Old Town Newhall has been home to an old spirituality practice for three years now, which manifests itself in The Olde World Emporium – witchcraft.
The Olde World Emporium was opened in July 2019 by co-founders Dylan Bauer and Cyndi Kuka. Bauer and Kuka saw that Santa Clarita was missing a store like this and interested customers would have to drive all the way down to the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles to get items for their practice. They wanted to open their shop in a place that would be most convenient for customers.
“We were met with a lot of skepticism and we were met with a lot of stigma from others when we told people we were moving here,” said Bauer. “They said that the area was not the best place to have a witchcraft shop. We have not experienced that. We’ve only been met with kindness and people that are open.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, The Olde World Emporium did not move to an online selling platform like many other businesses did. They took that time to renovate their space and create an environment that encapsulates the “witchy” spirit.
Their space features a large fireplace, an Egyptian sarcophagus, a community ancestry altar and overall dim environment to transport their customers into a place where they can practice witchcraft.
“Our finance manager thought we were insane,” said Bauer. “They were like, ‘How did you do this?”
The Olde World Emporium sells items including crystals, tarot decks, candles, ethically sourced bones and herbs from across the world. Some of their items are handmade as well, such as their candles, oils and sprays, with their recipes coming from Bauer or ancient spells.
They also offer a variety of classes that teach the practice of witchcraft, tarot reading, potion making and more.
Rather than just creating a space to sell items, Bauer and Kuka wanted to create safe space for the community to come and practice their craft.
“While I love that we sell items, it’s more of the experience,” said Bauer.
Bauer grew up in West Hollywood with a lot of superstitions. He found himself constantly in occult and metaphysical shops with his mom. When he was 13, he was given his first tarot deck and his life has since been changed.
Bauer continuously practiced his craft before moving on to pursuing a formal education. He studied in Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans. Today, Bauer has the title of professional witch and continues to offer his services for tarot readings, bone throwing, palmistry, tea leaf readings and past life readings.
With a career being a professional witch, Bauer has encountered many witchcraft shops and practicing witches who present very little information on the craft. Instead of gatekeeping his knowledge, he decided to share what he knows with as many people as are interested.
“We really wanted to educate people,” said Bauer. “I don’t think that we should gatekeep or dictate who can or cannot be a witch. That’s one thing I wanted to show through the classes, that anyone can be a witch.”
Class sizes range from 13 to 30 people.
“One thing that a mentor taught me that I would say, ‘witchcraft is which craft,’” said Bauer. “It’s manifesting and using tools to accomplish what you want.”
Bauer and Kauk’s store stands as a way to honor the history of witchcraft and continue it on to the present day.
“Witchcraft has always been a service historically,” said Bauer. “You would go to, if you were in a village, the shaman or you would go to the spiritual practitioner at the time. Back then it was trade, so you would trade like a goat or chickens for a love potion, and I think that was something I wanted to honor. I want to honor the history of witchcraft.”
The Olde World Emporium is located at 23127 Lyons Ave. They recently have purchased the space next to them and in the upcoming months will be expanding their store to have more space to host events, psychic readings and spiritual cleansings.