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.

You Might Be A Witch: Author Addendum

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews, Uncategorized on August 30, 2017 by nikkisnature

My first experience with publishing has been really fun and interesting so far.  It has only been a few weeks since I released my short, introductory book, “You Might Be A Witch”.  My goals in writing this book are 1.  to help the public to better understand what modern day witchcraft is to increase acceptance and religious tolerance and 2.  to help readers look for similar threads and sparks of magick in their own lives, also to help us all relate to one another.  To sum up for those who haven’t heard of it or read it, this is a straightforward and accessible book appropriate for anyone to read, and is written in two parts.  The first part is a comparative memoir where I point out interesting psychic and magickal occurrences from various phases of my life and prompt the reader to consider what similar experiences they may have had.  The second part is a simple, brief and very truncated discussion about what types of things modern day witches actually believe and practice.  There is some discussion of ethical approaches, and then a very light-hearted, just for fun “how witchy are you” quiz at the end.

So far, this little book has been received well, with open minds and appreciation by those around me.  It is already quite often being gifted by witches and pagans to the skeptics in their lives, so that more openness and acceptance can be gained among friends and family that don’t understand this path.  I am also already starting to experience something that I’m sure every author goes through, but I never really thought about before.  As I respond to questions about it, and receive my family’s impressions, I am often being given reminders of additional tidbits about my past that would have been great to include.  This must happen all the time, where writers find themselves saying “that would have been a great thing to include in the book!” after it has already been published.  I suppose this is what originally led to the idea of multiple editions…though that is not currently in my plans.

In discussing the book, my mother went on to tell me about the moment of my birth-  a story I had never heard.  She said that I was born, and the nurses wiped me off and put me on my mom’s chest.  I wasn’t crying, or wriggling, apparently, but it was not for any medical issue or lack of health.  She said she had a very strange feeling as I simply looked at her with a serious and somewhat inquisitive face, holding eye contact right away, for what seemed like quite a while.  I ended up being the oldest of three children, and my mom says that the births of my two younger brothers were very smooth and normal, with the usual crying, wiggling, squinty eyes and nursing that usually happens.  But my mom had forgotten about the stoic baby behavior until reading my book.  She also related to me a story from when I was somewhere in the age of eight to ten years old.  I had put on a long skirt for dress-up.  My mom said I looked to her and breathed a sigh of relief and said very wistfully “Ah, I don’t know what it is, but when I wear long skirts I feel so much more like myself”.  She said it was a very odd moment where she felt a sense that even as a child I had a memory of a past life closer to the surface than normal.

In talking about the book with my Dad, he agreed that he never knew I had any tarot cards, and so that whole era of my habitual setting up of gypsy camp and reading the cards still remains a mystery.  My Dad also told me that he and my mom had purchased the house I grew up in from the family of a 98 year-old woman who had died onsite in the house.  I actually remember having conversations with my mom, asking her “Mom, did the lady who used to live here die here?” and she would tell me no.  I think she just didn’t want me to be scared, but I definitely did have those experiences of hearing voices, and I think I was accurately sensing her presence.  Despite all of these oddities about me, they were isolated incidences from the eyes of most, and so I did not appear to be a weird child, or overly psychic, or anything like that.  All of these little things, as well as the events I describe in the book are things that, in various ways, happen to many people.  I reiterate this to point out that I believe we all have threads of psychic ability, energy sensing, expanded consciousness with respect to other realms, and other magickal experiences and abilities.  If you weave them all together, they sometimes result in taking on a life of enchantment as a source of purpose and inspiration, and I call this being a Witch.  Witchcraft is not the path for everyone, of that I am sure.  But I write about this in the hope that readers can recognize that we are really all the same.  We are humans with the same experiences of mystery, having a wide variety of interactions with various combinations of energy and consciousness.  There are many folks out there who claim that their religious path is the one and only correct one, and I know for sure that that cannot be true.  There are many paths to the same place, and we get to choose.  Choose what inspires you and provides you with a sense of wonder and inspiration.  Every moral spiritual and religious path is equally valid in my eyes, and this is the concept that I hope to illuminate.   Thank you for being you-  Blessed Be.

What It Means To Be A Priest/ess

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2017 by nikkisnature

As a beloved group of my advanced students finishes their course of Pries/tess training in our order, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, and undergo their special ceremonial rite of passage into the priesthood officially, I get a little sentimental and contemplative.  Watching others work hard and truly elevate themselves magickally to a new level of spiritual competence and awareness is so very rewarding.  It reminds me of how I, myself have evolved in my own role of Priestess, and it highlights for me some very important things that I’ve learned along the way that I feel are overlooked by the general magickal public.  To understand what it really means to hold this title, you have to look at what our society holds as an archetypal definition for the word “priest”.  A priest is someone who is trained to pass on their religious and spiritual arts, who holds important ceremonies and teachings for others, and who ministers to others.  It saddens me a bit to see people referring to themselves as Priest/esses when they don’t actually do any of the above mentioned things.  In the past I’ve seen too many people get excited about Priest/ess training as an option in my order, and I realize that many times that excitement was not properly motivated.  Attaining the title of Priest/ess should not be done solely to advance one’s own skill, or to feel elite or more empowered.  Does it result in these things?  Yes, of course.  The thing is, to truly minister to others in a way that is effective and high in integrity, you need to be humble.  You often need to give an exhausting amount of yourself to people-  and not just the people you like or want to be around, necessarily.  To me being a real Priest/ess involves helping people work through things even when you don’t really jive energetically with that person, or you feel like they don’t see things the same way you do.  It truly involves an amount of compassion, humility and patience that is rare.  I am not saying that I always have this.  Sometimes, at the end of the day I know that I have really supported others in the best way I can, and sometimes I’m not so sure.  I am human of course, even though as a Priestess I strive to walk the most divine part of myself through this world.  But I think the thing that matters is that I WANT to be in that role-  the role of giving selflessly whenever I can, the role of spreading ritual, and spiritual and magickal inspiration in the world as much as possible.  So, when someone calls themselves a Priest/ess because they feel they are a divine and advanced practitioner of the Craft but they have no responsibility for others, I can’t help but to question it a little.  I am in no way badmouthing those who have formally earned this title and don’t happen to be in practice, by the way, and I am also not badmouthing those who have simply fallen into the role of ministering to others in a caring way and wish to entitle themselves Priest/ess…what I am frowning upon is self-appointed titling of Priest/ess when there is no ministering of any sort being done.  In our order a person who ascends to the title of Priest/ess is not obligated to teach and run a congregation, but they are expected to be generally helpful, good examples in the coven community at the very least.  To sum up, the title Priest/ess reflects what your role is to other people and should not be used as a status symbol.  If you feel like you don’t want to deal with people who irritate you, you probably should not become a Priest/ess.  If you feel you are so empathic that being around others frequently is too much, you also probably should not become a Priest/ess.  Magickal students considering training in a priesthood, therefore, should think about whether they feel they can generally be there for other people or not.  I don’t think I truly understood the extent of this when I first trained to become a Priestess, but I certainly know it now, and thankfully have found that I can step up to the challenge enough to feel rewarded by it.   And of course, for all of those who are using their advanced skills to help others, you know that all of that effort DOES in fact pay off-  you end up gaining unanticipated levels of skill, confidence and connections to deity and Spirit that you would have never dreamed of.  The key is that the payoff doesn’t happen without the generous giving and sacrificing.  To all of those true Priest/esses that I know (and you know who you are), thank you for your service.  To all of you who are walking the walk and holding true, safe space for others in the magickal world, thank you.  Blessed Be.

Your Life is Your Magick

Posted in General Magickal Practice on July 17, 2017 by nikkisnature

As the years go on, and I do more magick, teach more magickal sudents, witness the lives of more people, and become very, very gradually clearer in general about the way things work, I have noticed some clear points about things that make one person better at magick than another.  It is not necessarily someone’s raw power, or their faith in their Gods, or even their strength of will (contrary to popular opinion) that makes someone a powerful magickal practitioner.  It’s actually so simple, it seems non-magickal, which makes this discussion seem contradictory.  Here are important correlations I have noticed:

  1.  People who stick to their goals in their daily routines have better outcomes with magick.    If you set the intention to exercise, or to do a daily morning meditation, or to eat a certain way, or to practice divination or do a daily sacred space opening, you need to do it.  Magick is all about intention-  and not just SAYING that something is your intention, but living that path.  If you normally have intentions that you let slide, this is more likely to also happen with magickal intentions that you set.
  2. People who are able to let negative emotions go and move on not only do better magick but have more inherent psychic protection.  I have noticed that people who complain a lot, people who blame others or outside influences for everything, people who feel a negative bout of emotions and then let it stick with them-  all tend to attract more negative circumstances.  These life habits tend to create spirals in which the person gets stuck and is then often unable to shift things forward.  If you can’t shift yourself out of a funk, or don’t take emotional responsibility for yourself, you won’t be able to make big shifts magickally either.
  3. People who have a strong sense of moral fiber tend to have great magickal results.  The reason magick is being done in the first place is very important to its outcome.  Soooo many people will argue with me on this, but I really believe that if you want an outcome for good, positive reasons, even if the work may be somewhat dark by certain standards, that it has a better chance of succeeding smoothly.  What I mean is-  you need to have moral standards and stick to them.  Behave toward others in the way you would want them to behave toward you.  Don’t do magick simply to get revenge, or to manipulate someone just because you want to.  This will not bode well for you in the long run.  Spiritual traditions the world over all have morality teachings, and this is because the magick of morality affects outcomes.  A lot of people argue and say they don’t believe in the concept of karma…but if you do magick you must at least believe in the concept of energy, and the principle that like attracts like, because this is what all spells are based on, pretty much.  Like attracts like…and if you manipulate others, they will do it to you, and worse.
  4. People who take great care of their health tend to get better magickal results.  A lot of people will argue with me on this too, because they don’t want it to be true, but those of us who practice real magick know that the mind/body/spirit connection is alive and real.  When you tend to the energies in the body, the energy of the mind is sharper and clearer (allowing you to live some of the above principles more easily) and your connection to your spiritual self and guides is clearer and more accessible as well.  This is why, conversely, energy healing can have a positive effect on the health of the body.  If you work out, I feel you will become a better person, and a better magickal practitioner.  You will flush negative energy from your field regularly, and you will push yourself-  holding yourself to a high standard of results.  This transfers over into the results that can be attained in magick.  Eating cleanly and keeping the mind right of course all lend to this as well, and are the basis of any good personal health regime.

There are more traits beyond these that are also important in magick, but I think you are getting my drift.  Essentially the summary of all of this is that the way you live your life is directly reflected in the quality of your magick, and vice versa.  Therefore, if you have the above positive qualities in your lifestyle, you will eventually do less and less small magick to affect individual life circumstances, because you won’t need it.  Your magick will evolve to center around uncovering the mysteries of consciousness, interacting more directly with the Gods for the sake of inspiration, awe and learning, and for realizing your spiritual self in the grand scheme of things.  I hope all of these things for you.  Blessed Be.

The Magickal Pull of the Divine

Posted in General Magickal Practice on June 28, 2017 by nikkisnature

This morning on my routine cemetery jaunt I found both hawk and turkey feathers.  It instantly struck me as a beautiful combination of balanced energies-  those of a high, soaring vantage point as well as energies of the ground and of abundance.  To me, it was a beautiful  moment of feeling fully connected to both earth and sky, and knowing another true, quick glimpse of the “as above, so below” philosophy that is so important in magickal practice.  This short beautiful reminder  got me to thinking about paying attention to signs and spiritual energies, especially those that stand out, and how they can be such clear reminders of the enchanted and divine nature of all things.  Musing philosophically even further, as I am wont to do, i got to thinking about my tendency to see the influence of specific deities and guides in people all the time.  Lately, I have been struck by  a couple of clear concepts related to human-deity relationships.

One thing I really feel is true (and that “American Gods” has nailed) is that belief creates reality.  I honestly do feel (and obviously this is the dreaded UPG-  unverifiable personal gnosis) that an individual person’s deep belief in the presence of or relationship with a deity or guide makes it completely real.  The deep magick that I experience by connecting with my guides and Goddesses is something I never would have thought possible through this physical reality.  Along these lines, if a person never clarifies for themselves what they believe, they negate any chance of such profound magickal opportunities.  And I fully believe in the intelligence of individual spirits and deities and in their desire to have physical humans believe in them so that their energies and their stories are more fully infused in the physical plane.  This motivation on their part, to be kept alive through us, is part of what nurtures relationships with specific people.

The other thing that I have noticed is that there seem to be a couple of clear deity to person relationships that naturally happen.  The first type relates to what I was saying above about a deity wanting to be kept alive, or their presence energized by certain fit humans, by way of these human’s beliefs and actions.  This is the type of relationship where a you develop a relationship with a God/dess because the deity calls to you.  You don’t necessarily need them, you just naturally love that God/dess.  The deity makes themselves known, over and over again, and points out how the two of you are alike.  The deity helps you to become immersed in his/her stories, and to really understand his/her nature until you feel it fully in yourself.  The deity empowers you so that you will actually be a walking example of their energy, their teachings, their particular strengths and talents.  The God/dess CHOOSES you because you will not let them down.  You will do the work, and this is the type of deity relationship that often turns into devotional practice-  dedicating life actions and goals to a God/dess to honor their continually felt presence, and keep it alive and strong in the world.

The other type of human to divine relationship is the kind where a person seeks out a particular guide, or God/dess.  They read stories and learn about magick in general and the person decides that they want a relationship with a particular energy.  How can you tell which is the case for you, you ask?  Here is how:  when you aspire to, or NEED the strengths of that God/dess to help you develop, or to help you gain successes in your life, you are seeking them.  If you feel like you only speak with them when you need help, then you are seeking them.  When you already embody the traits you see described in a deity but you feel a devotional pull to them,  or you realize that you, yourself are not separate from that God/dess in any way because you are walking in each other’s shoes, it is likely that they have sought you.  Neither case is better than the other-  we each are where we are.  Seeking is necessary.  I know both of these types of relationships in my spiritual practice.  When I relate to The Morrigan, I simply feel her working through me.  We are energetically and completely downloaded into one another, and I am proud to be one of her walking embodiments.  However, I seek when it comes to the divine masculine-  I look to nurture relationships with Odin, the Dagda and others because I need to understand and integrate their ways in my life where I have not yet done so.  These relationships I would not yet categorize as devotional, either, unlike with The Morrigan, where I know it is for life, like a marriage.

If you have polytheistic tendencies like I do (I tend to sway pantheistic as well), I hope that you get to experience both of these types of spiritual relationships in your magickal travels.  I also hope that you will share some of your experiences here to expand upon this conversation that I have started, as there are probably an infinite number of other iterations that I have not described.  All I do know is that it is an immense honor to have the privilege of physical life while feeling infused with the divine.  Blessed Be.

Spiritual Motivation For Lucid Dreaming

Posted in Noteworthy Magickal Experiences on May 21, 2017 by nikkisnature

I am not only a shamanic dream teacher and have a deep dreaming practice of my own, but I strive constantly to improve my ability to attain full lucidity in the dream time as often as possible.  What does all of this mean?  Shamanic dream work is taking the approach that dreams are other realities or alternative versions of this reality.  Within this view, one can then journey back into the scene of a dream awake,  just as one makes shamanic journeys into nonordinary reality in traditional practice, and interact with the energies and images of the dream time, bringing them into ordinary reality to enhance our lives and our expanded vision and understanding of our world.  For over ten years I have maintained an unbroken streak of journaling all of my remembered dreams daily, and following up on work with any that stand out or in which I have a clear sense of emotional investment.  Through this dreaming practice I have often been prepared for the future with precognitive dreams, I have interacted with spiritual guides and the deceased, and I have been shown magick that I have been able to bring into my day to day physical reality.  In addition to all of this, as I mentioned, I strive also to be able to become lucid while dreaming.  A lot of people don’t fully know what this means-  if you are wondering if a certain dream you had was a lucid dream, then it really wasn’t.  I say this, because when you become fully lucid (meaning you have clear knowledge that you are dreaming, simultaneously being aware of your body in your bed, and having full recollection of everything to do with physical reality) it is unlike any other kind of dream experience.  For me there is usually the sensation of a clear energy shift from a normal state of dreaming into this hyper-aware state.  As I gain the revelation that I’m successfully aware of ordinary reality in its entirety and also still anchored firmly in the dream world, I notice how crisp every little physical sensation is-  I become aware of my body and my environment in a way that feels much more real than ordinary reality, in fact.  In this state you can experience sensation in any way you choose-  you can fly, pass through walls and shoot fire from your hands.  In addition to this, you can transport yourself to other locations at will, speak with whomever you want, and often you can experience intense spiritual revelation.  Many authors and lifelong students of lucid dreaming have been able to have experiences of interacting with deity.  When I began to really cultivate my own practice and read more and more accounts of this, I became determined to work toward this goal myself.

As I got better at reality checks, practicing meditation and holding my engagement level with the hypnagogic state, I began to increase my frequency of lucid dreams, and I held onto the daily intention that I would try to interact with The Morrigan, my matron guide and Goddess.  Even though I would get lucid often, it is not always easy to stay firmly anchored enough in that state to get things done, and often the first thing I want to do when I attain lucidity is fly, and then I lose my opportunity to do more.   So I continued to try.  On the morning of Halloween 2016 I was dreaming and became lucid.  I stepped out of the room in which I was engaging with a previous dream character, and into an empty hallway.  I simply held a clear thought about wanting to invite The Morrigan into this state so I could interact with her.  Even though I have mental images of how I imagine her, what happened next was not controlled by me or conjured up purposely in any way.  As I thought of my Goddess, what happened was not what I expected.  I had thought I might converse with a deity in human shape.  But I saw a foggy cloud made of bats and crows moving toward me.  It rushed into me, passing through every cell and space of me, filling me with an intense energy rush stronger than anything I’ve ever felt.  To have this happen and know it clearly while aware of yourself in ordinary reality is indescribable.  As the energy rush continued to fill me, I was levitated off of the floor, in a horizontal, face up position.  Floating in the air with the energy continuing to shoot through me, infusing me with the intense strength and ferocity of The Morrigan, I began to have some facial convulsions and snarling.  I knew her wolf form, and it surprised me, as I had normally focused on her crow and raven forms.  Eventually, as the energy flow finished, I stood upright again.  I chose to wake up at that point so I could journal this amazing experience while it was fresh.  I was fully amazed at what had happened, and that in this state of lucidity, I had invited Her in and been gifted with an extreme energy download, in a way I couldn’t have imagined or dreamed up myself.  I expressed thanks, honored Her in my rituals, and continued to cultivate my relationship with her as well as my lucid dreaming skills.

Some months later, in a journey I was leading for a class of my advanced coven students, I had a conversation with The Morrigan where she told me that next time I could lucid dream with her, I should ask about “the blood sharing ritual”.  It took a while, and a lot of short lucid attempts before I was again lucid for long enough to carry out this request.  Finding myself anchored in firmly, I stated to the dream space that I would like to speak with The Morrigan to find out what this blood sharing ritual was.  Suddenly, an intense cloud of fog came at me and infused me intensely, much in the same way as the cloud of crows and bats from the previous interaction.  I also was given a knowing in the experience of that moment that her “blood”, that life force which she is able to share directly with me, comes in the form of energy.  This was how she infused me with her strengths.  I also knew that later I would have to gift some of my blood and energy to her, which I did, in ordinary reality.  But, in that same dream space, after the energetic infusion, I continued to remain firmly in the dream.  Fully aware, I decided to continue on with my spiritual work, and asked that I be able to experience what it is to be a Raven.  I instantly began to feel a slightly uncomfortable shift as my body morphed its form.  Strange to not have arms, and to see not much of myself except for some black feather hairs sticking beyond the boundaries of my eyelids, I flexed my back muscles and was able to fly.  The sensations through this body were amazing-  the air felt tingly and full of current as I moved.  It did not feel as I imagined it would, again affirming that I was not controlling this or making it up.  The air felt more like water upon which I was surfing.  I was surprised at how easily I could glide upon it with little or no effort, especially since I had loads of previous experience in lucid dreaming flying.  I flew for a while before landing and choosing to wake up to journal and plan my offerings.

Immense gratitude does not even describe how I feel about having been able to embark on these interactions with Her.  Amazed with what is real and possible in the scope of the conscious and energetic planes of this universe describes it more aptly.  I feel blessed to have received a direct infusion, a gift of energy from my Goddess now, on multiple occasions.  It empowers and renews me, and reminds me that She is part of me as I am part of Her.  We are connected in a very primal way, one that I am so honored to have been able to feel firsthand, in the most real and direct way possible.  If I can leave you with any inspiration to consider from this, let it be the following:  dreaming is our spiritual birthright, and can open the door to the realities and mysteries that we can’t experience firsthand in the physics of our current ordinary reality.  Deities and guides are real.  They are intelligent entities who are connected to you and are accessible with a simple thought.  You may not be able to see and feel them so intensely in ordinary reality, but they exist in and through you.  If you can combine strong dreaming skills with strong faith, the possibilities are literally limitless.  Blessed Be.

Read This Even if You Think You Already Know About Moon Phases and Manifestation!

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on March 28, 2017 by nikkisnature

Okay, we need to get some things straight.  For a lot of years now, I’ve been seeing people post backward information about the moon’s phases.  What you think you know about doing manifestation work or intention setting in conjunction with the moon’s energy may be all wrong-  could explain a lot, eh?  I am continually seeing people write about setting intentions for what they want to bring into their life at the new moon.  This is wrong.  (And those who know me know that I don’t say that lightly.  Whenever I teach about an opinion I have on something magickal I always make sure to acknowledge that I’m teaching in a specific tradition and that I respect the alternative perspectives that exist in other traditions.  But the moon is the moon regardless of tradition, and its cycle has a very obvious energetic pattern.) Now I will explain why intention setting at the new moon is wrong.  The 28 day lunar cycle is an exact mirror of the female menstrual cycle.  The new moon is when the moon is dark (Dark Moon and New Moon are synonymous terms) and not visible from earth, and at its most yin point.  After its darkest point, we move into the period called the waxing moon, when the crescent slowly starts to be visible again, increasing a bit daily for two weeks.  During the waxing moon, you can add an energy of increase, or building up, to your magickal or manifestation work.  The waxing moon is equivalent to the uterine lining building up and preparing to be fully fluffed with healthy cells that would allow an egg to implant. The full moon is when the moon is a bright, round, fully lit orb that is visible from earth-  this is the moon’s most yang point in the cycle.  Yang energy is emanating, vital and creative.  The full moon, like the white round egg, signifies ovulation.  It is at the time of ovulation that ideas can be fertilized and put into play effectively.  At the full moon we charge tools and stones, we charge ideas and ask that our intentions be put into action.  Once the moon passes peak fullness, it begins waning, or decreasing in lightness and visibility.  The waning moon phase is equivalent to the aging, quieting of the uterine wall.  There is no longer a ready egg, and the cells are no longer ripe to support creation.  It is an energy of lessening, and it is a good time to be lowering stress, getting rid of negativity, or lessening of blockages.  When we get to the new moon again, that period of lunar darkness, we need to remember that this phase is equivalent to the actual period!  This is the shedding time.  This is when you clean house, banish, and complete any removing processes that may have started during the two week period of the waning moon.  So in the current day, the terms new moon and dark moon are synonymous.  I believe that in older times, the term New Moon may have been used to denote the time when the moon once again became visible as a crescent, validating to the naked eye here on earth that the cycle had miraculously begun again.  But you need to remember that this is actually the waxing phase, when the moon is already in a pattern of increase.  When you set intentions during the dark/new moon, you are in the shedding/period time, so you are fighting against the current.  Now, once you can actually see the waxing crescent, if that is what you prefer to call new moon, it wouldn’t be wrong to get your intention focus building at that point, but your peak manifestation moment is always going to be the full moon.  I hope that you can clearly envision and understand the cycle in its entirety as I have explained it here.  You can feel free to ask me questions about this-  there are many, many people who have this skewed, even some of the websites that come up first in the list upon googling “moon phases in magick”.  Anyone who likes to study the metaphysical, or actively engages in manifestation needs to know this.  After mental focus, timing in accordance with moon phase is probably the most important ingredient in any type of magickal work.  I’m tired of seeing people who are trying to lead or set an example for others disseminate wrong information about this incredibly universal energy.  Don’t fight it folks-  line up with the ebb and flow and you may be amazed with the results.  So mote it be!

Lady Nikki, High Priestess, Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick

Book Review: “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires” by Aaron Leitch

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews on March 24, 2017 by nikkisnature

I came upon this book when I was looking for more information about using approaches from some of the more obscure medieval grimoires in my personal magickal practice.  Since I run a large coven with a longstanding traditional initiation structure, I consider it my responsibility to continue to deepen my own understanding of the oldest magickal sources possible and then to pass my knowledge on to my students.  I have used pieces of magick from “The Key of Solomon the King”, “The Goetia”, “The Black Pullet”, “The 6th and 7th Books of Moses”, “The Book of Abremalin the Mage”, “Raphael’s Book of Ancient Talismanic Magic”, “The Magus” and many more old sources for many years, but never have I attempted the task of following the instructions of The Key or any one grimoire to a tee from the beginning as recommended by the ancient mages.  I was very curious to see what another modern-day magician would have to say on this subject.  I was very impressed and pleasantly pleased right from the beginning as Leitch provided a very thorough and accessible history of what we know of the grimoires and their supposed authors as well as a contextual backdrop for the religious and political climate of the time periods from which they came.  Some of this was information I was never given before in such a manner and it proves to be very important in putting the material into perspective for this day and age.  I particularly enjoyed that Leitch goes on to set out in proving how the grimoires are actually incredibly shamanic in their approaches, and he shows how more ancient longstanding methods of working with spirits are really the continued underpinnings of the grimoiric practices.  It’s funny, because there wasn’t any one thing the author said that was truly new to me, but the way he delivered his logic and facts allowed me to have a lot of moments of clarity and new perspective on how I can integrate a lot of this old magickal material into my existing practice.

Further into the meat of the book, Leitch takes a lot of time to discuss many of the specific tasks from The Key and a few other key works that the magician is supposed to undertake in order to properly prepare him/herself for working with the angelic spirits for magick.  Some of these tasks include long periods of personal preparation-  daily prayers, fasts, lifestyle changes for purity and attunement to spirit.  To a reader of the grimoires it can seem daunting if not impossible.  Only after doing all this is the magician  said to be ready to use all of the planetary seals, call on the angels properly, etc.   What I realized through his telling, though, is that the purpose of all of this dedicated and intricate preparation is to improve both the mental focus and spiritual attunement level of the magician to better prepare him to receive spirit communications.  I realized that the modern day practices prescribed to students in a traditional initiation lineage such as my own coven, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, actually parallel this idea of daily attuning to spiritual energies, honing one’s focusing abilities and working on cleaning up ethics and behaviors to better prepare oneself as a magician.  I have had great success in working with many of the seals and words of the grimoires in my own magick, and realized that though I had never followed the preparations specifically prescribed in the grimoires, that I HAD followed the preparation instructions recommmended in my own lineage tradition for daily ceremony, and that it may have had similar results.

Another thing that Leitch covers in his book is how to make suitable substitutions for some of the grimoiric instructions regarding sacrifice or the obtaining or crafting of other materials for tools or ingredients that don’t seem plausible in the current day.  His discussion of these is very encouraging and gives the reading magician lots of ideas of how to parallel these works in his or her own completely suitable way.  I found it very encouraging and again found myself having moments of clarity on how to incorporate some of these classical techniques for the modern day.  Now Leitch may not agree with me here, but I also felt that in the case of all of the prayers involved, which are predominantly Christian and Hebrew mysticism oriented and with a heavy use of psalms, that some substitutions could be made there as well.  Since I work within a more pan- and  polytheistic spiritual view, my gut feeling is that a lot of the same prayer structures from the grimoires could still be used but saying “the Gods” instead of “our Lord God almighty” and so forth.  Since I have always prayed that way and the seals and words of the grimoires still seem to hold great power for me, I don’t think there is any problem with this.  After all, it is my general belief that all of the various multicultural paths to the divine are equally as valid, and it is up to the practitioner to find the way in which they can fully engage without skepticism, and with fullness of heart and soul.

Studying this book was a true pleasure.  I would heartily recommend it not to my first year students who are engaged in learning the basics of ceremonial magick and foundational information in astrology, Qabbalah, planetary work, etc, but to initiates and already relatively studied practitioners who would like a broader perspective on incorporating the widsom of our oldest magickal gems into their practice.  For those dedicated and seasoned students of the occult who want to deepen their understanding of the grimoires, gain a more integrated historical perspective of these works and ultimately improve upon their own magick, “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires” will not disappoint.  Many thanks to Aaron Leitch for all of the research and dedication that obviously went into this work.  Blessed Be.

Almost Everyone is an Empath…

Posted in Psychic Work on March 3, 2017 by nikkisnature

Well, sort of.  It is so common now for people to come to an understanding of a “new age” term, identify with it, and then throw it around left and right.  I’m not saying that you are not an empath, as we say, because you probably are.  But there are a few aspects to this term that are worth considering, and certainly many subtleties.  I believe that everyone has the capacity to sense the feelings of others, but some people just seem to become more affected by them than others.  The question is then, where is the line that defines how much sensitivity to others defines an empath?  I constantly see facebook quizzes going around that say “if you say yes to 8 out of 10 of the following statements then you are most likely an empath”.  The statements are things such as “you don’t like crowds”, “You prefer one on one quiet conversation to noisy parties”, “you require a lot of alone time”, “you often feel upset all of a sudden and can’t explain why”, “you are unable to watch violent or scary television without feeling disturbed or excessively upset”, and many more.  I know so many people that would answer yes to all of these, but are they all empaths?  Maybe, maybe not.  If so, then it is certainly not an uncommon way to be.  If not, then who is?  I used to say that I identified with being an empath because everything I would read would ring true with me for the most part.  But I am starting to think that maybe the true empaths are only the people who fully feel someone else’s complete set of emotions regularly, as though they were their very own.  And I’m not talking about passing notions of an emotion, or getting a sense of an emotion you don’t understand.  I mean really, truly feeling it simultaneously, and having it happen routinely with multiple people, not just your closest family and friends.  I say this because I believe I have seen a few people who are going through this, but this is not what happens to me, despite the fact that I score 90-100% on every empath identification quiz.  I regularly get a wave of knowing someone’s exact emotional state, but now that I am examining this much more closely, it is just that-  a knowing.  It is not a sensing of the emotions that overtakes me as if they were my own.  I am not usually in full turmoil over someone else’s stress.  Also, I love horror, fantasy and all manner of magickal and thrilling TV and movies whether it has violence in it or not, and I’m not usually bothered by that.  I believe that ability I experience where I know the emotions of other people is a form of psychic awareness known as claircognizance, whereas the state we are all currently referring to as empathic is simply the form of psychic awareness known as clairsentience.  So for me, I normally simply know psychically what is going on, rather than feeling it fully.  I do have intermittent bouts of clairsentience where I’ll feel a symptom or emotion fully in myself, but it doesn’t seem to impair my normal function or get confused with my own true feelings.  To sum up, I believe that everyone has different psychic abilities that fall somewhere on a spectrum from rarely sensed or very light, to daily occurrences that are clear and able to be validated.  I think in the circles in which I teach, I’ll go back to differentiating for my students which experiences they may be having are clairsentient, claircognizant, clairvoyant, and which are simply just feeling emotionally sensitive oneself, because now that everyone is an empath, it’s becoming tough to discern which situations require training and psychic cultivation in order to learn to handle, and which ones are simply the side effects of being a normal sensitive human being.  Feel free to open up discussion here in the comments !