Reuters, October 21, 2003
OSLO, Norway - A witch has won subsidies from the Norwegian state to run a business of potions, fortune-telling and magic.
Lena Skarning, 33, won the unprecedented start-up grant of $7,400 after promising not to try out harmful spells with her business, Forest Witch Magic Consulting.
Skarning, who owns a white cat and says she has been practicing witchcraft for 13 years, said the runaway success of JK Rowling's Harry Potter books about a boy wizard may have made society more tolerant of sorcery.
“But Harry Potter is a fairy tale and I'm not,'' she told Reuters. “I'm the real thing. And now I'm Norway's only state-backed witch.''
She said the government subsidy would help her tell fortunes from Tarot cards, teach magic tricks at seminars and develop products like magical bath oil, water potions or face creams meant to help users have clearer dreams at night.
“The ingredients are mostly herbs -- nothing scary,'' she said.