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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Interview, The Thrid!

Hello again, Hetshepsit here with another interview. Today we’re talking with Rose, a fellow pagan blogger who has stuck with me since right near the beginning. She runs the blog “Spirit Phoenix: The Fire Deep Within”, a blog that talks about all sorts of topics. So, if I can get started, how long have you been a Pagan?
Hmm. I've always been interested in the occult, new age, paganism, etc. I guess it's just because it was something different. I remember checking out books from the library on any and every topic. (Luckily, my Mom didn't have any problems with those topics.) But officially, I'd say since about April 2005.

There are a lot of different types of Pagan, what would you classify yourself as?
I typically call myself an eclectic pagan. I actually lean more towards Taoism and Paganism. So...Eclectic pagan with Taoist tendencies

Being eclectic means you can really customize your path, which I’ve talked a lot about on my blog. Can you describe Taoism for my readers who have maybe never heard of the term?
Well Taoism is more a philosophy or way of thinking rather than a religion. It's very difficult to describe. Heck, the first line in the Tao Te Ching says, "The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao." (Tao roughly translates to "Way"). But for me, it sort of explains life. In a non-confrontational way. Focusing on the journey and living life in the present.

Is there any tradition or pantheon you’ve been attracted to for most of your life?
Well, I've always been drawn to the Greek (Zeus, Athena, Hera.) and the Egyptian mythologies. (Rah, Horus, Isis) But as for worshiping deities, I don't tend to focus on any one figure. I prefer to talk to the universe. Sort of putting my thoughts out to whomever wants to listen.

Your profile says you’re a “searcher”, can you elaborate on that?
Yeah, I like to research everything. I'm trying to find my path. I never look at my journey as finished. It's more a stop-over. In all honesty, I'm looking for the path that helps me come to that moment where everything makes sense. Though I doubt I'll ever get there. Not in this incarnation anyway.

A lot of Pagan’s use that “home” analogy. When you really began to study Paganism, did it feel like a homecoming to you, or did it feel like something else?
Yeah, it did feel like home in a sense. I felt more a sense of "Now this makes sense." I never got the whole, going to church on Sunday, listening to someone interpret God, tell me what I'm doing wrong/right, and then leaving. I wanted something that talked about the world around me. Meaning nature, rather than just the people.
Does that make sense?

Yes, it does.
Okay, It makes sense to me in my head, but explaining it can sometimes be difficult.

Some Pagans believe that you can’t be an eclectic pagan and customize your path. Meaning, for example, some people who do Egyptian magic—Kemetic—don’t believe that your patron deity can be Quetzalcoatl. What do you think about this?
If that's how they want to shape their spiritual/religious path, then who am I to question it. For me though, I don't think any one group has everything right. So I take what makes sense and fuse it together. I realize that this may be confusing to some. Especially those that are focused in right ways and wrong ways. The ones that believe you have to have a particular herb to work a spell. Or people that believe I have no code of ethics, or rule book. But that's not the case. I do hold myself to a moral code.

Can you explain your own moral code?
Well I live by the golden rule. That cuts across many different religious paths. I do think justice should be handled mercifully but sternly. I don't cheat, or steal, or lie. I offer counsel or help when necessary. I'm responsible, reliable, trustworthy and kind. That are pretty much the major issues. That's pretty much the major issues. Sorry for the typos

No problem, I have spellcheck! Which deities do you work with on a regular basis? Are there any you would like to get into more contact with?
Well I don't really work with any in particular. Unfortunately. I'd really like to work with any of the Greek or Egyptian pantheons, maybe even Celtic. But I have the feeling that if I pick one, I'll be offending another. If one were to reach out to me. (I've heard of people having dreams in which a particular deity is calling out to them. I've never had that and would actually welcome it. If you could tell me sometime how your deities reached out to you, it'd really help. I think you've mentioned Quezalcoatl a few times,)

lol, yes, Quetzalcoatl came to me in a dream. The other ones I've worked with, I've just asked them to stop by and they do. Quetzalcoatl and I have been close since I was probably 8 or 9. It goes back to a star trek episode, believe it or not
I'll have to try that.
LOL. Well I have always been fascinated by Quetzalcoatl myself. so I understand.
You never know what will spark a new intersection. (Goes back to being a searcher.)

They are usually pretty willing. Just ask them to come by, and they usually will. I asked Ptah to come by for my new room blessing, and even though we didn't techncially build anything, he still came by. Like a building inspector, lol
So true!
See I guess it's just I never thought to ask. Maybe it's because I never had a close relationship with God or any diety growing up. I'll try this out and let you know how it goes.

Awesome! Okay, back to the interview. Many pagans work with a sort of divination device. I know you, like me, adore Tarot. What first got you interested in card reading?
Hmm. Well my mom was never in to tarot. Actually, my aunt has more of a connection with it. I never knew that until recently. But, I think it was probably just a continuation of the playing card divination games I played growing up. You know if you get so many diamonds that's how much money you have. Hearts = love. I can't remember the specifics of the game now, but I guess it grew out of that. I had always heard you had to be gifted a deck. But I eventually said, "meh" and about 10 years ago I bought myself the Unicorn deck. It worked for a while. Then I put it on the back burner. A few years ago I bought the Osho-Zen, Guilded and Zerner Farber decks. Earlier this year I got the Da Vinci Enigma, Transparent, Enchanted, Vanessa, Raider-White, Fradella, Fey and Fantastical Creatures decks. Alchemy, Eros, and Magical Dolphins and Mermaids.

How many decks do you own?
12 decks. And 3 oracle-ish decks.

Wow, quite a collection. What are some of your favourite tarot decks?
Thanks. I like them all I guess. But my favorite does change from time to time. Lately it's been the Fantastical Creatures deck. But the first one to really speak to me and seemed to make understanding the deck easier was the Vanessa tarot. Though that was just the traditional meanings. For intuitive meanings I feel I need more of a depth to the drawings, which is why the fantastical creatures deck has been working out so well.

Are there any decks you somewhat regret buying?
Hmmm. I bought the Raider-White deck because so many other decks are inspired by it. But I've never read with it. The drawings don't speak to me. And looking on the Unicorn deck now, it seems rather simple. And I was a little disappointed with the Guilded deck. I'm thinking that's since it's so close to the R-W deck.

Some people hold by that you can only use one Tarot deck at a time then must “retire” it to use a new deck, others say you can use multiple decks at a time. What do you believe?
I think it depends on a few things.
1. What's the question? I find that more technical questions work better with the DaVinci Enigma deck. More esoteric or universal questions work with the Osho-Zen and so on.
2. What calls to you that day. I've had days where I'll use 2 or 3 different decks. It just depends on what I have with me and what a client wants.
3. Speaking of clients, if I do a reading for someone, I may pull out a few decks to give them a choice. Sometimes a deck that doesn't speak to me will speak to them. It seems to me a waste to be able to only use one at a time.

You read cards professionally. I’ve only ever given readings to close friends, but hope to expand. What sort of advice can you give people looking to read Tarot in a more professional manner?
Oh I don't read professionally yet. I do try to be professional about it. But I don't charge yet. I asked that same question to a reader that I went to. She said to just offer readings to anyone and everyone. Always have a deck with you. And just talk about it everywhere. I've had waitresses ask me about it when I pull my deck out at the table. I've had employees ask me about getting a reading. I just talk about it until I'm blue in the face. Though you can sometimes get people who don't want anything to do with tarot. I offer and if I get the sense they're not into it, I leave it at that. Sometimes, you get people who are tentative about it. They feel worried about certain cards. So I'll either explain common questions. Or ask them outright if they have any questions. Usually though many people are interested in a reading. Especially a free one. I have had a few people offer to pay me. But I don't feel comfortable enough yet to take it.

Now, I know you are married, but I don't remember if you told me if you had children or not (my memory is terrible when it comes to that sort of thing)
No worries. Yes, I'm married and I have one little girl. She'll be 10 months on Thursday

aww, how sweet<3
Is your husband also a pagan?
No. He's actually a methodist. He doesn't go to church, and he doesn't belittle my beliefs. He does ask a lot of questions and sometimes we just agree to disagree.

Are you planning on raising your daughter with both your religions, or waiting for her to ask her own questions?
Well I guess both religions. Though it'll be up to her to make up her mind.

Have you faced any criticism from your in-laws about your choice of religious beliefs?
No. Though I haven't really come right out and told them. My sister-in-law knows. She doesn't have a problem with it. In fact, one of her best friends is in a coven. People kinda know I walk to the beat of my own drum, so they tend not to ask too much if they don't want to know

How have your spiritual views influenced your life in general?
Well, they've helped me be a more open-minded person. I have become less human-centered. I never understood how in Christianity Man (and Woman) was made in the image of God. But yet the animals weren't. I view people as just another animal on the planet, no better, no worse. I've come to realize that my spiritual path is my own path. Therefore, it's my job to really work at it. I don't go somewhere once a week and learn about it. I have to really work at it.

What are some of your goals with Paganism?
I'm always trying to keep moving. I know there's a time for a pause or rest. But I try to keep moving forward. The only way to do that is to keep searching. Asking questions, Listening. And realizing that the journey never ends. I'd also like to become more focused with dieties. Maybe find one that I mesh well with.

Well, that’s all I have. Any words of wisdom you want to share?
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." LOL

YES! DORY!

Seriously though, find something out there that works for you and what you believe. But yet be open-minded enough to know that your way may not be anyone else's way.

Thanks again Rose! If anyone is ever interested in doing a pagan interview, drop me a line!

DISCLAIMER

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.

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