We here at Metaphysical Times are very fortunate to have a network of writers from around the world. We got a special opportunity to have a chat with the one and only Elyse Wells. The following is part one of that conversation with her.
Elyse Welles is a writer, witch, and wanderer – and the creator of Seeking Numina. Her work connects people to “numina”, or spiritual places, within themselves and around the world, through online community, courses, coaching and spiritual pilgrimages to Greece. Her writing has been published in Metaphysical Times, Sunflower Journal, and Yellow Arrow Journal, among others. Her debut novel, “Witch on the Juniata River”, is forthcoming from Running Wild Press. She also cohosts the Magick Kitchen Podcast. Join the Spirit First Community on Patreon: patreon.com/elysewelles and learn more at seekingnumina.com. Follow Elyse on Instagram and Facebook, @seekingnumina.
As a paid subscriber you can access the part 2, full video interview with Elyse Wells too! Subscribe now!
MT: Hi Elyse, thanks so much for being with us today. It’s great to have you. We know it’s late in Greece and don’t want to keep you.
Elyse: It’s great to be here. Thanks so much for having me.
MT: Let’s jump right into it then shall we. Can you tell us a little about you and how you relate to the Pagan Community?
EW: Sure. I’ve been a practicing witch for ten years, both solitary, in a coven, and now a solitary coven “ambassador” as I now live in Greece, a bit far from my coven’s base in Pennsylvania. I’m pursuing my second degree in my Faery Tradition coven, but I am Greek, Egyptian, and Anglo/Celtic American, so my practice is as eclectic as I am!
MT: Great! Is there anything in particular that you love about being Pagan?
EW: I’ve studied witchcraft, paganism, and syncretic religion across three continents in dozens of countries. I never feel like less of a student, which is my favorite thing about Paganism. I never run out of things to learn about, and most importantly, ways to connect to Spirit.
MT: To paint a full picture of you, is there anything you dislike about being Pagan?
EW: That we are still a marginalized community, and yet the oldest religious group on the planet. Greece is home to powerful energies and deities venerated the world over, and yet here, the national religion of Greek Orthodoxy prohibits the practice of witchcraft by law. While there has never been a recorded legal proceeding against witches for practicing their religion, there’s a pervasive anti-witch energy that shuts down the conversation before it starts.
MT: So, if you could do anything to fix the world’s problems, what would it be?
EW: Great question. The core problem the world faces, in my opinion, is the earth’s deterioration at the hands of human “progress”. I would spread an Earth-centered message to others, raising a generation of people who put Mother Earth first. In a way, that is what I am doing! I began as a public school teacher of English and theater, and now teach adults spiritual living – I hope to see that circle back around to family-focused educational experiences for pagans.
MT: Sweet. Teaching is such an intensive path. We hear you host Pagan events that flow along that path. Can you tell us a little about them?
EW: Certainly. My spiritual pilgrimages take people to the Attica region of Greece: the temples of Artemis, Poseidon, and Nemesis, as well as the site of the Eleusian Mysteries. I take them to visit the sacred places and give small group tours (no more than 6 people) focused on what the sacred practices looked like then, and how to experience these numina, or spiritual places, from anywhere in the world. It is a very personal, unforgettable experience.
Online, I run a Patreon community, The Spirit First Community, where individuals connect and engage on their own time with my weekly journal prompts, full moon rituals, new moon reflection prompts, and other resources I share. I’m hoping for it to grow into a space for online events and workshops, as well. I also teach self-paced courses online.
It’s important for me to provide resources and opportunities that create global connections through diversity – I introduce members to each other, and to pagan customs, cultures, and places they might not get to engage with outside of the digital world. Time zones make recordings and open-access materials a bit easier for most of our members.
MT: Are turn outs usually higher or lower than expected?
EW: The Magick Kitchen Podcast, where I promote all of what I do as they pertain to our conversations on magic and paganism, has over 10,000 listeners a month; based on those numbers, I do wish we had more people engaged in the online community space!
MT: Do people that you had no idea were even interested in Paganism come and pleasantly surprise you?
EW: I had my first ever student enroll in my course as a Christian! She enjoyed that the spiritual living practices didn’t include anything about shame, guilt, sin, or punishment that she was used to learning about in her Christian upbringing. It’s been very fulfilling to see her release those negative feelings and create her own spiritual path, within and without the resources I provided.
MT: So, what and when is your next event we can tell people about?
EW: My spiritual pilgrimages are running this spring and summer, from March to June. I do not provide lodgings for guests, but tours do include pick up and drop off from your hotel location.
My cohost, Leandra Witchwood, and I also just launched an online community which will include online events coming this spring. Sign up for my newsletter at seekingnumina.com for updates (and a free energy protection guide!)MT: That is all the time we want to take from you for now Elyse. I know it’s late for you. Thank you so much for chatting with us.
EW: It was my pleasure.
You can find Elyse all over social media, via her articles at Metaphysical Times, Facebook, Instagram, and her website, seekingnumina.com, and as a paid subscriber you can watch the extended video interview with Elyse by visiting the Exclusive Content page on our website.