Book Review For Lucid Dreamers

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews, Uncategorized on July 19, 2019 by nikkisnature

I just finished reading the book “Dreaming Wide Awake” by David Jay Brown.  As an avid lucid dreamer myself, I really loved this book.  I have read a lot of books on dreaming and lucid dreaming, so I have a lot of means of comparison.  I would say that this book is not the book to start with if you don’t get lucid much already, as there are other books out there that focus more on tips and instruction for working up a practice, if that is something that is possible for you.  (Remember that a lucid dream is one in which you have a clear realization that you are dreaming, thus changing your awareness and ability levels, and allowing you to simultaneously be aware of all memories and facts about your life in physical reality as well, while remaining in the dreamscape.  Lots of times students tell me a dream and then ask “was that a lucid dream?” and I always say that if you have to ask that question then the answer is almost certainly no.  Being just a little bit aware on the spectrum is not the same as full lucidity.)  So to get back to the review, while some instruction is reviewed, this book is much more about lucid dreaming philosophies, comparison to psychedelic and entheogen-induced spiritual experiences, and about advanced concepts and theories of dream lucidity.  I loved the book because in the telling of experiences that the author and other lucid dreamers have had, I realized that I had naturally jumped to a lot of the same conclusions about the very nature of dreaming itself, based on the depth of my own experiences.  This was incredibly validating-  to find that among others who get lucid at about the same rate that I do, many of us have naturally chosen similar tasks to complete, questions to ask, and have explained the results to ourselves in similar ways.  The book goes into great depth in considering the actual nature of human consciousness itself, and its role in the universe.  The author is humble about presenting these expansive and abstract theories yet relays them in a way that you can grasp and take great inspiration from, at least to the extent that our physically housed minds are capable.  I have also been studying plant poisons in the occult lately, and I enjoyed his entire section on herbs and psychedelics that are purported to have effects on dreams and dream lucidity.  He very clearly relays the accounts he has found in interviews and research along with all of his personal trials with each plant.  I am not one to engage in substance use, but would possibly entertain safe dream plants if the interactions are sacred and for a high vibe purpose, so I am now motivated to study the dream effects of a few plants in more depth.  All in all, if you enjoy lucid dreaming and have started some spiritual experimenting in this realm, this book really is a bit of a gem.  I will certainly be referring back to it as I continue to move forward in the exploration of my own practice.  Bright dream blessings-  So Mote It Be.

Covens! What A Great Coven Should and Should Not Be Expected To Provide

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on July 15, 2019 by nikkisnature

I have been involved in coven life for quite a while now.  I am the leader and founder of this order, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, and prior to that I was trained in and a long time member of the Religious Order of Witchcraft. I also know a lot of people in the CT pagan community who have spoken to me of their various experiences with different covens and magickal training groups around the state, so I am aware that there is a wide spectrum of different types of groups and experiences out there.  It should always be a carefully weighed decision when you are considering whether or not to join a group of magickal practitioners.  Being solo has its benefits:  you always get to do what you want, you create and write all your own rituals, you don’t have to worry about other personalities or opinions in the mix, and if you don’t feel like doing a full moon ritual you just don’t.  On the other hand, there are loads of benefits to having a magickal community at hand.  Sharing magick with others spreads the effects over a larger area and makes it more palpable and real in this reality.  Having other people can keep you accountable to your practice so that you don’t slack off too much, and continue to stay centered, learning, growing and inspired.  But when trying to choose which group to join, what should you be looking for?  What should you expect a great coven to provide?  Here are my thoughts.

If the coven is a training coven, meaning that it is a traditional closed order providing classes that work toward an initiated status or ranking system, then the classes should be structured, with a clear and established curriculum.  If not, then you won’t have any guarantee of what you are going to get each time you show up.  You always get what you pay for-  I say this because I am of the camp who feels that everything in the universe is an energetic exchange of one kind or another.  I do not believe that all things spiritual and magickal should just be freely given.  In a well-structured initiation training program, lots of preparation time goes into each class, and students are also reaping the benefits of the years of practice and training that the teaching priest/ess has put in.  Classes should be paid for, but should also be affordable and fair in their pricing.  If the coven you choose to join is not a traditional initiation style coven, but more of a social group of like-minded people loosely getting together to celebrate moons and sabbats, then you certainly would not expect structure or training or to pay much of anything-  you would probably just be expected to contribute wine or supplies or ideas yourself.  Over the years I have also noticed that very often, people seeking a coven have expectations socially that they expect to be met by their group.  It is reasonable to expect that a group have a good overall energy that suits you and lets you feel comfortable.  The people should be supportive and friendly and welcoming to newcomers.  You should choose a coven whose rituals and belief systems allow room for your personal beliefs to be maintained without conflict.  If you find that you don’t have the freedom to adapt what you are learning and still have the personalized practice you need, especially at home, then this may not be the coven for you.  The atmosphere in classes and rituals should be clear and structured and of a high vibration.  The leader should do their best to maintain the energy of all classes and gatherings so that they are free of drama and conducive to learning and spiritual practice and growth.  However, you should never expect a coven to provide you with a best friend, or to provide you with a specific type of social life.  Just because a group of practitioners is like-minded and bonds a lot in their magickal practice does not mean that every member will be as close with one person as they are another.  Witches are still people that have their own diverse lives and personalities.  In our order, with about 60 active members and having had a bunch of others that are now inactive as well, it is natural to see small groups of friends form within this large number.  You should have the freedom to bond with those you feel drawn to and get together outside of formal coven events as you wish.  If there are rules about not getting together outside of formal gatherings and such that should be a red flag.  A coven also should not and can not be expected to make you a better witch.  Training gives you lots of potential skill, knowledge and experiences to draw from, but your effectiveness and the level of enchantment you achieve in your life is not dependent on your coven, but on the level of energy and discipline you put into your own practice.  It is hard sometimes for people in a coven setting to avoid comparing themselves internally to others-  your talents are specific to you, and you should not expect yourself to do all the same magick or hold the same roles that other people do.  Depending on who you are and how much energy you have to put into your practice, results will vary greatly, and this needs to be okay.

There are a lot of different kinds of groups out there, so to sum up-  if you want structured learning and lots of room for growth, find a group with structured, high quality classes.  Never have specific social expectations for the coven outside of gatherings but DO expect drama-free, high vibrational rituals and classes.  You shouldn’t have to pay a lot of money for anything up front in case you end up finding out the group is not the right fit for you, and you should generally feel that the leader is a good match for you morally and intellectually.  There are a lot of other possible points to consider, and these are just a few, but they are a good starting point.  Merry We Meet, Merry We Part, and Merry We Meet Again!

Is There A Spell For_____, and Why Self-Growth Magick Is Underrated

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on July 1, 2019 by nikkisnature

I receive these types of question from random people around the world, who don’t know me, all the time:  “Do you have a spell for preventing your significant other from cheating?”, “Do you have a spell to make me lose weight?”, “Can you please make me a witch?”, “Do you have a spell for obtaining money fast?” and so on, and so on.  It seems as if the general public believes that there are witchcraft secret formulas that people are hoarding, that, if they knew them, would be the instant magickal answer to a problem.  Now, I’m not saying that there are not lots of oath-bound or secret teachings of the Craft in all kinds of orders and traditions around the world, including my own, because there are some.  But none of them is an instant answer to anything.  Yes, there are powerful seals, and ancient incantations.  There are ways to use herbs and stones and ritual to enhance your work.  The bottom line, though, is that magick is all about the practitioner.  All of these ingredients such as seals, symbols, herbs, candles and incantations are there to augment the Witch’s ability to project energy and consciousness into the universe, and to interact with spiritual entities.  Every single thing we do is a relationship-  if you drink rose tea to enhance your love life, it’s not just your relationship with your partner that is involved, it is your relationship with the Spirit of Rose.  If you pray to the spirits of hidden treasure to help you find money, this involves your relationship to those spirits as well as your relationship to money itself.  Just because I may have done a successful job spell in the past does not mean that I can provide the formula to an unprepared person and have them expect that it will work for them.  (And I’m not discussing here what many years of ritual experience, academic study and practice adds-  that could be another blog altogether, though it does have a big impact on effectiveness.) What I am getting at is that the relationship that you have with YOURSELF is the one thing that sets the tone for every single other relationship, circumstance and outcome that you will ever experience.  This is why I think that it is more important, for example, to do a self-love spell than an attracting a lover spell….or why it may be more important to do a spell to help you believe you deserve abundance and security moreso than a money spell.  If your relationship with yourself has sticky spots, then these may need to receive healing or work before more circumstantial physical world magick becomes really effective.  Are the things you do throughout a given day acts of love and support for yourself or are they instant gratification to mask internal discomfort?  Are you able to stay present and enjoy your surroundings, or are you distracted by worry or negative self-talk?  If it’s any of the latter answers, then working magick on your own personal ground state with your guides’ help can be an amazing way to make mental, emotional and energetic shifts that ultimately WILL allow you to be more effective at picking up that spell book and having a success.  None of my students really like it when I say that it’s the personal work, dedication, daily discipline to learning and practice, and strengthening of the inner self that is what will yield skillful magickal results in the long term, but it’s true.  (They especially don’t like it when I point out that exercise enhances your magick and so does limiting sugar, but these could also be another post!)  So remember to try to think about what it is you TRULY want, what you real motivations are, and what your relationship is with yourself going into any magick.  It may help you to rethink the plan, and do the work that gets you the real results of a spiritually enchanted and contented life.  Blessed Be.

Salt as Magick and Metaphor

Posted in General Magickal Practice on August 29, 2018 by nikkisnature

Most magickal practitioners understand that salt is a practical and wonderful aid in various types of magickal purification workings.  We use it to clear the perimeter of a circle, to absorb negative energies released during healing work, to purify water used for cleansing, to ionize the air in the form of salt lamps, to neutralize unwanted spirit energies and more.  And of course, there is the most common everyday use of salt, which is to preserve and flavor food.  More important than any physical action we do in magick is the maintenance of our state of our mind.  One needs to have excellent clarity about themselves, any situations at hand, emotional experiences that arise, and ultimately, the big picture view.  A conundrum that can arise is this:  as witches and magicians advance in their practice, they often experience extremely profound revelations about the nature of their own conscious awareness, how psychic phenomena are actually happening, and what is really possible when working with energies purposely.  These things make us feel very powerful, which is a good thing-  but the trick is to be able to wield this power and stay extremely humble about it at the same time.  It is difficult to have great power and great humility at the same time.  We see this the world over, where it is rare to have a powerful leader that is successful and assertive also show great humility and compassion.  I believe that for a Witch to truly advance in his or her skills, this is the mindset that needs to happen…and yet, when the experiences of profound connection to Spirit, deities and magickal capabilities happen, we often tend to get very wrapped up in our own heads, placing much more importance there than we really should.  This is where I’ll get back to my point about salt.  (That intro did have a purpose, I promise.  🙂  )  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the phrase “take it with a grain of salt”, and I realized that there is great magickal wisdom in this.  The details of psychic revelations, journey experiences and other magickal workings often need to be taken with a grain of salt.  Let this idea of the purification magick of the salt help you to release the swirling of emotions and worry over every little thing that can happen when we experience something profound.  Yes, we need to integrate it-  but you really can’t do that if your experience has you ramping up emotionally, and getting so drawn into the details and meaning that you can’t focus on other things.  The idea of taking the inner workings of your mind and emotions with a grain of salt may therefore be the best magick ever.  After all, if you lose your sense of stability and groundedness in this reality because you get so wrapped up in your inner work, then there is no potential positive outcome from it anymore.  We need to retain the clarity of the bigger picture of ourselves in the scheme of things always in order to keep our humility in check.  Whenever you realize you might be overthinking something, see if you can ask yourself “can I take this with a grain of salt?”.  This means you are seeing if you can stay calm and purify the emotional swirling of the situation rather than getting too caught up in every nuance.  Some people get upset when I say this, but not every psychic detail you encounter needs to mean something life altering.  It’s important to just let magickal knowledge integrate with ourselves without getting distracted from our sense of clarity and function here in this reality. Keeping it playful can also help us stay clear and not tend toward over-inflating the situation.   The other aspect of the question of the salt that I really appreciate is this:  if you can take something with ONE grain of salt, that must mean that it is a really small portion.  In other words, if your food can be adequately seasoned with only one grain, then it really must be a negligible portion to begin with.  So again, if you can answer the question as “yes, I can take that with a grain of salt”, then you can retain the sense that in the scheme of things, your magickal experience is a small portion when compared with the whole.  We have to be able to remember the principles of microcosm/macrocosm for how powerful they are while also remembering that we are having one among an infinite number of microcosmic experiences happening both within and all around us.  So yes, one grain of salt should be enough to bring out the flavor.  Thank you humble salt, for being as powerful in the conceptual as you are in the physical and energetic, and for reminding us that great power comes from clarity and humility.  And thank you, for listening to another of my philosophical magickal ramblings-  I hope you can take it with a grain of salt.

Why Are We Here? Another Piece Of The Magickal Puzzle…

Posted in Noteworthy Magickal Experiences on July 5, 2018 by nikkisnature

Warning!  This piece is not for the unimaginative or for the fundamentalist of any type.  I will discuss magickal experiences I have that I can’t prove or even explain well to those that have not experienced something similar.  But here goes anyway, because I know there are some who will appreciate my thinking.  I had a bit of a revelation during some rune-oriented meditation that I was doing today.  The rune I was working with (algiz) had me thinking about my role as a warrior.  Here in this earth-based reality, I appear as a teacher, witch, healer, mother, etc., and I certainly am all of those things in other realities as well.  But one thing I have come to know about myself as a witch, is that I am quite a literal warrior in other nonphysical realms in which I exist.  In working with my dreams, journeys and messages from my Gods, I have come to know that my role beyond this life is one of protecting innocent people, guarding sacred portals, fighting to preserve magick from those who would abuse it, and more.  This may sound crazy to some, but I actually know quite a few other people who have come to similar realizations about their larger spiritual nature and purpose.  My role as a warrior sorceress in the astral and other planes is now pretty inseparable from my day to day awareness here in physical reality, which means that it is also inseparable from the actual magick that I perform and practice.  My revelation from today has to do with the effects that practicing magick in the here and now has on our skills when in other spiritual forms.  I realized quite clearly that I’m here learning, studying and practicing magick on a daily basis as my life, my calling and my profession because it increases my skills elsewhere.  Living in a physically embodied reality, we have to work very hard to project energy, to emit fire, to accurately send and receive telepathic messages, and to manifest physical change at will in any form.  It’s difficult due to our physics, and requires immense training in order to accrue subtle elevations in skill.  I realized that practicing diligent magick here is like lifting weights in a workout routine to strengthen yourself.  It takes a lot of work, sweating over every repetition, increasing the amount you can lift, and breathing and struggling along day after day in order to see noticeable strength and bodily results…but then when you put those heavy weights down, all the other movements feel easy and smooth.  Your arms feel light and agile.  That strength to move something very heavy translates over into silky effortless ease of movement in many other skills and actions.  Magick is the same:  the more I repeat diligent training here, even with subtle visible results on the physical plane, the easier, smoother and more natural it is to work on behalf of my Gods in other planes.  Jumping to action, receiving telepathic messages, transmuting negative energies with my mind, wielding magickal tools as weapons on a split second’s notice-  these things happen effortlessly there, because I’ve worked so hard to build those muscles here, and in nonphysical realms it’s like having put the weight of this reality down.  My skills just flow with a thought and an instinctual reaction.  As a warrior witch, my role as a fighter and protector feels very important, like something I have been training for and honing through many, many lifetimes and realities.  So that is one more reason that I know I am here in this life:  to lift the weights, to train the mind, to wield the energies so that I continue to hone ease of magickal skill in all the other realities in which I exist.  If you made it this far into this article, congratulations!  Your persistence and intellectual curiosity is appreciated, and maybe I’ll see you wielding your own brand of badassery on the astral tonight.   So Mote It Be.

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.  🙂

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!