Monday, August 31, 2009

Being Pagan Interview

Today I want to bring you something completely different. I’m going to interview one of my closest friends and fellow pagan on her craft.

Hello Lisey. Lisey currently operates the pagan blog Being Pagan, and writes about various pagan topics, including recipes and pagan-friendly makeup.
So, let’s start with the basics. Many people say that converting to Wicca is like “coming home” and not really like a conversion. What was yours like?

It was more about self-discovery for me. When I converted, I was 13 and was in a tough situation at home. Converting allowed me to connect more with myself, and really discover who I was, which brought me a lot of strength in the coming years. My spirituality is what allowed me to stay strong, hopeful, and eventually overcome my clinical-depression. I'm really thankful for that.

Have you always been less interested in mainstream religions?
I don't think it's that I'm not interested in mainstream religions. I'm just not interested in what they have to offer. Some aspects of Christianity are highly romantic, but the beliefs themselves in Jesus and God and the Bible are what really put me off, as are the corruption, patriarchy, and power. So it's more about core beliefs than it is what's mainstream or not. Also, I think there can be too much of a good thing, so if everyone was one religion, that would just be rather detrimental to society. You know, in terms of balance and variety and whatnot. Real self-discovery. Ok, I'm rambling

It’s okay, you can ramble


You mention patriarchy. I know you always strive for balance. Do you then also believe that a total matriarchy would be just as detrimental?
Oh yes, very much so. Can you imagine a world ruled by menstruating, PMSing, moody, hormonal women? It's not a pretty thought.
I think because men and women think so differently, it offers the perfect balance for what we need as government leaders, local leaders, and even the heads of family (of course, I strongly support same-sex marriage )
The same applies with religion.

You are currently, as I understand, have no connection to any specific pantheon. Do you want to connect to one in particular, or do you want to pick and choose? Why?
I prefer to keep it open. When it's time, I will work with who suits me best. There are many Gods out there who, according to their "description", seem to not be the type I'd get along with. So, as goes the Law of Attraction, I work with who I can relate to, no matter what pantheon.

So you firmly believe in the Law of Attraction? Can you share any personal examples?
I do firmly believe in the Law of Attraction, in many ways. I believe it goes hand-in-hand with Karma, what you do comes back. Of course, I don't believe in the 3-Fold Law per say, but I believe your emotions and intentions amplify what you get in return, and not just the actions or thought itself. For example, all my life I've staunchly opposed drugs, and promiscuous sex (i.e. just being a general slut, not treating your body like it should be treated), and treating your body horribly (with things like smoking and diet pills). I refused to date anyone unless they were like me, because I didn't want anything toxic in my romantic life, because I had too much negativity and abuse in my childhood. So, because I emanated such values, and stayed true to my moral beliefs, and really acted on them, I met my current boyfriend (and first boyfriend), who is the exact same, except perhaps harder working physically (seeing as though he's a US Marine). I think that is my most recent example of the Law of Attraction - he reflects who I am perfectly, except he's 6'3" with a penis haha

Paganism is a rather customizable religion, as in everyone can take elements they like from various paths to combine into their own eclectic path. As an eclectic pagan, what are some of the path’s you’ve made your religion from?
I would say I've taken elements from Celtic Paganism, American folk Witchcraft (New England-style ), a bit of Norse Paganism (Heathenism), and I also study and incorporate elements of Kitchen Witchcraft and Hedge-Witchcraft in my practice. I don't think I've taken anything from mainstream religions, though that doesn't mean I'm opposed. I merely take what fits with who I am.

Why do you think you were drawn to these paths in particular?
You know, I'm not quite sure. My whole life I've adored Arthurian legend and Celtic history, as well as British history (thanks to my mom). I'm fairly attracted to some aspects of Heathenism, I can't really explain it, it just suits who I am as a North-oriented, Winter-souled, Earthy snow bunny. For Kitchen Witchcraft, food and cooking has always been a part of my life. I started "cooking" when I was one, "helping" to make dumplings. Hedge-Witchcraft is another thing that inspires me and really touches me. And about the New England-style American folk Witchcraft, well, I was born and raised in New Hampshire - Enough said

Some Pagans believe that you can’t be eclectic and customize your path. Meaning, some people who do Egyptian magic—Kemetic—don’t believe that your patron deity can be Quetzalcoatl. What do you think about this?
I think they should relax a little. It's cool to want to preserve tradition, but in today's day and age, less and less people really want to conform to any one belief system because they find perhaps only 70% of the total belief system actually coincides with their personal beliefs, and I would much rather see people be true to who they are, they try to fit into something they're not.

Let’s talk a bit more about deities. Which ones do you work with? Which ones would you like to work with? Which ones would you stay away from?
For deities I currently work with, I say the Lady and the Lord, and occasionally I'll call down someone else, even if they're not a deity, to help me, particularly my guardians. As for who I'd like to work with, I want to discover more domestic Gods and Goddesses to work with to make me a better Kitchen and Hedge Witch. As for deities I stay away from, anyone who has to do with anything evil, adultery, rape and abuse, drugs, smoking (of any kind), and alcohol, simply because those are things I am staunch against.

So, you work more with various “critters” (your word) than Gods and Goddesses. Any reason why?
I just like keeping it casual, keeping it real. I don't think we need to use a deity to get the same result. I often think being a deity is just for formality, or a title. For example, some deities were merely protectors or guardians of a town or village who recieved the title of God or Goddess by the locals, and that grew and melted into the mainstream religion/path. I also find the Gods and Goddesses are cluttered with all sorts of requests for appearances and blessings, and little critters have much more time (and also the strong desire and enthusiasm) to help anyone. Also, they're really cute and make excellent companions, especially when feeling lonely, or sad, or sick. Some of them are great healers

Who are some of your “buddies” from the planes?
You know, they come and go. I once found a baby mouse on death's doorstep, and tried to heal it, but when I knew there was no hope, I merely held him until he passed. That little mouse stayed with me for a year (I nicknamed him Tim the Enchanter, he was grey) as a totem against demons, and I miss him. I've made many other little friends along the way, but there's always a time for them to move on, so I accept that.

Now, you are what would be called a “psychic”. Do you like this term? Which term would you rather use?
I don't like the term because it has so many negative associations today with fraud and false-propheting. I just like to say I know stuff. Or, rather, I like to think I know stuff

Have you always been a “psychic”? Is it something you were born with, or did you grow into it?
Yeah I was definitely born with it. It revealed itself in stages, starting when I was very young and making simply prophecies that came true (i.e. who would win the horse race), as well as reading energy, and seeing into people and situations from a very mature perspective (i.e. I shouldn't be near that person) while still very young and seemingly inexperienced with life. I never realized I was "psychic" though until mid teenhood. Before, I thought seeing spirits and everything else was just natural

How would you describe your first “psychic” experience?
Besides predicting the winner of a horse race? Seeing a demon when I was 5 or 6 hehe Or, my first complex experience, when I learned how to tap into the mind of my horse, and he would respond to what I'd say. Sadly, this is a talent I've fallen out of because I haven't had a pet in so long.

When counselling me on opening my third eye, you talked a lot about the demon you saw when you were young. Would you recount the experience so my readers know what the hell we’re talking about?
Well, I was sleeping in my parent's bedroom. It was a very hot summer night, where it was 90 all night long, and their room was the only air conditioned room in the house. My entire family slept in there, us kids on the floor together. From a deep sleep (I've always been comatose in my sleep) I was awoken seemingly for no reason, and I saw this thing - it consisted of a large skull, and boney arms outstretches, hands handing limply, with a tattered white cloth in the shape of an upside-down triangle across its arms and hanging. It was floating, no legs. Also, if I do recall, it had some skill still left on it's face and hands. It was completely green.
By “skill’ you mean skin, right?
Yes lol

Typos--they happen to everyone! Would you say this experience shaped you in any way?
Yep. I always believed in ghosts, but that solidified it for the rest of my life. Ghosts play a huge part in my spirituality, so yeah I'd say that shaped me.

Some people read cards, some people read runes, some people read minds: what sort of “psychic” gifts do you have? Are there any you would like to develop further?
I can read people very well, and read energy. I'm pretty good with recognizing spirits and talking to them, etc. But I can't see/hear numbers very well, names, or unfamiliar words, and so that's something I'd like to develop further. Also, I'd like to read Tarot. I have had no luck with Oracle card thus far (I suck at memorizing meanings!)

How about on the other end, are there any you stay away from?
Anything that involves invading privacy, I'd say, or that's used in harming anyone.

Let’s move on to your worship. What do you do as worshipping?
Well, simply put, I pray every day, and often look up to the Lady and the Lord (psychically) and talk to them when I need guidance.

Can you tell me why you dislike rituals?
It's not that I dislike them, it's just that they're not for me. The formality actually feels awkward for me.
Especially with other people involved.

A solitary Wiccan through and through eh?
I suppose so
I wouldn't say Wiccan
I'm definitely not Wiccan.

What would you call yourself then?
A general Pagan, and a Witch. That's all. Wicca is one semi-organized religion, not the umbrella term for this entire subculture of beliefs.

I would like to ask you about your Book of Shadows. How is yours set up? Is it more like a journal, or more like a reference book?
I don't really have one. I keep starting one, and keep falling away from it. I'm not sure what my beef is, but I can't really answer this question lol

What are some of your ultimate goals with Paganism?
To create a local community wherever I settle down, to help and guide those who have no one to look up to or to learn from.
Also, to defend those who have similar beliefs of mine and yet get criticized for them, even within the Pagan community, such as eclecticism and certain philosophies (such as being "straight edge")

Pagan’s regularly talk about their “jobs” on the earth. What do you think your job is?
As a Teacher, almost like as a general Grandmother type to whatever community I find myself in.

Well, that’s all I have for now at least. Any words of wisdom you want to share?
Ehh, not without sounding too cheesy

Lol, okay then. Thanks a lot Lisey!
Thank you!!

This is my first interview, and I hope to do more. If you, or someone you know, is interested in doing a Pagan interview, please drop me a line to my e-mail address


BellBookCandleSupply said...
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A lot of my information is directly copy-pasted frm my own Book of Shadows, collected over the past couple of years from a variety of sourses. I try to credit where I can, and I try to paraphrase and change words around without changing meanings as much as I can.
IF YOU SEE YOUR INFORMATION HERE: Please let me know, I'll be more than happy to credit you. The best way to contact me is to leave a comment on the post, and I'll be sure to edit the post as soon as I get the message.