Supernatural student

Andrew Hamrell

PHOTO BY Rachel Bush

Andrew Hamrell’s “side job” is anything but conventional. The 27-year-old, who works by day at Bolt’s Antique Museum in Oroville, is also a self-proclaimed wizard, practicing the art of magick (yes, with a “K”) in his spare time. For the past year, he’s performed various paranormal investigations and spells for clients around Butte County, using—a forum for “witches, New Agers and pagans”—to network and offer his services. Hamrell, who uses the wizard name Naitohane, also takes classes at the Grey School of Wizardry, an online school started in 2004 and considered the world’s only registered academic establishment for wizardry. Reach Hamrell at

How did you become interested in magick and the paranormal?

As a teenager, I started branching out with different religions. I started with Buddhism first. I was spending a lot of time at the book store, and started reading New Age books and paranormal stuff.

What’s the significance of the “K” added to the magick you study?

It’s used to differentiate from stage magic, the stuff people think of traditionally. There are wizards who perform stage magic, but those are tricks. That’s not how it works in real life.

Describe the Grey School.

There are different areas of studies, like healing, using herbs, defense against the dark arts, and a few more. I’m most interested in defense against the dark arts, which is the banishing and cleansing of ghosts, poltergeists, magical pests, that kind of stuff. The headmaster … started it around the time Harry Potter was getting really huge and people had more questions and interest [in wizardry]. Of course, I read the Harry Potter books, too … but that’s not how I got into it. A lot of those kinds of books get some of those things right, but there are obviously parts that are fantastical.

Can you explain your services more?

I’ve done a couple of consultations for paranormal investigations, but I don’t charge for those. I’ve also done fortune spells. Once, I did one for a guy who’d lost his job, and wanted me to do a fortune spell to get a little cash flow while he was looking for another job. I did a basic Law of Symbolism spell, and he ended up getting a grant until he got a job. That’s a dramatic case, though … magick doesn’t solve all your problems. I use my staff, which is basically a big wand, for bigger rituals or cleansings. I don’t always have to be there in person to work with a client, but when I use the staff, I do.

Are people skeptical of your practices and beliefs?

It does come up. It’s not something everyone is going to understand. You don’t have to understand it for it to work. There’s gonna be people that want to give you crap for whatever you do, you’ve just got to roll with it.

Does anyone have the ability to practice magick?

It’s somewhat like a science, in that there are certain procedures that can prove effective for anyone if performed correctly. However, it is also like an art form, in that it is highly personalized, and often requires extensive study and practice to be truly effective. Not all people have the right mindset or the level of patience required to do this at the higher levels.