Wellness: Charm School

5 Schools Invite Portlanders to Embrace Their Witchy Side

Learn astrology, herbalism, tarot, and more at these local classes.

By Tuck Woodstock January 29, 2019 Published in the February 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Portland School of Astrology

Your moon is in Virgo, your Venus is in Scorpio, and Mars is in retrograde—but what does that mean? The Portland School of Astrology’s first-year program answers all of these questions and more, with lessons on everything from natal astrology and chart synthesis to mythology and “zodiacal embodiment.”
Time: eight months (125 hours) for $1,725; two-year program available
Topics: planetary cycles, ethics in astrological practice, astrological color theory

Sacred Lattice

Created exclusively by and for people of color, this collectively run school specializes in practices grounded in the natural world (think plants, animals, and the elements), and encourages students to reclaim their ancestors’ lost or stolen magical teachings.
Time: $30–100 for a one-year membership, plus $25–95 per class (sliding scale)
Topics: tarot, connecting with animals, ancestor attachment

Sweet Magic at Seagrape

Part soap purveyor, part magic supply shop, Seagrape Bath & Body has long been beloved by queers and witches looking to stock up on crystals, candles, and tarot cards. Last fall, the store opened a cozy learning center, Sweet Magic, which hosts a wide variety of classes for locals looking to dabble in herbalism, tarot, astrology, or arts and crafts.
Time: typically two to three hours for $20–45 (sliding scale)
Topics: self-care for witches, altar building, tea blending

The Elderberry School

Looking for a skill to make you valuable in a postapocalyptic Portland? This school of botanical medicine teaches students how to identify and ethically gather wild plants and fungi (wildcrafting), and how to use them to create healing salves and tinctures. If multiday foraging trips sound fun, this one’s for you.
Time: nine months (300-plus hours) for $2,900
Topics: botany, medicine making, plants as teachers

Blue Iris Mystery School

Portland’s most fabled (and mysterious) magic school boasts many of the city’s preeminent witches among its graduates. But it won’t be easy to get in: the school doesn’t have a website, preferring to operate by word of mouth and personal referrals.
Time: four years
Topics: According to alum Rhea Wolf, the school is “really focused on one’s personal connection to the divine.” Beyond that? It’s a mystery, y’all.

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