Judika Illes is an independent scholar and an eclectic solitary practitioner. Her work focuses on witches, witchcraft and the magical arts including divination, folklore, and esoteric fiction, as well as goddess devotion, fertility, and traditional methods of healing. As of 2016, Judika has published eight books. Her most popular work is the best-selling Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells (HarperCollins, 2004).
As with so many other authors, Judika has a complex publishing history. Two of her books were previously published under different titles, although not all editions are identical. The Big Book of Practical Spells had earlier incarnations as Pure Magic: A Complete Course in Spell-Casting and Earth Mother Magic: Ancient Spells for Modern Belles. The title Magic When You Need It was once known as Emergency Magic.
Born in New York City, Judika fell in love with the magical arts as a child and has been studying them ever since. Her interests include tarot and other forms of divination, astrology, spell-casting, witchcraft, amulets, traditional healing and spirituality, Kabbalah, Egyptian Mysteries, runes, magical oils and perfumes, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales. Magical formula oils—their use and creation—are featured in several of her books. She is a certified therapeutic aromatherapist and has worked as a professional tarot card reader and spiritual counselor for over two decades. Judika lectures and leads workshops in the United States and internationally. She also serves as a consultant and editor for Weiser Books.
2016 marked Judika’s debut as an editor of anthologies. She chose the stories and wrote the introduction for The Weiser Book of the Fantastic and Forgotten: Tales of the Supernatural, Strange, and Bizarre features which vintage fiction from Dion Fortune, Arthur Machen, Bram Stoker, Marie Corelli, Oscar Wilde, and other masters of the genre. A second anthology was published in 2017, once again featuring an introduction written by Judika. The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing includes tales written by Helena Blavatsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Algernon Blackwood, Dion Fortune, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu.
Features contributed to The Witches' Almanac:
Sixty Years of the Museum of Witchcraft — A diamond jubilee, The Witches’ Almanac 2012, p. 34
Black Cat Appreciation Day, The Witches’ Almanac 2014, p. 116
Om Mani Padme Hum - The jewel in the lotus, The Witches’ Almanac 2014, p. 130
The Diamond Way — The dorje or vajra, The Witches’ Almanac 2015, p. 90
Sak Yan - The sacred and magical tattoos of Thailand and Southeast Asia, The Witches’ Almanac 2015, p. 117
Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, HarperCollins, 2004
Magic When You Need It, Weiser Books, 2008
Encyclopedia of Spirits, HarperOne, 2009
The Weiser Field Guide to Witches, Weiser Books, 2010
The Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, and Sages, (HarperOne,2011
The Weiser Field Guide to the Paranormal, Weiser Books, 2010; this book was published under the alias, Judith Joyce.
Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, HarperCollins, 2015
The Big Book of Practical Spells, Weiser Books, 2016
Judika's website can be found here