About the Author
Elen Hawke is a practicing witch who lives in Oxford with her husband and a house full of animals. She also has two grown children. Elen is a photographer and illustrator, and has been doing professional astrology for 27 years and tarot reading for 10. She divides her time between healing and teaching witchcraft, meditation, and chakra work. She is Wiccan initiate in the Gardnerian tradition, a Circlework graduate from the House of the Goddess, and a member of the Pagan Federation.
Elen is of Irish, Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, and Jewish ancestry. She remembers having psychic experiences since youth, and feeling an intense connection to the natural world. Her love for reading began early with her grandmother's books on natural history and Greek mythology.
Elen has traveled through and lived in many other lands, including Iran, Afghanistan, and Brittany. She believes that this cultural exposure and appreciation made the transition to Paganism easier for her than many. She describes her spirituality as "eclectic," having explored Spiritualism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Druidry as well as Wicca. She has achieved both the Bardic and Ovate grades in the Druid path.
Elen runs the email discussion group witchcraft_uk on behalf of the Children of Artemis.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
When I first began walking the witch’s path I was oblivious to the whys and
wherefores of spells. They were something belonging to the dark horror
movies of my teenage years, the pages of storybooks and fairy tales.
Spells were about power, seduction, control, and perfection. Of course I
was utterly fascinated, a little scared, and completely clueless. My first
“proper” spell involved the obligatory unrequited love situation. I found
a spell printed in some antiquarian booklet, diligently followed everything
by the letter, chanted my chant, and got my man . . . for one night
only, after which I was ceremoniously dropped from a great height whilst
the Goddess giggled in the background. I came to know this as my first
The partial success of my crafting inspired me, whereas its demise
frustrated and disappointed me. Not only did I feel let down by the poor
guy in question, but I felt utterly betrayed by spirit. The success led me
to feel that there was something to all this magic stuff; the failure led me
to question why.
Looking back at this situation, I realise that this was the beginning of
my journey toward understanding the nature of magic. I pondered what
I had done to change the fabric of the universe and bend it to my will. I
feared retribution, questioned my motivation and intent, raged at the
skies, and cried into my pillow. Somewhere there was an “answer,” and I
was determined to find it.
My dream life has always been vivid, and it was the nature and laws of
the dreamscape that would eventually tutor me in the ways of magical
practice. Spirits, Guides, and ancient gods populated my dreams from
early on, and often my magical inspirations and understandings have
been triggered by my nightly wanderings. I experienced lucid dreams as
a child, and for a long time I didn’t differentiate between that reality and
the one of the waking world, despite being told the difference by others.
My dreams were simply “my other life,” just as real and meaningful as the
everyday world. I quickly learned that I could fly at will and manipulate
the scenery to my own design. It was this latter curious ability that really
caught my attention, as I had an inkling of recognition that this in some
way related to the structure of the waking world. I noticed that sometimes
I could dissolve or transform the monsters and demons that
haunted me, and other times I could not. I questioned why.
In my early twenties I began to work with astral projection/out-ofbody
experiences triggered by sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. These
journeys provided further food for thought from Guides and other entities
that dwell in the astral worlds who put up with my childlike endless
questioning and occasionally granted me glimpses of the greater pattern.
What I offer here is my understanding of the process of magic and
how it shapes and changes us when we choose to cast spells. I have a firm
belief that whatever spiritual path we follow, each step along the way
needs to be matched with personal development. By “personal development”
I mean the process of delving into the far reaches of the mind to
understand why we act, think, feel, and respond as we do. The magical
path is one that increases and demands self-awareness.
I have a particular view of reality and ways of working that I wish to
share with you. I do not profess to know the truth, for we each hold our
own individual truths. Instead I offer what I have learned so far on the
journey in the hope that it will facilitate you on your own magical path
and inspire you to seek greater meaning as to what magic means to you.
I rarely perform actual spells nowadays―that is, if you define a spell as
using the various tools and paraphernalia available. Yet I live a magical life
in which I notice the great web unfolding and changing endlessly with my
thoughts. I am in awe of how the universe is constantly in communication
with us and how the Goddess hears my whispers on the wind.