In celebration of the Witches New Year, I delved deeper into the creepiest holiday of the year to learn the perspective of someone who practices magic year around. Ceremonial magician Tyler Centeno, host of the The Talk Alchemy Podcast, allowed me to interview him, and is giving people a glimpse at the mysterious world of magical practitioners.
Check out our interview below! And be sure to follow Tyler on Instagram @talkalchemy for cyber-philosophical conversations.
1. How do you identify – as a witch? a person who practices magic? or a warlock? or a wiccan? And what does this mean to you?
In terms of what I consider myself magically, I would say that I see myself as a ceremonial magician practicing high magick. Now, for me ceremonial magician is a loose term for anyone performing ritual magick. However those who identify with the practices set out in the Kabbalah, hermeticism, Yogic techniques and meditation and who blend these practices usually fall under this umbrella of ceremonial magician.
For me magick is an art form, the more creativity the better. When you can understand the fundamentals of a ritual and understand why that ritual works and comprehend the theory behind it, it’s then fun to take initiative and tweak these rituals to match your unique style.
I love the melting together of spiritual technique that is found in my system. It’s my experience that the mixing of the eastern and western practices reveals the most about the understanding of our mind and soul connection to the grander architecture of the cosmos. The system I follow is derived from the magical circle of the late 19th century called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The famous Poet and Occultist Aliester Crowley was a part of the order and after it’s breakup Crowley managed to influence the magical order known as the A.A. and created the Order Templis Orientis as well as found the system of Magick known as Thelema based on these practices and views of cosmology.
The rituals found in these systems of magick are influenced by Babylon, Ancient Egypt, Greece, Zodiacal astrology, Christian and Jewish Mysticism, Taoism, Logos theology, Hinduism and Buddhism while also drawing influence from a variety of other systems as well. The main goal of this system is to use these techniques to liberate oneself from the ego and find what one’s true will or reason for incarnation is and then enact that will into the world as a fully realized individual, harmonized in each sphere of consciousness that exists within them.
2. What prompted you to get into witchcraft/magic? How would you describe your journey into learning about magic and the occult?
I’ve always had a fascination with witchcraft and all related topics. From a very early age the world of fantasy and myth always ignited flames in the heart of my being. I always knew it was a part of who I was. When I was younger I remember buying books on the esoteric and occult and performing simple cleaning rituals with herbs. I even remember getting into the practice of scrying and sigil work when I was a teen. There was always this notion inside my internal compass that this was something that came natural to me and I always wanted to follow that recognition.
As I’ve gotten older I definitely have gotten deeper into my craft and spirituality. Now I’m happy to say that I’ve disciplined myself to perform daily rituals and make sure to meditate. It took a long time to get here and there were times when I fell off the wagon with practice but I will say that COVID-19 provided me with the time and drive to get back into my craft and take it seriously.
Now after all these years of having a passive relationship with magick and revisiting it when I felt compelled to do so. Now I feel compelled everyday, I’ve reached a place where I feel as though my practice is a dance I do internally with the universe. It’s my path to connect upwards with the grander forces at work, governing our lives and experience.
Now I feel as though this is an act of love that I do for the purpose of co-creating with the universe. I set aside a half hour to an hour to do breath work, visualize, put on some cloaks, light candles and incense and perform the rituals that allow me to project expand my will, my consciousness into the cosmos and I do this by connecting so deeply with my mental, emotional and physical being that that intention becomes a dance I have with spirit.
3. What does Halloween mean to you?
For starters, Halloween is undoubtedly my favorite holiday. It’s really the best time of year for me. It’s a time when real magick has the chance to come into the zeitgeist of the mundane and add some mystery into the lives of average people. For those of us practicing in the craft this time of year represents an opportunity to ground ourselves and bathe in the energy that passes through the world at the end of the harvest season and see the veil thin between realms and when we tune into this we’re able to connect with that force which allows us to cleanse our being and begin to reconnect with that powerful higher self that’s guiding us through life experience.
We believe that our magical ability heightens and it represents a wonderful time to leave obstacles, limiting beliefs and attitudes behind. It’s time to rediscover who you are, how powerful you are and honor’ the witches’ new year by resurrecting yourself and redefining who you are and what you’re capable of. You are the spell that nature has cast and it’s up to you to step into that glory in every moment.
4. Do you think Halloween is an important holiday? Do you enjoy it? Why or why not?
Halloween is a wonderfully deep and beautiful tradition. Like I said earlier it’s my favorite holiday and I think it brings out the creative and artistic side in all of us and allows us to explore ourselves more deeply. I think it’s important for society to have traditions that allow us to have dissolutions of the ego and call for us to break free of our normal conceptions about ourselves and slip into a costume for a night and live another “life”. It allows us to be confronted by and explore the unique hyper-dimensionality of who we are as humans.
I also hope that if kept alive these traditions will bring average people into the folds of magical and spiritual practices that they can then take and enritchen all the days of their life. Not just on Halloween. My hope is that people will always stop and think about our curious position here in reality and try to knit more meaning out of it in ways that go beyond themselves. Halloween if meditated on through its history and practices may just lead one down a rabbit hole to a place of greater understanding of the spirituality that surrounds it.
5. What are some things you do in your magical practice to celebrate Halloween aka the Witches New Year? Do you have any traditions? Are you doing anything new this year?
My traditions usually include the normal nights of drinks, candy corn and fun had with friends in costume but I will also be performing quite a bit of practical magick on the Witches New Year especially being that we have a full moon rising that night. I’ll be burning herbs and incense as usual and I will also be performing what is known as the lesser invoking and banishing of the pentagram as well as the analysis of the keyword followed by the greater invoking of the hexagram as laid out by the Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn. As well as the middle pillar exercise as taught by a well known occultist Israel Regardie to create thought forms that will manifest into the world.
I’ll also be performing candle invocations as well as creating talismans of the moon and the spirits of the zodiacal sign Cancer as well as the angels and forces that rule over the Tree of life sphere of Yesod. I’ll be banishing that which does not serve me and finding greater peace and success in my life with the guidance of these forces. I’ll be finishing all this up by having a bath in charged salt and herbs where I’ll let the old wash down the drain.
Here’s to a wonderful new year ahead!
Thanks for reading and learning a little bit about Halloween from the perspective of a magical practitioner. Wishing everyone a fun and exciting evening tonight! XO,