WITCH OF THE WEEK: Womb Tree Alchemy

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Logo by Witchcraft Branding

This week’s Witch of the Week is a brand that has become a movement and a Woman on a mission.

Lauren Roberts is a student of Lunar Alchemy, a crystal witch, and a warrior for empowerment of the Divine Feminine in her many forms.

Born under the New Moon, with the Sun in Aquarius, Lauren is dedicated to bringing change to a world that is READY for a new paradigm. She works with women to help them align with the Cycles of the Moon and the power within their natural feminine rhythm.

Recently her work has shifted to focus primarily on dealing with the Witch Wound, and she has begun to focus her energy on helping women heal from lifetimes of systematic oppression, persecution and torture.

Today Lauren is working with women, both 1:1 and in groups, from all over the world. Through her soul-aligned business, Womb Tree Alchemy, she offers individual and group coaching sessions and courses to empower women to reclaim their truth, show up authentically, and make BIG MAGIC in the world.

You can connect with her Facebook Group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/wombtreealchemysisterhood/

Lauren is currently available for 1:1 coaching and will be opening registration for the 3rd round of the Moon Cycle Mastery Course in late August. If you are looking to dive deep with the phases of the Moon and the Feminine Archetypes reach out to Lauren and to be notified when registration for the MCMC is open.

Her Site: https://www.wombtreealchemy.com/

You can also find her writing (alongside myself) over at The House of Twigs.

Lauren’s Course ‘Waking the Feminine with Cyclic Alchemy’ will be launching on The House of Twigs: School of Ritual soon, so be sure to keep an eye out!

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Photography by Ashley Morris

Q. You are an advocate for Sisterhood, Womb and Moon Magick. What called you to this path? Has the issues Women face always been a passion of yours, or was there a specific moment where you said, “this is what I need to do”? Why do you think Womb and Moon Magick are important areas for Witches to focus on? 

A. “A deep connection to my feminine lineage and powerful Sisterhood of women is what lead me to my craft. I didn’t know I was a witch, until I was dancing with Sisters in a circle, celebrating the magic of our blood and the sanctity of our Sisterhood. In that circle, we called for rain to quell the fires burning in the next Valley over. We called in the energy of the New Moon, we summoned the goddess, and just like that, the skies opened the rain began to fall.

“And suddenly I remembered lifetimes of making magic.

“Magic lives within our blood and bones. When we gather in Sisterhood and activate through the connection between our Wombs, the Magic is undeniable.”

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Photography by Ashley Morris

Q. As a fellow Feminist, and a Woman who works closely with other Women, what are some tips that you would give to gain access to our Womb Wisdom? For those of us, like myself who had a hysterectomy, or our Transgender Sisters who biologically don’t have a Womb, what are your tips to connect with that space? How do we gain wisdom and power from our pussy when *so many* spiritual teachers only teach about the power of blood, in-tact Women, and/or disregard Trans Women as Women? Where do the rest of us fall in?

A. “I am so grateful that you asked this question. Our Womb’s are energetic portals, and a connection to the Feminine gives you access to this space. Even my cis male fiancé can tap into the energetics of the Womb if he is willing to do the work.

“I don’t believe that being born with a uterus, or possessing one, is a prerequisite for having a potent connection to the magic energy and creative force that is the Womb. Although the physical organ can make it easier to anchor into that energy, it’s not required.

“My biggest piece of advice for ANYONE looking to connect with the cyclic power and nature of the Womb, is to tap into the Moon and her powerful rhythm, she will guide you home to your own unique cycles.”

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Photography by Ashley Morris

Q. You have recently started a journey with Cacao, what it is about this amazing Earth medicine drew you to its Magick? What are the benefits, both health and spiritual of Cacao, and Cacao ceremonies?

A. “I have been working with Cacao off and on for about 4 years now, but in the last 12 months I have taken my relationship with this sacred plant ally to a new level of dedication. On the surface it felt like I was drawn to this medicine because of my love for chocolate, but now I see that I was drawn to chocolate because of my LOVE for this Medicine.

“Plants have long been friends of mine, and Cacao’s subtle psychedelic effects open me up in ways that other plants have not been able to.

“Physically, Cacao is a vasodilator, it increases blood flow in the entire body, and it is PACKED with micronutrients and antioxidants. Ceremonial Grade Cacao is prepared with very specific intention, and I believe that it is important to source your Cacao from places that are considering the lands and the people who produce this crop, that’s all a part of the magic that come with her.

“Spiritually, Cacao is a Heart Opener. And for Witches, and other people who have experienced deep oppression, Cacao can soften and open the heart to allow the individual’s Soul Purpose to come through. I’ve seen it happen with so many people.

“Purpose becomes primary. I have watched Cacao empower an individual to leave their soul-sucking day job for a life that serves them after ONE CEREMONY.”

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Photography by Ashley Morris

Q. Living in these uncertain, toxic, overtly Patriarchal times there has been a rise of Earth based and Pagan belief systems; there has also been a re-wilding of sorts that has swept across our community. Do you think in a sense Witches and Women are being called to arms because the Divine Feminine has been silenced for so long?

A. “YES! Witches from across time are gathering here in this moment on earth, act as midwives as the Feminine wakes Up. Collectively, we are moving out of the Dark Moon phase of the Feminine, and the CALL to show up comes from the part within each of us that is waking up with her.”

Q. What is one piece of Magickal advice you were given that you will never forget?”

A. “Wise woman, Author, and Inspiring Witch Danielle Dulsky said to me at a workshop here in Eugene that “the most potent and powerful rituals will be written in my own hand.” And that was the medicine that my Witches Soul had been yearning for. It gave me permission to be my own version of my Witchy self.”

Q. What is one piece of advice that you wish you knew when you started that you would like to pass on to other Witches (no matter their skill level)?

A. “My bit of advice is that the antidote to the Witch Wound (the fear of showing up in our fullness and the fear of speaking our truth) is a CLEAR awareness of our Soul’s Purpose. If we can see with CLARITY what we are on this earth to do, if we are connected to the very mission that our Soul incarnated to complete, then fear becomes just an emotion, not a roadblock. Show up Magical! That’s why you are here!”

Social Media Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wombtree.alchemy/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wombtreealchemy/

Lauren is a fierce Advocate for her work, and healing the collective and individual Witch Wound. She is an embodiment of the Goddess, and represents and includes all aspects of the Divine Feminine in her teachings.

For these reasons and so many more, Wombtree Alchemy has been selected as this week’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Lauren.

WITCH OF THE WEEK: The House of Twigs

 

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This week’s Witch of the Week is a friend, Sister Witch, personal inspiration, and my Boss over at THoT.

Erika Fortner, founder and Head Mistress of The House of Twigs, has been a Tarot reader, Witch, medium and Psychic for 23+ years. She is also the Head Mistress and Curator of THoT: The School of Ritual.

She is an Artist with a BFA from Pratt Institute and has an extensive fine Art background in NYC with one of the top Artists in the world working with museums such as the MOMA and Guggenheim as well as living in Berlin, Germany and Venice, Italy.

She is the owner and main Creator of Keven Craft Rituals lifestyle products including the only maker of their handmade skincare products, organic goods, metaphysical, and home & hearth items.

She is an eclectic energy worker (Reiki master as well as other healing modalities) Shamanic/folklore Witch; specializing in her own style of in-depth Tarot reading, crystal work, and channeling.

She favors the Morrighan, Isis, Hecate, Freya, and Cernnunos. Erika’s inspiration of ritual comes from many areas, including her family lineage which connects to the first Kings of Ireland, Queen Maeb, the King of the Picts, as well as connections with the Welsh Lewellyn family, the Scottish McLaughlins, De Forsythe and McCloud clans.

She has worked for the Psychic Friends network while in Brooklyn before deciding the ethos of the company didn’t align with her practice.

She now has her roots planted in Oregon with her partner and daughter.

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Q. You have created a Sacred space known as The House of Twigs; a family of Witches that I am honored and blessed to be a part of. Where did the idea for the brand come from? What made you want to create a space where Witches of all different paths could voice their opinions and experiences? And, where did the name come from? I, of course, love the play on words with the slang word Thot and how you took the power back; was that intentional?

A. “To be honest, I have been a member of Witchvox since 1995 when I started my path. I was pretty computer savvy and found an online community very quickly. It looks almost exactly the same as it did then! It has a ton of information on there, but it is still almost impossible for my brain to navigate. My life and business partner Tad grew up in the mid-west and had very little exposure on where to find information. It led him to attempt working with some pretty advanced and non-recommended books of spells and concepts. Since we both come from a visual background, it made sense to create something visually appealing and content curated; the visual aspect was based on our original idea from a few years before. We did not have the time or the funds to get it off the ground. We wanted to create something that looked more like Vogue for the witchy community, but with more real content; something that had great imagery and great content that was both inspiring and relative to its readers.

“The name was a collaboration between Tad and I. He has been working with the Film and TV world as well as branding since before I met him. He wanted to create something timeless, that expressed the collection of a community but under a “house”, sort of like the Harry Potter world we all love but know isn’t the way this witch world works.

“As for the acronym, THoT, it was something that we saw was a possible issue, but not  deterrent. I have always been someone who challenges the mainstream and simultaneously doesn’t follow pop-culture so when I saw the connection with the slang word Thot, I laughed. I laughed hysterically. How ‘simpatico’ as they say.

“A shunned community of predominately women who are both desired and marginalized. Why not take the word back we thought? The word will die-out but this community would not. Occasionally I get messaged about the connection acting like I must not know what it means. But yes, I get it and I don’t care.

“The logo was also inspired and designed by Tad Ericson. It contains a pentacle that forms a house but also contains hidden sigils that make sense for this type of community. He did a great job making a timeless logo and brand of the company and what it represented. It is a collection of individuals that make up a greater community. We have recently made this something that could be monetized through the school but the main concept was never about money as much as it was providing a single place to find people and information. From there each individual has a link to their site so if you resonate with one writer, you know exactly where to find them and get more info.

“The school aspect of the community in the early stages was a concept we didn’t know how to do. We wanted to create a space where people already had this amazing content and we could help connect those people with that content. With the addition of the school we have taken on the tech and financial burden of hosting a complex online school integration where some of the best teachers and writers could share their content.

“This allows the piece for each contributor to be much more accommodating because the structure and e-commerce on every site would be very expensive and spread out onto many sites. It is a much more in-depth process to become an instructor and means a ton more work (as you know with your newest Luciferian Course that is soon to launch).

“What it does is allow us to have an eclectic selection of witchy courses and content that can be accessed no matter what timezone or location you are in. You can take 5 courses on 5 different subjects and allow yourself the ability to learn from all paths and all types of teachers.”

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Q. You are a bad ass Tarot reader and teacher, how long have you worked with the cards? What is it about Tarot that you like the most? What do you dislike the most? Since you know the cards so well, what is one misconception that you wish you could erase? What is your favorite card of the deck? What is your least favorite? And, finally, what is your view on reversed cards? I have one deck where I include reversed cards (that deck is associated with a particular Spirit) but my other decks I operate without reversed cards.

A.”I have been a tarot reader since I started in 1995 which is crazy because that seems like a lifetime. I have only in the last few years decided to start teaching tarot. Part of this was because of the unique reading style I have developed but also the fear and “wives tales” associated with tarot. I believe it really does a disservice to both the reader and the person being read.

“I’m an artist at heart with my Venus in Pisces. I love history and mythology and it is what really drew me into the beginnings of the pagan world. I see them as allegorical representations which are similar to mythological stories. They give us the lesson and the underlying archetype of a person or experience. I dislike the entire fear and control over tarot.

“As a teacher, it is insane the amount of rules and expectations people come in with about tarot: ”Your deck has to be given to you. They have to be wrapped in silk, or placed face down so they don’t absorb negative energy. That have to be cleansed with oils…or moonlight…or smudge. Don’t let other people touch your cards.”

“If I could erase one misconception is would be that the Rider-Waite is the only deck to learn from, or somehow the best style of deck (NOPE, its old white dude energy and there are a ton of other cards with deeper meanings that will suit you better!).

“In fact, some of my favorite decks are based on the Rider-Waite, but they never use their original interpretations or direct symbology.

“There is also tons of information out there on this style of deck which is why I am skeptical as to why most instructors require this as the deck to learn from. Many books are written on the subject as well as used in the learning of tarot, so much of this information feels re-hashed and “low-level” if you know what I mean.

“My favorite card of the deck is the Moon. It is the perfect example of why I dislike the original Rider-Waite interpretations. They define it as female hysteria with an unbalanced, pendulum swing of emotions. It is the shadow but perhaps linked with the subconscious. Instead, I find it to be a card for the Witch; The feelers; The knowers. It represents the magical world of energy we can connect with but can also consume us if we don’t search for our balance.

“My least favorite card is the Emperor in reverse. It represents all things that are toxic masculinity. As an Aries/Pisces cusp I resonate with intense energy and fire. In fact, the Emperor card aligns directly with Aries which is perhaps why I have an adverse reaction/feeling to the reverse of it so much. Maybe it’s because when I see it in readings it is often paired with abusive, or manipulative relationships where the other partner is in a toxic situation. This male/female energy is not about gender, but masculine and feminine energy… so yes it is possible for a female identified individual to get the Emperor in reverse to represent them. I don’t like it very much in the upright version either. I mean, I guess he is okay; I just prefer all of the other cards. Usually people hate things like the Tower, or Death. These are painful but transformative cards so I just can’t hate on them.

“I love reversals! I could teach a whole course on reversals. Imagine you have 72 cards in the deck. Adding reversals gives you 144 options of the cards. You can get one card in reverse that means the same as a card upright, but there is a ton more information there. If it is in a suit, it can tell you on what plane this lies in. (Ex. with the Swords suit it would represent an internal battle of the mind.) I have a few decks I don’t read reversals with including my Lenormand, and a few oracle decks. However, I read with 6 or more decks at once, making the decks I use have a very specific purpose and why I choose to use them. Each one has a voice. I like to think of them like our friends who give us advice. Some of them help us to remember to take care of ourselves, some are more pragmatic, and some are more sweet and sensitive even when delivering difficult information. I know all of my decks very well so I look for these nuances in the personalities of the cards and the stories that help shape the details in the readings.

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Q. You own a brick and mortar and online Shop called Keven Craft Rituals, have you noticed running a Witchy business is a little more challenging than the average business? Not that running a business at all is easy, but do you think as a Woman (even with your partner) and Witch that you hit more obstacles? What have been some of the obstacles you have faced, and how did you overcome them?

A. “Running a business is challenging. Running a Witchy business, I would consider to be unique and complex but not necessarily more challenging than any other business… Just different. The challenges are less in the 3-D world of what is trending or having to make packaging decisions.

“We still have that happening, but instead it is mixed with a very diverse community of belief systems, and many unbalanced people looking for balance. We also get to hang out with and meet some amazing people. The types of questions people have when they come in you can imagine…

“Usually it starts off with “This might sound crazy but ___ is happening to me”.

“My response is usually “Nope, I have heard crazier.”

“Having a business in Eugene was interesting as well because it has a 20 year Witch war history, an open-minded, but in reality a closed-minded community, as well as 8 secret societies (not which all seem to agree with each other). We have just recently closed our location in Eugene and are currently transitioning to Portland to open our new brick and mortar. This has been really challenging.

“As a normal business we qualify for all of the financials and show a huge growth in the industry with 21+ wholesalers across the US that carry our own brand of skincare and metaphysical goods. However, when we show potential lease locations our website and they seem to find out what type of company we are; the conversation goes silent. We have missed a few amazing locations as if the challenge itself is selling the concept of this business to people in the general population. I guess that does make it more challenging.

“As a woman owned business with my own super pace and intensity, yes, I feel like that is intimidating to many out there. People are always looking for Mr. Fortner, or trying to man-splain things to me. There is also this “mean girls club” thing that happens in the small world of witchy stores and makers. I overcome this the same way I do everything: analyze the shit out of it, and charge full-steam ahead, doing it better and with better ethics than some.

“As a metaphysical business it really matters where you source your items and how energetically you treat and sell those goods. I really avoid imports as building your company on the back of people who are not making a descent wage comes at an energetic cost. I choose quality over quantity and I allow myself to keep that vision.”

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Q. As the world is spinning more and more out of control (whether that is the reality or not, it seems that it’s shoved in our faces at all times) we are seeing people turning away from religion and running towards Earth based, and Pagan beliefs; why do you think that is? What do you think it is about Magick, and the Craft that draws people in? What drew you in, initially?

A. “We have all heard of the call of the Goddess, or the age of Aquarius? I see this being as both an energetic and social shift in the balance of energies. The masculine has been weighted to one side for so long I think we are seeing people whom are unsatisfied and looking for more.

“Paganism has always been accepting of the minority and marginalized (or at least it is supposed to) and it is a place that accepts both the strange and the “straight-laced”.

“People are not satisfied with the mainstream religion they grew up with and are searching for answers. They want to know why they feel and perhaps see or even hear something on the back of their mind. Why they are pulled in one direction when there is no explanation for it?

“Living in fear can be exhausting and one of the issues with mainstream religion is the control and dumbing down of the masses. Magick and the Occult are alluring because we have a romanticism about the idea. It allows us to have fantasy and a beauty in our belief system whilst also being a functional practice. Magick is really all about the energy that is put in by the individual so there is no one to blame and you must do your own work to get there.

“I’m not quite sold on the insta-priestess movement that is happening but we all have to start somewhere, right?. We all must walk through the fire and face our own shadow.

“I got into this path because I grew up in a very haunted house in an Evangelical family. I was a very sensitive and a psychic kid. The things I was seeing and feeling were from such a different vibe from what I was surrounded with. Some of the nastiest people I have met were from these Evangelical churches and they were the same people telling me my gifts were evil because they could not explain them.

“As a creative, and especially an Aries, I was meant to create my own path. As a Pisces I need something inspiring and positive to follow; something that is painful from the depth of myself and the karmatic process of moving through it. I needed a place to learn about my own energy and paganism was a start of that exploration. I started with what I was fascinated and drawn to. I followed Isis from the start. I resonated with her and then began exploring Celtic witchcraft. I realized quickly that anything Wiccan or too ridged wasn’t my style. I dislike following rules and rituals based on someone else’s ideas. If I feel no connection with it then it is a meaningless act for me.

“I also needed something that explained my pain and sadness; I’m not saying my life was the worst, but I have trauma and I needed a place I could use that to transform that pain.

“Magick was all of that.

“It was taking something like abuse and not allowing it to be what defines me because I changed it into something else. I used it to empower myself and transform myself into something energetically different. I guess that is the same concept of what The House of Twigs is to me. It is a place for people to empower themselves and level-up, so to speak.”

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Q. As a Witchy Mom, do you incorporate your Craft into Motherhood? Do you plan on raising your little one as a Witchling, or do you just go with the flow? Does she show interest? If so, how do you handle that?

A. “Anyone who knows my daughter can immediately see and feel that she is special. She is an 11 in numerology, and resonates at such a different frequency than most children. I try and allow her to choose her toys, not pushing her gender on her. She can play with most of the tarot cards and crystals (minus the super expensive ones) and is very good at reading people with them. She will pass out cards to people or find special little stones in the store that speak to people. She has no judgments and so it is very natural, like a game to her.

“It’s funny to see how people respond and just allow her to do things, hopefully without destroying the store in the process. Many times people would come in and she had dumped out all of my cards onto the floor. All 20+ decks.

“Freya just turned two in July and is a Cancer/Leo cusp. She has attended red tent events, our broom rituals we host, many of the classes I teach or visiting lectures from people that come and teach or speak at our store. Her favorite person is by far our young, Witchy, Trans friend whom has been helping to lead our Queer Craft Circle.

“She intuitively uses a stick as a wand and we talk with her about all the interesting books on the shelves, she gets to meet all the interesting people that come-in and participates as much as she can without distracting others.”

Q. What is one piece of Witchy advice that you were given that you will never forget?

A. “I was at a lower point in my life and was seeing a Shaman/Therapist. She was really adverse to me calling myself a Witch and did not understand really what that entailed.

“She was mostly “love and light” but had studied with some really interesting people and her sessions were very much on point with pushing old energies out.

“She had said to me “The real sin is fear, shame, and guilt. It removes your power and it is how you control someone not empower them”.

“This is my go-to motto for all of the little Witchlings I meet. It gives permission to not be controlled by the past, your own feelings, and allows you to take responsibility for the energy and feelings you decide to hold.

“As a Witch, this is one of the greatest things you can do. It susses out the negative things that can get in the way of your path. It can build your confidence which is essential to really practice the Craft.

“I prefer to be a confident Witch over being a superstitious one, any day.”

Q. What is one piece of advice you wish you were given before you started your path that you would give to someone else (no matter the skill level)?

A. “I would have liked to been told that it’s okay to make mistakes and not like something you do. You can pick and choose what you like and not what you are told to like.

“Just because you read it in a book doesn’t mean it resonates with you.

“Maybe you need to dabble in something that teaches you that you want nothing to do with it. I mean, don’t we do this in life anyways? We learn what we want and definitely what we don’t want.

“I wish I would have been told that this process IS the path. We spend so much time trying to get to where we want to be not realizing we are already there.

“Part of the process is realizing this so we can move forward in the right way. It can be painful and messy but it can also be magical and beautiful. Some of this is perspective and your choice on how to proceed. Magick is what you decide to make it to be.”

Erika is a fierce advocate for the Witch community, and ALL marginalized people; she is a warrior Soul fulfilling her life mission one twig at a time. She pushes me to be better, to do better, and there’s nothing more special than that.

For these reasons and so many more she is The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Erika.

LESSONS FROM THE STARS: A Survival Guide to Eclipse Season

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“Astrology is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.”

C.G. Jung

I don’t know about any of you, but for myself this Eclipse season has been BRUTAL.

If I am being completely honest, Cancer season was particularly rocky this year, too.

So, it’s been a solid 2 months of just balls to the wall MADNESS.

I for one am over it.

The Universe, however, has other plans.

We are at the mercy of the cosmos right now.

And, don’t hit me with “We create our own reality” because I follow that Philosophy, but currently there is no creating my reality; it’s being written before my eyes as the planets and stars seemingly collide.

Let’s not forget that Saturn, Pluto, Neptune, Mars and Mercury are ALL Retrograde.

Only adding more chaos to our inner and outer world’s.

Saturn: Defining your boundaries and work ethic

Pluto: Spending time with your darkness

Neptune: Waking up and facing reality

Mars: Learning how to fight for your desires

Mercury: Communication breakdown, anger and anxiety

Plus, we’re in the middle of Leo Season, and the Lion’s Gate officially opens today.

The final (partial) Solar Eclipse during a Super New Moon in the sign of Leo coming up on the 11th is going to ease things a bit, but if the card I pulled this morning regarding the Eclipse is an indicator of things to come, we are in for a harsh awakening:

The Tower.

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For many people the Tower is one of the most feared cards in Tarot, and in some cases that fear is warranted.

Who likes change?

Not me.

I hate quick, forced, harsh change; all change is hard, but I am talking about the kind where it’s just a shock to the system, you have no fucking clue it’s coming until it’s already happened.

This can be good or bad, as with all things, but the Tower *always* represents change, breaking of old patterns, and sudden realization, among other things.

Read more about the Tower, here.

So, are you freaking out yet?

Don’t fret.

Here are some tips on how I survive crazy cosmic events like what we’ve been experiencing.

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STAY GROUNDED: This is important always, but during Eclipse season when change is dancing all around us, it’s paramount to be grounded and present. It’s easy to let our minds drift off and become distracted but we must stay grounded in our current reality because we are still in rough waters with fire energy closing in around us. To read more about my tips for grounding, click here.

PROTECT THYSELF: Protecting ourselves is an essential self-care practice, especially for Witches. I don’t know about you, but for myself, fucked up people have been seeking me out, and clinging to me like the psychic vampires they are. Then, there are other people who are so blind with jealousy and ego that they make their attempts to attack blatantly obvious. It’s a Spiritual war out here. We must take appropriate measures; draw boundaries, cut out toxic people and situations from our lives, no matter how bad it hurts. Take Spiritual baths or showers at least once a week, but as often as you can is fine. Cleanse your phone, and most used items (purse, jacket, bag, shoes, jewelry, etc) with sage, palo santo or other consecration herb of choice. Make sure to re-ward yourself and your home, too. These Retrogrades are bringing out the worst in some people and they seek out our light to distinguish it; don’t let them. To read more about my protection tips, click here.

STAY HYDRATED: During this massive heatwave it’s super important to stay hydrated, during cosmic events it’s even more important. Water is a carrier; it holds vibrations. Plus, it’s essential for our bodies to function properly; it helps our organs function, rids the body of toxins, and keeps our skin looking young, and glowing (among a million other benefits). Carrying water with you and speaking a short incantation (even silently) before taking a sip can help calm you, it can cleanse your energy field of negative energy; think of it like an internal Spiritual bath. Add crystals (usually quartz crystals are safest) and fruits, or herbs to give yourself added Magick on the go.

LISTEN TO MUSIC: I am a lover of music, always have been. Do you know what loves music more than I do? OUR CHAKRAS. Music is a form of sound therapy, especially if we have an emotional connection to the songs we are listening to. The music does not have to be Spiritual in nature, it can be whatever gets you feeling good, whatever gets you moving. Music by itself will help clear and re-balance our Chakras, but when we add movement, we re-connect to ourselves, and etheric body.

EAT FEEL GOOD FOOD: What we put into our bodies to fuel us is super important, especially as Magickal practitioners. During Eclipse season you want to eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and high vibe, colorful foods; make sure to add spices and herbs where you can, and always look for ways to cut out foods containing excessive amounts of sugar. Nurture your body with foods that make YOU feel your best, and work at your best level. This is not a time to be hitting up the McD’s drive-thru; comfort your body with nutrients as you would comfort your Soul with meditation.

GET OUT IN NATURE: This is easier said than done right now, particularly because the heat index is crazy across more than half of the country. Even if you just go sit out in your garden for a few minutes in the early morning, and evening when the heat isn’t quite as intense. Or, go for a walk to the park, take a walk around your neighborhood/apartment complex. Find a way in your urban jungle. Then, find a spot where you can take your shoes off and get on the grass; this is two-fold, it grounds you and re-connects you to Mother. Nature is the best Spiritual cleanser in existence.

I know that nothing mentioned here is particularly special but, they are important reminders during a time when our minds seem to be scattered in a million pieces.

The lessons we are being forced to endure, and the changes we are being forced to accept are opening doors to huge opportunities, and new beginnings.

Embrace what’s to come.

Remember, destruction is a form of creation.

We got this.

You got this.

You are not alone.

LESSONS IN MAGICK: How We Block, Curse, and Jinx Ourselves

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“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are a one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.”

Victoria Moran

This blog is long overdue, and I have talked about the topic a few times here and there throughout the years, but I have never sat down to write a piece solely on what it means to block ourselves.

We can also curse and jinx ourselves.

“No, we can’t. That’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!”

I hear you saying it right now.

Hello, denial.

As you can imagine I get an array of messages and engage with all kinds of comments; I see a lot.

What I see the most of, especially lately, is people saying they hear nothing from the other side; they are saddened that their Spirits are silent, or that they disappear when needed most.

So, clearly this is a complex issue (ie. Our Spirits being silent) and too many variables come into play to write here in the blog.

AND

Our Spirits (Ancestors and deities alike) DO TEST US and yes, the lessons often are hard.

*HARD*

I have personally had certain Spirits go quiet, or step back to teach me something.

BUT

If *ALL* my Spirits went silent, if I could suddenly no longer even feel the other side, my Witchy senses would tell me something else is going on; something more than a lesson.

People will point fingers everywhere, everywhere and not for a second stop to think, “Did I cause this?”

Previously, I have talked about needing to Feed Our Spirits but this, this is something else entirely.

We are powerful beings; Witches are benders of reality.

Why do so many fellow Witches and Magickal folk think they can’t bend their own reality?

I mean, they believe in manifestation, right?

Bringing in the positive shit, right?

*looks at the good vibes only crew*

So, then why do they deny being able to bring in the negative shit?

Like attracts like.

We attract what and who we are and, what and who is needed in that moment.

Think about it.

You can curse someone else, you can curse yourself.

You can heal someone else, you can heal yourself.

You know that saying, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”?

Well, your vibe also attracts your life.

Here are some common ways we block ourselves and don’t even know it.

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NEGATIVE SELF TALK: This is something that every single person struggles with, and anyone who says they don’t are lying to you.

Negative Self-talk can be simple, like when you make a mistake and immediately say, “Oh, I should have caught that. How stupid of me.” Or, “I am so stupid for missing that. Sorry.”

This immediately becomes our reality.

We become victims.

We become prey.

We define ourselves as stupid, so “stupid” things will continue to happen.

How we talk to ourselves, and about ourselves are some of the most important words we speak.

We must be aware of what we are speaking into existence, and when we catch ourselves talking negatively ABOUT ourselves, we must ask, “Where is this coming from? What is the root?”

And, rip that shit out.

The world is quick to cast people out who show strength and are different.

Witches, Mystics, misfits in general exude strength by daring to be different; even if being different isn’t by choice.

Love your weirdness because the world will not.

Remember, negative Self-talk is casting spells on ourselves.

Be mindful of the words you speak.

Areas affected: Throat, Heart, Crown and Solar Plexus Chakras. These blockages can cause problems communicating, loving, connecting and doing (actions). Crystals to help: Lapis Lazuli (any blue stone), Rose Quartz, Unakite Jasper, Prehnite, Emerald, Herkimer Diamond, Clear Quartz, Optical Calcite, Citrine, Orange Calcite, and Peach Aventurine.

Follow through

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FAILING TO FOLLOW THROUGH: This is a lesson when I bring up to other people they are mind blown.

Okay, so, backstory, I can be a bit a people pleaser; I have struggled with it my whole life.

I am either “fuck off, get out of my face, get out of my space” or I am “yes, yes, yes, yes” to please everyone around me, only to leave myself depleted.

As with everything, I am one extreme or the other.

I have learned through experience, when I couldn’t follow through with something my Will, Magickally speaking, seemed to weaken.

If I said I would do something, even the tiniest thing like going to the store, or cleaning my room and Altars and didn’t follow through I noticed a tangible dip in the strength of my Will.

I didn’t understand that I was breaking vows.

When we say we are going to do something we are creating a contract of sorts, a vow.

And, when we don’t follow through with that vow, it ripples back.

This is not some threefold, karmic Law, it’s simple consequence of action.

We must be impeccable with our word (one of The Four Agreements).

And, yes, that means following through when we say we are going to do something.

Areas Affected: Root, Heart, Throat, Third Eye Chakras. This causes problems with feeling grounded/safe/secure, loving, communicating and living our truth, and intuition. Crystals to help: Garnet, Red Calcite, Mahogany Obsidian, Black Tourmaline, Moldavite, Green Aventurine, Angelite, Blue Calcite, Aqua Obsidian, Amethyst, Rainbow Moonstone, and Phantom Quartz.

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COMPARING YOURSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE: I think we are all guilty of this to one degree or another, and often it’s done on a subconscious level.

In Western culture particularly, from childhood we are forced to compare and/or compete with our peers.

In many ways this is healthy because the world is indeed a competitive place, but it can also be negative and have adverse, long lasting affects not known or shown until adulthood.

The majority neglects to see that each one of us are on our own journey, no matter how many similarities we may have with another person, we’re all different.

We’re all creating and forging our own path.

Our experiences, outcomes, journeys, will all be different; our methods, and techniques will be different as well.

This does not mean one is better than the other.

I see a lot of comparing and competing in the Magickal world, and often the comparing turns into an ego driven Witch War.

And, what for?

Because someone has better tools? Because they experienced a Spirit differently? Because their Altar looks better? Because they have a “cooler aesthetic”?

Because they didn’t have the same experience as yourself?

These questions are based on actual conflicts I have seen.

We can do better, we are better.

Stop comparing and competing; we are all subjectively experiencing our own reality, and you should compete with no one except yourself.

Areas Affected: All Chakras. This causes problems is every area of your life. Crystals to help: Jet, Labradorite, Selenite, Pink Tourmaline, Kambaba Jasper, Lepidolite, Herkimer Diamond, Black Moonstone, Garden Quartz, Hematite, Opal, Fire Agate, Blue Apatite, and Pietersite.

In a world of Spiritual gurus, and self-proclaimed teachers, nobody wants to talk about the negative aspects of spirituality and how that negativity affects us as Practitioners, and in our everyday lives.

Everything we do is Magick; it’s so very, very true.

That sentiment must be understood when dealing with ourselves, our needs, our desires, our dreams and our boundaries.

We create our reality.

So, when shit hits the fan, we really have no one to blame but ourselves.

WITCH OF THE WEEK: S. Connolly

S. Connolly

 

This week’s Witch of the Week is a Woman by many names whom inspires our community with her otherworldly words, and teachings.

“Four Pen Names, Four Elements”

S. Connolly, or as I have come to know her, Stephanie, is a writer with many published works under her belt. She has been a leading female voice in the LHP and Occult communities for decades; in my eyes she is very much a Divine Feminist.

Ms. Connolly has been practicing Daemonic Magick since 1984 and has been an initiated Daemonolatress since 1990 giving her over 34 years of experience working with the Daemonic.  She has written over 35 titles about Daemonolatry and Daemonic magick. Among them the bestselling Complete Book of Demonolatry.

Her work has appeared in: Qliphoth Journal, Sabbatica, and Anthology of Sorcery: Books 1, 2, and 3, alongside some of the most revered occultists of the 21st Century.  She currently serves as an acquisitions editor at DB Publishing.

Outside the Daemonic and Magickal side of things, Ms. Connolly is a bestselling novelist who writes fantastic, supernatural, and erotic fiction under three additional pen names (Anne O’Connell, Audrey Brice, and S. J. Reisner). She graduated from MSUD in 1995 with a B.A. in English. She and her husband live along the front range of the Rocky Mountains with their three feline companions.

Links to her books and social media can be found on her personal website.

Personal Website: www.sjreisner.com

More about Daemonolatry: www.demonolatry.org

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The Egyptian Glpyh for Heka (Magic)

Q. I was introduced to your work initially through your book ‘The Complete Book of Demonolatry’ and I hated it. Not that the content wasn’t good, or valuable, it was! It is! I think my main issue was the use of the word worship; I generally skim books in an odd manner as opposed to reading them front to back immediately, so maybe that was my mistake. Growing up Roman Catholic worship was a sign of weakness, of being less than our Gods. Have you seen this distaste, or even misunderstanding of the word? Is this something you think people struggle with when entering the world of Demonolatry?

To put things into perspective for the readers I want to use a quote from the book that finally made everything click for me; once I read this, I devoured the book several times over. 

“Self-knowledge, Self-responsibility, and Self- Worship are all parts of Demonolatry as is the quest for knowledge and the practice of Demon worship. We do not grovel before the Demons as unworthy beings that depend on their aide to do anything. They do not control us. We control ourselves. We work with the Demons and honor them to discover our true potential as imperfect, yet divine beings bound by a physical plane of existence. By honoring and worshiping them we are honoring and worshiping ourselves because they are a part of us as we are a part of them. All things are divine. We don’t spend our time trying to look into the eyes of our gods. Instead, we work toward looking through the eyes of our Gods. Basically, we are all the physical manifestation of the divine.”

A. “Most people come from a Judeo-Christian background, and from that worldview – humans are subservient to their Gods. Because people often come to Daemonolatry with that mindset about what worship is – yes – many do have an issue with the word worship. In reality, the word worship means to hold something in high regard, or to have great respect for it. Once people realize this and realize the Daemonic prefer capable students to sedentary grovelers, they get over it. Of course, there are still a fair share of self-styled Daemonolaters out there who do like to grovel before the Daemonic, though that’s not what I teach.”

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Q. In recent years, especially the last two, there has been an increased interest in not only Earth Based and Pagan belief’s but working with infernal energy. We have seen a rise in numbers of the Luciferian, Satanist, Demonolatry, and Nihilist communities. Among them, it seems that there are key demonic (Daemonic) players in the game. Belial, for example, has been around a lot more recently; I have noticed people who wouldn’t usually connect with demonic energy working with Him and others. Why do you think that is? Do you think the current state of the world (widespread political and social unrest) is fueling these Spirits to make an appearance, make themselves known, as an attempt to help us understand ourselves better?

A. “I think that with popularity comes trends. Just like fashion and music. If one of the cool kids in everyone’s favorite online occult group starts chatting about one Daemon, everyone wants to check that Daemon out, so they can come back the next day and chat about it around the virtual water-cooler. None of these Daemons are new, and I knew people who were working with Belial long before it was cool. So, I believe humans create their own trends. You’ll also notice Sorath and Paimon have also had recent bouts of popularity. You’ll notice the trends ebb and flow if you just sit back and watch. Clauneck was popular there for awhile.  Belphegor and Leviathan, too. A lot of the time you’ll find popular occult personalities or writers are responsible for these trends because they’re writing about the particular Daemon in question. Next thing you know – everyone is working with that Daemon and conversing with them.

“I think the popularity of the Daemonic/Infernal is due to the fact that more than ever, people are disenfranchised by their birth religion and/or Judeo-Christian dogma, so they’re searching for something that doesn’t tell them they’re inherently flawed and unworthy. Many pagan religions, LHP and “darker” forms of magick celebrate what it is to be human – flaws and all, while also saying that each person is divine. We are perfect in our “perceived” imperfections. Not to mention LHP religions tell people they are powerful and can make their own choices – create their own lives. Whereas with Christianity, for example, there’s a “let Jesus take the wheel” mentality that leaves people feeling helpless and powerless. People like being given the tools to take their power back (and that’s a lot of what magick is in a nutshell).   Also, our deities and god forms, or divine intelligences, aren’t petty and jealous, nor do they threaten to destroy us and send us to a place called “hell” for disobedience.  Infernal, to me, simply means an energy (Daemon) is closer to the earth sphere (physical plane).”

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Lilith Qlpiha Sigil: The Woman of the Night by Daemon Barzai, DeviantArt

Q. You are an extremely well-known and respected figure in the Occult and LHP communities, in the beginning did you find it difficult being a Woman? Is it still at times? For me, when I first started out (and I am nowhere near your level) it was a boy’s club, so to speak, and it took a lot of proving myself, for lack of a better term, to be accepted. Why do you think it’s important for Women, particularly, to have a voice in the LHP community? Obviously, it’s important for us to have a voice everywhere, but I think regarding areas of the Occult and Magick that are not all love and light our presence is powerful, and necessary.

A. “Sadly, I have faced some sexism along the way, some of it ongoing. In recent years, now that I’m a woman of a certain age, I have been berated for my looks by young men in the community who judge a woman’s worth based on whether or not her looks give him a hard-on. As if women magicians exist only as masturbation fodder.

“I know several men who have written modifications for Goetic work, or work that sends traditional ceremonial magick on its head who have not been as vocally criticized as I have for ideas that are no stranger or any more unconventional.  Basically – they write a modification guide, they get a pass. I write one, the villagers want to burn me at the stake.  Complete double standard there.

“I have also found that a lot of people think I’m an easy target. I actually have several male assistants now, who help deal with my email and social media, and believe it or not, that has reduced the number of death threats (from other occultists), and the drama people try to drag me into. But it’s sad that I have to have a male barrier to fend off those types of attacks even now in 2018.  While the occulture is rife with people who mind everyone else’s business instead of their own, I do sometimes feel singled out for being a woman who works with the Daemonic. When I initially released Daemonolatry Goetia years back, a rather prominent pagan, woman writer contacted me just to tell me how unusual it was for a woman to write about Goetia. I don’t think she meant anything bad by it, I just think she was surprised and wanted to share her surprise with me.

“The fact of the matter is that there are thousands of women who work with Daemons and infernal powers.  We are not nearly the minority some people may think. It’s important we have a voice in the community because we have a lot of experience and knowledge to offer. Sadly, in a lot of occult circles, female participation is marginalized, and we’re relegated to assisting roles, treated as sex objects or symbols of fertility, or we’re “used” as mediums. As if we’re merely magickal tools that exist for the benefit of our male counterparts during their sex magick rituals or what have you. Instead of being relegated, we should be celebrated for being the powerful magicians we are – on the same footing with male magicians.

“Women are more powerful than we’re given credit for (or that we even give ourselves credit for), and we should be valued beyond our physical appearance, wombs, and vaginas. I think women on this path should focus on lifting each other up, not tearing each other down (which I see far too often). We tear each other down when we’re insecure about ourselves. But if we lifted each other up, a lot more women would feel secure, and imagine how empowering that would be.  A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Q. What is one piece of advice that you were given that you will never forget?

“From one of my magickal mentors the best advice I ever received was, “If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to manifest it.”

Q. Finally, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in Demonolatry?

A. “Be patient, study, practice, and be present with the Daemonic Divine.  Listen. Spiritual gnosis, self-growth, and magickal competence takes time and effort. There are no quick fixes, magick pills, or shortcuts.”

Stephanie is a force within the Occult and Magickal communities; her words are her weapons, and her balm. She encourages us to see ourselves through the eyes of our gods, and nothing is more profound to me than that.

She defies the status quo one pen stroke at a time.

It’s for these reasons and so many more that she is The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Stephanie.

WITCH OF THE WEEK: Aidan Wachter

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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

Aidan’s Blog:

http://www.aidanwachter.com/new-blog/

Aidan’s Talismans:

http://www.aidanwachter.com/product/

The Talisman that transformed my life:

http://www.aidanwachter.com/product/descent

Aidan’s Business Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/tveirhrafnar/

Aidan’s Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/aidan.wachter/ 

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.

Congratulations, Aidan.

LUCIFER: The Many Faced God

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Image: Mezamero, DeviantArt

“Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”

Saul D. Alinsky

This is an extremely important blog because so many folks demonize this figure I have come to respect. The irony is, people generally have never really attempted to look outside what they were told in the Bible, or other religious texts.

They drank the kool aid without question.

Blind faith is dangerous.

Since I seem to be the target lately for those wishing to challenge, question or ridicule me, I am going to talk about the deity whose name my Philosophy bears, but I also want to dissect different texts.

I hope that you take the time to read this, and it grants some enlightenment.

First thing first, I don’t believe in the Devil, I believe in a collective energy that is Satan and think of it as title not an actual being.

The name Satan comes from the Hebrew word HaSatan, which appears in the books Zecaria and Job.

The name Satan is only mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) twice.

Satan appears as a central character in the Holy Bible, and Jewish Mysticism such as Kabballah, and the Talmud (academic and scholarly notes on the Torah that form Jewish Law).

I have found that there is some degree of truth in all belief systems, and I have always thought that if you were to take pieces from each, and put them together into one story, that is where you will find the truth of all truths.

Let’s side track for two seconds.

Have you ever thought about that?

What if the actual story, the real names, and the truth were scattered piece by intricate piece into different fables, fairy tales, and religious text?

Is it so farfetched to ask this question?

I don’t think so.

I believe that Lucifer is three things: an Archetype, an actual deity, and the most brilliant metaphor.

The Archetype is that of rebellion, free thinking, enlightenment, knowledge, shadow self, non-conformity, illumination. If we follow (not worship) His path we find freedom, peace, and become one with our true selves; thus the individual is born.

The metaphor is the tale of how God’s most perfect and most favored Angel fell from grace, and was damned to Hell.

I think the moral of the story is He chose to fall from grace in order to help humanity.

Being raised Roman Catholic for some of my childhood, I admired Him; I thought, “wow, He was damned but managed to create His own Kingdom without God. Without fear.”

Jewish mythology states that He is the morning star, bringer of light; the Greeks refer to him in a similar story with the Grigori but using the names Samyaza, Azazel (Azayzel) and/or Samael as the leader of the rebellion.

In any regard, He is a bringer of light (knowledge).

Associations/correspondences can be drawn to the story of Prometheus, as well. Or, the Roman Goddess Venus.

The stories of Lucifer are many and each intricate like a web.

It’s through these stories that Lucifer became synonymous with being “the Adversary”.

The Adversary, like Satan, is a collection of energy not one deity or Spirit, in my opinion.

Judeo-Christian mythology is full of brilliant metaphors; all religions are.

So, besides being trolled today in the comment section due to my recently published WITCH Article, this blog was inspired by a comment left on my ‘The Way of the Daemon’ blog  (yes, from a few years ago).

Here is the comment:

“Lucifer isn’t a demon nor a fallen angel. He’s the Latin version of the Greek god pantheon, named Phospherous (modern english spelling). St Jerome stuck the Latin “Lucifer” into hebrew scripture in the Vulgate via translatIng from the Greek LXX, i.e. the Alexandrian Septuagent. In their ignorance, Christians distort Isa 14:12, the only verse with “lucifer” in it in the entire Judeo-Christian bible. The “bearer of light” is not the “prince of darkness”, nor dark in any manner. While Satan is a title rather than a name, the name of Shaitan (Islam) was Iblis, and said to have been Azayzel before that. Likewise, it’s thought by some that, in Judeo-christianity, Azayzel or Samael was the name of Satan before he aquired that (in my opinion, ‘honorific’) title. In any event, the name of a Judeo-Christian angel before falling from grace would necessarily be something ending in -el, meaning a servant of the semetic head god. Names of angels include Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Samael, Azayzel, etc. “Lucifer” simply does not fit the “-el” pattern.

Hail Satan.”

This is partially true, for me.

I do not believe Lucifer to be a Daemon, or an Angel but a God.

He is the Father of Man.

He is Phosphoros.

Lucifer is only mentioned in one verse in the Bible (yes, that is correct) and in that ONE verse He was referred to as son of the morning, or the morning star.

But, many scholars believe when taken in context this refers to a Babylonian King:

‘How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!’

Isaiah 14:12

The name Lucifer does not appear again in the bible, but the term morning star and other references do appear throughout the Old Testament:

‘O that I could be as I was in the months now gone, in the days when God watched over me, when he caused his lamp TO SHINE upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness.’

Job 29:2-3

‘Its snorting THROWS OUT FLASHES of light; its eyes are like the red glow of dawn.’

Job 41:18

‘So we labored in the work, with half holding spears, from the rising of THE MORNING till the stars appeared.’

Nehemiah 4:21

Here is an excerpt from another writer, I will link at the bottom:

“The Hebrew phrase in Isaiah 14:12 means the shining/brightness born of the morning/dawn. What is that shining brightness? It could be the rays of the sun but it could also be the day star or morning star, Venus, which is how some translations render it. Notice that there is nothing like the word Lucifer in Hebrew. In the Greek translation known as the Septuagint, heilel is rendered eosphorus. So even in the Greek, there’s nothing like the word.”

“How then did Lucifer get into the Bible? The word is actually Latin. It comes from the words lux (light/fire) and ferre (to bear/to bring) and when put together means bearer of light or bringer of fire. Lucifer is also one of the Latin names for the morning star, Venus. As it turns out, so is the Greek word Eosphorus.”

‘At length as the Morning Star (Eosphorus) was beginning to herald the light which saffron-mantled Dawn was soon to suffuse over the sea, the flames fell and the fire began to die.’

Homer, The Iliad, Book 23

‘And after these Erigenia bare the star Eosphorus, and the gleaming stars with which heaven is crowned.’

Hesiod, Theogony

“When Jerome translated the biblical manuscripts in his Latin Vulgate, he believed the shining born of the dawn in Isaiah spoke of the morning star and so replaced the Hebrew and Greek meaning with the Latin name of the planet. If we were to do the same with our modern day translations, we would write how you have fallen from heaven, O Venus, son of the morning. Jerome actually used the word lucifer in several places in his translation. The following are a few examples of its occurrence as taken from the Clementine Vulgate. Lucifer appears in parentheses.”

Et quasi meridianus fulgor consurget tibi ad vesperam; et cum te consumptum putaveris, orieris ut (lucifer).

Job 11:17

Quomodo cecidisti de cælo, (Lucifer), qui mane oriebaris ? corruisti in terram, qui vulnerabas gentes?

Isaiah 14:12

Et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem : cui benefacitis attendentes quasi lucernæ lucenti in caliginoso donec dies elucescat, et (lucifer) oriatur in cordibus vestries

2 Peter 1:19

“Notice that Lucifer is used in 2 Peter 1:19 in Jerome’s Vulgate just as it is used in Isaiah 14:12 to replace the Hebrew heilel.” Here is the English:

Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

2 Peter 1:19

“The morning star rising in the hearts of Yahweh’s people is a direct reference to Numbers 24:172 and describes the coming of Christ. The Greek word for morning star in 2 Peter 1:19 is eosphoros. If you recall, this is the same word used by the writers of the Septuagint to translate heilel in Isaiah 14:12 and is the name of the planet Venus in Greek. If Lucifer is a correct rendering in Isaiah 14:12, then it is correct in 2 Peter 1:19 also (just as Jerome translates it). And so we have the first place where scripture calls Yeshua Lucifer. But that is not the only place.”

And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 2:26a, 28b

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!

Revelation 22:16

“A word for the morning star in Latin, as we have seen, is Lucifer. So according to Yeshua’s own words, not only will those who follow him receive Lucifer, but Lucifer is a name for Yeshua himself. There is even more reason to believe that Lucifer is an appropriate translation in Revelation 22:16 because the Greek in that verse is orthrinos aster, which is a Greek epithet for Venus.”

“So in conclusion, Lucifer is another name for Venus, Eosphorus, and Heilel. It describes the second planet, the morning star. While Yeshua is metaphorically likened to it in 2 Peter and Revelation, King Nebuchadnezzar receives this honor in Isaiah 14. Unfortunately, Satan is never given such distinction.”

Interesting, right? There’s more, here is another perspective and translation breakdown:

“One of the most slanderous, ignorant, and utterly false accusations that has been repeatedly directed at H.P. Blavatsky and against Theosophists in general over the years is the claim that Theosophy is a form of Satanism and that Madame Blavatsky was a devil worshipper.”

“Those accusations and condemnations originate primarily from the realm of Christianity and from those of its adherents who believe in a personal anthropomorphic God and a personal anthropomorphic devil, the supposed enemy of that God.”

“Considering the fact that Lucifer and Satan have come to be viewed as synonymous terms and names for the same entity, it is not too hard to see why our Christian friends have jumped to such a conclusion, seeing as the Theosophical magazine started in England in the late 1880s by HPB was titled “Lucifer” and that in her masterpiece work “The Secret Doctrine” she speaks of Lucifer in positive and glowing terms.”

Blavatsky breaks down the Lucifer metaphor brilliantly (duh), so I am going to quote her, but first I am going to drop in some fun facts about Lucifer and the origins of the name:

“The word “Lucifer” occurs only once in the entire Bible. This is in Isaiah 14:12, which says: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Those who read this verse in its actual context will clearly see that the sentence is applied specifically to a certain Babylonian king who was an enemy in war of the Israelites. The original Hebrew text uses the word הֵילֵל which literally means “bright star” or “shining one,” a term applied sarcastically or mockingly by the Israelites to this particular enemy of theirs. The translators of the King James Version of the Bible – one of the chief of whom was the well-known Rosicrucian initiate Dr. Robert Fludd, a fact which will no doubt shock and horrify many Christians – chose to translate this word with the Latin word “Lucifer.”

In this translation, and from this Author’s point of view they believe that the term “bright star” or the reference of the morning star is a negative term, and used as a sign of disrespect. This proves there is no right or wrong in anything, merely opinion, and perspective.

“Lucifer literally means Lightbringer, Lightbearer, Bringer of Dawn, Shining One, or Morning Star. The word has no other meaning. Historically and astronomically, the term “Morning Star” has always been applied to the planet Venus.”

“Since the only occurrence of the word “Lucifer” in the Bible is that one verse in Isaiah, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible which says that Lucifer is Satan or the devil. It was Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD) who was the first person to apply that passage of scripture to Satan and thus to equate Lucifer with Satan. But even then this notion didn’t catch on in a big way until the much more recent popularization of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” in which Lucifer is used as another name for Satan, the evil adversary of God. Also, such luminaries of the Christian world as Martin Luther and John Calvin considered it “a gross error” to apply Isaiah 14:12 to the devil, “for the context plainly shows these statements must be understood in reference to the king of the Babylonians.”

“Thus the Christians who claim that Lucifer is the devil actually have no Biblical basis or authority for such a belief. Though they may claim to be “Bible believing Christians” whose faith is built solely on “the Word of God” they are actually followers – in this and many other respects – of Christian religious tradition and not of the Christian Bible. Or have they quietly conferred divine infallibility upon the Pope and Milton without informing the rest of the world?”

Blavatsky’s Lucifer metaphor:

“Esoteric philosophy admits neither good nor evil per se, as existing independently in nature. The cause for both is found, as regards the Kosmos [Cosmos], in the necessity of contraries or contrasts, and with respect to man, in his human nature, his ignorance and passions. There is no devil or the utterly depraved, as there are no Angels absolutely perfect, though there may be spirits of Light and of Darkness; thus LUCIFER – the spirit of Intellectual Enlightenment and Freedom of Thought – is metaphorically the guiding beacon, which helps man to find his way through the rocks and sandbanks of Life, for Lucifer is the LOGOS in his highest, and the “Adversary” in his lowest aspect – both of which are reflected in our Ego.” (Vol. 2, p. 162)

“In antiquity and reality, Lucifer, or Luciferus, is the name of the angelic Entity presiding over the light of truth as over the light of the day. In the great Valentinian gospel Pistis Sophia it is taught that of the three Powers emanating from the Holy names of the Three Tριδυνάμεις, that of Sophia (the Holy Ghost according to these Gnostics – the most cultured of all) resides in the planet Venus or Lucifer.” (Vol. 2, p. 512)

“It is but natural – even from the dead letter standpoint – to view Satan, the Serpent of Genesis, as the real creator and benefactor, the Father of Spiritual mankind. For it is he who was the “Harbinger of Light,” bright radiant Lucifer, who opened the eyes of the automaton created by Jehovah, as alleged; and he who was the first to whisper: “in the day ye eat thereof ye shall be as Elohim, knowing good and evil” – can only be regarded in the light of a Savior. An “adversary” to Jehovah the “personating spirit,” he still remains in esoteric truth the ever-loving “Messenger” (the angel), the Seraphim and Cherubim who both knew well, and loved still more, and who conferred on us spiritual, instead of physical immortality – the latter a kind of static immortality that would have transformed man into an undying “Wandering Jew”.” (Vol. 2, p. 243)

“The Fall was the result of man’s knowledge, for his “eyes were opened.” Indeed, he was taught Wisdom and the hidden knowledge by the “Fallen Angel,” for the latter had become from that day his Manas, Mind and Self-consciousness. In each of us that golden thread of continuous life – periodically broken into active and passive cycles of sensuous existence on Earth, and super-sensuous in Devachan – is from the beginning of our appearance upon this earth. It is the Sutratma, the luminous thread of immortal impersonal monadship, on which our earthly lives or evanescent Egos are strung as so many beads – according to the beautiful expression of Vedantic philosophy.”

“And now it stands proven that Satan, or the Red Fiery Dragon, the “Lord of Phosphorus” (brimstone was a theological improvement), and Lucifer, or “Light-Bearer,” is in us: it is our Mind – our tempter and Redeemer, our intelligent liberator and Savior from pure animalism. Without this principle – the emanation of the very essence of the pure divine principle Mahat (Intelligence), which radiates direct from the Divine mind – we would be surely no better than animals.” (Vol. 2, p. 513)

May the Black Flame illuminate your path.

Sources:

http://www.echoofeden.com/bias/lucifer/

http://blavatskytheosophy.com/lucifer-the-lightbringer/

WITCH OF THE WEEK: Joey Morris

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Today’s pick for Witch of the Week is a friend and colleague. She is Owner and Creatrix of Starry Eyed Supplies, as well as a fellow writer for The House of Twigs alongside myself, as well as Carolyn Elliotts’s WITCH.

Joey Morris is a UK based Celtic Witch, Creatrix, Spiritual Youtuber and blogger, daughter of The Morrigan. She works very closely with tree magick and spends much of her time communing and foraging within the spiritual ecosystem.

This connection allows her to practice voice witchery and conduit for the Otherworld.

She has just recently self-published her first book, Songs of Shades-Channeling the Dark Goddess.

“Wild. Ancient. Carefree. Who were we as witches before we learnt what the world told us to be?”
Joey Morris

As Joey says, “To become a tempered blade of The Morrigan, one must be baptized in blood and fire. These struggles within my lifetime have led me to become a voice for the voiceless, to reach out to the broken, and to poke the shadows in others so that they might begin to heal.”

“Such a path is dangerous. But so are we. This is the birth of a wild witch who sees with their ‘Other eyes’ and treads the path of edges, sharp and unusual, but filled with adventure, magick of the liminal and the in-between spaces.”
Joey Morris

She continues, “Within the spiritual landscape my soul mission is to deepen the understanding of our interconnectedness by both honoring the sacred and exploring the masks of the self through channeling relationships to the Divine through written work, poetry, videos, products and services.”

For exclusive content, check out her Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/starryeyedlillady

Business Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/StarryEyedSupplies

While I had a moment of her time, I wanted to ask Joey some questions so we can all get to know her better.

Q. You have this amazingly rare ability to transform your past, pain, trauma and insecurities into beautiful prose and poetry that inspires others. It isn’t easy to sit in the dark and dissect yourself, and why you are the way you are. I think I see it so clearly in you because it’s how I create, too. What’s some advice you could give to people struggling with those aspects of themselves? Struggling to face those aspects? Something maybe you wished you had known beforehand?

A. I honestly think the first step is forgiveness of self. The world, and we, ourselves, often blame ourselves for our experiences, and as such we are ashamed of them. The world encourages this dialogue as well, with victim-blaming and shaming being all too prevalent in our world. The first step in alchemizing difficulty for myself was the rejection of these so-called values; we instead start a path of reclaiming ourselves; firstly as the survivor, and we can take pride in the accomplishment of surviving our hardships, our pain. We can rally others in this warrior stance by beating our chests and letting our war cries sound forth; they did not beat us. We are still here. We remain.

“This is only the first step though, as we cannot define ourselves as survivors forever, eventually we must become more than that; more ourselves, celebrating ourselves for the rich, authentic and unique little weirdos that we are.

“As for wishing I knew something beforehand, I am not sure I would wish to. The journey is just that; a collection of experiences that shape us as we grow. Foreknowledge wouldn’t be beneficial in that process to me.”

Q. You have strong ties to the Celtic Pantheon and even stronger connections to the Morrigan Herself. She, like other Dark Goddesses, seems to be “popular” during these times of turmoil, change and uncertainty. What is it about the Morrigan and other Goddesses like Her do you think is resonating with people the most? What is it about Her that resonates with you the most, if not too personal to ask?

A. “For myself, the Morrigan was always there, and was the Mother archetype that I wished I had growing up. Some people hiss at calling the Morrigan a ‘mother’ because of outmoded stereotypes of what a mother should be. But for me she was unyielding, resilient, inspiring… I never felt that She did not care, but She was certainly not nurturing in the conventional sense. Instead She saw the raw truth of people, spoke to that in them, rallied them from despondency or apathy.

“I am not certain if Dark Goddesses are more popular than they have ever been or simply more visible. There has certainly been a growing dialogue publicly about the Morrigan and other Dark Goddesses, for better or worse. When I started discussing the Goddess on Morrigan it was -to my knowledge – myself and Laura Daligan who spoke on these experiences, and that has grown tenfold since.

“Before recently I wondered if it was that times were worse now than they had been; history has had some much more violent moments on grander scales than even we have currently, but sadly it feels as though we are now heading into a recycling of some of the worst parts of that history with current politics.

“Although whether these Goddesses are more prominent because we feel war is coming and so we turn to them, or they came forth as these energies arose and we notice them more, is anyone’s guess. I would suggest both are likely.”

Q. And, finally, easy question with a not so easy answer: what’s one piece of Witchy advice you would give to someone just starting out that you wish you had been told?

“Not everyone will like you, or have your best interests at heart, so go into this path with hope and enthusiasm but your eyes open too. Be yourself.”

Joey’s ability to turn pain into lessons, and bring her demons to light is a gift many people don’t have; her ability to turn Ancient knowledge and apply it to our modern day is just as rare.

It’s for these reasons, and so many more that she has been chosen as The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Joey.

WITCH OF THE WEEK: Laura Tempest Zakroff

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This week’s Witch of the Week is a friend, colleague, Artist (of many mediums) and fierce Witch. I have been a fan of hers for quite some time, so to be able to pick her brain and present this interview to my readership is surreal.

Laura Tempest Zakroff is a professional artist, author, dancer, designer, teacher, and Witch. She holds a BFA from RISD (The Rhode Island School of Design) and her artwork has received awards and honors worldwide. Her work embodies myth and the esoteric through her drawings and paintings, jewelry, talismans, and other designs. She blogs for Patheos as A Modern Traditional Witch, Witches & Pagans as Fine Art Witchery, and contributes to The Witches’ Almanac, Ltd.

She has two books published by Llewellyn WorldwideThe Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Ritual Vessels and Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols with two more on the way – The Witch’s Altar (co-authored with Jason Mankey – November 2018) and Weave The Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft (January 2019).

You can catch her writing along side me on The House of Twigs as well.

Laura resides in Seattle, Washington, with her partner Nathaniel Johnstone and at least three cats.

Find out more at www.lauratempestzakroff.com

Q. You have this amazing ability to approach some of the most serious aspects of the Craft with humor and sarcasm, while remaining respectful. Why do you think it’s important for us as Witches and people to laugh at ourselves sometimes? I have seen people argue it takes away from the sanctity of the Craft, but I disagree and think it adds realness.

A. “There’s two ways of looking at this approach.  First, I believe there’s a big difference between taking the Craft seriously, and taking ourselves too seriously. Far too often, people over-focus on “what will other people think of us” versus being true to ourselves and our path. You can spend countless hours trying to make sure the exterior view is “just right” or you can get actual work done. People will believe what they want regardless of what you think you’re presenting or telling them. It’s just not real or effective to invest that much energy into a veneer, when your actions and who you really are will speak much deeper. Secondly, people are more apt to learn and absorb new material when play is involved. Play, humor, sarcasm – it can simultaneously stimulate the brain while aiding in helping people to relax. It makes the material accessible, understandable, and relate-able to more people. I’d rather seem more people learn to empower themselves properly then worrying about occult elitism and other snobbery.”

Q. Anyone who has watched you perform can see that movement if one of your many forms of Magick, and the oneness you have with your body and Spirit is visible to the audience. It’s otherworldly. Where do you find inspiration for your dance? What made you want to become a belly dancer in the first place? For me, the belly dancer is the embodiment of the Goddess, would you agree?

A. “Mythology, artwork, music, spellcraft – I find my inspiration anywhere and everywhere.  When I perform with The Mechanist & The Star Goddess, Davis and Nathaniel are creating music on the spot and I’m responding to them – and in turn they respond to me.  We’re also influenced by the venue, the people who have gathered there, the vibe of the day, etc.

“I got into bellydance because my best friend at the time introduced me to things she was seeing in the Bay Area of California – so I went looking for what I could find similarly in Rhode Island (where I was living then.) Everyone in our tradition signed up for classes as well, because it felt like such a natural thing to include into ritual.  I wouldn’t say the belly dancer is the embodiment of the Goddess – I’ve done too many genderfluid performances and know many other performers who identify outside of the gender binary. Plus there’s a lot of fakelore about the history of the dance that makes it seem very narrowly Goddess-centric, when it’s a dance that’s done culturally by a wide variety of ages, genders, and faiths. I WILL say that learning to incorporate movement into ritual is an incredible way to access the Divine in multiple forms – not only exterior deities and spirits, but to connect with your own spiritual essence.”

Q. You are known for your Sigil Crafting skills, and making the Craftform accessible to everyone; what is it about Sigil Witchcraft do you enjoy the most? Why do you believe people are drawn to this form of the Craft? Especially since for many years people I ran into were completely turned off by Sigils; only associating them with Chaos Magickians.

A. “For me, art is my primary form of expression AND method of spellcraft. I love opening people’s minds to doing it for themselves. The ability of human beings to be able to mentally associate an abstract concept with a drawn mark is ancient – it’s one of the critical thought processes that sets us aside as a species. For thousands of years, humanity has employed the use of art and symbols to work magic and affect the metaphysical – it’s definitely not something that was invented by a white dude last century or a secret ensconced in 15th century European grimoires.  There are MANY methods – mine pulls from those ancient roots, yet bypasses other approaches to deliver a vision that people feel more connected with. Everyone has their own personal library of symbols and things that have meaning for them. If you work from what you’re familiar with, while expanding your horizons, it can have a profound and powerful effect on your magick. My method strengthens the ability of the right brain to visualize, which I think people find very familiar and inspiring.”

Q. What is one piece of Witchy advice you were given that you have never forgotten? 

A. “Oh so many good things, but I think my favorite actually came in reference to dance: “There’s something you can learn from every dancer.  Sometimes that’s what TO DO, and sometimes it’s what NOT to do.” Definitely applicable to witchcraft!

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give to anyone newer to the Craft?

A. Power comes from within, it already resides within you. All you have to do is learn to trust yourself – which sounds simple and easy, but it’s definitely the hardest thing for most people to learn.

Laura is on a mission, or several missions I should say.

She paints the world (quite literally) with her beautiful colors of dance, Witchcraft and Artwork; she gives her readers real advice that can be applied to their Craft and lives.

She is a force comprised of rebellion, resistance and an Ancient energy you have to feel to believe.

A Woman like her has earned the name Tempest; not only that, she embodies the storm.

It is for these reasons and so many more that she has been named The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Laura.

A reference list of all her past and current projects, along with sites (you can also find links above):

Blogs:
A Modern Traditional Witch (Patheos Blog) – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tempest/
Fine Art Witchery (Witches & Pagans) – http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/fine-art-witchery/

Books:
The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore and Magick of Ritual Vessels (Llewellyn, 2017)
Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols (Llewellyn, 2018)
The Witch’s Altar: The Craft, Lore and Magick of Sacred Space (co-authored with Jason Mankey, Llewellyn, November 2018)
Weave The Liminal: Living Modern Traditional Witchcraft (Llewellyn, January 2019)
Contributor to Llewellyn Annuals (Magical Almanac, Witches’ Companion, etc)
Contributor to The Witches’ Almanac, Ltd
Illustrator for Witches & Pagans, SageWoman

Websites:
Art – www.owlkeyme.com
Author – www.lauratempestzakroff.com
Dance – www.darklydramatic.com
Design – www.magodjinn.com 

Projects:
The Mechanist & The Star Goddess  – https://www.facebook.com/TheMechanistandTheStarGoddess
We Are Aradia – https://www.facebook.com/WeAreAradia/www.wearearadia.org (under construction)

WITCH OF THE WEEK: Mat Auryn, Danielle Dulsky, Orlee Stewart & Gabriela Herstik

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Back in June I started a Witch of the Week series on The Nephilim Rising Facebook page, and at first it was just supposed to be a short and sweet write-up; a spotlight, so to speak, of fellow Witches, Mystics and Cunning Folk that I personally look up to.

It has morphed into much more.

Since this has become way more successful (and engaging) than I ever imagined, as time goes on I plan to expand the Q & A portion.

I have realized that many of my subscribers here, don’t actually use Facebook and have no clue what’s going on over there.

I don’t want anyone to miss out on this.

Therefore, I have decided to move my Witch of the Week series to the blog.

I have combined the first 4 picks into this one blog, but starting with tomorrow’s new pick, each choice will have their own blog.

I figure it’s a much easier reference this way.

Enjoy!

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Witch of the Week 6/13: This first pick is a true Witch’s Witch, someone who supports other Witches because he wants to see the community be the best it can be; he is someone who brings others along for the ride as his star rises so they can bask in the glow of success together.

Mat Auryn is a Psychic Witch, a devotee of Hekate and has an impressive resume.

Whether he is writing for his own blog, adding a twig to The House of Twigs, connecting with the community through his in-person workshops or getting the word out via Patheos Pagan, Mat’s voice is a necessity in our community as we navigate through times of uncertainty and unrest.

Currently in the making Mat has his first book, being published by none other than Llewellyn Worldwide.

Due to debut next year!

Mat’s work can also be seen in HORNS Magazine: A Magazine by Gay Occultists for Gay Occultists.

He is Managing Editor at Modern Witch Magazine.

And, is the co-author of the TrueBlack Tarot companion booklet.

Recently he was voted ‘Most Supportive Witch’ by the community in the first annual Witch Way Magazine Awards. An award truly deserved.

Mat is one of those Witch’s who has a voice and is not afraid to use it; like me, his words are his weapon of choice.

He is passionate about the social and political issues that plague society; he is equally passionate about the issues that plague the Pagan community.

All about inclusivity and acceptance Mat gives members of the LGBTQ community permission to be unapologetically themselves; not just because he himself is a proud Gay Witch, but also because he roots for marginalized people and wants to give them a voice and representation where they would otherwise be denied.

Through his words you hear the echoes of thousands.

I am honored to not only call him a friend, but a colleague and someone I look up to.

Congratulations, Mat on being The Nephilim Rising’s First Witch of the Week.

Owl Butterfly Image: Sanna Wieslander

http://www.sannawieslander.com/en/

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Witch of the Week 6/20: My second pick is not only a friend, Sister Witch, and fellow Wild Woman but she is one my biggest inspirations. I was honored to be chosen as part of her review panel last year for her debut book, Woman Most Wild, and I am equally honored to support and spotlight her here.

Danielle Dulsky is one of those writer’s where you begin reading the first few sentences of a piece and you immediately know who penned it. She is a fierce advocate for Wild Woman Spirituality, and a voice for Women all over the world.

You can catch her words regularly in The House of Twigs, WITCH, School of Witchery, The Urban Howl and Rebelle Society. She has also been featured in SageWoman, Spirit Guides, and Witch Way Magazine.

On September 18th of this year (just before the full Harvest Moon and Autumn Equinox!) Danielle’s second book, The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman (New World Library) will debut!

It’s a five-part ode to the elements, a call to strip down our spirituality to nature’s bare bones from time to time, and a poetic nod to every woman’s story as an epic tale of healing and wounding, wild feminine lost and wild feminine regained.

She continues to offer her in-person trainings (basic (200-hour) and advanced (300-hour) yoga teacher training) and online mentorships through 2019, and a full schedule is available on her website.

http://DanielleDulsky.Com

In Autumn and early Winter of 2018 and 2019, she’ll be traveling significantly to promote The Holy Wild, and will be on the East and West Coast of the US and the UK for book signings and workshops on writing, spellwork, and movement alchemy.

You can catch exclusive content on her Patreon:

Patreon.Com/DanielleDulsky

While I had a moment of Danielle’s time, I wanted to do something a little different and ask her for some advice to pass along to you folks!

Q: What is one piece of Witchy advice you have been given that you never forgot?

A: “On Beltane of 2009, I took a workshop with Gavin and Yvonne Frost at Florida Pagan Gathering. While there were quite a few amazing moments and life-altering advice in those few hours, I’ll never forget Gavin saying that Witches “are and will continue to be screwed by Pagan fundamentalism;” this warning has taken on different meanings for me at different points in my life, but to hear an elder of the Craft make such a statement was HUGE for a baby Witch like me. I was still looking for someone to tell me I was being a good girl and “doing it right,” and here was an elder telling me not to take myself too seriously or be bogged down by spellcraft rules, tradition labels, or immutable truths written by someone else’s hand.”

Q. What is some advice you would give to aspiring writers or Authors?

A. “If you are an aspiring author, I have two little tidbits that I wished someone had shared with me ten years ago. The first is this: Find a way to write every single day, and, like any good art I think, don’t be limited by feelings that you’re doing wrong, faking it, aren’t good enough, or have nothing important to say. You must write to hone your Craft; there’s just no other way. Not everything you write is gold, but some is, and you have to mine the precious out of the rest of your bullshit. Once you dig out a little bit of precious, show it to the world somehow so you can see that it’s valued by even just one person. Secondly: The entire publishing industry is not out to get you. I have never once been made to feel that I was compromising or diluting any part of my vision/art to be marketable or accessible (which is saying something when you write about Witchcraft), even throughout the editing process. I know that SO many new authors fear traditional publishing and decide to self-publish to avoid being exploited or out of a desire to protect their book-baby, and, yes, I have heard the horror stories, but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Danielle believes in the power of the wild feminine and human-to-nature intimacy. She is the author of The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman (Coming September 2018, New World Library) and Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within. She translates the wild feminine into motherhood, magick, multimedia art, and teachings of embodied spirituality, writing, and movement alchemy. Danielle is a Celtic free-style Witch, a lover of Irish Paganism, an E-RYT500 and YACEP through Yoga Alliance, a mist-dweller, and a shadow-walker. May all beings come home to the wilds.

Through Danielle’s words we are brought back to our inherent wild nature, and it is for this reason and so many more that she has been named The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

She howls for us, now we howl to honor her.

Congratulations, Danielle.

Thank you for everything.

Social Media Handles:

IG and Twitter: @WolfWomanWitch

https://www.instagram.com/wolfwomanwitch/

Facebook Biz Page: @WolfWomanCircle

https://www.facebook.com/WolfWomanCircle/ 

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Witch of the Week 6/27: My third pick is a dear, dear friend, bad-ass Witch and otherworldly Artist. I have not only been inspired by her take on all things Magick and Occult, I have used her Artwork to accompany my words in our book, Lucifer: The Light of the Aeon.

Her Art and words can also be seen in our second book, Songs of the Black Flame.

Orlee Stewart, also known as Mother of Abominations, is a rising star and oh how she shines.

You can check out Orlee’s portfolio of Occult Artwork at:

http://www.motherofabominations.com/

She also creates paintings during Magickal Rituals through From The Ashes Publishing along with Rituals to infernal Spirits at.

You can catch her hugely popular videos on Ritual Magick, Art and experiences working with Daemons on the Orlee Stewart YouTube channel.

She also has a series of videos about sexual relationships with Spirits on the EA Koetting Youtube channel called “Supernatural Romance”.

Now, she is focusing on a secret video project, broadcasting weekly videos on her channel as well as creating custom Magickal Artworks for patrons and exploring a series of paintings on her own adventures with Lilith.

To see progress photos of her work and for exclusive content, join the Mother of Abominations Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/motherofabominations

While I had a moment of Orlee’s time, I wanted to ask her some questions.

Q. You create otherworldly, enigmatic pieces, what inspires your Artwork?

A. “When I first started creating Artwork, I would illustrate creatures that I had seen in paranormal experiences as a child. Seeing the entities in front of me through something that I had control over helped me to overcome the fear of the unknown which led me to practicing Witchcraft. My Magickal practices summon the power of the Spirit world and manifest images from the Aethyr into Artwork by creating portals into other dimensions. I have worked extensively with spirits as well as studied the Art of Magick to translate what I have learned into forms of Art for other people to experience. The Artworks evoked are intended to inspire the Spirit of the divine through the process of our Magickal journey as it is expressed in haunting imagery to look into the darkest places of the deep.”

Q. What is one piece of Witchy/Occult advice you will never forget?

A. “Learning to create a Magickal diary is one of the most important things that I was instructed to do on my path. Some people call this the book of shadows or a personal grimoire- it is a compilation of the Rituals you have done, their date, time and results. Things of interest that happen during your days or dreams are also helpful to include as it will provide greater insights into your changing reality. Through recording your work and Rituals, the scientific process can be applied, and evidence can be looked upon later to discover things one may completely overlook. Being able to go back through your work over the years and read of the results will help you to understand how some Magickal Rituals have affected your life later as a record which will allow you to reflect on your process and progress.”

Q. What is one piece of advice as an Artist you can give to aspiring Artists? Maybe something you were wish you were told?

A. “As a young Artist, I was told many times by teachers that I was too young to have a personal style – Don’t listen to people who say that. Even though it was discouraging to hear my artwork was not to their perception of what I should do, I did not listen to them and continued to follow the way I wanted to express myself; having a unique style made my work stand out. That factor of interest combined with arduous work is how I have been able to exhibit my Artwork, and have it collected by people around the world. If you are passionate and put love and practice into creating something new for the world, there will be people who resonate with your current and appreciate what you are doing and ultimately you will be making something more powerful by breaking free of conformity to inspire others.”

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

“I think we are at a really interesting time when Spiritual information technology is rapidly expanding. Through the internet, we have access to so much knowledge and combining our Spirituality with the internet integrates the frequencies of alternate dimensions through our minds and into the devices that have become extensions of ourselves. I love to create Magickal videos where the energy of Magick can be transmitted online and downloaded into our subjective realities. Thank you so much for the interview!”

Orlee is a unique talent that our community is not gifted often; she not only brings Magick to life through her Ritualistic Artwork, she brings Magick into our homes through her educational videos.

Refusing to conform, Orlee marches to the beat of her own drummer, and it’s a glorious sight to behold as she stands authentically in her power.

It is for these reasons, and so many more that Orlee has been named The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Orlee.

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Witch of the Week 7/4: My fourth pick is someone who I came across last year after reading her article “CHARGE IT UP: A CLOTHING AND SIGIL PROTECTION SPELL” on The Hoodwitch blog; I remember thinking, how cool is this chick?!

And, how cool is this idea?!

After reading her work I went and searched for her on Instagram and immediately fell in love.

Gabriela Herstik is a delightfully free, sexual, empowering, powerful, fashion forward Witch who pushes the boundaries in both her Craft, and fashion choices.

She has been featured in NYLON, HelloGiggles, The Numinous, Broadly, i-D, The Hoodwitch, Sabat Magazine, Refinery29, Deux Hommes , Fashionista and Scene SC.

Currently she is a Glamour Goddess at Nylon, Chakrub Crystals and Girlboss.

Her first book, ‘CRAFT: How to be a Modern Witch’ was released earlier this year in the UK and will be published in the US with a release date of September 4th under the title, ‘Inner Witch: A guide to the Ancient Craft’.

For all things Gaby:

http://gabrielaherstik.com/

As a sex-positive spit fire, she deserves this moment in the spotlight.

I have found so much liberation in her words, and through her defiance of Patriarchal beauty standards she has granted me (and countless others) permission to give them a giant F-U.

As a lover of kink myself, I have enjoyed Gabriela’s photographic journey through the world of BDSM and all things Dark Venus.

Live authentically, be true to you, and everything will fall into place; Gaby epitomizes this mantra.

While I had a moment of her time, I wanted to ask her some questions so you, my readers, could get to know her.

Q. You have this knack for finding the intersection of sex, Feminism and fashion. Who are your inspirations? Or, where do you find inspiration?

A. “I am inspired by many things, but my spiritual practice is definitely a big part of it. My work with the Roman Goddess Venus (aka Aphrodite) has definitely informed my work with sexuality, especially exploring it in a public way. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by some amazing women who are also doing work in this realm who inspire me. Vivienne Westwood is a HUGE inspiration for me for fashion, using my voice unapologetically and wearing what I want when I want. I find inspiration in literature, in art, in my friends and family. I find inspiration in my family history, in the strength of my grandparents and their stories. I find inspiration from nature, from sensuality, from love, from my heart, from past lives. It’s always coming and going. Right now, I’m inspired by Anais Nin, old Hollywood, 70’s punk, burlesque, the color red, sex magick, Venus, kink, snakes, and the movie Only Lovers Left Alive.”

Q. Your article for The Hoodwitch on how to Magickally charge clothing was my first introduction to you. It’s as if fashion were your Alchemy. What are some fashion dos and don’ts you could give to any aspiring Witchy fashionista? What’s your favorite Magickally inclined Witchy tip?

A. “Yes, I love that! I call myself a fashion alchemist for that reason; it’s the medium I use to transmute and work with my Magick. My advice is to start seeing your style as your soul in visual form. If you were to be your greatest, most fabulous self, what would you wear? Make a mood board using old magazines or Pinterest and start collecting photos of styles and pieces that you like. You can create a ritual out of this by lighting candles, setting an intention, and putting the vision board on your altar. I think there’s a misconception that you have to spend a lot of money to look good or have style, but buying secondhand, thrifting, trading with friends, shopping locally or on Etsy- you can find amazing stuff for a good price. Think about colors, fabrics, silhouettes- what do you love? The key is what makes YOU feel good. You pull off whatever you feel the best in.

“My favorite magical witchy tip is to take some time in the morning to either check to see what sign the moon is in or to pull a tarot card for fashion inspiration. Or simply sitting for a second and feeling into your body and asking what you need. Being present and honoring what you will feel best in for that specific day is Magick. You can also put your clothing on an altar under crystals to help charge it. I also will bless my clothes and pray to the universe, my guides and ancestors to bless and protect them and me. Fashion Magick is all about intention, honoring who you are and having fun with personal creative expression.”

Q. You are connected to Venus in all Her forms, what is it about this Goddess that resonates so deeply for you? As an outsider, you very much embody Yin sexual energy and it’s lovely to witness.

A. “Aw, thank you for noticing this! Venus rules over my favorite things- love, sex, glamour beauty. She’s also the goddess of victory and sex workers which I really appreciate. Venus is all about pleasure and she’s helped me embrace my inner hedonist. She also loves love and has helped me soften into my heart and keep it open. My relationship with Venus is based around creation- whether it’s a photo a poem or a sex Magick ritual. I work with her through art, through embodiment with my makeup and style, through self-expression and owning every part of who I am. I wrote a series of poems accompanied by photos I took of myself in lingerie called “Love Letters From Venus” that really started this relationship. Now I create for her in other ways, but I still honor her through love, sex and glamour.”

Q. What is one piece of Witchy/Occult advice you were given that you’ll never forget?

A. “To believe in my power and to feel it. To claim that I am magick and worthy and powerful without shame or doubt or guilt. Also- not saying sorry and being open to receive! It’s so, so hard for us to receive but it’s important- we’re meeting the universe halfway and we have to open the door to accept the gifts, it’s not a passive act! Also- if you send the universe mixed signals, it’s going to send you someone with mixed signals.”

She is a Modern Witch who is unafraid to go against the status quo, she embraces her femininity in all of its Divine glory, and she is showing us what it means to unapologetically embrace our sexuality, our desires and everything lush in this life.

It is for these reasons, and so many more that Gaby has been named The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Crimson Queen.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabyherstik/

And her newest project FASHION IS DYING:

https://www.instagram.com/fashionisdying