Traditional Witch, Fairy Faith
Please describe briefly how you practice it:
I coven with other witches who follow fairy faith. I also practice daily on my own. And I apprentice to a mentor in traditional witchcraft.
When did you first commit to your Path?
I first committed when I was 21.
How is your practice different now than it was then?
Back then I considered myself more of a druid than a witch.
Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
No, not a lot. The beliefs and basics are the same, but I have achieved a lot more than I ever thought I would.
What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?
My heritage is Irish American and Pennsylvania Dutch. Yes both influence my path, Irish American more so, but the German a little.
What are your main influences for your Path?
My main influences are Irish, American, and Irish American traditional witchcraft including witches like Ella Young, Cora Anderson, Eblana Raven, and Lora O’Brien. I read a great deal of Irish fairy tales and legends of the gods and heroes and those stories influence my path. The greatest influence would be the gods and fairies themselves in my life and visions.
Which do you do more: practice or research?
Practice, but research is a close second.
Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
I do, I think that a witch practices, otherwise they aren’t a witch. Someone could never have done a lick of research and be raised by a family tradition or taught by the spirits and be an excellent witch. However, in most instances research will play an important role for the witch.
What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
Taking responsibility for myself and my actions, and being a rebel, and not letting anyone walk all over me.
What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
I cycle between focusing on creating art and tools, and gardening, and focusing on visions, dreaming and imbas.
What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
I think this one is too private, but I guess I can say a little. It was hard after my teacher died to find another teacher. Least of which is so many witches are against the idea of teachers and covening and make that quite known that they think going it entirely alone is the superior path.
How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
I think I will have greater strength and power working in the otherworld and within myself. I think in ten years time I will be a priestess.
How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
I guess its everywhere. My altars at home and work, my friendships are mostly witches or magicians, my online time is mostly spent doing my witch tumblr and forums. My paganism is present in my art and my brewing hobby. Really because I am a witch and I have experience with spirits I don’t just let it drop, its part of me all the time.
Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
Yes, I have become more confident and I don’t let people stomp on me. I have faced some of the more powerful parts of me that I hid away and I started taking more responsibility for myself.
Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
If priests and priestesses minister to others on behalf of a god or gods then I don’t know if I do that enough to consider it a title. But I plan to improve in this area.
A witch? How so?
Yes, I am a witch. I work with spirits, I brew potions, I have a cat, and a black hat.
A shaman? How so?
I would use the word mystic instead. I think that shamans are the priest and priestess mystics of specific tribal communities, I don’t claim to be a shaman, but I do have things in common with shamans and since I am not much of a priestess (as above, I don’t often minister to a community) I wouldn’t say I have a ton in common, but a few things.
Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
I think that the language is only important when it comes to not taking from other cultures. Otherwise if you are using words like witch, magician, mystic, priest/priestess etc that are either English or Classical words with no specific cultural ownership then its okay if you are confused about terms and just pick one thats easy. Spirits, Deities, Gods, Fairies, etc, do your best to figure out a term, but don’t overly worry about it.
One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
I think the love of my husband is very high on the list and the specific things he has said aren’t to be written down, but he is very important to me, and I am grateful for his love.
A defining moment on your Path was:
My teacher’s memorial service. It changed everything.
Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?
I am not good at that, I take a lot of time planning and thinking.
Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
Thats a hard one, I don’t usually get embarrassed. I went skinny dipping as part of a ritual and a hiker might have seen me. My husband often wakes up in the middle of the night smelling incense burning and yells “what the fuck!” I don’t know why he has to do that, it totally kills the ritual.
What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
I think that often there are a lot of pretentious people I have to deal with. Its frustrating that they let academia steer the boat of spirituality, even though then a few years later academia is on a different trend on the same point. Meaning that all the sudden worship that wasn’t okay a few years ago is now, and vice versa.
Have you ever been frightened?
Yes. I have one god that I work with that I was afraid of at first, but I came around after a few lessons in my own strength.
Can you perform ritual without a script?
Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?
What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
I am still exploring a lot of things. Right now I am learning about the watchers and the elements and relating them back to some Irish concepts. Something that interests me greatly is that a good number of the Golden Dawn members were Irish and they were very interested primarily in their own gods and legends, but also felt classical stuff had a place.
What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
This is a tough one, I guess primarily myself.
Ritual tools are …
I have a lot of tools, as I am an artist, gardener and potion maker. Mortar and pestle, alembic, cauldron, knife, spade, carboys, bottles, wands, and brushes,
Magickal tools are …
The one thing you can’t do without is:
Seeking personal power is …
Part of being a witch
Politics and you Path are …
The personal is political.
One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
Do you teach?
I teach other witches and they teach me. Not formally, but in the round.
What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
To stand up for political rights, to minister to the dying and sick, to help seekers find their power, and to organize community for soldiers and prisoners. There are many important roles of which the above are just a few.
When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
Spacey, tingly, disorientating.
What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Gods and fae
What is your relationship with the Land?
I garden. I tend to a stretch of river. I am not particularly attached to one area of land because I understand that is a life long commitment and I assume I will move in my lifetime several times due to my lifestyle. However, I do respect the land and love it.
The most important aspect of ritual is:
The main purpose of ritual is:
Contacting spirits or gods
What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever form of augury you use)?
Helping make decisions about upcoming events
What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
Ecrites by Jacques Lacan.
What book do you recommend the most to others?
I switch it up a lot. I do like Irish Witchcraft from an Irish Witch by Lora O’Brien.
What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
I don’t listen to podcasts much. I love so many blogs.
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?
Don’t forget to go before you go and bring a map.
Is there an additional question you would like to see here? What is it? (please also answer)
Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort: