those in need. He currently lives in Denton, Texas with his wife, and two cats.
Sasha Ravitch is a practitioner of Stellar Witchcraft, passionate Astrolater, a Devotional and Oracular Writer, and a Fairy Seeress. She seeks out meaning, magic, patterns, connection, and intimate co-creation betwixt the Self and the Other in every golden meadow, ocean floor, and subway station available to her. Her desire to blur the line between the ensorceled forest of Elphame and the mundane road-more-traveled is a priority from the moment she wakes up, to the moment she falls asleep.
Melissa is Medium, Psychic, Omo Oshun in the Lucumi religion, Palera, Esperitista & Curandera. She brings a fresh & vibrant modern form of mediumship to the spiritual movement. Some have commented that 'readings' are like accelerated therapy. Spirit Guides & Ancestors began delivering messages & giving her visions at the age of 5.
"One of my roles on this earth is to help people build the bridge to their authentic self. Ancestral trauma, personal trauma, health issues, relationship issues can all chip away at that bridge. I have a great passion for helping others on their journey to live a life that is balanced healthy & whole."
Witch of Salopia
The Witch of Salopia is a practicing Folk Witch, based within the Welsh Marches; a land shrouded in liminality and magic which inspires their every day craft. They are also a public speaker who attends various Pagan and Witchcraft events to inform others of the folklore and cunning practices held deep within their homeland. the Witch of Salopia is also a member of OBOD and an avid Tasseomancer
Matthew Venus is an artist, folk magician, and traditional witch. He is the owner and lead apothecary of Spiritus Arcanum, an online and brick and mortar shop which specializes in handcrafted ritual incenses and oils, as well as a diversity of occult wares. Matthew is also a teacher, diviner, and co-creator of the Salem Witchcraft & Folklore Festival.
Albert Björn Shiell
Albert is a practicing folk magician and seiðkarl, hailing from Sussex, England. He has lived in Reykjavík, Iceland nearly 10 years, walking the land and working with the spirits that call it home. Author of Icelandic Plant Magic, his work focuses mostly on the union of Iceland magical plants, folklore and magical staves.
Ben Stimpson (He/They/Them) is an Ontario based professional counsellor, author, and student. Ben is originally from North Wales, and has been practicing magic since the early 2000s, and his specific interests focus on British folk practices, medieval history, and queering the craft. As a professional counsellor, Ben utilizes the theories and approaches of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell in exploring with clients the intersection of personal identity and narrative, work that aligns well with his spiritual pursuits. He is currently completing a Liberal Arts degree at the University of Waterloo with a focus on medieval studies, classical studies, religious studies, and history. Ben's debut book, "Ancestral Whispers: A Guide to Building Ancestral Veneration Practices" is debuting September 2023 through Llewellyn Worldwide.
Peter Von Leykamm
Peter Von Leykamm has practiced a variety of occult disciplines, including necromancy, planetary grimoire magick, and cartomancy, and is an initiate in Quimbanda. He has also practiced qigong and related forms of energy work for over 20 years, including 5 years spent living in Beijing as a closed-door disciple of the Internal Chinese Martial Arts; Xingyi, Taiji, and Bagua. He currently lives in Brooklyn