Temple Astrolog: Truce, Peace, or Just Biding Time?

It’s now the beginning of June and I am happy to tell you that we have some good energies from the Stars that we can work with for manifestation, peace, and magick. Around the 21st of June when we celebrate Litha, or Midsummer as we say in Sweden, things are heating up. So, grab a cup of coffee or tea with me and let´s take it from the beginning.

Big Downloads of Energy

Right now we have Neptune in Pisces (intuition, psychic energy, art) in opposition to Ceres (nourishment, food, caring) in Virgo (earth, body, manifestation). The good thing about this aspect is that it helps to manifest spiritual energy in our physical world and into our bodies. The challenge may be that you can feel overwhelmed by all the energy. You may also crave special food and feel that your body has a mind and will of its own. Your ordinary rhythm of eating and sleeping (Virgo) may become disturbed. If you have a history of allergy of some kind, especially food allergy (Ceres) this could flare up. As an adult it is easier to cope with these changes, for children, teenagers, and animals it is more difficult.

The Asteroid Isis (magick, high frequency, healing) is also in Virgo (goddess, earth magick) at 5 degrees and in opposition to Saturn (manifestation, time) in Pisces (intuition). This aspect is about downloading healing, magick, and upgrading your psychic power. This aspect may also disturb your ordinary rhythm. You may even have a hard time staying awake at work because of all the energy coming through. If great ideas, music, art, or solutions comes to you in the middle of the night, go and write them down! You may not get another chance.

Ceres is in Virgo until the 24th of June. After that she enters into the sign of Libra

Ceres is in opposition to Neptune until the 5th of July

The Magickal Power Nap

My advice to manage these intense downloads of energy is to take “Magickal Power Naps” when you can: 10 to 30 minutes of sleep in the afternoon could do the trick and save your day. It is also wise to be more flexible with the routines for your family. Do what works for the family right now. If a child moves back into your bedroom for a few weeks it´s not the end of the world. Or, if your teenager looks more dead than alive, it may not just be because of late night gaming with friends. Everyone is bombarded with energy right now. Sometimes a flexible Witch is a wise Witch.

Goddess Magick and Opening the Door

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of magick, healing, and many other things. She is sometimes called “The Goddess with 10 000 names”. The asteroid Isis is not just doing what I mentioned above, she is also in a good aspect (trine) to Jupiter (expansion, growth) in Taurus (earth, manifestation, growth) and making good aspects to the moon nodes connected to our past (south node) and our potential future (north node). This could make past-life memories and talents surface. This is a great time for Goddess Magick and working with the divine Feminine. It is also good for deepening your magickal practice. Be aware of new or old interests showing up. They may be of importance and hold important keys to your future. Remember that even if Spirit gives you the Keys, it is up to you to use them and open the door.

Isis in Virgo is making a trine to Jupiter in Taurus until around the 16th of July.

Truce, Peace, or Just Biding Time?

Right now we have the Sun in Gemini (communication, understanding) joining Juno (relationships, partnerships). This can bring peace and understanding in your relationships. Someone or something that has been stressful may find some peace. It could be your relationship with a co-worker, relative, friend, partner or something bigger. This energy is strengthened by Juno making a good aspect to Chiron (healing) in Aries.

A word of warning though: If this is a bigger or more complicated situation, something that has been going on for a long time, it could be wise to not be naïve. The Sun and Juno are making a good aspect to Pallas Athena and Lilith Black Moon in Leo. Even if it is a good aspect, we know by experience that when Lilith Black Moon is involved, the whole story is not visible or out in the open yet. There´s more to come.

My recommendation is to enjoy the peace that is in the moment, accept the truce, but sleep with one eye open. At Midsummer, the 21st of June, Mars (activation) will squeeze in right between Pallas Athena and Lilith Black Moon in Leo (a fiery sign). Together they make a challenging square to Uranus and Vesta (turbulence, fire, eruption) in Taurus. At the same time the Sun (just entered Cancer) and Juno squares and challenges Ceres (relationships ) that has just entered Libra (balance, justice, relationships).

This could indicate the complicated situation becoming active again. A good thing to remember is that even if it seems and feels like the same situation all over again, good things could still have happened during the truce or pause. Good healing could have done great things, it might just not have found its conclusion yet and before that happens it is wise to use caution.

On the collective plane we may see this in the tension between countries, political parties, or in dealing with the economic situation.

If you are celebrating Midsummer, it is wise to be careful and to not forget to think about security around water, boats, fire, and so on. With many placements in Leo (Moon, Venus, Lilith Black Moon, Mars, Pallas Athena) people can easily become overconfident and accidents may occur. This is extra-strong with some of them squaring Vesta and Uranus in Taurus, mentioned above.

Other Dates to Consider

3rd of June – Full Moon in Sagittarius

4th of June – Mercury conjuncts Uranus, great for thinking. Because they meet in Taurus it is a good idea to anchor your ideas before acting on them. Especially looking at finances (Taurus) and if you have the stamina needed to finish the project. The stone fluorite may be helpful in decision-making.

5th of June – Venus enters Leo, great for romance and attraction. Venus is also making an opposition to Pluto, which can create drama and desire. The stone red jasper can help to balance the energy and to make wise decisions in life and in relationships.

11th of June – Pluto moves back into Capricorn again. Great time for working with ancestors and doing deep work. Also great for protection magick. People doing ancestor work may feel this strongly. Pluto leaves Capricorn January 21 in 2024

15th of June – Mercury squares Saturn. Get your great ideas down on paper or they may create stress. Especially if they are of a spiritual nature. Write down those recipes, formulas, and spells. Buy or start a new magickal diary or notebook (BOS)

17th of June – Saturn goes retrograde in Pisces. Finish the projects you started this Spring. Saturn goes direct again on the 4th of November.

18th of June – New Moon in Gemini. Good for working with communication, community, friends, and siblings. Start a new magickal discipline. Start reading a new magickal book.

21st of June – Midsummer, Summer Solstice. Sun enters Cancer. Longest day of the year.

26th of June – Mercury enters Cancer. Communication about family. Good for protection work around family and safe travels. Mars squares Uranus, drive carefully!

30th of June – Neptune goes retrograde. May not be felt by everyone. But people connected strongly with water beings and water magick may feel this strongly. Go to the ocean. Perform water blessings and water magick. Neptune goes direct again on December 6.


We have a lot of energy shifts this month, both high and low. As magickal people, healers, and Witches we have the power to neutralize harmful energies. We can also ground energies that are overloaded and causing turbulence and stress. This is a period when radiating peace, calmness, love, and magick can literally change the world around you. Because so much energy will pass not only through our little place in the universe, but also through ourselves, it is essential to clean, clear, and bless more than usual. This may not be the calmest of month as a Witch, but surely one of the more interesting and magickal.

Blessed Be!
Karin • Spirit Talker Turtle Red

Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is an ordained high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program. Her work can be found on Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial and she can be reached at [email protected].

Temple Astrolog: Personal Power and Past Lives

In May, we have lived through an intensive full moon with a Lunar eclipse (5th of May) and before that a Sun eclipse (20th of April). Despite that, many are feeling a rush of new energy moving forward onto a new chapter in life. Part of that energy is that Pluto moved into the sign of Aquarius earlier in the year. On May 1st Pluto started its retrograde phase. You may feel that as a welcoming energy, slowing things down a bit and giving you time to integrate the changes that has occurred from the beginning of the year up until now.

Pluto’s retrograde phase will last until October 11th. It moves back into Capricorn in June and will not re-enter to Aquarius until January 2024.

Personal Flaws

We all have flaws and imperfections. Things that we do that aren´t great. But somehow the people that love us put up with them. Some of the things that we do, might even be missed when we have moved on to the Summerland’s or Heaven. Like always leaving the shoes in the middle of the hallway or forgetting to turn out the lights. But, there may be other things that people signal to us that we either don´t understand or ignore. Now with Lilith Black Moon in the sign of Leo we may need to look a little closer at ourselves, who we are and how we behave in the world around us.

Lillith Black Moon in Leo

Where Lilith Black Moon is we have difficulties to see things clearly. Now we have Lilith Black Moon in Leo and Leo is ruled by the Sun (me, I, ego). That means that right now we have a hard time seeing ourselves, and seeing how what we do and how we act creates an impact in the world and with the people around us. People that are born with this placement may feel like they are giving and giving to others, at the same time the people around them feel the opposite, that they are taking and taking. The sign of Leo is very charming and entertaining and with Lilith Black Moon in Leo you can overestimate your own good looks and charm. A bit like living in your own dreamworld when everything is perfect and everybody loves you, no matter what.

When Charm Is Not Enough

One of my clients with Lilith Black Moon in Leo had a really great job where he could work very independently. He saw himself as the great salesman and the great charmer at the office,as quite a ladies man as well. Things changed at the company and he found himself without a job. When he searched for a new jobs he got to the interviews but after they talked to his references he didn’t get any further. He couldn’t figure out why? The people he had as references were people that he really liked and he felt that it was mutual. So what was going on?

Finally he took the courage to call his references and ask them what they really felt about working with him? It turned out that all of his references said that he had difficulties taking instructions from others, always questioned them and often ignored the instructions that everyone else followed. It came over him like a cold shower. Sure, people had hinted that to him, but he had taken it more like a joke. Or rather, when he was true to himself, he had ignored it because in his leader position (Leo) he could. Until now.

Another, younger client of mine with Lilith Black Moon transiting her 5th house (ruled by Leo), worked at a restaurant that is very popular in the summer months. She loved her job, her co-workers and being at the centre of attention in the bar. She was very charming and chatty with the customers and got a lot of extra tips from that.

After the summer season was over she was not asked to stay further and that came as a shock to her. Why was she not asked to stay? After all she was the most charming and fun girl in the bar according to herself. It turned out that it was because she hadn’t learned the cash register well enough. The whole summer her co-workers had tried to teach her over and over again. They also had to fix and cover up for her mistakes. At the end of the summer the restaurant’s owners decided that it wasn’t reason enough that they really liked her and that she was charming and entertaining. They needed someone who could do the job.

With Lilith Black Moon in Leo things that we have been ignoring, things we are trying to get away with by using our charm and uniqueness, could be catching up on us.

Right now we also have Pluto (transformation, shadow work) in Aquarius (communication) in a challenging square to the South Node (dragons’ tail, karma) in Scorpio. That is also making a challenging square to Pallas Athena (communication, truth, strategy) in the sign of Leo (me, ego).

If people around you are hinting something about your habits or behaviours it is a good idea to stop, listen, and not ignore it. Could it be that they are right about you? It may be that your charm (Leos are always charming) is not covering up for it. Your ego (the sun, ego) may be hurt by taking it all in, but what you may lose by ignoring it could be much more. This theme, behaviour or pattern may run deeper than it first looks like. The connection between Pluto and the South Node indicates that it may be a theme or habit that you carry with you from past incarnations.

On the other hand this is a good time to let go of past fears, crossings, patterns and all things that does not serve your highest good. Seen from this perspective deep soul work can create miracles and a really strong movement forward in life and your spirituality.

This intensifies as the planet Mars (intensity, abruptions) comes close and joins Pallas Athena around the 10th of May. It is most intense around the 20th of May when Mars is also in opposition to Pluto.

Old Wine in New Bottles

Mars, Ceres, Neptune, and Pluto are making a mystic rectangle together. A mystic rectangle is a very good aspect, but it is not always used because it is taken for granted\. People born with a mystic rectangle often have a great talent that they may not use to the fullest, because they believe that everyone else can do what they can do, which many times is not the case.

If you are getting an offer or chance to do something that you are very good at that you haven´t done in a long time, don´t ignore it. Think about it. It can be going back to school to teach, teaching about a subject that you haven´t taught in many years, a job offer, a set of gigs, or the like. Neptune in Pisces is very creative and with this trine to Pallas Athena in Leo it may be your time to shine. Perhaps you can do this in a way that no other can? Perhaps your talent is needed at this time and moment?

With Ceres (nurturing, caring) involved it indicates that it can also give you nourishment for the soul and a sense of giving to others in a satisfying way (Ceres in Virgo). Instead of thinking about it like “good old times” I recommend thinking about it like “Old wine in new Bottles”. The old wine being the wisdom and experience that you have and the new bottles serving it to others in an updated version.

Lilith Black Moon and New Visions

At the moment Lilith Black Moon is involved in many things and that can be a bit complicated. Lilith Black Moon is like the hidden angle, something that we can not see. Right now she is in a challenging aspect to the Sun (me, ego), Uranus (change, revolution) and Vesta (high priest, high priestess, devotion). This makes visions and patterns change in unexpected ways.

In the most practical sense it can give new meanings to certain tarot cards in your layouts. Omens that mean new and different things. Your dream landscape may change and the way in which the spirits talk to you. I recommend taking good notes and record what is happening. Lilith Black Moon triggers maturity and growth. Sometimes that can be uncomfortable, but if you pay her respect in the sense that you take your time and take in her energy she can also be welcoming and embracing. When she is in Leo like she is right now, it is important to not be spiritual arrogant letting your ego (Leo) running the show. Lilith Black Moon does not like that, at all. On the other side, you may through this transit learn to carry your personal spiritual power with more grace and gratitude.

Vesta, Service and Spiritual Work

Right now we have Vesta (service, high priest, high priestess) in Taurus right next to Mercury (communication) also in a challenging aspect to Lilith Black Moon. If you are in a position of giving service to others, running a coven, holding a healing or meditation circle or the like, you may feel a bit tired right now by all the obligations that comes with the job. Look around you, can you delegate more? Is there someone around you ready for more responsibilities?

What people attending a ceremony or meeting may not realize is all the work that is before and after the event. It is not as glamorous as it may look. Every part is important, from preparing the space and teachings to taking out the trash and clearing the space afterwards.

People that become part of the inner circle of a coven are usually not the ones checking in just before start and checking out as soon as the official part is over, but rather those who volunteer to be of service assisting in also the more mundane and less glamorous things like taking out the trash, doing the dishes and moving furniture. If you ever have played in a band or been part of a theatre group you know it is the same there. A lot of work before and after the show. With Lilith Black Moon, Mercury and Vesta in aspect these themes are very active.

If you want to become more involved in a group, ask what you can do to be of service? If the answer is doing the dishes it is not because they don´t see your spirituality, it is because that too is part of being part of a coven or a temple. Before you know it you may be asked to call in the elements of the circle or preparing the space.

Other dates of importance:

9th of May: Sun conjuncts Uranus in Taurus. A very electric energy (Uranus) seeking to be grounded (Taurus). Be extra careful with your back and bones as your kundalini and fire in the body may be activated. The stone Serpentine may be of help and assistance.

14th of May: Mercury goes direct again. Lesser troubles with communication and transports. But also the end of working undisturbed in your little cave. May take some time to adjust to the outer world again.

16th of May: Jupiter moves into the sign of Taurus. This could be felt like a change in the field. Jupiter is ruling heaven and now he is down in earth with the earth sign Taurus. A small action can bring big consequences. Take it slow and easy, do not take to big risks. Good for earth magick and blessing your plants and your garden.

17th of May: Jupiter squares Pluto. Power and tension in the air. Grounding is extra important. Stones like onyx, hematite or smoke quarts may be helpful.

19th of May: New Moon in Taurus at 28 degrees. In numerology the number 28 is about initiation and deep change.

20th of May: Mars (fire willpower) moves into Leo (fire, ego) and is making an opposition, challenging aspect to Pluto (transformation). Be careful in traffic, don´t take any risks. Think before you act.

21st of May: Sun enters Gemini and is making a trine to Pluto. Good for communication and problem solving. Stones like Citrine and Aquamarine can be good allies.

23rd of May: Mars squares Jupiter. Could bring restlessness. Have patience. The colour blue and blue stones may help to calm things down.

28th of May: Sun in Gemini Squares Saturn in Pisces. Could be a challenge to make ideas and communication into reality. Write it down and follow up.


We have a lot of power moving around us and within us. With the sign of Leo and the planet Pluto being activated by many aspects we need to keep an eye on our own ego and how we move in the world. How we have behaved in the past may catch up with us, and if we don´t like what is happening, this is the time to be humble about it and do some soul searching to make changes. This is also a period when we can grow a lot, like a seed planted in the deep and rich soil. The Question is, do you dare to change?

Blessed Be!
Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red

Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is an ordained high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program. Her work can be found on Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial and she can be reached at [email protected].

All Magick is Not the Same

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

by Christopher Penczak, Edited by Tina Whittle

I was working with a client recently, in a rare private session class that I’ll occasionally do. Questions jumped from Hoodoo and Voodou to Solomonic Magic, protection, mediumship, oracle decks, spirits, and angels. She asked about the Witchcraft I teach, what I learned from my own teachers, and whether I was Wiccan or not (I said that all depends on how you define Wicca.) We even got into a bit about demonic seals.

In the middle, she asked me if I thought a particular type of magick was good for her. Good how? It all depends on the type of experiences or results you want. I would not tell you what to do, but if you ask me if something is likely to yield a certain result based in where you are at, I’m happy to give an opinion. (Spoiler—I suggested avoiding the demonic seals at this stage of her experience when asked my opinion.) She then said something really astute:

“I feel like at times these are all different languages and I’m confusing myself by trying to learn so many things at the same time, but I am interested in them all. Are they different languages, or are all these magicks just the same thing in different ways?”

Like the word “Wicca,” it depends on how you define it. How do you define magick and the concept of sameness? Is there an overarching concept of magick and magickal theory that can be applied to all these things? Yes. This is occultism and the study of metaphysics.

Is magick itself a fundamental force? I think so. There is still deep mystery to it.

Are the types of magick all different? Yes. They often start from fundamentally different philosophies, worldviews, beliefs, and assumptions. They are not simply different window dressing. Yet they all lead to the same fundamental force.

Do they all work? Yes, theoretically, but that doesn’t make them right or wrong in the absolute. They can simply be right or wrong for you, at this time and by your general predispositions. Don’t mistake effectiveness for fundamental theological truth. And I’d argue a few systems out there and some new patchwork things don’t seem to work at all, but that’s based in my limited observation of them.

Can you get confused? Absolutely. I see it all the time, and often the most confused go on to pass their confusion onto others with such vigor, assuming if they get enough people to agree with their take that it will be “right” and they can feel validated, so there is little hope, without starting over or finding a clear teacher or school, to detangle the confusion. Things that are haphazard and work sporadically get passed off as knowledge, and true knowledge is often dismissed as archaic. Some get attached enough to their belief in an idea around magick that they then can’t evaluate whether or not it’s working due to that attachment. The idea becomes part of their identity and critique of the idea becomes a personal attack. The religion and art of such practices can blind us to the matter of effectiveness.

Magick and Language

If we are going to compare magick to language, then we should understand the greater concepts of both. So just as all languages are methods of communication, all magicks are methods of change. And all the different systems of magick are like all the different languages.

Some are related, branching off from similar sources. Some are seemingly unrelated but share similar concepts and techniques relating to basic human nature. We have fundamental things we wish to communicate with others in language, and we have fundamental needs in our lives. The spread of war, colonization, empire, religion, philosophy, medicine, technology, art, story, and illness contribute to the changes of both language and magick.

As many systems branch out, others cross together, loan and borrow parts, and even take sections and insert them into pre-existing systems. Some are graceful, and some are clunky, and sometimes the clunky ones just need a few hundred years to refine themselves. Things we cherish today as beautiful syncretic practices didn’t start that way, and some think syncretism is only valid if it happened a hundred years ago or more. They can’t see it when they are in the middle of it. The clunky awkward magicks of today that prove effective will smooth into the new systems of the future. If a system starts too smooth, too perfect, it won’t be organic enough to live in this world and last. Most living traditions, like people, have their little idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies in otherwise consistent patterns and paradigms.

Spirit Allies and Magickal Power

Part of our session was about spirit allies and the question of needing strong spirits on your side to be an effective magician. Was this true? And if so, which spirits? What are the “best” spirits? Some work with angels. Others work with ancestors and even others work with Pagan gods. Some call on the spirits in grimoires. How do I choose? Do I need to be a medium?

Yes, it’s true, having spiritual allies can be a great aid in both magick and in personal development. Some spirits offer teaching, healing, and support in personal development, all things that aid our growth as magickal practitioners. Some lend power in general, or when asked for intercession, will do things for us, (such as when we petition our ancestors). Some spirits can strengthen our divine link or act as intermediaries to higher non-human powers, such as the saints. Some are embodiments of divine powers, allowing us to commune with fundamental forces as deities. Many entities correspond with specific functions classified in elemental, planetary, and zodiacal terms, including angels and archangels and the spirits in the grimoires. Some simply correspond to a specific area of patronage, like many saints.

While spirits have always played a role in magick, in the last few decades, they have become a greater focus, a resurgence compared to previous decades where success was more about being a well-trained practitioner, with knowledge of the mechanics of magick and strength of will and vitality. And don’t forget, as Temple co-founder Steve Kenson is often fond of saying, “You are a spirit too. You just happen to be in a body at the moment.”

Sources of Magickal Energy

One of the reasons people today seek spirit allies in spellcasting is, knowingly or not, to tap a source of power. They see the entity as powerful, so they want it to lend its power to the fulfillment of the spell. Yet they are not the only “fuel” for magick.

Magickal energy can come from the magician, though many of us are much lower energy these days, our time and attention slowly drained away through the mechanics of modern life, with social media being the newest drain. Early traditional magickal training is about building the vessel, sealing the energetic leaks, and building up our power of consciousness to do magick. That’s a slow road, so today we want quicker sources, and in truth magickal cultures always had their serious practitioners and those looking for a quick spell to solve a problem. That’s natural, and honestly, it’s a good thing. Magick should be available to all who seek it.

Magicians—and the spells and formulas they craft—can also naturally harness the energy of the Earth, either directly or through materials and patterns in nature. Things found or harvested in nature have the power of the season and the cycles of the Earth to lend aid.

While the heavens are a part of nature as well, magickally we see heavenly forces of the sky, Sun, Moon, planets, and stars as of another realm corresponding to this world. Items both store and harness the power of the Earth and their corresponding heavenly power. If Venus embodies the magick of love, things ruled by Venus like copper, lady’s mantle, apple wood, and rose quartz all have the energy of the planet Earth where they form and the energy of the heavens, specifically of Venus, as they correspond with Venus.

And some practitioners have an innate or cultivated sense of connection to the divine, beyond any specific spirit, angel, saint, or deity. They are simply connected to the cosmos at a mystical level, as we all are, but they are more consciously clear of it, and this conscious connection fuels their Magick.

Top Down or Bottom Up

Part of the magickal paradigm that is not often talked about is the magick of working from either a top-down or bottom-up paradigm. Both work, and neither is better, except the one that is better for your temperament and yields results for you. But they are two different philosophies. While you can switch between them in your life, any single working should be set in a particular paradigm. And over time your own natural philosophies will lean towards a particular way of operating that is best. A single working trying to incorporate both can easily fail, and a single practitioner unknowingly bouncing between the two—or even including other paradigms—will be trying to move forward on a very muddled path.

One can connect to a higher level than the situation that needs to be addressed, and ideally seek a higher level of divine intelligence. Many words can be used to describe this, but most simply it is referred to as the “All” or in Western Magick, the Divine Mind. The intention is set at this level for the final result, given energy and released, trusting the divine intelligence to arrange all the parts from this higher level, guiding it down into manifestation. The idea is that the divine is wiser than us and can see potential avenues for manifestation we have no knowledge of that could be easier or more beneficial. Often the caveat of “highest good” or “harming none” is placed in the instructions, so an intention that is technically correct and easy, but potentially harmful, does not manifest itself.

Is this magick or prayer? Depends on who you ask. Can magick for a specific result have theurgistic qualities to it? Or must theurgy simply be magick for enlightened union? If one uses correspondences and ritual to align with the divine mind and have the right energy, once it is set into motion, it is set. There is little to no repetition. While one does not act contrary to the intention in daily life, one otherwise trusts it’s happening, like asking something from a trusted friend. Once they agree, assume all is in motion and you don’t have to worry about it or micromanage it. You can’t obsess and have a “lust for results” as they say. Some refer to it as “one and done” magick. It can work very slowly, but the changes tend to be long lasting with no need of regular repetition unless otherwise specified. Open-ended intentions like general protection or general health could be repeated on a longer-in-time basis, such as annually.

One can push an intention forward primarily through personal will and desire, fueling it with ritual, correspondences, and drawing upon the aid of spirit allies. Usually the method by which the intention happens is more specific. While the divine might be called upon in the sense of the creator, generally there is no safety mechanism of “harming none.” You want what you want and have to deal with the consequences, seen and unforeseen, much like life in general. Or there’s the assumption that if it does work, it has divine approval, and if it fails, it does not but personally I don’t think that is true. Often many workings are extended over days or repeated until successful and the next step of a complex intention begins. Sometimes one larger spell is a series of smaller specific goals. It’s a great method to keep those who will obsess on the outcome or be prone to pessimism focused positively on the goal, but it is also time consuming and can be personally draining. The practitioner is encouraged to become “single-minded” or “single-pointed” upon the goal to the exclusion of all else. This magick can be very forceful and manifest things almost immediately, but usually requires repetition and upkeep to maintain the results.

These two methods are gross generalizations, but two district paths. Many today mix techniques from both in ways that are fundamentally not compatible and never realize it, which gives them haphazard results. These are not the only ways to divide it, though a key dividing line is embodied by these questions: Is it guided by higher will or only your will? Is magick truly personal or impersonal? Is the higher will a specific entity, or the greater universe? What if you want something bad for yourself? Will it happen anyway, or will the “divine” stop it? The truth of these many possibilities is found in the paradox between these extremes, but we often need someplace to start in our philosophical foundation.


Another topic from our session was traditions, and if one had to join a tradition, and the difference between following a tradition and going for initiation.

Do I have to follow one specific tradition? No, no one has to do anything in magick.

Did getting initiated make you more powerful? More powerful compared to who or what? There are many paths and many ways.

I am a firm believer in the power of traditions and initiation. I am also a firm believer that everyone is on an individual path unique to themselves, and the challenge is to synthesize something dedicated to your own individual magickal will, but in cooperation with the greater cosmos, which includes other people and community as well as esoteric and sublime forces and spirits.

Following a tradition deeply for a time gives you a foundation, a basis, and a framework. If you have never studied a language before, you study one, even your native language, to understand its structure better. While many people can speak English, they might not clearly understand the concepts of verb tense and sentence structure, along with all the definitions of types of words and how they function. Once you have some of that understood, if you wish to formally study another language, you have a basis of understanding, being able to know that verbs are actions, as well as understanding nouns, pronouns, and prepositions. Many languages defy such structures but having this knowledge will help you realize that as well. While many people will naturally pick up language and have an intuitive understanding, if you want to be able to write in a language as well as be fluent, it helps to have these basic concepts.

You may go deeper in your native language, studying the history of its literature, and with the study of multiple languages, appreciate the translated classics coming to us from the past and from other cultures. Translations often miss nuance and beauty, and learning to read and appreciate things in their native language can be quite a boon to our study. The same principles hold in magick. Joining a group might give you a context for the streams of literature and a school of thought in how to best interpret them today.

Once you have the structure and cultural context, what you write is up to you. Just as a language might borrow words, your magickal tradition might also have loaned symbols and words, and after a long enough time, practitioners might not remember where they are borrowed from because they become ubiquitous in the tradition, gaining their own context within that tradition. As you practice and share, things you personally have brought together from your experience might become a part of the greater tradition, but if you are private about it, take no students, and never share, those practices will probably begin and end with you.

Initiation in a group or tradition gives you not just a cultural, philosophical, and symbolic foundation and context to use in your magick, but a direct link to energetic structure that is composed of what other members have contributed to it, and ideally, will also be composed of those non-human forces that are aligned to the tradition, also contributing to it. Many initiates find an initial level of success beyond their non-initiate peers because they are tapped into the egregore, the collective consciousness and its vitality, of a tradition. Those working in small groups within a tradition have the support of the group mind, often making difficult concepts easier to learn and hard tasks easier to accomplish by being in the proximity of those who have done it before.

Initiation bears a responsibility. If you draw from the bank of forces, you must also contribute to it through your activity in the tradition. If you have made agreements, taken vows, or otherwise agreed to do something in a specific way, place, or time, you have those obligations. While no one can take an initiatory experience from you, and many initiatory experiences have nothing to do with joining groups, your link to the collective group can go to sleep with lack of use, wither due to neglect, or be severed by the elders or spirits of the tradition when you have transgressed or violated.

The collective work will not only help you, but will be borne by you. As the group goes through its own cycles as an entity itself, you are a part of that process because you have a relationship to the group. It is often the duty of younger initiates to redeem and transform the mistakes of previous generations, though some will simply cut ties instead of participating within it. At the other end of the spectrum, some over-identify with their tradition or initiation group and cannot separate their own path from the group. Their over-identification can lead to dogmatic interpretations, or a lack of ability to take critique of self, elders, or tradition. Power struggles outside of the tradition—and within—are common when this occurs.

Like anything else, tradition and initiation come with both blessings and drawbacks. I know many incredibly successful, talented, independent practitioners, and I know so many successful and talented members of various orders, covens, groups, and lodges. One size does not fit all on the path. Your choice to join or not join depends on the type of experience you want, your intuition, and your own path. But if something is before you and a potential door is opening, I think it does help to investigate it, and ask yourself if it’s right for you. If you feel called to explore formal initiation, ask yourself why and in what form, and explore more. If you feel called to never initiate or follow a tradition, likewise ask yourself why and explore those thoughts and feelings more.

Becoming Magick

So in the end, all magick is not the same.

It’s all operating with the same underlying force, but how one operates with it is different. New things will be synthesized out of the old, but keep clear in your understanding of where things come from, what they mean, and how they fit together, if they fit together at all. In times past there was a huge push to keep Eastern and Western lore strongly divided despite a history of transmission between India, Persia, and Greece, to name just one pathway of connection among many, but today we can see how many ideas are complementary between Eastern and Western mysticism and can be used fill in the blanks of understanding and terminology. In time, new cohesive things will grow from that. The best ones will be consciously brought together and organically grow.

When we start, it’s good to learn our genres as they are, root ourselves in what is, and become fully conscious of not only what we are doing, but how and most importantly, why. Like any art, master some fundamentals and then go explore.

In my experience I would say magick, as a fundamental force, has some level of agency and intention, and is part of providence and magickal fate. When you begin, you use magick. As you grow more experienced, the magick uses you. That seems like a horrible step backwards for some, but the wise realize it is the true nature of things.

You study magick. You do magick. And you become magick.

For Broom Closet Witches: Beltane - The Magick of Musick

by Claire du Nord

In the previous article, I mentioned that I love Sound Magick. I would even go so far as to say that music is “in my very blood”. Welcome back, Broom Closet Witches, to the ninth article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” column. Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition.

As the Wheel of the Year turns to Beltane/Beltaine, and we celebrate the Divine Union, I ponder deeply about the unions that brought about my own existence, the factors that were at play at the time, and what kinds of music may have been part of the courting of my ancestors. It isn’t unusual for lovers to have “their song”. However, music – or shall we say, the “Magick of Musick” was probably the biggest factor in bringing my ancestors together in one case in my family tree, and I can say with (almost) complete certainty that I wouldn’t be here without music. Because of that, this is a story that touches me personally in ways that give me an odd sense of realization – almost surreal – and goosebumps when I think about it, and one that I would like to share with you on this occasion of Beltane.

I like to think of the story of my mother’s parents’ meeting as my very own “The Sound of Music” story. I love that movie! Not only did my grandmother’s family come from Bavaria, and she spoke only German until she was in her teens, but her two older sisters were Catholic nuns in the St. Francis of Assisi Order. What is so amazing is that when the story begins, my grandmother was preparing to become a nun herself, like her sisters. The important twist is that she was also studying to become a nurse and played the flute (as well as the organ)!

Over the years, my grandfather, the Norwegian, (mentioned in Articles #6 and #8), played multiple instruments, was a member of multiple bands and orchestras, taught music lessons, and was a college professor of music as well. As it so happened, he had a music studio and had organized a nurse’s orchestra in the very same hospital where my grandmother was a student nurse in training. My grandmother joined the orchestra, and the rest, as they say, “is history”!

The “Magick of Musick” was certainly at work to bring about my grandmother’s decision in 1932 to take the vows that would ultimately lead to my being here instead of vows that would have led her to join her sisters in convent life. She and my grandfather had four children, and he taught them all to play the violin. And four was just enough to form a quartet! My mother was one of the four, of course, and I have a copy of a newspaper article about them with their picture! (I won’t tell you the name of the quartet, or I will certainly “out” myself as a witch.)

So, at Beltane, a simple contemplation exercise that even Broom Closet Witches can do is to think about the factors/synchronicities/magick that brought each of our ancestors together, ultimately resulting in our own existence. This we can do in the privacy of our own minds.

I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time –
Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again.

Beltane Blessings,
Claire du Nord

The Intention of a Curse

Photo by Plato Terentev via Pexels

by Christopher Penczak, Edited by Tina Whittle

Recently I was speaking with an old friend about cursing and the state of the world. She was very angry. I had such empathy. I’m often upset about the state of the world. What she said didn’t take me by surprise, as we have known each other for years, but it did get me thinking about magick, effectiveness, and the realization I had long ago that I couldn’t run my life on continual anger and outrage. I understand it, and at times it’s been necessary—even useful—or simply something I had to reckon with, but over time, I’ve had to shift. My anger was a curse against myself more than anyone else, justified or not. Some people can use it effectively, and some people need to do other things to transmute it.

She told me about her magickal group working on these problems, and she explained that they weren’t playing around. They were willing to do, in her words, “nasty shit” not “little candle spells.” She talked about her repeated daydreams of violence to stop those in power. Again I empathized. And this isn’t the first time I’ve had a conversation like this. Nor will it be the last, I’m sure. I’ve had those same dreams at times in my life, wondering if more good would be done through harm.

The problem with that thinking is that if it’s okay for you to do it, then it is okay for everyone to do it, based on their own view of good. That can fundamentally destroy a society. Those who go on violent rampages feel justified. The extremes of the Pro-Life movement advocate assassination of doctors who perform abortions, and its members feel morally justified in that position. Does such a breakdown lead to something better, or does a breakdown lead to further harm of the most vulnerable in society? I’m of the mind that worsening conditions won’t catalyze the needed changes. If that were true, I think something better would have happened in many places in the world already, including the U.S. When you are in a survivalist state of panic or trauma, you are not thoughtfully dismantling old structures and creating new systems that serve all. I think groups, coalitions, and networks of care and community are needed for that.

Another friend in a governmental job facing the monolith of the injustice built into the government told me she now understands why characters in comic books become super-villains, that for some people, it’s a rational choice to the circumstances before them. And this is someone who has dedicated her life to the ideals of the rule of law. It’s somewhat the same idea as the fantasies of violence, though her takeaway was a desire to withdraw as much as possible from society. I’ve been there too, and visit that idea often, yet my own magickal patterns draw me into community again and again. When the mechanisms of voting, peaceful protest, and engaging with your representatives don’t seem to be effective, it is easy to want to withdraw or take extreme actions. Both are quite understandable.

I thought about the people in the cursing group, many of whom were the least engaged in community, the least involved in direct relationships where problems are worked out on a small scale in meaningful and personal ways. Yet here they were seeking to tackle large-scale global problems with magick. It got me wondering how effective such a response is, and in general, what it says about our magickal approach to such things. What is the deeper paradigm behind it, and is it effective?

Often we have to get a level of mastery in the small and personal, both magickally and mundanely, before we try to tackle the larger issues. Unless we have this foundation, those larger forces can be crushing to us, creating a backlash we might not be prepared to experience, or leaving us unable to reach those larger patterns, making whatever we do ineffective at best.

I wholeheartedly believe in the principles of blessing and blasting, waxing and withering, and the Witch’s cause to bless and curse. There are times we build and times we dismantle. Curing is often cursing the illness. There are things in the world that need to be stopped. The universe is catabolic and anabolic. Things grow and must decay. Uncontrolled growth is cancerous. Much of what I’ve done that others would consider a curse I have always framed as justice magick, but it gets slippery as one Witch’s definition of justice is not the same as another’s. People have their own sense of magickal will, of individual true will, and how can I judge another’s will in any given moment, as each moment is a step in a longer path unfolding?

When I learned spellcasting, it certainly was from a theurgistic bent. You attuned yourself to the All, sometimes through personal deity, but always as part of the greater whole. It was rooted in a Neo-Hermetic worldview. You wove your intention into the whole pattern, making a portion of the pattern conform to your will in some way. You bent and shaped forces to the intention, and often they manifested with a level of synchronicity that once experienced left you unable to quite believe in coincidence anymore. There was correspondence in the universe from your ritual to manifestation. You focused on the ultimate outcome you wanted and didn’t try to control the details that got you there. You trusted the universe to be wiser, seeing more paths to your goal than what you currently saw, though you might put a caveat into the spell such as “completely acceptable to me” or “for the good of all involved” or “harming none.” The magick was what we often call today “one and done.” A specific intention didn’t require upkeep or repetition. You let it go. In some ways the method cultivated a perspective of detachment amid the environment of desire and will. The whole process helped align you towards your true will. It was from the top down, the outer inward, from the subtlest plane down into manifestation.

Some magick, however, works from the bottom up, and often requires repetition and return. It’s great for issues where you can’t let it go, so if you are going to obsess, obsess on creating the reality you want. Use that energy. But realize it is really rooted in the needs, wants, desires, and force of will of the practitioner, not really the true will. Some might align with God, in the Christian folkloric traditions, but it’s not quite the same as the mystical exploration of True Will in conjunction with Divine Will. It’s pushing something into manifestation, often through obstacles, rather than planting a seed to let it unfold over time. Often this magick is worked in steps, controlling every step of the way towards manifestation, seeking a specific path of manifestation, rather than focusing on the outcome alone.

Other systems work through the relationship with the spirits, and is often transactional. They are rooted in deeper traditions of devotion and culture, but often the odds and ends of a system make it into eclectic practices in a very transactional nature, much like the fears Christians have had about Witches making pacts with devils and demons. Most often they are in exchange for offerings and attention, not souls, but they are transactions nonetheless. Many who use this approach don’t have the original context of the culture or system, yet the spirit will accept the offering, and often do the work.

Today a lot of different magick is taught without much of the metaphysics and underlying philosophy behind it. I love eclectic mixes of symbols, tools, and techniques. I’m a firm believer in using what works, what speaks to you, but a hard part of being an educator of magick today is there are many different paradigms operating in many different systems, and people don’t necessarily know it. There was the crossover in the old occult stores of the 70s and 80s (and some are still kicking today) that catered to Wiccans, folkloric Witches, African Traditional Religions, Ceremonial Magicians, Rosicrucians, Satanists, and eclectic magickal individuals. Witches started using seven-day jar candles, and a lot of different herbs and formulas started to crosspollinate into what was dominated by the British Occultism of the Witch, but usually whatever crossed was used in the philosophical paradigm of that Witch.

Many today can be switching paradigms and not know it, or just following instructions with little understanding of the metaphysical mechanism behind it. They may adopt parts from different paradigms that are actually contradictory, without realizing it at all. We each have to find the ways that work best for us, but we should also understand them. And if we are practicing magick as part of a spiritual path, then our magick should probably be in harmony with, not contrary to, our spiritual paradigm, let alone our ethical frameworks. If working with tools outside of your paradigm, how do you frame it to work within your understanding of, and approach to, the cosmos? Some people are fine holding dual paradigms that contradict, and don’t seek resolution. They might even hold a dual faith. Others need a theory that can hold the paradox. I encourage people to embrace the threefold path advocated by Dion Fortune, learning three different traditions.

Often the desire to curse, when not born of pettiness, is rooted in frustration, anger, and grief for the way things are and the deep desire to change them. It’s an action chosen when there appears to be little recourse. And that is often how magick works. One school of thought looks at magick as the last resort when all mundane actions have been taken.

Another view says that magick permeates all things and all things should be started with a magickal intention, with ritual and alignment with the cosmos, then followed up with plans and real-world actions. I tend to favor this latter school of thought because I believe that if you cast a spell when all else has failed, you are putting your magick under a terrible strain due to poor planning on your part. Divining short-term, but casting long-term gives the cosmos some breathing room to manifest your intention into the greater pattern. Casting a spell for a sunny day six months from now gives a lot of room to set up the conditions for success with minimum harm or strain. Casting a spell for a sunny day the day you want it, even as thunderclouds are rolling in, can work, but it is far more destructive to the pattern and really requires a level of force, a potential breaking, rather than bending and shaping. Usually though, if all else has failed, your magick will probably fail too, no matter how powerful you might think yourself. I see that in political magick that is responding to the immediate crisis. Still do it if it’s your will, but start thinking of the overall patterns.

When there is a deep desire to change, and the frustration that things are getting worse rather than better, what is your ultimate intention? What is the outcome you want? Can you start the intent for the future crisis now? Avert it before it manifests?

When we can, we are looking at the bigger picture beyond the local manifestation. When we are responding to an immediate crisis, we are starting at the personal and pushing something driven by our own needs into manifestation, often against the current reality. Such workings can require continual feeding, and because we can’t let them go, cannot always fully manifest.

Unfortunately since life is so personal, we get personal in our magick. When feeling powerless, we seek to express power over those expressing power over us. Such curse work often targets individuals or groups in power, some of which have pretty strong built-in protection.

Despite our wishes to the contrary, prayer is psychic power, and many religions direct their prayers to those in office agreeing with their religiously inspired social policies. Some are prayers directly for specific mandates to be enforced law. Do not discount it. Any one prayer might be lacking, but fervent blind faith is like a psychic mob mentality when harnessed in the astral. Most Witches and Magicians outside of a cohesive traditional coven lack the group mind and are both too individualistic and too questioning, even of themselves, to get into such group thinking.

Some are protected by the structure of an institution, including the sacred alignments and geometries, intended or imagined, that can shield and empower that office. Many are strong-willed individuals themselves, or they would not have gotten as far as they did, and have learned to harness their public power. And some might even have hired their own occult practitioners. Every one of us worth our salt has been at least offered, if not taken, a consulting job for some famous person. Hollywood hiring magick workers is not new, and some politicians might have as well. Everyone remembers Nancy Reagan and her astrologer brilliantly timing bad news to not stick as it might have otherwise.

I think of how many powerful individual Witches and groups of powerful Witches have cursed political figures and what little success they have had in terms of any meaningful tangible results. Those casting death have not resulted in death, nor even removal from office in most cases. Perhaps they had a headache, a bad day, or might secretly be getting ill, but not quickly enough to enact the social change desired. My only exception was some of the very public bindings. At the time, I was mad their result was not immediate cessation of harm. Someone later said to me, knowing what we know now, “Imagine all the things that were bound and stopped that we never saw.”

I once acted against a corporation that was doing specific local harm via threatening a lawsuit to extort money. The next day after the “curse” the corporation was sued for seven million dollars for a very public error they made. The threat of local lawsuit was dropped and never mentioned again, but they settled their own lawsuit, and it was not like my magick bankrupted them and neutralized their overall harm. The immediacy of the result pleasantly stunned me, but while it was helpful, it was not a long-term solution to the evils of this corporation.

So is this kind of spellcasting an effective action? It can feel empowering. It can have a psychological effect for a time. It can stoke the fire for real world action. But it usually doesn’t seem like the most effective expenditure of life force if you don’t need catharsis or inspiration. For some, it will serve as motivation to follow things up with actions. Just as prayer is not enough, spells and even curses are not enough alone, usually, though sometimes they are. The follow-up will happen through other channels, not necessarily through the spellcasters themselves. They have become a magickal catalyst.

This is not to say that magick doesn’t effectively work on a smaller scale for good or ill. I’ve gained a lot of students who decided on a lark to place a curse they read in a book—a therapeutic release to get their anger about someone out, thinking it was unreal—and then the curse worked. They often, but not always, felt bad and wanted to better understand and control their magick, leading to a consultation or lesson. I think that is wise, as I might encourage the beginner to do a simple candle spell to experience magick, I wouldn’t encourage a beginner to do justice magick on a large scale. If magick is real, you have to learn it and be prepared for the entire process, and I certainly do believe magick is real.

Even if it is effective in the larger scale, does not the removal of one individual in a broken and corrupt system usually result in someone else who is a variation of the problem filling the vacuum? Even someone good only lasts so long before they are corrupted or displaced by someone equally as awful as the original problem official. It’s a short-term solution for a long-term problem.

Going after an individual who has done harm is certainly satisfying, and I do believe in holding those accountable for their harm through legal means. I am not sure I’m wise enough to be meting out cosmic justice on a personal level. I think about the patterns that the individuals are responding to, the ancestral wounds, the misalignments and the parasitical entities overshadowing our institutions, and while not ignoring my own part in real world action, I think my magickal efforts might be better served there.

Areas that repeatedly vote for candidates against your best interests usually don’t change quickly. Revealing a politician’s corruption is satisfying, but sometimes that doesn’t even remove them from office. Cursing the individuals in question doesn’t often result in any real change as the voter base hasn’t changed. It doesn’t change the minds and hearts of those that disagree. It doesn’t change the system. It doesn’t resolve any problem.

And I’m not sure what will, but I would rather spend my magick and life force in seeking those actions which do bring about change, rather than get entangled in a pattern of angry force. My magick is focused on the longer vision and supporting this, nationally and locally, with actions that align closest with it, but also as an invocation to those currently outside to enter and win to make change. While the divinations in the short-term might be dire, there is little effect in focusing on them magickally, so I’m aiming to cast long with my spells and follow a vision of what I want the future to be.

Temple Astrolog: Is It Different for Witches?

We are certainly moving into interesting times. Saturn’s new position in Pisces and Pluto’s new position in Aquarius are creating new patterns and energies to relate to. But is it all bad? Should we fear these changes? And is it different for Witches? I´m going to answer the last question first. In my opinion yes, it is different for Witches. So let´s grab a cup of coffee and look closer into why this might be the case and see if we can bring some light into the other questions as well.

Difficult Planets and Aspects

The planets in the horoscope have different reputations. Some are considered good and others bad, but it is really all energy. Whether an energy is good or bad depends on how we use it and what we do with it. Venus is considered a “good” planet, but I have seen Venus in transit mess up more than one relationship when someone gets carried away by an intensive attraction created by a Venus transit. The attraction many times only last as long as the transit (23 days).

Saturn has a “bad” reputation for creating obstacles, but I have seen many clients getting out of difficult life situations like drug abuse, unemployment, and mental illness during what is considered a challenging Saturn transit (square, opposition, return). In those cases Saturn has supported with the power to deal with the world and make the positive changes permanent.

A person born with many challenging aspects in their chart (a lot of red lines) is considered to have a difficult life with many challenges early in life. Even if that´s true, something happens around the age between 30–40. If that person has worked with the challenges, the tension in their chart (the red lines) between the planets becomes a usable and powerful energy, and then they become a successful, stable, and resourceful person others can count on.

A person born with many easy aspects in their chart (a lot of blue lines) is considered to have an easy life with many blessings early in life. But something happens for them as well around the age between 30–40. If they haven´t worked on developing life skills, self-confidence, and resourcefulness their blessings (blue lines) may become stagnant. They become stuck in life and can literally see how others move beyond them in life.

Why is this important? It is important in how we look at what are seen as challenges and gifts. A challenge that is worked with may change into a blessing and a blessing may become something of a burden if not properly worked with and supported.

My way of seeing astrological and numerological charts is that there are no good or bad charts, planet constellations, and numbers. There are only different charts and numbers. They are maps describing energy and patterns. What we do with that energy and how we change those patterns is up to us.

If Not a Witch, Then Who?

Saturn has the power to shape, form, bend, and banish. It can take energy and manifest it in our world. It can also take energy in this world and banish it. Sound familiar? This is what Witches do. We are good at this, if we take the time (also Saturn) to learn it.

Pluto creates transformation, talks to the dead, breaks generational patterns, seeks out the truth, has the power to end abuse on all levels, ends what no longer serves, and has the power to create a new version of self and life. Witches do all that too, and yes, we are good at it.

If I was going through a difficult period with Saturn, Pluto, or other planets and someone asked me who I would like on my side? The answer is… a Witch! In the medicine bag of the Witch we have tools like plants, crystals, potions, sigils, mantas, connections to totems, ancestors, gods and goddesses, and knowledge about how the universe works. All of these tools can be used to aid in any kind of change or transit.

To put it simple, Witches don´t fear astrological aspects and transits, we work with them.

Saturn in Pisces – Good Times for the Witch?

Saturn is the ruler of the sign of Capricorn (hard work, dependable, structure). It has the power to shape, make form, and turn ideas into tangible things and goals. Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac and the third of the water signs. It rules the twelfth house of spirituality, illusions, dreams, and prophecy. When Saturn is here he can take this spiritual energy and make it into something real in this world.

Perhaps you are good at reading Tarot cards? With Saturn in Pisces, you may get the support to start taking on clients and make it a business.

Do you dream of becoming a professional Witch? This Saturn in Pisces can give you the courage to sign up for professional Witch classes.

Of course there will still be work to do. After all we are dealing with Saturn, the taskmaster. But still, with hard work it is possible to turn those watery, deep, and spiritual gifts into something others can see, touch, and feel.

If you have a spiritual shop or center, if you are working as a reader, healer, or the like, Saturn may work a bit differently. In this case, Saturn is asking you what you need to change at your job to make it work in a better way: Do you need to change location? Do you need to let go of one kind of service to offer another? Do you need more staff or less? What first may seem like a problem may be a blessing in the end when the changes are made.

More Spiritual Interest and Going Deeper

What we do know with Saturn is that it creates physical changes and in Pisces (water) it has a lot to do with spirituality and searching for something more meaningful in life. On the one hand this will probably create more magically-interested customers and more clients who are beginners. On the other hand the ones coming to see you may be searching for deeper spiritual work and understanding.

When Saturn has been in Aquarius (air, mind, social media) we have seen a lot of Witch memes on social media and a lot of categorizing of the Witch, like crystal-witch, green-witch, candle-witch, and so on. With Saturn in Pisces, the search goes further into the more unexplainable and deeper realms, more about the Mysteries and what is going on beyond the public eye.

Another expression of this energy is that of discipline and being prepared to do the work. Saturn in Pisces can assist in being disciplined in doing daily meditations and devotions.

Challenges with Saturn in Pisces

So what are the challenges with Saturn in Pisces? Saturn is not so comfortable in Pisces. He likes form, shape, and order. The world of Pisces and the twelfth house is shapeless, bottomless, and without order. Now this may be more challenging for non-Witches as I mentioned above, because part of the training and work of the Witch is moving between the nonphysical and physical. We do this all the time.

For a person with a great need for control this can be quite a challenge. The sign of Pisces is also a mutable, changeable sign. That means we have a lot of changing emotions around us. It´s one emotion in the morning, another at lunch, and a third again in the evening. With Saturn in Pisces we all need to learn how to surf the changing emotional waves.

The twelfth house ruled by Pisces is the house of secrets, institutions, prisons, hospitalisation — that which is hidden. Saturn can push things that have been deep under water up to the surface. The emotions gets so strong they have to come up and out to have a release. In that way Saturn in Pisces can be an exposer of truths many people have known about, but nobody wanted to talk about.

With Saturn in Pisces we may get help to deal with things that are hard to talk about. Perhaps we seek professional help with family dramas and secrets and we are able to put words on the things that has happened to us.

The last time Saturn was in Pisces was from May 1993 to April 1996, before that March 1964 to March 1967, and February 1935 to January 1938

Dealing with Old Things in a New Way

Right now Saturn is in a good aspect, big trine to Mars (will, power) in the sign of Cancer (family, close relationships) and the South Node (the past, karma) in the sign of Scorpio. This could assist you in dealing with old things, situations and conflicts in a new and perhaps more mature way.

Mars trines Saturn and the South node until the 14th of April

Deep Healing and Defending Your Loved Ones

The sun is in Aries (fire, warrior) right next to Chiron (the wounded healer). Together they continue to work with deep healing, specially connected to the sacred masculine. Together they make a challenging square to Pallas Athena (warrior) in Cancer (family). This could lead to more domestic turbulence. The good side of this aspect is healing for fathers, sons and on the masculine side of the family tree. This healing is strengthened by Lilith Black Moon in trine from 9 degrees in Leo. Perhaps we will see more male leaders stepping forward to protect families and promote healing. This is a good time for ceremonies and rituals for the fatherly line in our ancestral tree.

Lilith Black Moon trines the Sun until the 7th of April

Lilith Black Moon trines Chiron until the 25th August

Choosing Your Words

Right now Pluto (transformation) in Aquarius is making a challenging aspect (square) to Mercury (communication). This makes words extra strong and potentially harmful. When Mercury is together with Pluto they become like a mental laser beam. Perfect for research, in-depth writing and research. A bit tricky in daily conversations with family and friends. This becomes extra strong with the full moon on the 6th of April.

Mercury squares Pluto until the 7th of April

Making an Extra Effort

Pluto also makes a challenging aspect to Vesta (devotion, priest and priestess) in Aries. This can make you feel like you are not doing enough or going deep enough. This can create restlessness and irritation. If you focus your energy and make an extra effort in your spiritual work it can lead to a breakthrough and reaching to the next level. Mercury is right next to Vesta, so remember to write down (Mercury) your insights and what you did to reach them so that you may remember it further down the path.

Vesta squares Pluto until the 28th of April

Other dates to look out for

The 3rd of April Mercury moves into the sign of Taurus. This makes communications slower and more thoughtful.

The 6th of April we have a strong Full Moon in Libra. The Sun is right between Jupiter and Chiron.

The 11th of May Venus moves into Gemini, creating more lovable communication and some charm.

The 20th of April we have a very strong New Moon in Aries with a Solar Eclipse. This happens at 29 degrees in Aries. The 29th degree in any sign is extra strong because it is the last degree before tipping over to the next sign. The next day Mercury goes retrograde until the 15th of May.

Summary: Many things are happening on many levels at the same time. Even if some unexpected hinders may come our way we have a good chance to keep on moving forward to something better. By taking one day and one challenge a time, progress is made. Even if we can´t see all the results from our energy work yet, it is a good thing to think that the Universe is conspiring to our benefit. (Lilith Black Moon trine the Sun and Chiron)

Blessed Be!
Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red

Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is an ordained high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program. Her work can be found on Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial and she can be reached at [email protected].

For Broom Closet Witches: Imbolc – Watching for Signs

by Claire du Nord

The World in Pastels

Have you ever noticed how brooms look like over-grown paintbrushes? Or how, at this time of year, the world seems to be awash with pastel colors? Welcome back, Broom Closet Witches, to the eighth article in our “For Broom Closet Witches” column. Claire du Nord here, a High Priestess in the Temple of Witchcraft tradition. As the Wheel of the Year turns to the Ostara season, and spring flowers are in bloom, pastel colors can be appropriate choices for a witch’s Altar, even for a Broom Closet Witch!

I love Color and Sound Magick, probably because I come from a family of artists and musicians. My grandfather, the Norwegian, (mentioned in Article #6), studied music in Leipzig, Germany and was a music teacher and orchestra leader. His children, (my mother being one of four), all played the violin. Seven years of piano lessons for me was a “typical” part of a young person’s upbringing in my family, if the interest was there. So, it is not so surprising that one of my cousins was the lead vocalist in a rock band.

As an adult, my own mother was first violin in an orchestra and played the piano, as well. She was also an artist. Her oil paintings hung in art galleries and were featured in art shows and newspapers. Our living room was pretty much an art gallery – every inch of the walls was covered with her paintings. During the few times I was allowed to watch my mother paint in my growing up years, (when I wasn’t playing outside at her insistence), I loved to watch her mixing her palette. She never spoke while she was painting, and I was in awe and amazed at how she would use a special tool, called a palette knife, to achieve just the right colors by mixing and scraping this color with that color, filling her palette with small, individual blobs of colors.

Even though I have moved over 25 times in my life, I still have the book I received for my second birthday, The Color Kittens: A Child’s First Book about Colors, by Margaret Wise Brown. This book explained to me, in simple words and beautiful pictures, what my mother didn’t explain as she was painting. From this book I learned about the Color Wheel, Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, as well as Pastels.

My favorite part of any hardware store is the paint section, especially the display where you can pick up paint color cards for free. I have a collection of them, and any time I am at a hardware store, I always spend time looking over the cards, choosing some to add to my collection, (even if I’m not planning any painting projects)!

Okay, back to Ostara. It is common practice to surround newborn babies with pastel colors – layettes and nurseries in pastels – just as the stores seem to fill to the brim with pastel baskets of toy eggs, chicks and baby rabbits in nests of pastel-colored imitation grass – at Ostara time. No wonder, as during Ostara, a celebration of rebirth and new life – “gentle”, “soft”, pastel colors are appropriate for new and gentle eyes, hearts, spirits and sensibilities – not “well-worn”, “wise to the ways of the world”, and “rough around the edges” colors.

But what is it about a pastel color scheme that seems “right” for a newborn’s tender eyes, heart, senses, spirit, and sensibilities, and indeed, those of adults, as well? There is a branch of psychology called “Color Psychology” that I find fascinating. It is all about how color affects the human mind and behavior. Pastel colors are said to bring about a sense of peace and calm, in addition to uplifting one’s mood. For those who may not know, there are such things as Sound Therapy, Chromotherapy (Color Therapy), Music Therapy and Art Therapy. Color and sound can also be linked for some people – (Chromesthesia). These are all outside the scope of this article, but mentioned for further research, if interested.

I hope this article has been helpful, and until next time –
Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet again!

Ostara Blessings,
Claire du Nord

Animal Healing and Bereavement

Caring for the Animals and Their Human Companions

TaurusMany of us throughout the Temple of Witchcraft community have special animals in our lives. Our cats and dogs seem to be the most common, but also birds, snakes, turtles, lizards, spiders, and I’m sure a few fish. Many of us know at least one person with horses, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, or chickens.

We are also caring individuals, who believe in sending healing energies to other people and sometimes to the animals.

One of the responsibilities of the Taurus Ministry is: “Providing support to animals both domesticated and wild, for healing and protection.”

As part of this, there is now a web form that people, especially members of the Temple of Witchcraft, can fill out to request help for healing for their animals. Anyone in the Temple of Witchcraft can visit the Request for Animal Healing Form and fill it out with the name of the animal, name of the human companions, type of animal, the location of the animal, if the request is for healing or crossing over services, and finally if you want us to contact you and to include the human companion in the healing.

The results of the form would then go to the volunteer in the Taurus Ministry responsible for coordinating healing for animals. That volunteer sends healing requests to other volunteers in the Temple who are trained in sending healing to animals and handles crossing over services for animals themselves until volunteers are trained to provide that support.

Volunteers interested in offering healing for animals can look for the class “Distance Healing for Animals” that will be offered periodically for Temple Initiates who have completed Witchcraft 1 or who are enrolled in Witchcraft 1 and have completed Lesson 6. The Distance Healing for Animals class is being offered for the first time in March of 2023. You can register here for the March 21st class.

Those with questions can contact the Taurus Lead Minister at [email protected] or the Deputy Minister who attends to the Animal Healing Ministry, Jason Nadeau, at [email protected].

Jason Nadeau is a Deputy Minister for the Taurus Ministry and is currently a student in Witchcraft 5. He is also a Massage Therapist, Reiki Master/Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy Master Instructor, Bodyworker, and Spirit Worker in New Hampshire. In his free time he enjoys time in nature however and wherever he can find it, often walking the beaches or hiking in the forests and sometimes the mountains. He can be reached at [email protected].

Temple Astrolog: The New Season Has Begun

We are in the beginning of a new season, on many levels. No matter who you are and what you are working with you can probably feel that things are changing and that new chapters in your life are starting to take shape. This is also related to the fact that 2023 in Numerology is year number 43/7 (see the previous article). It´s like we are shifting gears on a collective plane. Pluto (transformation, the underworld) is just about to change sign and move from Capricorn into the sign of Aquarius and Saturn (manifestation, karma, limitation, time) is just about to move from Aquarius into the sign of Pisces. Today, we are not going to look at these collective planets, instead we will look at something more personal and closer to home that needs our attention and that is Chiron.

Chiron and Personal Wounds

Chiron is many times called “the wounded healer”. In the astrological chart it shows a place where we are wounded and in search of healing. In mythology Chiron is a Centaur, a wise teacher and mentor to many of the children of the Olympian gods. Unfortunately, he becomes wounded by his own poison by accident and because his poison is so special there is no medicine or healing that can completely heal him. This is his dilemma. But, in his search for healing the impossible wound, be becomes even more wise and knowledgeable. What does that mean to us? Well, Chiron’s placement and aspects show a wound that is impossible to heal completely, but by trying we can, like Chiron, become wiser, more humble, and perhaps even a teacher for others in that particular area.

As you may already have suspected, Chiron is often very strong in the astrological charts of healers, doctors, surgeons, witches, alchemists, and shamans. Many times it shows why and how a person ends up on the healer’s path or on the path of service. Knowing and understanding your Chiron can help to avoid a lot of confusion in your role as a teacher, healer, or therapist, and it can also help you to navigate your personal relationships.

A Very Active Chiron

Right now Chiron is very active in the sky. It is at 14 degrees in Aries right next to Venus at 17 degrees, Jupiter at 13 and Vesta at 11 degrees. That means we are all working through some deep healing on both a personal and a collective level.

Venus/Chiron is about emotional wounding, especially connected to the women in our lives, both past and present. It may be that old things in the cupboard come out regarding the women in your ancestral line. It can also be that you don´t feel beautiful enough or worthy of love. You may fear both commitment and rejection at the same time and perhaps can´t figure out where it comes from. The good thing is this is a really good time for healing the feminine, both on the inside and on the outside. Doing ceremonies for the sacred feminine, working with the goddess, can be very helpful for healing these wounds personally and collectively.

On a collective level issues regarding women and women’s rights will intensify. Especially connected to women’s rights to their own body and their sexuality (Venus). Don´t be surprised if you dream about a specific goddess or are called to do specific healing work connected to the goddess and the feminine.

Venus and Chiron started their journey together on the 24th of February and will travel next to each other until the 10th of March.

Chiron and Vesta is extra strong for magickal people and those doing service for others. With this transit you may feel like no matter what you do, it is not enough. The priest and priestess within you may feel drained, exhausted, and in need of rest. You may even start to question if your chosen path is the right one for you. The good news is there is help at hand. Connect with the spirits, deities, totems, and ancestors that are close to you. Ask for their help. Take time to recharge and, most importantly, be open to receive their help. By calling on this deeper connection with the spirit world you may be given gifts that you otherwise would miss. Before you know it, you will be back on track again.

Chiron and Vesta will travel together from the 18th of February until the 30th of March.

Chiron and Jupiter is less personal, but can become a big thing. Jupiter expands everything that it comes in contact with. Right now it is between Vesta (service, priest/ess ) and Chiron (wound) and not far away from Venus (love, relationships). This means that both the divine connection and the wound will expand. The question is how you will use this extra power and flow of energy? Will it be guided by your wisdom or will it be guided by your unresolved issues?

It is also happening in the sign of Aries (fire, motivation, restlessness, anger). It is wise to not make problems and obstacles bigger than they are, and yet there are things that needs to be solved.

For example, don´t call down “the wrath of heaven” (Jupiter/heaven) on your children’s teacher, it might just have been a very sad misunderstanding in the classroom. Perhaps a meeting at the headmaster’s office is enough? Don´t break up with your best friend over something that other people say that he or she said. It might not be true, or only half the truth. Perhaps a heart-to-heart conversation will solve the issue?

Aries is known for the attitude of “Shoot first, ask questions later” and that can create some very sad situations. Because Chiron is involved we may ask ourselves some important things:

  • Why am I reacting so strongly in this situation? Is there any logical reason behind it?
  • Is my reaction connected to my own wounding? If I had a bad experience in school it is easy for me to believe that the same thing is happening to my child, but this is not necessarily the case.
  • If I feel rejected or alone, is this true? Have I asked for help? Am I open to receive the help that could be given to me?
  • Are these things happening to me a part of my healing journey?
  • Am I ready to leave or change an unhealthy situation and how would that effect my healing process?

Chiron and Jupiter will travel together from 15th of January until the 20th of April.

This healing theme will increase as Vesta, Jupiter, and Chiron all meet up at 14 degrees in Aries on the 12th of March. For me as a numerologist the degree and number 14 is important. The shadow side of number 14 is being hard, discriminating, and judging others. The light side of 14 is being able to channel higher knowledge and wisdom. For that to happen the number 14 needs to learn to become a vessel for divine energy, without judging. The number 14 relates to the Tarot card Alchemy or Temperance. People born with the number 14 have the potential to radically change and transform during their incarnation.

During this transit I recommend breathing and calming down before taking any impulsive actions or decisions. By the 12th of March, Venus has moved on to 24 degrees in Aries, but is close to Juno (relationships) at 0 degrees in Taurus. That will create tensions in our close relationships. A lot of that tension will be released around the 21st of March as Venus and Juno pass over the north node at 4 degrees in Taurus.

Aries as the Optimist

Now we have been talking about Aries as being impulsive, angry, and restless. But there is another side to him as well. Aries is very optimistic, brave, and inspiring. Where others see problems, Aries sees possibilities. When others worries about what might happen far in the future, Aries has the magickal ability to just deal with what is right in front of him. He takes one battle and one day at a time. Sometimes that is the best way to go, because if we worry about everything all the time, we get nothing done. Right now we have Vesta, Jupiter, Chiron, Venus, and Juno in Aires. That creates optimism and hope.

Other dates to consider:

Saturn goes into the sign of Pisces on the 8th of March and will stay there until May 2025
Pluto goes into the sign of Aquarius on the 23th of March.
Pluto goes back to Capricorn again on the 11th of June
Pluto goes back into Aquarius on the 21 st of January 2024
Pluto is back in Capricorn from the 2nd of September 2024
Pluto goes into Aquarius on the 19th of November 2024 and stays there until 2043, 2044
(I will write more about Saturn and Pluto in upcoming blogs.)


Change is here and everyone can feel that in one way or another. Saturn and Pluto are changing signs. How and what we manifest (Saturn) will be different and so will how and what we transform (Pluto).

Right here and right now (Aries) we are dealing with some intensive healing with Chiron. It is wise to think twice before doing anything in the heat of the moment. Give yourself and your loved ones time to think, feel, and digest before deciding important things. Try not to be guided by anger, impulse, revenge or unresolved wounds.

On the other hand, if you have been dragging and prolonging the decision-making for a very long time, then this push from Aries may be exactly what you need to move on. As I mentioned before, Aries is known for his optimistic attitude towards life. So why not raise the sails and catch the wind of new beginnings? Who knows in what exiting adventure you will end up? After all Lady Fortuna favours the brave.

Blessed Be!
Karin Spirit Talker Turtle Red

Recommended Reading

Chiron, Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets by Barbara Hand Clow, Llewellyn, 1999
Chiron and the Healing Journey by Melanie Reinhart, Starwalker Press, 2010
Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs, to the edge and beyond, by Melanie Reinhart, Starwalker Press 2011

Karin Ugander (Spirit Talker Turtle Red) is a spiritual channeler living in the south of Sweden. In Scandinavia she is known for the AstroNumerology and psychic readings she’s been doing for over 20 years. Together with her husband Niklas, she runs KaniSkolan, a school of astrology, numerology, tarot, StarCode Healing, and natural medicine. They are also the founders of Alven Inner Ring tradition, a Scandinavian mystery school with roots in shamanism and magick. Karin loves to create magickal oils, flower essences and sigils she combines in her “Karin Victoria” sigil candles and flower sprays. In her spare time she likes to travel, walk in the forest with her dog, and spend time by the ocean. Karin is an ordained high priestess and graduate of the Temple of Witchcraft’s seminary program. Her work can be found on Instagram @flowerpowerwitch and @karinuganderofficial and she can be reached at [email protected].

May All Paradox Be Resolved

Photo by Adrian RA via Pexels

by Christopher Penczak, Edited by Tina Whittle

One of the great mysteries as I learned magick is the union of opposites and the resolution of paradox. This alchemy must occur within the practitioner of magick, and they become a living talisman for the world. The philosopher’s stone of the alchemist could be a stone, a powder, an elixir, but it was really the alchemist, as the effect of their inner work emanated out into the world and the world reverberated back into them. Witches, magicians, Druids, and sorcerers do the same, but our symbols for the process are less concrete than the philosopher’s stone.

What is paradox? Usually it’s a statement, or two points of seeming fact, that are contradictory. They cannot both be true at the same time. Together they are senseless or unacceptable to our logical mind due to their contradiction. Yet when explored, they have a deep truth that can make total sense to the one who has explored the paradox. Those who have not can easily dismiss it as nonsense, missing the mystery.

In Witchcraft we have these paradoxical mysteries all the time. Heading into the Age of Aquarius we have new twists to explore in these traditional mysteries. Orthodox religions mostly abhor the mysteries because they are difficult. This exploration weakens dependence upon orthodoxy. Mystics in those same religions embrace them, but they are not actively encouraged. One of the keys to the future of Witchcraft, Paganism, and the magickal traditions will be to embrace paradox over and over again as we grow community, to avoid the dogmas that reject the mysteries. One of the keys of the Craft is that we are a mystery religion at heart.

One of the primary paradoxes is the concept that we are all separate, yet we are all one. This is a basic core metaphysical principle, be it the Hermetic concept of being one within the Divine Mind or the non-dual reality of the Buddhist. Everything is everything else, on every level. We are all part of the same system, the same body in different scales, yet we don’t have a conscious awareness of this. Our reality is often separation, pain, confusion, and disconnection. So how can this oneness be true and not wishful thinking? Well, we do have peak experiences that reveal this oneness, but they usually don’t last. We become hopeful that experience might be the true reality and then seek to repeat things that generate that sense of oneness. The truth is we are all alone and we are all one simultaneously. Both are true. Neither is absolute.

An Aquarian Age paradox, a mystery we are still unfolding, is the deep urge to be our unique selves. We are all individuals with individual identities and the need to express it. We are called in this time to be unorthodox and radical. Yet we are facing a strong social consciousness drive. We must take care of community, society, and the world, though we all define community/society/world differently and we all define care differently. We struggle with the idea that everyone must be their unique self, and our way is not the way. We struggle with who or what is included in our vision of community. The answer is that only by embodying our unique self can we contribute what we have to contribute to the greater good of society. And that goes for everyone else. We all must have that freedom and support. The old astrological ruler of Aquarius is Saturn, boundaries and rules. The new one is Uranus, rebellion and exploration. Both apply to the Age of Aquarius, but how can they? It’s paradoxical.

This gets us into the alchemy of society at large and the alchemy of the magickal communities specifically. We are moving in a time of paradox as opposition is a stage of paradox. Two things need to seemingly oppose first before resolving in a Gnostic understanding of the mystery. We live in constant social, political, and religious opposition.

By no means do I think both sides as they are today in the United States, and really the world, are equally valid. I am a queer polyamorous Witch and a liberal democratic socialist at heart. I believe everyone can be themselves, and we have a duty to come together to make a better world for everyone. I want the least amount of harm, even in our transitions, and the most amount of good, balancing the whole and the individual. But that doesn’t come with an easy label, as we all have our individual nuances.

Yet the roots of our oppositions, in both society and magick, are rooted in much the same issues for the Aquarian Age—the past and future. Obvious to some and hidden from others, this is always the struggle. And both are illusionary.

One seeks to turn back to an idyllic time of the past where everything was “good” and made sense. This is a level of Romanticism for a past that wasn’t that romantic when it was happening.

One seeks a bright future where all our problems will be cleanly and clearly solved, and we shall have paradise. Has that ever happened? No. The future is always the future. Our current miracles today, the ones that those in the past would consider solutions, have resulted in new and different problems, and the technological savvy has not been matched by the collective wisdom to resolve them.

Which side are you on? Which side are “your” people? You might be surprised. Many will read this and assume those wanting to go back to a past are regressive, the conservative forces of the far right. Yet much of Witchcraft is inspired by a pre-Industrial Revolution, pre-Enlightenment romance of village life, or a vision of a Stone Age paradise. Industry and the emphasis of reason alone have led to an artificial way of life filled with artificial things and the machinery of capitalism to sell those things to you. Those seeking the ideals of the past are seeking the mysticism and magick of the world before reason became the dominant lens. Exploring the set and the culture of the old and indigenous ways and returning to such things is often a transgression against mainstream society and values. The deep roots of the faux Viking and the Eco-villager are close to each other, and often results in similar behaviors justified by their own sense of righteousness.

The futurists can be the cold science, “let’s abandon earth and colonize Mars!” techie or the sci-fi futurists dreaming of a cross between Star Trek’s United Federation of Planets and an Ursula K. Le Guin novel. Often discussions of the future are reframed in the choice of utopian Star Trek versus various future dystopias like the ones in Bladerunner, Mad Max, or The Terminator.

Remember while the aliens of Star Trek didn’t “save” us, in that narrative we have a World War Three and a eugenics war before achieving a warp engine that attracts Mr. Spock’s people, the Vulcans, setting in motion what would become the Star Trek universe recognized on television. Many New Age paradigms promise the savior—in most cases an interstellar or inter-dimensional visitor—but do not think about what happens if such future aid never comes. This has been a big part of the Christian paradigms that await the Rapture and have been the worst aspects of the New Age paradigms.

Whether you think science and industry will save us or a universal space brotherhood, you are also missing the paradox. Those longing for the past are both right and wrong. There is a problem with the dominance of logic, artificially, industry, and a loss of a magickal worldview. We allowed a lot of unwanted consequences to ripple out. Yet there is a problem with too little logic, the struggle for sustenance, hardships of travel, and the lack of information. Otherwise we wouldn’t have started the struggle to move from hunters and gatherers to living in villages and so on.

So we have a struggle with the past and future romance. They are one polarity that needs union, because neither of these visions hold the whole truth. We need both Saturn and Uranus.

We also have the polarity between those romanticizing the past and the future as the way we should go and grow. Here is the polarity of the past with the blood and soil ideology opposed by the matriarchal eco-utopia vision. In the polarity of the future, we have the space multiculturalism of Star Trek and the robot-ruled future and cybernetic implants of the tech giants.

While my sympathies are found with the eco-villagers and the federation of Star Trek, it is both fascinating and heartbreaking to observe those at the ends of polarities, of oppositions, take on the qualities, often both bad and good, of their oppositions over time, yet this is a part of the resolution and union of opposites. Finding yourself in “other” and “other” in yourself is the mystery of paradox. The key is to see it and find resolution before you do harm. And in the prevention of harm from the other side, to do so in a way that doesn’t make you embody the very thing you are fighting, which is often the case in our tactics if not our ethos. By our ethos, we feel justified, but that justification is the start of every well-intentioned horror. I often think of the Philip K. Dick quote:

“To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.”

I see that attitude in a lot of our current “anti” stances from the perspective of magickal consciousness. Dismantle things, yes! Build new and better things, of course we should. But when we are firmly rooted in the identity of anti-anything, it’s like the opposing poles. Rather than a union of opposites, when we are unconscious about it, we are like matter and antimatter coming together to create a mutually destructive explosion, not a philosopher’s stone. When you fight against something, you equate with it and put it on equal footing to yourself, your magick, your ideas. When operating as an agent of change, our strength is stepping either way outside of the scene or deeply inside of it. From there we can deconstruct and repurpose what we dismantle towards worthwhile endeavors. We can reweave. Otherwise we tend to strengthen and elevate the very things we seek to diminish. Sometimes we are motivated by ego. We want to win, and we want others to lose when they oppose us rather than think about the end result and how everyone factors into it. The people who disagree will not simply go away, and so far, opposition hasn’t changed anyone’s minds easily, so how do we redirect? How do we dismantle and build simultaneously, so the benefit can become obvious to enough people?

I also think of the Taoist proverb of the farmer whose experiences are characterized as good luck or bad luck by his neighbors, but at each he says, “Good luck, bad luck, who knows?” Lost a horse. Gained it back with two more. Horse breaks son’s leg. Son is passed over for military draft due to injury. Often actions and events that seem horrible might be the necessary domino for something else to happen. Something bad leads to something good and vice versa. This is not to urge us to do nothing as citizens or magicians, but to instead be clearly aligned with our True Will and feel our actions and motivations are clear, not unclear by being purely reactionary. Every action can lead to good and bad luck—who knows?—but we must be participating consciously, not unconsciously, in the process.

When we as magicians, as Witches, summon a furious magickal intent towards something, how do we know that perhaps the bad luck harm happening now doesn’t catalyze greater good? Ideally we do a divination to see if we should act. Or we deeply meditate and reflect, asking “What is my part in this?” But today, most act first, even magically, before considering any of this and the forces we set into motion are real, but sometimes we don’t approach that with the full knowledge of the reality or a clear intention of our desired final result.

If Witches are healers, we need to realize a lot of the ups and downs are potential results of the greater healing work of society, the healing crisis we have learned to recognize in individuals. The same process happens in groups and society. You don’t ignore it. You still address the crisis and do all you can to offer aid, but you have a different context when you realize the next great surprise, shock, and harm is part of a greater context, even when it’s your own crisis. It can unfold like the bad luck/good luck of the farmer, given a different time frame. Again, you do all that you can to minimize harm and help those in need, but healing takes on a different context than opposition. Sometimes opposition is necessary to stop something. Some wounds need a tourniquet, but a tourniquet is not the answer to all wounds.

While this looms large on every level of our lives, as Witches, I think the real trick is finding a vision of our Magick, our traditions, and our community rooted in the Magick of the past, but embracing a new future. We can’t abandon our shared and individual pasts, or we become unrooted from our reality. That happens in a lot of New Age paradigms. But we can’t seek to simply recreate the past or go back to a time that never was. We see that in the romanticism of the past, from strict reconstructionist polytheists on one side to the supremacist Neo-Nazis on the other. I love ancient motherland myths and secret histories, but only as a springboard to what is possible, an inspiration of magical possibility and meaning, not a reversal of what is. If we lose either side, we unbalance what comes next.

In the work of the Witch as I’ve learned it, the Great Rite is the ritual to resolve paradoxes and find reunion. Many people dislike it for its seeming overt heteronormative symbolism, but I guess even as gay man, I was never bothered by it because it was always taught to be as a cosmic union, not a purely physical-sexual one. I learned it first “in token” and solitary, so I had simultaneously both the role of High Priestess and High Priest when it was divided. That spoke to my queer soul. And when in a group, I was encouraged to explore with polarities outside of the gender norms, so I never felt something was being forced upon me, but I was celebrating an ancient mystery and had the opportunity to participate in something that had an ancient essence to its magick.

The union of the blade and chalice or the wand and the chalice (or the stone in the cup or the sword in the stone for that matter) is one of creation, and cosmos. It is the union of primal forces to create the world according to our magickal will in the microcosm of the sacred space, and then project that intention to become a part of the greater macrocosm of creation. We make the change internally through ritual to experience the change in the world. As a part of that magick, we are required to resolve the seeming contradictions, the illogical oppositions that can be held in our consciousness, but become a divine truth and wisdom when we can see them not as nonsense, but as the true nature of reality. And through that understanding of reality, we truly participate in the world on all levels.

As the sword is to the grail,
The blade is to the chalice.
As the heavens are to the Earth,
The stars are to the night.
As the serpent is to the cave
and the waters are to the well,
As the hammer is to the anvil
And the key is to the lock,
Truth is to love.
Let us drink in the power and blessings of the gods conjoined,
And let all paradox be resolved,
For there is no part of me that is not of the gods.
So mote it be.


Temple of Witchcraft