Sal Santoro: Walking The Crooked Path
Sal Santoro was born in New England and began studying Occultism as a young adult. It wasn’t until his move to LA in 1985 that he took his studies to the next level seeking out various pagan groups to expand his knowledge. Since that time, Sal has become one of Hollywood’s go-to sources for all things Magick. Sal’s unique perspective and scientific help demystify this often misunderstood craft. He has shared his expertise on the Chuey Martinez Show, Coast to Coast with George Noory and countless others. Sal and his wife Popi Mavros, opened The Crooked Path, the leading occult apothecary store in Burbank aimed at destigmatizing the occult and helping people along whatever their spiritual/scientific journey. Along with Renee Watt, Sal hosts Betwixt the Shadows, a podcast showcasing his knowledge and engaging personality.
HELLO SAL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US! PLEASE, BRIEFLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHO IS SAL SANTORO IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. I grew up in New England and moved to California in the mid-80s. I’ve been a performer, musician, armed security officer, and witch throughout this time. Back in 2017, my wife and I opened up the occult shop The Crooked Path in Burbank, California.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THIS?
I was a curious teenager but given I was living in a small town in the late 70s, I had limited access to occult writings. My friend and I would read whatever we could find, but I didn’t truly get to dive in, until I moved to Los Angeles. I was fortunate to meet some great mentors where I joined two separate covens, was initiated in the Golden Dawn, learned the Voodon Systems and Witchcraft. I was a solitary witch for many years prior to the shop opening.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Well, there are two things that I enjoy doing. First, causing change to occur by utilizing herbal components, the Golden Dawn’s color scale, and the Ptolemaic system of the seven ancient planets. And second, I enjoy sharing knowledge, either by hosting classes at the shop or simply taking the time to answer questions shop guests may have.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR STORE “THE CROOKED PATH”?
The Crooked Path is a traditional witchcraft shop that welcomes everyone, regardless of their path, background or knowledge. We strive to make the space inviting and inclusive and never want anyone to feel uncomfortable. There are many people that seem timid when walking into the shop and those are the people I really want to connect with.
WHAT KIND OF CREATIVE PATTERNS, ROUTINES, OR RITUALS DO YOU HAVE?
I have daily morning and evening rituals I perform to honor Hekate, the Goddess I work with. I also perform a monthly Dark Moon dedication and offering to her, sometimes in the woods, at a crossroads and other times in my home or shop altar room.
YOU STARTED A PODCAST; PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT IT?
Yes, my cohost and I started Betwixt The Shadows as a platform to share knowledge, experience and insight on various occult topics. We are currently restructuring the show to a video-only format that will also include tutorials and demonstrations on various rituals and workings. We can’t wait to share this with our followers.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING OCCULT PRACTITIONERS?
The world of magick or studies in the occult can be very broad. The first thing I would advise is to determine what you’re actually interested in – is it Witchcraft, spell crafting, ceremonial magick, wicca? If you’re not sure, that’s ok. This is an opportunity to learn. Take your time and find out what you’re most interested in. Read, talk to like-minding people, attend events if you can, and ask questions. There is so much to learn. Something I’m still doing myself after all these years.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT YOUR READERS TO KNOW?
Never be afraid to ask questions and avoid getting your queues from social media.
WHERE CAN OUR READERS FIND YOU ONLINE?
You can visit us online at thecrookedpathshop.com or @thecrookedpath_la and @salvatore_modern_witch on Instagram, or thecrookedpathoccult on Facebook.