The Retail Witches World
“This Page is a Summary of the Retail Witches World. It describes the settings, systems of magick, witchcraft tribes, and magickal creatures that populate the Retail Witches stories. Creating this level of interconnected fiction ecosystem has been an ongoing project of mine for over two years. I love the Retail Witches World, and part of me lives in it every day. I made this page specifically for you, the avid series reader. I hope you enjoy it!”
The Retail Witches Series of fiction books can be classified, in a roughly descending order, as
New Adult > Magical Realism > Urban Fantasy > Witches > Witch-Positive.
The stories are written as if the magical world they inhabit were completely real. The books are serious, but light-hearted. The characters are quirky and fun. At times the characters love, relate in adult ways, and are intimate, but the series focus is not graphic sexuality. Also, there is action, danger, dark magick, and excitement, but the thrills are more psychological, and do not rely on gore or grotesque violence.
The books are written in third-person perspective. This allows for vivid descriptions and an overview into the stream of consciousness of multiple characters. It is a writing style that expands story scope, and fosters an interconnectedness between the characters and the world they inhabit.
A modern day St. Augustine, FL & beyond, that is haunted, where magick, witches, faeries, and other magickal creatures exist alongside the mundane world. The locations in the Retail Witches Series are “As Normal Unless Otherwise Noted”. For example, if the city of Miami is referenced, you can assume that it is the normal Miami we all know and love. We are not on some other planet, or in some alternate dimension (well not usually).
The main magickal beings in the Retail Witches World are witches. The term witch is used for both males and females. The word “wizard” is never used, and “warlock” is a derogatory but rare term for an oath-breaker or traitor to the witch world. All witches in the Retail Witches Series world are pagans, and observe the eight pagan holidays (or sabbats). Witches do rituals of thanks and worship their gods/goddesses on the sabbats, and do Heavy Magick (elaborate spells) on the full moons.
Non-witches are called “cowans” (pronounced Koh-inz). This is a traditional pagan term for a non-pagan.
In the Retail Witches Series, magick is practiced by witches, and is a combination of the natural elements, intentions, and feelings. It is the result of knowledge, practice, and experience.
There are two main types of Magick at work in the Retail Witches Series: Street Spells and Heavy Magick. Street Spells are impromptu magick used in spontaneous situations. Every street spell has an element component, and an action component (a verb). For example: “Body-Bind,” or “Hinder-Ice.” Both Heavy Magick and street spells are potentially messy, must be learned, are practically applied, and can be good or bad. Magick exists among the everyday world, and sometimes (but rarely) those worlds meet.
Witches practice magick but it is learned like a science or an art. (You are not just born with it.) Some are better at it than others (like anything) but not because of a birthright. It works when the witch leverages the power of the elements with action and intention. The energy that propels magic is the energy that moves the Universe.
The all-emcompasing term witchcraft refers to the collective activities of identifying as a witch, observing the pagan holidays, doing rituals of gratefulness for your pagan gods/goddesses, performing street spells when needed, and performing Heavy Magick when appropriate.
The magickal world and witchcraft are “hidden in plain sight.” There is no “Ministry of Magick” that actively conceals the magickal world, because anytime magick or witchcraft crosses into the everyday experience of a cowan/cowans, the witnesses or gossipers immediately fall into one of three categories: those who fully do not believe it, those who radically oppose it, and those who are wholly disinterested and have no opinion either way. Those who fully do not believe, or are wholly disinterested, will never be convinced by those who radically oppose it. So there is no need to actively try to hide magick or the witchcraft society, because it hides itself. The same is true for all manner of magickal creatures and beings.
The Witchcraft Tribes:
There are three main witchcraft tribes: Light Tribe, Shadowclan, and Ashenguild.
Light Tribe cultivates harmony. Light Tribe witches are basically good. They can Conjur, Scry, Banish, and use spells to protect themselves.
Shadowclan cultivates power. Shadowclan witches are basically bad/dark. They can Curse, Hex, and Bind.
Ashenguild cultivates balance. Ashenguild is in the middle, and believe themselves to be the true witches of balance because of it. They can use any spell, Light or Dark, if it suits their needs. They are the fewest. (Before the burning times, they were the most.) They consider themselves above both Light Tribe and Shadowclan, and are therefore often seen as elitist. But in matters of conflict, Ashenguild predominately sides with Light Tribe.
Esoteric Witchcraft Skills:
Beyond pure magick, there are two esoteric Witchcraft Skills: Questing, and Soulpulling.
Questing is the ability to travel deep into the Universal Mind and commune with the intelligence and connection of the mystical cosmos. This ability also facilitates the practice of Remote Questing, which is a type of Astral Projection, whereby a Quester can travel to and view, in real time, distant locations. The most accomplished Questers can also project the direct knowledge and connections of this astral realm into the mind of another, through focused eye contact. Most accomplished Questers are Light Tribe, because Questing is a deep connection to harmony and the cooperative Universe. As a side perk (or side curse) Questers can see ghosts more often than others.
Soulpulling is the practice of emotional vampireism. Soulpullers consume the energy of another person’s memories and feelings. It is ancient, darkest magick, and can ultimately destroy both victim and soulpuller alike. The mechanics of soulpulling are such that there must always be two, a master and a student, so the master can find relief by passing some of the negative karma to the student. It is a complex game of exploiting, then dodging karma, and what is at stake are the very souls of all involved. It is believed by some that Soulpulling is a corruption of Questing, where the energy is used to pull inward, rather than project outward.
Other Magickal Creatures:
Faeries populate areas and locations and they are products of their environment, in that they develop personalities based on where they arise. So there are espresso faeries that love caffeine and can only be killed by decaf. Bookshop faeries that love cleanliness, order, and grammar, and can die if they read errors in usage. And graveyard hobs that like to scare people and delight in death, decay, and being general pests. There are garden faeries that develop curious obsessions like a powerful love of reading, drinking tea, growing flowers, or tending gardens. There are also woodland sprites who are often adventurers or mercenaries. Faeries can do what they call faerie magick, and it usually involves nature and some natural object like an acorn or stone. Faerie wands are always natural twigs, and faerie magick is strongly related to manipulation of quantum physics and subtle energies. Faerie magick is mostly used for communication between faeries, but it can be used to stop negative witch spells, or protect others against attacks. Yule is the time of the faerie wild hunt when they raise hell and cause mischief in the towns. Steel charms short out the wild hunt hijinks and it is the witch’s only protection against being pestered on that night. Otherwise faeries are either friendly, or best left alone. Hobs are a general nuisance.
Faeries have a lifespan of about 100 years, but they grow quickly upon being born, and can take care of themselves within a year or two. A newborn faerie creates a small family for that short time, and the mother, father, and baby will live together as each parent shares in the responsibilities of raising the young one. Some faerie parents name their children, but many just refer to the child as “Baby” (albeit with the utmost affection), then let the child choose his or her own name on the day before they set out on their own. Such days are festive celebrations. When the newborn faerie is a year or two, and able to live on their own, the family unit will usually go their separate ways, most often on the best of terms, and as lifelong friends. Very few faeries live together as couples, preferring to date and jump from partner to partner, but for faithful periods of a year or so. Although the average faerie lifespan is about 100 years, faeries maintain a young-adult appearance and fitness across that time. As Sage, the Salem Faerie Light Council guard says, “We are born all at once, grow up all at once, then die all at once, and think of nothing but life each day in between.”
There are mermaids with a rich lore. Mermaids can climb onto rocks or a good distance onto shore and often do so to sun themselves, or rest. The do not breathe underwater, as they are mammals, but hold their breath for extended periods much in the manner of a dolphin. Mermaids can recognize witches by their auras because they match mermaid auras in color and brightness. As such, mermaids have a special fondness for witches and they are attracted to any witch who goes to sea or near the shore by the aura the witch gives off.
Only mermaids can see this soul-glow. It is, therefore, believed by many mermaids that witches are descended from mermaids who learned magic long ago that enabled them to leave the water and walk on land. They believe that some of them stayed and became the ancestors of the witches we know today. Mermaids seek this lost knowledge from every witch they meet. And since many witches also love mermaids and would long to swim as they do, and indeed become mermaids themselves, there are also witches who seek this magical knowledge. Therefore, there is no resentment between witches and mermaids and they will often meet merely in hope to enquire, one to the other, from their lost sister if there is any news or progress about the lost magic that would let mermaids walk upon legs, or let witches swim with stunning mermaid tails, if only for one day.
The pursuit of this knowledge is part of both mermaid lore, and witch lore, across the world. Like any great mystery, some on both sides believe the lost spell is true, some believe it is folly, and some are unsure. It is myth among the mythical. The lost mermaid spell was the focus of book 1.
Formorians are dark, slimy, bad mermaids, driven into the sea by fierce Irish settlers in the times of mythology when the world was young. They were originally called the nightmare people, and being forced to live in the sea has not improved their disposition. Fomorians often collaborate with Shadowclan in nefarious deeds.
There are modern day pirates and ghost pirates. Ghost pirates are most like traditional pirates, and modern day pirates are basically smugglers and rogues. Often charming, but rarely to be trusted. Ghost pirates and living scoundrel pirates often strike eldritch bargains with one another and engage in elaborate double-crosses and twisted tricks of business. They do this with the utmost sincerity and effort to out-do one another, but also to keep their conniving skills sharp. So when a pirate crosses the path of any everyday person, the civilian stands little chance of coming out ahead. Among the pirates there is a saying: “When a person with money meets a pirate with experience, the pirate walks away with the money, and the person walks away with an experience.”
There are two types of ghosts: Corporeal, and Apparitional.
Corporeal ghosts are powerful spirits who have mastered the ability to appear in fully physical form, and do so by choice. They can eat, drink, touch, and move objects, but they can also go unseen and pass through physical materials such as doors or walls. They can travel across any distance at the speed of a thought.
Apparitional ghosts are traditional ghosts who appear as a range of transparent forms. They can affect all senses except touch. Apparitional ghosts are rarely as powerful as Corporeal ghosts, and often exist in a place or area not by choice, but by some unresolved circumstance such as untimely death, lost love, or deep malice. For this reason many apparitional ghosts can be spiteful, villainous, and troublesome (but not all are). Some are simply sad or lost, and a few are content and pleasant.
You can read a free sample of The Retail Witches (Retail Witches Series – Book 1) on Amazon, where the book is sold. The link is here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B076ZW6C89