Spirituality, an intimate relationship with the spirits; a love of life and respect for all its sacred forms; the use of practical magick and powerful prayer; and the holiness of the Earth, are all the fuel and form of my life and everything that flows out from it. It has been this way as far back as I can remember in my 53 years of life, and it is the lens through which I see my life now, and in the unfolding future.

I am a Traditional Witch, conjure-man and faery seer. I am a well-travelled lecturer and author of several books on those topics, and creator of a multi-year apprenticeship program aimed at core spirituality, mystical living, eco-spirituality, and the practice of real magick for real change; or, as I call it, “Magick with Muscle”. The intense soulfulness of my message is a direct result of being born into and growing up in Appalachian and Southern culture that was highly influenced by a romance of the land, the legacy of the Civil War and the African slave-trade, and the looming presence of racism and poverty. I was born with the veil (the second sight) into a family where the folk lore and customs of this gift were still alive in both my family and community culture. These elements made the living presence of Spirit; the spirits; and the powers of: prayer, spirit-doctoring, faith-healing, charms and spells, and other forms of "magick", very real and very necessary in a world with a lot of injustice and inequity.

So, my world of spirit and magick began at birth, and it has increased and intensified as I carried my early life of Conjure, agrarian folk magick, and folk Christianity, into my initiations  and studies in witchcraft and faery tradition. In short, the cord of my relationship with the spirit world and my practice of magick is woven of three threads: 1) Southern and Appalachian spirit-doctoring, or conjure; 2) Traditional and initiatory witchcraft; and 3) Faery Seership, including folkloric Faery tradition. And it is from this cord that my spiritual paradigm, my voice, and my magick are braided.

I have great concern for the future of our world in human hands. Yet, in my travels, I have met and taught hundreds of people, many of whom are active magick practioners, who are living Earth-centered spirituality with an ecological focus. They inspire me and give me hope. And so, I am optimistic that we can become a more unified human community that is happier, healthier, more loving, prosperous, and healthy, while being considerate and kind to our sacred, beautiful, and rare planet. We all have that potential. In fact, if we care about our children, and their children, and if we want to have pride in our work here, and be celebrated as sacred ancestors when we step out of embodiment into the invisible side of life... we must fulfill that potential. But we cannot wait. The stakes are too high to engage only in self-indulgent, feel-good practices. (Though they have their time and place.) The influence of our multi-generational woundedness and complacency is too high and too immediate. So where do we, as pagans, with our earth-centered, eco-spiritual practices and traditions, fit in? I can only tell you what my spirits have shown me.

Mother Fate is summoning us from the dormancy of the ancient pagan past into co-creative action. To be responsive and effective agents of change, we must move beyond being merely spiritual or mystical, but also embrace and empower being magickal. But today's magick worker must have strong inner muscles and sound techniques for the heavy lifting before us. Magick is the "art of conscious creation," so... it's time to witch up! To grow ourselves and our magick into potent power, we have to go deep into the soil of our souls. This begins with engaging, encountering, and interacting with the stream upon which we rode into this manifest world. This is the ancestral stream, or “River of Blood”, and as a spirit-worker, seer and root-worker, I can say without reservation you cannot move far without claiming your place upon the stream and all the magick it offers. But, to do this requires a payment from you which consists of accessing, honoring, healing, and heeding its presence. This sets the stage for becoming an empowered and enlightened agent of magickal change.

When I train my Faery Seers and Witches, I advise them to seek the "life that runs through all things". This "life" could be called the core essence, the spirit, or the vital pulse that arrived in the universe when the first candle was lit on the altar of Heaven -- the Prima Stella or "first star". That fire ignited all of existence as it passed from the central sun (first star), to the next star, to the next... igniting galaxies and solar systems; extending into planets and moons; and then flowering into planetary life force; from micro-organisms and mycelium, to the great blue whale and the giant sequoia, and in all earth-life in-between, including you and me. This great River of Stars dips into and through our beloved Sun, and gives pulse to the stellar heart of our world, which in turn places that same pulse in our hearts and our blood. This pulse connects us to all earth-life, for it is the animating force of all life-forms on our planet, including those with hearts different than our human ones: plants; insects; birds; fishes; mammals; trees; stones; crystals; bacteria... and especially the Star-Children of the Dawn, known as the People of Peace or “Faery”, who are ultimately the ancestors of all life on Earth, and cousins to the Witch.

Understanding this connective “core-life”, running through everything and surfacing as the species-based genetic contributories of every life-form (or expression of the life-force) on Earth, is the healing salve of the soul that refutes the Illusion of Isolation, the core pain that sits at the heart of humanity, creating abandonment fear, fury, and shame. This illusion is the source of the most destructive forces mediated by our species. If we know this core-life, which manifests in the human species as the River of Blood, then we understand that we arrived here riding on it as a stream that passed from our human ancestors, through our mother, and into us. We mediate it physically to the next generation through our children or, by passing its essence through our love and energetic contagion, to our cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relations; and to our families of choice. For those of us who will not bear children of our own, we were not born to mediate the next generations, but to heal the existing ones, or those of the past, by redeeming and healing their paradoxes as they were transmitted into us, as multi-generational entrenchments and entanglements, including: domestic violence; alcoholism; poverty; health problems, etc. However, all of us came here on the River; it is flowing through us in our veins; it is influencing us and we are pouring into it. In fact, with each day of embodied life, your breath is leading you to becoming an ancestor yourself. This is not only true for humans, but for all things.

There is no ways around it; you and I are boats of flesh on a River of Blood, being carried on this stream into the unknown future. The ancestral influences, good and bad, are swimming inside you as you read this. How could it be any other way? What qualities of this stream do you want to contribute towards and grow? To which parts do you want to say, “Hell no, the buck stops here!” and thus become a redeemer, one who lifts the ancestors caught in pain or woe from that purgatory, and lifts the current and future generations into a more blessed or even exalted state? We can do all this and more. But it starts when you accept your place on the stream, and your power to tap into its resources, as well as affect its flow, as an empowered worker of magick. That IS a part of why you are here, and I hope you know that.

Claim your responsibility to work as an active and aware participant on this River that flows from the distant horizons of your ancestry. The ancestors want us to see them, honor them, love them, forgive them, and heal them; and to receive the blessings of their wisdom and power; for you are the hope of the ancestors made manifest. You have a resource running through you and within you that is tens of thousands of years old. Claim your place upon the stream, and may your feet always be upheld by the silent sleepers in the soil.

I offer this prayer to bring healing to the wounded ancestors and call power from the redeemed and exalted ones. Say this while lighting a candle dedicated to honor the ancestors, with an offering of water:

In the name of the Holy Mystery, and with the potent power of the Life that runs through all things;

In the name of the Ancient One, known by many names, and its presence in the pillars of life we know as Goddess and God;

And as a Child of Promise, I call the power for this prayer.

To those ancestors caught in pain or woe: I pray for the healing of your heart and the seeking of your soul. May my love be as a salve to your wounds and a spiritual wind that dries your tears, and elevates you to Love at Peace. I am because you were.

To those blessed, redeemed and exalted ancestors who hold the power and wisdom of spiritual anointing:
Walk with me, guide me, and guard me in all ways and all days.
I am because you were.

To those known and unknown; seen and unseen; named and un-named ancestors who walk in grace;
I may not know your name or your face but I know your touch; In gratitude and grace, and as an agent of change in this changing world, I honor you; I celebrate you; I bless you.

Water unites us. Fire ignites us.
I offer you this water of life and a holy candle flame.

May the River of Blood always be healed as it flows back into the ocean of all life!

And may the ancestral stream raise you to heights of love, wisdom, power, prosperity, hope, joy, peace and unity;

And let this begin NOW!