This past weekend downtown Santa Ana was graced with a new and exciting event — Witch Walk! The Hype Priestess, a.k.a. Lacey Conine, is the woman behind the magical affair. The walk brings together small businesses and vendors that provide metaphysical/spiritual products and services. From blessed herb sachets to tarot card sessions, the offerings were abundant.
Booths were set up along a small street in a scenic part of Santa Ana that has a variety of restaurants, lounges and colorful shops. I was thrilled when I discovered Coven of Ashes would be performing opening night. The female group, which specializes in ritual performance art, presented an enchanting ceremony to sanctify the Witch Walk and infuse it and the people with positive energy. I recorded some footage of the rite that you can check out below.
As I walked around, I met so many wonderful vendors. It was great getting to know these people and find out more about their businesses. Some of the goods being sold included handcrafted jewelry, original artwork, incense, essential oils, candles, crystals, regenerating teas, apparel, holistic medicine and so much more. I bought a Baphomet candle from Coven of Ashes, a negativity banishment necklace from Mia Wallace Magick and a protection sachet from Bewitched Brews, owned by Jenn of Swords.
Another fantastic element of this event is that services such as healing cleanses, psychic readings and therapeutic consultations are given on site. There was also live music.
I had the opportunity to interview the founder Hype Priestess to find out more about the Witch Walk!
Q: For those not familiar with the Hype Priestess, can you share what you do and how long you’ve been offering your services?
A: I’ve been an intuitive tarot reader for 5 years, a reiki level I for 2 years, and a level II reiki and channeled healer/practitioner/intuitive life coach since October 2018. I quit my full time career of 15 years to do this work! I also have a small shop in Santa Ana with crystals, healing tools, etc. where I perform my in-person and distance services (by appointment only.)
Q: What inspired you to start the Witch Walk?
A: I have been in a leadership role my entire life, and as a Leo, I don’t think I have a choice. I have always led people, been a trendsetter and walked to the beat of my own drum. As I grew my platform on social media I felt that I had responsibilities to bring people along with me – my tag line has always been “If you can get to my table, you can eat – but you gotta get yourself to the table.” Giving people a voice and a place to speak/perform has always held a lot of value for me. Especially BI-POC, LGBTQ, Womxn, or marginalized people who may have difficulties finding and/or having a voice in their community.
I have an insanely wonderful community of womxn and fellow witches who are wonderfully talented in all their crafts, from channeled work, healing, art, yoga, hair/beauty stylists, crafters, musicians, digital and marketing abilities – we have a literal powerhouse of people that weren’t being showcased AS THEY SHOULD BE. So I said, “Why don’t I start something? If nothing like this exists, and no one else is going to do it, why don’t I?”
I was walking in a tiny art walk one day with someone from my coven and I remember just thinking like “You know this sucks, there’s nothing like this for witches. And we have a voice, we need to put our magick out there.” That was in March of this year. I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid of jinxing myself, or afraid someone would beat me to it. So I manifested and worked for it in silence. Two months later, I had Witch Walk.
Q: Did you meet any opposition when you presented the idea of the walk to the city of Santa Ana?
A: Quite the opposite. I had opposition (a.k.a. NO RESPONSE) from other … nearby communities, which will remain nameless.… I had e-mailed a few people in a few surrounding cities and didn’t get anything. No e-mail, no response, no one even bothered to say “NO!”
Santa Ana honestly was my first choice because my business is there and I chose my business to be there because of how open the city is to practices like this. There’s a Botanica and a few other crystal/witch stores in the city, so we kind of already had somewhat of a presence there. I just had no actual contacts with the city, except for Makara Center for the Arts Library, which my lovely friend Marytza volunteers and operates. I asked her if I could use her parking lot, and she actually directed me to an amazing woman from the city, Madeleine.
If angels or magicians exist, Madeleine is one. I e-mailed her and said “here’s my idea, I know it’s crazy, but…” and Madeleine was already bought in. We met up about three days later, and I was expecting to have to PITCH my idea and explain what I wanted, but that wasn’t quite the case. She was already set up at our meeting spot when I arrived with hand drawn maps of the city and she essentially showed me all the areas I could have my Witch Walk at, and that she already had a meeting with the city and it had been approved by permitting, police, and the powers that be. And I was kind of taken aback like – what’s the catch? And there wasn’t one. Santa Ana truly embraced this with open minds and hearts. They said I had free reign, and let me execute my vision.
Q: There were so many amazing vendors! How did you select the small businesses that participated and will that change every month?
A: Well, as I mentioned, my amazing Coven of witches had first dibs, so that was about 10 booths I knew I locked in. Then I reached out to my extended community and got a few more booths booked. And from there, I never even posted to social media about vending, I just had these wonderful artists, healers, and witches hitting up me to vend. And I had a pretty extensive waiting list, so if people couldn’t make it, or had emergencies come up, I had amazing fillers ready to go.
I also have to say, I had another Coven, Coven of Ashes, reach out to me to vend/perform. And I urge you to check them out. They are the real deal. I was kind of like, “Wow, these women want to be in MY art walk?” It somehow made me feel validated, and I knew immediately I had something with this art walk.
Currently, I am figuring out how to open up to more vendors, but I am already completely booked for July, and although some of the vendors from the first Witch Walk are unable to participate in July, 90% of them re-booked and are coming back for more! This is a learning process, and I want to be able to include everyone I can. So, it’s a work in progress, I’ll just say that for now. If you want to be on the waiting list, you can check out www.hypepriestess.com and go to the community tab > Witch Walk for more information!
Q: What do you hope the Witch Walk offers the community and the people that come to it?
A: My dream is that it offers a voice to the voiceless; that Witches can be taken seriously, and not be demonized, or just hollywood-tized as a joke. We take our practices very seriously. And our community is so full of marginalized people, and we can make a difference. I hope that we can all exist in a space with no hate, even though we’re all different. And I think we can because of the example and precedent set from last Saturday night, June 15th, the first ever Witch Walk where a coven of “dark” witches [Coven of Ashes] could practice their ritual in broad day light in front of restaurants and passersby without anyone saying anything negative, but in fact seeing the entire community stop and treat them and their practice with reverence and respect.
I wish to create an inclusive community that doesn’t just “love and light” or “pray” everything away. We’re here to do serious work. We’re here to be seen. We’re here to make money off our craft because we deserve it. And we’re here to spread our magic to everyone so that spirituality and ACCESS isn’t an issue, and so that you don’t have to be rich or have to spend hundreds of dollars to have the benefits of our work and practice. I built this for my community. It is yours.
The next Witch Walk takes place July 20th from 5pm to 10pm in Santa Ana, California, and thereafter will continue to be held on the third Saturday of every month. Admission is free, but do bring cash to make purchases. Keep up with the latest information by following the walk on Instagram @witchwalkdtsa.
Find out more about the Hype Priestess by visiting her official website.