I have contacted the owner of this website for permission to use this picture here

I found this interesting piece of Witch History from New Orleans by Alyne A. Pustanio, original article Copyright 2010

Here is an excerpt from her article:
“Mary Oneida Toups is recognized to this day as the most powerful witch to have practiced in New Orleans in the 20th century.  She was the founder of a powerful coven – The Religious Order of Witchcraft – the first to be recognized by the State of Louisiana as an official “church,” and formed the central axis of a powerful network of practitioners dedicated to the pure, unfettered study and practice of Old Style European witchcraft that still exists in New Orleans today.”


  1. I find this article to be somewhat humorous. I’ve never heard of her at all. And the only people that are still practicing “Old Style European witchcraft” is Kenny and I. There are three other Wiccan covens (eclectic), the OTO, a temple that does new agey spiritual practices and a Druid Grove out in Baton Rouge (there is a ton of Voodoo, but of course they don’t particularly care to be associated with NeoPaganism) here in modern day New Orleans. I’m going to ask around and see what other people have to say about her. I think it’s interesting that in a city full of witchcraft and Voodoo history and lore, (and I’m currently working on becoming a New Orleans tour guide) I’ve never heard her name mentioned.

    • LOL how did i know that Lauren would respond, LOL. I have never heard of her either and am not sure even if that website is still alive but i did email the webmeister for permission to use the picture. i have no idea where i even got it from, but knew if anyone would know it would you and KK down in NO. Actually our COC practices old style European Witchcraft and have been in this country since 1967, or are you specifically talking about in NO? Now that i read it again i think that is what you mean. I do not know how old you are Lauren but this is from the 70s and is even before my time as i graduated from HS in 1971 and started into COC witchcraft in 1981. I have a student in FLA who has collected Every book on the subject since he was a teen, and still has them, so will ask him what he thinks too. I will be interested in knowing if it is what it is of whatever. BB.

      • I meant here in New Orleans…there is a comment in the article that the the only old world European witchcraft still practiced in New Orleans comes from this woman…who I’ve never heard of. As far as I know, my coven is the only coven in New Orleans that practices traditional European witchcraft. While our coven is new in New Orleans, our tradition comes from the very early 70s and Kenny has been around almost as long as you have (he was initiated in ’83), he had also never head of this woman and he has lived here on and off for nearly 20 years. The other groups here in NO are eclectic or not Wiccan/European. I am very familiar with the history of European witchcraft in general and I understand that this comes from the 70s, but I find it really interesting that no one in the community down her has spoken of this woman. I sent out a few emails to the community and we’ll see if anyone responds. It sounds from the article as if she was still practicing in the 80s and we certainly have members of the current community who were around then. (I’m not trying to be snarky, but I have seriously never heard of this woman and not only am I one of the very few actual initiates down here, I do the haunted history stuff for the city and never heard even a hint of her name before. I feel that it’s a breach of my New Orleans witchcraft history if it’s true).

    • Lauren you know NOLA has lots of hidden secrets and probably the longer you live there they will slowly manifest. I know for me living here it has taken decades for certain older witches and pagans, lineaged and not, to watch me for years then finally contact me. Of course we older witches of the old lineages are slowly dying out, and many lineages almost die out with their leaders, but many continue on under the radar, and many do not even have a computer like my powwow teacher and blessed Lady Alsace., and many go on Sabbatical like i am right now. I may even put this blog on Sabbatical until later in the winter as i have too many physical projects going on to sit in from of a pc much except to read emails in the am and maybe blog at night, and right now i have about 150 posts to read so i am getting a bit overwhelmed. Hey its 65 up here today when it has been cold as hell for weeks. Blessed Be dear.

  2. This is My AUNT, SHE Name me Mary Darleen, Our maiden name was Hodgin, Yes she was a well known Witch!She was Very BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME, W hen I was 14 she begged my Dad to let me live with her, She only had one Son Charles Berry, we called him Nudo, his Dad was Sailor, named Nudo, they never married, He later on in his early 40.s died of Cancer! My Aunt was Poison slowly not of stomach cancer!!

    • Never mind, duh, i reblogged this so many post ago i see now i have broken, now fixed links, to the website and whole story. Fascinating dear. if u ever want to contact me its and then i will give u my phone number which i do not wish to publish here. i have a deep past life connection with NOLA from when i escaped France in the mid to late 1700s during the beheadings, long story best told by phone. Blessings of the gods/goddesses/lwa.

  3. Mary Oneida Toups was a practicing Witch and founder of The Religious Order of Witchcraft, a coven that still exists. As far as the article by Alyne her information is not accurate and should be disregarded unless one just wish to hear made up stories. If you want the correct information in regards to her coven and Witchcraft The Religious Order of Witchcraft is your best source.

  4. Alyne is no ‘authority of the occult’ – I have seen more than enough chunks of untruths in her writings. Untruths about both Oneida and The Order today are not only abundant because she has been able to reach people, embellishing each time the story is told (she was not granted an interview), thanks to AHS now everyone is climbing out of the woodwork being ‘members’ that have never been in our group etc. Even some ‘Priestesses’ and the like falsely claiming to have been taught by us, shopowners and the like whom I know for a fact are telling complete lies. No one has EVER been granted an interview since Oneida has been gone, by ANYONE in The Religious Order of Witchcraft since the 80’s with the exception of a college student for a paper ( I have watched reporters be chased out of our shops). Not only that she nor this other woman claiming to know all the witches in New Orleans ..what’s her name Lauren?? Never heard of her OR seen her. I AM the High Priestess of The Religious Order of Witchcraft, we have been a legal established group here in New Orleans founded by Mary Oneida Toups on Candlemas, 1972. (this is in well documented history Lauren please consult Louisiana charters etc). We were the first legal group here in Louisiana and second in the US only to Lady Sheba’s group (about 6 month diff). The facebook page in her name is run by God knows who. If it is anyone claiming to be her descendants niece, whatever I do not care. Her children had disowned her, and that is fact. How would even her family know when they just threw her stuff in the streets like trash after she passed. Instead of bragging perhaps the people in her blood lineage may want to consider the fact that they disowned her, and didn’t even care enough to be there for her when she passed. People need to remember the good old days when research was done by documents and sources were cited etc. Anyone can spin a tale. That stuff being said, we are here in New Orleans with also a group in Ct another forming in Mt. I will list our wvox site here in case there is any confusion!! . Many blessings to you, and thank you for your time!

    Brightest Blessings,
    Lady Katina

    • Thank you for your comments on this controversy. It seems i have stirred up an old cauldron on this post. All i know about NOLA witchcraft is what i have read in books and online. All i know is about our own coven from Sybil from 1967 onwards. Blessed Be.

      • Blessed Be,
        One of Sybil’s students, came to NOLA and was in our Order. She was quite the character, a very effective witch gifted in divination, spellcraft, herblore and the like! If you know of Sybil, you know she was friendly with Anton Lavey, they’d known each other from being entertainment at parties for various celebrities, readings, etc. From time to time when he came to New Orleans, he would pop in to see her (Sybil’s once student) and Lord Russell in our covens shop. You are very welcome for the info! We have been really trying to be silent and not cause ruckus, we do not wish any drama. At the same time, letting falsehoods become more rampant with each passing day, the embellishments more and more outrageous. Just became far too disconcerting, we are doing what we can to negate these untrue embellishments some are using for profit, also honoring our tradition, Oneida, and our predecessors. Oneida does not need people tarnishing her name, Magick or lineage. Nor do liars have the right to claim lineage to something they know nothing of, much less are part of. Shame on them =(

        Lady Katina

        • The post is about Oneida, but my lineage from Sybil, and i know lots of untruths float around about Sybil and Doc Santee and about our coven and about me especially. So i am sure there are many rumor mills about Oneida. I have referred these comments on this page to my apprentice Frater Aren and he is finding the whole discussion fascinating since he knows a lot about the old schools. If u want to take this discussion further email me at and i will give u my cell number and we can talk. BB

  5. Blau are you referring to Sybil Leek or someone else? Also, thank you for welcoming mine and Lady Katina’s post. There are too many lies floating around about Oneida and her coven. We are doing our best to set straight the lies. Oneida deserves that much for everything she has done. Blessings!

  6. Thank you for allowing The Religious Order of Witchcraft to correct any misinformation about Oneida and our Order. We have been very busy and I don’t think Lady Katina has seen your response yet. I have forwarded the information to her. Thank you again and BB!

Comments are closed.