A witch walks through the lobby of a Laguna Beach hotel and no one even notices. She looks too normal. Wiccan high priestess Phyllis Curott, a sleek blond with a full set of teeth, has none of the storybook traits.
Her life story, though, is a bit off-center. Curott is a New York native, graduate of Brown University and New York University law school, civil liberties lawyer and president emeritus of the Covenant of the Goddess, an international association of practicing wiccans. That was before she switched to real estate law and added "author" to her credits. "The Book of Shadows" (Broadway Books), about her 20 years as a witch, will be in stores in October.
A nice girl from New York gets into witchcraft, you have to wonder how it happens. "It's the last thing I ever expected," Curott says. Ordinary touches, like her diamond solitaire ring and her ivory-colored nail polish, make you want to believe. "I was raised in an intellectual household. My father was a union organizer. When I asked him about the goddess, he plied me with books on Greek mythology.