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.

A Moment of Gratitude…

Jill Willcott

Image: Jill Willcott

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”

Steve Maraboli

Some of you may know the story of The Nephilim Rising, and others may not. I am currently experiencing some major positive changes (finally) and I just need to take a moment and talk about this full circle moment; the moment when seeds begin to sprout and blossoms are soon to follow.

I found Dear Wicked in 2013, and I was at my weakest point in my life thus far. I was met by the Mothering, Powerful, Succubi energy that is C, and she forever changed my life. It was like I found home, and through endless conversations late at night we became friends, then Sisters, and she saw my potential.

She told me from the very beginning that the true test of a Teacher is to have a Student who is stronger than they are; she said that person was going to be me. At the time the whole idea seemed so far-fetched (still does) and I am not one who feeds into ideas of power–if you say you are, you aren’t. But, to have a Crone, a mentor, the first intimidating Witch I had really ever come across tell me something like that, it planted a seed inside me, and she knew it.

I, however, did not know until tonight, until right now; as I write this pieces still forming and connecting.

Let’s fast forward to December of 2014 when, in an act of rebellion during one of my famous tantrums I started this blog and the Facebook page. It was satisfying, at first, but then reality set in and all I could think was, “fuck, I am running a page and blog now– I am not only running a page and blog, but apparently my ego got to me and I have a point to prove, too.”

Well, in case you were wondering, you are never rewarded when trying to prove a point; it will always backfire.

And, so it did.

I struggled at first, I was met with a lot of haters and people who were chomping at the bit to “take a bite out of Noir” but I stood there and I took it. I may have reacted more times than I wanted to, I may have made an ass of myself a few too many times, but I stood my ground.

Some of the darkest moments of my entire life have coincided with me being a public figure, for lack of a better term. My readership has bared witness to a true personal testimony of what it means to have a spiritual awakening, find your power, and walk the Left Hand Path.

It is because of the page and this blog that I am going to be an Author– a real published Author. When the world is filled with writers galore, many self-publishing, it is no big deal, it seems, to be published.

To me, it’s everything. It’s the only thing.

The bar is much higher now, though.  It’s about adding new ideas, flavor, quantity, what best seller lists you make, or just pure fucking epic talent. A writer must consistently deliver and always be at their best level.

The problem is most writers don’t go past their personal best, so they remain stagnant—comfortable. As my Editor said a few days ago, “It is not in the Luciferian Nature to remain stagnant”.

I guess once again my free thinking Philosophy has helped me in life.

Let’s face it, I am not the best writer and my grammar at times even makes me cringe, but I grow, I evolve, and I continue to work on my Crafts: Magick and Writing, some say they are one in the same, I happen to agree.

Recently I found out that Black Moon Publishing is going to publish the book that myself and fellow Rebels wrote titled Lucifer: Light of the Aeon.

My Chapters feature images by some amazingly talented Women. I am honored to be using their Magickally infused Art to help tell my story, and convey a message to the reader. Thank you, Isis GraywoodLupe Vasconcelos and Orlee Andromedae. Also, one of my Chapters includes a poem by the talented Magenta Nero.

To say that I am grateful, and humbled to be among the talent I am, would be an understatement. I am in the company of Artists, Writers, Witches and Sages that are so Wise beyond my years; the blessing does not go unseen by me.

I don’t consider myself special, although sometimes I know that I am (Capricorn Rising talking) I just think of myself as someone who is living, breathing, and burning entirely, freely and openly in their truth.

That is the key to my success: being true to me no matter the cost.

Even when it was unpopular, particularly when it is unpopular, even when I came under fire, even when I was stuck in the darkest of dark’s, I vowed to remain true to myself, and now that Jupiter has gone direct my hard work is literally paying off and manifesting right before my eyes.

Apparently I made some kind of impression because my Editor has asked me to be part of another possible book project.

I stand here in the deepest of gratitude for the abundance and prosperity in my life and to think, it’s all because I decided to take a leap of faith.

I am living proof that a little rebellion, living your truth and good ol’ fashion hard work can and does pay off.

The page reached 17,000 likes this evening, and it is at this point just completely surreal. I created NR because I wanted and needed a sanctuary; it just so happens 17,000 people decided to join me. I am so grateful for all of you who share this journey with me.

Thank you.

I’m just getting warmed up.

Life Lessons: A Grand Epiphany

Sofia Ajram

Image: Sofia Ajram

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”

Albert Einstein


I have been an addict for as long as I can remember, since the moment my eyes made contact with paper I knew that words were going to be my chosen substance. When I was 17 I discovered one of the grandest words of all: epiphany. I didn’t know at the time how important this word was, or is, I had no idea the advice being given to me in those halls of my high school, a moment that seems like lifetimes ago.

There was a teacher who taught Economics and Latin, he was an older gentlemen who can only be compared to being “my favorite book”. He was full of stories, and tales, equally funny and tragic, the depths of that man and his intelligence knew no bounds. My senior year happened to be his last year teaching so he was freely giving away bits of coded knowledge as if asking us to pass on his legacy and let him live on; a point missed by most of the robots I went to school with. If I were to transplant Mr. B back in time, he would have been a little old man, nose stuck in a book in the halls of the library of Alexandria.

In my free time (study hall or what was known as “free period”) I would seek him out to have conversations about the Occult, or politics. He was a Catholic, most of the town was, but he was very much into hidden or forbidden areas of knowledge (which made me like him more). I mean the man spoke fluent Latin “just because”. He was a very interesting being, and I was sad to hear of his passing not too long after I graduated in 2002.

During one of my last conversations with him he told me something that seems to mean more to me the further into the Abyss I go. He said, “an epiphany will give you clarity, or insanity.”

Let that simmer in your mind for a second, for those who would like to look at the definition while allowing your thoughts to collect, here you go.

“An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization.”

Read that again, “an epiphany will give you clarity, or insanity”. I mean if there were ever a time for me to use the expression “mind blown” it would have been then, like right in that very moment.

As I heard it roll off his tongue, per my usual nerdy self, I said, “That’s a fun word.” After going to look up the actual definition I tucked the word into the back of my head, and hoped that someday I would be able to experience such a moment.

Never did I expect my life to be full of these moments, some greater in magnitude than others, the number only increases as time goes by; I suppose in hindsight that I have had many grand epiphanies in my life, I just didn’t realize them at the time. That itself is a lesson to be more present, to appreciate all the moments of life.

An epiphany when you are present and aware is in a league of its own; when you are aware of a moment of enlightenment, a moment when a paradigm shift suddenly happens and it shatters everything you thought you knew, there are no words to describe such a feeling. It’s like the Universe opens a door, pushes you through and closes it behind you, forcing you to accept the change, to make the move–

Forcing your hand in this proverbial chess game that is life.

Life is so funny, I feel like each day I come closer to understanding how utterly comical this existence is and that lesson is part of the reason I am here in the flesh to begin with. I am such a serious soul, I take everything seriously; the world, people, animals, feelings of others, the “bigger picture”–everything is serious business with me and it has always been like that. I laugh with the best of them, and I often find myself to be a sarcastic asshole, but overall, I am straight faced, lost in thought, or wandering off to a quiet place so I can analyze in solitude.

In my most recent analysis it was revealed to me that major changes needed to be made, and once these changes were made abundance would come to me. I took the opportunity of the recent, powerful Full Moon and decided to make those changes effective on that date, and man, oh, man has it turned into a snowball effect of prosperity, growth and illumination.

I have become motivated again, I have sold vials and earrings, I have made all the necessary steps to be a real business owner, and the legalities are taken care of. I have also begun the ridiculous process of photographing my inventory for my online shop.

It isn’t just the tangible or business side of things, it’s personal, too. I have found a great group of friends, most of whom were standing by my side the whole time but I was too blind to see, others are newcomers who I feel were sent to me so we could grow together; so we can empower each other.

I am learning to trust friendships, and people, but most importantly I am learning to trust myself. I have let go of past regret, and accepted future mistakes.  I have learned that Divine madness and enlightenment are true partners in crime. I have learned that I can do this because I am doing this. I have learned that I am stronger than I know, and that my heart is a goddamn warrior. I have learned that my intuition is the only opinion I need to be concerned with, and haters are of abundance these days. I have learned that I am the only person I need but it’s nice to have company on this journey, and it’s ok to fall because in the fall you appreciate flight so much more.

All that really matters is I have learned and that is the grandest epiphany of all.

Surrendering Control: Why We Should Accept Submission

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Image: Rhys Roberts

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Lao Tzu


This is the second post in a series based off the requests I received on NR. I first would like to say that I normally don’t do “how to” or teaching posts because I don’t think I am a teacher, or Master; I do not think I am qualified to speak on most topics, and so many look to me as an expert. It’s so surreal that I am often am at a loss for words.

I speak from my experience, my research and my intuition. I do not claim to be perfect, or know it all, I don’t claim anything, really, other than I have found who I am, and I am living, breathing and chasing my truth. Truth is entirely subjective, and we need to realize that but that is another post.

With that little rant of sorts off my chest here is my take on surrendering control.

To put it bluntly, we can’t control a majority of what goes on in our lives, and even the most skilled Magickian or Witch knows this. The power comes from this realization, and finding loopholes through situations that seem to be set in stone, or irreversible. Our power comes from resilience, and a certain tenacity.

I may or may not have said this in a previous post, and if so then I apologize for sounding repetitive but when I was a little girl my Mom told me, “A great deal of life’s happiness comes from accepting what it, instead of dwelling on what isn’t.”

This goes for everything thing, in fact, the quote should be: “A great deal of happiness comes from accepting what is, instead of dwelling on what isn’t.”

We can’t control anything beyond our nose, it is poetic but so true. Beyond that point you no longer have power, you no longer should waste energy worrying about what happens beyond your space, but always be aware and present.

We can’t control other’s reactions, we can’t control society as a collective, or our Government’s, we can’t control an accident, a death, or the outcome of said accident. Hell, we can’t control that flowing anger that comes over the body when we stub our toe in the dark, at 3 am and we, or maybe just I, believe in that moment death is sure to follow.

All we can ever do is take a deep breath, face our ‘shit’ and deal with it.

In most cases I found that laughter and sarcasm is my way to deal with things, and I am often given dirty looks by deities I work with because of my informal approach to them and Magick. I guess like everything else, I make my craft my own, too. I think that’s how it should be, if I don’t incorporate my personality, and rebellion into my castings then they aren’t personal, I am not being true to me and my Magick won’t be as effective.

It gets tricky because everyone is so caught up trying to control the madness going on around them, for whatever reason: vengeance, spite, hatred, boredom, resentment etc. etc. that they have missed the point entirely. The reality is the only thing you can control is yourself, and once Self is controlled: mindful, present, and aware, then your reality will change.

Think of yourself as a movie projector, and control is the film reel, you currently are playing the reel that is about a movie where you control the world, and thus far it is not Oscar worthy, now switch the reel.

Put in a reel about a movie that is you controlling yourself, and what happens? Suddenly you are captivated. Oscar worthy! (Cheesy, I know)

Same idea with your perception.

A lot of people, especially those on the Left Hand Path do not want surrender, or they are like me and are little control freaks and find it next to impossible to surrender to anything. Or you know, they could be like me in the sense that they are balls of Chaos and madness, constantly seeking and asking why.

The thing is that the more you try to control the outside, the more out of control you really become on the inside. Instead of focusing your energy and intentions on the world, focus them within.

Focus on your reaction, and how you handle terrible situations, focus just as hard on situations that bring you joy. Practice gratitude, it’s a lifestyle, and being grateful does not take away from your individual sovereignty and it will absolutely help you on your path.

Make your Magick personal, do not worry about outside opinions, or judgement, none of that should matter and it shouldn’t matter because you can’t change it, you can’t change how, or what people think of you.

The only thing, literally, the only thing we can do is find our truth, and hold on to it as tightly as we can, allow that truth to become one with our bodies, and mold into our Soul. When we allow this domination to happen we become a powerhouse to be reckoned with.

No force created is stronger than that of the Individual, free thinker who requires no validation. So, surrender, their opinions don’t matter anyways, and we have nothing to prove. Blessed are the black sheep, the misfits, the artists and the rebels.