Something a bit different this week: Black Orchid Alchemy

I’ll be back next week with the Justice card but today I wanted to talk about something I’ve developed that also uses Tarot Therapy to help with mental health issues, especially Depression.

But first, a brief backstory. I was around 9 years old when I first experienced Depression. Of course, back then, we didn’t know children could have Depression so my Doctor decided that the stomach pain I was experiencing was psychosomatic.

Now we know that psychosomatic stomach pain in children is a symptom of clinical Depression. I’d also experienced sexual abuse by then, and the loss of a parent when I was 6 years old. Plus, the Depression gene was present in my family. All 3 of these are indicators that childhood Depression can develop.

Yup. I’m a textbook case. Boring really.

I grew up being told I was too emotional, that I had no sense of humor and that I “had to do everything the hard way.” 

But, the Depression didn’t really hit me hard until my early 20’s when I sobered up for a while and realized that things were really not right.

Long story short, I’m now 52 years old, at the time of writing, I have a BA in Psychology and I’ve worked in mental health, alcohol and other addiction services for over 25 years.

And I’ve spent every one of those days living with the demon Depression.

But, it wasn’t until my early to mid 40’s that I began to make a real change. That was when I shifted from coping and living with Depression to thriving with Depression and living a fulfilled life.

Like many life-changing experiences, it started with a major drama. I won’t go into details here but I reached a point when I had to face something that was absolutely devastating for me. 

And through that, I had to make a conscious decision about whether or not I was going to give in to my Depression or create a meaningful life in spite of it.

Obviously I chose the latter. And I continue to choose it. And yes, it really does need to be an active decision.

I began with writing. I knew I had to get rid of the massive emotions I was experiencing  before they turned inward and ate me up. There was a lot of misery in me, and anger, and I knew that shit didn’t mix well with mental illness such as Depression.

So, I started writing. I wasn’t ready to write specifically about my situation yet, so I wrote a novel. A vampire novel. About childless women. Within a chapter or two, I had rediscovered my love for writing.

Writing was something I’d forgotten about since the demon grabbed hold of me. I was still well known for having a thing for writing lists, but that was about it. I’d forgotten the sheer joy of telling a story.

I had a reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Something I was passionate about, a place I could share all the things that Depression and the rest of my life had taught me. Something that could maybe help other people as well. 

Sidenote: As of now, (another long story short) I’m writing my novel again from scratch. It’s the same novel but a better read now that I’ve had some experience. Anyhoo, if you’re keen to follow the progress, I’m releasing it as I write it, so one or two pages every week and you can follow along with it here.

Anyhoo, from that experience, of going from complete and utter despair to thriving and purposeful, came the first seeds of Black Orchid Alchemy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cured. Not by a long shot. I still experience shit days, I still take my antidepressants, and I am still militant about sticking to my self-care. But nowadays, I’m living WELL with my Depression rather than waiting for it to disappear. Like the miraculous “recovery” my medical team kept talking about.

I know my Depression isn’t going away, but now I also know that I’m the fucking boss of it! It’s not the boss of me. Not anymore.

 

Black Orchid Alchemy is the membership I created that contains information, tips and tutorials on all the elements that helped me get to now, the point where I see my Depression as a gift.

Tarot therapy, shadow work, dream work, essential oils, crystals, meditation and so much more are contained within the membership site. We also do live zoom calls, every week, I email journal prompts to each member every morning (7 days a week) and we have a chat forum so that we can share ideas and ask questions.

You can use the site simply as an information library: I add to it every week. Or you can go one step further and create your own novel. Or a piece of art, a garden, a sculpture, a meal, an outfit, whatever you want really. I call this “Creating a Creature of Fucking Beauty.” (CFB)

A CFB is anything that you create that uses your Depression as a muse. It’s the thing that excites you, your passion, your reason for getting out of bed and in many cases, your reason for staying alive.

I can’t tell you what your CFB is, but I can help you to find it. That’s one of the other reasons for Black Orchid Alchemy’s existence. 

And look, I didn’t believe it was possible either.

I didn’t believe I could ever have a happy life AND have Depression. But I did. I do. And so can you.

My 3rd and perhaps most important reason for creating Black Orchid Alchemy is my mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero.

I’m offended by our suicide rate.  Globally and in my country, NZ, it’s far too high. And by that I mean, even 1 suicide is too many. It’s unnecessary. It doesn’t need to happen.

I believe that we can stop people wanting to die by celebrating our differences. By embracing those things that are unique about us, which are usually the things that other people judge us for. 

I believe that we can stop suicide by creating humans that live in a society where expressing their own feelings is normal, even celebrated, rather than forcing people to hide what’s really going on for them.

I believe that we can stop suicide, we can eliminate the need for it, by educating others on how to feel better about themselves while educating the (getting smaller) group of people who have never experienced Depression about what it’s really like. Not just sadness but all the other symptoms and consequences as well. 

I believe with all my being that this is possible. 

Black Orchid Alchemy is looking for members. We have two tiers and two financial options available. You can check it out here.

And please, if you know anyone who might benefit from Black Orchid Alchemy and what we do in there, share this post and/or the link.

Black Orchid Alchemy Logo
Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero through her Mental Health Membership Site: Black Orchid Alchemy. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks. You can also sign up to receive new installments of her online vampire novel: The Childless Mother.

Manifestation Tactics on the Back End

Holding hands open with glowing lights on dark background

TUE 2/22/22 Intention setting time, various cosmic energies at work to ensure their manifestation. But even on the most mundane of days, successful manifestation hinges on our ability to direct these energies with a clear mind and focus as well as believe these things we desire are actually possible and that we deserve to experience them,  to not conflate desire with alignment. Because it’s all about alignment!

People can get lost in the idea that we need to stay positive at all times even if it’s completely fabricated in order to maintain this alignment, but ultimately this is a trap. Not meaning one should wallow in it for any extended amount of time, but if you keep telling the universe that you are great even though you are dying inside will have a tendency to signal the universe that “hey, this person is great, let’s leave them right there.” Being uncomfortable and recognizing that discomfort, addressing it, and not ignoring the signs or pasting over it with “everything is fine” is one of the most direct ways of clearing that path.

Some situations are much more difficult to wiggle our way out of than others but with the desire to change and the willingness to believe it’s possible, most situations can be made more positive and in alignment with our desires for them.   In order to have something different, a different space must be made for it, otherwise, the blessings will be more difficult if not impossible to maintain or even be recognized. An open mind is quite helpful in this process but even attempting that can carry inherent discomfort. But if looked at properly this discomfort signals areas that need attention in order to get into the energetic alignment we desire.

woman was meditating in sunrise and rays of light on park and nature, soft focus

Alignment calls for these energies we are directing and following through to have a clear pathway. Do we believe we deserve the things we desire? Do we believe these things are even possible? Are we working from a feeling of lack? Is the energy and inspiration to change being followed or fought against? Are we adding a lot of emotional weight to the request, or letting it flow freely to where it needs to go?

Time to check our feelings surrounding the things and outcomes we desire. By addressing these feelings and underlying emotions we clear the path for this light, these energies, to work through us thus we become clear conduits. Now deep breaths, relax the jaw and unclench the stomach and buttocks… Find that flow, release judgment of ourselves and these desires, and try and work from there. Light on our feet, the cosmic dance.

Gnostic Luciferian Witchcraft: A Practical Guide


Introduction

This is a record as much as a guide. It shows how I, and primarily my best friend, have been practicing witchcraft for the past few years now. Like many witches, our Practice is a hybrid, an expression of our influences. It is very animistic, spirit-work centered. Our approach is a blend of Traditional Witchcraft, grimoire tradition, and a bit of ceremonial magick all filtered through a lens of Gnostic Luciferianism that has developed over time by trial and error and with the guidance of the spirits we work with. It is an evolving thing, and it is what works for us. Even if you follow this guide your practice will not end up looking exactly like ours. That’s a feature not a bug.

Preparation
Magick, behind all apparent outward forms is nothing but the enacting of Divine Will upon the substance of Divinity. We, the Divine, worship the Divine, by means of the Divine, on the Divine, from the Divine and for the sake of the Divine alone. This is the mindset we adopt as foundational to our practice. We work for the good of all beings. This is the intent from square one.

Now, speaking of intent, it is said way too often that “intention” is what witchcraft is all about, and while yes intention is especially important, critical I’d say, you can ” intend” all over the place and achieve nothing. Why? Because you sabotage your results by adopting actions that do not fit your intentions.

Do your words and actions in fact align with your intentions? Are you aligning yourself with the laws of nature? Are you working to be aligned with your environment and the spirits around you? Alignment is everything. So, examine yourself! That is the first step.

Before beginning ritual practice, one should obtain and consecrate all relevanttools and garments. Timing ritual practice and tool production considering the movements of the moon and planets, considering days and hours, are highly recommended. Use the Crooked Path by Kelden and the Grimoirium Verum (Peterson and Stratton-Kent versions) for tool production. Do not take lazy shortcuts in this process and do not change the basic underlying structure of these procedures described in the texts. There is a reason for them and if you don’t know what they are you aren’t qualified to change them! You will have no choice but to make smart substitutes for practicality.

For example, in the production of the Scirlin parchment, most do not have access to being able to kill an animal for the materials.

You will also have to alter the wordings to strip Christian baggage out. The key here is changing the aesthetic and language not the principles or structure. Take the time to learn what things are for and why. I am not going to present you with a full breakdown of this because you need to learn how to do it yourself. This material is easily accessible, often for free. The process of tool creation is as much about you and your self-work as it is about making the tools and giving them life. Every tool has its spirit. You are building a living temple. You are learning a Craft, a discipline. Treat it accordingly.

I will give you some tips to go off of what we have been doing to at least give you a direction. We prefer to wear black with red trim rather than white for our ritual wear. Black symbolizing not evil but total acceptance of all that exists as black is the absorption of all light. Red for passion, struggle, and life that we fully embrace. Given the extremely endangered nature of frankincense substituting pine resin is acceptable, nutmeg in place of mace is acceptable. If you have no choice but to buy an item rather than create it, buy it at the appropriate hour and day with zero haggling about it. This can take months, be patient. You might find yourself picking up new skills and crafts in this process. Embrace it.

Example of General Consecration:

“I conjure thee, 0 form of the instrument: by the authority of Lucifer Almighty; by the virtues of
the Stars that rule; by the virtue of the Elements; of stones and herbs; of snowstorms, winds
and thunder; that thou now obtain all the necessary power into thyself for the perfect
achievement of all our desires!”

Example of the Astrachios Prayer, which is an excellent prayer for daily use:

“Astrachios, Asac, Asacra Bedrimulael, Silat, Arabonas, Ieralehm, Ideodoc, Archarzel,
Zophiel, Blautel, Baracata, Emagro, Abrageteh, Samoel, Geburahel, Cadato, Era, Achsah, Ebmisha, Imachadel, Dama, Elamos, Izachel, Bael, Scirlin, Genium Domos!
O Morning Star, Prince of the World, who is seated above all hells and regardeth the Abyss
among them, grant unto us Thy Grace we beseech Thee, so that what we conceive in our
mind we may accomplish in our work: through Thee Sovereign ruler of all, who liveth and reigneth in eternity. Amen”

In the days leading up to a major ritual it is suggested to engage with abstinence, fasting, and prayer to psych oneself up, to purposely withhold and build up energy that is to be directed to the purpose. This isn’t about some idea of moral purity. In our understanding there is no pure or impure to ultimate reality in any moral sense. This ritual framework assumes two people, one acting as summoner, in charge of much of the speaking, and one person acting as medium, who does the actual spirit communication, if you have more people they can act as acolytes, if less than it’s all you.

I. Rite of Opening

The Opening Rite is used both on its own and as an opening for other rituals.

The structure is flexible and should be tweaked based on need. When performed as a solo rite, the first part of Laying the Compass can be omitted, and the third part Treading the Mill is replaced with a reiteration of the Invocation of the Infernal divine. This standalone version is recommended to be practiced daily. It serves several purposes: it affirms and reinforces the identification of the divine nature of the Self, it reinforces the aura, wards off parasitic spirits, it strengthens the skills of visualization and connecting intention, energy, sound, and movement, and finally it grounds and centers the practitioner preparing them for both their day and magickal work.

 

Laying the Compass

The ground is marked off as desired in line with magnetic lines of the earth.

Then the Stang is raised at the cardinal direction appropriate for the season and blessed as representation of the Witchlord. Finally, three circles are made around the perimeter, the first with incense to symbolize the all-encompassing presence of spirit, then water to represent the water of the abyss from which all things sprang, and finally ash to represent the impermanence of all life.

Invocation of the Infernal Divine

1.Face east in front of the altar. Form the left hand into the sign of benediction and trace an equilateral cross before you at forehead height imagining it formed of radiant darkness. Confidently affirm: “ In nomine Luciferi, et Lilith, et filius eorum Cain.”

2. Imagine a powerful dark light, or fiercely burning black flame, above your head. Using your left hand put your thumb, index, and middle finger together representing the union of the alchemical elements of sulfur, salt and mercury. Reach up and pull that burning light down to your third eye. Feel the heat of it. Confidently say “Ego”

3. Bring your hand down to the level of your groin pulling the flame down with it. Imagine the dark light penetrating down to beneath your feet into the earth. Say “Regnum.”

4. Bring your hand to your right shoulder while imagining the same light extending out form that shoulder to infinity. Say “Et Potestas.”

5. Bring your hand to your left shoulder. As you perform this motion, imagine the dark light extending from there as well. Say “Et Gloria.”

6. Put your palms together at the level of your forehead and say “In Aeternum, Amen! “ as you bring them toward the level of your solar plexus. As you perform this motion, imagine the cross of light you have formed burning brightly and solidly.

Calling of the 4 Kings

1. Extend your hands in the shape of a cross. Affirm: “As a Divine being I call out to the kings and form the pentagrams:”

2. Take a deep breath and say the following to each respective direction: To the East: Imagine a fire elemental forming before you. Point your first two fingers of the left hand outward and trace the inverted pentagram of Earth. Then punch the pentagram in the center with your fingers while strongly exhaling. “Hail Oriens, Spirit of Fire, join me here, charge my words and burn my fear .”

3. Toward the North: Trace the first line of the circle, terminating in the North. Imagine a water elemental forming before you. Using the same method as before, trace the inverted pentagram and say:” Hail Egyn, Spirit of Water, cleanse me now, carry me through and hear my vow .”

4.Toward the West: Trace the next line of the circle, terminating in the East. Imagine an air elemental forming before you. Using the same method as before, trace the inverted pentagram and say: “Hail Paymon, Spirit of Air, come to me, lift my words and hear my plea.”

5. To the South: Holding your fingers pointing outward, trace the third line of the circle, terminating in the South. Imagine an earth elemental forming before you. Next, using the same method as before, trace the inverted pentagram and say: “Hail Amaymon, Spirit of Earth, I call to thee, ground my work and make it be.”

6. Next, draw the fourth line of the circle back to east, then bring your palms back together at the level of your forehead and say “Before me Oriens, behind me Paymon, to my right hand Amaymon, to my left hand Egyn. “ as you bring them toward the level of your solar plexus. Then, visualize the four figures bearing weapons standing guard at each cardinal point: “For about me doth the pentagrams flame, and within me fire from whence it came! Amen”

Treading the Mill

1. Raise hands in the sign of Baphomet. Say:

“Old goat god of the Wise, Initiator, and first born, Of Serpent fire, awake, arise! By blade, by bone, by horn! “*

2. Begin circling the compass widdershins, maintaining focus at the center of the circle, chanting:

“O Bearer of the mystic light, Come ye as the fire burns By the secret ways of Night The witches’ mill about thee turns!”*

Repeat until trance ensues then begin work.

*Quoted from “The Devil’s Dozen” by Gemma Gary

II. Rite of Confession

Confession isn’t a ritual step to skip. It has very ancient roots, long before Christianity got ahold of it. It’s an emotional release. It’s a proverbial wiping of one’s karmic slate. It’s a tool that protects the witch from malicious spirits who may attempt to use prior acts against them. Add an appropriate visualization here, this one, inspired by a Tantric meditation, is useful. Visualize a cleansing fire that starts at one’s feet and gradually consumes you and everything around you, every narrative you attach to yourself in every timeline should be consumed, leaving nothing but pure stillness, a layer of ash on the ground that blows away in the breeze.

“O Witch Lord and Lady, before Thee do we confess our failings and take ownership of them in Thy presence. For we have acted countless times from ignorance in this and every realm. We have failed many times to be fully present, we have not treated all of creation, every spirit and person with due reverence in every moment. We have committed every act before Thee by pride and avarice, wrath and idleness, by gluttony and debauchery. We have cast suspicions and judgments unto our selves and others. We have let ourselves be prisoner to our own fears and wallowed in loathing. We come before Thee now, stripped naked to publish our sins, so that none may have advantage over us, none may accuse us, for we are laid bare for all to see.

Yet we call to the Highest, and speak of our successes as we step into our power. For we have been a light to those around us. We have lived in the moment and seen Divinity in all things. We have given reverence to all that exists. We have acted with humility and charity, kindness and diligence, shown strength and temperance. We have shown compassion and been a refuge for others even as we strive to live without shame or regret. Yes, we come before Thee that none may accuse us, like Thee O Mother we are full to overflowing with potency. We stand naked and shining, radiant and defiant like Thee O Morning Star… and like Thee… again we rise!”

III. Rite of Ablution

This is a ritual wash, the intent is again not about moral purity but about cleansing oneself of ignorance. We see ignorance, the illusion of separation from the Divine, as the root of much of human suffering, when ignorance is stripped away, we are open and seeing reality nakedly, we are aligned to the Divine Will to the utmost. The water is given a dash of consecrated salt, the words are said, then we wash face and hands three times.

“O Morning Star, among the highest Aeons, bless and sanctify this water, fill it with your light that it may be healthy for both body and soul and align its spirit with our intent. Accord us so that we may be purified of all error and stand cleansed before thee! Amen”

IV. Evocation of Scirlin

Scirlin acts as a messenger spirit, an intercessor, an opener of doors. Very useful when calling spirits. You should have done the work of making and consecrating the pact with Scirlin if you are going to call on him. Make a point of welcoming any spirit successfully summoned and offer incense accordingly.

To be chanted:

“HELOY + TAU + VARAF + PANTHON + HOMINORCUM + ELEMIATH + SERUGEATH +.
ON + CASILY”

V. a. General Evocation

 

Evocations often need to be repeated, take your time with this, give it some breathing space. It becomes a chant slowly building in intensity. Typically, I am repeating this evocation up to seven times, while my ritual partner chants enns if available for the spirit. Enns are a modern invention which we affectionately refer to as a demon’s phone number.

They are a string of syllables that like any words of power are excellent for trance induction. Some people like them, others hate them. Use what works.

At the very least you want the spirits name and sigil present when summoning. Make the environment conducive and welcoming for its presence with things that correspond to it. Do your homework here. We typically do use a bit of blood via diabetic kit, anointing the sigil as a means of charging and activation, visualizing the life force of the blood moving into the sigil. Offerings to spirits should be appropriate to the spirit and given in exchange for service. Treat spirits from a standpoint of love and respect and drop any baggage or preconceptions you have regarding them. Like receiving an honored guest. You’ll get way better results that way. However, spirits are not your best friends. They are teachers and guides. They can challenge you. Some spirits are dangerous. Know how to banish and cleanse. They are not Pokemon to collect. You are far better off focusing on building connections with a few spirits than trying to summon them all.

The blanks here are to be filled with the spirit’s name obviously but feel free to describe the spirit and its attributes as well to better align with it.

To be chanted:

“By the names of Lucifer, the morning star, Lilith, the lunar fire, and Cain, first of Witch-blood, we call, evoke, and conjure thee, _____. In the name of he whose name is rebellion, whose cause is liberation, come forth! In the name of she who knew and spoke the Ineffable Name, at which being heard the elements are overthrown, the air is shaken, the sea runneth back, the fire is quenched, the earth trembleth, and all the hosts of the celestials, terrestrials, and infernals are confounded, come forth. By the name of he who first transgressed in the flesh and carved the Crooked Path of the Witch, come forth. Come thou, O ______, forthwith, from any parts of the world. Come thou in peace and joy here to this circle!”

V. b. General Spellwork

Any general spellwork such as rites of release, manifestation, holiday specific rituals, curses and hexes, etc are done here, enlisting the spirits present.

VI. The Housel

 

We perform the Housel at full moons and holidays, it is a rite of communion with each other and the spirits we work with. When the Housel is performed a much less targeted version of the general evocation is used, one where all the spirits we work with are called upon to be honored.

For the rite itself we currently favor a nice blackberry wine and I make the Sabbat bread from “The Crooked Path”, an excellent honey oat bread. The wording is quoted from “Besom, Stang and Sword” by Chris Orapello and Tara Love Maguire. One blesses the bread and wine, each participant breaks their piece in half and offers half to the spirits and consumes the other. After the initial bread and wine, the wine is refilled, and a toast is made.

Communion

“This bread forged from the earth, a sacrifice of the land itself. May it fill us with life and sustenance. Eat of it, eat of the land and be as one. I sacrifice this life to the Witch Father, the Witch Lord. I dedicate this death to his name, so we may walk within his wild power. This wine, forged from the earth, A sacrifice by the land itself. May it fill us with life and sustenance. Drink of it, drink of the land, and be as one. I sacrifice this life to the Dark Mother, the Witch Queen. I dedicate this death to her name, so we may know her unending Mystery.”

The Toast

“A drink for the Witch King and Queen of the Sabbat!
A drink for the mighty dead and those who have gone before.
A drink for the blessings we have received and for those yet to come.
A drink for friendship and a drink for life.
A drink for love and a drink for joy.
And finally a drink for you and a drink for me.”

VII. Revelry

I was uncertain what to call this step or even whether it should be considered an actual ritual step but it always occurs in our rites. It developed spontaneously during our practice and I wouldn’t feel right without giving it formal recognition. We affectionately call it “vibing.” What it is is space, a place without firm structure for release, meditation, prayer, dance, co-regulatory exercises, whatever feels intuitively right in the moment. A moment of unity and a space to reground and allow energies to dissipate naturally before formally closing the rite.

VIII. License to Depart

Do not omit this step. Whether one still feels the presence of spirits or not, always thank them for their aid.

Say:

“Ite in pace ad loca vestra et pax sit inter vos redituri ad mecum vos invocavero, in nomine
Luciferi, et Lilith, et filius eorum Cain. Amen”

Devotional Prayers

As supplemental material I will add some example prayers to be used with offerings in regular devotional practice.

“O Lucifer, Divine Flame, we give thanks for Thy blessings.
By the light of Thy glory we rejoice that Thou hast shown us our wholeness.
We pray to Thee to keep pouring for us from the cup of knowledge, wisdom and compassion.
We ask of Thee to protect us from stumbling into Error and help us work to the good of all
beings.
We invoke Thee Lord, that as expressions of Divine Nature, we may wield the sword of
discernment, let us cut down illusion and see clearly.
Prince of the World, thou who hast shown us where we are from, who we are, and where we
are to return, we Know, we are the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, in eternity.
Amen”

“Ama Lilith, blessed Wisdom
In Thy compassion I take refuge
In Thine arms my pain is healed
In Thy passion my heart is set afire
In Thy strength my strength is revealed.
Amen”

WITCH OF THE WEEK: Bill Duvendack

Photo Five, Bill

Bill Duvendack is an astrologer, internationally known psychic, presenter, teacher, and author. He has presented in many venues, ranging from colleges and high schools to national and international conferences.

He is the author of the published books “Vocal Magick,” “The Metaphysics of Magick,” “In the Shadow of the Watchtower, Enochian Grimoire Volume 1,” “Spirit Relations,” “Awakening Lucifer,” “Sat En Anpu” a book on Anubis, and “Astrology in Theory and Practice,” with several other essays released recently.

He has had over a dozen essays published in various anthologies, and his magical writings have been translated into 6 languages. He regularly teaches classes on magick, astrology, and modern spirituality, nationally and via webinars.

He has been interviewed by the NY Times, RTE 1, and has made many TV and radio appearances.

For more information about him, please consult his website: www.418ascendant.com

His upcoming projects include:

Second Enochian Grimoire is coming out this month, called “Dark Fruit.” It’s part two to “In the Shadow of the Watchtower.”

Unlimited hardback version of “Sat En Anpu” is coming out this month as well, available through my website for a signed copy.

Lucifer-Amaymon just got released with Become a Living God.

Lots of events coming up in September and October, mostly local to the Midwest.

Website is going through a major overhaul that includes having more of my classes available through there.

Video class series on Draconian Egypt is available through Become a Living God, and another video series is being discussed with them.

Slated for next year with them is also a book on Qliphothic Astrology, as well as a tarot deck with Asenath Mason.

I’ll also be writing a piece for the third book in their nine book grimoire series, coming out around the end of the year on Azazel.

Next year I’ll be releasing a book with Immanion Press on Psychic Protection.

Photo Two, Bill

Q. You are truly one of the best Astrologers I’ve come across, when did the stars first call to you? What is your favorite aspect of Astrology? What is it about Astrology, in your opinion that draws people in? Conversely, what steers them away? I’m very new to Astrology, and for me it’s been a powerful learning experience, but a lot of people scoff at the idea; some dismiss it entirely. What do you say to the naysayers?

A: “First of all, thank you for the compliment! When I was around seven I wanted to be an astronomer, but when I learned it required a lot of math and you don’t really get to go out and look at the night sky I looked into astrology. However, every time I read a horoscope it was constantly wrong, so I abandoned that. Approximately 20 years later a dear friend suggested I come back to it, so I did, and the rest is history. So a lot of my early exposure to astrology was in seeing it NOT work, which is why I can relate to skeptics! Let’s face it, the sky is the second half of what we perceive, and this has been true for thousands of years, so it’s natural to look for meaning in it. People generally get turned off of astrology because it is not common knowledge that it is a soft science, like all of the other –ologies out there, which is why I dedicate a lot of space to explaining that in my book “Astrology in Theory & Practice.” To deny astrology is to deny all soft sciences because it works on the same principles they do.”

Photo Three, Bill

Q. I am friends with you on your personal page so I may get to see a side that you don’t show professionally, but I notice that you intentionally word things a certain way because you want people to think, or you want to ruffle feathers. Although that isn’t my approach (come to think of it, in some ways it is) it’s a really effective method at mirroring people’s bullshit back onto them. It seems you just want people to internally reflect, but more importantly you want them to take personal responsibility. Is this correct? If so, where does that mischief, for lack of a better word, come from? It has an almost trickster vibe to it, but in a loving way that only a Teacher can have. I for one have learned a lot from you.

A: “Yes, you are correct in your observation. I do that to encourage people to think, but also to take accountability for their own lives. Trickster? Yes. It reminds me of something I learned many years ago when I was first becoming a teacher. The difference between a teacher and a good teacher is that a good teacher will tell you where to look, but not necessarily what you will find when you look there. What you find is all on you. Another piece of the puzzle is that I promote change. It is the only constant, after all. I love being the instigator in a lot of ways, and astrologically it is my Sagittarius side coming through.”

Photo Four, Bill

Q. Given the social and political upheaval here in the states, and worldwide, really, there seems to be a huge drop in folks flocking to religion and more coming to Earth based and Pagan beliefs. Over the last few years I’ve called it “the great re-wilding”–a way to return to our roots, collectively. Do you think people are sick if the fear and hypocrisy religion delivers? Or is it something else entirely?

A: “Again I agree with your perception, but would also like to add that a lot of people are looking for a connection with simplicity and the natural world.”

Photo One, Bill

A Collection of Bill’s Published works, including Anthologies

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

A: “Funny enough, my friend Donald Michael Kraig quoting Dr Timothy Leary: “Think for yourself, question authority.”

Q. What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new Astrologer? And, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to a new Magick and/or Occult Practitioner?

A: “A new astrologer? Learn the Western Tradition of Occultism, because it and astrology are intertwined for the last few thousand years. Funny enough, the converse is also true for a new magical practitioner. Traditionally speaking, before one could become a magician they had to become a competent astrologer first, so learn astrology and become good at it. Secondly, remember context and keep everything in it. We are all stars, after all.”

Bill is as down to Earth as they come; a unique soul who manages to keep his eyes turned to the Stars.

He is knowledgeable and shares that knowledge with the world.

Full of wisdom, humor and otherworldly insight it’s easy to see why I decided to spotlight him.

For these reasons and so many more Bill Duvendack has been chosen as The Nephilim Rising’s Witch of the Week.

Congratulations, Bill.

LESSONS IN MAGICK: People Don’t Owe You Sh*t

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“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.”

Criss Jami

We live in a “give me” society, so is it shouldn’t be surprising that this mentality has seeped over into the Magickal community.

Yet, here I am shocked and dismayed at what I have been witnessing lately.

Don’t get me wrong, freeloaders are not new to the Craft, but it does seem like their numbers have increased.

Add in the fact that a lot of newbies don’t want to put in the work; they want the title of Witch, they want the (often stereotypical) aesthetic of a Witch, but they don’t understand the verb Witchcraft (thanks Nikki for putting that so eloquently).

It’s true.

Witchcraft IS a practice.

Sure, it looks different for everyone, but this path requires work.

Your path requires you to put in the work.

You can read, and read and read, collecting all the information you can find (ie. Armchair Occultist);

You can ride on the coattails of someone else, and their experiences;

You can bounce from practitioner to practitioner presenting them with some sob story and asking them to do your bidding for you;

But, eventually, the Laws of Magick will force your hand, and you either shit or get off the pot.

You either put into practice the art of Magick, or you back the fuck away slowly and don’t try to make Sacred traditions trendy ever again.

I am obviously wound up writing this post and it’s because I am seeing a lot of entitlement lately.

On top of that, I have been witnessing paranoid people claiming every unpleasant event in life is Magickally related. I have also seen people asking for energy/thoughts/good vibes/assistance on a regular basis.

I want to address these topics.

Throughout my writing career I have expressed my opinions on these subjects individually, but there is a need for this to be said in one place.

This is one of my pieces where it could be received in a few ways, and I am sure I will ruffle some feathers; I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t.

Remember, if anything I say offends you, ask yourself, “Why am I offended?”

Your feelings have everything to do with you, and nothing to do with me.

I am but a reflection.

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First thing first, Witchcraft is a lifestyle.

For some people it’s a look, too, but at the core it’s a practice that we live, and breathe.

Philosophy varies from person to person, our Craft will as well, but the one thing that Witches have in common across the board is that they put in work to create the outcomes they want.

We play with the web of Wyrd.

We manipulate energy and bend it to our Will.

We are powerful, formidable creatures.

Knowing how much power we wield, it drives me nuts to see Witches who refuse to put in work. Not only do they refuse to put in work (for whatever reason) when work is required, they run to another Witch, and expect them to do their bidding.

We now are dealing with entitled, lazy Witches.

I absolutely love to help others, and I love to share my knowledge, but I will not, in fact, I refuse to do anyone else’s work for them.

I will help when needed, I will offer tricks and tips, but your path is yours to walk and the work is yours to do.

Stop looking for handouts.

Nobody owes you anything; not the world, not your job, not your fellow Witches.

Stop expecting Magickal work to be free.

You pay for services on your car, your home, your body, but when it comes to services for your Soul, you turn your nose up at it.

Or, you try and pull the “well, Witches of old never charged.”

We are not Witches of old, we are Modern Mystics and we have bills to pay.

Stop expecting results with no effort; that’s like expecting a reaction (outcome) with no action (intention).

You’re smarter than that.

Stop expecting Magick itself to be free.

Nothing is free.

Stop playing the victim.

You are only a victim if that’s how you write your narrative.

Own your shit. Face your shit. Transmute your shit. Level up.

It’s what the rest of us are doing.

You can’t take and take and take from people with zero regard for their well-being, and their own struggles.

We all have our battles to fight.

Don’t get so high on your horse that you believe yours are more important.

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Secondly, life sucks. I am a professional pessimist, but even if I wasn’t, life would still suck. This is a fact that we must accept.

There are countless variables in play all around us at any given moment, to think we can or do have control over it all is insane.

Sometimes shit happens.

There is no profound lesson.

There is no Magickal attack.

There is no villain.

There is no “Karma”.

Life sucks.

Life is also crazy beautiful and amazing and should be enjoyed but if you think that every bump you hit in life is somehow Magickally related, you are going to be a paranoid, frantic, no energy having wreck.

Everything we do is Magick, but not everything done to us is.

So, take a deep breath, go with the flow.

Accept what is, don’t dwell on what isn’t.

Believe in yourself.

And, trust the process.

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Third, I have been noticing people in groups I am, even people on my friend list who are constantly asking for energy of some sort. Whether it is good vibes, Magickal assistance, thoughts or whatever, their life is always in turmoil and they always need help.

I have an unpopular opinion that every single one of us is an energy Vampyr in one way or another, and if you look closely at the people around you, you will see what I mean.

I mean, *everything* is an energy exchange.

Like I mentioned above, I have no problem helping someone out—if I have seen they have put the work in.

I prefer people who need my help to approach me with nothing but brutal honesty, and transparency.

However, if it becomes a trend, or a common occurrence, it raises concern.

Why do you constantly need help and/or energy?

Why is your life constantly in turmoil?

Getting energy is as easy as walking outside and standing in the sun. I mean, it isn’t considered the Pranic center in Ayurverdic tradition for no reason; it’s a battery.

Use it.

We all need help occasionally and I am not knocking that AT ALL, but it shouldn’t be a regular thing. I shouldn’t be signing onto fb and seeing the same 10 people asking for energy because of *insert overly dramatic huge life event*.

Meanwhile, myself and everyone else I know have their own shit going on.

We are all trying to navigate the waters of life, and more times than not I am drowning right alongside some of the people I help.

So, I help where I can and feel the need to, I draw boundaries when it seems suspicious.

I separate genuine from the fake.

The people who have given up completely, or the ones who feel too entitled to get their hands dirty are the ones I can’t and don’t assist.

Refusing to get your hands dirty is worse than giving up because it means you won’t even try.

I am the first to admit that my life is chaotic, and messy, but so are the lives of everyone I know. For this reason I try to show compassion and empathy at all times.

We all have overflowing plates;

Life is about learning to balance it all.

ANCESTRAL MAGICK: More Than Blood

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“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.”

Liam Callanan

For a lot of Witches Ancestral Magick looks the same but for me, it’s a complex, layered, emotional aspect of the Craft that took me years to dive and tap into.

Ancestral Magick is just that; connecting with your Ancestors, honoring them, and working with them in a Magickal capacity.

There are some who center their practice around their Ancestors, others simply incorporate aspects of Ancestral Magick into their overall practice, and others who do not incorporate their Ancestors at all, for a variety of reasons, but primarily because they don’t feel connected; usually there are deeply rooted generational traumas in cases where the cord between us and the Ancestors seems severed (it can never be severed; hidden yes, severed, no).

We all have generational wounds, they affect us differently, so to compare one to the other is futile.

However, we must be aware of these differences, they are important.

Those of us of European descent who came here, willingly or unwillingly, and had our hand in colonialization will have entirely different wounds to heal and psychic debris to filter through than people who, for example, are a product of African Diaspora (Transatlantic slave trade as one example) , or the Indigenous People who were slaughtered upon our arrival.

I’m not here to discuss politics, but facts are facts.

Regardless of how we, personally, feel about what happened in the past, regardless that it happened in the past, it must still be owned, discussed and healed.

Part of that healing is bringing true human ugliness to the surface.

The Witch community needs intersectionality just like every other area of the human experience.

Personally, I believe that past lives play a huge role in who we are, and what we believe; for the sake of my sanity (Ie. I can only imagine the comments under a blog about that) and the integrity of this piece, I will keep the two topics separate, for now, and focus on Ancestral Magick in the true sense.

Well, kinda.

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So, before I venture too deeply into territory where there is no turning back, let’s talk about what my Ancestral Magick is/looks like.

My Maternal lineage is Scandinavian (Dane, Norse), Scot-Irish, with a splash of French-Canadian.

My Paternal lineage is Polish and Italian. Slavic folklore was huge growing up; Stregheria was something I had to research on my own.

Therefore, history plays a pivotal role because we need to know about the conflict among our Ancestral lineage; this conflict is important to understand, on both sides.

Especially if you plan on using your Ancestors in a Magickal context.

The dead are tricky to work with in general, they have minds of their own, and we as Practitioners are responsible for finding a dynamic that works for all parties involved.

I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking I am out of my mind right now, but am I?

Have you personally not yet discovered that, for example, some Spirits and/or Deities prefer not to work together? They don’t like to have parts of their Altar next to so, and so? They request not to be evoked or conjured when another is present?

I have learned the hard way, the funny way, and the disastrous way that Spirits and Deities have “conflict” among them—by conflict I mean, the energies don’t compliment each other.

It’s the same with our Ancestors—the love they have for us is not enough to squash some of the beef that they have with each other, trust me. Particularly if you, like myself, are deeply connected to Ancestors from way, way back.

I keep an Altar dedicated to the dead all year long, not just during Samhain.

On my Ancestral Altar there are representations of Death in all forms, offerings, and tokens of my loved ones; I honor my Great-great Grandfather by having his Masonic books there, I honor my Grandmother with a broach of hers, etc.

Most importantly I honor my Ancestors in the foods I eat, the movies I watch, the books I read, how I believe, the way I live my life and who I am as a person; Ancestral Magick is not just about how we honor them in a Magickal and Practical setting, it’s about how we honor them in our day to day, mundane lives, too.

I feel most connected to the Grandparents who raised me (my parents were present, but both worked).

My Grandfather was first generation Polish-American, and a WWII Vet; my Grandmother was first generation Polish-German American, and they both hold huge chunks of my heart.

We are not connected by blood, though.

Yet they come through so strongly.

 

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You see, my Father was adopted by a Polish family, but other than him being half Polish and half Italian, we don’t know much else.

When I connect with my Ancestors, it’s a pair of Vikings (how cliché, I know; they’re farmers by trade, warriors by choice, sworn to Odin and use the Valknut as their calling card) and my Grandmother who come through the strongest—Gramps kind of goes where Grams does, so he’s around, too.

During one Samhain Ritual, the entire Paternal side came through, and by that, I mean, ALL the Aunts, Uncles, etc. Most of whom were either already passed, or very old by the time I was even born.

They show up and show out for me whenever called upon.

For a lot of people, they don’t have the luxury of knowing their background, so connecting to Ancestors can seem like a daunting, and painful experience.

But, anything worth having is worth working for.

Ancestral Magick is powerful Magick; Ancestors even more powerful allies.

I have found Ancestors that will do anything for me because they love me, others who will do anything for me because they like discord and conflict, others who are mischievous and some who are just gentle healers and teachers.

Ancestors are not just those who we are connected to by blood, they are the people and Spirits who made us, guided us, and showed us the way; the people who raised us, the people whose hands helped heal and hold us.

“Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my Ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”

Linda Hogan