TL;DR: Kohenet Ketzirah ‘haMa’agelet’ Lesser is a maker and teacher of the sacred arts. Through Devotaj Sacred Arts, she creates magickal judaica, art, and ceremonies inspired by the rich depth of Jewish history and traditions. Her work is to explore and create beautiful connections that connect past, present, and possible future(s).
Kohenet Ketzirah ‘haMa’agelet’ Lesser is a maker and teacher of the sacred arts. Through Devotaj Sacred Arts, she creates magickal judaica, art, and ceremonies inspired by the rich depth of Jewish history and traditions. Her work is to explore and create beautiful connections that connect past, present, and possible future(s).
Ketzirah cræfts artifacts for a forgotten future — drawing on the past and pulling it into modern forms to help create a future that is more equitable, just, and spiritually alive. The objects and artifacts created serve not only as spiritual tools in the present, but also as a dialogue between the past and possible future(s). These range from amulets, shrines, shiviti, and Haggadot to an oracle deck based on Kohenet teachings, AI art based on Yiddish folklore, and a earth-based, embodied, magickal approach to mussar called Kesharim K’doshim as well as guides that deep dive into specific aspects Jewish myth, magick, and mysticism.
She was a member of the first cohort of women 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 author of Ruby Red Seeds: a collection of poetry, prayer, and midrash; as well as several haggadot including The Peeling a Pomegranate Haggadah, The Hanukkah Seder, and The Shavuot Seder of the Seven Prophetesses. For 10 years, she wrote and published about earth-based magickal Judaism at the website Peeling a Pomegranate and and from 2008-2017 led live-streaming interactive Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, High Holiday services for OneShul, an online synagogue.
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.
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!
How TV has embraced dybbuks, golems and other Jewish lore
The Jewish News of Northern California, 2021
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)