About Simone Kotva


I grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, and the North American Midwest. A cradle Catholic, my first encounter with traditional magic was in the context of folk Catholicism and ecstatic religion. I spent summers on the Baltic island of Öland, a place rich in cultural and religious history. While at school, I became a self-taught diviner using traditional methods learnt through a combination of study, play and intuition.

I put my practice to one side for a few years while at University in the UK, where I studied theology and, eventually, entered a career in academia. A job opportunity brought me back to Scandinavia, where I picked up my practice once more. I studied with various teachers and eventually trained with Johannes Gårdbäck, who reintroduced me to the traditional practices of the Nordic region. I have now trained with Johannes for two years.

The ability to be present and receive the present as gift is perhaps what motivates my practice most deeply. I am happiest when helping others find it possible to flourish and build lasting relationships in meaningful ways. Each situation is different, each individual is different; and I do not take a dogmatic stance in my practice. I am also keenly interested in magic as an art, and in how to develop that art in new and inventive ways that can face the challenges thrown up by a rapidly changing world and fragmented landscapes of knowledge.

Traditional practices are rooted in history but they are not static, and the dynamic conversation between past and present in trolldom is something I appreciate. To this end, I both practice traditional magic and write about its past, seeking to weave the two – contemporary practice and history – closer together.

I am fluent in Swedish and English, and have basic knowledge of German and French.