Jamie Della and I connected through a mutual friend. She writes non-fiction.
JAMIE DELLA has studied magick and spirituality from around the world for more than twenty years. As a practitioner of healing arts, she leads workshops and ritual retreats on earth-based spirituality. Jamie is the author of eight books, including The Book of Spells: The Magick of Witchcraft and The Wicca Cookbook (both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local shop). She also writes the “Herbal Journeys” column in Witches & Pagans Magazine and several of her essays and articles have also been featured in online and print publications such as SageWoman Magazine, edible Institute, Rebelle Society, Manifest-Station, among others.
Tell us about yourself.
I am an artist and a mother who seeks to find the truth and beauty through writing and leading workshops of empowerment. I came of age as a proud Mexican during the Feminist Movement and this has colored the way I see the world. It has taken me a long time to understand that woman’s soft power is not weak, but at the crux of all manifestation and creation. I love to write about the upwelling of Divine Feminine power. When I’m not writing, I am either at my potter’s wheel, teaching at women’s retreats, guiding Goddess rituals, backpacking, road-tripping, or hosting our AirBnB guests. Sometimes I sneak off to my hammock by the creek running from the Eastern Sierra to the Quaking Aspen grove in the backyard.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I have identified as a writer and storyteller since I was 7-years-old. I wrote stories of things I wanted to better understand, like natural disasters and why some people run away while others stay. Sometimes I would create a story through dialog and pictures and write them out like a movie strip. I would paste the ends of paper onto pencils stuck into either end of a shoebox. When I turned the pencils, the story would roll out like a movie. I’ve kept a diary since I was eleven, which turned out to be my primary Muse for my second book, The Teen Spell Book: Magick for Young Witches.
I became an author when I followed my heart to leave the corporate world and study healing through massage and Reiki. While developing my healing practice, I wrote stories in parable format for kids that I hoped to one day place in Highlights Magazines and essays for literary, foodie, and nature magazines. During this time, I found work with a literary agent as her assistant and reader. Within two years of working with Julie Castiglia, an editor contacted her looking for a writer for a Wicca cookbook. Julie suggested I write the proposal, and now twenty years later, I have eight published books, a blog and several published articles and essays.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
I alternate between self-help and spirituality books to novels or memoirs with strong female characters. Through writing and reading, I enjoy exploring female characters who must call upon courage and strength to fight social injustice, prejudice, tyrannical relationships, or personal demons and limitations. I am interested in the hidden figures from our collective past who have held together family and community while fighting for creative expression, individuality, dignity and equality.
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
My latest book, The Book of Spells: The Magick of Witchcraft, is for pre-teen through adulthood. Originally published as The Teen Spell Book: Magick for Young Witches in 2001, The Book of Spells was written as a learn-as-you-go magickal cookbook, with spells instead of recipes, and magickal correspondence, such as moon phases and crystals, instead of ingredients. For the updated The Book of Spells, I cut thirty spells that are specific to teen life and added eight new spells based on the wisdom I have gained in the last eighteen years, plus beefed up the first third of the book that contains information on magickal correspondence and paths of Witchcraft. All of my spells fortify the opposite virtue of feelings and thoughts that contradict our original innocence, infallible lovability and Divinity to co-create a world of our choosing. Most of these debilitating and isolating feelings and thoughts began at the root of our individuality, when we were teens, however, can continue to plague and undermine our success and happiness throughout our lives until we address them head on. This is what makes my newest book a perfect fit for people aged from 9-109.
What is your current release or project?
I am currently promoting The Book of Spells: The Magick of Witchcraft. Meanwhile I began a magical realism memoir, Walking Between Rooms, by writing every day in November 2019 for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. Walking Between Rooms is based on twenty years of research into my family history to address belonging, loyalty, class systems, and personal strength. Sometimes I write fresh words and sometimes I incorporate excerpts from unpublished works (a script, two novels and two memoirs) to weave together a story that spans 300 years.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
The Book of Spells is a detailed and comprehensive encyclopedia of magickal correspondences with fifty spells designed to help readers uncover their Divine essence, whether they are new to the Craft or advanced practitioners. In this revised edition with new spells, Della’s voice is stunning and radiates such calm as she guides readers through a variety of rituals and visualizations including those for releasing negativity, increasing bliss, healing a broken heart, and finding your Spirit guides.
Share an excerpt
The Book of Spells: The Magick of Witchcraft excerpt used with permission by the author.
BLESSING YOUTHFUL INNOCENSE
When I began editing this book for its revival, I felt embarrassed about some of the seemingly frivolous spells and my youthful, outrageously hopeful point of view. I was just exiting my Saturn’s Return, a cosmic right of passage, and about to experience the death of three parents, divorce, raising three teens alone, the loss of career, and a wavering of my faith. Yet, I stand tall today because of my youthful innocence and the wisdom I gained by going through Saturn’s Return.
Whereas Earth takes 365 days to circle the sun, Saturn takes approximately 29 years to return to the same place in the sky that it occupied at the moment of your birth. Saturn’s Return, which occurs between the ages of 27 through 33, feels like the ground beneath you shifts, the things you relied upon lose their value or disappear, and most everything you knew as a Truth (with a capital T) changes entirely. It is a time to let go of trying to figure out anything and allow the mystery to unravel and reveal itself to you. You will emerge new, and stronger than before by learning to trust your inner guidance.
Saturn, also known as Father Time, offers an invitation to have faith as you grow deeper into your unique self. There is no point in rushing Saturn as He is the God of agriculture and you cannot force a tree or your spirit to grow faster than what is natural and right timing. Saturn represents faith, solitude, self-discipline, and self-respect. He is not humored by indulgent whining about being young and not knowing – the answers will come in time. He does not heed self-recriminations of what you should have known – the past is gone and must be accepted. It may sound harsh, but can you feel some relief in Saturn’s restoration of your original and everlasting innocence?
On a Saturday, incidentally a day that was named in honor of Saturn, a day for doing spells to release, set out an indigo or black cloth. On the cloth, place a digital timer such as your phone, black and blue stones or crystals, and a small dark bowl filled with water. Burn copal incense. Take three deep breaths and clear your mind. Repeat the chant:
Oh Saturn, Father God of Solitude
Grant me a forgiving attitude
To accept folly as timely sense
And bless my youthful innocence
Set the timer to your current age and let it count down to zero. As each number passes, recall a moment from that age and send your younger self the blessing of acceptance. Repeat the process as many times as needed, coming up with new or difficult to forgive scenarios or until you can’t come up with a new memory from your youngest age. I started doing this at 15-years-old, using the microwave to count down. I believe its one of the many reasons why and how I can step back into time and viscerally recall what it felt like at varying ages to heal my emotional wounds with repeated acceptance. I offer this gift to you.
What advice would you give a beginner writer?
Just write. The hardest part is always getting started. Don’t worry about writing to some unknown perfection. Writing is like peeling back the layers of an onion to reveal your own unique spirit. If you are shy with admitting truths to yourself, it may take awhile to find your voice. The writer’s voice is the most important aspect of writing; more important to pace or dialog or structure. To write your truth powerfully and clearly try daily journaling, such as the beloved daily pages from the Artists Way. Spend some time exploring your creativity without judgment – just pure expression.
Social media links:
Blog link www.jamiedella.com/blog
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-book-of-spells-jamie-della/1131086515?ean=9781984857026#/