Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

On second thought, hell no

Thanks to an email from a friend and fellow businesswoman (who doesn’t yet know how much what she wrote helped me–though I guess she will when she sees this), I’ve realized what a tremendous amount of work it would be to maintain two shops, not to mention  two separate social media presences. (I’m barely managing to keep the one going.) And there was also the unpleasant discovery that, as a new shop, Etsy would hold my income from sales for three business days–instead of one–for the next 90 days. That’s not sustainable  for me.

And as much as I like the name Black Toad Apothecary, The Wytch of the North is pretty much who I am at this point; I AM my brand. It’s up to me to take control of that brand and shape it into what I want it to be, rather than running away and trying to start over.

Yeah, you’re getting to witness my impulsiveness in action, here. But it’s better to correct a mistake quickly and move on than continue to suffer from it for months to come.

So I have put the new shop on vacation (the one order that came in since I announced it yesterday will of course be filled) and will be working on changing the old shop from within, as I’d initially planned. This means that my readings and custom orders for things that aren’t bath and body-related will probably be moving to this blog (payable via Paypal) for the time being. The remaining prayer bead sets, etc. in the shop that fail to sell will disappear from the shop at a date to be announced.

It will take me a week or two to roll these changes out, but in the meantime I have moved the limited edition Samhain oils and candles back to the old shop, where they are available for purchase (but only until October 31st!). And my brand new Kitchen Witch candle collection, as well as my new bath bombs, will be making their debut in the coming week!

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About me · Black Toad Apothecary · Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

Introducing Black Toad Apothecary!

Black Toad Apothecary banner

There isn’t much there yet, but I wanted to let you guys know that instead of changing the focus of The Wytch of the North, I decided to open up a second Etsy shop! (I will be building my inventory there gradually, as funds for supplies become available, but for now the Samhain candles are there–and no longer  at Wytch of the North–if you were looking for those.)

Etsy allows for one person to have multiple stores as long as they don’t contain any duplicate merchandise; they see that as an attempt to game the system (by having your shops dominate search for specific items), which does make sense. So this is why I moved the candles over; I’m introducing a line of herbal essential oil votives at the new shop (the Kitchen Witch Collection!) and I was nervous that Etsy might not approve of my having votive candles in both locations.

With that in mind, Wytch of the North will continue to have readings, custom prayer beads and poppets, and any other random crafts I feel like making (such as a line of pendants I’m considering, and possibly artistic Tarot cases at some point in the future), while Black Toad Apothecary will be very specifically focused on bath and body: candles, perfume oils, bath bombs, soap, etc. There will not be any crossovers of any of these kinds of items into the old shop because I don’t want to get into trouble with Etsy.

I’m very excited about this new venture because I see this as my chance to create a unified “brand”–something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now, but never saw a way to do with Wytch of the North.  But…here is where I start worrying about how my long-time customers will react, because my vision for the new store involves it having a distinctly different focus from the old one: witchy in flavor, feel, and intent (and function, even), but NOT pagan/polytheist-centric. And I’m going to speak plainly here. The need for me to do this is partly due to my burnout from the past two years. I won’t lie, I desperately feel like I need a break from being expected to constantly be the polytheist priestess, as this is frankly what nearly drove me into the ground, and people have continued to treat me like a priestess, and expect priestess-like duties from me, long after my having announced (pretty clearly, I thought) that I am NOT one.

But also…While our current financial situation is sustainable (mostly, depending on which animals need the vet in any given month), there is no wiggle room, no opportunity to keep both the household and my shop(s) going while also paying the bills and putting some money away. And unless we can start putting money away, we will still be here in Oregon ten years from now as I beg my daughter to send the (someday future) grandkids to visit once in a while. Which is utterly pathetic, and not what we want at all. But it’s what’s going to happen unless we up our financial game somehow, which means either 1) me getting a job (which at this point is tempting–especially if it’s something I can do from home), or 2) finally managing to make a business venture work–REALLY work. And in order for a business to really work, it’s going to need to have appeal beyond the polytheist community, and especially beyond the tiny segment thereof that reads my blog and actually thinks well enough of me and my wares to fork over some of their hard-earned money occasionally.

Which is why, although I love and appreciate each and every one of you, I also NEED to start attracting a wider customer base–and there are far more people “into” the cultural witchcraft “scene” and the witchcraft aesthetic than there are actual practicing polytheists. I dearly hope my existing customers will follow me over to the new store and help me to make a success of  it (I will reciprocate by doing my best to accommodate you in terms of scented custom orders, once I get the rest of my inventory figured out), BUT I am also hoping to attract a more secular crowd–people who love the culture of witchcraft and metaphysics but are not necessarily adherents of a pagan religion. If that offends anyone here, I apologize and deeply, deeply regret it–but the fact is that we, polytheists, are mostly money-poor, whereas the wider population segment ranging from witches to cultural witchcraft admirers has more–often a great deal more–disposable income to burn. It’s one of those unattractive facts of life, just as it’s a maybe-unattractive fact (to some) that my personal vision and ideology have shifted from deeply religious service to the gods before everything, to family and personal well-being first and dammit I will not be a stranger to my (future) grandkids. It’s a function of getting older, I guess, as much as it’s a function of prolonged burnout.

At any rate, thank you for your continued support if you’re able to give it! I will continue updating you here regarding the continued progress of both shops as time goes on.

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

Two new oracle reading options in the shop

I’ve just added TWO brand new oracle spreads to my shop The Wytch of the North, and have retired a few spreads that haven’t been seeing much action lately. I may be adding and subtracting more spreads in the near future, based on which ones my clients purchase most often and which ones I most enjoy doing.

For example, recently I am finding that I do my best readings using oracle cards instead of Tarot; they seem to spark my intuition more rapidly and more effectively, so that the readings both take less time to do and have a higher rate of accuracy. Their written transcripts also tend to be shorter, which is why these two new options cost less than some of the other readings in the shop.

what the hell spread

This is a five-card oracle spread for sorting out confusing situations. This spread is perfect for situations where you aren’t really sure what’s going on, either in your daily life or in the astral. Do you suspect someone is plotting against you at work? Are you wondering is a passive-aggressive friend really is out to get you? Are you in a complicated astral situation that you need to get some clarity on? This spread helps you figure out what the hell is happening and what you can do about it.

The spread covers the following:

1. The basis of your crappy situation.

2. What you can do about it.

3. What you can’t do about it.

4. Who is behind this? (Or, alternatively, What is the lesson here? Let me know which option you prefer for this question, or I will choose intuitively based on the situation.)

5. How will it turn out?

Readings using this spread are $25.

The other spread is similar in some ways, but takes a slightly different approach:

wtf spread

This is a four-card oracle spread for when you aren’t sure what’s real and what isn’t. Is someone attempting to gaslight you? This spread is perfect for that. If you feel like you’re caught in an elaborate web of lies or illusions, either in mundane life or on the astral, this spread will help shine a light on what’s real, what isn’t, and what you can do about it.

The spread covers the following:

1. What is real about this?

2. What is wrong about this?

3. Where do I need more info?

4. What can I do?

A reading using this spread is $20.

The deck pictured is Mildred Payne’s Secret Pocket Oracle, which is what I will most likely be using for these readings. It offers blunt answers, straightforward and to the point–which are increasingly the kinds of answers I want in my readings, either for myself or others. (I am not a psychological-focused type of reader; I want to know what is happening.)

You will receive an email with a downloadable pdf of your reading including a clear color photo of your spread. I will email your reading to you within 5-7 business days of your purchase.  (Please note that I read only on M – Th.)

 

 

 

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

Ch-ch-changes (the Etsy shop edition)

First off: there is now a SALE section in my Etsy shop, wherein any remaining prayer beads, jewelry, poppets, and ritual cords in stock now reside and have been marked down considerably. These items will remain on sale until they sell, expire, or I get tired of seeing the SALE folder. 🙂

The reason? I have decided to begin a process of revamping my shop to focus on candles, oils, and bath and beauty products such as bath bombs, soap, and possibly cosmetics and skin care. (Some of you have been asking and yes, soap will be back!) The focus will be witchy/pagan but will also include some pop culture, goth, and just-for-fun elements.

I feel this will be both a fun creative challenge for me, and a better way to keep my customers engaged, with products that are both giftable and that will, frankly, get used up and need to be repurchased. (I realize that there are only so many sets of prayer beads, etc., that any one person actually needs, so the beading and other projects have proven to be somewhat of a dead end for me.)

The OTHER reason for this change? My daughter has hinted that she and her fiance are eventually planning on a family, and I want to be part of the lives of my future grandchildren! So Jo and I are planning to move back to the east coast, as soon as finances allow. This means I need to step up my business game. 🙂

However, this new focus will require sacrifices, and in order to avoid spreading myself too thin both in terms of time and money, I will henceforth not be adding any new prayer bead sets, jewelry, poppets, or ritual cords to my general shop inventory.

For the time being, at least, I will continue to offer custom prayer bead sets and custom felt poppets, however please convo me on Etsy before ordering these to make sure the project you have in mind is one I can undertake for the price you are willing to pay. These listings are now located in the CUSTOM WORK section of my shop. (Custom listings for votive candles, oils, and bath bombs are on the way, too!)

I will also continue to offer Tarot/oracle card readings, at least for the time being, although these may eventually be moved to my blog, where they can be purchased via Paypal (since I have a small but loyal readings clientele that does not seem to be affected by Etsy traffic).

I am opening (moderated) comments on this post because I would truly love to hear any suggestions or product requests any of you might have concerning this new direction for my brand!

 

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

New in the shop: Limited Edition Votive Candles

Candles are back!!! My plan at this point is to offer a different selection of seasonally relevant votive candles every month or two, with the selection always rotating so there is always something new to try! To start off with, of course we have candles for Samhain, available from now until October 31st.

All candles are made to order and are sold in pairs.

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Devil’s Night: pitch black and decorated with festive red glitter and red cinnamon candies. (Please do not eat these.) The fragrance is an intoxicating and seductive blend of fiery cinnamon and clove with sensual patchouli–perfect for honoring “dark” deities such as Loki, Hecate, Hades, or Lucifer, or spirits who love spicy. earthy scents.

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Wild Hunt: blood red and decorated with black glitter and candy bones. (Please do not eat these.) The fragrance is candied apple with a touch of spice–perfect for honoring deities and spirits connected with the Wild Hunt, such as Odin, Herne, Arawn, Artemis / Diana, Dionysus, and Frau Holde.

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Funeral Parlor: orchid-purple and decorated with iridescent white glitter and black and orange jimmies. (Please do not eat these.) The fragrance is a heady and hypnotic blend of lily, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang and spice, reminiscent of funeral flowers–perfect for honoring deities and spirits connected with death and the dead, such as Odin, Freyja, Hades, Persephone, Hela, the Morrigan, and Santa Muerte.

Candles are $6 per set of 2″ x 2″ votives, each of which will burn for 15+ hours if used in a snug-fitting standard votive holder. (These candles are not designed to be burned free-standing.)

My candles are made with love and positive energy in small batches, using high-quality paraffin-blend wax and lead-free cotton wicks. These candles really will scent your entire room, helping to set the mood for your Samhain ritual or Halloween party!

All candles are made to order, and it will take me 3-5 business days to pour your candles prior to shipment–so if you do want these in time for the holiday, please order soon!

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

New in the shop today: Vegtam Flying Potion Ritual Oil

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Vegtam is one of the many names of the Norse god Odin; it means “Way Tamer,” or Wanderer. Norse lore talks about Odin’s ability to travel far and wide throughout the worlds, on his own errands or those of other people, while leaving his body behind in Asgard; this, of course, is what we know today as astral travel, and what the Norse referred to as faring forth.

This oil was crafted to assist you in your own faring forth, with non-toxic herbs and oils carefully chosen to help you relax into a deep meditative state conducive to out of body travel. Mugwort, wormwood, white sage, lavender, yarrow, and other herbs have been infused into a base of extra virgin olive oil, and natural essential oils have been added to deepen and enrich the scent and herbal properties. The scent is exhilarating and herbaceous.

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A few chips of obsidian float within the oil; this stone is both protective and purifying, shielding against negativity and stimulating psychic sight.

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To use: apply to pulse points and perhaps also the soles of your feet prior to beginning spiritual work.

Presented in a 1 ounce clear plastic bottle (BPA free) with a silver lid, this oil may also be used to anoint candles, petitions and offerings, or simply as a delightful personal fragrance.

Vegtam Flying Potion Limited Edition Ritual Oil is $15 per 1 ounce.

Also, there are still bottles of Wilde Jaeger, Flamehair, and Gold Witch available!

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

New in the shop today: Flamehair Limited Edition Ritual Oil

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More than any other deity in the Norse pantheon, Loki–blood brother of Odin and trickster extraordinaire–is renowned for getting the gods into trouble, as well as for getting them out of it. Although much maligned by heathens, Loki is directly responsible for many of the greatest gifts and blessings of the gods–including Odin’s steed Sleipnir, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir…and the list goes on. Similarly, he is well known for getting his mortal followers into scrapes, and bringing incredible luck and blessings their way.

Flamehair is a bright, warm autumn fragrance–at once alluring and invigorating–designed in Loki’s honor and to invite some of his luck and daring into your own life. The sunny golden color comes from safflower and hibiscus infused into a base of extra virgin olive oil, along with other herbs intuitively chosen by me such as white sage, ginger root, cinnamon, roses, arnica, coltsfoot, and bayberry root bark. Carefully chosen essential oils were added to deepen and enrich the scent and herbal properties. A few citrine chips float within the oil, drawing luck and helping to keep the blend well-mixed.

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The photos really do not do justice to how pretty this oil is! And wait until you smell it!

Presented in a 1 ounce glass roller ball bottle for ease of use, this oil may be used to anoint candles, petitions and offerings, or simply as a delightful personal fragrance.

– Protect from direct sunlight and high temperatures.
– Alcohol, phthalate, paraben, synthetic, and cruelty free.
– Vegan and handmade, with ethically sourced ingredients.
– Formula is all my own original work; please do not copy! If you have allergy concerns, please convo me.

1 oz of Flamehair is $15 plus shipping.

All of my items are charged and blessed for the highest good, and are sent to you beautifully packaged with extra goodies tucked in.

ALSO, I have three bottles left of Wilde Jaeger, my limited edition oil for Odin and other leaders of the Wild Hunt. (I kept a bottle for myself and am slathering it on everyday.) If you missed that yesterday, you can still snag one here. (I will be making more, but I am going to need to get more bottles first, and that could take a few weeks.)

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

Brand new today: Wilde Jaeger Limited Edition Ritual Oil

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Just added today: omigosh, this oil! I can’t stop sniffing my wrist where I tested it; it’s all dark caramelly goodness, evoking both the cozy indoor comforts of fall and the insane outdoor adventures.

As the days grow short and the air grows cold, the Wild Hunter rides the night skies with his spectral army of the dead and their otherworldly companions in his wake. Although rightly feared by most humans, according to tradition the Hunt brings not only retribution for wrongdoers, but also blessings and visitations from the gods and the mighty dead.

This is a multi-layered, rich, complex oil designed with Odin in mind, but it could also be used to honor any of the other deities said to lead the Hunt, such as Cernunnos, Herne, Gwynn ap Nudd, Nuada, Manannan, Perchta, Arawn, or Frau Holle. The dark whiskey-like color comes from dragon’s blood resin, combined with organic mugwort, apple skins peeled and dried by me, juniper berries, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and other herbs traditional for the dark half of the year, infused into a base of extra virgin olive oil. Carefully chosen essential oils were added to deepen and and enrich the scent and herbal properties.

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Just look at the size of this bottle!

Presented in a 1 ounce glass roller ball bottle for ease of use, this oil may be used to anoint candles, petitions and offerings, or simply as a delightful personal fragrance. The name of the oil, Wilde Jaeger, means “Wild Hunter” in German.

1 ounce of Wilde Jaeger is $15 plus shipping.

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It’s magical!

Oh, and! I have two bottles remaining of my original formula Odin ritual perfume oil in the 5 mL Euro-dropper size. To make room for new oils (I’m hoping to have a couple more limited edition autumn oils for you in the coming days) I’ve reduced these two remaining oils to $10 each (from $15). You can get those here.

Uncategorized · wytch of the north shop

Labor Day Sale!

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I’m having a LABOR DAY SALE at The Wytch of the North on Etsy! Save 20% on everything except custom, no minimum order and no coupon code needed! Readings are included! Ends September 5th.

EDITED TO ADD: the Corbmeister has an expensive blood test scheduled in September to see if he needs to change meds, and every little bit extra I can bring in to put towards that helps tremendously! I am also seriously thinking about overhauling my product line once again–so if you’ve been eyeing anything in my shop, this would be a great time to grab it!