Modern Witch: Witchcraft in the 21st Century
Join Devin Hunter for insights, magic, and pop culture as we celebrate modern witchcraft, mysticism, and the occult in the 21st century.
Devin Hunter is a professional witch and the resident House Medium at The Mystic Dream in Walnut Creek, Ca. He holds third-degree initiations in both the Northern Star Tradition of Wicca as well as the Dianic Tradition of Witchcraft (the Cult of Diana) and is the founder of his own tradition, Sacred Fires. His AV Club favorited podcast, the Modern Witch, has helped thousands of people from all over the world discover and develop their magical abilities. Devin is currently teaching with the Black Rose School of Witchcraft and is the reigning Master of Ceremonies at the New Orleans Witches’ Ball.
I have to admit, in my world the mere mention of Szuszanna Budapest is often followed by a heavy sigh and an eye-roll. I haven't taken her seriously since the whole pantheacon debacle a few years back. Like many contemporary pagans I feel that she has been less of an ally the past few years and more like the crazy aunt at the party we all try to avoid. She is famous for her stance against anything Y chromosome related and has on several occasions been verbally abusive to members in the trans-community. I had grown almost comfortable with my distaste of all things Z Budapest, after all each time she opened her mouth she only reaffirms my opinion. Then she goes and ordains a man.
Within our tradition we celebrate the sabbats as they occur astrologically. This year astrological Lammas will happen on Friday, August 8th when the sun enters 15* Leo. Traditionally Lammas is celebrated as the first of the three neo-pagan harvest festivals with roots driven deep in Irish and Celtic folklore. At 15* Leo we find a fixed star by the name of Dubhe (pronounced DUB-ee) (Bear in Arabic) which is associated with psychic power and destruction. Dubhe is also referred to as “The Eye” or “Pivot of the Universe” and makes up the center of Ursa Major’s spine.For our Lammas ritual we combine both the terrestrial fascination of the first harvest with the celestial alignment of this great star.
Author, tarot creator, and pagan leader Courtney Weber joined me on the latest episode of The Modern Witch Podcast. Our conversation was such a blast that I had to send her a few more questions. For the full interview head on over to The Modern Witch PodCast.
DH: The New York pagan scene has been exploding over the past few years. As a pagan Leader within that community what would you say are some of the major reasons for this renaissance?
In Black Rose we celebrate the longest day by honoring Lucifer the Witch King. In our tradition’s mythology Lucifer is the bringer of light and is personified by the brilliant shining sun. This Midsummer we will be invoking the spirit of Lucifer through an adaptation of one of our most treasured practices known as Kala. During Kala we gather energetic blockages and purify them with the power of our own light. We finish this ritual by consuming this energy, now instead of it being a toxic blockage it is nutritious power that can fuel us.
I have been a professional witch and psychic for eleven years. In that time, I have developed many beliefs based on hands-on experience. When I came to the Craft, it was for all the right (for me) reasons: to obtain the power and strength to climb out of the confines of the small town I grew up in. It has taken me many years to achieve this goal. Having done so, I began to cultivate a new set of goals: namely obtaining security.
One of the beliefs I have developed in a decade-plus of magickal practice is this: if you have the ability to do better for yourself, you have the spiritual obligation to do so.