Witches Found

WF Sandra Huber - I Can Only Be Of Service If I Know Myself

I can only know myself if I let myself desire.

Risa Dickens
Jan 4, 2024
39 min read
Dr. Sandra Huber

We saved this interview with Dr. Sandra Huber to start the new year right. Sandra is one of our favourite people to talk Witchcraft with, she wrote a forward for our book Missing Witches: Reclaiming True Histories of Feminist Magic and constantly expands our thinking with her scholarship and artistic practice.

In this interview, Sandra talks about the tactics involved in teaching 900 students, and she talks about channeling and automatic writing, Hilma Af Klint, feminist practices and night industries.

Using the Thoth Deck created by Alistair Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris, we ask How Can We Serve? And the card's answer is: Lust.

Sandra says:

"I can only be of service if I know myself. I can only know myself if I let myself desire, and let myself be, and let myself unfold into the crazy world with all my electricity and all my failures and faults and vulnerabilities and loves and truths, all of that, bring all of it. Not just the stuff that is polished and beautiful and ready to be presented and grammatically correct and upright and condoned and given an A or a check mark. Bring all of the mess and chaos. That's what lust is bringing. That's what the goddess Babylon is bringing. And that's what artists bring. We bring our mess. Inside that mess is coiled our desire."

Sandra Huber is a writer, researcher, and educator. She teaches at Concordia University and holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities with a specialization in contemporary witchcraft. She wrote Assembling the Morrow: A Poetics of Sleep (Talonbooks, 2014). Lately she is trying to find more time for astrology, cats, and sunsets. sandrahuber.com.

The induction for automatic writing which Sandra mentions in this episode is available here, along with excerpts from her new book-in-progress:


Referenced in this conversation:

Hilma af Klint + Anna Cassel - Life Is A Farce If A Person Does Not Serve Truth.
This is a queer story, an occult story, a story with love for the future.
Missing Witches – Lady Frieda Harris: I Wish I Could Paint In Crystals - Missing Witches podcast, books, COVEN
We started season one by telling the story of the artist, woman, witch behind the world’s most famous tarot deck, Pixie Coleman Smith, and so it seems fitting that to spark season 2 we dig into the life of another spectacular and forgotten tarot artist. This queen, this Lady, in her sixties, as bombs rain


WF Sandra Huber 

[00:00:00] Risa: The Missing Witches podcast is brought to you by The Missing Witches Coven. Our coven mate, poet, Sun, said. 

I came to this coven because nobody else was centering mutual aid and informed resistance like the Missing Witches, but this community is also hugely loving and supportive and full of artists and thinkers and healers who have such a huge diversity of experience.

Even when we're not in circle, there's magic afoot. Also, I have a chronic illness, which makes it really hard not to swear all the time, so I am in fabulous company here. Bless a fucking bee. 

And Coven Mate Jen from Wheel of My Year wrote, I discovered Missing Witches through Queen of All Queens, Jinx Monsoon's podcast.

After reading their contributor covenant, I thought I would give it a chance and attended a new moon circle. As a queer person of color living in a flyover state, I had very low standards. I was used to being burned by performative allyship and virtue signalers.

These witches were different. My first circle was a transformative experience as a solitary witch. Missing Witches Coven is what was missing from my practice. I'm so grateful to be found . 

Anyway, those are some of the people who bring you this podcast. And if that sounds like your people, then come find out more at missingwitches.com. 


[00:01:31] Risa: Welcome back. Welcome listeners. Welcome Coven. Welcome to all of you in whatever states your bodies and brains are at. This is a time when, in my writing, I'm thinking a lot about channeling, so welcome also. To whoever else is here in whatever other forms they are appearing with you today and welcome, especially a wise writer, thinker, fellow Montrealer, just brilliant witch, and such a fucking delight of a human to party with, uh, doctor, witch doctor, Sandra Huber, who also is one of the people who were gracious enough to read early, early copies of our first book and share thinking and writing with us.

Welcome home to the Missing Witches podcast, friend. How are you?

[00:02:26] Sandra: Thank you. It's so good to be here. It's such a strange time of year. 

[00:02:32] Risa: I always want to or part of my brain always thinks I can rush through this time

[00:02:37] Sandra: yes, me too.

So I Finished my PhD in witchcraft and now I'm teaching at Concordia. I'm teaching a 900 person class.

[00:02:47] Risa: Whoa!

[00:02:48] Sandra: In the Faculty of Fine Arts on Interdisciplinary Studies. So I have 900 students and there's 20 tutorial leaders, um, and we get together in this massive lecture hall and also over a webinar and talk about interdisciplinary arts and do exercises together and collaborate.

It's wild. The wild energy.

[00:03:15] Risa: That sounds incredibly intense. What does it feel like in front of 900 people who are interested in interdisciplinary art?

[00:03:25] Sandra: Well, first of all, they have to be there. It's a core requirement course at Concordia. so Everybody coming into the Faculty of Fine Arts has to take this course. So whether they're in dance or music or cinema or theater or game design or art education, they have to come to this course. And what does it feel like?

I mean, it feels wild. A lot of people join online and also watch asynchronously. So we give them lots of options to join because I don't really think it's ethical to have people pack into a large auditorium if they don't feel comfortable with that. So it's very dispersed. I feel like I'm moving through time and space in a strange way when I'm giving those lectures and it's my second year doing it.

And I feel like, I'm focusing more on giving them the space. Whereas in my first year I was really like concerned with producing content. Now I'm just like, okay, what can we do together in this space? And if I do it next year, I think I'll make it more because there is like, there's so many people, I think I'll make it more like addressing big problems because like what could 900 people, 900 like young minds.

You know, working together come up with like in terms of some of the big like nodded issues of our time. So I was thinking of gearing it more towards that perhaps next semester or next year, but, but I'll see. I'm also starting a postdoc at McGill in March to work on sort of go back to my work on witchcraft and weave in my work on sleep as well to develop what I'm calling night knowledge.

So really working with like, what are the knowledges of the night? What are the knowledges that have been excluded from the daytime learning of our institutions? What are, say, unenlightened knowledge bases? anD in this, I would also like love to use that to get people together, maybe into a symposium to talk about things like magic and witchcraft or sleep and psychoanalysis.

Or like knowledges that come alive at night, like astronomy, astrology, sex work even urban design like the different flowers that bloom at night, like botany and herbalism. Yeah, so I'm sort of like, I have like a whole bunch of puzzle pieces that I'm putting together. So there's teaching work and then postdoc work.

And then I'm working also on two book projects. One is a book of automatic writing scripts. And one is I'm turning my dissertation into a book called witchy methodologies. So talking about epistemologies and methodologies of witchcraft and how they intersect philosophy. And yeah, cultural studies and interdisciplinary humanities and how these two bodies of knowledge like witchcraft and more academic knowledges that are so disparate.

Speak to each other and then what we can do from that kind of twilight space. So these are a lot of things that I'm thinking of. And I was also thinking of this time of year and thinking of your work I just was at your book launch and congratulations on your book. It made me think like maybe one of the things we can do today is like pull one or two cards for whoever is listening just to tune into this time of year, like since you do write about that. Um,

[00:06:38] Risa: That. Before we do that, can you give folks who are listening more context for the way that you have written and, and thought about channeled work, automatic writing, like when someone like you pulls a card, there sort of is a whole kind of catalog of reference that come into how you think about that.

And I wondered if you could give us more context for that.

[00:07:02] Sandra: absolutely. So automatic writing I've been doing now for probably about 20 years. And I just taught a workshop for the Vienna School of Poetry. I'm teaching two more workshops coming up one with the Feminist Association in Vienna and one at Colgate University. And it's, it's really like one of the things that I'm most passionate about because number one, as a writer and someone who's gone through school and been part of institutions and also like as children were indoctrinated into writing.

And I think that as individuals and as Society as a whole, we have a lot of healing to do around writing and what that has done to us and around, like, what we think literacy means. What is it to be literate? What is it to be illiterate? What is it to know how to write? What is it to know how to do grammar well and syntax well?

And I want to uncoil from that. Because I see the use in that, I'm a proficient writer, I've gone through so much school, way too much school, 

here I am at like 44, just finishing a PhD, it's like I've been like in the institution, and now I'm 

teaching so, and I teach writing as well as part of my class, but also part of the way that I do that is to try to de center a little bit these notions of perfection that we have.

And automatic writing is a beautiful way. It's sort of like how we can heal from writing within writing, I think. And we can do that. One of the ways we can do that is just by de centering the I. sO to channel, like whether you're opening a channel to speak with spirits or to speak with a muse you might have, or to speak with an avatar you might have, whatever that may be, or even just to speak with writing itself.

You're, you're automatically kind of de centering the I, and you're becoming, you're becoming something different, you're becoming something wilder, you're becoming writing in a way, and so when you do automatic writing, when you're engaging in it, you're really not thinking about, like, okay, is the writing I'm, I'm I'm doing, like, grammatically correct and perfect, it really is just being in the flow of writing.

And I think that's a beautiful healing process. And what usually comes out of it is like totally unreadable, illegible. And yet something has happened in that process, like an alchemy has taken place. And that's what I love about it. And then from that, you can go back and I had my students, I just taught a workshop at the Vienna Poetry School.

And I had my students come up with ways to perform the automatic writing that was not like some of them chose to read it. Like read their read their scripts that they composed like more and more also with each other so not they started kind of like channeling each other in the class as well as spirits and so we had these reams of writing at the end of the class that were like not really produced by any single person and then we just tried to find ways of like enacting that like how would we perform this like even just like picking a word to perform or you know, doing a typical reading, but a lot of them, a lot of it actually manifested in dance, which I thought 

was interesting.

It was like, everybody's dancing suddenly. So it's almost like automatic writing 

is like the dancing of writing in a way. And that's what I love about it. I think it helps us to heal from these really these, I want to say toxic, but I think that word is overused. These really. Challenging colonial, imperial, bourgeois institutions of mark making.

People who want to say, this is what the standardized mark looks like. This is who a writer is. This is what a writer does. This is who is allowed to be a writer and who is not allowed to be a writer. And it goes back also to histories of people who were excluded from that as well. Like people of color, women, people who are poor and can't afford an education.

People who are not allowed into institutions of education, it's like these people then are excluded from that standardized idea of who is allowed to make a mark and what that mark looks like. And it also goes back, like when you start thinking about. Literacy and mark making in that way, you also like call in, for example, like, Harriet Powers's narrative quilts or something.

Or you know, people who were making marks not through writing, but in other ways through collaging or art making. You call a lot of that into the practice too.

[00:11:36] Risa: Okay, so can you talk about Hilma F. Klint?

[00:11:39] Sandra: Helma, oh my gosh, a little bit, yeah. Helma F. Clint, that's a really really great person to collocate with. 

[00:11:46] Risa: And specifically, here's what I'm, what I'm so curious to hear what you think about. So, She starts being invited to seances and channeling from the time she's like a teenager. She, falls in love, we think, with Anna Cassell and they form the five. And then that continues every week for like a decade.

And then there's this kind of mysterious other group of the 13 that they continue to work with. And at the same time, making art that is like nothing. That the art world will accept or acknowledge. They're basically inventing abstraction.

They're drawing on all this sort of scientific drawing and study that they've done. And what I want to know what you think about is like, in that room, say with the five, when you're engaging in a practice of channeling or their automatic drawing with the planchette,

describe what you think happens, right? They're learning from each other in a way that maybe they weren't always free to do.

Like maybe it opens a space. You've talked about channeling is this sort of feminine way of listening, like allowing methods in. I just want to hear you talk about it.

[00:12:59] Sandra: yeah, first of all, I love her artwork. I managed to see her exhibition at the it was the Guggenheim. Yeah. That looks like this, the temple that she wanted to create.

And it broke the records of Guggenheim. Like it, and it was amazing because it is really like the temple that she wanted to create, the Guggenheim.

It should really only show her work. And so it was so cool to see it. I also saw it with A very dear friend of mine who passed away last October, who was a medium and a hypnotist. Um,

[00:13:29] Risa: I'm sorry that your friend passed but I'm glad you were there together.

[00:13:31] Sandra: yeah, I'm glad I was there together. It's the first exhibition that I went to that actually made me cry at the exhibition.

It was so powerful to see her work and knowing also that she painted like for the future, right? That she held on to this work or that was one of her caveats to her nephew that she wouldn't release this work for 20 years. And so the work really feels like it's for us. It really does, whoever us is, like the person beholding her work.

And it was astounding just to be, I've been around so much art in my life and I've never been around art that felt like that. anD to answer your question, what do I think is happening there? I think that's so complicated, but I think that it really speaks to very simple principles of interconnection, right?

Like, all of us are connected not just to each other, but to the objects around us, the animals, the plants, the energies, the subtle energies that we don't see. The spirits we're connected to so many different layers and worlds around us. And I really just think that what Hilma F. Clint is doing is she's clearing Time and space of its borders and perimeters and she's opening that up.

And I think anyone channeling is working in a different in a different kind of conception of time and space as well. And that's really it's as simple as that. It's really just opening up. It's almost like when The difference being, say, for example, when you think of prose and poetry, like prose is horizontal and poetry is vertical.

And I think of like mediumship as vertical in time. So you're dropping into time, not in a linear way where you, you move from left to right. And again, this has a lot to do with literacy. You know, like your eyes would move from left to right, reading words on a page, or you could just drop down through the center and, and release that.

And that opens you to something different. And I think channeling is a lot like dropping down through, through time and space in a way like falling down into water and just opening and seeing what happens there. And I think it's something that anyone can do. I think anyone can channel. I think some people are very talented at it and they have, you know, they have an ability to do that.

That's innate and they, they're either very scared of it and they avoid it and it materializes in, in harmful ways in their life, or they fall into that and they explore it. But I think also anyone can learn if they're open to it. Anyone can learn. Anyone can do it. And if you think about like even, you know, technology and the way that we're in constant collaboration with technology these days, like autofill on our text messages, we're always automatically writing.

We're always in a way channeling and being channeled. We're being predicted and we're predicting we're working with predictive technologies and we're predictive ourselves. And I really think it's, it's really as simple as opening into that, and it can be done through exercises through meditations through inductions and I think the beautiful thing.

that Hilma F. Klint seemed to have was this community of people around her who helped her. And so I think also the authorship of her work should be questioned too. Should we really be ascribing this work just to Hilma F. Klint? Like, should we not be taking into account the other people that were undoubtedly there as well as the spirits, right?

This is, this is like multiply authored work. I don't think it just belongs to her. And I wonder, I wonder how she would have felt about that because it's her and it's not her at the same time. And we, we, I think like we don't have the minds to grasp that and say like art history classes or something, right?

Like we always need an author or an artist. It's that person, but she really challenges that. And that's what I love about her work. And when you're looking at her work, I'm like, it's massive. Some of the work that she did from that particular series. That was her first series. I forgot what it's called, but these massive, like tapestry, like paintings,

[00:17:42] Risa: I think she calls them like the big ones. A lot of them. Yeah.

[00:17:46] Sandra: the big ones, they're 

[00:17:48] Risa: really big.

They're really big. And a lot of them are unsigned, right? She was very deliberate. Like these ones were created in collaboration. And yeah,

[00:17:56] Sandra: God, that's beautiful. Yeah. So then you think that she herself was interested in that unsigned voice.

[00:18:04] Risa: I do. Yeah. Like, one thing I find, I'm finding interesting now is realizing like, so at the end in her, in her 70s, when she had tried many times to exhibit and had just been met with mockery like women in the arts was really so new and was met with very explicit like women can't do heavy things, can't have big ideas.

This is a joke, get them out of the Academy, get them out of the Royal Swedish Academy where they were paying more to be there than the men and they weren't allowed to do half the thing anyway. So she tried to exhibit many times. She was not keeping the paintings a secret. That is like a misconstruction from early writing about her, but she tried and she was made fun of.

And so in the seventies. In her seventies, she's with both Anna, who she had spent so much of her life living with and traveling with, and I think her name is Thomasina, who was her mother's nurse, who's her partner in the latter years of her life. And the three of them are together. And the three of them execute.

her archival vision together. So they're following Anna's notes, putting marks on which notebook shouldn't be open for 20 years, which boxes of paintings should be put away. The three of them work together. They burn journals together, you know, like they, under her direction, they make this archive for the future.

But just recently they found and translated Anna's notebooks, Anna's diaries, and those didn't undergo the same process because it was Anna's Story to tell, you know, and so then we start to see more of this idea of collaboration and I have a book of Anna's paintings and you would be, I was floored, like, they are so obviously sort of palimpsest collaborations with you, you look at the paintings of Hilma of Clinton, you're like, Oh, this part is Anna, like, it's

[00:20:03] Sandra: That's amazing. It's so beautiful. It makes me also think that like Hilma is like the tip of the iceberg on maybe something that's going to unravel as we learn more and more about these women and what they were doing together and what their artwork was and their own writing. It's just so beautiful. And it also makes me think like For anyone out there, you know, creating art and not finding their audience or being turned away, maybe you're writing, maybe you're creating for the future.

And that's beautiful. Like, that's so meaningful because just because you might not find your contemporaries now doesn't mean the audience doesn't exist. And, like, with Hilma, like, thank God that work wasn't destroyed, thank God that work was kept, thank God she didn't give up on herself. Or maybe she did, multiple times, but thank God she didn't ultimately do that.

But it's like, these notions of failure, I think, are so, salient, and, like, what that means. anD what it means to, to have your work speak for you and when it speaks for you and how you let it do that. I think all of these questions are so important. We live in such a culture that demands like instant feedback, you know, like likes on our posts or instant success.

And we're usually hustling. We usually, we have to fight to survive. Most of us are usually doing multiple things. We don't really have the time and space to create like we might really need to have. And that's, that's a privilege too, and that's something to carve out too, that's really difficult, but also like the difficulty of the now, like the capital N now that we live in, that is not capacious, but really restrictive sometimes.

And I see that also with my students who are young artists, you know, overworked in the institutional system, with these massive course loads, it was like, why not just give them space to create? And have them come to class if and when they want to do that. Have them work on a pass fail basis. And just give them that container to create.

And anyone who works at my university listening to this, I'll probably be fired. 

But really, I think that's what we need. And we also need like, better, 

maybe better is the wrong word, but we need to revise what we think failure and success is, and what audience and community means as well, for our work, because I think there's so many people who might give up on or who might, you know, really like, internalize any negative feedback or critique and really just kind of shut down their creativity.

And I think that's such a shame. And I think that creative acts such as channeling, such as automatic writing can open those spaces back up so that you're not you're not thinking within the perimeters of what people think you should and should not do, what you can and cannot do, but you're simply just opening up to a creative force and that itself will find its channels, that will find its rivers and streams.

That will find its people, because that forest is bigger than any one person, just like Hilma's paintings, literally bigger than 

[00:23:21] Risa: Then her, then like her group, like looking at these paintings. It's like, 

[00:23:25] Sandra: Yeah, there's abstraction. There's like, you know, Kandinsky and Malevich and what they're doing was interesting and spiritual too in its own right.

But what she's doing completely 

surpasses, in my opinion, just like the, the one on one 

experience with her work completely surpasses the affect of any abstraction I've seen. So I wonder if abstraction is even the right word. I wonder if that will even go forward. Or if, like, canon, like, well, more and more of this art becomes discovered, I wonder if language will be revised.

And I wonder if she herself considered that abstract work.

[00:24:01] Risa: right. Yeah. She's certainly interested in the process of abstraction, you know, from a family of like, oceanic cartographers, like they mapped. The ocean floor, you know, they're like her grandfather was the first person to map like the coastline of Sweden along the north. So, so she's thinking about, and like, she's studying anatomical drawing and, you know, doing, she has these beautiful drawings of plants and stuff.

So she's thinking about like, what's underneath a lot. I wanted to ask you, what are, what are the practices that have worked for you in This kind of context automatic writing and channeling. I mean, for Hilma, she built up books of symbolic reference.

It took her a really long time. What are some of the, what's the homework? What are some of the practices?

[00:25:02] Sandra: Well, actually, I just uploaded to my website, and I'll give you the link and induction into automatic writing. So anyone listening to this can try it and There's a beautiful musical track in it by Stefana Fertilla that allows you, it just gives you the space and container to do automatic writing for eight minutes.

There's an induction and then I bring you out of it as well. So you can go into the rest of your day. The whole thing is about 16 minutes. So I do really recommend like, Listening to inductions, practicing. I think also just having like little daily rituals of opening such as keeping a journal to write about your dreams in the morning.

I think that's important. I think in order to start connecting with these worlds, we want to start seeing reality more like a dream and dreams more like reality. So if you can try to blend those spheres if you can even just write down a few words in your dreams in the morning, I know it's so hard to write down dreams in the morning, but even just a few words that will automatically blend into your day and I think start opening things.

buT in terms of automatic writing, I think you really do need someone to sit down with you or recording to induce you into it, and then to play with it, and just to do that as a habit. thE more I get into it, the more I can just, like, set a timer for myself for, say, seven minutes and clear my mind and then just you know, make some marks on a page until the timer goes off and then just put that aside and do anything else.

So I really just think practicing. I also think that diligence that Hilma F. Klint had of making her own symbols is a really beautiful act. So if you have a journal and you have like symbols that you keep using or keep dreaming of for example, I have like all these symbols that have to do with water, my dream journals like clear water, really icy cold water, water that I'm swimming in water that I'm seeing there's a whole thing on water.

And then you can slowly kind of start to unmask the symbols that are already in your mind and that connects you as well to things around you. I really think it's about connection. There's also and this could be something separate that would take a while longer but just channeling spirits is. Something that you could try out with that.

I would recommend someone who knows what they're doing to mentor you and who can set protections around you. I wouldn't fuck with that. I really wouldn't. I'm really not one of those people who's like, go channel a spirit. I'm like, no, don't, don't do that. Like do that with the proper protections and pragmatism that's needed to do that with someone who really knows and can really guide you into that and can also guide you out of that.

And especially at this time of year, I think that's an important PSA to have that, you know, now you have like all these people telling you go, like the veil has been connected to your ancestors and spirits. Really? I mean, is that wise? Do you want to do that? Why are you doing that? Who are you connecting to?

Who are you allowing in? I know some people have very different. Thoughts around this topic and it's controversial. Some people will tell you to just go do it and it's going to be fine. I'm not one of those people. Also cause I realized spirit work and channeling work is so much about having boundaries and that's hard work.

Anyone who's tried to learn boundaries, who's had a history of, let's say, quote unquote, bad boundaries or porous boundaries knows how hard that is. I really think boundaries are, are such important work there. And I think, I wonder what Hilma F. Clint did for that, like did not just to Get herself into that state of channeling and understand she had other people with her, that helps. But I wonder what they did to get out of that state and go into their day.

Because I think that's important work too. We always talk about like getting into that state of channeling or into that state of state of porousness or knowing but coming out of that is also important because we do have to live in this here world. And that's an important place to be as well.

Channeling can sometimes be an escape, There will be spirits just ready, ready to, to glom onto that energy. So why you're doing it, be focused, do you know, do this with someone who knows what they're doing and can get you out of that and provide you with the protections.

I think that's important work too.

[00:29:30] Risa: yeah. I mean, I, I wonder from your perspective, working with young people who are right at the age when this so often manifests, but I look at. sometimes the ways people interact with this work and questions of mental health, and I think that we're not always being as careful as we need to be to combine those languages, right, to talk about, like, how very real it is that -

especially with the pressure of extreme anxiety and climate collapse and the pressure of late stage capital, those sort of terror of being in this constant world of froth. It's our, our mental health is like, it's fragile, you know, like a, and you see many people who engage with occulted knowledges.

Tipping over that edge whether that's like from a spirit let in or from like a losing hold on their community or like the material. I don't think it's something that this sort of world of witchcraft has reckoned with

[00:30:31] Sandra: Right. Like these witchcraft books, like telling you to open up communication with the spirit. I'm like, close that book. Like, yeah, I, I think with my students, I mean, first of all, my students at Concordia, to be clear, I'm not teaching them how to channel. I'm 

like teaching them like you know, skills and classes on like art 

I'm not.

[00:30:51] Risa: Do they know you did your PhD in witchcraft?

[00:30:53] Sandra: Yeah, I tell them. Yeah, they know. Yeah, and some students will come up and personally ask me about it, but I don't. I do have a class that I'll probably do in the winter on magic, because we work with keywords, but otherwise I'm not going to go into a class of 900 students and be like, today we're channeling spirits.

[00:31:11] Risa: You're kind of channeling from them though I imagine.


[00:31:15] Sandra: But one thing I noticed, just like in terms of all these anxieties you brought up, one thing I noticed about my students is they, The mental health is a huge issue. Depression and anxiety are huge. And some things that I want to tell students is like, give yourself space for that, but also tell yourself you're strong.

I think in a lot of ways we've fallen into a pit of presenting the most fragile parts of ourselves because those have been excluded for so long, right? Like when I think of my mother, who's very neurodivergent, I think she would have really benefited from a lot of the discourse that allows that and that celebrates that because I think she's always hidden that and been ashamed of it.

But I think the coin can have another side and people can get very attached to their illnesses, they can get very attached to their neurodivergences and They can almost become more frail than, than they truly are. So give that space, but also know that you're strong, that you're a strong person and you can be brave and you can challenge yourself.

And I think challenging ourselves is really important. And I tell that to my students too. And like, if you can't come to class today because you're depressed or anxious, that's fine. Like give yourself that space and then challenge yourself next time to see if you can, or challenge yourself to do something, you know, a little, a little bit bigger than you would have done yesterday and just see how that feels.

Because I think we can fall into these traps of. Of feeling like we're more frail than we are. And I think that's, that's disempowering . And we want to do the opposite. I think we want to try to collect our power in ways that are forgiving of ourselves and gentle, but also in ways that are challenging and brave and strong.

[00:32:58] Risa: Turn back to the material world as much as it's incredibly, I don't know, magical and a relief to turn to spirit world or to turn to you know, my own mind, my own thoughts, my own feelings. I think Hilma was grounded by her friendships. And she was grounded by the actual fact of she made her paints, you know?

She, she, she was like a fabricator. And care, like she cared for her mother. You know, she had her studio built. She lived on the island. She like, she was in the natural world, in the real world. So I think trying to have that balance to pull ourselves out into the other, the other side of things.


[00:33:43] Sandra: Yeah. Because we are alive. 

Something to celebrate too. 

 We can celebrate grief and we can celebrate going underground. And I think that's really important. And it's also important to keep life and the living and our material.

Beings in mind too. And I love that aspect of care and community. I think those are the things that ground us.

Caring for plants or animals or whatever it is that you have in your life to care for your friends, your community is it's, that's a beautiful thing that can bring us back to the here and now and can also make us feel strong and empowered.

Cause we're not alone

[00:34:22] Risa: It goes back to that de centering of the individual author into that, what, what is this collective collaboration for? What are we doing? 

[00:34:31] Sandra: Yeah. And what do we want to make of that? What do we want to bring to that. Also, how can we serve? I remember asking that question before I got this job. 

I was like, I would love to serve in bigger ways. How can I serve? And 

suddenly I was serving 900 students.


be careful what you ask for. 

But I also think, like, that's such a nice question to ask. Like, instead of like, what do I want? It's like, how can I serve? How can I be of service? 

[00:35:00] Risa: That be the question we ask the cards today, Sandra?

[00:35:03] Sandra: Yes. 

 So I've got my sparkly cloth,

[00:35:08] Risa: So sparkly.

[00:35:10] Sandra: cloth cloth.

[00:35:12] Risa: Thoth, cloth.

[00:35:13] Sandra: Ooh, look what's at the bottom of

the deck. Right. yeah.

The death card. So I'm using Lady Freda Harris's Thoth deck, and you actually write on it in your Libra New Moon, and she works with sacred geometry, which is, I think, something you know more about than me. Then I do. 

[00:35:32] Risa: I know a little bit about it. I, I was really interested in the way she was thinking about projective geometry in that chapter. And mostly I just love, this is sort of like material stuff and gossipy stuff, which I think is totally magical too. But just the relationship with Crowley, like the letters back and forth, they're so inspired.

And then also so bitchy, I find her so relatable. I like when she's like, ugh, I can't get anywhere with these metaphysical people.

I don't understand any of it. I just, I need to paint anything to understand it. I just, that aspect of her, I think I connected to more, you know, sacred geometry is something that I, I think is, is beautiful and resonant, but I've always been a bit like. So what? Like, yeah, it's all, you know, like, yeah, patterns are everywhere , spirals are everywhere, the Fibonacci sequence makes sense, but like, what does it mean?

What are we

[00:36:24] Sandra: Yeah, exactly. What do we do with that? I feel this way. I'm just like, and

[00:36:27] Risa: yeah,

like, and I'm always like waiting for it to crack the code. I'm like, what? Like, crack the code for us, math.

yeah, exactly.

tell us about the universe. Yes, it does. But it does. So in like mysteries and riddles, just like everything else,

I guess. Yeah.

Yeah, I think that's what's funny about science and math, 

[00:36:45] Sandra: too, is we expect them to give us knowledge that say other bodies of knowledge haven't been able to give us, but in the end, it's kind of the same. In the end, like, 

[00:36:54] Risa: the mysteries are the same mysteries. And in the 

[00:36:56] Sandra: end, like, those mysteries don't give up their names, not to science, not to art, not to religion, not to anything.

So sacred geometry is one of those rabbit holes where I'm just like, it should give up the sacred names and it kind of doesn't.

[00:37:09] Risa: Yeah. I know. I love that definition of science is where it's like, we just keep learning how to ask better questions. And that's all that's all all seekers are doing. 

[00:37:18] Sandra: Okay, how can we serve? How can we be of service? So Risa, I'll shuffle and then just say, just tell me when to stop, when you feel the energy is right.

[00:37:36] Risa: now? Yeah. Can

[00:37:47] Sandra: they can't see it. This is number 11, Lust. or the strength card in some other decks. Here we see a beautiful drawing painting by Lady Frida of a lion and a woman naked riding the lion leaning back, holding a beautiful chalice, a red chalice that has Like blue flames coming out of it, perhaps a chalice of blood, or in any case, a chalice that contains some sort of red fluid or is red itself.

Perhaps it's a grail, uh, and she looks like she's in ecstasy. Someone in the chat, Emily says a diva cup. 

[00:38:30] Risa: Yes, Emily. She's holding a diva cup. I do see this as menstrual blood 

[00:38:35] Sandra: for sure. And the chalice is massive. It's much, it's like way out of proportion to her body. And surrounding her are like emanations.

It's a very red card. There's a lot of reds and purples lascivious colors. There's some blue. It's a very lusty card. So how can we serve? If we ask lust how we can serve, I think we can serve through our desires through reaching towards what is powerful, what is glorious what is desirous, what is feisty, what is strong, what is lusty.

I would say look to your deepest desires. And carry them, like, as if you're riding on this lion, holding them up in your hand. Yeah, this is a, this is a great card of service. This is also a card, typically this is for a different podcast episode, but definitely a card of sex magic. This is a card that hearkens to the goddess Babylon, who was channeled through artist Marjorie Cameron.

 In part created by Alistair Crowley via John Dee, but reaching back to Ishtar and Inanna. And the goddess Babylon is very much about love, but also about war, about the body, about sex, but also about the virginal, about like the light that we carry within us. how that light also burns strongly.

But it's very much an expressive card. It's very much like a ticket to go to the furthest corners of your desires and explore them. And it's a lusty card. So yeah, bring, bring that energy, whether you're solo or with partners or a partner, bring that, bring that lusty energy to your life and see what happens.

[00:40:30] Risa: With Lady Frida. I, I picture her as somebody, I don't know about her lust life. I don't know about her sex life, but I know she followed her desires, you know, she dyed her hair red. She was like painting in a trailer, and then at the end of her life, she goes and like lives on a houseboat in India. She was in touch with her, with her desire.

It makes sense that she wants that for us. What a fun, scandalous message to get when you're asking about service, 

[00:40:54] Sandra: Yeah. I love it. It is so scandalous. I think, yeah, I think definitely go create in your own houseboat and see what happens. But also this is a card about sex and about lust and desire. So that could be something fun to explore, especially at this time of year. But I just think like, how are we In service to our desires.

And how are we in service to desire itself? Desire is such a beautiful force. And that I think when we really allow ourselves to go for what we want, we really exercise our will. And I think a lot of us don't really know or or don't feel entitled or empowered to go for what it is we truly want.

Like, think big. What is it that you truly want? Like, the woman in this card is not like, Oh, I don't know. I want a simple light. Like, no. She's 

like, I'm, I'm thinking like, to the biggest perimeters. So I would say think big. 

What is it that you truly want? And I think it's hard to to sometimes know that because there's all these shoulds in our lives.

Like, what should I want? What should I be doing with my life? What should I do today? And it's like, well, what do I desire? What is my heart's true desire? And how could I even just admit that to myself? And by admitting that, then we automatically move more towards that. So I really think it is a card that's like, how are you in service to desire itself and to your, your deepest desires.

[00:42:27] Risa: Yes. And like, what does it call into the world if we think of our lust, our most profound like body, yes, listening to that, like, what does that serve? You know, like I think there are people who would say that that serves the devil even today. You know, there are people who would say that us, people being unburdened by.

So many centuries of oppression on what we were allowed to desire was dangerous. I think there's people who would feel that that was like a bit scary, even in, even in like our own lives. Like if secretly I've always known that I'm bi and, but I'm married to be honest about, even if it's like, I don't need to uplift up, upturn my life, but I might just need to say it out loud somewhere.

Yeah, yeah,

You know, like, it is. change?

I think 

[00:43:27] Sandra: like, I think it's deliciously scary. I think that's a card would say, if it's scary, go for it. Like, yes, you don't have to rip apart your life, but just like, say it out loud to someone you trust or to yourself. write it down on a page, burn the page, but just say what it is that you want. Say it. It's, I think it, it does have like, maybe desire is so scary because it does have the power to completely change us or to change the things that we consider safe.

[00:44:02] Risa: Right.

[00:44:02] Sandra: think that power is also something beautiful.

[00:44:06] Risa: Yeah. And to say it and reframe it not as an act just of selfishness, which it can feel so selfish to tell truths sometimes, especially if they are going to turn over the world, but say it as an act of service, like an act of service to the future, you know, to, to tell the truth as an act of service about what you desire.


[00:44:29] Risa: Think Hilma would be into it.

[00:44:32] Sandra: I think she'd be into it and like hearing you say that and phrase it like that makes me think that you, you should not be putting down what it is that you desire, because you don't know what that's going to bring to the world. We can't afford not to believe in ourselves. We have to believe in ourselves because we have something precious to bring like that grail cup, right?

Like that overflowing cup, we have something precious to bring. And that precious thing is only going to be available to us if we believe in ourselves. If we admit the full extent of our desires, and that is a beautiful way to be in service. That is service itself. That service from a place that's May have been framed as egotistical or as satanic or demonic, but actually it's the opposite because our true desires are probably quite pure if it's our true desire.

It's pure then it's a pure flame. It's a blue flame and that's a beautiful thing to bring into the world and to see how that manifests in the world around you and who that touches. I think a lot of the times we don't know what our desires are going to do in the world or who they're going to touch or how it's going to manifest.

But just letting that force flow through us takes a lot of strength and bravery that card is often called strength. Pixies depiction of that card is like a woman in a white dress sort of holding open the mouth of a lion, right? It's almost kind of virginal, like the, the white dress, and then she's like taming the beast in a way.

But I think there's those two sides. There's the purity and there's the lust. I think those are almost the same thing, really bringing forth your desire in all its fullness. It is pure, and you don't know who that's going to touch, and you don't know what you're doing by keeping that inside and keeping that hidden.

And keeping safe. I think it's a good dare 

[00:46:27] Risa: I think so too. I think there's pieces to unpack, pieces that get added to this, right? It's As long as you don't hurt anybody, your, your will is the whole of the law, you know, like, there's the consent piece that is the natural container within which that becomes really potent. magic, I think that's what so much of what magical work is about. It's like, there's this limitlessness, but let's make a container and within that something will change. And I think consent is this incredibly beautiful, powerful electric container that is sort of like the safety balance of our, of our desire and our lust, do you know what I mean?

[00:47:12] Sandra: Yeah, I also think it's beautiful just thinking of that phrase like without you know, without fully knowing or being inside of a community who really works with that knowledge, but just hearing it as words of a poem, it is really beautiful because like, if love is the law, love under will, that's a beautiful piece of magical advice.

Because it's not just love, it's also law and love, and then will added to that. And I think I might have told you this before, but my favorite definition of the witch is Peter Gray's definition where he says you will find the witch at the end of a pointed finger. And that makes me think of witches as both those who are accused and maligned, but also witches are those who know how to bring their will outwards, how to point towards, and that is all about desire.

So if you know your own will, and you can point that outwards, that is, that is magic, that is power, in that phrase, I think love under will, because will is really the thing that's going to access that love and like put that love into service as well. And will is difficult because it requires us to really trust ourselves to right? To really be like, I will this I manifest this, I will this into being, there's a lot of power in that like carrying that chalice.

And if. Love is at the end of that will that you're bringing into the world. I think that's a beautiful way to serve.

[00:48:49] Risa: I hope that listeners, you get a moment to go and receive that invitation, that induction from Sandra that we'll share and maybe go into a channeling or automatic writing space with this idea of your lust and your love and your will.


[00:49:08] Sandra: tarot deck this is a funny card because it's sometimes number 11 and sometimes number 8, but it's the strength card or the lust card. Just put that on your desk while you're doing some automatic writing or just even for the day, like whenever you're hearing this, whatever day you're listening to this on, go find that card and just ask yourself, maybe even write the question down in a piece of paper.

What is my true desire? And just see what comes out. See what happens through the day. See what I think a lot of automatic writing doesn't have to do with writing at all. It has to do with sounds. It has to do with, um, how your skin feels. It has to do with little voices that might come during the day or little birds you might hear or little things that might happen to you on the street.

Pay attention to your environment. And that is already divination happening. And even just having that phrase written down, what is my true desire? On your desk, on your altar. On your fridge and having that tarot card out or just having the picture of it in your mind and just going through the whole day and maybe just coming back at the end of the day and doing some automatic writing, or just putting a few words down or memories down to the day, and just letting that sit with you.

I think that's one way of opening up to that force of desire. And I think really like as you were saying, to have that really be from the space of service, right. I can only be of service if I know myself. I can only know myself if I let myself desire and let myself be and let myself unfold into the crazy world with all my electricity and all my failures and faults and vulnerabilities and loves and truths, all of that, bring all of it.

Not just the stuff that is polished and beautiful and ready to be presented and grammatically correct and upright and condoned and given an A or a check mark. Bring all of the mess and chaos. That's what lust is bringing. That's what the goddess Babylon is bringing. And that's what artists bring. We bring our mess. And inside that mess is coiled our desire. 

[00:51:26] Risa: And it will come out as a clear blue flame if you let it.

thank you. One of my favorite people to talk to about all of this, and I'm so glad that you're finally here on the podcast.

[00:51:41] Sandra: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. This was such a fun discussion. I really love that this was our visitor of the


Out of 72 personalities 

[00:51:48] Risa: and beings and entities, she came to us today, which I think 

[00:51:52] Sandra: is 

[00:51:52] Risa: brilliant.

yeah. I mean, Bring your mess, that's like a defining note to myself because it's so, so much of all I have to offer.

I know sometimes I feel like, well, that's all I got. So

that's all people are getting.

I'm just glad, I'm glad to hear that that's of interest to you, because blah.

That's enough today. That's what it's going to be. Messy day. Yeah, we've invoked the chaos 

[00:52:20] Sandra: and the mess and the service and the desire.

[00:52:22] Risa: yeah. Do you want to tell the people how they can find you, support you, connect with you?

[00:52:28] Sandra: Sure, so I just uploaded an automatic induction script to my website, which is at sandrahuber. com. On that website you can find things that I've written, poetry, essays. I'll be giving two workshops coming up on automatic writing that I usually post on social media. You can find me at wolftooth V V O L F.

T O O T H on Instagram and Yeah, say hello. I'd love to hear from anybody who, who connects to these themes.

Yay. So good to speak with you. And I hope I get to see you soon too.

Your book launch was so magical. It was really

[00:53:11] Risa: so fun, eh, the little kiddos?

[00:53:13] Sandra: fun. And I'm loving like using these books as like in a very aleatory way, like not them from cover to cover, but just reading them as the new moons arise or as the

[00:53:25] Risa: that's that's totally the intention. That's

[00:53:27] Sandra: Yeah, I think they're like perfect compliments to one another because like with the next new moon and the like the next turn of the tides, like you can access this magic.

I really, I love what you and Amy bring. I think it's so important. I was quoting you all throughout my dissertation.

[00:53:43] Risa: shit! 

[00:53:45] Sandra: It's so important what you're doing. It's really bringing all these stories to life. And bringing them to readers and the way that you bring them, with the politics there and it's like the way that these women wanted to be wanted to be brought together.

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