For the serious metaphysical practitioner, witchcraft is more a way of life than a passing seasonal fancy. But for those who might just be starting to dip a toe in the witchy waters, October offers a great opportunity to dabble in the dark arts.  

Melissa Madara, co-owner of Catland Books, is a folk witch, herbalist, and skilled scryer who performs readings aimed at finding practical solutions to life's questions
Melissa Madara, co-owner of Brooklyn's Catland Books, will serve as the resident witch for the James New York - Nomad hotel throughout the month of October. Image: Catland Books

If you’ve ever wanted to explore a mystic medium but weren’t quite sure where to begin, the Witch-in-Residence program at The James New York - NoMad might just be the answer. Throughout the month, as part of the Witching Wednesdays series, Melissa Madara, co-owner of Brooklyn metaphysical boutique Catland Books and the hotel’s resident witch will be available for private sessions, offering appointments in 15-, 30-, and 60-minute blocks from 2 to 4 p.m., beginning 2 October. 

A folk witch, herbalist, and scryer with familial roots in the world of magic, Melissa reads tarot, practices divination and apothecary sciences, and incorporates elements of Jungian dream analysis into her more in-depth readings, with the aim of untangling thorny problems and finding practical solutions to all kinds of ailments. 

Lobby of the James Hotel New York - Nomad
The hotel may not look like a den of the dark arts, but it'll be tapping into its witchy side in the build-up to Halloween. Image: The James New York - NoMad

Right before Halloween, the hotel will again partner with Catland, this time offering a Potion Making 101 class led by one of the boutique’s apothecaries. The one-off 90-minute course, scheduled for 28 October, will give aspiring Harry Potters or Hermione Grangers an introduction to the history and application of potions, and a hands-on portion will let you mix your own potion and take it home for spell-casting purposes. 

Private sessions with the witch-in-residence start from $30 (€27) for 15 minutes, and the potion-making class costs $40 (€36) per person, including one drink from the hotel’s cocktail lounge. For more information, and to purchase tickets or make an appointment, visit

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