As always, I have removed questions I find irrelevant to me (or at least the ones I can’t be sarcastic about).
Please describe briefly your Path:
I have multiple practices - Eclectic Neo-Pagan witchcraft, British Traditional Wicca, Native spirituality. I don’t cross the streams.
Please describe briefly how you practice it:
When did you first commit to your Path?
The first time I stepped out of my skin.
How is your practice different now than it was then?
I have more life experience. I’ve been taken apart and put back together many times. What I understand now isn’t what I understood then. Ever onward…but maybe never smarter. ;)
Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
I don’t think I had a preconception of my practice, then or now. It is what it is, and it will be whatever it becomes. I’ve never tried to be anything in particular - I’m too busy just being. I don’t want to be a tourist - I want to be present in every moment I can.
Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
Pathwise, yes. I’m an initiate in a particular tradition now, which lends its’ own filter to reality. I’ve built up experiences that have altered my worldview and cosmology. And since I began Seeking without a core belief system at all, it is certainly different now simply because I have one.
What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?
I’m 6th generation Canadian, on my mother’s side - Scots, English, and Cree. My paternal grandfather was Welsh, and I’m led to believe there’s English and Irish on that side of the family as well. I am properly a mutt, but I am also Metís, and very proud to be Canadian. Does that inform my path? Yes. And No.
What are your main influences for your Path?
The world around me. I’m always looking for the macrocosm in the microcosm. I am not a ‘big picture’ person - I like the little things, and the finer details. I also have an insatiable curiosity, and a desire to know the world empirically. It makes perfect sense to me to observe natural cycles, and try to maintain a degree of harmony with and within them.
Which do you do more: practice or research? Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
I try to maintain an even balance. Research is wonderful, but you need to get off your academic ass sometimes and get out there. And practice is fun and exciting, but you need to know what the hell you’re doing. I don’t have much use for armchair generals, or for people who treat facts as irrelevant.
What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
I keep it pretty simple. No doggrel poetry seems to be my primary goal. But I’ve gone on about this before - feel free to read it again.
What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
Ebb and flow, thick and thin, abundance and lack. Same as anything else. Experience has taught me when to let it ebb, and when to let it flow, and not to panic when the tides change.
What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
Oh, I dunno. In the end it all seems rather irrelevant.
How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
With a magic spork. Or maybe a wombat sidekick.
How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
Tending shrines, mostly. Small offerings. I talk to my Gods. I feed the birds. I make beautiful, imperfect things.
Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
I would be a poor person, if it hadn’t. Even rocks change with the wind and the rain.
Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
I have been initiated ‘Witch and Priestess’, but I’ve been acting as a priestess for friends and chosen family for longer than that. It’s about serving the Gods, and serving others, in my mind.
A witch? How so?
I practice witchcraft. That’s all.
A shaman? How so?
No. ‘Shaman’ is one of those words that’s the product of lazy anthropology, and doesn’t apply to anything I do or any culture I am a part of.
Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
My only concern with vocabulary is that people use the correct words for what they’re describing. Misappropriating terms or titles from other faiths or cultures, and using such terms completely out of context or incorrectly, drives me batshit. What you practice is what you practice. But call it what it is, not what you wish it was.
Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
Many things I have done, and still do, can be reckless, dangerous, and socially unacceptable. Whether or not you are willing to take those risks is a different question. You learn from it…or you don’t.
What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
Have you ever been frightened?
Yes. If you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.
Can you perform ritual without a script?
If I have to. I can also perform ritual without tools, movement or words. It’s never really come up as being that much of an issue, or a skill, to be honest.
Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?
It’s ‘performed’. And ‘magic’. There - have some spontaneous spelling.
What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
Everything. Curiosity and empiricism - you never know until you look, do, or try.
What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
My Gods. My coven. My chosen family. Hospitality and honour.
Ritual tools are …
just that, ritual tools. Some paths are defined by their tools and how and why they’re created and used. Wicca is one of those. Others, the tools are nice but aren’t mandatory.
Magickal tools are …
Well, for one, it’s ‘magical’. The ‘k’ is completely unnescessary, unless you’re like Crowley and need the gematria of the word ‘magic’ to add up to 11 to represent the female genitalia. If you’re not a Thelemite, drop the ‘k’.
Magical tools? Are anything you make magic with. Whether or not you use that item solely for magic, or you use it for other purposes as well, is up to you.
I really should get myself a magic spork.
The one thing you can’t do without is:
Oxygen and water, maybe food. That’s about it. I’m sure I could learn to cope without other things, if I had to.
Seeking personal power is …
what it is? Everyone finds their own level. Some want less and some want more. Don’t call up what you can’t put down.
Politics and your Path are …
unacquainted. I don’t do politics. I think in general we’ve got a choice between different flavours of shit, and none of it is good for much.
One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
Wicca isn’t what you think it is, or what people try to sell you. Especially if you’re a teen.
Do you teach?
I have a couple of students.
What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
It really really depends on the individual Pagan religion. Clergy has many roles, and not all religions require the same roles from their clergy.
Wicca is all priesthood, and is primarily focused on serving the Lord and Lady through the proper performance of their rituals.
When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
I don’t know how to adequately describe it. Like brain static. Like a cold wind between my bones and my skin. Like a distant low conversation just beyond clarity.
What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, f— etc)
My Gods. Spirits, maybe - especially birds, and anything Airy. They’re everywhere. No f—ries, though. Those little fuckers are not welcome in my spaces. People have a bad habit of calling any and all little spirits, natural or otherwise, ‘f—ries’. Another example of lazy anthropology, as far as I’m concerned.
What is your relationship with the Land?
Conflicted. This specific land where I’m at, I’m not fond of. I live in town, and have no real yard or private outdoor space. I get no place that is ever truly dark, thanks to my position on a corner with three streetlights, and the fact that the large tree in my yard has been heavily pruned twice since I’ve moved here. I’m two blocks from the hospital, and one from a 1950’s industrial park area that’s never been environmentally cleaned. The land feels dirty and tired and I can’t see the stars from here.
Ideally, I am a country person. I want to go back to the country. I love the larger Land - I carry a deep love and bond to Ontario - but here I’ve never quite managed to make myself at home here. But I’ve been living in a city or town for 12 years now, and it’s not likely to change soon. I’ve come to accept I will always live at a crossroads, inside these boundaries. I like my little cedar tree where I make offerings, and my two little flowerbeds full of nasturtiums and baby pine trees. I like feeding the birds along my back fence so my (indoor only) cats can watch them. I like the rabbits who leave their tracks in the snow, and the bumbling huge skunk who owns the neighbourhood on summer nights.
The most important aspect of ritual is:
Reverence and mirth. You need to be able to laugh, sometimes.
The main purpose of ritual is:
Service. The ritual serves the needs both of its’ attendees, and the entities the ritual is set out for. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want or need.
What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever for of augury you use)?
Scrying I use as a means of non-verbal communication - visions from spirits or other entities flow easier for me in this medium. I’ve been reading tarot since I was 14, but I don’t think it reveals anything more that what’s already in your subconsious. I use them to gain a greater sense of clarity regarding decisions in my life. I also read for others, very well, but always with the emphasis that our future changes, every time we make another choice. The cards only show you the sporks in the road. Pendulums just end up as expensive cat toys here.
What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
Ulysses - James Joyce. I enjoyed it, on a rather perverse sort of level. It’s a tie between that, and ‘Moby Dick’. The Canterbury Tales comes third, but only for having to pick my way through Middle English.
Most ‘Wiccan’ or otherwise Pagan books are stupidly simple to read, comparatively, and many are condescending to boot. I don’t bother, because I don’t need to be addressed as if I were a child, or had the same information repeated over and over at me.
What book do you recommend the most to others?
I’m assuming these questions mean specifically ‘Pagan’ books, and I -never- bloody well recommend them to others. They’re shite! I tell people to read Patricia McKillip’s ‘Book of Atrix Wolfe’, Tolkien and Heinlein, as much Michael Moorcock as they can cram into their heads…Warren Ellis, Alan Moore…gods, so many other wonderful things. I’ve learned more from them than from any ‘Pagan’ book.
What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
I hate podcasts. I generally don’t like people talking at me - in meatspace, or over the phone, or over my computer. Unnecessary noise and chatter seriously gets on my head in a bad way. I have an intolerance for it thanks to being bipolar.
As for blogs? I have no idea. I read a ton, although I wouldn’t say any of them are my favorite. They cover lots of different subjects. (For what it’s worth, I don’t have ‘personal heroes’, either. I’m just not one of those people. I value lots of different perspectives and ideas. Lots of things are great, special, and important to me. But I don’t worship them or their sources, or elevate one over another. )
If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be?
An unexamined life isn’t worth living. Question everything. Find out why. Find out how. Do things yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort: