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Natalie is a Tarot reader, Medium, and a student of Astrology. She is a Priestess in several traditions of Witchcraft, and enjoys all variety of plant medicine, sigil magic, and ecstatic ritual. She spends her time traveling between the veils, studying the dark arts and crafts, and creating ritual goods and self care items for her online store Skeleton Key Shop. Her favorite moments are spent making magic with her coven Deam Lux and snuggling with her bunny familiars.


Santeria, also known as Lucumi or La Regla de Ocha is an initiatory religion with origins in West Africa, that was brought to Cuba, Brazil and other regions of the Caribbean during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Centered around deities known as Orishas, that were often syncretized with Catholic Saints in order to preserve the practice in secret.

I am a Priestess of Yemaya in the Lucumi Tradition, more commonly known as a “Santera”. When you come into my home it looks mostly like everyone else’s. You won’t find huge altars full of statues and candles, or chicken feet hanging from the ceiling. In fact my home looks pretty ordinary besides my penchant for crystals, apothecary jars, and the spaces reserved for my Ancestors and other practices which are usually kept out of sight.

You wouldn’t know what I practice unless I specifically told you, or if you too were a practitioner and able to read the subtle signs. A certain charm on my necklace that is only prescribed during ordination as a priest or the bracelets I always wear that match with none of my outfits.  My close friends know that certain foods are taboo for me.  I also try to avoid getting wet in the rain – also a taboo for me.  Sounds strange, but becoming deathly ill twice after getting caught in the rain makes you realize that your Abuela is sometimes right!  My point is that the Lucumi religion is a highly personalized practice that is fitted to the individual. What is medicine for one person can be poison for another.  

According to the lore of this practice, which is purely oral tradition, we are all born with our ORI.  In new age terms, this is our higher self. This higher self is connected to our life’s path and comes with an innate knowledge of certain things.  It has its own power, or ASHE. Although we have free will to make our way through life, it is our ORI that repeatedly nudges us in the direction of our best life, whether this is through people that we meet, or a seemingly random chain of events.  These moments and people change the entire course of our lives, as it did mine.

 

You wouldn’t know what I practice unless I specifically told you, or if you too were a practitioner and able to read the subtle signs.”

 

I was born into a family that suffers from Bipolar disorder, Depression, and Schizophrenia. Unfortunately, some of my family members committed suicide.  My mother attempted suicide when I was just two years old. She had gone off her medication during pregnancy in order to carry me at great risk to herself.  As we know, postpartum depression is very serious. It is even more so for people already living with mental illness. Miraculously, she survived what should have been a fatal injury.  Still, she was hospitalized with a fractured spine. For the next three years, she would relearn how to walk and perform basic motor functions. During this time, I was cared for by my grandmother.  Abuela was a priestess of Vodou, as practiced in the Dominican Republic. She was also a nurse at an elderly care facility. Every day, I would watch her pray, work, and help the streams of people that came for her assistance.  She would sit me at her altar – in this case and practice, there were many statues and candles – and taught me how to pray.  I prayed every night for my mother to come back to me as she was, although I was warned repeatedly that she may never walk again.  Against all odds and prognoses, she made a full recovery. Though I went back to my normal life, I never forgot my introduction to this world.  My innocent prayers were heard by these mysteries, as they were called.

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Fast forward to my early 20’s.  After years of solitary practice, I found a pagan path where I was exploring traditional witchcraft and being offered initiation.  Coincidentally, I was presented with an opportunity to read tarot in a famous New York botanica (Nudge.) At this time, I had absolutely zero interest in the religions of my culture.  Yet, I was suddenly immersed head first into this world. Instead of crystals, pretty talismans, and perfume oils, I was surrounded by Catholic statues, camphor, cigars, Florida Water, and images of the Orisha.  

 A close friend and colleague had been seeing someone whom she called “Her Padrino.”  She was super secretive about her interactions with this person, which I found rather creepy. Sometimes, she would show up to work dressed completely in white and be eerily silent most of the day.  She was my polar opposite, as I was wearing all black and blasting My Chemical Romance each morning. I was the one that customers would gravitate to for hexing and separation work. Looking back, I realize that I was ANGRY with a lot of things in my life and that this was a perfect outlet at the time.  Though my tireless work was effective, my aura was dark.

 A particularly cool shipment of statues came in one day, and my High Priestess presented me with an extravagant gift, a large statue of the Orisha Yemaya. She was a brown skinned, bare breasted mermaid with a pink tail, a jeweled crown on her head and holding a silver star in her hands (Nudge). This was odd as I was being trained in Initiatory Wicca, which has absolutely nothing to do with Orisha practice, or other African Diasporic religions. (This is the realm of usually ill-informed eclectic witches and a whole separate topic). She said simply, “You should have this. This is you.” I laughed, thanked her and accepted the gift, as alien as it was. Truthfully, this lovely statue stayed in her padded foam box for several years as I had no idea what to do with her.

 

Instead of crystals, pretty talismans, and perfume oils, I was surrounded by Catholic statues, camphor, cigars, Florida Water, and images of the Orisha. ” 


Around the same time my colleague and fellow Bruja invited me to a drumming. An Orisha drumming is not anything like a pagan drum circle. It is normally reserved for initiates or for members of an Ile, a temple or house of Orisha. I don’t know how this even happened, but I went to the event.I could hear the drums before I even entered and they immediately gave me a faint queasy feeling, like butterflies in my chest. When we entered the large room, the air was surprisingly thick and humid. To the left was a huge altar called a Throne. It was adorned with fabric, fruits, sweets and other items gleaming in shades of gold and pink. Three drums were set up in the front of this room.  As the drums were played, my friend and I stayed plastered to the back wall hoping that no one would ask us who invited us, or why we were there, as the girl who had extended the invite in the first place was a no show.

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I watched the people dance, their methodical steps giving way to abandon and wild movements at times that frightened me. A woman danced alone in front of the drums, her clothes plastered with sweat and her face beet red. After a time she was ushered away, only to return with a glistening blue and silver shawl around her neck, her hair wrapped up in another lovely fabric, and several younger people escorting her where she wanted to go, as she seemed to move through the room like a butterfly, speaking to some and ignoring others. I could see the people present crying and I did not understand why.

I honestly felt a pang of panic at this time and I wanted to leave. When I told my friend this, she flatly said that it was too late to leave. Once an Orisha had joined the event, possessing an initiate, it would be considered extremely rude to walk out the door, and there was no way of doing it sneakily as they (the Orishas) were capable of seeing and hearing everything in the room at once, including our thoughts. Now I was truly shitting myself and broke out in a cold sweat, when this woman immediately made eye contact with me and walked straight in my direction. At first I returned her gaze, but the closer she drew, the more unsettling it became and I shifted my eyes down towards my feet.

She came right up to me and grabbed my chin upwards. At this moment I was being yelled at by my friend who was trying to show me how to properly greet The Orisha, but I was frozen to the spot and her grip on my face was not soft. As per the woman who appeared by her side to translate, this was the Orisha Yemaya who was speaking to me (Nudge).  She proceeded to speak about my mother’s accident (I had never shared this with anyone at that point in my life as I was too ashamed). She said that the spirits of my homeland had heard my prayers saving my mother and myself from living out that tragedy, but that I ultimately belonged to HER, and to all of them. I opened my mouth to ask how and my friend shook her head rapidly at me with bulging eyes. Instead I nodded and crossed my arms, bowing my head a little, as I had seen others do. She passed her beautiful embroidered cloth all over my body, and I felt the crackle of energy like electricity as all the hairs on my arms and head rose. Her last words to me were “Don’t worry, you will see.”  I did see.

 

Once an Orisha had joined the event, possessing an initiate, it would be considered extremely rude to walk out the door, and there was no way of doing it sneakily as they (the Orishas) were capable of seeing and hearing everything in the room at once, including our thoughts.”

 

The chain of events to follow were less like nudges and more like blows upside the head!  I chose to share this to show something that few share on Social Media. The magic of these Orisha goes way beyond spells and altars, and deep into ancestral healing and realignment with one’s destiny.  It’s an experiential religion that creates deep, personal growth and change for each person it touches. To those seeking the Orisha, I advise you to really SEEK them, so that you can have these life-changing and miraculous experiences for yourself.

I was recently moved to tears and brought to my knees in front of an Orisha, Babalu Aye (syncretized with Saint Lazarus, Patron of illness and disease) after hearing that a member of my Ile, an elder and sister to me within this practice, was now Cancer Free. This beautiful and humble Orisha not only alerted her to the unknown illness in her body but also CURED her, through his prescriptions and guidance of her elders, in a time span of only several weeks. These stories and experiences are the truth about this religion and practice. This is why practitioners spend so much time, blood, sweat and tears working ceremonies with our spiritual community as well as with seekers needing help and guidance. If your Orisha practice consists only of spells on an altar, or selfies of your beaded necklaces with cigar in mouth, then I am here to tell you that you are missing out on so much more.  There is a whole world out there, just waiting for you to dig a little deeper.

Yemaya N’Agbe O,

Natalie- Omi-Lagua

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 12.40.09 PMChris ( aka Ammo ) O’Day The Fitness Witch has been in the occult community for over 20 years. She specializes in mind, body and spirit transformations through fitness, nutrition, energy work and magic. She is initiated in Santeria, Quimbanda and ceremonial magic and a 2nd degree Gardnerian High Priestess. She can be reached through her Fitnesswitch page on instagram or her website www.fitnesswitch.com for in person/online personal training, yoga, reiki, tarot and astrology. She currently resides in Redondo Beach California.


In my 15+ years working in the occult community, the most common things I hear are “How do I get ( insert desire here)?” and “Someone put a voodoo curse on me.”

If you believe you are cursed the first question you need to ask is, “Why?”

Why do you assume a Voodoo practitioner put a curse on you? Do you think you’re that special, my little snowflake? Unless you did something to screw one of us over, most of us have better things to do with our time and talents than to throw our energy at you and, if that’s the case than maybe you should check yourself, and start a meditation practice for some self examinaton and really see how you’re behaving because most magical practitioners I know have better things to do.

My other problem with this statement is that it’s always a Voodoo curse, or Santeria, and it’s one of the most ignorant comments that I hear on a regular basis. Did you ever think that the Wiccan in the muumuu might want to make your life a living hell? A curse can be thrown by ANY magical practitioner of any path. Norse practitioners, ceremonial magicians, satanists, to name a few, can all do damage if they want to. Whether or not you’ve been hexed, your first step to be a witch should be mastering your psychic development, which includes psychic self defense and strengthening your energetic field ( the invisible “egg” shape surrounding your body ) not “I want to do a love spell to force that person who’s never been nice to me to be my boy/girlfriend,” not “I want to summon a Goetic demon etc, etc, so and so fucking forth. STOP! Before you hurt yourself, seriously.

To be a successful practitioner of magic you need to master yourself, not your external circumstances, first.

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When you change, the world around you changes but if you’re only trying to control your environment all you’re doing is AVOIDING YOUR SHIT. Yes, I said your shit. Don’t look at me like that, we’ve all got a lot of things about ourselves that we’d rather not look at. On top of that, we project our issues onto those around us if we are not self-aware. Whether you like it or not, those people that piss you off so much are mirroring something back at you that you’d rather not see in yourself. The fastest and easiest way to strengthen your aura and, not only protect yourself from others but also to protect others from you ( no one wants your crap, keep it to yourself please! ) is what’s called the egg of light visualization.

Stand up with your feet together, arms at your sides and close your eyes. Now imagine that your entire body is encased in an egg extending approximately 9 inches all the way around you, including under your feet and above your head. Visualize a bright blue light filling the egg. Maintain that blue light while seeing a silvery white sphere a foot above your head and slowly allow the silvery white energy from the sphere to enter your egg and the crown chakra at the top of your head. Let it drip down into your throat, chest, arms and fingers, your back, hips, legs and feet to the tip of your toes and feel this light energizing every cell in your body. Hold the egg shape and the silvery energy in your minds eye as long as possible. When it fades know that it is still there and protecting you even though you can no longer see it. By practicing this exercise a few minutes a day you will soon be able to make it appear at a moments notice just by thinking about it. The best part about mastering this practice is that it improves your life in general from increasing your self confidence and vitality but also by being able to pick up on negative people and troubling situations before they occur.

And at the end of the day, if you REALLY need to send someones crap back at the them, just throw their name or a picture inside a mirrored compact with some command, control, and compel oil, wrap tape completely around it, and then throw it somewhere dark and forget about it.

 

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witchywisdoms.com

Welcome back to the WAYIYJ Podcast!!!

Season 3, Episode 9 is live!

I’m coming to you today with Dana Suchow, activist behind Do the Hotpants, to talk about being vulnerable! We discuss how your brand evolves with you, fear behind vulnerability and growth, and allowing space for others.

Find her on:

Listen up and stay witchy ( *)

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Tune in below and on iTunes, and be sure to subscribe and leave a rating!!! ( *)

Theme song by Cody Valentine

Why I Always Romanticized the Word “Tragic”


I remember being 13 and wanting to be miserable. 

You know the saying, “misery loves company”? 

Misery loves familiarity. And romanticizing tragedy was so aligned with my state at that time. I needed tragic to be romantic so I could feel a sense of worth. 

There was something about the skinny, miserable, cigarette smoking girls I would see in movies that was glamorous to me. It was like validation. But I wasn’t looking at the big picture. I was looking to feel comfortable, instead of getting UNcomfortable and completely changing my state. 

My perspective was looking across the floorboards to find loose change under couches, instead of standing up and seeing the entire room. My view was low and targeted, instead of vast and abundant. 

This was very reminiscent of the 8 of Swords. Blindfolded and bound, unaware of the way out that was right in front of me at the time. Tragedy wasn’t the answer, opening my eyes was. 

I needed to see the World. I needed to view the fulfillment you can achieve by waking up. I couldn’t feel whole without getting out of my own head. And once I did, the magic happened. 

If this sounds like you, and you love tragedy, and negativity follows you, it’s time to step back. Every time you feel down, think of your mental state. You are your own prisoner; you can open the cell at any time. Get out of your head, and stay witchy ( *)

WednesdayWisdoms: Standards, What?!

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To continue this weeks theme of creating standards and boundaries in love in order to reinforce the positive beliefs in yourself, we’re going to do some writing exercises and watch some movies.

First, pick three movies or tv shows in which you absolutely adore one of the characters romantically and make a profile for each one. Write a list of pros and cons for each character and from there, we’ll pick out the things you’d like to look for in a potential mate.

For example, if Mr. Big is your type, you need to create a list for what you find so attractive and be HONEST. If his womanizing ways turn you on, we need to explore that and find out why. For the most part, we need to dismantle old, unconscious beliefs before we create new and healthy ones.

If you love his sense of fashion, or that he finally stepped up in the end, then write that down too. Your pros and cons are subjective, but each quality needs to be explored.

So for each of the three characters, write three qualities in each column. Notice any overlaps. Try to find out what something seemingly negative or unhealthy lights your fire. Get CURIOUS.

This might come to a bit of a shock, because this is perhaps the first time you’ve even looked at why you’re attracted to certain kinds of men. And it might be scary, but remember that the future hasn’t happened yet, and you have the ability to change it! Stay aware and stay witchy ( *)

Recurring Dreams


I get asked about recurring dreams all the time. I even used to struggle with them myself. But the funny thing about recurring dreams, or dreams in general, is that they are just metaphorical manifestations of our greatest fears and hopes.

One reader wrote to me recently that she often dreamt of a “frail, depressed girl” who was constantly out of reach. She kept trying to grab and help her, but the girl kept slipping away. And every time she woke up, she was frightened.

I asked her a few questions about her upbringing, and she had faced some neglect in her life. I asked her if she knew how to care for herself and give herself the attention she deserved, and she said not really. Then I asked her if the little girl in the dream could be her, and she didn’t know how to respond.

After she came to the realization that she so desperately wanted to save herself, but did’t know how, she started a healing process. You see, our dreams force our unconsciousness into light. It is in a cryptic, somewhat creepy manner, but it’s enough to grab our attention and make us curious.

The Moon illustrates fears and anxieties coming up from our subconscious. Sometimes we don’t know what is buried there, nor are we willing to uncover it. But let me tell you, if it wants to be heard, it will be.

In this instance you must embody the Fool. You must embark on this journey to find the pain that is plaguing you. And if it is so unconscious that you need help to discover what it is, I am always only an email away.

Get dreaming, and stay witchy ( *)

Why a Job Won’t Give You A Sense of Purpose If You Aren’t Living Purposefully

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To piggy back on my WednesdayWisdoms exercise, I want to dive a little further into my experience with career:

Throughout my life, I had always put pressure on finding a dream job. I have worked in the service industry since age thirteen, and worked full time through college, but it never fulfilled me. I always dreamed I was destined for more.

In the search, over time, I lost my path. I knew I needed certain things out of a job, but I lost my creativity. And to a point, I would take any job that had a fancy title.

When I got the chance to work as a general manager in a restaurant, I thought that that was it for me. I thought that one day I would take over and have a couple of restaurants in New York, but then, as with the crumble of my life at the time, I lost the job, and felt that I had lost everything.

I poured all of my energy into this job and into my toxic relationship and none of it into ME. I was not living with purpose because I felt I had none. I tried to find it in a man and a job, and when I lost both I felt that my purpose was taken from me. But, on the contrary, it was inside me the entire time.

Much like the Hermit of the Major Arcana, it was time for some serious soul searching. My purpose was in there somewhere, I just had to find it.

And my purpose, as with I believe all women’s purpose, is to live an authentic life. My authenticity stems from my intent to help. And once I carved out some boundaries around it, I’ve made it my career. My purpose has given me what I so desired. And it runs deep. Deeper than any title that wouldn’t, or couldn’t, serve me.

Now, like the World card shows, I feel a sense of fulfillment. And it’s because I’m listening to my body and my soul. I’m living out my will. I am not hushing my creativity or silencing my innate need to nurture.

So what is your soul screaming? What is the purpose you seek out to live? Who is the woman inside of you trying to be? If you listen to her and live with purpose, purpose will live with you back.

Live purposefully, and stay witchy ( *)

 

From Survivor to Thriver

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Since I have been hosting my podcast, I have asked my guests a final question that is always the same: When you look in the mirror today, who do you see?

And almost every single time they answer: a survivor.

All of my guests, and all of the women in the world, are survivors. At least to some degree, every woman has beat the odds to be in the position she is now. It’s an extraordinary thing.

But when I think of a survivor, I think of someone in tattered clothes with a burning wreckage behind them that they’ve just escaped. I think of a beautiful woman with a look of determination on her face as she walks away from the flames. She did it. She got out.

But how do we fast forward to a day where that same woman is prospering and showered?

Survivor–> Thriver.

Staying stuck in the parameters of a survivor is limiting. The memories of what you have survived are in the near past, and are still defining you as a human.

As the Chariot suggests, you have overcome an opposition. You are victorious. But now what?

To move in the direction of thriving, to feel the warmth, radiance, and abundance of the Sun, we need to heal and forgive. We need to put those memories behind us so we can move forward in our journey. We will never forget them, they are part of our story, but they no longer are the asterisk next to our name. They are at the very bottom of our Wikipedia page, below the many successes we have conquered due to the skills and knowledge we gained from those fateful tests.

We all move at our own pace towards thriving. It takes a long time to heal and reach forgiveness. But holding on to pain holds us back. Get thriving and stay witchy ( *)

Tales From My Bedroom Floor: Volume 5, The Victim

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Volume 5 is now up on My Trending Stories! Go read here:  https://mytrendingstories.com/article/tales-from-my-bedroom-floor-volume-5-the-victim/

 

In this six part series, I go through times that were pivotal in collecting my personal and detrimental belief system, all while crying on my bedroom floor.

And if you like my writing so far, please share and comment. I’m working on a new and long term project and would really like some feedback on my writing style. Thanks ya’ll and stay witchy ( *)

Where Are You In Your Journey: Episode 1

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I’m SO EXCITED to bring the first ever podcast! Here you’ll meet Hannah Fuller, who shares her story about body image, competition, and carving out an identity in an image-driven industry.

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www.itsafullerlife.com

Please enjoy here, on Soundcloud through Shawn Engel, and on iTunes