[Today, we sit down for an interview with Alura Rose. A witch, tarot reader, and artist, Alura Rose here discusses her spiritual tradition and practices; her fairy tale-inspired rituals and devotional artwork; and her upcoming projects.]
ev0ke: How do you define your personal spiritual path? Does it have a name, or is it more eclectic and intuitive?
Alura Rose: My personal spiritual path has been quite interesting. There was a Wicca Coven (Gardnerian and Ceremonial Focus) that I started with. It left me with a very strong foundation and led me to The Temple of Witchcraft with Christopher Penczak and then working with Laurie Cabot as her personal assistant. Both encouraged me to explore the relationship with Fairy Tales and Witchcraft which has led me to where I currently am now. I would say that I do tend to be more eclectic and intuitive, but it is interwoven from other practices and traditions.
ev0ke: Which Deities, powers, or other spirits are honored in your tradition?
AR: My Goddess has always been the Morrigan. She came to me almost immediately and has been a very strong presence in my life. In my Fairy Tale Witchcraft (for lack of a better name) the Morrigan is Maleficent, strong and protective. The personality traits of Fairy Tale characters cross more myths than one might imagine, such as the tale of Psyche and Cupid having similarities to Beauty and the Beast.
When calling quarters, the spirit guardians that I call upon are gnomes (dwarfs) in the North, fairies or sylphs in the East, dragon in the South, and mermaid in the West. Enchantment and meditation are huge parts of my tradition.
ev0ke: You recently created the Fairy Tale Runes. What inspired their creation? And how did you decide which symbols to include?
AR: Most of the items that I create come to me in meditation; even the whole idea of combining Fairy Tales with Witchcraft came to me in meditation. It is a strong ‘knowing’ that is hard to describe. The Runes came to me in a similar manner. There is so much symbolism in Fairy Tales that it seemed like a natural divination system.
Let me say that I have been wanting to create my own Fairy Tale Tarot (spoiler alert) and for years have been working on the images for that. The runes came about probably because the deck is taking so long. I had received a set of Witches Runes and it dawned on me that Fairy Tales have many symbols that could spark intuition and divination. The idea was born.
I sat with each story, picking out what symbols to use. Usually it was one of the main icons like the red hooded cloak from Red Riding Hood or the rose from Beauty and the Beast. They are created with intuition in mind. The image had to be able to reveal what was personal to the seeker so each had to be able to have multiple meanings so as to give diversity.
ev0ke: Can you give us an example of one of the runes, and what it means?
AR: One of the runes features a hand mirror and it could mean that the seeker should reflect upon themselves or the current situation more. It may also be a good time to look at whether or not the seeker is being authentic to themselves.
Some of the Runes have a spell meter built in, such as with the apple rune; if you asked about love, the apple showing up in a reading would mean that it is a good time to do love spell work.
ev0ke: You also create fairy tale poppets. What is the creative process for the poppets? What materials do you use? How long does it take for you to make one?
AR: The Fairy Tale Poppets are a labor of love. I love making them so much. Creating the poppets, I listen to what is needed around me and in the world. I meditate and ask the right character to present themselves. Then I design the character and add components to aid in the intention.
The body is mostly felt. Each poppet contains a crystal in the head and an herbal blend infused with stuffing in the body. They are decorated with a variety of materials.
To me, it is like creating a being. There is so much care that goes into making these, but I do try to keep them as reasonably priced as possible. The time it takes to create one varies, depending on multiple aspects. Some days I can complete two or more, and other days I can do four. I just let my intuition guide me.
ev0ke: Each of the poppets is associated with a particular theme or intention (e.g., Maleficent for protection, the Beast for finding one’s path in life). How did particular poppets come to be associated with particular intentions? Are there any characters you want to feature as poppets, but haven’t made yet?
AR: I try to imagine the tale and personality of the character and intertwine that with the intention, but sometimes I get stuck and just ask them or my guides for help. Some characters want to be used for multiple intentions, such as the Beast: one version is to find one’s path in life, another is specifically for love, especially if combined with Beauty.
I love the Madhatter poppet; he is for fun and coming out. Some of my poppets are created with the inner child in mind. Magick is more powerful if the one wanting it participates. You can see this encouragement with one of the Beast poppets with the mask that you can put on or take off depending on the owner’s mood. Also, in the Hansel and Gretel Witch with the hat that comes on and off. It is my sneaky (hehe) way of getting the owner to put their own energy into the work.
There are so many more that I want to do. I’d like to get into some of the tales that are not so popular in the mainstream, but that will be a while yet. I do want to do Mary Poppins (such a draw with her recently and not sure why) and have a Stormtrooper to do for a friend, but Pinocchio and a Knight are in the next line up. I think Peter Pan, too, because who really wants to grow old?
ev0ke: Many of your devotional items are available through your store, The Poisoned Apple Shop. First, what advice can you offer to other people who are hoping to create and sell items? What mistakes should they avoid? What are things they absolutely *must* do?
AR: I think the misconception is that once you do an online business, that you will be busy, have lots of orders, and make lots of money. It takes years to build a base strong enough to support all of that. As much as I hate Etsy, it is the place that a lot of my business comes from. Facebook, too. My advice would be “So not underestimate the power of social media.” If you do start with Etsy, make sure to watch the fees. They tend to be sneaky and you can watch so much of your profit go out the door.
One of the ‘musts’ would be “Treat it like a business and not a hobby.” Unless, of course, you are just looking for a hobby. Once I made that distinction, everything started to fall into place. A lot less frustration, too.
ev0ke: How do you decide which items to feature in your shop? Are there some things which are never made available? Are they limited quantity (when they’re gone, they’re gone) or do you make them to order?
AR: The idea is that everything featured is related to a Fairy Tale and Witchcraft, but that is not always the case. Because of Covid and events being canceled, I currently offer some of the items that I usually have when vending in person. Some examples are palo santo, tarot and oracle cards, and so forth. The long term plan is to feature only fairy tale items.
Some items are very limited in quantity. Most items are hand-created so no two will every be the exact same. I do similarities, but the Spell Cords, for example, are one of a kind. There may be two “Maleficent” Spell Cords, but they will look completely different. I will always accept custom orders, but prefer to have the freedom of artistic expression and creativity when doing so.
ev0ke: The Poisoned Apple also includes a virtual classroom where you offer several fairy tale-based rituals for free. How did you go about designing these rituals, and how did you decide which fairy tales to use as their basis?
AR: I gave up working in Salem about two years ago to focus on my own business, but I really miss teaching and doing rituals. When I did work in Salem at Enchanted I used to lead the Full Moon Rituals (and later the Dark Moon ones, as well). Most of the rituals offered in the virtual classroom are from those taught in Salem, but changed slightly to do on your own. There will be other helpful free resources there in the future. I am hoping to offer Book Of Shadow pages there eventually, too. It is my way to give back to the community. I miss that.
When I came up with an idea for a ritual, I looked at what the Full Moon was called to start. So the Wolf’s Moon, for example, is Red Riding Hood. I then look at the story and see what I can borrow to make a ritual out of it. For Red Riding Hood, the ritual was about finding your spirit animal or how it pertained to shadow work. I often let the Fairy Tale take the lead as to where we will go with it. Beauty and Beast had a piece of humanity to it and we practiced “paying it forward.”
The rituals were well received and well attended. I missed writing them and thought that I could still offer them and that is why the virtual classroom was invented. I used to teach workshops in Salem, too, and miss that aspect.
Recently, I started offering one on one workshops through Zoom (including my Fairy Tale Magick Workshop). A student can book a workshop just like booking a reading. They pick a time and date. All supplies are mailed to them beforehand. We each grab a cup of tea, sit with our computers, and have a blast.
ev0ke: How has Covid-19 affected your practices? More solitary rituals? Online streaming? More time for devotional projects?
AR: Covid-19 has made me reevaluate multiple things. I was actually in the middle of finding a brick and mortar space, but had to rethink it as now is not a great time to do that. I focused more on the online piece and what I could do there. It’s been a lot of out of the box thinking for sure.
As far as practice goes, it is a bit weird. I miss the in-person interactions and the high that comes from being at events. But more things are being offered online so as much as it has closed a few doors, I try to embrace what I do like about all the changes. I definitely have had time to create more products.
ev0ke: What other projects are you working on?
AR: Currently, I am working on more poppets, other fairy tale projects. One thing that I recently started and am having a great time with is the “Paint Me a Fairy Tale.” This is a project where I take a client and paint them into a fairy tale character. The stipulation is that they do not get to pick who they want to be. It is through spirit that it comes to me, along with messages or words that form into the painting. It is fun and such a magickal process.
I would like to work on a Fairy Tale Book of Shadows, too. I haven’t decided if I will offer the complete book or just the pages as yet, but hopefully that will surface later this year.