With her new book, Intuitive Witchcraft out, we were eager to catch up with Astrea Taylor and learn more about her!
Tell us about your history as a witch and what first made you practice witchcraft.
I was a very unique child. Like a lot of children, I had spiritual gifts that became apparent at a young age. Luckily, I had a magical mother who already worked with the faeries and could read palms. When I started having out-of-body experiences and prophetic dreams, she helped me understand them. I was also different in that I always loved feminine deity energy. In the Christian church, I remember singing, “aw women!” when all of the adults around me sang what I thought was “aw men.” I also had my first ecstatic experience while reading about the Greek gods in Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. Looking back, there was no other path that incorporated all of my beliefs and ways of being other than witchcraft and paganism.
Tell us about your new book, the inspiration behind it, and what you’re trying to achieve with it.
Intuitive Witchcraft, the book, came about because I wanted to explain my spirituality. Many people have an intuitive understanding of energy work, or witchcraft. We just do what comes naturally to us and we make a change in the energy. I also wrote it to encourage people to use their intuition more often in their magical practices. Even if someone has been disconnected from their intuition, they can learn how to connect with it and use it in nearly every part of a magical practice. Intuitive witchcraft can be used within a tradition, or outside of it as an accompanying practice, or outside of traditions altogether as a sole magical practice.
How do you define intuition? Why is it so important?
I define intuition as the gut feeling or little voice that tells you how you really feel. If you think about it, our minds can really do a number on us. There’s so much information out there, and it can trigger such intense emotions that get in the way of really hearing what we want on a deeper level. Intuition is important because it’s a deeper, more personal current of energy compared to our mind and emotions. Our intuition also translates the energy all around us. This is important because the world around us is constantly changing and how we feel is also constantly changing as a reaction to it.
What are the benefits of using your intuition?
The best thing about using intuition is having the ability to choose what’s right for you in the moment. Whenever someone uses their intuition, they access a deeper knowledge and gain clarity. We can walk on a more evolved, spiritual path when we take a moment to check in with the gut.
How can you use intuition if you do not define yourself as a witch?
People who aren’t witches use their intuition all the time. It’s as simple as feeling out which direction to take to work or what to make for dinner. Intuition is used when you feel drawn to contact someone you haven’t spoken with in years. It’s also used when picking out clothing for the day. It guides us in all kinds of ways.
Give an example or 2 of how you’ve used intuition by incorporating it into spellcraft or other spiritual work.
Whenever I have a big ritual, such as for the new moon, I never know exactly what I’ll do. I usually start by casting a circle for protection and to act as a magical container for the energy, but after that, anything can happen. I connect with my gut in the moment and decide which deities and spirits to call upon. My intuition tells me what kind of magical work I need to do—my intention and goals, the magical act, the correspondences I use, and the way I raise energy. It’s very impromptu, but it’s more powerful than any spell I ever read on the internet or from a book. Best of all, it works.
What would you like people to gain/benefit from your book?
I hope that people could understand that there’s nothing to fear when it comes to this kind of practice. Everyone is a little different. Our intuitions are all telling us to do different things, which is wonderful!
Anything else you’d like to get out there.
I’m also a fire dancer! This came about because I wanted to challenge myself to be a performer. It had always been my dream to put on a circus-style show. I’ve been doing it since 2002, and I just love it. My favorite time performing was after a shooting in my town that occurred on the same block where we usually performed. My fire group had already booked a show for the weekend after, and we decided the show must go on. We showed up with the theme of Goddesses. I had thought about going as a specific Goddess, but hours before the performance, Hekate Phosphorus came through in her role as the Torch Bearer/Light Bringer, the one who shows others the way through dark times. I was able to show up as her and bring the light to my community. It was a very special moment and I was so glad to be able to do it.
I also have an Intuitive Witchcraft Private Facebook Group.