Magical Meetings: Judika Illes

Saturday, February 11, 2012

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Judika Illes
Judika is one of my favorite authors and has been since I first began my foray into paganism and magic.  An accomplished author, certified aromatherapist, tea and tarot reader: this woman knows her stuff and it shows in her classes, books and articles.  She is an author and has written a number of books on topics ranging from the paranormal to witchcraft and magic. 

When I began my magical studies I was excited, scared and feeling a little lost.  I found a group in NYC and began taking classes but still wanted a little more.  My book collection was slowly growing (now it's taking over my apartment) and I was committed and studious.  I purchased books like Raymond Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft and Wicca: The Complete Craft by D.J. Conway.  I read one to three chapters in each book everyday and completed the exercises and questions at the end of the chapters.  Plus I was carrying smaller books around with me, reading on the train or when I had time at work.  If only I'd paid this much attention to my school work in my mundane life, I could be working at NASA by now!  

I knew I needed to learn the fundamentals, the background and basics etc but what really peeked my interest and need for knowledge was magic.  Growing up I was certain that there was magic in everything.  The woodpecker that returned to my neighborhood every spring.  The smell of my mothers' rose garden filling my bedroom.  Forcing my father to place my bed under the window so I could sleep in moonlight.  I knew there was magic in everything and I wanted to know more about it.  I searched the internet for new books to add to the growing pile and I discovered The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells: The Ultimate Reference Book for the Magical Arts by Judika Illes.  I had to have this book.  

In this photo: Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints and Sages, Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, Pure Magic, Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, and Encyclopedia of Spirits. 

Apparently Nimitz, my familiar, likes Judika's books as well!

Aside from finding this book that, from the description had everything I was looking for, it was also an encyclopedia!  I've had a love for large encyclopedia type books since I was a kid. Maybe it's because of the Taurus, Libra, Virgo action going on in my birth chart but a ton of information properly organized into one giant book is like heaven to me.  So obviously I bought it.

The book arrived and it was everything I expected.  There was information and spells for every topic under the sun: protection, fertility, love, money etc.  Recipes for oils, inks and powders and information on magical tools. I was hooked.  I read through the book, using the information, recipes and spells that I found inside. The first oil blend I ever made came from a recipe in this book. This book is well researched, organized and thoughtfully put together by a woman that clearly knows what she is talking about. I've used it so much some of the pages are falling out and post-it notes are stuck on pages that I refer to frequently.  Judikas' down to earth approach makes magic seem tangible and accessible.  So I went back to the internet and started investigating her other books of which I own almost all of them.    

Fast forward a few years and I'm shopping in Namaste Books and I happened to see a flyer for a lecture and book signing with Judika Illes! After I stopped grinning from ear to ear I immediately called Atreya and we made plans to attend the lecture. The talk was about her latest book, Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints and Sages.  Judika gave a great lecture and at the end she was nice enough to sign books for everyone that attended.  She is also doing tarot and tea leaf readings on saturdays at Namaste Books  which, of course we signed up for ASAP.  

A couple of weeks after my reading with Judika I saw an event posted on facebook that sounded to good to be true.  Hosted by Order of the World Tree (a coven out of Ridgefield Park, NJ), Judika was going to be teaching a three hour Spell-casting workshop. Really!?@!#?  Giving all those tourists directions on the subway must have really paid off because the universe has been sending some awesome things my way lately.  In a span of two months, I'd met one of my favorite authors, had all of my books signed by her, received a tarot reading from her and now a spell-casting workshop! Obviously Atreya and I went.    

We got up early, took a train to New Jersey, borrowed my mothers car and arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn for the workshop. Yes, you read that right. A spell casting workshop in the middle of the day in a conference room at a nice hotel.  I hadn't thought about that until Judika made the point during the workshop.  The magical community has come so far.  Now, instead of meeting in secret and having someone look out for crazed villagers with pitchforks and torches, about 30 people met out in the open to discuss magic.  

The workshop was great.  Judika covered a variety of magical bases (I have 10 pages of notes to prove it), the people in attendance were wonderful and the Order of the World Tree did a great job putting this event together. Judika answered everyone's questions, covered a variety of topics, sold and signed books and took pictures with everyone that asked.  What did I get out of this workshop?? That's a tough query to answer. Judika talked about so much: botanicals, candle magic, oils, the symbolism of using a mortar and pestle and much much more.  But what really stayed with me is what she said about magic. Judika said that magic is everywhere. Its all around us, all of the time and spell casting is a means to communicate with that power. That statement took me back to when I was that little girl that needed to sleep in the moonlight.  It made me realize that even in a hard and energetically overwhelming place like New York City magic was still everywhere. Before this workshop I was feeling bogged down and a bit spent in various areas of my life, magic being one of them.  After this workshop I felt renewed and reassured as a witch.  The magic isn't gone and it never will be, it's our choice to tap into the magic that is always around us.  I just need to work harder at renewing and maintaining my connection with it.  

Meeting Judika was a wonderful experience. The workshop was great, I met some wonderful magical people and I immediately went home and cracked open my spell books.  Judikas' books have helped me grow as a magical being and for that I will always be grateful (plus her tarot reading gave me just the push I needed... or gentle kick in the ass!) Don't ignore the magic and never stop learning!  Thank You Judika.

(Just wanted to chime in here really quick. When I first met Judika at a signing at Namaste bookshop for her new book, "The Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints and Sages", the one thing that really stuck with me was how DOWN TO EARTH she was!! She was so approachable, so friendly, and so willing to generously share her time and knowledge with everyone even after her signing was done! It was the same for her spell-casting workshop in NJ. I highly recommend you take her classes if you ever get a chance or hear her speak. Meeting Judika was such a pleasure!)

                                           From Left to Right:Atreya, Judika, and Amethyst

Bright Blessings
~Amethyst~  & Atreya


Kala Ambrose said...

Great article about Judika, she's every bit as wonderful as you describe and her books are treasures, full of wisdom and magic. Enjoyed reading your blog, and loved the photo with the cat on the books, adorable! :-) Will be back again to read soon. All the best, *~Kala~*

Amethyst and Atreya said...

Hi Kala! Thank You so much for your comment. It's always great to get positive feedback. Atreya and I are working hard on the blog and it's so nice to hear that people like what we're doing. There are some new things coming up so visit us again. Thanks again!

Bright Blessings

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