Mystic Lady: An Interview With Katelan Foisy


I would like to start at the beginning. How did you discover the world of magic and mysticism?

I grew up in a small town in MA. My grandmother worked with herbs and was formerly a nurse during WWII. She came over to the US for a better life with her American soldier husband and children from Austria. She taught me some usages of herbs and a little bit of folk remedy. I grew up leaving offerings for fairies and wandering into the forest collecting moss, ferns, and other plants. I thought this was all part of normal living until grade school when I realized the other kids weren’t doing these things, so right away I was in the magical world I just didn’t really know it. As I got older I started to read up a little more and understand that what I knew as every day remedies was also Romani folk magic. In 6th grade I visited Provincetown, MA with a friend and bought my first tarot deck. I know some people say it has to be given to you but this one called to me and I knew it was supposed to be mine. It was used, the box was tattered and the images were faded. I slept with it under my pillow and started to study the meanings. The language of tarot felt natural to me, like it was my first language, the images on the cards formed stories in which past, present, and future unfolded.

What would you call yourself? A mystic? A witch?

Maybe both? The public usually labels me as a witch. I’ve always thought of myself as an artist dealing with time, land, and memory.

How would you define magic?

A language of symbols, ritual, actions, and thought form together to work with both the hidden and visible.

I can see that you are very much a practitioner of the tarot, palm reading and spell work, these are all very traditional practises – how do you view the more modern use of the occult?

I tend to stick to what I know and what feels right to me. I’m unsure of what people are doing as modern uses. I know that for me, tarot’s images become storyboards, the ritual and reading of tasseography becomes a magic interaction itself. Palmistry is a map, one hand shows you what you potential and the other what you’ve accomplished. Spellwork is second nature. Reading cigars and cigarette ash reminds me of beautiful evenings with friends and god family deciphering patterns over coffee and tea. The most modern practices I have worked with would be cut-ups, which were created by Brion Gysin and made popular by William S. Burroughs. My writing partner Vanessa Sinclair and I have been working with various forms of cut-ups. Burroughs believed that bits of future leaked out from passages re-arranged. I’ve gotten some of my best divination from cut-ups and some very good practical advice. It rearranges the brain to see what isn’t there. I’m also a fan of working with technology to increase energy. We are creating magical worlds with our internet presences so when I’m doing a working, I will photograph parts of it, edit the image to enhance the feeling of the work and put it up online. I feel that the love and buoyancy that pours in from that helps to boost the energy within the working. It’s one of the reasons I take so much care in the aesthetics of the working. If each working itself is it’s one piece of art, the care put into each work becomes part of the magic in that particular working. This method is what works best for me but each practitioner will have their own method. For instance I work with land magic a lot. If I’m doing a working for immigration I will take that person with me on a journey and the we will walk the path of those that came before us. I believe we need to know the history of the land before we can work our magic there. That may be one thing that I find odd about some modern day practices and with people in general. We tend to forget our history but the real magic lies underneath the pavement and deep within the soil, it lies in land memory.

If someone wanted to begin a journey into magic and mysticism – what would you recommend they do/read?

My list is somewhat nontraditional, some of it is and some isn’t but I found that they really expanded my sense of magic and opened my brain to other possibilities.
The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
The Third Mind by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs (It’s out of print but I have found PDFs of it)
My Education: A Book of Dreams by William S. Burroughs
Any book by Scarlett Imprint, Fulgur Ltd., Ouroboros Press, and Trapart is going to be outstanding and filled with wonderful information.
Read up on mythology and the history of the land you live on, especially of the place you live.

Jambalaya by Louisa Teish is great as well as Rootwork by Tayannah Lee McQuillar. Tayannah also came out with a historical fiction book called Creole Fire which is wonderful. I often like to read historical fiction having to do with real life practitioners as bits of truth leak out in fiction. My godfather, Ochani lele’s work is great as well.

For Blogs:

About Romani Culture and writing:
Cut-ups and land memory:
I asked the internet for their lists as well and compiled theirs at the bottom for a more traditional beginners list. It’s a long list but a good one.

You are an amazing artist and I wondered how much your art and magic intermingles –  if at all?

It’s all connected. My art is a portal. It time travels in a way where you’re unsure from which time it came from. For example, when I first made my plan to move from NY to Chicago I made a spell book that showed my journey. It was written as an aspect of me, perhaps a portion of me from another time, writing letters to her lover. They are both traveling and meeting up in different cities. These were all cities I have loved and traveled to over the years. So each page is an ode to a part of that journey. It starts in NY, Coney Island and travels through Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, LA, Atlantic City and finally settling once again into Chicago. By creating this book I set the spell in motion both through image and the creation, making each page a part of the journey. I created the book for the Psychoanalysis, Art, and the Occult conference. This was before I even knew I would be able to fully move. I knew I needed to, it was where I was supposed to be but I needed that final push. After the conference my plans were well on the way. I made it to Atlantic City, stepping off of the plane in NY after missing my first flight, got on a bus and headed to Atlantic City for my birthday. I then spent the rest of the summer going back and forth from NY to Chicago to AC until it was time to move. I also created a film as a spell to boost it. All of my art contains a bit of magic in it, from dirt of the land, ground up into the paint, to the pages of a magic book to get me to where I needed to be. They all become portals for my and others journeys.
I recently created a paper altar for Treasure of the Sirens as well. I’m finding the more I incorporate magic and art, the more doors begin to open. The art itself works it’s own magic. For instance with both the Treasure of the Sirens piece and my recent piece Deer Woman, mythology was a huge factor and how over years colonialism has taken these stories and demonized many of the key women in them. So in a way my art is a portal revealing original forms.  “Deer Woman” a spirit that helps women during birthing stages but will also enter the tribal ceremonies to lure out the men who disrespect women, who cheat on them or use them in any way and lead them to imminent death. Much mythology has told us that Deer Woman was a spirit to be feared. Upon further research she is the spirit of women who have been raped and left for dead. She comes back to the tribe to save it from the men who have fallen under the spell of colonialism, patriarchy, and brings order back to the tribes matriarchal roots.

What is an average day for Katelan? Talk me through some of your routines and favourites things to do.

I wake up in the morning and brew some coffee. Then I sit in bed drinking coffee and catching up on my emails. I usually make a list of things I need to do for the day. If I have a deadline I’ll start working on those pieces right after I finish my coffee. In between I will get some exercise in by taking a walk to the lake or sometimes going to the Green Mill where I’ll sip coffee and soda water and work on drawings or writing. Sometimes I lose focus and will do something to switch it up. If I’m painting I might work on photographs to get my head space back or if that isn’t working I might write for a bit. When I get home I’ll often cook or clean and do some more painting, write mailing lists, answer more emails, do readings and workings or whatever else is on the to do list. While I’m working I like to watch documentaries or listen to podcasts. I usually work until I’m tired and then relax for a bit with a bath before heading to bed. I don’t have a lot of free time but when I get the chance I like to explore my own city and historical sites. I love what I do so often my work day doesn’t feel like work at all. I also travel quite a bit for work so sometimes I’ll plan out the next trip.

You often post pictures of your beautiful home, a bohemian paradise. What inspires you to create such a beautiful space?

When I first moved to NY I lived in a cheap disheveled apartment. I had no artwork on the walls because I kept thinking, “This is temporary. I’m going to move.” I lived there for four years. I lived in other peoples spaces for many years after and always thought of my living spaces as temporary. Then I moved into a place that I lived for 12 years and started to think. “Okay even if I leave next week, I need somewhere that is going to feel like a home.” So I started to decorate and ad to the walls, I experimented with paints and buying antiques. I slowly started to form what would become my style. When I was planning my move to Chicago I kept thinking I wanted to live in an old hotel by the lake near the Green Mill. My apartment is an old hotel from the 20s by the lake and a ten minute walk from the Green Mill. I felt like I needed to pay homage to that aspect of it but also because I spend so much time in my home, I felt it needed to feel like a sanctuary. I needed to feel like I wanted to be home. So I took everything that I loved and formed it into the space I created. The more I decorate my apartment the more I realize I’m one part Auntie Mame, one part old man decorating his study, part traveling fortune teller, and part early 20th century children’s theater and circus prop artist.

And finally…what is the greatest advice you have ever been given or the greatest advice you can give the Wolfwych readers?

William Patrick Corgan once told me: “All will die and leave. Me, you, the stars. What you fear is not death but that love isn’t real. Because if you knew love cannot die you’d know the serenity you seek”.

There was a time I lived my life in fear because I was afraid everyone would leave. I had a lot of death early on in my life and I struggled to get through the pain of it for a long time. I was tapped in but I was also caught in a loop of thought that wasn’t conducive to my well being.  So this small tidbit of advice has always stuck with me and changed my outlook on the world around me.

List of Books from the people of the Internet:

Psychic Self Defense by Dion Fortune

Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black and Mark Booth

The Healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Some

Training and Work of the Initiate by Dion Fortune

Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune

On Becoming an Alchemist by  Catherine MacCoun

Northern Mysteries & Magick  by Freya Aswynn (for Norse and rune-related stuff)

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner

A Witches Bible by Janet Farrar

The Sea Priestess (Dion Fortune novel)

In Dark Places of Wisdom, Peter Kingsley

The Psychic Pathway by Sonia Choquette

The Book of Results by Ray Sherwin

Oven Ready Chaos by Phil Hine

Liber Null /Psychonaut by Peter Carroll

The Spiral Dance by Starhawk

The Sorceress Crossing by Taisha Abelar

Moonchild by Aleister Crowley

Anything by Jung and Miyazaki

The Invisibles by Grant Morrison

Promethea by Alan Moore, J. H. Williams III and Mick Gray

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

City Magick by Christopher Penczak

THE INNER SKY by Steven Forrest

Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler

Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig

The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Lavinia by Ursula K. Leguin

Liber Kaos by  Peter J. Carroll

Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson

Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey

Basic Magick by Philip Cooper

The Magical Revival by Kenneth Grant

Book of Lies by Crowley

Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede

The Vorrh by Brian Catling

Septumus Heap series by Angie Sage

Staubs and Ditchwater by H Byron Ballard

Anything by Margot Adler and Isaac Bonewits

Please have a look at her website and a gorgeous film she made right here

The Ancestors Speak: In Conversation With Kelly Harcus

Kelly Harcus is an artist who has created the most wonderful deck of oracle cards. After using them a few times, I really wanted to talk to her about their creation and she very kindly agreed to answers a few questions.  
You can read a review of the cards here

Tell me a bit about yourself and your creative life
 Sometimes I say I’m a recovering teacher. I loved it, but I burned out a few years ago and it would have been foolish to continue. I’ve always been a maker, but I didn’t feel like an artist until I discovered art journalling in 2005. It gave me permission to pull in all sorts of techniques and influences. I could express all the feelings that I had no words for. Within the pages of a journal, I didn’t have to please anyone but myself and didn’t have to worry about “good” or “pretty’.
In 2007, I discovered artist books and fell hard. They are still my main practice, at least in what can be called fine art. When I need validation, as we all do sometimes, I can remind myself that my books are in artist book collections and one of them even won a prize. 18 months ago, I took the plunge and started renting a studio, about 20 minutes away from my house. It is a refuge and a joy. I think of everything now in terms of studio rent. Sure, I could have that new dress, but it costs a week of studio rent – no thanks!

What inspires you to create?
 The material itself is often my inspiration, especially with clay, yarn or fabric. Exhibitions often inspire me, not to create how like the artist shown, but just to get my hands into paint and clay again. If you saw me, you’d know how inspired I am by a show, by how tightly I’m clenching my hands behind my back. If you hear I’ve been arrested, it will be at a Henry Moore exhibit for touching everything! Otherwise, it’s usually nature, especially my home province of Nova Scotia in Canada. The curve of a beach rock, a bit off drift wood, a bright leaf tucked into green moss. Another big theme for me is the wabi sabi beauty of human creation returning to nature in peeling paint, dripping rust or sea glass. Even typing this, I’m wiggling my fingers the way I do when I can’t wait to get stuck in – my husband calls them my happy paws.

I absolutely love your oracle deck; can you tell me a bit about what inspired this?
 I was fortunate enough to be at a retreat in Glastonbury held by Erin Faith Allen. It was over Halloween, and we were working with intuition. Polly Pring led us in some powerful ancestor meditation and ritual. Erin’s teaching is very process driven rather than result, so everyone’s work turns out differently. We weren’t “supposed” to be making pictures, or to ascribe meaning to our cards, trusting that this would become clear in the future as we used them. On the contrary though, I awoke early one morning, when my cards were just bits of collage on plain cards. In the liminal space of early morning, I suddenly saw all those faces, nearly human, but nearly spirit too. When I went back to the studio, the faces made themselves even more clear and meanings came through strongly from what had just been random collage the day before. They aren’t like anything anyone else created that weekend, or even like anything I’ve created before. They just really wanted to exist.

Why did you choose to create an oracle deck in particular?
 I’ve craved it since I went back to the cards in 2013 after a long absence. I still want to make a tarot deck, but it seems like such a massive undertaking – I’m sneaking up on it. I was lucky enough to be a teacher in Mindy Tsonas’s Wishcraft Tarot course this year and worked with The Hanged Man for that. I never intended to make these public. They were just for my own use. After a year of reliably powerful guidance, and enquiries from a few friends, I looked into how to have them printed. When I am looking after myself properly, oracle cards, meditation and my journal are part of my best morning routine. There’s something extra powerful in using cards you’ve made yourself. Having said that, please don’t stop me buying more decks!

What are your thoughts on the subject of magic? Do you incorporate it in your daily life? If so, how?
Oh, it varies. I believe in a lot, and then my skeptical side comes in. Often with the cards, when I’m doing a reading, I offer this disclaimer, especially if it’s for someone new to cards: “Maybe this is just a bit of fun. Maybe it’s a way for us to access the wisdom of our subconscious. Maybe it is a message from spirit or the universe.” It’s like I need to give myself permission. The thing is, they’ve been spot on too many times to count. What I really believe is that there is a lot beyond what we know, and maybe a hundred years from now we’ll understand it all better. I have a main altar at home, and several small ones. I take part in a Women’s Full Moon dance – such an amazing experience! I arm myself with crystals suitable for whatever situation I need support in. So I can’t really say I don’t believe, can I?

Do you have any projects coming up you would like to share with the readers?
 Early this year, I got a lot of clarity that as well as my own creative work, part of my purpose in the world is to support others with their creative work. So I’ve been supporting other creatives with tech and admin; so many people have so much to offer, but are stopped because making a website or an ebook feels hard. I’m making aprons, journals and sketchbook wraps to sell on Etsy. I’m running art journal playdates in my studio, and a small story-telling group. In my personal work, I’m just diving deep into my own art journals.
The cards available to buy from her Etsy shop

Blood and Ink

People either love the fact I am a poet or they rip into me like poetry went out of fashion in 1889. I’m sorry that poetry isn’t your thing but neither is watching reality TV or eating animals; we all have our own lives. I do however feel, as a woman, I sometimes get a hard time as a poet. I have heard people write off Sylvia Plath in favour of Ted Hughes as “the real poet”. A comment once made by someone who will remain anonymous was that “poetry suits women, they are great at whining”. Yet male figures who open their hearts to the reader is seen as the hero. Women poets are seen as weaklings.

Before this ridiculousness came upon me as an adult, I was a child poet, unpublished and happy as hell. I started writing poetry in school and I loved it so much I decided to keep writing on the weekends. I was enveloped by the idea that the use of colours, textures, landscapes and feelings could be put into one little poem. Of course, I copied the major poets in style and although that was enjoyable, I felt I didn’t quite have my own style yet, that would come with practise, I knew that much. Over the years I read poetry religiously and what has occurred to me is that my style is not of the formulaic way. I appreciate good rounded poetry with its certain number of stanzas etc but that is all I see it as, a great poem, in a technical sense. I however, believe that art should make you feel something. I hear amazing guitar solos in songs but sometimes they just have no groove, I hear people singing songs written by others but they have no soul, I see amazing landscape paintings but they give me no warmth…I want to feel, I want to be upset, surprised, disturbed, happy, sad, I want to laugh because it has simple made me feel something.

My poetry comes from a very deep and dark place. A culmination of thoughts, realities, experiences and feelings all collide in lines upon lines of poetry. I can’t write about pretty flowers or cats; I write about feelings, observations; it is cathartic and my very own way of expressing myself.


“Meanwhile in my head, I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.”
― Anne Sexton

It has occurred to me over the years that poets have so much in them but they feel they have to write in a certain way. Please don’t let stuffy old poetry magazine editors put you off, create your art for you and always remember this very simple thing:

Art is subjective.


We cannot please everyone. If we did, then how boring would that be? Keep at it, be true to yourself and in the words of Patti Smith:

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

An Interview With Witch Casket


Let me introduce you to Witch Casket, a company based in the north of England. It is run by two fabulous ladies, a mother and daughter team; Deb and Ella, who bring you magical goodies right to your door every month. From their little magical shop to a witchy mail order company, I was intrigued to find out more about their story.

Let’s begin at the beginning. You opened up your own magical shop in Yorkshire. Tell me, what inspired you to open up Practical Magick?

It was kind of an impulse thing really – I was looking for something to fill the gaps between my filmmaking and since I quit my day job about seven years ago, I’ve always made a living doing the things I love – so when I was looking to start a new business, opening Practical Magick just felt right…there certainly aren’t enough magick shops around, and it was something I knew and felt passionately about. Once I made the decision to do it, within 4 days our doors were open! I’m not one for over-thinking; my gut instinct has always served me well.

From there you went on to close the shop and open up Witch Casket, a subscription service that sends off a box of magical goodies to witches each month. How did that idea come about?

That was Ella’s idea! And it turned out to be a way better idea than either of us had imagined! It started as a way to boost the shop income through the slow winter months, but within 2 months we were shipping our magickal caskets to over 20 countries across the globe! It was then we had to make the decision on where best to focus our energies.

How do you decide what goes into each casket? What gives you inspiration?

That would be gut instinct again! We know there are witches of all religions and it is important to us that our caskets appeal to everyone, so we don’t follow the Sabbats – but we do sometimes take inspiration from the time of year (February’s Witch Casket had a ‘love’ theme running through it for example). Once we’ve (usually impulsively!) decided on the theme, the caskets are then very carefully curated so they flow nicely and present beautifully; as well as the unusual spiritual supplies and altar-ware we source, the caskets also include our own specially created spells, herb blends, rituals, etc. – those are exclusive to us and not available anywhere else.

With your experience in selling witchy wares; tell me more about your history in the magical world.

I’ve always been a very private person about my beliefs. Of course with launch of Practical Magick my knowledge of witchcraft, magick, tarot etc. was made public …but I still like to keep things as private as possible.

Witchcraft and spirituality seems to be very popular at the moment – why do you think this is? Does the success of the Witch Casket show this?

I think there are two things happening right now – firstly, in this fast-paced, materialistic, image-obsessed world, people are (thankfully) seeking out what’s really important and becoming more spiritually aware. I’m happy to see so many people learning that ‘energy’ is all important – that intent and belief are paramount, and that if we do things with the right energy and focus, we can make amazing changes to our world.

And then, going back to the image-obsessed, for some people it’s a fashion statement…and it certainly is very fashionable right now!

We’ve found that our subscribers tend to be genuine witches – and they really appreciate the time, care, and love that goes into the Witch Caskets each month. I’m a huge believer in positive energy, and as we prepare the caskets, they are filled with our very best intentions and love…there’s an authenticity to them, because we ourselves believe in what we’re doing, and that’s very important – and I truly believe the Witch Caskets make a difference to the people receiving them.

If someone was wanting to find out more about the world of witchcraft, which book would you recommend to them? You can pick more than one if you wish.

This is the question I’m probably asked most often – and after giving it a lot of thought, I’d say ‘read nothing – or read everything…and then find your own truth!’ I don’t believe any one book alone is of much use…after all, that’s one person’s view and your chosen path should never be based on any one person’s beliefs.

Do you have anything new coming up? Any future plans for Witch Casket or any other projects you want me to share on the blog?

Our plans for Witch Casket are the same as they were at the very beginning – to sprinkle our magick, love, and light across this beautiful planet of ours! We are very blessed to be able to work together, mother and daughter, doing something we love – and we are incredibly grateful for that!

As for new projects, I’m always working on other things…I daresay you’ll hear about them when the time is right!


An Interview with WytchenWood

Rowan Cross

Let me introduce you to some very special people. WytchenWood –  cunning-folk based on the Welsh borders who provide witchcraft supplies in the form of talismans, herbal charms, runes and much more. Every piece is handmade with their local ingredients. I was very lucky to be able to ask them a few questions about their work and what magic means to them.


You describe yourselves as English traditional witchcraft cunning-folk – what does this mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your everyday lives?

To us it means the continuation of traditional ways; traditional ways of working magic, of seeing our environment and landscape, of being a part of it as our families have traditionally been for generations.  Of remembering and continuing to tell the stories, legends and folklore of the land we are a part of, the knowledge of where to find certain flora and fauna and the stories that have built up over time concerning the areas in which they grow; these stories add into the ‘personalities’ of the plants and trees in that particular locale.

The term ‘cunning-folk’ is used by us to denote that we cannot be put in a box with a tidy, neat label such as ‘witch’, ‘druid’ or any other definitive and that we owe allegiance to no-one except our spiritual lineage, traditions, the Genii Loci and our familiars. That we do not follow a set doctrine, that our ways are adaptable to time and circumstances and that we will incorporate whatever works.

It is all naturally incorporated into our everyday lives through working as ‘Wytchenwood’,  helping people locally that come to us for either charms, divinations or healing.  It’s also in our way of viewing the world and interacting with it.  Also through spending so much time outside in the landscape in all weathers that determines our magical lives!

Why did you decide to start up your shop Wytchenwood?  What was your vision?

We started it because it had been said to us on quite a few occasions that other people might like to have access to our charms and talismans and then some good friends of ours, Lunaorbis, opened their shop in Tintagel.  They needed to add some unique items as stock and we offered to supply some of ours, which we did and the feedback on them was wonderful.  From there, the whole idea of Wytchenwood was born.  The vision was to keep it as authentic as possible, to keep it true to how we work and to allow a wider community access to what we do if they were interested or needed it.

Tell me a bit about where you find your magical ingredients and how it goes from the wild to your shop.

Thankfully we live in such a wonderful and magical area of the country that we don’t have to go searching for our ingredients; they are just there and because we know this landscape so well, we know exactly what grows where.  We are surrounded by ancient woodlands, open grasslands, dells and also watery marshes, so the proliferation of various flora and fauna is enormous.  Usually when we are out walking we just gather anything that we find interesting and lying on the ground; knowing that at some point, it will have a use.  We harvest wild herbs and plants but in such a way as to encourage further growth, never in a way that would diminish them.  Because we spend so much time in the great outdoors, we are usually near by when the seasonal pruning starts and so we gather up as much of the discarded material as we can carry and bring it home but because we live in a ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and of  Special Scientific Interest’, all seasonal work is done with the utmost care and respect, thus having no detrimental impact on the indwelling spirit of the materia magica.

For certain charms or talismans, the wood needs to come from a living tree and so we turn to our spirits and tell them what we need and why.  They will then lead us to a particular tree and after due payment and observations have been made, we are then able to take what we need; notice the word ‘need’, nothing more.

In the creation of our works, we work with our spirits from start to finish; they guide the form, the correspondences and the materials.  Once finished, it is left to come to life, charge if you like, in the cauldron; the belly that will gestate it and give birth to the living creation.  It is them ready to include in our shop.

Herb charm

Witchcraft is definitely becoming more popular with those who are sick of the world we live in and want to find magic in their own lives, as traditional cunning-folk, how would you define magic?

We would define it as being both a state of being and a tool to effect a change.  As a state of being, it is gaining knowledge of the patterns of life, the threads of the web, of being a part of something bigger than oneself and being aware of your place within the web.  It is about being a part of the land and the procession of the Mighty Dead; those magical ancestors that preceded you in walking the land, of honouring those same spirits of place, of adding to the corpus of knowledge that you are now tapping into and adding to, to being guided and taught by them and being a part of that magical web that has it’s anchors in the past but continues throughout time to the present through the endeavours and experiences of different people at different times and in different ways but in this same place.  This gives the ability to see through eyes that are looking to the past, the present and the future; enabling us to see the relevant from the irrelevant and enables us to make much more informed choices in our lives.

On a practical level, it enables us to effect changes; either good or bad, attract or repel, heal or hurt, protect or harm.

Winter Queen Blackthorn Goblins Cross

Can you recommend a book on witchcraft?

This is a difficult one!!  Our particular craft does not come from books as such but ones that I have read that I enjoyed because there were elements that strongly resonated with our own ways were:

Call of the Horned Piper by Nigel Aldercroft Jackson published by Capall Bann

Light form the Shadows by Gwynn published by Capall Bann

Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits by Emma Wilby published by Sussex Academic Press

Mystic Sister: An Interview With Jordyn Schwersky

I discovered Mystic Sister a couple of months back and fell in love with it. A site run by the magical Jordyn Schwersky, I decided to reach out and say hello. Whether you want a tarot card reading, buy healing balms and teas or you want to invite some magic into your life via her blog and guidance – Mystic Sister is the place to go. I was really happy when Jordyn agreed to answer a few questions for the blog because I know you will love her.
When did you first discover you had an interest in reading cards? (both oracle and tarot)
My mom got me into tarot when I was younger, maybe middle-school aged, and she’d read for me and take me to other readers to get my cards read and teach me about the cards. I didn’t start reading myself until I was about 18, though. My interest in oracle cards is fairly recent. I only got my first oracle deck a year or two ago.
Do you have a preference at all? If so, why?
It depends on the question I’m asking. If I want to get more specific I’ll go to the tarot. If I want a more general idea of what’s going on I’ll break out the oracle cards. I also might read with an oracle deck if I’m wondering about something an oracle deck is based on, like the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck or the Black and the Moon Arcana of Astrology. So I don’t really have a preference in regards to tarot vs oracle. I go with what energy feels right.
Why do you think people have such a fear of any sort of card, be it oracle or tarot?
This is a great question, and it has a pretty simple answer. I think it really comes down to not actually understanding what the cards mean. Let’s take the Death card, because that’s one a lot of people are afraid of. This is actually one of my favorite cards in the deck. Often people think it means someone’s literally going to die, or they’re really afraid of losing something. What they don’t see is that this card is also really indicative of rebirth and new growth. So I think the fear just comes from misunderstanding.
Tell me what inspired you to create your amazing site – Mystic Sister.
First of all, thank you! That’s so kind of you to call it amazing. Mystic Sister actually began as a small WordPress blog called Jordyn Myah’s Misadventures. When I was in college getting my Journalism degree, one class I was in actually required us to keep a blog. I focused mine on film and television (I’m a major pop culture junkie). After that class I turned it into a general blog about my life. It slowly grew, and at a certain point I dropped the word Misadventures from the site name so it was just Jordyn Myah, and I began writing more about mental health. It was both a way to cope with my own depression and anxiety as well as a way to educate and reach out to others dealing with mental illness. After a while I decided to start offering tarot readings for money, and shortly after that decided to open the apothecary. (My love of herbalism stemmed from my acne. Homemade herbal skincare products were the first things to actually help my acne, and it grew from there.) When I decided to open the apothecary, I decided to move to more of a brand that went beyond my name, and after months (literally) of agonizing over what to call it, I came up with Mystic Sister. With the name change came a website redesign, and that’s how I got to what you see today!
Is your site your full-time job or do you do other things?
I work part-time for my dad, who is also a small business owner, so that I have a bit of a stable income while I build up Mystic Sister. The goal, though, is to eventually live solely off the income from Mystic Sister.
feel that society has lost its magic in some ways, people are more concerned about material goods so I try and bring as much meaning and magic into my life everyday. In what ways do you make sure you are connected to your calling as a wild woman everyday?
I totally agree with you. As a society we’ve become so disconnected from the Earth and the spirit realm and the magic that used to be a part of everyday life. The good thing is that more and more people are beginning to reconnect to magic, and there are so many ways you can do this. Obviously one thing I try to do is read my cards daily, which is a more overt action. There are also a lot of subtle ways I connect to magic. One thing I do is take greens powder every day. It’s a great way to connect to plants, and I make the action of stirring the powder into orange juice and drinking it a ritual. I also regularly water my plants and see how they’re doing and make that a ritual too rather than a chore. I also light a ton of candles at night and spend time in their light and scent. I also set up an altar in my studio, which is a great way to connect to ritual while making the altar but also to stop and connect to the altar itself whenever I see it without having to do anything. I also read a ton and do a lot of research. I’m really interested in both the magic of the past and in the scientific ways (in terms of herbs) that we’ve come to understand magic today. I also walk my dog everyday and use that time to meditate. I take herbal baths too. I’m also doing ancestral work right now and discovering where my ancestors came from and the magic of their areas. A lot of people think you need to do spells to invite magic into your life, and while spells are fun and often effective, I think the best way to stay magical is to create rituals out of things you do everyday. Just constantly be present and aware of what you’re doing.
You can visit her site right here

To Die For Your Art: A Tribute to Elise Cowen

“The Lady …
The lady is a humble thing
Made of death and water
The fashion is to dress it plain
And use the mind for border” 
― Elise Cowen


I’m not sure why but the first time I ever set eyes on a picture of Elise Cowan I wanted to know more about her. I can’t explain why, I just felt something. What I did find was a marvelous poet with a brilliant mind. She was a woman dressed in black with these thick-rimmed glasses; little did I know just how much I would love her work. Why am I writing about her? Well I know you can find anything you like on the Internet but I want you to know her and read her work. It is a rather sad tale and I believe that no one should ever be left in their literary grave and go unnoticed.

I often wondered, what ever happened to the women of the Beat Generation? They may have written, they may have sat next to Ginsberg in a café or along the bar next to Kerouac but what lurked inside them. Some of these women were thought of as the muse or the girlfriend; the hanger-on. Deep down these women had fire in their bellies and poetry in their souls and it was dying to come out, dying to be heard. Disturbingly, I have read pieces online saying that the Beat women were just not good enough writers but of course every piece of art is subjective; it is for the reader to decide. Elise did not want to be unsuccessful or contained in any way. She hated the fact that becoming a successful writer like the men around her could be an impossible task. She was admitted into hospital because of the deterioration in her mental health but soon checked herself out; she went back to her parent’s house where she committed suicide. Elise was just 28 years old.

Her lifelong depression was certainly reflected in her poetry. Her work was very real, very haunting with a free form structure. It felt distant yet so personal and relevant. During her short life, Elise didn’t have any poems published and it is very sad to learn that only a small portion of her poetry survived of which some have appeared in various collections thanks to a friend of hers. In 2014 a volume was put together from her only surviving notebook, titled Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments, edited by Tony Trigilio.


Recognized only for her associations in the Beat movement, her writing went unseen. We never hear that Elise was a writer, they often say “wasn’t she Ginsberg’s girlfriend?” After her death her parents burnt her work, its content disturbed them with its references to sex and drugs and they didn’t want it going public. To burn the very words that seep from a writer’s soul is to destroy it altogether but her poetry still lives on. Her parent’s decision to burn her work is quite disgraceful but like a phoenix, she certainly did rise from the ashes even if she isn’t around to see just how many people enjoy her work.


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