WITCH OF THE WEEK: The House of Twigs



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.


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.”


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.



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.”


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.”


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.

WITCH OF THE WEEK: Aidan Wachter


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:


Aidan’s Talismans:


The Talisman that transformed my life:


Aidan’s Business Facebook page:


Aidan’s Instagram:


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.

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.



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



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.


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:


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


Facebook Biz Page: @WolfWomanCircle



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:


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:


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:


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: