Opening a ‘witchy shop’ in West Cork in the middle of a pandemic could have been a risky endeavour but it’s working for one creative couple.
Skibbereen’s – indeed Ireland’s – first independent pagan shop, The Woodsman’s Realm was named after the legend of Herne the Hunter, keeper of the wild woods, and it caters to pagans, Celts, Wiccans, witches, druids and Vikings.
Inside the door of the shop on Bridge Street, you will find everything from tools to set up an altar, to Viking drinking horns, medieval leather ware and shamanic journeying oils.
The shop is owned and managed by creative couple Marie Pedroz and Craig Ozric, formerly of West Cork Crafts and regulars on the arts and crafts circuit for many years now.
They both supply the shop with their own crafts. Craig creates sacred wood crafts whilst Marie’s crystal healing jewellery – which she sells under her Hummingbird Jewellery label – already has a loyal following.
How the shop came about is rather mystical too. Marie said: ‘We seeded the idea of this shop in a sacred fairy fort on Winter Solstice last year, and since then, everything has flowed to bring this shop into being.
‘Of course, we had no idea of the events that would unfold in 2020, but even if we did, we still would have gone ahead as we both felt the timing was just right for this shop to open.
‘We originally planned to open on April 8th, on an auspicious full moon, naturally! But due to the Covid-19 lockdown, we had a two-month delay, which gave us plenty of time to really prepare the shop decor and layout. In fact, it made the whole process a joy to do, and when we finally did open on the 8th June, it felt as though the shop had been here for ages.’
Marie said the shop has been a great success and well supported by the community at large. ‘I guess that people are looking for a way to feel grounded and empowered, especially at the moment with so much fear and stress prevalent.
‘We offer all sorts of products to help clear negative energy, bring peace or protection and refocus the mind, and you’d be amazed at how many people have said that they have a healer or secret witch in the family!’
Even if you don’t subscribe to all that she said everyone loves to know the old stories of the Celts, the Tuatha De Danaan or the Viking legends, or simply some balanced advice on walking the Wiccan path.