WITCH OF THE WEEK: Bill Duvendack

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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), Irish, English with a splash of French-Canadian.

My Paternal lineage is Polish.

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 estranged Father was adopted by a Polish family (his own ethnicity) but other than him being full blooded Polish, 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