Hello dear friends! After a little break from the series, I am beyond excited to share a new feature in the Tending the Hedge collection! For newer readers, I began the interview series in 2020 as a way to highlight inspiring individuals I know who engage in a practice of “magical stewardship,” living and working with intention, exploring themes of mutual aid and rejecting a mindset of competition and scarcity culture. I was so inspired by the myriad ways in which folks are tending the hedges of their own communities, so to speak— we talked about things like sustainability and stewardship, body positivity and social activism, spirituality and disability awareness, and staying true to oneself in a world that is full of “should’s.”

I am really in awe of the community and conversation that developed through this series, and recommend all new readers take a peek at the first collection of features.

I love when people share their passion and the values that drive their work, and, loosely inspired by the questionnaires of Marcel Proust and James Lipton, I ask the same questions of each indivudal featured, in hopes that we might all ask ourselves one essential question: how can I tend the hedge in my own community?

Sara Calvarese— writer, podcaster, tarot reader, and the magical being behind The 8th House shop— shared some thoughts on this subject when we chatted this week, in advance of their Kickstarter launch for the 3rd edition of The 8th House Tarot. Read on for this Aries’ hot takes on inclusivity and being the change we wish to see!

Sara Calvarese, bringing her signature hot takes to the witch world!

What are your pronouns and what is your sign?

She/Her + They/Them, and I’m an Aries Sun.

Are you a witch? If so, what does that word mean to you?

I identify as a witch – a non-traditional witch, perhaps, but a witch nonetheless. To me, being a witch means that I recognize that all humans have a direct line of connection and communication to the big everything (whatever the hell that is – I’m not pretending to have answers here.) I think ritual, however mundane, is important. It’s a form of intentional theater that all humans inherently understand, and I think that’s kind of incredible. I also think that being a witch means that I’m here to help fight for a more equitable present and future for all humans. Hot take – you don’t get to call yourself a healer if you’re not here for inclusivity and equitability.

What drew you to your work? Why is it important?

I wanted to create the store space that I wished existed locally, but didn’t. If it doesn’t exist, build it! Right? We live in a diverse, progressive neighborhood, and it felt like we were lacking a safe space for POC, the LGBTQIAPK+ communities, intersectional feminists, etc. Witchcraft and activism are closely linked, but there weren’t a ton of local metaphysical shops that were openly making this a priority. We also wanted to be an educational resource for ethical practice. We don’t sell white sage, and we’re happy to educate customers on why we made that decision. We sell inclusive tarot decks. Our crystals are ethically sourced. Everything in the shop comes from indie makers. We wanted a business built on actual values. Also, I strongly feel that rural areas deserve magick too. People shouldn’t be required to travel to major cities to access ethically sourced magickal tools and supplies. 

How can others engage with this work and tend the hedge in their own communities?

I guess I would say…if there’s a need that’s not being met in your community or if there’s a thing that you wished existed and doesn’t…build it! It’s big Magician energy (if you’re a tarot person), but this is how we make real changes in our communities! Don’t ever be afraid to “be the change!” You will always make people uncomfortable…you might as well use it for good!

Did you enjoy this feature? Check out other magic-makers in the Tending the Hedge series!


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