Naming Transformation

Mundane Magic, Updates

I have changed. Four and a half years of deeply personal, magical work has crested to become a wave of change that I cannot reverse. It signifies both an end and a beginning. In my tradition, we call it: Initiation.

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What is it?

Initiation is a sacred contract with the Universe: a declaration that one is willing to sacrifice their comfort and perception of the worlds as they know them. These things are handed over to carefully chosen initiators and The Powers That Be in exchange for deep Wisdom and a customized journey to one’s own source of Personal Power. This is done so that these witches can be reborn and give back what is needed in the world in their own unique, authentic way. It is done knowing that this evolutionary Work is never finished and serves as a commitment to being challenged to change over and over again in this lifetime and the next.

In the Reclaiming tradition, initiation is not a requirement. Many witches who attend our rituals and have their own daily practices are not initiated; contentment can be found in maintaining one’s own spiritual hygiene through Reclaiming’s Principles of Unity and connecting with others in our communities. It is not a badge of honor that shows superiority or a “deeper dedication” to Reclaiming, but a personal choice that one makes on their own if they feel Called to it.

Why I chose Initiation:

My desire for initiation came in the form of a wish: to love myself and be proud of my life. It arose during a time where I felt lost… where the choices I was making were unhealthy and everything felt disastrously unmanageable. I could not have fully understood what I was in for at the time when I asked to be initiated. All that I Knew was that deep transformation was necessary and that Reclaiming witchcraft was the way that I felt it needed to happen so that my Soul could be truly revived.

Choosing initiators:

My experience of choosing initiators was a two-fold task of vulnerability. First, I needed to find the witches that possess the qualities that I aspired to have within myself. Then, I had to ask them for their consent and help in shifting my energy so that I could become empowered and, in turn, a spiritual leader.

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I chose two bold, powerful people who still intrigue, bewilder and deeply move me.

Independently, they are two enchanting women who call themselves witches: an oracular rose within a patch of briar and a weaver of bones that reveals deep Truth. Together, they are a facilitation team that compassionately revealed to me What Must Be Done. I admired their integrity, active resistance to codependency, ability to be fully present with others and balance of self-care with community service.

They began as my guides. Now, they are my family and I am eternally grateful.

Doing the Work:

Transformation requires a willingness to grow: and growth is often painful.

In order to shift my energy toward that of a priestess, my initiators gave me challenges to address problematic behavior, ignite awareness through first-hand experiences and directly confront my fears . Some challenges required repetition to incorporate magical Will power into my daily habits. Others challenged me to break out of my comfort zone. For me, this Work meant investigating the root of my wounds, choosing which relationships to nourish and serving my communities with humility.

What made this process so unique for me was that I was not always directly told to do these things. I was just told to cast a circle every day for a month, shovel snow for my neighbors without being asked, and make very conscious choices about physical intimacy. It was performing these tasks of growth that allowed for experimentation with support and coming to my own realizations about why they were so necessary in my Becoming.

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The contract for initiation is at least one year and a day. For some (myself included) it takes much longer. A revolution-from-within does not come with it’s own egg timer: time, trust and commitment eventually reveal when a priestess is ready to become initiated.

Initiation Day:

Initiation rituals are secret Workings and vary per line of witches. What I will say about this very special day that happened on the 4th of August, 2018 is that: I felt completely supported. I was fully present. The transformative energy was incredibly potent, yet tender the entire day. And I will never, ever forget it.

This experience was a Rite of Passage that signified the end of my life as I knew it. It was also the birth of a priestess with a new legacy riddled with it’s own challenges to be experienced and fulfilled. This transition becomes official when this priestess accepts her new name and says goodbye to the old one that no longer suits her or her Work.

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It is with great pride and honor that I reveal:

Vasalisa is dead,
and
Aurora has been born.

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The other side:

In the weeks after my initiation into the Bone and Briar line, I can say that things feel very different. I am in the process of reassessing what still feels important in my life. I am also realigning my priorities and discovering how I may best be of service in all of my communities. I don’t have clear answers about a lot of these things so far, but one thing that I can say for sure is that nothing feels certain…. which is intimidating, confusing, thrilling, and empowering.

My Work now:

Vasalisa ventured into the darkness to find her light. It was that brave adventure which caused her to become the light: bringing the dawn, with it’s brightness and magnificent color, back to the place where she once lived. I can’t say that I fully understand the magnitude of what it means to Be the light, but I know that Aurora is here to stay for now and very excited to meet you.

Waving the Wand

Art, Events, Jewelry, Mundane Magic, Tarot

It takes a bold soul to pick up a wand. To hold something that is pulsing with power, that fits perfectly in your hand and feels like an extension of who we are and what we are meant to do…. but does not come with a manual. There are no definite answers when we ask “how do you use this thing?” Just a feeling  of connection. Invigoration. A rush of energy that serves as an invitation to do something big that we cannot even understand yet.

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The Universe offers us wands of potential all of the time. They might not take the form of a wooden stick (although some do) it could be a crowd cheering us on before we go on stage. A phone call from someone we did not expect…. Wands make themselves known as tools that will help us transform ourselves and the world around us. It may not be our eyes that identify them, but our hearts being lit on fire. For me this year, it has been the deep Desire to create obscure beauty and share it with the world.

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I do not have absolute certainty on my side. I have not been given a road map of where I need to go or the specifics of what I need to do. I just follow the hope-fire and continue to take risks. I do this even when I am afraid or not feeling full of confidence. I observe my situation, take a moment and make the next best decision that I can considering the circumstances.

What I do know is that I love to conjure things that do not yet exist in this world. I know how to pick our the supplies that draw my attention and use my gifts to make things that others may enjoy. When I hear a song that someone else has composed or read someone else’s poem that does more to reveal a mystery than create one, I feel a connection to a deeper part of myself. I am moved and made more open. I am so grateful to all of the artists and rebels that put so much work into their craft. I, too, am one of those people and it is now time to give back.

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My work as jeweler, paper artist, photographer and tool-maker is now available on Etsy. Metaphysical jewelry, intuitive collages, divinely inspired magical tools, occult photography that serves as a way to dissect your psyche and much more can be found here, as well as many other creations that are on the verge of manifestation.

I wave my wand and grace is born. What are you creating in the world around you?

Seeking Truth

Mundane Magic

A few days ago, I returned from a week-long stay in England. My sister (who lives there with my brother-in-law) just had her first child, which warranted a visit to meet my new nephew.

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

It had been two years since I had seen either of them in person and over ten years since I had the opportunity to spend an entire week just hanging out. Other members of my family were also able to make the trip, so we spent our time catching up in a beautiful part of the world that I rarely get to see. We reminisced about the adventures we had when we were young, talked about what’s going on in our lives now and cooed over the sweetest baby boy I have ever met.

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

There were numerous things about this trip that deeply impacted me.  I felt gratitude for being able to participate in a reunion with loved ones. I experienced frustration with my country when I saw how environmentally responsible England is (mandatory composting, intentionally higher gas prices and an overall lack of paper towels? YUP.) But the most significant emotion I felt was wonder: the world is so much bigger than I perceived it to be…. and surprisingly, I felt completely comfortable exploring the foreign terrain as well as my options regarding the future when I was there.

Sitting at home now, I find myself feeling like balloon that has slightly shrunk in size. Still afloat, but not as filled as it once was. I still love the family I have created for myself. I enjoy my friends and community. I am ready to get back into the swing of making art and creating change in the world around me, but I can’t help but consider: where am I headed?

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

Asking myself this question is opening a floodgate of many other questions that are not much smaller. Is my job sustainable? Hm. How long can my body withstand it’s physical demands? Uh. Do I want to continue my education? Maybe. Am I willing to do this in a country that might bankrupt me in exchange for a degree? …. Do I want to live in a place where the government doesn’t consider sick leave or health care a right? ….. …. ..

What is important to me?

Considering these tides have made me less than present. I am having conversations, but I am not totally there. What once had shine is now lackluster. I feel overwhelmed. The magnitude of choice and consequence have made themselves known; and I fear what might happen if I don’t figure everything out as soon as possible.

So from this place of uncertainty, yearning and perceived urgency where am I supposed to find the vital answers I seek?

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

It is a source with depth. It is often cryptic, but riddled with content. It is becoming more reliable the more I access it and is willing to speak if I’m willing to listen. It’s name is Intuition and it’s ever present energy is something I can always rely on, even if I cannot understand it at first… and this is exactly where magic crosses over into the mundane:

  • When I am drying my hair, allowing the worry of not-knowing what lies ahead sweep me away, I can choose to ask myself: Am I trusting my inner Self to reveal truth when the time is right?
  • When I am browsing the internet with my breakfast, flipping through pages of potential avenues to pursue, I can allow the warm sensation in my chest alert me of whether or not what I see is for me.
  • When I lay in bed after a long day, feeling completely disconnected from the vision of my future, I can celebrate my bravery for handing my destiny over to the Universe and doing the one thing that has yet to fail me:

Having faith in my Self.

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

If only life were as simple as a small, personalized black book of concrete answers to everything we encounter… It’s a good thing that all the answers I will ever need lie within me.