Divining Through Disaster

  Photography by:  Maimouna Guerresi

 Photography by: Maimouna Guerresi

Written by Jaliessa Sipress

Recently, a lot of people’s realities have been turned upside-down; whether through “natural” or man-made disaster or through events that blur the line in-between. Disaster is something most of us live under the threat of everyday. It bubbles underneath our feet and seethes under our skin. It is what keeps us up at night and often impacts our day-to-day decisions. Its intensity and presence ebb and flow but the threat will always remain. Turmoil in this world is consistent but when the building pressure peaks, people start to panic, and they begin to forget.

As witches, misfortune is a part of our lineage. The fear, pain and suffering of those around us prescribed as side effects of us being privy to our own power. Our aptitude to tap into our natural abilities and form deep connections with our bodies, the bodies around us and the body of the earth are all things that make us dangerous because these acts can never fall under anyone else’s dominion. We listen and flow with the earth and her shifts and changes. We practice remembrance and manifestation in accordance with her seasons. We understand that we are of her and can harness her power and this is why we are feared. But the earth is a witch, too. She casts spells of beauty, love and abundance and she, too, is targeted for being angry and vengeful when she tries to heal herself. And this is why we must carry on. This is why we must acknowledge the power of the witch, the strength in our audacity to be our own temples and our own healers. Our abilities to make altars out of debris and never be without our magic because it lies within us.

To divine through disaster is to not ignore it. A lot of the craft is centered in the simple act of noticing. We watch and wait and participate in the art of divine timing. We are here to nurture the collapse of all that ails us, to live in harmony with our fear and loss. We must remember that our ancestors birthed our path to freedom and it is our duty to lead the way for others. Witches work is the work of the people. It is the work we do to stabilize and satiate and educate and support those who have forgotten the power within them.

During times of turmoil, it is our duty to remember and share our knowledge of how to work and heal with water, soil and ash. We must pass on ways to regenerate with what remains when human inventions fail. We are the ones who have to figure out why the world is still turning and we must take note of where our magic fits into the maddeness. We have to keep fighting, casting and believing the way we have been but with steadier consistency and ferocious fervor. Witches have to hold it down. It is our job to lead the way, to teach others how light comes from darkness and to hold onto our beliefs and our beloveds until the walls fall down around us.

 Photography By  Photo credit:  Maimouna Guerresi

Photography By  Photo credit: Maimouna Guerresi


Witchcraft as Devotion: A Closer Look at the Practices and Principles of Witchcraft in the Modern Age

 Photography by Mo www.phobymo.com

Photography by Mo www.phobymo.com

Written By Jaliessa Sipress

With Vogue magazine hailing our time as a “witchy renaissance,” it is safe to say that witchcraft is on the rise.* But, what is witchcraft? What is it really for? Is it all just spells to get rich and make people fall in love with you? Is it about worshiping he who not be named and learning how to pronounce wingardium leviosa? For some, it is all of these things and for others, none. A witch can mean many things and can come in many forms, and much of it's popularity seems to stem from that. While witchcraft and wizardry has gained wild popularity for it's reclamation of power and perceived formlessness, what should not be forgotten is that being a witch is less about the fact that one has “power” and more about acknowledging where that power comes from.

Witchcraft is a work of gratitude. It comes from the practice of honoring the people, land and animals that came before you, that coexist with you now and that have yet to arrive. Witchcraft is the work of the wise because it is the everyday practice of those who are humbled by the world around them. Witches find meaning in the mundane and see the magic in weeds growing through cracks in the sidewalk or a shed feather of a dirty bird. Witches are rememberers, mourners and healers because they have reconciled with the cycles of life and realized what is and is not in human hands. Witchcraft is about gratitude and alignment, treading lightly and respectfully and only taking what you need. We must remember that witchcraft is less about control and more about connection. A connection to our own divinity, but also an understanding of the limitations of it.

A witch’s power is in their ability to adapt, working with the natural cycles of the earth to bring about abundance, clarity and direction. It is not about manipulation or having complete control. Witchcraft is about surrendering. It is the knowledge that most things are out of our hands but continuing to work with our surroundings to help swing things in our favor. It is the act of bowing to the elements and submitting to their power that makes a spell stick. Witchcraft is a labor of love and intention. Spells work because they are an act of communion with the powers beyond us, acknowledging our need for help, and partaking in a mutual relationship with things we cannot measure. It is about giving without the expectation of receiving.

 Photography by Gregory Halpern

Photography by Gregory Halpern

To practice magick is to be in attunement with a sensitive and dying world and being interested in working with, fighting for and healing with it. Yes, witches cast spells and ask the universe for guidance. This is because they are interested in being led, in asking for help when in need and respecting that whatever shall come, will come. Sometimes spellwork is feeding late Aunt Mable’s altar or lighting a “road opener” candle for weeks until anything finally sets into motion. Sometimes it is the humbling act of continually asking and never receiving because it is not what the universe wants for you. It can sometimes mean waiting, worrying, re-configuring and waiting again. But all of the waiting and worrying is worth it because the craft is about finding understanding in failed spells and magical mishaps. It is about finding true love for yourself and the world around you and being in communion with the gifts that come from that. It is about faith.

Witchcraft is a fun, freeing, beautiful and impassioned practice, and we must acknowledge that our ability to experience it as such is rooted in the magnetic force of offering. Offering our power, offering our light, offering our darkness, offering our strength, offering our material and immaterial gifts, our dedication and our relationship to the deities and beings that guide us. Staying in a state of gratitude and giving helps to attract the exact blessings you are grateful for. Your love and power are precious tools. Use them to uplift, remember and protect and they shall never go to waste.

 


HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE!

The midsummer solstice (Litha, Longest Day, shortest night) is today! The summer solstice is the time of nature's bounty and abundance. The elementis FIRE, the direction is south, and all around us we are surrounded by color and fragrant aromas  fromblossoming roses, wallflowers, lavender, honeysuckle, and jasmine.


FULL MOON in Sagittarius- June 9th 2017

A Full Moon that occurs between May 22 and June 21 will be in Sagittarius. This moon has many names "Rose moon" "strawberry moon", and of course,  Honey moon. This Moon is helpful in matters of:

  • Understanding
  • Adventures; both mental and physical.
  • Travel that broadens the mind.
  • Expanding conceptual horizons.
  • Long-term planning

The restless and enthusiastic energy of the Sagittarius moon pushes us in the direction of seeking adventure, change, and motion. The Full moon in this sign is a time for philosophy, metaphysics, traveling, studying, and freedom from responsibility. This moon's energy brings the need to feel free of restrictions, and to be spontaneous. The restless and independentnature of this astrological sign is to offer us the gift of exploration. Warm & friendly vibes can make this a good time for seeing new places, encountering different people and relating to a changing environment.

The Full Moon in Sagittarius is the best time  hold agroup ritual. The spiritual and psychic forces are very evident now and the desire to connect with us is strong.

Moon Wellness (health): 

The Moon in Sagittarius tends to affect the extended vertebrae (sacrum and coccyx) as well as thighs. At this time massages are particularly beneficial and can loosen up sore or stiff muscles. Stiff thigh muscles and deep-seated contusions can be quickly cured with long soaks in Epsom salt and soothing herbal mixtures that smell great and relax the senses. You can even take this soak a step further by lighting a purple candle (the color associated with Sagittarius) and close your eyes for a healing moon meditation (see below)

Moon Meditation: 

Sitting comfortably in silence welcome the fiery, passionate, and expansive energies of Sagittarius in. Practice being mindful of the destructive potential of these energies by allowing thoughts of lower nature to come in, and release them out with each breath. At this time,  it is essential that we choose to fill our mental and emotional natures with temperance, silence, and mindfulness.  Only from this place can we find alignment and sense the vision of what is possible. Allow your body to relax completely and focus on using your energy to renounce all obstacles that might be hindering the union of achieving your highest spiritual goals. 

"I see the goal. I reach the goal and see another." -Alice Bailey

Full moon in Sag journal focus:

  • Carrying inner silence, can I walk through this day as an observer? Mindful of my thoughts, words, deeds, and of the vision I hold within? 
  • What is my highest aspiration? 

Moon Magic: 

June's Rose moon, strawberry moon, and mead moon is a time for casting spells offering protection, making decisions, personal strength, love and fertility.

Ritual:

 Honoring the full moon can be integrated into parties/groups by meditating together with silent witness to the moon being our center. Ritualized touching/laying on of hands for healing. chant together using syllables or sounds of power.


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Love Notes From The Universe: An Interview With Diego "Yung Pueblo" Perez

 

There are few Instagram accounts that speak directly to our souls with daily insight and often timely Universal words of wisdom. Diego Perez also known as “Yung Pueblo” has one of them. Diego offers beautiful short poems and messages that feel as if they were left behind for you via sticky note by a divine guardian angel.  Diego is a thought provoker, wordsmith, and a conduit of such positive energy that just radiates from his work! We are  thrilled that he just so happens to have a book coming out later this year. In this interview we will discuss life, spirit, and the power of social media.

 

THW: Hi Diego, Can you tell our readers a bit about the man behind their favorite motivational memes?

YP: Well, I currently live in NYC, I am 29 years old, I was originally born in Guayaquil Ecuador. I write under the name Yung Pueblo for two reasons, one because Pueblo is a word used in Guayaquil in reference to the masses of economically impoverished people, so it always reminds me of my roots and where I come from, two Yung Pueblo literally means young people which always reminds me of something that I believe deeply, which is that humanity as a whole is very young, we have a lot of growing up to do, we are collectively still learning how to be kind to one another, how to clean up after ourselves, how to share, and how to not fight one another – things that I am hoping we will learn how to do well in the next 100 years.

pueblo1.jpg

 

THW: What inspired you to start writing these extremely powerful messages on instagram? Did you use any other media platforms prior to this? How has this changed your writing style, if at all.

 

YP: I started organizing and being a part of the activist world back when I was 15 years old, ever since then I was always obsessed with the idea of liberation, I wanted to know what it meant, how to attain it, and how to maintain it. From nonprofit organizing to radical organizing, I have worked with a few different groups over the years and often we were successful, but still something was missing, greed continued to drive global harm and internally I was still rife with misery, this made me keep searching. When I was 24 I did my first 10 day Vipassana mediation course which shook the foundations of everything I believed in, my experience meditating showed me that liberation needs to be internally realized to a certain extent before we can recreate the world into a place where we can all live materially well without harming one another to do so; it showed me that everyone needs to be liberated, the oppressed and the oppressors. It taught me three particularly important lessons, one is that when we harm another we harm ourselves, that when we heal ourselves we are actually healing the world, and that the chaos in our world stems from the internal chaos and misery that human beings are quietly experiencing inside of themselves every day. We are all in need of healing and that healing can only come from our own efforts, because no one can liberate us but ourselves. Moving forward I continued meditating and organizing simultaneously, and then one day my intuition clearly told me to share what I understand in the form of writing, that even though what I understand may change overtime I need to share it now so that people know that it is possible to come out of misery and deeply heal themselves, because it is the transformation of the individual that holds the secrets to truly transforming the world into something better. I took a break from organizing to focus on writing and pretty quickly I noticed that Instagram was a good fit. I started off by writing short pieces and essays or just simple thoughts as captions under the pictures I would share, but then I saw that I would be better off just taking the main ideas of what I wanted to share and placing them in a clean and readable image, that’s when it all really took off and the words started spreading widely. My writing style is definitely still evolving.

 

THW: I’ve read that you are currently working on a book, can you share with our readers what it’s about and when we can expect it’s release?

YP: The book is entitled “Inward” and it will be a compilation of my best work over the past 3 years. It will be a mixture of poems, quotes, and essays. I’m currently putting it all together and hope to have it out this year, I don’t want to say exactly when, but it will be out soon. It’s been quite a journey putting this together.

 

THW: What books are you currently reading? Can you share a few titles that have inspired/changed your life?

 

YP: I love books so much, thank you for asking, I’m going to go in on this question if you don’t mind. Right now I am currently reading “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari and “Demanding the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work” by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams.

 

Some titles that have profoundly inspired me are:

“Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

“What Buddhism is” by Sayagyi U Ba Khin

“Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny” by Robert Wright

“Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teaching of Lao Tzu” translated by Brian Walker

“Great Disciples of the Buddha” edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi

“Krishnamurti to Himself” by Jiddu Krishnmurti

“The Dhammapada” translated by Ananda Maitreya & Rose Kramer

“The Bhagavad Gita” translated by Eknath Easwaran

“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda

“The Dispossessed” by Ursula K. Le Guin

“On Disobedience” by Erich Fromm

“The Rebirth of History” by Alain Badiou

“Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse

I know that’s a lot of titles, but they all really had a deep impact in how I understand myself and the world.

 

THW: Who/What inspires YOU?

YP: Two ideas really drive my inspiration, one is the possibility of complete freedom from misery as an individual and the second is humanity coming together to recreate the world into the beautiful and loving place that it can be.

The stories and teachings of Gautama the Buddha and his disciples, teachers in my Vipassana meditation tradition like Ledi Sayadaw,  Sayagyi U Ba Khin, and S.N. Goenka, all really inspire me too. My family and friends really inspire me to work hard and be better as well.

 

THW: What do you hope to accomplish with your messages?

YP: I hope people understand that they can truly heal themselves of their inner burdens and actually build inner peace, that this isn’t something mythical or impossible, that this is real and that many people are doing it all around the world right now using different healing techniques. It is not easy, but it is definitely the most rewarding journey that we can embark on.

More so, I want to help people understand that growing their happiness, building their inner peace, and reclaiming their power are all essential things that not only heal humanity as a whole, but will ultimately help us establish a more peaceful and harmless world. Your inner peace will literally become the foundation for a future global peace. Healing ourselves will not only help us live with less misery, but it will give us a new clarity that we can use to transform the world.

 

THW: Social media can be a pretty awful place when it comes to plagiarism for writers, especially when sharing your meme-style motivational messages.. How do you tolerate seeing your work copied or stolen and not credited?

 

YP: It’s a great lesson, I do my best to not worry about it. If I’m too attached to it, it will just continue happening. Some people definitely take my name out from under pieces and then post them on their pages, but what good will it do me to be upset over it? Plus, I doubt that most people have any malicious intention when they do it. Gratefully, the vast majority do give me credit for the work I put out by linking my Instagram page underneath in the caption and tagging me in the picture, I certainly appreciate that.

 

What matters most is that the message gets out there. If you really think about it, “I” doesn’t exist, so is it really “my” work? Often, when I write, it more so feels like the message is coming through me as opposed to from me. I think plagiarism and copyright laws are a bit odd, no one has ever created anything completely by themselves, we are always building on each other’s work, it is all really a collective effort. Also, since words are just interpretations of how we feel, two people can write similar words but the feeling, meaning, and experience behind them can be completely different. I’m not saying that we should all go and plagiarize, we should try our best to create our own work and credit each other, but if it does happen accidentally we shouldn’t lose our peace over it.

 

 THW: What are some of words of wisdom that you would share with our readers on how to cultivate more mindfulness in their daily lives?

 

YP: Mindfulness is essentially being aware of the present moment, which is critically important in for our personal development. But what matters is how will you be aware of the present moment, what tool will you use to increase your awareness?

My advice to people is to find a healing technique that gives you real results, one that challenges you, but does not overwhelm you. There is a great variety of techniques out there, different types of meditations, yoga practices, energy healing techniques, and so much more that can really give us tangible benefits in our lives. What matters is that we find one that suits us and that we use it consistently.

 

THW:  Do you have any other projects that you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with our readers?

 

YP: I’m planning an event in Los Angeles this summer, which I’m really excited about, the details will be set soon. I will be reading a piece of my manuscript and giving a talk about the patterns in our subconscious that impact our behavior. I did a similar event this past March in NYC at the Alchemist’s Kitchen, so many people came out that we filled the venue, it was really a great time.

I’m currently working on a video with one of the best directors and videographers in NYC, Lindsey TJ Hall, you can find him on Instagram under @guynamedlindsey. We knew that the message was getting out to people who read, but we wanted to make something new to try and reach people who are more musically and visually inclined. The video will be about self love and its growth into unconditional love, it should be out sometime this summer.

Read more of Diego's Work by following him on instagram @Yung_Pueblo


The Hoodwitch: Weekly Horoscopes 5/10-16/2017

 Artwork by   Victoria Siemer

Artwork by Victoria Siemer

Written by Jessica Lanyadoo

Witch Tips

It's Full Moon time again, kiddies, and this week is likely to bring hella chaos, so get ready! 

The Moon will be full at 20 degrees of Scorpio on the 10th at 2:42pm PST. Expect feels to be at heightened levels of intensity leading up to this event. It’s is a dangerous time for building up resentments, developing grudges, or obsessing on your ex, so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Scorpio is the sign of death and regeneration, healing and destruction; whatever happens with this Moon, it isn’t likely to be chill. You’re going to want to get deep, and that can be complicated if things do go your way, which I’m sad to say they probably won’t.

 

On the 10th fierce and combative Mars will form a Square to idealistic and devotional Neptune (in transit astrology you can think of the Square aspect as a bit of a curve ball or sucker punch). While the high point of these vibes will be felt on the 11th, you can expect it to intensify the psychic and messy nature of this Full Moon. The best way to manage this is to rely on your spiritual values and tools for staying in alignment with yourself, both emotionally and in your actions. Mars wants to have its energy be known. It wants power, revenge, and validation. Neptune couldn’t care less about any of that; it’s the planet that governs the interconnectedness of all things, or on the dank side, checking out and giving up. The danger here is that your feelings will be so scattered that you end up more overwhelmed than you can handle. The best advice I can give you for these next few days is to hold yourself accountable to the same standards that you hold others to and vice versa. Don’t be a martyr, and don’t think that you’re owed more than anyone else. Thinking that you’re the worst and thinking you’re the best is kinda the same problem – it’s thinking too much about yourself.

 

The jittery, restless Mercury conjunction to Uranus is still active until the 12th. This means that we all run the risk of gabbing at the mouth about every paranoid theory and defensive feel we have – so watch out! If you can, wait until after the 15th, when Mercury moves into stabilizing Taurus, to draw your conclusions. From the 11th-13th, activating Mars will give butterfly kisses (that’s a Trine aspect for bb astrologers) to expansive Jupiter. This can be great for getting things done in a major way, or it can just make it easy for you to run with le cray much farther than you otherwise would. Be willing to check your entitlement this week, lovers, or you may end up putting something into motion that you can’t stop.

 

PRO TIPS for A World Gone Wonky: 

1. Breathe

2. Align yourself with reliable emotional resources

3. Connect to and honor your spirituality

 

Life is complicated and beautiful; be here for it all.

 

 

 

ARIES

March 21-April 19

If you can accept that you’re not in total control of most things, your work gets a lot clearer, this week. The Full Moon on the 10th is an opportunity for you to release something or someone that you’ve been clinging to that you know is no longer right for you. Sometimes your task is to heal, and others you need to make a call and walk away. If you stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken you can start unpacking what you need to let go of, my love.

 

 

­TAURUS

April 20-May 20

Not everything that hurts is bad, and not all dynamics that feel good are healthy for you. Your relationships are an organism – they live and breathe, needing sustenance and care. If you ignore them or mistreat them, they can grow in gnarled directions. Take stock of how you’ve been showing up with the people you’re closest to, Taurus. The first half of this week is an opportunity to have compassion for the people in your life, even if you have to assert some potentially painful boundaries.

 

 

GEMINI

May 21-June 21

It’s not enough to know what you are, you’ve got to know what you’re not, Twin Star. This week you’re in for a major lesson in boundaries. The trouble is that it’s hard to know what’s enough, too much, or not enough, when you feel wonky about your own value. Prioritize getting grounded in your worth so that you can make the right calls in love and work. Know your rights and your responsibilities and act in ways that reflect them. There’s so much to be gained from setting sustainable expectations, sweet one.

 

 

CANCER

June 22-July 22

Something that’s been bugging you and tugging at your insides is about to come to crisis, Moonchild. If you’re committed to situations that don’t really serve you, you can expect to have stuff come up this week that requires you to deal with them. Be especially careful of being passive aggressive - if you’ve got something to say, spit it out! If you’re asking someone to be humble about their part, lead by example. While you have the right to your feels, you’ve also got to own your part.

 

 

LEO

July 23-Aug. 22

Expect the Full Moon on the 10th to kick up some family drama, Leo. You may have some old feels from the past come up with surprising strength, or perhaps a new emotionally intense situation will emerge. The key in either case is for you to show all the way up. If you’ve been acting in ways that aren’t true to you, it’s time for you to own up to them. It’s OK to say you’ve changed your mind, or that you’re wrong. The thing you shouldn’t do is to defensively try to rewrite history. Step up.

 

 

VIRGO

Aug. 23-Sept. 22

Be careful what you say, Virgo, because you’re likely to spend the first half of this week brimming with feelings that scramble your brain. It’s important that you honor the yearnings of your heart so that you don’t project them out and make mountains out of molehills. It’s easy to weave a narrative to match your feels, but that doesn’t mean that you’re telling yourself a true story. If you slow down and take the time to investigate your heart, you’ll able to figure out what’s really going on for you.

 

 

LIBRA

Sept. 23-Oct. 22

Don’t let your fear of conflict distract you from the central issues in your relationships, Libra. You don’t need to be defensive in order to defend yourself, and things don’t need to be terrible in order for you to stand up. This week your ego is gonna get triggered, and it’s on you to not shut down or act out. Be here for honest conversations, even if they’re super awkward and hard. Place authenticity over accommodation, my love.

 

 

SCORPIO

Oct. 23-Nov. 21

The Moon is only full in your sign but once a year, when it’s time for the rest of the zodiac to see what it’s like to live with such intense feels, Scorpio. Take an actual break from the busyness of your life and do a real check-in with yourself. If you’ve been holding it together, it’s OK to fall apart for a minute. Don’t wait for something to trigger your feels before you take care of them. Show yourself a little love this week and place your emotional wellness in high regard as a form of self-care.

 

 

SAGITTARIUS

Nov. 22-Dec. 21

Things are likely to get a little murky this week, ‘Tarius. Your feelings are likely to be all over the map and while that doesn’t mean that they’re unreliable, it does mean that you need to allow space for things to play out before you jump to conclusions. It’s not just OK to have limits - it’s essential, but it’s also really important to be informed. Breathe through your reactions so you can figure out what you really need to reach towards, and what you need to let go of.

 

 

CAPRICORN

Dec. 22-Jan. 19

Where do you belong, Cappy? You’re ready to be more involved with community or group ventures, but you’ve got to be choosy about where and with who. This week’s Full Moon on the 10th is going to bring up all kinds of feelings about your place in the world. This is a fertile time for letting go of past entanglements and attachments, and for seeing things as they really are. This is the first step in a process of feeling more connected to others in a way that gives you life, instead of drains it outta you.

 

 

AQUARIUS

Jan. 20-Feb. 18

Where are you going, Aquarius, like really? This week’s Full Moon is an opportunity to get real about the track you’ve set yourself on. If you’re not happy with the choices you’ve made in recent months you’re likely to feel the weight of it now. It may be tempting to check out and lose yourself in daydreams and distractions but that would be a waste of an opportunity. Challenge yourself to make healthy decisions, even when disassociating seems easier. 

 

 

PISCES

Feb. 19-March 20

You don’t need to take on other people’s dramas as a way of showing support. It’s not on you to know some magic solution that works ideally for everyone; all you need to know is what’s right and healthy for you. This week your mantra gets to be: “those are not my monkeys, and this is not my circus”. Manage your own sweet self, and let others do the work of figuring their own selves out, Pisces. Know your limits and honor them, my love.

 

 


Becoming the Earth: Contemplation, Visioning & Aesthesis.

Written By Alicia Bello

I wanted to write an erotic love article to you. I wanted to write love to you by saying: May all kinds of milks, honeys, fragrant oils and flowers fill your home, altar, and bath. Let there be Eros possession in which every word rolled off the tongue is a spiced nectar. Let there be every lush nude sensation. Let every body in whatever sensual embrace undulate, hum, shudder and drunk on rhythm and ecstasy … whether crying out or soft sigh of respiration, mouth the genuine expression of ecstatic release (and please do always). Hopefully that article will want to be written soon because, well… what a sensation. Instead this article transformed from body in relationship to body into body in relationship to earth… a different kind of body, of intimacy.. the same and different.. but kind of the same. I have found myself outside significantly more than being inside anywhere. My hands and feet have been constantly investigating and trampling through the tropical landscape of Florida and so the intimacy running through me has been the aesthesis of shoots of new green covered in dew, balmy air scented with salty wet earth, and bees pressed deep into the center of flowers… and all of this is happening in the wide open, no shame, Nature needing no permission to burst with her blatant sensuality.

Connecting to the earth is not a new concept for those who practice the craft (to each and every guardian of the directions, the elementals, Hail and Welcome). It is a foundation of study and also a potent remembering. Within every natural witch lies dark earth, fertile, lush with the protected seedcrets of ancient ways, alive with mystery and kept sacred and untainted from the “normalization” of the status quo. No matter how we practice, each and every expression of the work that we do is beautiful to behold in its own right. Our earnest devotion to our practice is the catalyst to what peels away the layers so we begin to see the world completely differently. The earth is living, breathing, pulsing and we perceive it perhaps as our ancestors have, not in the grandiose Hollywood kind of way, but magic in the very real sense that begins to show itself when we learn(remember) how to look (be in relationship to it).

The Anima Mundi, the spirit of the world at this point is no longer a concept but so much more. It is perceived in the body and felt in the depths of individual experience. We, in turn, interact with our planet instinctually, in which in any given moment we turn on and tune in, and allow the power to course through our very body vessel. We can play the subtle vibrations like an instrument that opens the gates to other perceptions and other realities. The relationship that we cultivate with the spirits of the land is so very vital and just like any important relationship we’ve got to keep in touch, forget the small talk so to speak, and nurture it. We know the state of earth right now and quite obviously to say that it’s not healthy is a gross understatement. Just being with the understanding is like a glacial shower and it’s a beginning. We start right here, right now, with what is right in front of us. Without projecting rage or blame on anything, or fear, for the current state of the earth but to just be in a state of heightened mindfulness about say, the decline of bees or the poisoning of water… The Mother is where she’s at just as we are. Just to be in a heightened kind of mindfulness before any practice in which we evoke the elements, and contemplate their actual current state is incredibly important because we have to start where we are at. That being said, magic works non-linearly. No matter how we are working we can heal through coming into contact with root essence of the elements. What I am offering, however is to maybe initiate any ritual with that kind of present acknowledgment and then move into connection with the spiritus, gennii loci, and/ or Anima Mundi.

Visioning

I practice this visualization outside with meditation and contemplation either at sunrise or sunset, but as I usually instruct: if it feels right to practice it in ritual then do it. If you feel inspired to practice on the spot totally do it….except if your driving…listen to your intuition.

Demeter, just one name for Earth Mother is birthing and dying and birthing for us constantly...

 Photo: Alicia Bello 

Photo: Alicia Bello 

Vision your body/full self becoming Demeter by dissolving into the earth completely and merging with her creative chaos and order. Lie down on the earth while practicing. If you can, be completely naked or partially naked. See the shape of your body turn into dirt. Watch all of what you were dissolve into the earth completely. You are gone, but now you are also the whole of the earth. You are reborn in spring. See your blooms opening and the bees drinking your nectar. Smell sweetness of the season on the wind. Go through all the seasons of the earth in this way over and over. See the earth, which is you, floating in space. Place the periphery of your attention on the rhythm of the breath of your body. See the earth in your visioning breathing, the rhythms are in synch. Draw the scope of your vision to the place within the earth that you inhabit. See you where you are envisioning yourself as the earth while you are also the earth. Draw this harmonic image into the vision of your heart and let the vision pulse with your breath as you bring your attention back to your physical body. Enjoy your breathing still seeing the earth pulsing with your breath as your beating heart. Start all over again. Do it as many times as you can.

  • Take notes on how this practice affects you after two weeks and a month.

 As you move through your day, contemplate aesthesis as drawing in the essence of the world, the Anima Mundi with robust sensory perception. Drink in everything.


LOVE SPELLS

Love magick helps us to get in touch with the love within, It is the most important, basic step of Love magic learning. Through these rituals we are reintroduced to ourselves as creatures of love, and find the source from where all of our love can be graced by the presence of magick. 


Witches Under Empire: What it Means to Be a Witch In "Trump's America"

Written By Jaliessa Sipress

Just the thought of merely existing  in “Trump’s America” may seem like some treacherous shadow-work; consistently being pushed to face our worst fears and darkest conceptions of this world while trying to maintain a sense of self and focus on the light.

Most likely, that is exactly what we are stepping into.

With the erasure of pages on the new government’s website that previously acknowledged issues of climate change, LGBT rights and Civil Rights, Trump’s confirmed misogynistic comments regarding sexual assault, and his right-wing stances on police terror, abortion rights and immigration issues, there is definitely cause for alarm.

However, working with shadows and lighting a candle in the dark is what we do best, and the postcolonial (or continuing colonial) world has never welcomed the hard and necessary work witches have engaged in for centuries, so what is new now? Despite the new US President’s nationalistic sentiment (or possibly in exact alignment with the era he is referring to within it) America has never been great. For those of us living on the margins of race, class, gender, spirituality, sexuality and disability, our precious work has historically been violently persecuted and left to the shadows.

So, do not fret my dear witches, a Trump-inauguration is a mere practice in veil-lifting, another opportunity to practice seeing in the dark, and revealing our political and social climate for what it really is only makes our work that much more important


Just as we would practice healthy boundaries with the powers we cannot see while spell-casting or engaging in spirit-communication, we must form a relationship with strict boundaries to this new force that is the Presidency of Donald Trump. To do this, it serves us to remember three things:

  • The work we do at home in solitude must echo the work we do in the presence of others

  • A witch’s power lies in being unafraid of the unknown

  • A concentration on fear attracts things to be scared of


To begin, I must acknowledge that secrets made and secrets kept in personal ritual are of the utmost of importance, and their existence as secrets is sacred. Additionally, to keep the people and politics you protect when you step foot on the streets also within your private practices is crucial. Private here means altar space, home space, and sacred spaces you frequently inhabit for safety and light. To keep your politics here is to be conscientious of whose practices, rituals, symbols, words and imagery you use, to keep a candle burning for the people you cannot reach, and to center self-healing around the idea that the healing you do is not just for you, but for the people that need you and for the people who have come before you.

Second, the uncertainty and unpredictability of Trump and his cabinet that may feel daunting and scary for us is really his fall and not ours. Witches stay ready. A predominant part of witchcraft is completely based within “the unknown.” We communicate with things we cannot see or are told have no vocabulary. We know how to improvise, to work with flowers and weeds and how to heal ourselves and oftentimes others. The epitome of being a witch is the knowledge of the earth’s force, an awareness of the changing seasons, positions of the stars and the knowledge of our own and other witches’ power. There is a steadiness to knowing that you are learning to master a presence that lies beyond what we can see and touch, because a capitalist society can only touch the tangible, only mess with the material, and can never understand or consume the power of the witch.

And that is why we are feared.

Most people are terrified of what they cannot see, what is not “scientifically proven” and what they have never been told is okay to explore. Our defiance of letting fear immobilize us is a huge part of our job description. Our persecution is and was based on the fact that we mess with things that other humans are too scared to touch. So, what happens when the witches are scared? What happens when we use the same power we use to manifest, heal and conjure to fear what is to come? It becomes no different from calling on Aunt Milly from our salt circle; we invite the object of our focus into our space, into existence.

During this term of election, there must be an embracing of fear and willingness to carry on with our confidence, knowledge and strong sense of solidarity leading the way. We need each other now the way we have always needed one another, the way we have always needed care and attention and the way we have always needed to perfect what we do and know best. Every person has a place, and to investigate your larger contribution to the world at this time is crucial. I know herbalist witches, astrologer witches, sex witches, hood witches, good witches, bad witches, shadow workers, wortcunners, rune throwers, conjurers, psychics, angel beings, light-bearers, medicine people, community healers and everything in between. This diverse set of knowledge is priceless in the face of hegemonic structures that seek to bury us and our history. Whatever kind of witch, warlock, regular schmegular bitch or magical star being you are, you and your power matter and we have got to keep moving, shaking, laughing, whispering, conjuring, kicking, screaming, growing, learning and loving in the face of this age-old regime with a new face. We will always hold the power as long as we recognize what we all bring to the table and figure out how to use these powers to resist.

So, gather with your coven to bottle tinctures with intentions of sustaining the resistance through Reishi mushrooms, skullcap and yarrow. Host gatherings teaching the history of the crossover between radical witchcraft and community organizing. Continue to defend the Earth, question the government and fight like hell for causes of the living while keeping your fire lit with the rage of the dead. We are here on this earth, at this time for a reason. So, whether you were born into a coven or you just stumbled upon witchcraft, you have been given the task of protecting what is sacred.

To be a witch is to reclaim the power of connecting with our bodies, our spirit and the earth and  in ungovernable ways, to create paths towards a more regenerative, sustainable society through channeling our ancestors and wisdom from other realms. A man barking orders and spewing hate from a position of socially-constructed power is no match for the power of the people when guided by light, ancestral wisdom and unwavering solidarity. It is our job to carry the legacy, to stand amongst the crowds with rose quartz and motherwort tincture in our pockets, bundles of cedar burning in our hands, holding the match when it is time to burn it all down.