At the tail end of the Pacific Northwest heatwave, we gathered with our TWL Squad for a virtual gathering full of shenanigans. On the agenda includes the first annual Kanani Awards for “best and worst things that are out there.” We also play a game: “Is it a Tori Amos Lyric or Something Courtney Said To/About An Ex?”, which includes a special surprise appearance by Mat Auryn! We talk about leading public festivals and building a Pagan community that includes children. Plus, we announce our line-up for So Mote That Con ’22!
Go listen here:
I was interviewed for the Boston Globe about Witchcraft’s popularity with Millennial and Gen Z folks while working in Salem, Massachusetts.
“There’s a sense of wanting to be empowered and have control of one’s life and one’s destiny in a political climate where things feel very grim and hopeless,” said Mat Auryn, a 32-year-old witch from Leominster and author of the forthcoming book, “Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation.” “For me, witchcraft partially is a path of empowerment, so honestly that’s what I feel that gravitation is.”
“Witchcraft has always been a practice of the marginalized,” Auryn said. “We see a lot of queer people, a lot of people of color, disabled people. It tends to be people that witchcraft attracts that aren’t already embraced by our larger patriarchy, for lack of a better word.”
Read the full article here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2019/10/30/millennials-and-gen-embrace-witchy-new-age-spiritualism/ojetIu5fYahXu4dxa2IF6I/story.html
I was interviewed by Refinery29 about queer people and their relationship to witchcraft.
“Mat Auryn (he/him), a Bay Area queer and cisgendered male witch, grew up attending a church that was a mixture of Pentecoastal and Evangelical Christianity. (For those unfamiliar, these are typically regarded as some of the more “extreme” forms of Christianity.)
“I think part of [my religious background] exposed me to magick at an early age,” Mat says. “Because while [Christians] would never use that word for what they do, it absolutely is. They’re raising energy through music, through singing, through ecstatic states, then directing and unleashing that energy psychically in what they call prayer to see the results they desire in their lives and in the world.”
But similar to Krysta, Bobbi and Mat found that their Christian faith created conflict when they started to discover their queer identities. Though they appreciated aspects of their religious upbringings, they grew resentful of their church’s black-and-white attitude toward sin and sexuality. Especially for Bobbi, a place that had initially been a source of comfort was now a trigger for shame.”
Read the full article here: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/06/9861310/queer-lgbt-witch-trend
A while back, I was asked by a close friend of mine to help come up with a daily devotional to Hekate for her.
I have chosen (arguably) the ten most popular carrier oils for magickal oils and researched their correspondences.
Deep in trance Hekate appeared before me. I’m always delighted and honored when Hekate appears to me. As a devotee of hers in my personal practice, I have found this is not always the case. She usually appears to me, bestowing revelations yet speaking in very few but very powerful yet stoic words. Then she stands back.
When we start out on our path of Witchcraft we tend to learn Wiccan ideology, whether we’re Wiccan or not. Within Wicca there’s a piece of wisdom that is passed on called the Wiccan Rede, which basically boils down to “an it harm none do as you will”. As we continue down on our path, many of us start seeing the flaw of fulfilling the Rede as we meditate upon it. The act of existence is harmful by nature. The act of eating kills something, regardless of our dietary choices. The body itself tends to be constantly breaking down and destroying life as it exists.
Harold Roth of Alchemy Works is pretty well known amongst serious magickal practitioners as THE expert when it comes to plants. Known for not only his wisdom of plant magick, but also his knowledge when it comes to planting, growing, taking care of and harvesting plants. When I heard he was writing a book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, because I knew it would be fantastic. As soon as you open the book you see the high praise of experts in the field of plant witchery such as Daniel Schulke, Christopher Penczak, Judika Illes, Ellen Evert Hopman, Jason Miller, Nicholaj De Mattos Frisvold and more. So that should be the very first indication that this book is going to be amazing, if Harold Roth’s name didn’t already sell you.
The Witching Herbs: 13 Essential Plants and Herbs for Your Magical Garden definitely does not disappoint. His explanation of the Doctrine of Signature and plant correspondences is perhaps the clearest and best that I’ve ever come across. Harold provides expert advice from planting seeds to working with the plant spirits themselves. The 13 plants were chosen in honor of the thirteen full moons of the year. Harold provides the lore, history, uses, formulas and recipes for these thirteen plants. These particular plants have a long history in witchcraft and magick – poppy, clary sage, yarrow, rue, hyssop, vervain, mugwort, wormwood, thornapple, wild tobacco, henbane, belladonna and mandrake.
I would definitely read this book once through cover to cover before using it as a reference book, since some of the information on caring for plants builds on information given in a previous chapter regarding another plant. The writing style is clear, concise and easy to follow. The content is the perfect blend of down to earth practical and fascinating esotericism. While there are several books on witchcraft and plants, do not kid yourself, there is information in this book that you will absolutely not find in any other book. Any witch who works with plants needs this book in their library.
This is a greatly needed book on the relationship between the Goddess and America and a fascinating read. The Goddess in America: The Divine Feminine in Cultural Context edited by Trevor Greenfield is an anthology of various writers. The book is divided into four main parts; The Native Goddess, The Migrant Goddess, The Relational Goddess, and the Contemporary Goddess. The Native Goddess touches upon the influence matriarchal focused native tribes have had on modern goddess spirituality and feminism. The following chapters discuss the Goddess within Cherokee, Hopi and Mayan cultures.
The second part of the book, The Migrant Goddess, begins with tackling the topic of cultural appropriation – a great segway from the first part of the book discussing Native traditions. Thought-provoking and difficult questions and issues regarding cultural appropriation by those in Goddess Movements is presented and left as an open question, without any concrete answer. This is followed up with chapters discussing “imported” or “migrant” Goddesses that came from other non-American cultures such as Ireland, Africa, Creole Voodoo, Minoan and Hebrew traditions and how this has influenced the diversity of Goddess worship in modern day America. The third part of the book, The Relational Goddess discusses the Goddess in relation to very diverse areas of modern American spiritual life; Feminism, Modern Shamanistic Practices, Christianity, Psychology and Witchcraft.
The final section of the book, The Contemporary Goddess discusses how the Goddess has influenced pop culture – often through veiled guises. Next how Goddesses have changed since coming to America is discussed, examining different retellings of myths, reimagining attributes and reinterpretations of the Goddess as she made her way to America. The Goddess in relation to the Reclaiming Tradition with its focus on activism is discussed by a Reclaiming Witch. After that the importance of modern day priestesses is explored. Next up the Dark Goddesses and their relation to the goth sub-culture is examined. The book finishes with my favorite entry by Vivienne Moss, which creatively explores and honors nine women in American History who are revered in this as embodiments of different types of Goddess-hood, being likened almost to modern day saints and includes ways to honor their legacies today.
Deity tends to be one of the most mysterious things in my experience. My relationship and views on deity constantly change. Sometimes people ask me if I’m a monist, a dualist, a soft polytheist (seeing all godforms as the same divinity) or a hard polytheist (seeing all the godforms as individual and distinct). Sometimes I ask myself this. The answer always turns out to be “yes”. The gods themselves are a paradox. One of the things that has always intrigued me is the evolution of a god. We see throughout ancient history that gods often evolve, are conflated or synthesized with others and absorb attributes of others.