Please describe briefly your Path:
I call it "A Wandering Way"; at the moment, it is somewhere between solitary Wicca and ADF Druidry.
Please describe briefly how you practice it:
At my best, I follow the cycles of the moon as a solitary Wiccan, doing devotionals to the full, waning, new and waxing moon. I follow the cycles of the sun as a Druid, celebrating the eight high days by making offerings to the patrons of the seasons and celebrating with folk customs.
When did you first commit to your Path?
I dedicated as a Witch at Beltaine 2001, but I was practicing before that time.
How is your practice different now than it was then?
I have experience with ritual including energy raising, changes in consciousness, visualization, meditation, omen taking, working magic, interacting with deity and pagan culture (songs/chants, traditions, etc) that I did not have early in my pagan history. These things enrich my experience of practice.
Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
Yes, I thought I would be a Wiccan and be more focused on working magic and having supernatural experiences.
Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
Yes, my sense of entitlement is lesser, my sense of reciprocity greater, my relationships with the gods are more tangible and my respect for the earth has become crystallized.
What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?
I have a mixed heritage, English, Irish, Scottish, French and Native North American. In my ADF workings I honour the Celtic Pantheon as my hearth culture because of this. I have not researched into Native American spirituality because I feel a sense of white man's guilt and misappropriation when it comes to that subject matter.
What are your main influences for your Path?
My personal experiences and values. I honour the gods who make themselves known to me, and the gods who I think are awesome.
Which do you do more: practice or research?
Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
No, I feel that they have equal value because although practice should be intuitional, it should also be respectful of those who have gone before and paved the way for such spirituality. Practice keeps the spirituality alive, and is vital, but maintaining a connection to the ancestors and teachers is important. Authenticity is also an issue, though more of a personal identity concern than misappropriation, and with research, the practice becomes more authentic.
What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
There are nine virtues of druidic practice in ADF which I uphold as worthwhile and have written about in my blog. Environmental ethics are big for me, as well as having a personal ethic that is flexible enough to make sense in a variety of situations but still concrete enough to draw a line where necessary. I think making conscious, informed decisions is key. I follow the principle of "If it harms none, do what you will" but find that I need something more for the cases in which harm is caused. My alignment is lawful good.
What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
I go through cycles of private and public practice. Sometimes I will do devotionals each day for a stretch of time, and sometimes I will skip a few high days in a row because I have no one to celebrate with.
What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
This is a really personal story, and I don't want to share it on LJ but it was really life changing and I'd be happy to discuss it over a pint.
How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
Hopefully I will be in with a grove or circle or coven, perhaps clergy.
How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
Mindfulness. I try to pour a libation whenever I have a drink of beer or wine, I think of the gods closest to me when I am doing things in their domain, such as Hestia and baking.
Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
I think it has, yes. It has opened me to possibilities that were just not there as a Catholic and agnostic.
Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
Yes, I believe in the priesthood of all pagans, that we can all have a personal connection to our gods and work with them according to need or calling. I have performed public ritual before, leading a group rite.
A witch? How so?
Yes, I consider the magic that I do to be witchcraft.
shaman? How so?
Yes, I have used shamanic tools to take journeys of inner discovery and I have encountered otherworldly beings.
Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
The practice. Sometimes there are no words for the noumenous experiences you have.
One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
"Never refuse an audience with the Muse."
A defining moment on your Path was:
My first time attempting magic, It worked and came with a lesson.
Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?
I'm not really a faith person. I go by my personal experiences. But I'm not a science person either, they don't have to be repeatable!
Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
Oh, the usual n00b stuff, like going to the four quarters with a ritual tool but not returning to the first one to close the circle.
What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
It's hard to find other pagans willing to meet up and practice.
Have you ever been frightened?
I was frightened the first time I went to a Wiccan temple and was in line to enter the ritual room.
Can you perform ritual without a script?
I can, but not a ritual from any particular tradition. I know what needs to happen in a ritual and I have memorized a collection of poems and chants to go along with the ritual.
Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?
Yes, on several occasions upon realizing that the time was nigh and I'd prepared nothing.
What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
The idea of initiations fascinates me, there are so many different kinds. I've never done a self-initiation and I've never been initiated into a group, but I'd love to one day have a pagan rebirth experience.
What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
The gods who are closest to me are my patrons Hestia and Ma'at, as well as Odin, Re-Herakhte, Dionysus and Athena.
Ritual tools are …
Symbolic representations and practical adornments, such as flowers, robes, altar cloth, songs and poetry
Magickal tools are …
Devices designed to effect change, such as change of consciousness or change of state, such as chants, incense, candle light, wand, athame, drum, sistrum, (music), spiral dance
The one thing you can’t do without is:
My books of pagan songs, chants and poetry. I haven't memorized it all yet, and I can be as spiritual as can be with words alone. Words have power.
Seeking personal power is …
To an extent, good. It is good to push yourself to be all that you can be, but in terms of power over yourself, rather than power over others.
Politics and your Path are …
Environmental and freedom politics are important to my path, but in terms of nitty gritty personal politics that spring up in covens and groves - no thanks.
One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
That it has to be personally defined rather than defined by the rules and regulations of a specific tradition.
Do you teach?
I don't. I would teach what I know if asked to, but don't see myself as a teacher figure.
What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
Someone(s) to write a ritual with the necessary ritual elements and research in mind, advertise and gather the folk, provide leadership for the rite and serve as a public relations person for a group.
When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
It's not a physical feeling, it's more of a mental state... like that strange, disorienting feeling you get when you have deja-vu.
What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Gods, for sure. I believe that they work in us and through us.
What is your relationship with the Land?
Walking is my main means of transportation, so I find myself experiencing the land on foot. I love digging in the earth, whether it's compost pits, holes for new trees or outhouse pits. I am a bit of a tree hugging hippie when the opportunity arises, I love to go camping and meditate with my arms around a tree and my forehead pressed to the bark. I believe that the earth is a living organism and should be respected as such. I love the smell of the trees and plants and the evidence of the creatures that dwell within.
The most important aspect of ritual is:
The shift in consciousness that allows us experience of the gods.
The main purpose of ritual is:
Honouring the gods, ancestors and nature spirits and the work they do, for example the change of season or a particular magical working
What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever for of augury you use)?
Advice. To show you what the most likely next step is (not your concrete future, but what is probably going to come to pass). To analyze more deeply what is going on in the present. To pull different ideas together to form a new picture of your situation.
What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
J. P. Mallory's In Search of the Indo-Europeans, I'm trying to get through it now for the Indo-European studies component of my ADF dedicant program but it's brutal.
What book do you recommend the most to others?
Anything by Charles De Lint. For example, Spirits in the Wires or Memory and Dream. It's fiction, but it weaves together myth and folklore from Celtic and Native North American traditions and places them in an urban context with a connection to the otherworld. His writing is part of the crucial re-enchantment period that we are going through as a culture, and the ways in which he describes people encountering the 'other' resemble ways in which I have experienced it myself.
What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
I don't subscribe to any.
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?
Keep your eyes and ears open, trust your intuition, we are all psychic.
Is there an additional question you would like to see here? What is it? (please also answer)
Nothing aside from personal questions about paranormal and psychic experiences which I would be happy to share privately.
Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort: