For Lacey Conine and her coven, the common image of witches wearing cloaks and practicing rituals in the woods is inaccurate.
Their meetings are more akin to girl time.
“It pretty much is rooted in friendship,” said Conine, founder of the Santa Ana-based Witch Walk DTSA. "[We’re] a group of friends who hold space for one another to grow, share, receive, feel, heal and learn. Sometimes it’s with magic. Sometimes, for some, it’s with weed and wine, and for others still, it’s a Disney movie and a P.J. party.”
When their coven gathers monthly, it’s for dinner, swim parties and cabin retreats.
“One of the girls doesn’t even call herself a witch,” said Conine, who offers spiritual life coaching and tarot card readings. She sells crystals and related products through her business, Hype Priestess.
She launched the Witch Walk, a witch-themed art walk and marketplace, in June as a way not only to sell her own products but to bring together like-minded vendors.
“We have a group chat,” she said of her coven, which organizes the Witch Walk. “We talk all day, every day. We’re always talking, supporting, making each other laugh.”
The event takes place the third Saturday of every month in a walkway bordered by restaurants in downtown Santa Ana.
It includes 33 vendors, who specialize in a variety of spiritually-minded services and products, including tarot card readings, energy healing, botanicals, crystals, sound bowls and animal communication.
The event also includes raffles, live musical entertainment featuring female-driven acoustic bands and an opening ceremony that changes monthly.
Visitors and vendors don’t have to be witches to attend, though Conine has a rather broad definition of what it means to be a witch.
She calls chefs “kitchen witches,” and those adept at social media “Web witches.”
“I think it’s about finding your craft,” she said.
Inclusion is a priority for Conine, as is respecting every individual’s personal interpretation of modern witchcraft.
"[Some] celebrate Norse witchcraft, chaos magic, Kemetic and Esoteric craft, Hermeticism, [and] Pagan celebrations,” said Conine. “Some celebrate the moon-witches calendar of a day and a year. Some honor their indigenous heritage and roots with drumming, sound and animal guides. And some just identify as a witch because they’re comfortable with their bodies and nature.”
Briana Harley is part of the walk’s Witches Council, the coven that coordinates the event.
“I’m a musician by day and a witch by night, I joke,” said Harley, who programs the music for the event.
She calls herself “The Hip Witch” and began offering tarot card readings two years ago at parties. It grew from there.
“I’m very fun, but at the same time I’ll tell you what’s up,” said Harley. “I’m not too intense or too scary.”
Harley sees the Witch Walk as a great addition.
“The first one, I was blown away. I did not expect so much traffic to come through,” she said.
Amanda Monteverde, of Placentia, is a veteran of the U.S. Marines and a para-educator working with students with special needs. She considers herself an eclectic witch and has been attending the Witch Walk since it launched in June.
“A lot of positive energy,” she said. “As soon as you just go down the walkway, you feel empowered.”
She said the event is a good place for people on a spiritual journey.
“If people have questions, it’s the best place to go and just meet new people,” she said.
Where: Off Broadway and 2nd Street in Downtown Santa Ana
When: Third Saturday of every month, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Information: Follow @witchwalkdtsa and @hypepriestess on Instagram. The event is pet-friendly.