I saw this meme on Angus’ blog and thought that answering this would help anyone who reads this blog. Most of these questions will be expanded on in future blogs.
Please describe briefly your Path:
I would say I am a seeker. A lot of my work does involve the other worlds. I have had some influences from traditional witchcraft (by authors like Robin Artisson and Paddington) which shows the underworld tradition. As I am a member of the Temple tradition that tradition plays a lot into my beliefs and practices. I have also worshiped the Norse Gods. I feel I should start that over again. There is some influence of Germanic paganism in my religion.
I worship a 5 fold God and Goddess. The Goddess may be Frau Holda. I have yet to confirm that through folk tales and UPG. I believe in fate or wyrd. I also believe in all deities. I am a hard polytheist. I believe all deities to be seperate individuals and not faces of one supreme being. I work heavily with Dragons in my practice. I have been working under the Hermetic philosophy as outlined in the Kybalion.
My path is constantly twisting and turning, with some criss crossing. I am a seeker as such my path will change and evolve as I gain wisdom.
Please describe briefly how you practice it:
I practice by holding rituals. Lately I have been lax in my practice. I am working on getting back into practice. Meditation and trance work are essential practices. When I don’t hold a ritual I typically try and do a bit of journeying through the use of Drums.
When did you first commit to your Path?
I started to explore paganism when I was 13. My practices back then were quite odd. I incorporated a lot of the anime I was watching at the time to my practice. At the time I was moody and quite odd. I was confused about a lot of things, add to that most of my information came from Teen Witch and my delusions of being those charecters in this day it makes for an entertaining story now.
When I was 18 I first learned exactly what Wicca was and how it was not what I thought it was. I got in contact with a local coven (now disbanded) which I later found out was associated with Oath breakers. For a while I looked at being a Hellenic pagan. Then I just started to read any book I could find on the subject.
I was 21 when I found the Temple tradition through the books. The next year my mother and I took a weekend workshop with Chris Penczak. It was after working with him and having some of the most vivid experiences that I have ever had that I knew I wanted to learn more from him and seek the deeper mysteries. Last year I was enrolled in Witchcraft 1. I was unable to continue for personal reasons.
It was at that time that I began to remember what I had read from Artisson. Those things have begun to become included in my path. If I had to say I would say it’s only been the last 3 years that I have really committed to trying to follow a specific path. One of the things about the Temple tradition is that I can add in some other practices as I learn and explore.
Why did you choose to follow a path of paganism?
At first I wanted to get out of Christianity. I was angry at Yaweh or Jehova and thought I should explore other things. I went through my confirmation, but it was then that I realized I did not agree with the central doctorine of my church. I was not a trinitarian. I had always believed in other gods and knew that I should leave the church formally and go my own way.
That was when I was 14. During my teen years I was at church on a regular basis. I assisted in the nursery and as a Sunday school teacher. That church had been family. So I had a dual faith for a while where I tried to combine Christianity and generic neo-paganism sometimes called “neo-wicca” a term I hate with a passion. Though I would call it extreme fluffy bunny.
Today I still believe in Jesus and Jehova. I am learning about Jehova through a bible study at the local Kingdom Hall. I feel it is important to understand what other Christians believe. I consider myself pagan as I do not worship Jehova but I do honor him nor do I follow Yaweh or Allah. I choose to be a pagan because I feel my core beliefs do not resonate with Christianity.
How is your practice different now than it was then?
I grew up. I no longer hold the views I did then. I no longer blindly follow rituals and practices outlined in books. Today I basically question everything and work based on what I see as truth. Due to my constant questioning of myself I am constantly changing or revising my views.
Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
Very much so. I feel I have learned a lot but I know that there is so much more to learn and explore. I have my own beliefs and I no longer follow cultural misapropriation. I have gained wisdom. I see clearly where I once saw only shadows and clouds.
Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
In some ways very much so. I used to believe in one divine being that was expressed as a God and Goddess who were seen through the faces of all other deities. That changed when I actually started to read core myths and saw just how different the Goddesses were from each other. I did see some similarities but nothing to say they were all the same.
I now believe in one being known as The All which is an all enompassing living mind. We live with in the mind of The All. I believe in different planes of existence where we learn lessons until we can move to the next plane. The highest plane is being in full union with The All. The universe is infinite and there are myrids of reality.
I also believe that the other planes of existence are seen in the other worlds. In this specific reality the three worlds are one yet viewed seperate. We are all part of one reality connected through an intricate web. Yet we see ourselves as seperate. This is the key to understanding fate. I am still working on getting into my full and true self.
My concept of the soul has changed quite drastically. I include many different philosophies in my view of the soul. Many of them tie into the concept of Wyrd. Though I feel there are a few components missing from Wyrd.
What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?
It wasn’t until I read and seriously took the time to explore Asatru that I felt a need to get back to those roots. I felt that I should explore those paths seriously. I have read the Eddas several times and they resonate deep within my core. I feel close to Odin as well as Niord and Nerthus. From that point I felt that there should be some element of the religious beliefs of my blood ancestors (and quite likely my Franco-American ancestors as well) in my religion. I quickly inserted ancestral veneration into my practice.
What are your main influences for your Path?
For books I would have to say:
- The Kybalion
- Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches
- Poetic and Prose Eddas
- Temple of witchcraft series
- The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill
- Sorgitzak: Old Forest Craft
- Wicca for one (Buckland)
- Assorted Grimms fairy tales and other folklore
- Essential Asatru
- Exploring the Northern Tradition
Which do you do more: practice or research?
Research. I have to admit it. I have more academic or book knowledge than I do actual experiences. That changed and will continue to change as I work with the Temple tradition and other sources.
Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
No. I feel that they are equally important. I feel research is good for understanding cultural context and exploring new ideas. Practice however is how we actually worship the beings in question. It is how we actually physicalize our beliefs.
What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
The Nine Nobel Virtues. They are guide lines to help me live a life where I feel I am being ethically responsible. These virtues are:
I am working on discipline.
What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
Read, ponder, journal, test, reflect, use, nothing….repete
What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
My mental illnesses and my developmental problems.
How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
Public rituals and writing.
How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
Meditation and energy work.
Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
I think so. I feel I am more free to be open to new thoughts and thus new ways of conducting my behavior. It has also helped me understand my own behaviors. My worldview has changed as well.
Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
No. I have not been trained in the rites and rituals of my tradition to the point where I would call myself a priestess.
A witch? How so?
Yes. I practice witchcraft.
A shaman? How so?
I do not call myself a Shaman. There are elements of Shamanic practices in my practice. These come from European views and not Native American or Siberian.
Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
The actual practice is important. If there are specific terms to be used in rituals then knowing the correct vocabulary would be more important.
One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
“You only fail if you stop trying” which was told to me by my fiance when ever I feel as if I have failed.
A defining moment on your Path was:
The journeys I took during the workshop with Chris Penczak. I had started to access the mysteries but I was not yet ready to do so. I needed to start at the beginning, which is where I am now.
Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?
Yes. I have and I hope to do more so soon.
Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
I almost set my bathroom on fire with a spark that fell into an open bag of toilet paper. It took a few moments but I fixed it. This happened during one of my ritual bath/meditations.
What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
I’d say trying to avoid following or taking one authors word with out question.
Have you ever been frightened?
In ritual? Once. I was outside and alone at dusk doing a ritual to gain power.
Can you perform ritual without a script?
Yes. Though I use one when I am trying to invoke a being or try a new evocation that I have written.
Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?
All the time. It’s how I was able to get parking at school. It also helped my fiance and myself in a financial situation.
What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
The Gods who choose to listen to my worship and prayers.
Ritual tools are …
Expensive and fun.
Magickal tools are …
Enjoyable and great helpers and often the same as ritual tools
The one thing you can’t do without is:
My mind and a journal with pen/pencil
power is …
With in and everywhere
Politics and you Path are …
Hardly ever involved. The whole separation of Church and State thing.
One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
I am a witch. I work magic. I will do what is necessary to get what I desire or defend my loved ones.
Do you teach?
No. I may advise and guide though.
What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
To teach and inform the community about our beliefs at large.
When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
I feel hyper and I also feel jittery. I hear a lot more things than I normally do at these points.
What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Ancestors Dragons and the spirits of the land. I also worship deities.
What is your relationship with the Land?
I worked well with the spirit of this land. She lives in an oak tree in my front yard. I have given her hair and money.
The most important aspect of ritual is:
The reverence in which you perform the ritual.
The main purpose of ritual is:
To honor and be close to the deities or beings to which the ritual is directed.
What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever for of augury you use)?
To gain insight as to how things may come to pass. It also gives me another way of looking at what has happened. I use an oracle deck based on the medicine wheel. Though I feel I may start to look back at something more European.
What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
It’s actually a book I started but decided I needed to give it more attention than I could at that time. It’s the 3 books of occult philosophy by Agrippa. The language is odd.
The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill was difficult, but I found the Horn of Evan Wood to be much more difficult.
The book I read on Germanic Heathenry was only complicated when it came to the explanation of the calander.
What book do you recommend the most to others?
That will depend on what they are looking for.
What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
I dont know. I have only seen a few blogs and heard one podcast
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?
Trust your heart.
Is there an additional question you would like to see here?
Do you have any specific beliefs regarding the afterlife or what happens after death?
Yes, but I dont have a lot of room here to explain it. Multiple part soul reincarnation and
Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort: