For most of us noobs who don’t know much of our city’s history, there was a large Occult movement that burst onto the scene during the late ’70s and ’80s. Stories of that movement led Phillip English to our lovely Bushwick and where he is today.
English and Joe Petersen opened Catland bookstore last February to accommodate the revival of the Occult scene that’s happening in Bushwick. “There’s a very young scene burgeoning in this neighborhood, which is one of the reasons we’re here,” English said.
Organizations like the Moon Church and Kings County Coven are sprouting up all over the neighborhood, and what better way to bring everyone together than a bookstore with an event space?
Catland specializes in the Occult and other religious practices; from beginners to seasoned believers, there’s something for everyone at this shop. Other than books, the shop carries incense, herbs, candles and whatever else anyone would need to communicate with spirits.
“We’re here to cater specifically to the Brooklyn occult community,” English said. “And a lot of places don’t have an event space.”
The shop hosts pagan groups as well as events during the week and on weekends. Performance art, poetry readings and art shows are reserved for weekends, while lectures and other religious groups can gather during the week.
“Feast of Fools” is a social held regularly at the shop. Stuart Sudekum, a historian of the Rosicrucian Order, and Stefano Black (a chaos magician) give monthly lectures on a different theme every two weeks.
Past events have included a book signing by author and occultist James Wasserman, and a new lecture series discussing the witches in Macbeth given by Zan Fraser, an eclectic witch and author.
There are lots of exciting things planned in the future for the shop. English wants to up the ante with more events like Goth night – a night dedicated to open mic, performances and dancing, all in the goth theme and movie night on Fridays. There’s also a shrine in the works and clothing being added as a selling item.
Catland Books is more than a bookstore, it’s a gathering place and social hub for the occult energy thriving in Bushwick today. The shop, that’s dedicated to the goddess Bastet and named after a Current 93 song, has found a well received home on Flushing Avenue.