Frankie Castanea has been a practicing neopagan and eclectic folk witch for seven years. They are more commonly known as “Chaotic Witch Aunt” on the internet, where they run a tarot reading business and host classes on divination, protection, and deity work.
I had the opportunity to interview Frankie, which you can read below.
First of all, welcome to Geeks OUT!. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you so much for having me! My name is Frankie Castanea and I am a content creator, author, and folk witch.
What can you tell us about your book, Spells for Change? Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
I created “Spells for Change” as a book created for those interested in the practice of witchcraft, as well as those who are starting their journey with witchcraft as beginners. I wanted to create a book that was accessible and easy to understand for all different levels as readers, as well as create a resource for a lot of foundational topics. If someone knew they were interested in witchcraft as a practice, but had no idea where to begin – that is what “Spells for Change” is for. I was inspired to write “Spells for Change” due to limited resources on witchcraft when I began my journey with my practice – I namely had some badly researched online resources and authors that wrote primarily about Wiccan practices.
How did you find yourself getting into writing and magic?
My dad jokes that I became interested in writing when he dropped a book on my head when I was a baby, but in all reality I’ve been writing since I was a kid and writing anything I could think of. I still have stacks of notebooks filled to the brim. Magic came a little later when I felt pulled to researching animal symbolism, especially as I was receiving particular animals when I asked for a “sign” from the universe. Learning about animal symbolism pulled me into ideas associated with Wicca, deities, and more, and from there I continued learning and started my practice.
As a writer, who or what would you say are some of your greatest creative influences and/or sources of inspiration?
As a writer, I always found my strongest creative influences within nature, my own experiences, and the experiences of others. I enjoy reading nonfiction and fiction alike, especially other witchcraft writers like Juliet Diaz, as well as non-witchy authors such as Madeline Miller and Joan Didion.
What’s a question you haven’t been asked yet but wish you were (and the answer to that question)?
I always loved the idea of being asked what my creative process was like. Especially as a witch, I feel like bringing in creativity is such a personal process for each writer and witch, and I feel as though there’s always inspiration to be gained from learning the creative processes of other writers and witches – as well as hoping to inspire other writers and witches by sharing my own. While I don’t wake up at a specific time and write for straight hours like other well known authors, I do create very specific playlists for phases of my writing – creation/brainstorming, in-the-process-of-writing, and even editing. I pair this with a few choice crystals (sodalite and clear quartz are my favorites), and an incense or herbal bundle to burn with specific associations to memory and creativity. I tend to write for as long as it feels natural, and if I experience specific bumps or places with writer’s block I do my best to give myself space away from the project before returning.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives?
My best advice to other creatives is to follow what makes you feel passionate. Passion is the match that creates the fire of creativity, and I honestly believe that following your heart and what you are truly passionate about leads to success.
Are you currently working on any other projects that you are at liberty to speak about?
At the moment, I am brainstorming a second book! While it’s still in its early stages, I plan to bring in ideas like budget witchcraft, folk magic, and working with plant and animal allies.
Finally, what books/authors would you recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?
For those interested in witchcraft, I always recommend Juliet Diaz, author of “Plant Witchery” as well as “The Altar Within”, as well as “Grovedaughter Witchery” by Bree NicGarran and “Of Blood and Bones” by Kate Freuler. For those interested in witchcraft or just looking for a good book to read, “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer continues to be a book full of lessons that I continuously return to again and again.