Tuesday, September 11, 2012

That Really Long Pagan Tumblr Meme

Please describe briefly your Path:
Traditional Witchcraft by way of Robert Cochrane & Nigel Jackson, only with American folkloric influences, like Hoodoo & Conjure.  I got here with detours into Gard Wicca, Hellenic Recon, Shamanism, Discordianism, Thelema, and other things.

Please describe briefly how you practice it:
Observance of the seasons, weekly group/coven study, maintenance of shrines for deities and ancestors, lots of other things but I'm supposed to keep it brief. ;)

When did you first commit to your current Path?
Several years ago when I met my magical working partner and co-founder of this tradition, Laurelei.

How is your practice different now than it was then?
I have made my peace with being a Witch first and foremost, and enjoying studying other branches of occultism for fun.

Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
Yes.  We have a wonderful curveen now that I cherish.

Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
The core of the trad is the same, but my own personal ethic has been further explored and developed.

What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?

I'm a witch of the blood.  The Red Thread ties me to Qayin.  It informs everything I do now.

What are your main influences for your Path?
As stated above, Cochrane, Jackson, Hoodoo, Conjure, Thelema, & Gard Wicca.  I also find much of a useful nature in folklore, witch trial materials (especially woodcuts), and UPG through my familiar spirit.

Which do you do more: practice or research?
Practice.  Which is new for me.  I've been heavy on the research for as long as I can remember.  The Witch of Forest Grove has recently written about "Forgetting How to Read."  I think that I am in a similar place right now.

Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
Without research the praxis is just empty gesture, but without praxis one cannot be a witch.  Therefore I have come to believe that ultimately the practice of Craft is more important than the research.  That being said there is no substitute for hard honest study of the path.

What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
1.) All is permitted. 
2.) What I have I hold. 
3.) There is no magic without sacrifice.
4.) Strive for Perfect Love and Perfect Trust within the circle.
5.) Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law.
[more info here]

What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
Hermitage > Study > Experimentation > Practice > Teaching > Leadership > Questioning > Hermitage.  Bipolar cycles also inform much of how and what I practice.

What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
Mental illness

How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
Still doing what I do now, but wiser and more familiar with this path.

How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
The biggest day-to-day ways Craft manifests in my life are through our coven and through our botanica.

Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
Yes.  It has informed my entire worldview.

Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
Yes.  I serve the owl-and-serpent Goddess Athene-Lilith as Priestess.  I also teach others, co-lead a coven, have founded a tradition of Craft, and organize and lead rites of passage.

A witch? How so?
I believe that I've established this already. ;)

A shaman? How so?

In my personal view Witchcraft is the shamanism of ancient Europe, so that is a resounding YES.

Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
Praxis, praxis, praxis!  So you can't spell Lughnasadh without looking it up?  Who cares?  Do you actually celebrate it?

One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
"Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret." ~ The Four Agreements

A defining moment on your Path was:
Finding Laurelei. :)

Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?

Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
When I was in high school I actually wore a big black witch's hat around.  With black lipstick.  And a black leather motorcycle jacket.  And a pentacle.  And I read *shudder* Gerina Dunwitch.  This was before The Craft came out and this became a "trendy" thing to do. *blush*

What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
Folks assume I'm Wiccan.

Have you ever been frightened?
Yes.  Big wolf spiders... tornadoes... zombie movies...  Oh, wait, you meant because of something related to my practice?  Yes.  Invoking the White Goddess.  Yikes.

Can you perform ritual without a script?
Of course.

Have you ever performed spontaneous magic/spellcraft?

What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
The outer limits of what a familiar spirit can do, manifesting my fetch physically and reliably, flying out on command.

What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
Teaching and learning.

Ritual tools are …
Lots of fun, especially when you find just the right ones, but, ultimately unnecessary.  That being said, you can have my bog-oak-handled silver owl pommeled garnet encrusted athame when you pry it from my cold dead hands!

The one thing you can’t do without is:
My tarot cards.  They have become my livelihood.

Seeking personal power is …
To be expected.  I mean, really, who on this path isn't looking to grow?

Politics and your Path are …
Entwined.  All aspects of my life are affected by my Craft.

One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
It's not Wicca, it's Witchcraft.

Do you teach?

What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
To honor the Gods as Priest/esses, to provide rites of passage, and to teach as they see fit.

When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
Like I am open to hear all things.  It looks like the vapor of heat over a flame.  I feel like I could fly.

What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Gods, ancestors, genus loci, familiar spirits, and my fetch.

What is your relationship with the Land?
The land and its cycles are a part of my worship.

The most important aspect of ritual is:

The main purpose of ritual is:

What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever form of augury you use)?
There are many purposes for divination.  The most important in my practice is to be informed of the sacrifice an act of magic will require prior to enacting that magic.

What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
The White Goddess.  It is very important to my personal practice, and yet... cocaine is a hel of a drug.

What book do you recommend the most to others?
Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson.

What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
The Crooked Path podcast is a favorite.  As for blogs, I adore The Witch of Forest Grove and  American Folkloric Witchcraft (which is only partially my own)

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?
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it. -- from the Kalama Sutta

Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort:

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