If print is dead, Catland is determined to commune with the spirits. The Bushwick occult bookstore is planning to launch a print magazine, come Spring equinox.
At the helm will be Melissa Madara, an owner of Catland and a witch deriving her practice from Croatian and Pennsylvania Dutch traditions. “I firmly believe in analog media,” she told Bedford + Bowery. “I get a lot of questions, as the owner of a bookshop, about how long I think I’ll have my job in the era of Amazon and Kindle. I always just tell those people that they have no romance. The allure of bookshops and physical media will never go out of style.” She credits Catland’s recent fundraiser for laying the groundwork for this project.
The title of the magazine, Venefica, derives from the Biblical passage “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” The Latin word for witch is venefica, an adjective that actually means “poisoner.” These subtleties, though, are beside the point. “The word still aligns very closely with the rebel archetype, which is what we want to invoke with this publication,” explained Madara.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT Catland is pleased to announce that we’ll be releasing our first publication in March, on the 2018 Spring Equinox VENEFICA will be a print magazine highlighting arts & occulture for Brooklyn & NYC. We’re currently accepting submissions for artwork, articles, poetry, written tutorials, and more! Please send all pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org attn:VENEFICA for our editor. More details to follow!
The magazine, which is still in the works, is poised to become a celebration of Brooklyn arts and occulture, and will ideally contain tutorials, informative articles and op-eds alongside round-ups of artists and makers that align with the occult community. The artwork promises to be witchy, metaphysical and spiritual. True to Catland’s mission, it will not be beholden to one particular occult tradition.
Why do I mention all this? Well, submissions are still open and, while Madara admits that most of the content will be community supported, she wants to make sure that all contributors feel like their work will be valued. “While our actual budget is pretty tiny, we want to make sure that everyone engaging in making the magazine happen feels good about their contribution,” she said, mentioning bartering as an option.
Despite the seemingly niche beat of Venefica, Madara is convinced it will transcend the neopagan borders. “I think, with occultism on the rise across the city, this is a magazine for everyone,” she explained. She wants to make it accessible even to those who are just remotely interested in occult thought. “It’s also a great way to see what’s happening locally, instead of just what’s big on Instagram. My hope is that it will help our community focus locally, and empower the artists, writers, and witches that we live with. There are so many incredible people in the Brooklyn occult community, and I want to boost their voices.”