As our conversation continued, I couldn't help but take notice how sitting there, with Jessica, felt like we've been talking as if we weren't total strangers. Our talk moved fluidly into topics that circled back around to Jessica's creations. But, there was so much more behind what guides her hand's. My interest in Jessica came to clarity as she willingly offered what drives her. I knew it all along. Magick.
MH: What kind of rituals do you use your tea with?
DW: I wanted something to start off my days. Something to set the tone for things like business meetings and that instill a sense of power within me. I set my morning ritual with tea. I created Oculta, which means hidden knowledge and so it's basically searching for that hidden knowledge first thing in the morning. Oculta contains Master of the woods, which is a magical herb and, immediately, I feel empowered. As I sit here with my tea, I put my herbs in, bless the corners and thank my deities. I put my oils on. Its a ritual. I invoke my spirit, drink my tea and cast my spells. And my days are beautiful because I begin them with intention. Its different for everyone.
MH: You're gift isn't limited to tea making. You're visual art is beautiful. What other projects are you working on?
DW: Im working on a video for my Winter Line. Last time I made a video I just used random music I like. For this one, I wanted to make my own music. So, I got together with a good friend of mine, who is a professional musician, to make original music for my next video. He can take the music out of my head and produce it. I can tell him I want Crowley over Gregorian chants and he's like, "We can do that". I'm the divination, he's the tool and he has lightning from his hands. We work really well together. I wanted to invoke the spirit of Christmas but, you know, our way. My other talented friends made the headdresses & did the makeup. My other friend's Grant @grnstr_ did the videography and Ashley @ashleynjoncas did photography. I rented a house house in Los Feliz that has occult ties to it so the energy is very powerful. I tend to hire my friends, so it stays in the circle and its supportive. It helps us all to thrive. So we don't have to get nine to five and leaves us all free to do our art. Kind of like you, where I can triangulate people and put them together and create substance and matter, which is another aspect of being a magician.
MH: I felt a pull towards you when I met you in person. I feel like much can be learned from you. Who inspires you?
DW: My Red Witch Collection is inspired by Marjorie Cameron. She was married to Jack Parsons, founder of JPL and occultist. She was the scarlet woman. My connection with her is very strong. I invoked her. She is a guiding force for me. She is not one of my ancestors but, I feel an ancestral force. There's a universal unconsciousness that just speaks through people and I believe I am one of those people doing what I am drawn to, and just my nature and what I am inspired by. I really try to keep those things alive and kindled in our hearts. Especially in the the witchcraft community, the occult community. Marjorie Cameron is a very powerful figure in the occult but, her legend is kind of dying out. After her death in 1994 she became sort of an afterthought. I wanted to bring her forward again to everyone's minds. Along with inspiration from Sarah Ann Lawless, I created my own flying balms, Phantasmagoria and Wormwood Star. I created my Love Potion, La Petite Morte, based off of Marjorie's relationship with Jack Parsons. Many artists experience this divining. These creations have to get out of us and if they don't we start to go crazy.
MH: How do you feel about the surge of women leaving traditional religion behind and embracing witchcraft?
DW: It happens every twenty or thirty years. Its a revolution a reaction to finding our power again. It's a way for women to be rebellious. In the sixties, from housewives to famous actresses, women who you'd never expect were flocking to learn from Anton LaVey. There's this desire to rebel. It's interesting but, you have to look deep within to find the desire to come to our power again. Divination, maternal instincts, women are so powerful. Men do not have that. While they can divine, it takes so much more for them. We have our intuition. This works well with magic and the occult. Its a historical cycle. It can become very confusing. There are people who dabble and don't know what they are doing. People use the word Occult"for everything. There is a total difference between witchcraft, Wicca and paganism. Theres nothing wrong with any of those beliefs but, people blend them together. Tools, symbols and philosophies are important and need to be learned and studied.
MH: Where did the name "Deer Women" come from?
DW: Deer Women comes from a Native American Myth. She's a beautiful archetype that I've always associated myself with. Deer Women are women who find these tormented men. Men have a lot of deep hurt within them and Deer Women use what power they would find within themselves, to seduce these men. They would in turn use that power to heal and turn it back whats deserved. The Deer Women's antlers are signified as antennas to the astral plane. Anytime I have a moment of fear, I visualize antlers on top of my head. I wanted to embody the Deer Women name as a powerful archetype and a resonance as a connection to the astral plane. I also wanted to show respect for my Native American culture.
It was my absolute pleasure spending the afternoon with Jessica. I hope to spend more time conjuring with her. Since, that afternoon, I have gone through almost all of my stock of Deer Women tea. With each sip, from each tea, I can feel the the power of the herbs and I can attest that they are powerful tools to set the tone for the intentions I use them for. The way Jessica works her magic and how she collaborates with her circle shows in the images found on her website and social media. But, don't take it from me, experience her magick for yourself. Her latest video is now on IGTV. Honor the darkness of Yule with a cup of Deer Women tea. deerwomen.net @deerwomen