Student Spotlight: Silver Lyons

80s nessaPlease join us as we share a magickal moment with Silver Lyons, a Witchcraft Five student featured in this edition of the Student Spotlight. Silver is a member of the in-person Mystery School, and will be graduating in March. Her teacher, Christopher Penczak, says of her. “I’ve been delighted to know Silver and her family for almost as long as I’ve been publicly teaching as a Witch. Her wedding was one of the first handfastings I performed and the blessing of her daughter, was one of the first child blessings. Working as a teacher, healer, and reader in both another Witchcraft tradition and in the Buddhist community, she has become our beloved Hermione Granger in the Temple of Witchcraft. I value her deep insights informed from multiple practices, her humor and her ability to hold space, even in silence. In Witchcraft Five in particular, I’ve challenged her out of her comfort zones, and she has more than risen to the challenges before her, facing them in powerful, creative, and unexpected ways, while maintaining a strong presence in other ministries, particularly Cancer Ministry. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.”

Thank you, Silver, for offering your wit, wisdom and magickal insight with The Temple Bell.

Tell us a little about yourself, please.

An avid journaler by day, funky sock-knitter by night . . .

In my professional life I am a clinical hypnotherapist, minister, intuitive psychic healer, and teacher . . . In my daily life I’m a dork . . . but a Punky Brewster-loving, 80s music-listening, Harry Potter-obsessed kind of dork.

My spiritual background started off with an intense curiosity for the divine. In my teens I had a healing crisis that awakened the call of the Witch, and from that calling I delved into reading and practicing solitary until training with my first coven. My questions and curiosity intensified, and I began a journey with a Shamanic teacher that would change the way that I offered healing to others. During that time I can recall one particular journey in which my spirit teacher guided me to explore Buddhism after a series of questions around wanting to understand love and compassion further, and for me that one journey and the experiences that followed was a validating moment in which I felt like I had found a missing piece of the puzzle that encapsulated my beliefs and practices. Put them all together and you have me, my practice and my experience.

Originally a Bostonian who has lost nearly all remnants of a Bostonian accent, I currently live in New Hampshire with my husband, who I have been with for 18 years, and our insanely adorable eight-year-old daughter, both of whom are Temple witches; I am fortunate enough to be able to share my own journey and process with them as they share with me.

What class are you currently taking with the Temple? Can you tell us about the experience?

I am currently in my fifth and final year in the Temple’s Mystery School’s in-person class with Christopher. The experience has been a journey of beauty, connection, vulnerability, and courage. . . much like the process of magick. Many don’t know that when I came into Christopher’s class, I had gone through a process of questioning, reflecting and contemplating my role and service as a Witch, nearly leaving it all to dedicate my life to Eastern practices.

As many know, the call of the Witch is one that surfaces deeply from our own unique blood mysteries, touching you from a familiar place of resonance. That calling never went away, for even when I found myself drawn to other paths, the memory of magick was always present. Coming into Witchcraft One was a familiar return but also my permission to self to be a student, to begin again, and to not know everything. (Sometimes a challenging task as a Capricorn.)

I let myself show up, quiet and reflective, or as Christopher likes to put it, a nice mix of “sacred and profane.” Still, I let every experience be a new experience. I let magick and ritual and devotion touch me as though I were feeling it for the first time. The familiarity was like a comforting blanket, but allowing myself to see it fresh allowed me vulnerability that, I find, is necessary in exploring the inner self.

What drew you to the Temple’s mystery school?

I’ve known Christopher for years, yet each time he offered his training the timing never seemed to align. I had trained elsewhere and found my path traveling many roads, and while I was able to experience some teachings with Christopher, I knew that studying with him in this Mystery School format would be an enhancement on my journey, both personally and professionally. When he announced the format of his year-long apprenticeship, it was an easy decision to share this journey with him and get the opportunity to deepen my roots in community.

How do you use what you’ve learned in your daily life?

I do my best to create life as ritual. Friends often joke that I see the spiritual “medicine” in everything, and much of my practice really does reflect this willingness to learn from life and embody ritual every day.

As a Buddhist practitioner, what I’ve learned within the Temple has allowed me to blend more of my practices together, perhaps even more smoothly than it was before, which has felt like a unified prayer within the work that I do.

I utilize these magickal principles within the Shawl Ministry and the creation of shawls, working with color magick, intention, invocations, and more.

Christopher is known for saying, “Did you meditate on that?” while my question to others has always been “Did you journal about that?” – together they form a delicate dance where the steps stride in rhythm so well, giving me more opportunity to reflect and, ultimately, heal.

I’ve come to embody the notion that every moment is magick, even when it doesn’t feel like it, sometimes particularly when it doesn’t feel magickal. It is ritual in motion that I am piecing together.

What’s next for you as a student/member of the Temple?

Ah, the “what’s next” step… being in action! Applying the lessons and gifts I’ve received throughout these five years of training and expanding my teachings within the community as well as deepening the offerings of the rituals I currently facilitate. I plan to continue my training through the monthly Dark Moon rituals as well as learning from the students I mentor in the Mystery School. I see myself being available to the community as minister, teacher, and healing facilitator, and ultimately guiding and holding my daughter’s hand as she broadens her steps as a Temple witchlet herself! I intend to continue the work of the Temple’s Shawl Ministry, working to weave together the threads of connection, comfort and love. Though a little voice inside my head can’t help but want to shout “Try to take over the world” . . . yet I imagine that’s from years of “Pinky and the Brain” exposure. Nonetheless, it has its playful place in this magickal realm.

Temple of Witchcraft