Interview with Astrea Taylor – Author of Intuitive Witchcraft

Q: Your new book, Intuitive Witchcraft, comes out on the 8th April and has already topped the charts on Amazon, which is an incredible feat! How does it feel to have written such a highly anticipated book? 

Thank you! When Intuitive Witchcraft got a #1 ranking in the category for “New Releases for Wicca & Witchcraft,” I was thrilled. It was absolutely a dream come true.

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about what inspired you to write the book? 

I’m the product of a New Age upbringing and several strange interactions with the otherworld, both from a very young age. I’ve never been a part of a witchcraft or pagan tradition, but I’ve always led a very spiritual life.

I decided to write Intuitive Witchcraft to explain how someone can navigate through the world using intuition and witchcraft and be outside of any pagan/witchcraft tradition. I felt the need to explain how I operate and maybe inspire other people to practice as they see fit as well.

Photo: Astrea Taylor

Q: How would you define intuitive witchcraft? 

Intuitive witchcraft is the synthesis of personal intuition and witchcraft. Whenever we do our spiritual/magical practices, we have the opportunity to show up for ourselves by using our intuition. Intuitive witchcraft advocates for creating your own spirituality in accordance with your intuition. Because there are no rules, it can look like a lot of different things.

The biggest thing about intuitive witchcraft is that intuition is infused into all of the magical practices. It’s part of everything, from choosing the right intention, writing your own spells, developing your own personal correspondences, choosing tarot cards, and deciding on what topics to research or study. We basically check in with ourselves and feel the energy of the options before us, and choose the one we’re most in alignment with. 

In the pagan community, a lot of people talk about “the pagan path.” There’s an implication that the big traditions like Wicca, Druidry, Asatru, and so on, have these wide paths through the forest of spirituality.

I see intuitive witchcraft as “the path without a path.” It’s like stepping off the beaten trail and into the wild forest, then going wherever your intuition tells you to go. You never know what you’ll be studying or practicing in the coming months, but you do know that it’ll be in total alignment with your intuition.

Q: Can anyone incorporate it into their practice?

Absolutely. Anyone can use intuitive witchcraft in their practices. I think most people already use their intuition, and many of the best pagan authors advocate for it.

For some people, intuitive witchcraft is their only practice. For other people, intuitive witchcraft is more of a side-practice that accompanies their tradition.

Q: In your article for Patheos you talk about redefining the term “eclectic” witchcraft. With witchcraft becoming more accepted by the mainstream, do you think it’s important to bring fresh perspectives to existing labels and definitions?

Yes, I believe it’s very important for witchcraft to evolve. The term “eclectic” has always been a very loose label. It describes a mishmash of spiritualities, but it doesn’t explain why someone chooses to do what they do.“Eclectic” also originated from a time when there was rampant cultural appropriation, which is something we all want to avoid.

By improving and evolving our labels, we can refresh our own intentions and the implications behind them. We can infer that we’ve given a lot of thought to our choices. We can imply that we try our best to be respectful of others and other cultures. We can tell others that our paths constantly change, and we grow in accordance with what we know about ourselves and the world at the time.

Q: Who are some of your favourite witchy inspirations?

I absolutely adore Selena Fox, the Circle Sanctuary High Priestess. I’ve seen her in action for many years, and she exudes so much energy and strength. Her work has changed the face of witchcraft for the better.

Lana Del Rey is another witch who has carved her own strange and beautiful path. I feel a lot of magic in her music.

One of my favorite witchcraft authors is Lisa Marie Basile. She makes witchcraft both deeply personal and profoundly healing.

Lastly, Alexis Rakun is one of my favorite witchcraft artists. Her work is utterly transcendent, and she gets it right every single time.

Photo: Rob Badger

Q: You recently wrote a blog post on your website about gatekeeping in the witch community, which seemed to strike a chord with your followers on Instagram. Why do you think this is such a hot topic in the witch community at the moment? 

As I understand it, gatekeeping can be defined in two ways. The first is when traditions keep their wisdom behind gates and only let people in who have earned it. I have no problems with that whatsoever.

The second definition of gatekeeping is when someone tries to control the definitions of words like “witch” and “witchcraft.” The people who do this are pretending to have more power and authority than others. For whatever reason, they think they have the right to judge everyone else.

In reality, they’re trolls. No one is better than anyone else. Everyone has the right to choose their own spiritual path—it’s the second amendment to the US Constitution.

Pushing back on these gatekeeping trolls is a hot topic because they’re spewing their harmful opinions everywhere, on every social media platform. I’ve seen more harmful comments from them than I can count. It’s absolutely insane that I get more hate from people within the pagan and witching communities than I do from Christians.

Many people are intimidated by these trolls, and in response, they shut down their spirituality. I think that’s so sad. But lately, a lot of people, myself included, refuse to bow down. We’re in our power and we’re doing whatever we want with our spiritualities.

I feel like I’m one of the people at the helm of this battle, especially with messages like, “your witchcraft is valid,” and “you’re a spiritual authority too” and “yes, you really can create your own spirituality.”

I have a huge platform with my blog, and I want to use it to empower people. It’s an honor to be able to spread these kinds of messages and stand against a sea of hatred and willful misunderstanding.

Photo: Rob Badger

Q: As well as writing books, you’re also skilled at fire dancing. How did your journey with fire dancing begin?

I learned fire dancing at a pagan gathering, of course. I decided to go on the road with fire dancing in various cities while visiting friends across the country. The economy was in a recession, and I couldn’t find a good job. I was making minimum wage and working only 20 hours a week, so it was a no-brainer. That adventure lasted for two years before I settled down in my hometown again, where I formed several fire dancing groups, including the one I’m with now, Aurora Fire.

Q: Do you incorporate fire dancing into your craft?

Yes. All the people in my group practice some kind of magical spirituality. There are times when we call upon a deity’s energy. We’ve also performed fire rituals and meditations for the public.

Perhaps the most powerful time we used it was to lift people’s spirits after a mass shooting in 2019. I developed fire props and an outfit to bring Hekate Phosphoros to the city, in her role as the torch-bearer and way shower through the underworld. I felt her energy run through me as we gave everyone light and healing.

Thank you so much for your time, Astrea!

Astrea’s book Intuitive Witchcraft is released on 8th April. You can find out more about the book and Astrea’s other works on her website and Instagram page.

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