Demystifying the Misunderstood Craft of Magick with Celebrity/Occult Specialist Sal Santoro

PositiveVibes Magazine had the unique and wonderful opportunity to connect with Sal Santoro. Sal is a Celebrity/Occult Specialist and the Co-Owner of A Crooked Path, the leading traditional witchcraft store in Hollywood. Sal has 30 years experience in all things magick, which has led to him being one of the go to sources for demystifying this misunderstood craft. You can watch Sal on the Chuey Martinez Show and Coast to Coast with George Noory.

Tell us about yourself?

I grew up in New England, in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and this is where I first became interested in the occult. After moving to California in the mid-80s, I found myself digging deeper and over the span of over 30 years, I found myself interning and working at various occult shops, including Eye of the Cat, Panpipes, and Raven’s Flight. I joined two year-and-a-day covens, where I was baptized into the craft, studied the Vodun systems, and was initiated into the Golden Dawn. In more recent years, I continued practicing the various traditions and kept a foundation in both Ceremonial Magick and witchcraft. In 2017, my wife and I opened our own shop – The Crooked Path. My thirst for knowledge continues to this day. After discovering Hekate in 2016, I dug deeper and since then have performed a dedication to her with the Covenant of Hekate and more recently, joined Jason Miller’s system – The Sorcery of Hekate.

What is the Crooked Path? Tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur opening Crooked Path.

The Crooked Path is a traditional witchcraft shop located in Burbank, CA. We offer a wide variety of tools and supplies for practitioners of every level, plus carry a wide selection of stones, crystals, occult books, and jewelry. You’ll also find products created by a lot of local artisans, as we’re firm believers in supporting small artists, given we’re artists ourselves.

Our journey began in 2016. My then fiancée, now wife, and I had the idea of opening a shop, which to many of our friends and business confidants, we’re highly advised not to pursue. Brick and Mortar is dead, after all, we were told. But we kept going back to the idea of opening a shop. And in August 2017, we did. We had a vision of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it and we’re so happy we did. Over the last nearly four years, we’ve learned a lot about running a business and the challenges of being a mom-and-pop shop but also the rewards that come with it. We’ve met a lot of amazing people along the way and made some really good new friends. 

What is your experience with magick? What do you specialize in?

As I mentioned earlier, I first became curious in the occult when I was a teenager, in the 70s. After studying a multitude of systems and soaking in everything I could, I would have to say that hands down, my specialty is spell crafting. I also enjoy teaching. I think it’s important to share knowledge and help those that are interested in pursuing a path in the occult

You are known to demystify the misunderstood craft of magick. What does that mean? How is magick misunderstood?

I look at witchcraft and spell craft as a means to cause change with will by utilizing herbal components, the Golden Dawn’s color scale, and the Ptolemaic system of the seven ancient planets. I believe that witchcraft isn’t about bump in the night phenomenon or any of the pop culture connections to it. Anyone with basic knowledge and understanding of these systems, can practice this art. Witchcraft isn’t always theological or spiritual, sometimes it’s just a basic science. Other times it’s a combination of all of those things.

What is it about magick that inspires you? 

Taking from a famous quote: I’m inspired by the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with my will.

What is it like being on the Chuey Martinez Show?

It was a fun and festive environment. He asked some great questions and I got to meet some awesome people. Overall, it was a great experience and would welcome the opportunity to be on his show again in the future

Who would you say is your inspiration and why?

My inspirations change regularly but overall, magickally, they would be George Derby, Jason Miller, Scarlett Amaris, and presently Jeff Cullen. They each inspire me with their prowess and experience in the magickal arts. They’re unique individuals that I highly respect. I’m also very inspired by new practitioners and their open minds to the occult.

Do you have any advice for people interested in the world of magick?

Definitely. The world of magick or studies in the occult can be extremely broad. The first thing I would advise is to determine what you’re actually interested in. Is it Witchcraft, spell crafting, ceremonial magick, wicca? If you’re not sure, that’s OK. This is an opportunity to learn. Take your time and find out what you’re most interested in. Read, talk to like-minding people, attend events if you can, and ask questions. There is so much to learn. Something I’m still doing myself after all these years.

Do you have any final thoughts you would like to share with us?

As I was once told as a young man, “don’t be a parrot.” If you are serious about occult studies, study, learn, practice and don’t be afraid to challenge beliefs. Just take the time to devote to this and avoid social media soundbites or quick DIY spells.  

Written by Zane Landin

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