I’m really excited to continue this series giving a little behind the curtains look at the Whimsy Soul team. I’m so proud of this group of folks we’ve brought together, and can’t wait for you to get to know them better.
Today, we’re talking to Whimsy Writer Tenae Stewart who has been writing for Whimsy Soul for more than a year now! As a practicing witch and certified astrologer, she shares her knowledge of everything from astrology 101 (for beginners) horoscopes and how to use crystals to the history of each Wheel of Year holiday and self-care rituals to celebrate.
Q&A: Whimsy Writer Tenae Stewart On Identity & Self-Empowerment (+ Advice For Aspiring Authors)
This Q&A is filled with not only insight into Tenae’s journey with witchcraft, but actionable ways to step into your own spirituality. For even more witchy content and practices, follow Tenae on Instagram: @lupinehollow or join her Starlight Coven here!
Tenae! You’re no newbie to The Whimsy Soul, but for anyone who isn’t familiar with you or your work, can you introduce yourself?
Hello! My name is Tenae Stewart, and I’m known online as The Witch of Lupine Hollow. I’m a practicing cottage witch, a certified astrologer, and the author of The Modern Witch’s Guide to Magickal Self-Care and The Modern Witch’s Guide to Natural Magick.
What are your Big 3?
Taurus Sun, Aries Moon, Virgo Rising
What does it mean to be a practicing cottage witch? How did you become one?
First, let’s define “witch” – to me, being a witch means being in touch with my personal power and the knowledge that I can transform my reality. It’s about manifestation, magick, and finding the mystical in our everyday, mundane lives. It is a spiritual path that means different things to different people and that’s really the beauty in it, that there are no rules except your own intuition.
We don’t become witches, exactly – most of us just come to realize that this is who we have always been. Lots of people who identify as witches, (or mystics or healers or intuitives), have felt drawn to magical things and to the natural world since we were kids. Others come to their path much later in life. There is no wrong and no right in witchcraft.
For me, being a cottage witch, specifically, means that my home is at the heart of my spiritual practice. It’s all about sanctuary and sacred space and a cozy connection to the seasons and moon phases. I wish I could remember where I first came across the word “cottage witch”, but I do remember that when I found it, it felt like it described a part of my soul I had never been able to put into words. That’s what it should feel like if/when you claim a term or a label for yourself – not a limitation, but a liberation.
You take these practices to inspire modern witches, and are a published author (swoon)! What kind of advice would you give aspiring authors?
Writing is just another form of magick! As we say, ‘words are spells’. If you want to be an author, I would recommend first visualizing yourself as one. Imagine in great details what it would feel like to write an entire book, to hold your printed book for the first time, to see your books on shelves at bookstores. Step into the shoes of your future self and embody the energy they hold themselves with.
On the practical side, I like to write a one page description of a new book I’m working on along with an outline of the chapters with one sentence descriptions each. This really helps me figure out the framework of the book and how the different elements will fit together. (As you can see, I’m a planner, not a pantser, for the NaNoWriMo-ers in the room!)
What is one ritual you can’t live without?
My morning ritual is my most important, though even that is flexible. When I get out of bed, one of the first things I do is put the electric kettle on to make a cup of tea. I choose a seasonal tea to drink that day, (such as apricot black tea in summer and something with spices in the fall).
I sit in bed and drink my tea and look out the window at the pasture behind my house. Sometimes there are cranes on the water in the distance or there’s cozy fog just starting to lift. This is a simple way that I like to connect with nature in the morning.
Then, I grab my journal and write down the current moon phase and sign, five things I’m grateful for, and I pull an oracle card and journal about what it means to me.
That’s pretty much it! After that, I usually scroll Instagram and check my email. Probably the most ESSENTIAL part of this ritual, though, on the days when I don’t get to everything, is my morning cup of tea!
I totally get it! I can’t do anything without my morning cup of coffee. With a mission to embody simplicity in magick, how do you use it to navigate hard times?
I was a practicing witch many years ago in high school and college, but I fell off the bandwagon so to speak for a few years. Then in September 2015, I lost my home, pets, and everything I owned in a wildfire, (one of the first of the increasingly devastating in California in the last decade). I was pretty lost in grief for a time, but eventually came back to my spiritual practice as I realized I needed the anchor that magick and nature could provide.
That’s when I really recommitted to my practice and started the blog that would lead to my books and the company I run today.
Magick is a form of self-empowerment; it’s about knowing that we have the ability and the power to transform ourselves and the world around us. It doesn’t mean bypassing the difficult things we’ve been through or trying to be ‘high vibe’ all the time. Rather, magick is about facing the darkness within, navigating the difficult experiences in our lives, and coming out the other side both stronger and softer.
A few ways that magick, witchcraft, and astrology have helped me navigate hard times include:
- Wearing cypress essential oil to help ease grief
- Remembering that the moon and the planets are constantly in motion – no phase or transit lasts forever, a reminder that everything always shifts and moves on, even when it feels like you are stuck in the mud
- Visualizations of my future self, living a happier, more carefree life than in the present – this can also help you get a glimpse of what is needed in order to heal
Can you give our readers three ways to embrace their spirituality (or how to get started)?
- The first step is to start learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Get some tarot or oracle cards or a pendulum, or just start writing down your dreams. Get familiar with what your intuition sounds or feels like to YOU.
- Read and experiment – there are no rules in witchcraft so you’ll want to try lots of different practices and techniques to discover what really works for you.
- Connect with your ancestral cultures. All of us have pagan ancestors a maximum of 80 generations ago, (and most of us much more recently than that). Even if you don’t know of anyone in your family who does magick or even believes in it, connect with the magick and folklore of your ancestors. This is one of the most powerful things you can do to reclaim the magick within.
Thank you so much, Tenae! We love how everything you share can fit so easily in our day-to-day lives! Now, let’s get into the rapid fire questions.
This might be my favorite part
Best thing you bought recently?
New Samsung dishwasher lol!
Favorite Wheel of the Year holiday?
Circe by Madeleine Miller
Go to fun fact?
I’m descended from the illegitimate half-brother of Mary, Queen of Scots.
What’s on your nightstand?
Amethyst crystals, glass of water and a Harry Potter book
Favorite hot beverage?
It’s always a joy to hear from Tenae, and I always feel inspired to tap into my inner witch. Want to hear more from her? Let us know what topics you’d like for her to cover in the future in the comments!