This week’s Witch of the Week is an amazing talent and someone I’ve grown to call a friend.
He is as down to Earth as they come, with a deep, primal knowledge of the Craft.
Aidan Wachter is a sorcerer with either 35 or 40 years of experience, depending on how you measure it! His background is wide-ranging, with influences from Wicca, Austin Osman Spare, chaos magic, traditional witchcraft, Huna, and many more.
He is a talismanic jeweler, a musician, and author of the book Six Ways: Approaches and Entries for Practical Magic.
For reviews of this life-changing book, check them out here.
The Talisman that transformed my life:
Aidan’s Business Facebook page:
Now onto the questions that I have been aching to ask this brilliant Sorcerer.
Q. Your first book, Six Ways: Approaches & Entries to Practical Magick, has debuted at number one on Amazon, and has remained in the top three slots since it was published. Congratulations! What is it about this book, in your opinion, that you believe resonates so deeply with people? What do you think this book has that others on the market do not? As someone who has read it, twice, I can say that for me it’s not only your practical applications, but it’s how you write about the Craft; it’s clear that it’s truly one of your passions. And, nothing makes me want to immerse myself into something more than feeling how much another loves and respects it; in this case, your book.
A. “Well now it’s been up & down quite a bit, but it stayed in the three’s for far longer than I ever expected, which was fun! I think that mainly it is really, really honest. As you know, I work with a pretty vocal set of allies, and I place the book firmly in their court. And they were very insistent that it be about what I do & why (as well as why I have come to believe it works, which is a separate why!) and called bullshit on anything that didn’t meet that criteria. So I think what a lot of people are seeing is an approach to practice/life/magic/path that is perhaps less idealized and removed than the usual. Since I am not actually trying to get anyone to practice as I do (which is likely impossible, anyway) I think it has opened the door for some people to be more comfortable with their own inclinations and ways that don’t really fit the established molds. This is at least the main points I see reflected in the emails I have received about it! If it has something that other books do not, I’d say it is that it is very, very practical while being completely non-dogmatic and still has a coherent, cohesive worldview. So it really does show both the how and the why in a way I’ve found lacking in a lot of books of magic. Also, perhaps, is that if it has an agenda (and I can assure you it does!) that is to suggest going deeper rather than wide. We really only need a few methods of working that really solidly work for each of us, and we are golden, in my opinion.”
Q. You are most well-known for your Talismans, how long have you been a Silversmith, and what made you get into it? I own one of your pieces and it’s been life-changing (see link above) and has become a part of me; I literally only take it off to shower and I wouldn’t even do that if it wasn’t enchanted and blessed with oils on a weekly basis. For me, I treat my pendant very much like a living Magickal tool, is that how you intended them to be? Why is it important for your pieces to be created in a ritualistic setting, like you do in your shop?
A. “I learned silversmithing from Mark Defrates, who was a fantastic jeweler, brilliant magical mind, and a wonderful friend who passed about two years ago. I just loved it from the get-go, and have only made a very few non-magical pieces in my life. To me, making them the ‘hard’ (read also ‘really slow, super fun way’!) way lets me really infuse them with the energies that this kind of tool calls for. I absolutely think of them as living things, and I often refer to them as creatures! They need feeding, attention, and mostly they wish to be used, to really be what they were intended to be, and in my experience, desire to be. The shop itself is highly awake, aware and active. I do probably 90% of all of my magic in the 7×9 foot space where I build the pieces, so it’s an all-in deal. The magical nature of the space, of the ongoing offering & asking practices, and the work to bring in what each piece needs all combine in the work I do. No part is separate.”
Q. As a lifelong Practitioner, what is some advice you wish you were given when you first started out? What is some advice you would give to someone just starting out?
A. “Oh, damn. For me starting out: Ignore those who demand complexity. Do what makes sense to you, how it makes sense to you. Understand that sorcery & magic are at the root of what makes us human. They are completely natural, if not currently normal. The magical worldview is not weird or odd except in comparison to the complete and utter clusterfuck that is the modern Western wasteland (it really doesn’t deserve the word ‘culture). So if it’s seen as weird, then that’s a blessing, a Great Good Thing, and should be always remembered and cherished as such. For the newcomer? All of the above same, plus: find one or two solid ways to do the things you need to do and hone your skill with them to a razor’s edge. This will take time, and how long it takes is in inverse proportion to how many directions or tools you choose to add to the kit. So pick one, or a few, tools and methods and go deep. Deep is where the power lies, in what you can actually do, not what you know on an intellectual level or how big your library is. Remember to use a material base for work you wish to have manifest in the physical!”
Q. I enjoy how your Craft is bare bones. And, what I mean by that is, your Craft is just that: yours. It’s very much what you have created it to be, and what works best for you; I have witnessed you create powerful grids of earth and bone to cast; negating all the frills and hoopla a lot of Witches and Occultists in this Instagram age put out there. Do you think at its core Magick is really simple in a sorta paradoxically complicated way? That all we truly need are our intentions, and what’s on hand?
A. “For me, magic (and I’m largely interested in hands-on practical magic) is pretty simple (which gets the standard caveat ‘which does not mean easy’), in that it is basic, primal, foundational. And like most practices, getting really good at almost anything is getting really savagely good at the basics! I’ve always had a lot of spirit-contacts, and for me, that is the root. So if I tend to that (the relationships with the Others, spirits, and allies), almost everything else is a given. Is what I am doing is appropriate & suitable to my allies? If so, then all is well. If it’s not, bringing a lot of irrelevant logic, theory and artifice won’t make it so. I personally, being a spirit-worker, don’t think our intentions are always enough, though they can be in some cases. And they absolutely have to be in order to do good, consistent work.”
Q. As society divides more and more, and people seem to be pulling away from organized religion we are seeing a rise in numbers of Earth-based, and Pagan belief systems, why do you think that is? Is it simply people being tired of indoctrination and wanting to get back to their roots, or is it more complex than that?
A. “I do think it is about getting back to the roots. We are seeing now how the modern world is breaking down our physical bodies with the rise of auto-immune diseases and their ilk, and I see the same types of breakdowns in the social structures we inhabit. All of what we think of as organized religion is an event of the VERY recent past if we take the long view of human history, which I do. Those religious structures are also breaking down or asking for increasingly unreasonable demands of people. Materialism is not a very fulfilling alternative to those kinds of religious structures for a lot of people. I believe people are looking backward, and asking ‘what was life/spirit/culture/magic like before it/we all got fed into the wood-chipper of industrial and post-industrial materialism? Is there something in there that can help to make this place more bearable, that can maybe serve as a thread to guide us to something better than what we have been sold as possible?’. In this way, I see magic, paganism, herbalism, permaculture, animism, et al as a continuum of ways & means to create a more meaningful life and hopefully, stave off (and possibly heal) some of the destruction that is happening on all levels, from disease to species extinction to fascism. To me, it’s about looking fully beyond the control games of those who seem quite happy to burn this whole place down to line their pockets and choosing instead a radically different path, one that suggests that it is possible to live lives of connection and meaning beyond the ability to earn a buck or climb the social ladder.”
Aidan has fed and fueled my Muse more times than I can count; whether through his view of the Craft, ritual tips, his genuine kindness or simply sharing photos of his farm and the amazing animals and creatures (of all varieties) that share his space, he motivates me to be a better Practitioner, but also a better human.
For these reasons, and so many more he has been chosen as The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.