Following a near-death experience, former atheist Jillian Dyrnaes turned spiritual and adopted a witchy lifestyle.

Incorporating spells, intentions and manifestations into her daily life, Dyrnaes has been able to move forward and tune in to higher energy to receive messaging from beyond.

This is her story of resilience, self acceptance, and her journey to connect with her higher self.

Jillian Dyrnaes lights a candle at her apartment in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Dyrnaes participates in spiritual and witchcraft practices. On this day, a new moon called Dyrnaes to set intentions through spell jars and candle making. New moons signify new beginnings and Dyrnaes says it’s a good time to utilize the moon’s energy towards setting goals and intentions for yourself through spiritual rituals.
Jillian Dyrnaes burns a bay leaf at her apartment in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. In witchcraft, bay leaves are purposeful in providing clarity and enhancing spells. By burning a bay leaf and circulating it around the spell jar, Dyrnaes is manifesting a clear path towards her goals.
Jillian Dyrnaes pours wax into a bowl at her apartment in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Dyrnaes recently began to make her own candles. She uses essential oils like citrus and bergamot that are good for uplifting the mood and providing clarity. For Dyrnaes, candle making is another way to set intentions. As she lights it, she is reinforcing set intentions as a new set of beliefs.
Jillian Dyrnaes goes through her memory box at her home in Calgary on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Along with her gatherings, she has opted to keep the hospital wrist band from her stay back in 2016. This was from a time Dyrnaes had a near death experience and really started connecting with her spiritual side.
Jillian Dyrnaes looks in the mirror at her home in Calgary on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Throughout her day to day life, Dyrnaes gets visions or messages from the universe. She likes to write certain manifestations on her mirror, followed by angel numbers related to these intentions, as a reminder to keep going and trust the universe on the path it has set for her.
Jillian Dyrnaes, left, performs a tarot reading for Hailee Lynn at her home in Calgary on Saturday, March 12, 2022. The cards Dyrnaes pulls help the client develop a deeper understanding for different areas in their life such as school, health, relationship, amongst others
Jillian Dyrnaes lights sage at her home in Calgary on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Prior to performing tarot readings, it is important for Dyrnaes to prepare her space and her mind to receive the messaging from beyond. She uses sage for its cleaning properties and waves it across her room to create a meditative environment.
Jillian Dyrnaes takes a meditative breath at her home in Calgary on Saturday, March 12, 2022. Prior to performing tarot readings, it is important for Dyrnaes to prepare her space and her mind to receive the messaging from beyond. A few seconds of breath work allow her to put herself in that headspace.
Jillian Dyrnaes sips a cup of tea at her home in Calgary on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Dyrnaes has established rituals around her every day ordinary tasks such as making tea. As she makes it, she speaks intentions into the water, believing that these molecules will be influenced by the frequency of set intention, which she can then embody by drinking the tea.

Paola Hinojosa is a photojournalism student at SAIT. You can connect with her at lnk.bio/paolahjsa

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