Laura Tempest Zakroff can be described by many different labels: artist, author, blogger, dancer, designer, muse, teacher, witch - to name a few. Coming from a long line of diverging cultures, she is most at ease in blending her skills and inspirations throughout all of her work.
ARTIST & DESIGNER
Laura is a professionally trained visual artist and designer, receiving her BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and having trained at Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. Her artwork has received awards and honors worldwide, and has been published in numerous books and magazines. Her work embodies myth and the esoteric through her drawings and paintings, jewelry, talismans, and other designs.
As Tempest, she has been a major pioneer of fusion bellydance for over 18 years. Her compellingly artful performances exemplify her distinctively theatrical, unique, and expressive style that are rooted in oriental dance technique with a transcendent approach. Tempest's fascination with sacred and ritual dance lead her to bellydance, and she strives to help others connect mind, body, and spirit through movement. To further education and foster community, she produced the Waking Persephone and Tapestry Dance Festivals.
A practicing Modern Traditional Witch for over 20 years, her early days were defined by being a community leader and public spokesperson for Paganism. Laura was the Associate Editor of Crescent Magazine, A Pagan Publication of Art, Philosophy, and Belief from 1998-2004, founder of the Cauldron of Annwyn Pagan Society in New England, and the youngest attendee of the Pagan Leaders Summit in Bloomington, IN in 2001. After nearly a decade-long hiatus from being publicly active, Laura began to get involved again in 2014 - and now can be found teaching, performing, and participating at numerous events and festivals all over.
AUTHOR & BLOGGER
She blogs at Patheos as A Modern Traditional Witch and at Witches & Pagans as Fine Art Witchery. She is a contributor for The Witches' Almanac (2017-2019). Her first book The Witch's Cauldron came out in May 2017 Llewellyn Worldwide, followed by Sigil Witchery (January 2018). She co-authored The Witch's Altar with Jason Mankey (November 2018), and her book on Modern Traditional Witchcraft "Weave the Liminal" is due out in early 2019.
She lives in Seattle, Washington with her partner, musician Nathaniel Johnstone – with whom they have a band (The Nathaniel Johnstone Band) and other collaborative projects. They have three cats: Eleanor, Simon, and Sam. A fourth cat is imminent.