I’ve been a practicing witch since I was sixteen years old and my mother gifted me my first deck of tarot cards. It was the Rider Waite pack and I still use it today. Even after twenty years of practice, I never really chose one path. There were too many to choose from! So many things to learn from each of them. My personal path has become really eclectic. I often identify myself as a hedgewitch because I do prefer solitary witchcraft. I have to admit, though, I love kitchen magick. I think that’s where all this really stemmed from.
The Naked Wytch came about pretty organically. I had already been using witchcraft throughout my life as a way to deal with a lot of things. When I gave up the rituals that came with my addictions my recovery, in part, became using magick rituals to replace that. Dealing with my ptsd and anxiety also centered around spellwork and craft. A few stones in the pocket, the weight and feel of them in your hand, can help remind you to be present in the moment, and the beauty of nature is very calming, soothing. Last summer, I was recovering from major bone surgery. It was the most recent in a series of operations I’ve had throughout my life to correct congenital birth defects in my feet. Though this was an issue I’ve dealt with all my life, this particular surgery meant huge changes for me and my family. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to walk. I had always struggled with body positivity, accepting the body I am in with all its deformities and imperfections and limitations, and now I really would have to learn to accept these things and be willing to build a life around them, rather than trying to ignore them.
So that’s where the idea for the spell soaps came from. Originally, it wasn’t about wanting to start a small business so much as it was about wanting to heal myself and share that gift with others- my friends and family who might need a little magick in their lives too. I was lying in bed one afternoon, several months into my recovery, holding onto a piece of rose quartz (for self-love) and thinking how I wished I could just bathe in it and soak up that feeling. Years before I had made hand-made soaps and sold them at local farmer’s markets. I started wondering if I could use pink Himalayan salt to represent self-love the way rose quartz crystals do. I went out into my garden and picked some pink rose petals. That is where the first batch of soap, Wytch, Love Thyself came from.
Sex Magick, my second batch, stemmed from wanting to feel sexy and confident in my own body and celebrating the gift of giving when we are intimate with someone. I made a soap base with activated charcoal—what’s more sexy than a luxurious black, bubbly soap?—and topped it with red roses, star anise, and jasmine. After that, I made Solace, a soap topped with poppy seeds, chamomile, lavender, calendula, just all kinds of herbs and botanicals that represent healing and helping someone through grief and heartbreak. Work, Wytch has been my best-seller. It’s a hot pink soap made with ginger and patchouli. The intention there is to turn creative thought into bad-ass action. It sold out in a hot minute, so I’ll definitely be making more of that.
It all started with wanting to use magick and ritual to heal myself but it turned into so much more. I knew I was going down a new path in life and that no matter where that was leading, I wanted to help others along the way. I wanted to share this magick with my family and friends. I posted the finished soaps on social media and the response was overwhelming in a totally positive way. And The Naked Wytch isn’t just about spells soaps. I’ve gone on to work with people one-on-one and make them custom soaps for everything from wedding gifts, to soaps that are free of allergens, to totally custom soaps for skin sensitivities. It’s super rewarding.
So much of witchcraft teaches us to work with what we have, accept the gifts we are given, and to do the work. It’s all about being grateful for what we have so we can be open to more. My first few batches, I was making soap and toppings with whatever I had on hand. Roses from my garden, ladysthumb from the forest that surrounds our property. I try to shop local as much as I can, a lot of my ingredients come from local vendors and gardeners. Some things have to be sent away for, like the lye needed to make cold process soaps. Cold process is a way of mixing the oils and lye water as close to room temperatures as you can get them. From there, you can add designs and top your soap with botanicals. A lot of thought goes into creating the intention, deciding what herbs and natural ingredients are going to best represent that, and then using math and science to create the recipes. My husband is a poet so he writes the worded spells that we include with those orders. I try to do whatever I feel like is going to be the best for the magick and for my customers. Most of my soaps are made with a combination of lard, olive oil, coconut oil, and various butters like shea and cocoa. I just picked up some avocado and jojoba oils and am excited to play with making shampoo bars.
For now, if anyone wants to order soaps they can reach me through Facebook, Instagram, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am excited to open an online store, which should be coming by Spring. I hope to add lots of other products by then as well. Right now we have the bar soaps and bath salts, but I am working on adding bath bombs, charm necklaces filled with spellwork ingredients, fairy-themed soaps, and lots of other stuff!
I think what I love best about this business is being able to give the gift of magick. A lot of my soaps go as gifts people are giving for the holidays. I wanted to incorporate the body into spellwork, the power of our natural, naked selves. And it was important to me that witchcraft be accessible to everyone. I like to think that all the love and intention comes through in every batch. I like to think that every time someone unwraps a bar of my soap, they feel more than a little magickal.
Brooke Warra is the owner of The Naked Wytch and a writer of weird fiction. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and at brookewarra.com