Season of the Witch: Natalia Karoway

 Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.

I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.

HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.

The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.

Please enjoy this interview with Natalia Karoway on the topic of what it means to be a witch. 


What does the term Witch mean to you?

To me, a witch is someone who is tapped into the magic of existence and is devoted to assisting in the healing of mother earth and all of her children—human, animal, plant and beyond. A witch is deeply connected to the natural world — and she collaborates with the energy of earth and spirit to instigate transformations for herself and for those who call upon her. She is a space holder, knowing that she does not provide “healings” yet she uses her wisdom, power, and magic to set a stage for what is possible around her.

How would one know that one was a witch? 🙂

I think that it is simply a resonance and an alignment with the magical energetics of living in service to the earth and your community. It doesn’t have to be a strict definition. There are many other definitions than my personal thoughts above. I don’t believe you need to be initiated or called upon… but you do need to choose to walk the path and live it in action—not just in a sense of fashion or collecting crystals. I view it as stepping into a position of service.

Talk about intention and manifestation…..How do they work together, Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

I love working with intention and manifestation. I do believe that committed action on an intention absolutely manifests experiences into being. But it’s the action that is critical. It’s not just holding on to a thought. You begin with the vision and foundation for the intention. You can hold it in your heart, write it out, meditate on it and bring it into ceremony. And then you begin to notice… the places where you can take inspired action… the opportunities that arise where you can take the path needed… stoking the fire of the intention, bringing it to life. That’s where I see the magic happening.

I used to work with vision boards a lot and found this process to be incredibly powerful. The action piece was always included after creating my collage of dream photos and words, but when I would look back at them after a year or even a few, I was always pleasantly surprised at how much I had brought into being. Sometimes the photos were just beautiful scenes I found online not even knowing where they may have been snapped, but I found myself visiting some of the exact locations without consciously thinking planning it. It’s really exciting, magical, and mind blowing!!

These days I work more in ceremony, bringing the intention, amplifying it with prayer, making heartfelt offerings, and then walking through the doors that open afterwards. Ceremony brings the awareness and plants the seeds of opportunity, but we still must walk through that door, answer that phone call, take that left turn.

How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

As with anything, I see collective energy always surpassing the individual. In the shamanic tradition I’ve studied with, the goal is to always live as a collective entity. The individual path is where we have the most challenges and the most suffering. When we dream together, come together with a common goal, plant that seed, and we all water and nourish it… it does not get more powerful than that!

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)

I would first gently nudge her to venture into nature as much as possible. To listen to the forests, the plants, the water, the sky. There’s so much to be discovered in our deep connection with the earth.

I also have loved having teachers on my path. I find nothing more nurturing and fulfilling than being mentored in these realms. Sure there are wonderful books, but there is still much of this magical path that is an oral tradition. Learning from our wise elders has always built the strongest foundation for me and it carries forth a tradition unbroken.

I love the books of Scott Cunningham and my absolute favorite plant book is “Herbal Rituals” by Judith Berger. I also wrote a book called “Living Sacred Ceremony” for those who wish for inspiration in the realm of transformational ceremony practices.

How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

Those of us who choose to walk this path must be willing to dance in the shadows. I actually love shadow work. Looking in these dark spaces certainly isn’t the most comfortable, but for me, it is the space in which I have the most growth. When we explore and find some understanding of our shadow self, I believe there is less to fear. And the less fear we have, the more powerful we can become.

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

I think there are so many factors here. First of all, we have a collective wound as women who know our ancestors have literally been burned at the stake for using our power. It’s not something that we want to see happen ever again. There is a still a huge collective of dark masculine who fear the power of the divine feminine and will do anything to keep us from rising. It can be incredibly scary to rise into our full and powerful potential. But I see us as having no choice. Our time is now and if we don’t rise up, we are literally risking the extinction of our entire planet.

So to the women who feel the power within rising and the fear dancing with it, I say you are not alone in this. Find your sisters and rise to power together. We will walk this path side by side.

Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey. ( if you want:)

My mom lived in Salem during college and took classes with Laurie Cabot, one of our most famous modern witches. So in my early teen years, there were books on the shelf that piqued my curiosity. At around 14 or 15, I visited a local metaphysical shop and I was blown away when the owner popped out, spoke a few words to me, and asked if I was an Aquarius. Um, yes!! I wanted what she had! I grabbed one of Scott Cunningham’s books on Wicca and a deck of tarot cards. The first spell I cast was of course for love. And let me tell you, IT WORKED. It was at that time that I felt connected to a power that I had never experienced or even thought possible. Like woah, you can change things about your life and your path. It was amazing and empowering for a young woman.

But it wasn’t all goodness. There was a darkness, too. And I learned what happens when you harness that power for things that are not so beneficial for all involved. And that’s how I understood which path not to walk and who I actually wanted to be in this world.

I lost the connection for a time in college while pursuing academics and a more traditional job path. But I could’t stay away for long. Once a witch, always a witch. I stepped on to the shamanic path in my 20’s and the herbal path in the more recent years. All the pieces have been coming together and adding up. And I am honored and proud to use my magic and medicine to assist my community.

What is our role now, as witches of the world, and how would you like to see us collectively using our powers to heal?

The role of the witch is growing in these changing times. I think that it is imperative that we step into our communities (and even outside of our communities and comfort zones) to educate and empower each other.

For example, with our recent governmental upheaval, women are fearing the loss of our reproductive rights. Others are worried about losing complete access to healthcare. But who took care of the reproductive health of women before these modern times? The witches—the herbalists + the midwives. Who made medicine when there was no modern healthcare? The witches. And they risked themselves to share their medicine.

We are perhaps coming full circle and returning to times like these. So I see our role becoming crucial and that role is one of empowering our sisters in health sovereignty and sharing our knowledge and medicine far and wide. And I don’t mean to leave out the men or those who don’t identify as women! This is just my present example. There are many places where this same sharing of education, empowerment, and support can be applied. We all have different strengths and bodies of knowledge. We can be pillars in our community so people know who to turn to when they need a specific type of support. So this means being loud and proud of what we have to offer!

Bio

Natalia Karoway is a lover and practitioner of shamanism, herbalism, and sacred ceremony. She has trained extensively in Andean shamanism and Western herbalism and merges the wisdom of the two lineages in her offerings. These days, you can find her whipping up plant magic goods for ceremony, healing, and beauty at Sacred Botanica.

Instagram @sacredbotanica

Season of the Witch: When Something Awakens

 Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.

I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.

HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.

The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.

Please enjoy this interview with HTHG reader Sarah Choquette. She read some of our past interviews and heard the call to share her own story. Her path has been recently illuminated by some major life changes, igniting a powerful fire to seek truth and balance and own her power. Today she shares with us her thoughts on the topic of what it means to be a witch. 

Preceding her interview is an email she sent me, answering the call to contribute her words and experience. It really touched me and reaffirmed why I continue to strive to hold space for the truth and identity of others.


………..I replied to your invite to contribute knowing I was called to it, but I wasn’t ready until now.

2016 I spent voraciously learning, being recalled to my truth through old interests that grabbed me or made my heart sing, and new paths my brain needed walking. Mythology, divination, moon and woman magic, questioning the religious establishment, and always, my beloved crystals.

Since the start of 2017, Ive gotten to put it all into practice. We uprooted from our Southern town and Christian community, are in an RV with our daughter and headed ultimately to Washington state. And, that act of self love Spirit led me to? A choice to initiate a miscarriage. I had an abortion one town over from where we moved. A very polarizing choice in any circle it seems, but without our consent word got out to our previous community of friends, and now few remain after casting bombs of religious judgment. Its been agonizing to lose so much, we never intended to cut ties even though we felt our paths branching. And especially not in this way. It’s affected my family too, since my brother and his family were part of the same organization… Ive almost given up several times, wanted to walk out into traffic or ask my husband for his gun. (Just some

very hard moments, no real danger. I’ve turned down Death too many times already, the jerk just knows the way to my door too well, lol)

The Universe kept me going with the support of my husband and my own blessed Fire energy that just wouldnt let me quit no matter how many waves washed over it.

And yesterday, I gave in. To own my power, my story, my place, and everything else I finally had words for that tumbled out like a flood into this email.

I just wanted to say… having this email sitting on the shelf to reply to has been a catalyst charm for me. A touchstone. Not to be dramatic, but something to come back to. I knew it was time, it was real, and I wasnt crazy or wrong.

Having the other interviews to read has been such a balm as I am bereft of community so recently. I had not bonded or agreed with anyone for a long time, but had really opened myself up to one woman, who it turns out wasnt in the same place I was and in her pain and confusion at my choice spilled everything to the religious leaders.

Ive been asking the angels for faith in humanity and to trust people again.

Reading the witch interviews, I felt so warm and hopeful of one day enjoying and trusting women and community again.

Im so grateful all of this is happening now. I know there’s a reason for every part, and Im coming home not just to Washington but to myself, and The Mother.

-Sarah Choquette


What does the term Witch mean to you?

Wise. And unafraid of the dark. Of any darkness. In nature, themselves, or the cosmos. The old Saxon and Celtic terms swirl for me, as I imagine a heiritage embodied by someone who is wedded to the Earth, cognizant and alive to its secrets, rhythms, history, and power. Today, this may take the form of energy geekery or crystal nerdship, green living or full on BAMF manifesting. But it is always and forever about the Earth. And about Balance. A witch is someone unapologetically walking in their truth and/or power.

How would one know that one was a witch? 🙂

Oh, when you know, you know! For me, and others I have seen. You may have run for years, rejected or recategorized it, refused to inhabit that space marked with THAT name. But there comes a day with your flirtations with the trappings, sentiments, stories, and beliefs just isn’t enough.

Other people’s experience may look like beginning to try out new modes of thinking, rituals or the like, and gradually find themselves at home in a way nothing else ever fit.

Usually it starts with curiousity, interest, and research. Even with tweezers and gloves on.

Talk about intention and manifestation…..How do they work together, and can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

I am still fairly new to this, both using it and recognizing it. I began while in the framework of a Judeo-Christian background, giving credit to those archetypes. But at the time I needed them, to give me confidence in what my heart purely wanted, and to believe something powerful enough could make it happen. I would say the very first was Spirit journaling when I was a teenager. I wrote out that I would get married young, and my innocence would be a blessing to a man who had been hurt. That was at 16. Three times I thought I knew who the man was, and three times I was grown and matured into who I needed to be to meet and marry my husband, at 19. I am his second wife, and in every way that dialoguing scribble in my Spirit diary came true.

The biggest thing I can add to that, coming from the background I do, is that manifestation does take action, however small, on your part. Christians and those from that mindset often “leave it to God”. That has been an interesting belief to rewrite, for me. Taking that it does not mean Spirit and Source are any less willing and able to help, but that it is a partnership, and I truly have a powerful action to bring to the table.

Also the belief that the intentions of your heart are pure, and worthy of manifesting!!!

How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

That is a difficult question for me. Currently I am called to a solitary path. Yet, I do know and believe and enjoy the power of a collective. I have witnessed amazing energy among groups of like-minded people coming together for a passionate purpose. Any people! I imagine a gathering of witches, for the compassionate intent of Earth’s affairs or humanity’s, to be definately powerful. 🙂 Personally I believe it can be most effective in clear and guided meetings, events such as Spiritweavers for example. Or the Stand with Standing Rock demonstrations, days of prayer, global healing connection at 11:11, the Women’s March on Washington.

You get enough magical people together, good shit happens!

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)

Honestly… science. I began with the film What the Bleep Do We Know?! It takes quantum physics, belief, perception, and the powers in ourselves and makes it so clear and unmistakable!! Very easy to understand for the most part.

Next, ask yourself what you have always been drawn to? For me it was crystals and rocks, but a good dose of herbs and flowers and colors. And angels. Research and explore what your heart is leaning towards! Throw in some music at 432hz while you are at it, and notice how you feel.

Books books books! The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton may be a bit heavy, but benefit some. The Game of Life and How to Play It  by Florence Schinn or The Path to Wealth by May McCarthey (about more than money), great way to break into intention and manifeststion. Especially for those dealing with anxiety from religion.

I cannot recommend enough Meet Your Soul by Elisa Romeo and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Aside from those practicalities, I would say to look at what you shyed away from. That may be the very place you need to start. Healthy sexuality. A pagan or Spirit fair. Researching Native American symbolism. Harry Potter. Seeing a psychic or metaphysical healer. Start dabbling, there is something for everyone! Keep at it till you feel your heart lighting up, then follow that!

How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

Gah, my 2017 so far in a nutshell. And I started rereading I Am Morgan Le Fay by Nancy Springer, so I’ll just say it like it hit me there. Only when you embrace every part will you be whole, and free to choose what parts you truly want to focus on growing into.

I didn’t want to be able to tell when something was marked for death. Whether it be a pregnancy, illness, relationship, or venture. That tends to make you pretty unpopular. Especially in a religous circle where positivity and life is prized.

But, as I have looked backwards into the memories of wise lives before me, I and my gift are necessary. It is a mercy of Divine Compassion to have someone within a community who is bold enough to tell when a heart should take time to prepare for a grief that’s coming. And, that’s not the only facet of that gift. It works the other way, too. Pregnancies, marriages, good job changes afoot. I have predicted a lot of them. But there is a Balance to be trodden. And that is where the power of a Witch lies. Between seen and unseen. Spirit and Physical. Death and Life. In owning the Balance in ourselves we can more easily see it in the world, and do our part to correct it or share with those who need to see it too.

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

This was the first gem that thundered into my path of awakening. It is truly the best words I could hope to offer.

Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey. ( if you want:)

I never wanted to be a Fire sign. I never wanted to be angry about things, that got you noticed and corrected. I never wanted to be contrary, troublesome to authorities. I never wanted to be on any deity’s shit list. I wanted to skate under the radar in life and have people like me. I tried to change my results on internet quizzes, I wanted to be Water, Air, Earth!

I have spent my whole life miserably trying to make others like me, keep others happy, and do what was expected of me. Ignoring and piously shunning my hunger and pulse for crystals, moon mysteries, energy, and pleasure. At the cost of denying everything built into myself. Numerology wise, I am a One. I am meant to be a leader, and I spent my first 20 years after childhood looking for someone else to tell me what to do.

Depression has been a near constant companion since my childhood. After the birth of my daughter, my adrenal system was so taxed it was barely functioning. At the same time, I started asking myself what I was going to tell my little star-child about the world, as she grew. This led to me examining what I had professed to believe about pretty much everything. With low adrenals, postpartum anxiety and depression almost took me out through suicide. And I was DONE. I was done with a half-life. I had never been able to please my mom, or the other authorities I brought into my life. I only felt alive when I was stirred up about something, and I was adult enough to not be able to sit through misinformation or opinion in my religious circle anymore. I could see how it was hurting people, how it had hurt me. How it was keeping us all controlled. How as good as the people leading us were, they were teaching from a broken and flawed system. And after a lifechanging decision I made for my own self, the biggest act of self-love Spirit has guided me to yet, I broke my shell. I came face to face with my own power, smiled, and asked it to dance.

I think a lot of my depression came from ignoring my heart for so many years, and avoiding red, passion, sensuality and pleasure, avoiding confrontation or responsability, avoiding tarot, avoiding books I loved and mysteries I felt drawn to, avoiding leading or creating or being noticed. Physics has explained reincarnation enough for me to believe I was hiding because parts of me remembered being killed or outcast for my gift and beliefs before.

But I learned that Unconditional Love exists. I am the only one that can live my life. And it’s a darned interesting and important one.

I am a Phoenix. A Dragon. A Goddess. A Witch. I used to smirk and cringe when other women used those terms, I see you there. But I understand now. These words are important. Our power is important. May you know. May you be.

What is our role now, as witches of the world, and how would you like to see us collectively using our powers to heal?

There is ignorance to be taught, fear to be overcome, injustice to be called out, treasure from the ancestors the world over to be explored and relearned. Start with yourself. Start at home. Heal yourself of misperceptions, fears, and ignorance. Find others who are doing the same and lift them up! Take time to actually comment instead of just liking something, share your energy. Own your truth and speak up about what makes you come alive, that is what the world needs. Examine what you have believed, and why. Be open to changing.

Women are under attack in the world today. The Feminine energy needs to be nurtured, shared, celebrated, and deep gratitude sent into the Earth wherever women are free and safe. Find out what can be done tangibly in your community for the homeless, forced prostitutes, prisoners, the abused, the elderly. And for other nations, buying Fair Trade or supporting women’s businessess when you buy gifts. Giving to schools for girls. Raising awareness about war situations and giving to reputable charities and rescues.

Connect, whether through meditation, online, in person, whatever! with fellow witches to send healing and cessation towards tumultous areas. There was a female psychic named Krystyna Skarbek who worked for British Intelligence in 1944. She was sent to France ahead of the liberation of Europe, and using just her energy and words she convinced whole battalions to disable their guns and desert their stations.

Maybe you don’t think you can do that, but what if you pictured a soldier intent on harming someone and pictured yourself standing between them, saying “Stop! You are better than this! This person did nothing to you, take a moment and wake up to how your government is using you and forcing you to murder! This isnt who you are, or who you want to be, and you have a choice to stop.”

You might be amazed at the power of the imagination to cross time and space. Be open to being used in this way for the sake of the World.

I feel this is so far in the future it almost is pointless to say, but…

as those wrongs are righted, be a keeper of Balance that we do not swing too hard in the opposite direction and become opressors. It can be tempting for those who have been victims. The way of the Witch is to make and keep Balance.

 

Please Check out more of Sarah’s musings on her blog here.

 

Season of the Witch: Angela Sumner

Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.

I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.

HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.

The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.

Please enjoy this interview with Angela Sumner on the topic of what it means to be a witch. 


What does the term Witch mean to you?

WOM(B)AN. She is any human being who identifies as a womb-carrying woman, for in her womb lies the entirety of her magick – accessible to her throughout the month cyclicly depending on her needs. She is centuries in the knowing of her ways even if she is only know waking up to them in this life.

How would one know that one was a witch? 🙂

Tingles. Chill bumps. Deja vu. Synchronicity. That feeling of knowing. Intuition. Dreams. The connection to plant allies and animal totems. The easy way of being in sync with the earth and the stars. The day visions and the night exploring. She sees it when she looks at her lover, herself in the mirror. She sees it when she brushes her hair or plucks a blade of grass or holds a goblet of sparkling grape juice. She feels it in the wind, in her bones, in her existence.

Talk about intention and manifestation…..How do they work together, Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

In speaking of intention and manifestation, it has been clear to me that these things are vastly different than what is actually relevant. What is relevant is CREATION. We are constantly creating – second by second – with our thoughts. The intention behind the word is the fuel of creation, the manifestation is the physical seeing of what we’ve created —> The totality is harnessing our power as Creatresses.

I have been a Creatress since before I was born. I remember being in the womb. I remember the feeling of deciding when it was time to be born. My mother corroborates this truth by saying that one day I simply kicked and that was that. I was earthside. A witch once again being earthbound for the experience of it’s magnificence.

How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

A circle of women is the single greatest power known to humanity. The reason witches have been feared is not because of a single witch working alone… it is when she has gathered with her sisters which creates a stir that is instantly recognizable. This is the reason women have been glorified and vilified – the sheer magnitude of Creation possible when women unite. I recently experienced this in my online women’s gathering The Phoenix Experience. Within days women were having such occurrences as receiving checks for $1000 in the mail and harnessing their previously extinct sex drive seemingly overnight. The raw power was something I knew was possible but hadn’t witnessed in lifetimes.

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)

Ah! So many places depending on the woman. Some women need the gentle medicine of flower essences, some the sharp slap in the face of deep ceremony right off the bat. This is why it is so important to look to others for guidance… NOT because there are any secrets which some hold and others do not but because oftentimes we need help remembering. And when we ask for help, it appears instantly.

How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

I do not believe in shadow work or dark work. As a death doula, I have experienced first hand that death is no different than life. The yin and the yang are at once whole and complementary to one another. This is the dual nature of the human experience. HOWEVER, as a witch, when we work with the alchemy of ascending, we are able to transcend this shadow work. So many women get stuck in the darkness versus the light until they realize they are the same thing. Your shadow is your light – she only needs some coaxing and some softening in order to fully embrace her sorcery.

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

You are not afraid to own your power. You are afraid of what THEY will think when you own your power. Let’s get clear here so that we can start the work. When you allow your powerful self to fully embody the Divine Being you are, there is nothing to shy away from. In fact, when we are fully allowing our whole selves to work effortlessly in guiding our lives, all except love instantly falls away. You don’t have to worry about a job you hate or having no money because when you walk with the knowing that you Create your life, you are the ultimate Witch, you can harness all the Magic, NOTHING is off limits, there is only one truth : YOU. All is simple when you are fully living in the integrity that you came to live. The Path is clear. The Path is easy. Get on it. ALL becomes part of the journey.

Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey.

Growing up in the deep south in the first town slaves were brought to America, I experienced the fullness of my embodiment early on. VERY early on. The soil on which I was raised had been blessed and cursed for centuries… and my roots went even deeper than that. The church was scared of my fierce beauty and truths. I had regular migraines and hallucinations which took me out of my body and into the other realms. I saw dead people. I spoke to the non-human entities. The spirit realm were my cohorts. I didn’t understand the human limitations. It wasn’t until I rejected my human self (little s) and decided to step into my Sacred Self that I discovered how easy it was AND FUN to live this human life. I now channel and work in many realms while fully enjoying this Angela body. Being a witch is my favorite way to live. Being woman is the greatest gift I ever gave myself.

Season of the Witch : Lindsay Mack

Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.

I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.

HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.

The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.

Please enjoy this interview with Intuitive healer Lindsay Mack on the topic of what it means to be a witch. 


What does the term Witch mean to you?

To me, the term “witch” is synonymous with being a seer. Seers have an ability to see beyond the physical, beyond the senses. They are able to know things that are out of the realm of explanation. A witch sees deeply into all things, recognizes truth, and acts accordingly. A witch is an alchemist of spirit and an activist at heart, whether s/he is making medicine, growing her food, raising up her children, or protesting in the streets. Witch is also synonymous, to me, with Nature. A witch understands, lives with, and weaves with flow of Nature. A witch understands that nothing is permanent. A witch understands that everything is life is offering some kind of medicine. A witch understands that the universe is holographic, and that we live a spiralic existence. There are truly no straight lines for a witch — regardless of how we might try!

How would one know that one was a witch?

In any moment that we are connecting to the Olde Ways, to Source, to our power, or to the elements, we are in the frequency of a witch. I believe that the term “witch” is available to everyone, and that everyone can and should feel free to self define as one, if that is in alignment with their truth. I actually feel that resonating with being a witch is a birthright that’s available to all. And YET — and yet. I do think there are some of us who were born with magic in our blood, in our bones, in our very DNA. Some people walk the path of a witch when it suits them — some of us have no option. Some of us were burned for it many, many times. We come here to LIVE the path of a witch, to be a willing vessel for energy to move through. Like all things, there’s a potent complexity to this idea of knowing one is a witch. I think it finds you, not the other way around.

Talk about intention and manifestation…how do they work together? Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?

An intention is a deeply committed energetic vow. I almost think of an intention as being a dove. When we set an intention for ourselves, it’s like we are freeing that dove from our open hands. It’s a potent, yet gentle energy. There are all kinds of intentions: intentional sex, intentional eye contact, the intention to breathe before speaking in anger, or the intention to tell the truth. When we set an intention, we are planting a seed of the heart, and watering it with Divine Source energy. Manifestation is the ability to bring ephemera into earthly reality. Through the focus and power of our individual channels, we can bring into being a desired scenario, wish, dream or intention that we have set for ourselves. Ideally, intention and manifestation work together like perfect dance partners — they just flow, dip, weave and braid into each other. I have witnessed the intersection of intention and manifestation more times than I can count. It is truly incredible when we harvest the seeds we plant in this life.

However, I must say that I have gained quite a bit of wisdom from the times that I was not able to manifest my intention, or when I found, all of a sudden, that my intention had really changed before my eyes. I love it when that happens. It reminds me of the gentle, ever present flow of this life, how we really are in this co-creation with Source — things can transform right along with us. I also love being reminded that Divine might have an even bigger and more glorious vision for me than the one I have for myself. I’ve learned with my practice of setting intentions and manifesting, that it is wise to leave a window open for an even higher vision that the one I’ve stated, if that’s what really wants to come through to me.

How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?

A witch, even a solitary one, always expresses her magic and medicine in relationship to the greater collective. We never work alone; the plants, rocks, sea, air and sky stand with us in moments of alchemy. All witches work and weave together, even if and when we are physically apart. The more a witch touches into her practice, lives her magic and speaks her truth, the greater the legacy s/he will leave to the planet. The collective power is so important, so profound, and I think it begins with our individual journey.

Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (Books? Plants? etc)

I would direct a woman to play, first and foremost. There are no rules, and it’s so important to just let your heart and soul guide you to your inner witch and medicine woman. A great start is to consider what is calling you, like a quiet drumbeat to the heart — all witches experience this, and I think all women have their unique, corresponding frequencies. I would direct a woman to visit the land that she feels is calling her most — for me that is always to the water or to the desert, although there is the occasional exception. I would invite a woman to drop into prayer and connection with these places, to directly ask why she was called. I would invite any woman to come back home to her body, to explore herself with touch in all ways. Witch is synonymous with being wild, so if a woman feels clicked into the flow of her wildness — regardless of how — I would highly encourage her to continue to explore that path in her life.

I would say as far as books go, I would recommend “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes,  “Healing Wise” by Susun Weed, or “The Spiral Dance” by Starhawk. I love those books dearly.

How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?

I truly believe that the only thing that can minimize our relationship with our power is if we believe that something — anything — in us is “bad” or “negative.”

Everything within us is medicine, even our dark sides, and it is all an opportunity to expand and evolve, to become more aware of ourselves. To really honor the shadow is to agree to a life of deep intimacy with the self. It’s agreeing to a life of wise inquiry, of intentional discomfort, of self awareness. Our shadows contain an enormous amount of wisdom, medicine and information, and if we judge or suppress them, we will not be available to listen and to evolve. If we judge ourselves, we will not be available to invite others up out of judgement. It’s easier said than done to release judgement around our shadows, but nothing could be more important for our highest expansion.

Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power — speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.

I think, to be perfectly honest, it is so hard for us to own our power because we were burned for it. Some of us are still being burned for it. That kind of trauma is in the cells and DNA of women. The innate power, sexuality, intensity and magic in a woman can not only be threatening to others to those around her, but to herself. Women shut their power down to remain likable, to be easy, to be approved of, to be safe. To own our power means we are owning ourselves, and shining our light.

My words of loving encouragement to any woman who feels her power but is too afraid to express or own it: feel the fear and do it anyway. I know that it can feel really scary and threatening to our nervous systems to shine our light and speak our truth without apology. Just know that every time we experience fear and take a step in spite of it, there is an soul evolution that takes place within us — we breathe through the contractions, allowing ourselves to expand, getting closer and closer to rebirth.

On the road to your own power, be willing to allow everything that’s not in alignment with your truth and power to fall away. Know that whatever leaves will just be making space for better. Trust yourself; be fierce, be gentle, be a warrior of the heart.

Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey. 

I didn’t understand that I was an intuitive until very late in life, but I truly always knew I was a witch. I knew it before I knew the word. That was a part of me I came into this world with, and it thrived in me, even though I was raised by women who didn’t have a sense of that word as being a part of their identity. I was a really intense, empathic kid, and sought out connections with God, Nature and invisible beings from a very young age. I knew I was bisexual at a very, very young age, something I didn’t know the word or term for until much later in life. The flow of my sexuality has always been an enormous part of my identity as a witch. When I was in the Ocean, too, I remember sensing this wildness in me that was beyond just a kid playing in the waves — it felt very ancient. It was in me before I knew what it was.

When I was 12, I bought a book on Wicca and it transformed my entire life. I can’t even say how I found it, although I was clearly guided to it. I didn’t even know what the word “wicca” was or what it meant before I bought that book. I was fully in the throes of PTSD and anxiety, even at that age, from living with a very mentally ill and abusive parent. I truly believe that book on Wicca saved my life. Every word of it rang so true to the deepest parts of me, and it helped me understand how to connect to something larger in the Universe in my worst moments of trauma. From there, my life shifted on its axis. Rituals and ceremony in my bedroom were a regular occurrence from that age, and I even recall making a little potion to protect my house and offering prayers to every corner of it. I never grew out of those practices, or had a time in my life where witchcraft wasn’t a deep part of my heart and my connection with Source. It’s just grown and expanded with me, and continues to. Tarot came into my life in a very similar way. When I was about 30, I fully woke up and began to realize that being a witch was my soul path and my purpose — that’s when Wild Soul Healing was born.

I’ve had so many deaths and rebirths in this lifetime, all of them bringing me even more deeply into my identity as a witch, an intuitive, a healer and a woman. It’s a spiral that (thankfully!) never stops turning. It’s been an incredible gift. I didn’t realize when I was a kid that being a seer and a witch was actually my dharma in this lifetime, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Bio

Lindsay Mack is a witch and an intuitive who works with the Tarot for deep soul evolution. She is the founder of Wild Soul Healing and Soul Tarot School, both based in Brooklyn, NY. She has led ceremony and taught workshops on Soul Tarot all over the country, most notably at Spirit Weavers Gathering, Inquiry Pop-Up in Marfa, TX, HausWitch in Salem, MA, Maha Rose, New Women’s Space, Active Culture Family/Bridge Temple in San Diego, and Otherwild in Los Angeles, CA. She offers Soul Tarot Readings, Private Tarot Immersions, Mentorship, and Intuitive Soul Coaching of her apartment in Brooklyn, and all over the world via Skype.

To stay in touch, you can follow her @wildsoulhealing on Instagram.

 

 


Witch Manifesto by Milla Prince, via The Cauldron

Photo by Demetria Provatas

As a part of our Witches I Love Series, please read this Manifesto from Milla Prince via The Cauldron, a zine written and compiled by Milla and Demetria Provatas, two badass Witches who hail from a small island in the Salish Sea.

Gather Around, Witches

If you love what you read, click over here and purchase your own zine, which you will surely want to keep on your shelf for life. It features poems, writings, art, interviews, recipes and DIY’s to uplift and empower for these times we live in. If there are no more copies of this first issue, please subscribe and/or follow both Milla and Demetria on IG for pre-sale of the second issue.

Check out Milla’s blog and shop here, and Demetria’s here. Thank you to these women who share their hearts with us.

xoxo

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