Magickal Fiction Can Yield Real Magick

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews on May 10, 2018 by nikkisnature

I’ve often been asked the question “Do you think you can learn actual magickal techniques from works of fiction?”.  The answer to this, in my opinion, is often yes.  When I read the Lev Grossman book series “The Magicians” and then watched the tv series, it greatly inspired my use of magickal mudras and hand postures for energetic projection.  The characters in the story would make fancy combinations of very precisely entwined finger and hand gestures in order to create amazing magick, both beautiful and fierce.  In the case of this particular series I have not tried practicing any of the actual postures or movement combos depicted in the show.  I simply did my own practice and research and have since become so enamored with this magickal art form that I teach what I know to my advanced students, and they, too, are excited by this type of magick.  More recently, I read the book “The Philosopher’s Flight” by Tom Miller.  This story is set around a different version of reality where a certain population of magickally talented people known as “philosophers” use the precise drawing of sigils in the moment to create different pieces of magick such as flying/hovering, communicating, growing crops and more.  I took two important magickal teachings from the experience of this story.  One is the concept of using sigils drawn with precision, in the moment, using particular substances for specific magickal outcomes.  This is a different approach to sigil work than I had previously learned, but it feels valid and it feels like a place of much potential learning and expansion for me regarding sigilry.  The other thing I gleaned was that the actual sigils shown and taught in the book for use by the characters can be used in actual magickal practice in ordinary reality.  They will continue to grow in energy and group consciousness as more people read the book and understand their functions and come to associate the sigil with the outcome in their minds, in the same way that Reiki symbols have become stronger and stronger over time with the base of practitioners growing.  Not all of the sigils will have the same literal use as in a story of fantasy, of course.  The sigil for hovering (which, in the story, is the literal elevating oneself off the ground and flying in the air) won’t be able to be used under the physics of this reality to lift our dense bodies, but could certainly be used in the sense of activating flying for journeys and dreams, and to symbolize the ability to fly between these types of realms at will.  If you are a witch or magician, I recommend getting the hard copy of this book.  Firstly, enjoy the experience of the story.  But secondly, read the sigils and instructions in the appendix and you’ll see how many of them could augment your practice.  Some people will find this article of mine silly…especially those who have certain fundamentalist beliefs about how magick works or who are very entrenched in one particular system.  But for the open-minded or eclectic practitioner, the options related to magickal learning from fiction are endless.  Even the simple spell words from the Harry Potter series now carry increasing power because so many millions of people around the world understand what they mean.  If, for example, you were doing a spell to provide illumination on a problem and you included the word “lumos” in your incantation to shine light, or you included the word “glacius” in a spell to freeze harm, it would carry that extra magickal consciousness along with it.  Even in my reading of what is possibly my favorite witchy fiction of all time, “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness, I found that using the visuals described by the main character for how she saw threads of magick weaving and stretching between herself and her target or goal outcome were very powerful when added to my own magickal workings.  Don’t get me wrong-  90% of the magickal study that I do is in old lore, magickal nonfiction and classical spiritual and philosophical works, and I study daily.  But I don’t discount magickal inspiration that has come from fiction for two reasons.  One is simply that for me….it’s all just different combinations of energy and consciousness anyway, and the possible combinations there are endless.  The other is that many authors of magickal fiction and writers of magickal tv and movies do use real research of classical occult methods and theories to create their stories.  So enjoy your magickal fictional treats, remember that everything exists, everything is possible, and keep creating all the magick!  Blessed Be.  🙂

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Full Moon and Manifestation Tips

Posted in General Magickal Practice on February 1, 2018 by nikkisnature

Yesterday, in this part of the world, there was a lot of hype about the full moon.  There was article after article about the Full Blue Blood Eclipse Super Moon.  I’d like to break down these moon qualities a bit from the point of view of the Wardwell tradition of American Witchcraft so you can better understand what is happening on certain moons in order to best enhance your manifestation abilities.  After all, that’s what full moon energy is best suited for from the magickal vantage point:  creating.  The first step in full moon magick is to understand the moon phases.  If you don’t have a clear mental understanding of this, refer to my prior article on the phases themselves.

First, let’s address the Blue Moon part.  This moon happened on 1/31/18, and since we had the last full moon on 1/1/18, it was the second full moon to occur during the calendar month of January.  This is the modern-day definition of a blue moon:  when two full moons fall in the same calendar month.  It’s true that it doesn’t happen all that often, but the thing is, this particular phenomenon doesn’t change the moon vibe magickally.  Witches in our tradition focus on which astrological sign the moon falls in to determine how best to steer its manifestation energy.  For us, a blue moon is one two full moons in a row peak at fullness while in the same zodiac sign-  again, it is rare, but it can happen.  Since each lunation is 28 days long but the sun stays in each sign for about 30 days, it sometimes happens that we have a full moon right at the beginning of Aquarius, let’s say, and then another right before we move out of it.  Each of those moons would be full in Leo (the sign the moon itself is in is always in the one opposite the sun when the moon is full-  it magickally lines up that way!), so you get a sequential one-two punch of a manifestation opportunity in a chosen important area of life.  So you see, when “blue moon” is measured by calendar month, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything magickally.  Our early January full moon was full in Cancer, and this one was full in Leo-  two different vibes altogether.

Let’s address the eclipse part now.  It seems that people think a lunar eclipse makes the full moon time more magickal because it happens less often.  But think about it:  when the moon is eclipsed, we are exposed to LESS of the full moon’s light that night.  Some ancient tribes viewed the eclipses as “raven eating the moon” and other similar trickery that they would have viewed as a bad omen.  Full moons are still a peak time of manifesting, but eclipses don’t make them more powerful, unless maybe you are looking to use the energy to actually trick someone! (maybe not the most ethical choice, but we’ll judge that situation by situation, lol)  Also, the eclipsing action makes the moonlight appear differently to us, and often gives it that reddish ring or hue, and hence the term Blood moon.  This also would have been seen as a bad omen of impending blood, or death.  In the Wardwell tradition the Blood moon is the moon that is full in Aries, which happens usually in October, and the blood connotation relates to the magickal vibrations of that lunation, not its physical color.

Lastly, there is the super moon bit.  When a moon is labeled a supermoon it just means it is at its closer position to earth at the time it becomes full.  But it’s only closer by about six percent, I hear.  Also, expert astronomers and stargazers say that the naked eye cannot discern any noticeable visual increase in size simply because it is a super moon.  So, a super moon may give you slightly more exposure to the moon’s rays, but not a significant amount.

For good manifestation in general, you want a clear concise statement and vision of what it is you really want to create.  You do not want to focus on all the things that suck-  simply state what it is you are creating.  (you also don’t want to put all the things that suck out there on social media-  this helps people to envision them in your life!) You want to try to be in line with the astrological and lunar energies that correspond to your goal as much as possible.  If you find that your full moon petitions or spells are not working, it’s time to consider whether the things you are asking for are in line with your divine will or not.  You may need to remove blockages during the dark moon before you can be clear enough to manifest something new, or you may need to work on other areas of life first.  In summary, all full moons are good times to work on creating things in your life, and charging, just as all dark moons are good for letting go, and releasing.  But, just because someone posts an article about how rare and amazing an upcoming moon is, doesn’t mean it is the right one for every type of manifestation work there is.  Blessed Be-  Happy Storm Moon, and Happy Candlemas!

Book Review: “Dark Goddess Craft”

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews on December 26, 2017 by nikkisnature

In my coven, Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, a lot of us have currently been studying about shadow work and engaging in it, as it is in fitting with the dark time of the year in which we currently find ourselves.  As Witches, we strive to do the personal work that keeps us most in tune with the natural energies and cycles around us, as these cyclical changes are within us all, and reflect universal truths and mysteries that we seek to embody and understand.  We had just read “Shadow Magick Compendium” by Raven Grimassi for a coven book club read, and when I finished that one, I dove into “Dark Goddess Craft” by Stephanie Woodfield.  I was thrilled with what I found, and the comparison between the two books really helped me to see what it was that was so important and well done in Stephanie’s book.  The Grimassi book is good for beginners to the idea of shadow work, and tends to talk about the shadowy aspects of magick from a whole lot of different topical perspectives, but doesn’t actually lead you through or provide any support for the real personal work.  Right away in Woodfield’s book, her tone of writing conveyed how deeply and personally she has done her work and is not afraid to share some of the gritty truth of it.  When working with dark Goddesses (which, as she points out, is often a form of personal shadow work) I have found that plenty of consideration, personal preparation, and even caution is often needed, and I was happy to see Woodfield speaking about this in a forthright manner.  She is honest about the ways in which many of the dark Goddesses interact with humans, letting us know that we have to step away from the idea of simply pleading to these deities to help us with things,  but rather, in working with them, to being ready to “man/woman up”, take a hit, face parts of ourselves that are difficult, prepare for life to change in ways we hadn’t wanted, and have the courage to allow real destruction in order to make room for transformation.  I will admit that my favorite parts of the book are the introductory pages to each section where she speaks from the heart about this work and how she came to experience the dark Goddesses, because I love the style of her writing and in relating to it, felt that we’ve had a lot of similar personal and group experiences with dark Goddess work.  But I also think that this book is simply a valuable piece for any learned Witch to have in his or her magickal library, because it serves as a reference tool on a lovely variety of dark Goddesses, telling about the mythology, traits and magick of each, as well as offering lovely guided meditations that can be used as a start for personal work with any of these deities as desired.  In offering these openings for deep intuitive work, this book goes beyond general concepts and gets the reader really going in terms of considering some of the tougher aspects of shadow work.  Not only that, but Woodfield’s wise words and obvious personal experience are a support to the reader that inspires confidence paired with the necessary cautions for diving in.  I definitely recommend this book to Witches who consider themselves polytheists.  Not only is the reading experience an inspiring one, but you’ll love having the spells, offering and devotional suggestions, meditations and information on your shelf for each of the amazing Goddesses described within.  Enjoy, and Blessed Be!

The Bird Guardians of Our Tradition

Posted in General Magickal Practice on November 1, 2017 by nikkisnature

Most magickal practitioners are used to the idea of acknowledging the spiritual energies of animals as important connections to nature, communicators of wisdom, or as magickal allies or guides.  In the Wardwell tradition of American Witchcraft that is really coming into its own amongst the witches of the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, I have seen all order of animals stand out as guides and messengers for many folks.  Despite the variety of potential harbingers of truth and magick that we seem to encounter, there always seems to be an overabundance of witches in this order who are simply entranced not just by the bird realm in general, but specifically with hawks, eagles, owls and ravens.  Now, you might be saying “Duh, of course.  Those are the coolest birds going.”  Sure, they are certainly among the most badass birds around…though I’m not in any way downplaying heron, falcon, osprey, crow and all the other magnificent flying creatures we encounter.  But I really do notice that not only is my own inner circle of witches specifically smitten with those four birds, but that the birds themselves show up to our members ridiculously often.  This is causing me to consider the possibility that these four specific bird energies or intelligences are special guides or guardians of this order…and going beyond that, I see them as some of our many potential guides of the quarters.  In our tradition, Hawk would easily correlate with air (“they all correlate with air” you say…well yes, of course, but just listen) due to its correlation with keen vision, cleverness, sharpness, and higher thought.  Eagle could correlate with fire as a fierce predator, a symbol of patriotism, freedom, fighting for what is right, and using our will to follow our passions.  Owl could correlate with water as an archetype of mystery, relation with the moon and divination, and reaching into the darkness to extract magick and wisdom.  Raven could correlate with earth due to its association with death, scavenging/cleanup, and darkness.  Even though all birds correspond to the element of air, I enjoy looking at the elemental differences and subtleties in these amazing guides and seeing how they help us to form a complete circle.  Here is an example of some simple quarter calls that could be oriented to these lovely guides:

“I call upon Hawk and the powers of the East and of Air to bring clarity, fresh thought, new beginnings and intellectual stimulation to my circle.”

“I call upon Eagle and the powers of the South and of Fire to bring courage, ambition, victory and passion to my circle.”

“I call upon Owl and the powers of the West and of Water to bring love, intuition, mystery and magick to my circle.”

“I call upon Raven and the powers of the North and of Earth to bring groundedness, loyalty, abundance, and life after death to my circle.”

I am aware that these birds stand for various energies that differ from these, in other traditions.  But in our tradition, these are perfect, well-balanced correlations that make sense, and that help me understand why they have shown up to us as they have.  SWOM witches will know they can be called upon to invoke the quarters, to bring balance, to be watchers and guardians, and I have no doubt that this will happen routinely somehow as this order’s tradition continues to evolve and to be passed from Priestess to student witch to student witch for many years (or lifetimes) to come.  Blessed Be.

Energetic House Cleansing: A True Story

Posted in Noteworthy Magickal Experiences on October 19, 2017 by nikkisnature

I have done my share of house cleansing and blessings for myself and clients through the years.  This usually involves performing a bunch of energetic actions and ritual words throughout the home, as well as calling upon guides and divine assistance, and listening psychically to the space to determine the nature of the energies present, and what else, if anything, might need to be done.  Normally, it is a pretty intense experience, since I’m so focused and honed in on the needed energy of determination that is required to really command and direct spiritual energy in a space.  I often get messages about the emotions of unseen inhabitants, but the signs and communications I get are normally sensed energetically or seen in the mind’s eye.  I don’t normally encounter the dramatic stuff of movies…until just recently.

I was called to a lovely home (which shall remain completely anonymous for the family’s privacy) because some of the family members were experiencing lots of activity, sightings, footsteps, voices and other things they felt were some kind of haunting, and they were quite fearful about it.  As I parked my car and walked up to the front steps, the home’s two small dogs were barking at me crazily, clamoring around my legs and such.  I didn’t think much of it except that it continued on and on, and the homeowner was surprised as apparently they would normally lose interest in newcomers after a few minutes.  Eventually she penned off a little area for the dogs so they would let me work through the house.  I was into my routine of going through the home with various elements, incantations and projecting energies of cleansing when I heard a loud bang.  I didn’t think much of it, because the homeowner was doing her own thing so I figured it was her.  However, I turned to leave the room I was in and saw her in the hallway with a stunned look on her face-  a window had slammed open on its own.  They are not traditional sash windows, they tilt…so I figured maybe that one was loose or broken so it didn’t stay up as it should…but she didn’t seem to think this should have happened.  I continued on, keeping an increasing air of perseverance, and while wafting a cloud of strong incense from my cauldron toward a window in the room that is the epicenter of the activity in the house, a fan noise started revving very loudly right near me.  I noticed that the fan of a special air filter device had turned on and been cranked to its highest setting.  I asked the homeowner if that was set to go on and off by itself, or would have been activated by my incense but found that it was simply a machine you either turn on or off by depressing a power button.  So the unit turned on by itself.  As I continued the job, another loud bang, and then a little later another, and another.  Completely different windows than the first one, slamming open forcefully.  At one point I also heard the garage door open beneath us.  Again, assuming it was the homeowner, I was startled when we crossed paths and with wide eyes she nervously told me it had activated by itself.

Now, I know this all sounds “The Conjuring” style scary.  It was a little unnerving to have so much blatant activity happening, yet it was all actions that were helpful to the cleansing-  windows opening, door opening, fan turning on.  During the psychic work I did throughout the house, I did come across energies of both human deceased involvement as well as nature and land spirits that were part of the action.  Nothing, however, seemed malevolent toward the family at all-  there were definitely some strong emotions felt, and some territorial energies of the land, but nothing intending this family any harm.  I did a lot of work communicating with these intelligences to work toward the most harmonious state possible for the house at the time.  I helped the homeowner to have a better idea of how to develop a mutually respectful relationship with the energy around her and not to approach it with fear-  this can be tough for people that have natural psychic inclinations but no support system in which to sort them out or learn to use them.  At the end of the job, the two little dogs were let out of their pen and stayed totally quiet, but glued to my side and wanting cuddle me.  It’s almost as if the dogs were alerted to the energies of the house getting riled up when I first arrived, knowing I was going to come in and shift it, and when I was done, they were happy and calm.  They even seemed to stare after me longingly as I pulled out of the driveway.

I am honored to have been able to help this family and will continue to do so in any way they need, whether the house needs follow up help in the future, or they need energy work or teaching to get better at sorting out their spirit sensing experiences.  This would all be a normal part of the ministerial aspect of my work…but the huge outrush of energy from the house causing all of the slamming windows and turning on of electronics…that was something you don’t see everyday.  As they say, the proverbial veil is super thin right now, for whatever that means to you-  may you have a supportive and productive relationship with the spirits around you.  Blessed Be.

The Controversy of the Rule of Three

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on September 30, 2017 by nikkisnature

Lately in the magickal world there have been a lot of heated debates over ethics in magickal works.  I hear a lot of “I don’t believe in karma-  it’s an Eastern concept, not part of my tradition, so I don’t need to worry about that.”  I also hear a lot of “I’m not Wiccan, and I don’t believe in the rule of three.”  So they are saying that they don’t believe the energy of their actions will come back on them threefold.  I don’t necessarily, either, but I do have a large bone to pick with this mindset-  the one that feels that it’s okay to simply do revenge magick, or f–ck someone’s sh-t up because they can, or they think they deserve it.  I am a Witch, who also is not specifically Wiccan by tradition.  I don’t know if what I put out there comes back to me in perfect multiples of three…but I do know that I generally reap what I sow.  Here is the ONE BIG POINT I hope that everyone who has clicked on this article will read, and I hope I state this clearly enough for everyone to consider it:  if you do any magick at all, at some point, you are operating under the assumption that like attracts like.  You choose a honey jar because the sweetness has a similar vibration to what you are trying to create.  You use certain color candles, certain words, certain actions, certain herbs, certain timing, because it vibrationally and energetically lines up with your goal.  You must somewhere believe that like attracts like. This absolutely applies to mindset, maybe above and beyond all else!  So go ahead and do all the revenge work you want, but look at the mindset you are emanating that caused you to want to do this in the first place.  You are projecting the need for revenge out into the universe, and the universe will see that.  Like attracts like over and over again in life, even when it is not done purposefully.  That is the only big thing I want you to consider-  like attracts like.  You will attract life situations with the vibes similar to what you give off, even when you step away from the altar.  I’m not glued to the Eastern view of karma, or the specifics of the three-fold law, but I think I realize why every major spiritual tradition has a moral code…and it’s because like attracts like.  So just see if your emotions, your motivations, your thoughts and your actions would be cool if they did come back to you in some form…because they will.  If you don’t think like attracts like, I am open to hearing the principles on which your magickal workings are based.  Sometimes quotes like “Be the change you wish to see in the world” are super popular because people realize very deeply that they are true.  If you would potentially be fine with other people doing the type of magick to you that you are doing to them, then you are all good.  If this has challenged your beliefs, no offense is meant…just hoping for some contemplation and consideration.  Blessed Be.

The Wardwell Tradition of American Witchcraft

Posted in General Magickal Practice on September 23, 2017 by nikkisnature

Last night (Autumn Equinox 2017) marked a historic moment for the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick as a coven.  September 22, 1692 was the day when Samuel Wardwell, eight-times direct great-grandfather of SWOM founder and High Priestess Nikki Wardwell Sleath, was hanged in Salem, MA on the charges of witchcraft.  The deaths that happened in the Salem and other witch trials were certainly wrong and fear-based, and many people say that the accused were most certainly not witches.  I think what they mean is that the accused were not witches according to the definition of the times, which refers to one who has gained powers by making a deal with the devil.  The thing about Samuel is that when you dig for personal accounts of him, there is a document that references his ability to tell fortunes with cards, and to know the future from dreams.  Pair this with the fact that he and his wife owned one hundred and eighty acres of good land (which by law could be seized when one entered a plea upon accusation) and he was an easy target for the blaming hysteria of the times.

So, here we are, with Autumn Equinox, a time of balance, falling on the exact 325th anniversary of Samuel’s death.  At this time, I, Nikki, happened to have evolved not only to become a formally trained witch myself, but to have formed and grown a large successful coven with its own unique combination of training and rituals.  Not only am I here publicly teaching and practicing witchcraft in a time when I am fortunate enough not to be persecuted for it, but I happen to have precognitive and spiritual dreaming and card reading as two of my more developed magickal talents.  I don’t think there is any coincidence there, and I believe trends and talents like this very well may run in families.  Samuel has come through to myself and other members of the coven in various forms of spirit contact, and seems to be honored that we honor, think of and communicate with him.  It feels as though our actions of being a good influence on the community in the name of witchcraft is helping to slowly right a wrong.  Now, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick’s style qualifies in general as American Witchcraft, but since it is growing and creating more teachers, it deserves its own subset label to clarify it further within that broad category.  In our large ritual gathering for the Equinox, on the anniversary of the death of Samuel Wardwell, we formally honored him and consecrated the name of our own unique format as the Wardwell tradition.  In the dark of the autumn night, around a ritual bonfire, 40 members of our coven witnessed this official blessing.  We hope that in putting his name on our tradition, that we will continue to spread acceptance and bring balance back for witches and magickal practitioners to come.  We certainly feel that Samuel approves.  From those of us now practicing the Wardwell tradition of American Witchcraft, Blessed Be.