Nikki Van De Car is the author of several books including The Witchy Homestead: Spells, Rituals, and Remedies for Creating Magic at Home which we recently reviewed here on PaganPagesOrg. Nikki was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her writing, her crafting, and the magic in her own life.
Mabh Savage (Mabh): I’ve just read “Witchy Homestead.” Firstly, congratulations on a wonderful book. What prompted you to write this? What was your main inspiration?
Nikki Van De Car (Nikki): About five years ago, I left New York to return to my hometown in Hawaii. It’s a tiny village with two stores and no stoplights, so quite a change! And I put a lot of energy into making it my own Witchy Homestead, and I wanted to share that with everyone—including ways to make a Jersey City condo a witchy homestead, too!
Mabh: What was your favourite section to write and why?
Nikki: I have a confession to make—I’m actually a terrible gardener. I love the idea of it, but sadly it’s not where my magic lies! But my mom became a master gardener while I was writing this book, so I was able to get her help on that section, and that was really fun.
Mabh: Was there any part of it that was more challenging, or is there an aspect of life that you find is more challenging to make magical and draw enchantment into?
Nikki: Well, despite gardening being so difficult for me, it is actually inherently magical, so that section was actually really easy. I suppose the section that is sort of least-intuitive is house-cleaning. It’s something we consider a chore—I can’t even manage to wash the dishes without playing music or listening to an audiobook. So, I think the biggest challenge was figuring out ways to help the reader—and myself—find the enchantment in housework. That said, I also think that’s so useful!
Mabh: Your junior books are very popular and well received with hundreds of 5 star reviews. What do you think is the key to making magical books accessible to children and young adults?
Nikki: Honestly, I think it’s just like writing books for anyone else! I don’t alter the magic in any way—pretty much the exact same spells and rituals can be found in my adult books. I just try to place them in a context that makes more sense for younger readers—school stresses, friends, family, etc. But in reality, they’re just not that different.
Mabh: Do you plan to write any more books for younger folks?
Nikki: Absolutely! I actually have a whole bunch coming out soon. The Junior Tarot Reader’s Handbook will be available in October, and in the next couple of years there will be a few more books, too! I love writing them, and I think they’re so important.
Mabh: You describe yourself as a woman in search of magic – something many of our readers can relate to, I’m sure! What’s the most magical thing you’ve discovered in life, so far? This could be an experience or simply one aspect of your life that brings you the most positive vibes. Anything goes.
Nikki: Oh my goodness, this is a tricky question! I think—and this sounds so trite—but I think the most magical thing I’ve discovered is letting myself be magical. I was always a very whimsical, fairy-finding kid, and then I let go of that for a long time. Working on these books and embracing that aspect of myself has really helped me find that sense of magic again. It’s not like I cast complicated spells every day or anything—it’s more that I live magically in the everyday. And I let myself decide to feel that way.
Mabh: Do you have a favourite time of year or festival? What makes it so special for you?
Nikki: My favorite time of year is probably Fall, and I love Mabon. I love embracing the darker aspects of life, and finding joy in them.
Mabh: You’re a prolific crafter and seem to have a real magic with yarn and thread! What’s the most amazing crafting project you’ve worked on?
Nikki: I think my favorite thing is a blanket I made for my sister. I got the wool from a sheep farm nearby, I cleaned it myself (and if you’ve never done that, trust me, it’s gross), and I carded it and spun it and dyed it and then turned it into a blanket. It was a yearlong project, but there was joy and learning—and magic!—in every part of it.
Mabh: Finally, what’s next for you? What projects or goals are on the horizon for the coming year?
Nikki: I’m working on a lot of things! I’ve got a new book coming out in August, called Potions: A Guide To Cocktails, Tinctures, Tisanes, and Other Witchy Concoctions—and let me tell you, that was fun to write! And I’ve got two more adult books coming out in the next year or two. I’m keeping busy.
About the Author:
Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist and content creator. She’s a nature-based witch, obsessed with Irish and British Paganism and Folklore, plus she’s a massive plant nerd. She’s also a long-time Hekate devotee and a newbie Lokean. She works extensively with the UK Pagan Federation, including editing their bi-annual children’s magazine. Mabh is a passionate environmentalist and an advocate for inclusiveness and positive social transformation.
Mabh is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors, Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways, and most recently, Practically Pagan: An Alternative Guide to Planet Friendly Living. Search “Mabh Savage” on Spotify and @Mabherick on all socials.