About: short and long bio
Learning Lineage: additional credentials
Press & Interviews: book, podcast, video, and magazine interviews
TL;DR: Kohenet Ketzirah Lesser, haMa’agelet (The Circle Maker), is a maker and teacher of the sacred arts. Through Devotaj Sacred Arts, she explores Jewishly-rooted making, mussar, and magick to connect past, present, & possible future(s). Ketzirah creates magickal judaica, magick, and mussar practices inspired by the rich depth of Jewish history and traditions; cræfting artifacts for a forgotten future that is more equitable, just, and spiritually alive. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, two pet rabbits, and a house filled with enchanted appliances and creatures.
Come Say Hello:
- Substack: devotaj.substack.com
- Instagram: @devotaj_arts | @chewintheshadow
- Mastodon: email@example.com
- TikTok: @devotaj
Kohenet Ketzirah Lesser, haMa’agelet (The Circle Maker), is a maker and teacher of the sacred arts. Through Devotaj Sacred Arts, she explores Jewishly-rooted making, mussar, and magick to connect past, present, & possible future(s). Ketzirah creates magickal judaica, magick, and mussar practices inspired by the rich depth of Jewish history and traditions; cræfting artifacts for a forgotten future that is more equitable, just, and spiritually alive.
She was a member of the first cohort to receive ordination as a Kohenet, through the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute. She also received ordination as a Celebrant of Becoming, a spiritual community she co-led in Washington DC from 2002-2012.
She is the creatrix of Eht/Aht: a Netivot Wisdom Oracle — the first published oracle deck based on the teachings of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute as well as adorable soft sculpture golem/et, sacred stickers, and the Kesharim K’doshim approach to mussar. In addition, she is the author of a collection of poetry, prayer, and midrash; several Haggadot, and on going writing at devotaj.substack.com. For 10 years, she wrote and published about earth-based magickal Judaism at the website Peeling a Pomegranate. From 2008-2017 led live-streaming interactive services for OneShul, an online synagogue, and continues to lead services and torah study for the Kohenet virtual temple and monthly Soul Trait Studio mussar practices through Devotaj Sacred Arts.
In 2016 Ketzirah created Devotaj Sacred Arts to be her studio for the sacred arts rooted in Jewish magickal, healing, and folk practices from across the world and across time.
She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, two pet rabbits, and a house filled with enchanted appliances and creatures.
Ketzirah’s primary magickal teachers have been Angela Raincatcher and the members of Magick Belly #9, Katrina Messenger, and Ivo Dominguez. In addition she has studied with a variety of other teachers from multiple magickal traditions over the the past 25 years who taught at festivals on the East Coast — as well as taking advantage of many books and other writings published by teachers such as Starhawk, Judika Illes, and Christopher Penzack. She has also been blessed to have been a part of the House of Chatter, an early online magickal community.
Jewish Spirituality & Magick
Ketzirah’s experience with Jewish magick began by discovering a copy of Jewish Magic and Superstition in her great aunt’s bookshelves 25+years ago. Since then she has studied the history of Jewish magick and developed her own modern practice, and met and worked with many like souls as more and more people have been exploring the discarded practices of our ancestors. Ketzirah’s beloved teachers Rav Kohenet Rabbi Jill Hammer, Rav Kohenet Taya Mâ and Rav Kohenet Shoshana Jedwab, have been incredibly important teachers for the past 15 years — as have many Kohenet siblings. Magickal teachers outside of Jewish traditions include all the members of Magick Belly #9, as well as Katrina Messenger, Ivo Dominguez, Angela Raincatcher, and Joanna Powell Colbert – to name just a few. Lastly deep gratitude to scholar Gideon Bohak and author Maggie Anton whose work has helped many, many people have better access to our magickal past.
Press and Interviews
Interested in interviewing Kohenet Ketzirah for your article, book, or project about Judaism, Jewish spirituality, Kohenet, Jewish Magick, or Jewish Pop Culture? Just reach out!
Episode 345: When Jewish Meets Jewitch
Judaism Unbound, 2022
How TV has embraced dybbuks, golems and other Jewish lore
The Jewish News of Northern California, 2021
From ‘Shtisel’ to ‘Tiger King,’ the secret TV bingeing pleasures of America’s Jewish clergy
The Forward, 2021
‘There’s no one right way to kohenet’: The Hebrew priestess movement aims to center women’s voices
Interview with Kohenet Annie Matan and Kohenet D’vorah Grenn
Painted Pomegranates and Needlepoint Rabbis: How Jews Craft Resilience and Create Community by Jodi Eichler-Levine
Talking Golems with Kohenet Ketzirah
Washington Jewish Week, 2020
Golden Thread Conversations Interview
Pockets of Serenity, 2020
The Hebrew Priestess by Rav Kohenet Jill Hammer and Rav Kohenet Taya Ma
Ben Yehuda Press, 2015
Tablet Magazine, 2010
Magickal Judaism by Jen Hunter
Citadel Press, 2006 (as Chava Chai / Carly)
Nice Jewish Girls Leave their Brooms in the Closet
The Forward, 2003 (as Carly)