Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Smith.
Scott, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have a long history in magick, paganism, and the metaphysical community. A lot of it is solitaire, that is on my own or working with people privately. Over the years I’ve worked with, co-owned, metaphysical spaces. In Northern California, I had the great fortune of growing up in the infamous Mystic Gems (Newark, CA), and later had the joy of being asked to help create and ground the vision my friend Astrid had dreamed up, the Astral HopeChest, also in Newark.
I started in paganism and what we now more popularly call occultism during high school, amidst coming out during the health crisis of the time and a rather traumatic teenage blooming. I met one of the most respectable Reiki master teams I’ve ever met and adopted Reiki into my practice. I studied with big names, hidden teachers, met trance channelers, actual indigenous healers, plastic shamans, witches, queer angel authors…
And I still got to party like a 20-something should. By 1994, Reiki carried me even as I self-identified as Witch and explored the world through that lens. Over the years I’ve had a lot of clients, patients, and developed some amazing relationships that I sustain to this day. It makes the head spin to think I’ve had clients for more than 20 years. It’s wonderful.
I found myself through magick, and that has been in the form of learning some amazing therapies and teachers throughout my life that have helped me to integrate such things as Reiki, Meditation, and magickal skills very early on in adult development.
There were times when I needed a job as I articulated what magick was for me. I got into various administrative and management positions, some of which have been a part of shaping parts of LA. About 5 years ago I went back to school. I shifted my frame of reference and more fully embraced my holistic nature as a calling back into Magick, which is my strongest skill and where I am the most versed.
Temple Los Angeles came about as many rivers in my life converged. Healing, psychic and tarot readings, and teaching converged at a local shop. I wanted to advance through an established practice, later I joined the Temple of Witchcraft and started the long programs to become a High Priest. I am currently enrolled in the 5th year program, the Living Temple of Witchcraft.
No space I was in quite fit the format I was feeling called to create, so I started to create my own, eclectic, witchcraft and magick based, healing focused, soul-growth magickal classes intersecting contemporary interests with an emphasis on growth, transformation, and personal gnosis. And that is Temple Los Angeles.
Today we work with fair, community spaces, current businesses teaching Magick, Witchcraft, and creating spaces for divinity. I strive to create spaces that are intersectional, inter-spiritual, foster magick and spirit connections.
My personal practice combines years of energetic and manual therapies, and more occult practices such as ritual healing, life passages, finding one’s feet in the way of their life, and more. I love my work. I love to see intersect with the lives of those who show up across the table, or in circle with me, and how they transform.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ha, ha! By no means have things been easy. I think that’s part of the process. We want to see the roses but skip the thorns, manure, and labor involved in the process. We start out thinking that because we’re guided by [whatever it is we believe we are guided by] that things will just go our way.
We live in an interdependent, animated world of spirits: animal, plant, elemental, human, and beyond. We are all in the birthing heaves of transforming our very systems, tackling systemic oppression, and watching the earth go through her own change largely because of control systems that have us thinking we can burn and use, and there’s always more to get, and someone else will clean it up.
This is not easy, especially at this time. On the micro, my greatest challenge has been finding fair and equitable spaces. We are fortunate to have some in LA who offer excellent compensation to teachers and events. Not all space are the same.
Looking for a Queer-friendly, current, relevant space, that is on the level with these shifts, and doesn’t want to take 1/2 of what you earn, and isn’t an hour’s drive away, and accepting of the work of the Witch… yep, quite the challenge.
I’m happy to say that as of late this has been achieved. Those places are listed under allies, on the website.
Temple Los Angeles – what else should we know?
Witchcraft. Divinity. Education.
I am a Witch. I work with, and I’m in service to the Divine. I offer classes, ministerial services such as hospice visits, in-house healings, blessings, power objects, talismans, book-studies, meditations, readings, and rituals for life-events and passages, under the auspices that this walk we are all on is leading us all home.
That my place within this sacred walk is to make it as sweet as possible. That I am to create space to explore that sweetness, mystery, joy, and even the uncomfortable spaces as we learn, grow, and change together.
We occasionally participate in pop-ups that include apothecary items: Incense, gem and flower essences, smoke (or smudges), spirit bottles, spell work, and more.
The bulk of the work is in classes at this time with some supplies available around LA at such places as Mostly Angels, in Culver City. I plan to expand that; we have magickal members making really cool, handmade wands, candles, body butters, food items, and expanding into oracular arts.
We’re moving into an expansive place. Oh… and one more, you will usually see a little black fluffy mouthy dog in some of our spaces. That’s Beatrix Octavia Butler or “Trixie.” She’s the Temple Dog, my favorite team member, and love.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I have to articulate this in terms of what it means to be building into a magickal community in the area because that is what creates my success, return students, clients, and new folks coming in to explore.
I define success by the connections we foster in our community. By the quality of those relationships. That isn’t always easy to maintain, but over the years I have sustained some really wonderful students who have in turn helped me to learn and grow as well.
Within those connections, I look for honesty, commitment, dedication, and friendliness. The ability to engage other people rather than run rabbit, and the power to foster communication over blame, regardless of the circumstances.
I strive to model spaces that are open without bypassing, that is important to me. You get this kind of response in LA which is everything is great, and you’re doing fantastic, and “let’s do lunch” but no definitive. I like to change that. It’s to obscure.
Frankly, it drives me crazy. I think part of the success is building safe space, clear boundaries, and direct communication. Success is the community and the flow that comes from through it.
- Average single class ranges from $20-$50
- Apothecary items, when available run the range of $12-$20
- Healings, readings and consulting run in the $100-$150 ranges and I take a sliding scale for students, retired, and accept donations for hospice and healing work as well.
- Website: http://Temple-LA.com
- Phone: 213.254.5302
- Email: infowitch@Temple-LA.com
- Instagram: http://Instangram.com/Temple_LosAngeles
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TempleLosAngeles/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Temple_LA
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/temple-los-angeles-los-angeles
- Other: http://TheSacredOther.com
Sam Alexei Brosnan, Scott in Tie and shirt by Allen Mercer Photography and Scott in Forest, by Nyrie Gharibian