You might know him as The Glam Witch; in addition to reading tarot and presenting witchcraft workshops nationally, Michael Herkes is the author of the newly-released The Complete Book of Moon Spells, in addition to The GLAM Witch: A Magical Manifesto of Empowerment with the Great Lilithian Arcane Mysteries. We sat down with Michael to learn more about his witchcraft journey, the making of his books, and what’s next for him as a professional in the witching world.
Q: Can you tell us about your own magical journey, and the moment you embraced the title of “witch?”
MH: I’m sure others say this too but I think I can really say I was born a witch. I just had such a love for the moon, femininity, serpents, and witches as a kid growing up in the 90s. So I naturally came into modern witchcraft as a result of that. I was a pre-teen right as Buffy and Charmed started to use the terms “witchcraft” and “Wicca” interchangeably and I found my first book of witchcraft, Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch at a local bookstore. It was then that I would say I really embraced the title of witch. I was really having a hard time in school and didn’t have any friends at that time. Witchcraft helped give me purpose, strength, and a sense of empowerment. I knew that I had found my calling.
Q: Who (or what) has been most influential in your magickal training or spiritual background?
MH: Fiona Horne and Lilith can both equally wear the crown for most influential! In fact, it was Fiona’s work that really helped me to embrace Lilith as my patroness. I had first come across Lilith a few years before my witch ways began from a comic book. I really loved everything about her and then saw her again in Fiona’s books and television appearances. I often say that Fiona was my literary high priestess because her books have really inspired me and my magic.
Q: You have two books already on the market: The GLAM Witch and The Complete Book of Moon Spells. First things first, can you tell our readers about The GLAM Witch? What was the inspiration for the book, and what can they expect to learn from it?
MH: The GLAM Witch is really a documentation of my years of practice as an eclectic solitary witch and devotee of Lilith. I really wanted to write the book I always wanted that didn’t exist growing up. I wanted something that was very modern, yet deep, and anchored in the teachings of the potent and powerful goddess I am spellbound over. When I was thinking about the title of the book I wanted to call it The GLAM Witch both as a nod to this persona I’ve created as me–this femme forward, queer man, who loves fashion, aesthtic, and all things glamourous, while also being true to Lilith, who Doreen Valiente once referenced as the “dark glamour of the moon”. In my day job, I am exposed to a lot of companies who use acronyms so I started to think about what “glam” could represent and while listening to this song “Please Don’t Ruin This For Me” by Tennis, “Great Lilithian Arcane Mysteries” came to mind and it stuck! The book is a bit autobiographical, while also giving a thorough overview of Lilith’s full story throughout history. I also give an overview of five different magical practices I work with and their relationship to Lilith: psychic development, Lilithian astrology/shadow work, glamour magic, sex magic, and a bit of bitchcraft! I would say that anyone looking for a magical text devoted to Lilith would love it but also anyone who is interested in using the book as a template for developing their own unique path outside of the various traditions that are in place today. It’s a book for the rebels.
Q: The Complete Book of Moon Spells is your latest release. What makes this book unique? Does a witch’s practice have to be inspired or influenced by the moon in order to use it?
MH: The Complete Book of Moon Spells is a much lighter tone than The GLAM Witch. It is a fun spellbook that examines the full eight phases of the moon from a magical perspective. I wanted to write something that was a bit more of an ode to the old spell books I grew up with in the early 2000s. Something fun, light hearted, and yet still full of magic. And I wouldn’t say that someone’s practice has to be anchored in lunar workings to benefit from it. There are over sixty spells and potions that I share which can be used as inspiration for any spellcasting or magic a witch wants to work, regardless of the moon phases.
Q: What is your favorite spellcasting method and why?
MH: OMGoddess! Just one?! Well, I love using candles in pretty much all my magical workings (Aries here!), bath spells are fabulous, and of course there is fashion magic…but I would say my favorite spellcasting method is sex magic. Harnessing the power of pleasure through our sensuality is incredibly potent and a major aspect of Lilith’s teachings. Carnal passion is the key to setting my magic free.
Q: As everyone knows, we are totally book-obsessed here at Witch With Books, and we would love to know – who is your favorite witchy author, and what is your favorite witchy book of all time?
MH: Fiona Horne! Witch: A Magickal Journey is still 20 years later my favorite witch book of all time. It really helped to facilitate my practice. Fiona’s latest book The Art of Witch is incredible too, and one I definitely recommend. It is a bit more geared towards practitioners with a couple of years under their broomsticks, but it is essentially a manifesto for living a magical life. It isn’t a book filled with potions or spells, but rather advice and guidance on ways to be of service to yourself and the world. Where Witch: A Magickal Journey got me to where I am now, I feel that The Art of the Witch is going to take me to where I am going next.
Q: What is next for you? Any exciting projects in the works?
MH: There is always something going on with me–I have a long list of projects for the future. But so far, what I can share is that I just contributed to a collaboration style spell book that should hopefully be announced soon, and have contracts for two new books that I am actively working on. I can’t give away any details on them yet but one should definitely be out next year, and I’m hoping the other will be released next fall/winter. As soon as I am able to share more details I will across all my social media platforms! I will also be a featured presenter at WitchCon in February 2021 and HexFest 2021 which I am super excited for. And I’m sure there will be more virtual classes to pop up here and there.
Q: What bit of witchy wisdom would you like to leave for our readers?
MH: Be nice and have fun. We are living in extraordinary times which are scary and heartbreaking. We don’t need any other negativity out there. So embrace the differences and diversity in the magical community and help to build each other up. Surround yourself by those who are actively doing the same. Build up, not tear down. If someone is criticizing your practice remember that it says more about them (their jealousy or insecurity) than it does yours. Also, I find myself always saying this but have fun! Yes, magic is serious and should be treated as such but it should also be fun and meaningful. Color outside the box a bit and create a practice that is true to you.
Thank you, Michael!
Michael Herkes (Chicago), also known as “The Glam Witch”, has been practicing modern witchcraft since he was a preteen. He is a devotee to the goddess Lilith and focuses his practice on crystal, glamour, moon, and sex magic. He is also an experienced tarot reader, and has presented numerous workshops on witchcraft across the United States. Michael is the author of The GLAM Witch, The Complete Book of Moon Spells, and is a regular contributor to Witch Way Magazine. For more information visit http://www.theglamwitch.com.