Melissa Madara, Catland co-owner. Photo via Indiegogo

Are you a good witch of a bad witch? The world has done a damn good job of stigmatizing all witches, but since 2013, Brooklyn-based occultists have had a safe space in Catland Books, a mystic Bushwick clubhouse for the spiritual and creative at 987 Flushing Ave.. They hold tarot readings, rituals, classes, meditations, and festivals and sell everything from Zodiac candles to texts on North Asian magic, quartz, deer rib bones, fortune telling cards and crystal pendulums.

Even in gentrified Brooklyn, home to avenues worth of cheese shops and overcrowded indie flea markets, finding fellow witches is far from easy, and with the exception of botanicas and that evil eye shop in Sheepshead Bay, there’s few mystical places in the borough. Really, there’s nowhere but Catland to find a loud and proud witch shop in Brooklyn.

“Yes, we’re witches,” Catland Books’ co-owner Melissa Madara says in an Indiegogo video for a campaign to raise $20,000 for the shop. “We’re tarot readers and astrologers, mystics and yogis, herbalists and healers, but over the past few years we’ve become so much more,” Madara goes on. “Though it was founded as a sanctuary for magic, Catland has grown far beyond it’s original parameters to become a sacred space for the community it lives in.”

According to the video, the raised cash will be used for three things:

1. Completing “long overdue renovations”.
2. Expanding their current programs.
3. Small-print and e-book publishing, and finishing building their private lending library, to feature witch shop library cards and annual memberships that include access to special events, VIP promotions, and closed gatherings “for those who choose to join our coven.”

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Photo via Catland Books / Facebook
Photo via Catland Books / Facebook

“The world is in this place right now where it is trying to destroy the magical, to enforce mundanity, to enforce conformism, to make everything more conservative, to make everything more bland,” Damon Stang, identified as a witch & diviner, says in the video, “I feel like Catland is the resistance to that, and I want to support that resistance.” Amen.

Donation awards include witch’s gift bags, smudge wands, free entry to Catland’s future events, tarot readings with the shops owner and three months membership to the Catland Private Library. The donations have appropriately witchy titles, from Initiate, Neophyte, and Zealot to Adeptus Minor and Magus.

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