Ylvadroma Marazanna Radziszewski is a High Priestess, a temple tender, traditional witch, sex worker, FemDom, teacher, writer, artist, herbalist, and licensed acupuncturist. Ylvadroma is based out of occupied Duwamish and Coast Salish land, now named Seattle. They’re also a chronically ill, disabled, non-binary trans femme and a survivor of childhood incest and sexual assault. For more info., visit their website.
Learn more about Ylva Mara below:
Hi Ylva Mara! You hold so many different identities, and I know your magical practice encapsulates so many different components as well. I’m hoping you could share about the magic of embodying multitudes.
I believe as witches we all exist and draw power within multitudes. The Witch is the veil, the space between. We serve the liminal, and through the practice of our crafts, we simultaneously embody potential and realization; remembering and initiation. To be a Witch is to choose voice in a world that would see us silenced. It is choosing to serve the community in a world that would rather see us isolated. It is to choose power and presence in the threat of erasure. To be a Witch is to be paradox. I think this is especially true of us witches whose bodies have been politicized and whose identities have been forced into margins.
As a non-binary, trans femme it feels that simply existing is a ritual of liberation. At times leaving the house feels like a revolutionary act. As a modern witch, so does the practice of magic for me. Being a practitioner of traditional magic, without direct connection to my cultures, also feels complicated. Like having to hold space for the context of disconnect and diaspora while also triaging the impact of imposter syndrome. Regardless, for me, the work of the Witch is to resource community through our service of ritual, council, remembering, and disruption.
What is a current practice (magical or otherwise) that is really helping you live right now?
Besides therapy?! I’ve been spending a lot of time going through my belongings and making room in my life for this next version of myself; sorting out my memories and my closets. I honor the Wintering months as a reset, The Witches New Year, and the rituals of homecoming, nesting, and slowing down as vital. Winter for me holds the magic of culling, sorting, planning, and nourishing the Ancestral Self. We are resourced through our relationships, and we must spend Winter tending to our relationship with self so that we can receive and offer to others the resource of self with earnest integrity.
I believe in making space for the blessings we pray for. Every morning and every night I spend time reflecting on and cutting any lingering cords between myself and the people, places, and situations I’ve engaged as of late. This also includes cutting cords with past versions of myself and any default patterns, wounded beliefs, or outdated operating systems invested in sustaining those outgrown versions of me. I practice a daily ritual of sovereignty, taking inventory of my boundaries and choices. An easily integrated method of cord cutting can be as simple as running through the day and noticing if particular people, situations, thoughts, beliefs, places linger in your memory. Notice if there is a charge to the lingering.
For me a lingering indicates that a moment left an impression on me, but a charge means that it left a mark. If that is the case then I breath into that mark to assess if there is a thread attached to it. If not, then I allow myself to explore the feelings and make space for any associated memories or meanings to surface. If there is a thread, and it serves no reciprocal benefit or necessary purpose in it being there, I begin to call my energy back through that thread and send any energy belonging to whatever is on the other side of that thread back. I believe that the place between myself and another serves as a catalyst for mutual change, cord or no cord. We may become unrecognizable to ourselves if we aren’t attentive to the way we are impacted and cause impact in our daily lives. When there are cords attached to these moments of impact, we may not be able to integrate the energies that we call back to us because we have been so changed. So instead of integrating that energy in my body, I give it to my ancestral self to integrate or in some cases I give it to the Elemental Spirits to return back to source.
For your piece for the 2020 Many Moons Lunar Planner, you focused on a beautiful kindness spell. I’m wondering if you could share with us a little bit about what some challenges you’ve had in cultivating kindness in yourself, and what shifts you’ve seen as a result.
I wish that I could say with confidence that self kindness has become second nature to me… but what is more true is that the goal of self kindness has more and more become priority. The deeper into my personal journey with Magic and my work as Community Witch the bolder my explorations of edges within myself. I’ve learned to honor myself and my relationships with relentless honesty.
For me self kindness is rooted in an honest relationship with my life. The closer I get to myself, the more honest I become within that relationship. The more honest I get with my narratives, the kinder I can be to myself; with my memories and lived experiences. The biggest shift I’ve experienced is more willingness to engage the weaving of my journey as a survivor, the reclaiming of healing through community, and the practice of magic with more visibility… and vulnerability. Magic and Witch are having a profound and prolonged moment. It’s vital that we channel the momentum of this movement to provide more opportunities for rootedness in those awaking to their altars.
What is your current favorite Moon phase? Why?
I actually have two favorite Moon Phases, the Gibbous Moon and the Balsamic Moon. I enjoy the organic tension of magic, especially the thresholds of polarity. I see the Gibbous Moon as the energy of promise emanating from our intentions, poised and ready for release. I love that feeling that comes from hard work and preparation; the anticipation of release. The Gibbous Moon holds a sweet intimacy for me, in order for us to release our intentions into the world we have to first allow ourselves to be transformed by them. The Gibbous Moon embodies that transformation. I love watching the world begin to respect the space that is being reserved for the changes that are to come.
Similarly, the Balsamic Moon marks the final moments before we turn towards a new goal. The fruits of our previous efforts have been enjoyed. The ties between us and our previous intent have been cut and what we have worked for now belongs to itself. I’ve written before that the Balsamic Moon marks the initial stirrings of a new intention. Having seen the portents of change, we are now forming into another version of ourselves. The changes in ourselves and the world from any previous courses of action has shifted us and now we must respond in kind. The initial dream, which carried these previous intentions into action, is now slipping into the “void” in order to make room for whatever comes next. I just take so much solace and hope in those moments before action and through the integration of how we’ve changed.
What are a couple of things (anything, a record, something you are learning, your oracle deck) that you are excited about? Why?
I’ve been working on The Living Altar, a ritual art project, with my sibling witch, Kiki Robinson The Opulent Witch, for about 3 years now. The Living Altar Oracle Deck is a culmination of these last years of work and is a living spell book full of queer, femme, and trans magic, AND it was just fully funded on KickStarter!
The deck embodies the foundational teachings of elemental & traditional magic by guiding the user through The Witches Wheel. This deck is a Radical Grimoire for Magical Resistance & Spiritual Resilience. The magic of each spell in this deck is a synthesis of over 30 years of combined lived magical experiences. This deck stands alone as both a teacher and mediator. So basically, it’s amazing!
I’m also excited to be working with the amazing Melissa James and Sharkey Pearce on their forthcoming documentary WITCH. I can’t say much but check them out on Instagram for details.
I’m also really excited about the magic of 2020! In addition to my regularly scheduled With School programming, The Living Altar is planning a teaching/oracle deck tour AND a few exciting art collaborations; including a ritual installation as part of an exhibit curated by Bri Luna at the Museum of Museums this spring.
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