Wolfwych Press

Wolfwych-Final croppedWhen life feels so overwhelming awful, you often lose your way. I am not just talking creatively but in many other ways. In some twist, you come out of it feeling slightly grateful, you feel angry and bitter about it but it gives you an idea, a flash of light that you want to harness.

People ask me why I write, I say I love it and it is the most compulsive thing I will ever do. The real truth is that…it keeps me alive.

Read into that how you will. Writing keeps my eyes open, my ears pricked up, my belly full and my heart warm. Without it, I would just be a shell. Some people will never understand this, I know people who don’t and I almost feel like shaking them because:

WHY DON’T YOU IGNITE THE FIRE IN YOUR BELLY??

Sick to death of the media, the fake news, the real news, the evil in this world and the corporate bullshit we are faced with, I wanted to go back to my roots. When I was a teenager, I was a poet that never stopped writing, then I began self-publishing and I was part of a community. That has all dissipated with this “useful tool” we call the internet. Communication is everywhere yet we never really “talk” to each other. I have been unfriended even though I have known people longer in real-life than I have online, I have been ignored in the street my so-called Facebook friends, I have been pushed aside by those that think they are too cool…laughable people..pathetic people that I need no association with any longer. Yet, I have amazing best friends who I will love eternally.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have spotted the name Wolfwych.

Wolfwych is the creator of all things, the mother to her own heart and soul. She is fierce, she is ballsy and won’t put up with your crap.

Wolfwych Press will feature zines that heavily focus on poetry but will also feature essays and fiction. It will also have its own blog and shop with some merch.

I have a shirt being designed by the amazingly talented Matt Wilkins , I have a new zine coming out called Obscurum 2: The Death Issue and I have had an overwhelming response to Sunny Side Down: A Bukowski Tribute.

 

The shop/site is currently being sorted out but you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for updates.

Whilst we all struggle with life, find your fire and your outlet and believe me…the sun will shine again.

The Ancestors Speak: In Conversation With Kelly Harcus

Kelly Harcus is an artist who has created the most wonderful deck of oracle cards. After using them a few times, I really wanted to talk to her about their creation and she very kindly agreed to answers a few questions.  
You can read a review of the cards here

Oracle

Tell me a bit about yourself and your creative life
 Sometimes I say I’m a recovering teacher. I loved it, but I burned out a few years ago and it would have been foolish to continue. I’ve always been a maker, but I didn’t feel like an artist until I discovered art journalling in 2005. It gave me permission to pull in all sorts of techniques and influences. I could express all the feelings that I had no words for. Within the pages of a journal, I didn’t have to please anyone but myself and didn’t have to worry about “good” or “pretty’.
In 2007, I discovered artist books and fell hard. They are still my main practice, at least in what can be called fine art. When I need validation, as we all do sometimes, I can remind myself that my books are in artist book collections and one of them even won a prize. 18 months ago, I took the plunge and started renting a studio, about 20 minutes away from my house. It is a refuge and a joy. I think of everything now in terms of studio rent. Sure, I could have that new dress, but it costs a week of studio rent – no thanks!

What inspires you to create?
 The material itself is often my inspiration, especially with clay, yarn or fabric. Exhibitions often inspire me, not to create how like the artist shown, but just to get my hands into paint and clay again. If you saw me, you’d know how inspired I am by a show, by how tightly I’m clenching my hands behind my back. If you hear I’ve been arrested, it will be at a Henry Moore exhibit for touching everything! Otherwise, it’s usually nature, especially my home province of Nova Scotia in Canada. The curve of a beach rock, a bit off drift wood, a bright leaf tucked into green moss. Another big theme for me is the wabi sabi beauty of human creation returning to nature in peeling paint, dripping rust or sea glass. Even typing this, I’m wiggling my fingers the way I do when I can’t wait to get stuck in – my husband calls them my happy paws.

I absolutely love your oracle deck; can you tell me a bit about what inspired this?
 I was fortunate enough to be at a retreat in Glastonbury held by Erin Faith Allen. It was over Halloween, and we were working with intuition. Polly Pring led us in some powerful ancestor meditation and ritual. Erin’s teaching is very process driven rather than result, so everyone’s work turns out differently. We weren’t “supposed” to be making pictures, or to ascribe meaning to our cards, trusting that this would become clear in the future as we used them. On the contrary though, I awoke early one morning, when my cards were just bits of collage on plain cards. In the liminal space of early morning, I suddenly saw all those faces, nearly human, but nearly spirit too. When I went back to the studio, the faces made themselves even more clear and meanings came through strongly from what had just been random collage the day before. They aren’t like anything anyone else created that weekend, or even like anything I’ve created before. They just really wanted to exist.

Why did you choose to create an oracle deck in particular?
 I’ve craved it since I went back to the cards in 2013 after a long absence. I still want to make a tarot deck, but it seems like such a massive undertaking – I’m sneaking up on it. I was lucky enough to be a teacher in Mindy Tsonas’s Wishcraft Tarot course this year and worked with The Hanged Man for that. I never intended to make these public. They were just for my own use. After a year of reliably powerful guidance, and enquiries from a few friends, I looked into how to have them printed. When I am looking after myself properly, oracle cards, meditation and my journal are part of my best morning routine. There’s something extra powerful in using cards you’ve made yourself. Having said that, please don’t stop me buying more decks!

What are your thoughts on the subject of magic? Do you incorporate it in your daily life? If so, how?
Oh, it varies. I believe in a lot, and then my skeptical side comes in. Often with the cards, when I’m doing a reading, I offer this disclaimer, especially if it’s for someone new to cards: “Maybe this is just a bit of fun. Maybe it’s a way for us to access the wisdom of our subconscious. Maybe it is a message from spirit or the universe.” It’s like I need to give myself permission. The thing is, they’ve been spot on too many times to count. What I really believe is that there is a lot beyond what we know, and maybe a hundred years from now we’ll understand it all better. I have a main altar at home, and several small ones. I take part in a Women’s Full Moon dance – such an amazing experience! I arm myself with crystals suitable for whatever situation I need support in. So I can’t really say I don’t believe, can I?

Do you have any projects coming up you would like to share with the readers?
 Early this year, I got a lot of clarity that as well as my own creative work, part of my purpose in the world is to support others with their creative work. So I’ve been supporting other creatives with tech and admin; so many people have so much to offer, but are stopped because making a website or an ebook feels hard. I’m making aprons, journals and sketchbook wraps to sell on Etsy. I’m running art journal playdates in my studio, and a small story-telling group. In my personal work, I’m just diving deep into my own art journals.

The cards available to buy from her Etsy shop

The Power Of The Witch (1971)

Doreen

Welcome to the 1970’s.

Interest in the occult was rife and the rise of Wicca brought many people to the craft. Although I am not personally someone who follows Wicca, I found this documentary of interest for historical reasons. It has to be said that this is a very naive documentary in that we are faced with those that proclaim that witchcraft is devil worship and there are some, what we call, “media witches” on there. If you can put this aside and enjoy it for it is (it is very much of the time) then you will enjoy it.

It features Cecil Williamson, Doreen Valiente, Eleanor Bone and others.

Blood and Ink

People either love the fact I am a poet or they rip into me like poetry went out of fashion in 1889. I’m sorry that poetry isn’t your thing but neither is watching reality TV or eating animals; we all have our own lives. I do however feel, as a woman, I sometimes get a hard time as a poet. I have heard people write off Sylvia Plath in favour of Ted Hughes as “the real poet”. A comment once made by someone who will remain anonymous was that “poetry suits women, they are great at whining”. Yet male figures who open their hearts to the reader is seen as the hero. Women poets are seen as weaklings.

Sylvia Plath

Before this ridiculousness came upon me as an adult, I was a child poet, unpublished and happy as hell. I started writing poetry in school and I loved it so much I decided to keep writing on the weekends. I was enveloped by the idea that the use of colours, textures, landscapes and feelings could be put into one little poem. Of course, I copied the major poets in style and although that was enjoyable, I felt I didn’t quite have my own style yet, that would come with practise, I knew that much. Over the years I read poetry religiously and what has occurred to me is that my style is not of the formulaic way. I appreciate good rounded poetry with its certain number of stanzas etc but that is all I see it as, a great poem, in a technical sense. I however, believe that art should make you feel something. I hear amazing guitar solos in songs but sometimes they just have no groove, I hear people singing songs written by others but they have no soul, I see amazing landscape paintings but they give me no warmth…I want to feel, I want to be upset, surprised, disturbed, happy, sad, I want to laugh because it has simple made me feel something.

My poetry comes from a very deep and dark place. A culmination of thoughts, realities, experiences and feelings all collide in lines upon lines of poetry. I can’t write about pretty flowers or cats; I write about feelings, observations; it is cathartic and my very own way of expressing myself. It is a therapy that stops me from feeling utterly insane.

Anne Sexton

“Meanwhile in my head, I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.”
― Anne Sexton

It has occurred to me over the years that poets have so much in them but they feel they have to write in a certain way. Please don’t let stuffy old poetry magazine editors put you off, create your art for you and always remember this very simple thing:

Art is subjective.

Patti Smith

We cannot please everyone. If we did, then how boring would that be? Keep at it, be true to yourself and in the words of Patti Smith:

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

“The Ancestors Speak” Oracle Deck

Oracle

Created in Glastonbury on Samhain in 2016, these are a wonderful deck of cards that are unusual in the most glorious arty way. “The Ancestors Speak” oracle deck has been created using a mix-media collage technique and they are so unique.

Created by artist Kelly Harcus, these cards can be used for daily guidance or can be used in a more comprehensive spread. They are the same size as tarot cards and comprise of 22 cards which matches the number of the Major Arcana in Tarot. They are very handy to pop in your bag if you fancied doing a reading for someone or maybe just a contemplative moment in the woods. There is no complicated explanation for these cards, or symbology that leaves you baffled; they speak to you through the practical use of text on the cards and most importantly; using your intuition. The images are very thought provoking so that will certainly get you inspired for your reading.

For those of you who undertake ancestral work then these cards are something you should look into owning.

You can buy them right here

An Interview With Witch Casket

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Let me introduce you to Witch Casket, a company based in the north of England. It is run by two fabulous ladies, a mother and daughter team; Deb and Ella, who bring you magical goodies right to your door every month. From their little magical shop to a witchy mail order company, I was intrigued to find out more about their story.

Let’s begin at the beginning. You opened up your own magical shop in Yorkshire. Tell me, what inspired you to open up Practical Magick?

It was kind of an impulse thing really – I was looking for something to fill the gaps between my filmmaking and since I quit my day job about seven years ago, I’ve always made a living doing the things I love – so when I was looking to start a new business, opening Practical Magick just felt right…there certainly aren’t enough magick shops around, and it was something I knew and felt passionately about. Once I made the decision to do it, within 4 days our doors were open! I’m not one for over-thinking; my gut instinct has always served me well.

From there you went on to close the shop and open up Witch Casket, a subscription service that sends off a box of magical goodies to witches each month. How did that idea come about?

That was Ella’s idea! And it turned out to be a way better idea than either of us had imagined! It started as a way to boost the shop income through the slow winter months, but within 2 months we were shipping our magickal caskets to over 20 countries across the globe! It was then we had to make the decision on where best to focus our energies.

How do you decide what goes into each casket? What gives you inspiration?

That would be gut instinct again! We know there are witches of all religions and it is important to us that our caskets appeal to everyone, so we don’t follow the Sabbats – but we do sometimes take inspiration from the time of year (February’s Witch Casket had a ‘love’ theme running through it for example). Once we’ve (usually impulsively!) decided on the theme, the caskets are then very carefully curated so they flow nicely and present beautifully; as well as the unusual spiritual supplies and altar-ware we source, the caskets also include our own specially created spells, herb blends, rituals, etc. – those are exclusive to us and not available anywhere else.

With your experience in selling witchy wares; tell me more about your history in the magical world.

I’ve always been a very private person about my beliefs. Of course with launch of Practical Magick my knowledge of witchcraft, magick, tarot etc. was made public …but I still like to keep things as private as possible.

Witchcraft and spirituality seems to be very popular at the moment – why do you think this is? Does the success of the Witch Casket show this?

I think there are two things happening right now – firstly, in this fast-paced, materialistic, image-obsessed world, people are (thankfully) seeking out what’s really important and becoming more spiritually aware. I’m happy to see so many people learning that ‘energy’ is all important – that intent and belief are paramount, and that if we do things with the right energy and focus, we can make amazing changes to our world.

And then, going back to the image-obsessed, for some people it’s a fashion statement…and it certainly is very fashionable right now!

We’ve found that our subscribers tend to be genuine witches – and they really appreciate the time, care, and love that goes into the Witch Caskets each month. I’m a huge believer in positive energy, and as we prepare the caskets, they are filled with our very best intentions and love…there’s an authenticity to them, because we ourselves believe in what we’re doing, and that’s very important – and I truly believe the Witch Caskets make a difference to the people receiving them.

If someone was wanting to find out more about the world of witchcraft, which book would you recommend to them? You can pick more than one if you wish.

This is the question I’m probably asked most often – and after giving it a lot of thought, I’d say ‘read nothing – or read everything…and then find your own truth!’ I don’t believe any one book alone is of much use…after all, that’s one person’s view and your chosen path should never be based on any one person’s beliefs.

Do you have anything new coming up? Any future plans for Witch Casket or any other projects you want me to share on the blog?

Our plans for Witch Casket are the same as they were at the very beginning – to sprinkle our magick, love, and light across this beautiful planet of ours! We are very blessed to be able to work together, mother and daughter, doing something we love – and we are incredibly grateful for that!

As for new projects, I’m always working on other things…I daresay you’ll hear about them when the time is right!

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Lindsay Lane’s Tea Picks

Creativity plays a huge part in my life and always has been; I grew up in an artistic family and it’s something I am very proud of. Both my father ánd my grandfather (from my mother’s side of the family) are -and in my grandfather’s case were- amazing autodidact painters and were mentors to me throughout my creative life, always encouraging me to find my own creative path.

As a child, I visited many art galleries or went to museums where I set eyes on famous paintings from Dutch painters such as van Gogh, Vermeer, Bruegel, Rembrandt, et cetera. In my gut feeling, I knew that art was to be my life’s course. I am simply not made for a 9 to 5 job; I am free-spirited, unconventional and a little bit of a bohemian. However, making a living out of art is almost an art in itself, it is very difficult (Vincent van Gogh comes to mind), but doing what I love most is very important to me.

I started drawing and painting as a very young child and animals were my favorite subject to draw. I spent a lot of time watching my father paint in his atelier; the smell of paint and the soothing brushstrokes of his brushes made me calm and had an almost hypnotizing effect on me. And it still does; whenever I smell oil paint or acrylics I get thrown back 20 years into the past. It is a comforting scent to me.

Wherever I went I always had a little sketchbook and some pencils with me, and, suffice to say, drawing was my favorite lesson in school. I excelled in it and it won me high grades.

Yet, there came a time where, when I was an adolescent, I quit drawing and painting due to some traumatic experiences that happened to me and it simply stopped having a place in my life. I wanted to have nothing to do with it. But once a creative always a creative, I did start to seek out other creative outlets in which I could find some solace and I found it in photography and writing. I worked as a model a little while, but I am now entirely dedicated to spending time behind the camera instead of in front of it.

I absolutely love to venture out into the world and photograph it the way I see it and I do so as often as I can. I always bring with me some vegetarian sandwiches and a thermos bottle of green tea with Jasmine; a favorite of me as of late. Besides green tea being very healthy, it also makes me feel calm. Grounded. Awake. And the scent of Jasmine makes me happy.

What I do is, I travel to a place (preferably nature or old graveyards) and go sit in a quiet spot, drink some tea and become one with my environment whilst scouting for things to photograph, sketch or write a poem about.

I used to be a coffee drinker for a long time, but a few years ago I found coffee to be a little too aggressive for my body. It wrecked havoc on my skin and the jittery feeling I got from coffee started to annoy me a lot.

Slowly I started to detox from coffee (which was tough!) and had green tea instead; I began to notice that I started to look forward to having my cup of daily green tea early in the morning, which was not the case with coffee. I simply consumed coffee to avoid the headaches a caffeïne addiction gives you and to feel instantly awake. I have to say: I feel so much better now without coffee, and green tea actually makes me feel so much more productive, awake and present than coffee did.

In 2015 I finally picked up painting again and I particularly found utter happiness in painting with watercolor paint; something I used to do together with my dad.

I remember the first watercolor painting I made, when I was very little, was a sunflower field in the Provence, which reminded me of summer vacations I spent in France with my family. Unforgettable memories I hold very dearly.

I am an early bird; I like to wake up very early in the morning and think, in all quietness, about my next project. I simply love to spend time at my (oftentimes chaotic) workplace, with all my materials laid out in front of me, a large pot of tea on my 1930s tea warmer, to simply relax and become one with my brushes and paint. Painting and drinking my tea calms me and makes me forget whatever worries I carry with me.

I am also an herbalist and my pantry is stocked with all kinds of herbs I use for tinctures, salves, and teas, et cetera. One of the things I love to do is painting herbs in my herbarium with watercolor paint and at the same time brew and drink tea of the herb I am painting; it makes me feel close to nature, which is what I love.

Of course, as someone who works with watercolor paint, I often make the mistake of dipping my brush in my tea mug instead of the water intended for my brushes. Coming to think of it, I should really get me those two mugs that are on the market that have “Paint water” and “Not Paint Water” printed on them!