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

Banner 2

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

It has morphed into much more.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Due to debut next year!

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

He is Managing Editor at Modern Witch Magazine.

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

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

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

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

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

Through his words you hear the echoes of thousands.

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

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

Owl Butterfly Image: Sanna Wieslander



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

You can catch exclusive content on her Patreon:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations, Danielle.

Thank you for everything.

Social Media Handles:

IG and Twitter: @WolfWomanWitch


Facebook Biz Page: @WolfWomanCircle



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations, Orlee.

pixlr (1)

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

And, how cool is this idea?!

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

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

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

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

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

For all things Gaby:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations, Crimson Queen.

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

And her newest project FASHION IS DYING:



LESSONS IN MAGICK: The Unethical Practice of Spirit Binding, Part II


image source

“Real magic can never be made by offering someone else’s liver. You must tear out your own, and not expect to get it back.”

Peter S. Beagle

The Unethical Practice of Spirit Binding is to date one of my most popular pieces; even now, nearly 2 years since writing it, it’s still one of the most weekly visited blogs, and the one I receive the most emails/questions about.

I figured since it would be time consuming as all hell, and repetitive to reply to each email, all of which are essentially asking the same thing, it would be easier to address the concerns and issues in a blog of its own.

Before I get into the gist of this, let me first clarify a few things.

I firmly believe that binding a Spirit to a vessel is right under abusing a child (in general and/or) with Magick; to me, it’s THAT serious.

Our Magick comes from within, most of our knowledge and wisdom, too but a lot of our power, knowledge, wisdom and gifts comes directly from the Spirit world in the form of Ancestors, and the Spirits we work with daily—be they Gods, Goddesses, Daemons, Fae, Elementals, etc: they owe us nothing, yet are often more than willing to come to our aid when called upon.

To disrespect this world, these beings by acting like we are superior is a recipe for disaster.

Not to mention it’s audacious to think that just because we can, we should.

I have been practicing the Craft since I was a kid, and have been surrounded by Witches and Mystics for nearly as long and besides Djinn, none of us can think of a time when you would *need* to bind a Spirit to a vessel.

Note: Djinn truly are genies in many ways, and they must be bound to an object (preferably jewelry) to work with. The word Djinn means both “Demons and Spirits” and has an additional meaning of “hidden from sight”. Their energy is unruly, hence the need to anchor them; they should always be released afterwards as a bored Djinn is a dangerous Djinn.

Binding a Spirit to a vessel is entirely different than enchanting an object; this is important.

For example, evoking Lilith, and asking for Her essence to enchant a piece of jewelry or tool for sexual confidence, power and protection would not be considered binding; you called upon Her, asked Her permission and an exchange was made—what that exchange is, is between you and Her, or whatever deity/Spirit you are working this (in context exchange means offerings).

Binding a Spirit to an object is trapping them.

And, sorry guys, but it’s fucking wrong.

Gold Apple

image source

I’m not sitting on a high horse, and I really hate to enter territory where it comes off like I am telling other’s how to practice but, we must have basic ground rules when practicing, right?


Surely, not binding Spirits and not abusing them should be high on our list of basic manners of Practice, right?

A clear majority of those who email me have purchased or acquired a bound vessel without thinking of the Spirit itself; they are quite remorseful in their messages. Often, attributing their change of heart and “aha moment” to reading and/or coming across my blog on the subject; so much gratitude for this because awareness was the sole intent of the original piece.

Then there are those who purchased bound vessels and found they didn’t have use for the Spirit and now they don’t know what to do.

I don’t judge anyone because we have all found ourselves in situations during our Magickal career where we know we fucked up. If you have not had this moment yet you are either doing something wrong, or it’s right around the corner waiting for you.

Fucking up has been my best teacher.

So, what do you do when you find yourself in possession of a Spirit bound object?

Well, first you attempt to contact the Spirit itself.

In many cases the Spirit in question will be volatile (rightfully so); sometimes they will be shy, and/or fearful.

In many ways Spirits could and can squash us like a bug but in many ways, they can be dominated, and it has the same affect on them as it would on us if we were abused, and oppressed.

They become withdrawn and defeated.

Set up your ritual space, place the object in front of you and communicate with the Spirit; sometimes this can be done simply by touching the object, depending on how tuned into your intuition you are.

Other times you will need to choose a form of divination to act as a medium for the message to be received.

Even if it was not you who bound them, apologize for their mistreatment; if you know what type of Spirit you are working with, offer them something you know would appeal to them, if you do not know go with the basics of incense, liquor/wine/beer, sweets, fruit and a candle.

Then, release them.

It can be simple, and sometimes the Spirit will be released by you saying, “you are free to go” but other times it requires more effort in the form of a burial, or burning to break the original spell and allow the Spirit to return to its abode.

On rare occasions there will need to be a full ritual of cord cutting, and banishing (example: The Spirit does not want to go and/or is malicious in nature).

I have come across a few friends who have attempted to release a benevolent Spirit, and the Spirit expressed their desire to stay; if you are okay with this, then you can keep the vessel.

The point is to give the Spirit a choice at freedom, give them the option they were denied in the first place.


image source

You do not need a bound vessel to have a connection with a Spirit, or for that Spirit to grant you what you desire.

They are not our play toys; they do not exist to be at our beck and call; they are allies, sources of knowledge for Seekers; they are keepers of the Old Ways.

Magick and the Craft should never involve abuse; I don’t consider baneful Magick abuse because when I practice it, it’s justified. But, that’s been covered in my Justified Hexing blog.

Nothing about this path, this life or this Craft is cut and dry, nothing is black and white, each situation presented to us requires a new set of eyes; we must drop all that we think we know and assess the situation while keeping our wisdom in tact—it’s a Jedi level balancing act.