Monday, 25 May 2009

Interview with a Yogini

The lovely Eco Yogini completed an interview on her blog. It seems that it is a chain interview! So now I have my lovely interview questions written by herself and I have to offer this service to anyone else out there... These are the rules...

* leave me a comment with your email address saying: “interview me”
* I will e-mail you five questions of my choice
* you can then answer the questions on your blog {with a link back to my blog}
* you should also post these rules, along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you, wanting to be interviewed
* anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog
* it would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger

1) Books... as an avid reader, are there habits that drive you absolutely bonkers? How do you feel about spine bending, page bending, bookmarks, coffee stains etc? Have you ever lent out a book that when it was returned you were so disappointed with its' state?

I am generally a pretty relaxed book owner. I personally break the spine of all my paperbacks but I never break the spine of someone else's book, that would be rude! I do however hate bent pages and coffee stains. I have never lent a book that returned in a bad way but I have lent books that never made their way home. Some of the most shocking treatment of books has been in my own hands... There was the one I dropped in the bath and many of the books in my collection are currently suffering a little from damp... *sigh*

2) Being Wiccan / Pagan, do you feel there is a difference between North American and European Wicca?

Definitely! I think Wicca and Paganism at their best are somewhat linked to the land. The folk beliefs across Europe were many and varied and often linked to the place that they were practiced. Two men became interested in preserving as much of this as possible, Crowley and Williamson. Crowley found Wicca but Williamson found the beliefs of the little people, often lacking in education and still linked to a specific place.

These folk beliefs still survive in many ways across Europe. Traditions, superstitions and beliefs have stayed in families and villages and are still related to places. Where they are being revived, they are still generally in the memory of the oldest surviving people. Paganism is still there underlying much of what we do. Some places it is further from the surface but in others, like Cornwall, that connection to the land and pagan traditions is still very, very present.

As Paganism and Wicca become more socially acceptable the things preserved in places like this are flowing back out again. It is all right here to pick back up. There are ancient churches by holy wells, on top of hills, on beaches, by rivers, in woods. These holy places are still full of.... There are pagan traditions being practiced openly by mixed groups containing *shock horror* Christians, those traditional haters of all things witch. Just as I have accepted that Christianity is my heritage, so many Christians are accepting that pagan traditions are their heritage.

Wicca and Paganism are not endemic religions to North America. The religions of the Native Americans are the folk beliefs linked to the land there, not European beliefs. As such it is often apparent when reading about such Pagan beliefs in American, that Shamanism is a strong thread, which is as it should be. The Wicca of the New Forest that Crowley found could not have had within it's lexicon the spirits of the desert...

I am not a Wiccan, I am a witch. It sometimes feels that the word witch is one that Wiccans feel only they should be able to use. Truth is a witch is both, possibly more what I am as Wicca has striven to develop it's own identity. I sometimes feel that this attitude towards those non-Wiccan witches is more prevalent amongst North American Wiccans, who have perhaps lost their instinctual understanding of the connection between witch and Wicca as they have become more connected to their new land and it's sacred power.

My personal belief is that faith is in the heart and religion is.... somewhere else and may or may not include faith. Everyone's true faith is different and this diversity should be accepted and celebrated, as long as the underlying tenents are not damaging to society - I could not for instance condone a faith that included ritual cannibalism....

Sorry this answer got a bit long and sorry if my personal views have offended anyone out there.

3) As a creative soul, where do you wish in your innermost heart, for your art to take you? Imagine the world 60 years from now, where is your art, and where would you most like for it to be?

I guess what I want is to live in a beautiful home with beautiful and functional things that have soul. I also want to spread a little of this around to friends and family (and maybe have a little of the creative soul in my home to... *laugh*). I would quite like to write a book one day, on something, no idea what.

I guess my dearest thought is that I could buy some land and build a house and a forest garden. I would want to take the best of technology and of tradition. For instance my Mum only has a small fridge, she doesn't need a big one because she has a pantry. Why don't modern homes have pantries? I like technology but I want to make it work for me. Another example, i love long hot baths and end up wastefully adding extra water. I once saw a picture of a chap watching the sun set in an old tin bath with some extra pipe work added and a fire underneath it so water was continuously heated.

Gardens are so important these days, for water conservation and food. I saw on TV a programme with a forest garden. Trees were grown for food and forage with bushes and plants inbetween. Grain was not grown. I think it was something like one acre supporting 10 people with 10 days maintenance and 30 days harvesting per year. Without constant uprooting and applications of chemicals, fertility increased and the it was beautiful and semi-wild looking.

I want to be growing old there in 60 years time. With grandchildren and children also enjoying what we began.

4) What is your first/favourite memory of magic/fantastical world?

In a book or otherwise? I remember playing my best friend. We were having a private picnic in the field behind her house. I remember we were playing the one upmanship game of all the special things we could do. The game ended when I claimed I could make all the crumbs vanish from my plate. I threw it in the air and magically they all vanished. I remember that we were both impressed. *laugh*

I guess in a book though my first fantasy image I adored was the idea of the wood between the worlds in C S Lewis' The Magician's Nephew. A wood that went on forever with little pools of water between the trees that could take yo to other worlds. I guess I loved the possibility of the place... And it's dreamy nature.

5) What would be the most perfect wedding for you, if money and family dramas weren't an issue?

Oh I could spend a loooong time talking about this one. I want to either get married just me and him with a couple of witnesses on a beach somewhere or have it just be a fantastic day that caters to the needs of my guests, all of them.

I would want everyobdy to have a good day. Not for it to be about photographers and schedules. I would want for everyone to be able to stay nearby and not have to rush off home. I would want S to send invites to all the children so that it was his day too. I would want for there to be a church wedding with me in a red dress made by Denise Stracey with a ivory crochet long jacket over the top for in the church and a fake fur ivory bolero jacket for the when the evning grows cold. I would make swarovski crystal jewellery for my neice and I to wear with our dresses and my nephew and S would be page teenagers in grey suits with red ties made by Denise and ivory shirts and crystal cufflinks. F would be similarly attired.

As we were signing the register all the children from within the church and in the mobile creche would gather round the doors and blow bubbles at us as we left the church. Rose petals would be distributed at the church gate to scatter in the sun. There would be no standing around for photographs as we would have several photographers photographing things as they naturally happen or small groups...

We would all leave with everyone bundled into coaches. We would have an English tea party in the sun with various activities for the children such as a treasure hunt. Then to marquees for feasting in the evening. It wouldn't be a formal sit down meal more of a buffet. The top table would actually be four square tables so that F and I would be heads of our table of friends, my folks would be head of a table of friends and family but also sat next to us and then F's folks on the other side with friends and family on their table to.

The children would all be on their own table with S at the head and after the three top tables they would eat next and then all go off and have some fun somewhere else so they didn't have to listen to speeches.

Roses would be a theme as would crystal mimicing the pattern of stones in my engagement ring. There would be a tier of the cake that was persian rose cake. There would be a rose petal salad and lamb coated in spices including rose. There would be mint and rose tea as well as coffee and normal tea. I would carry a small bunch of old fashioned red roses and the tables would have rose petals on them and the glasses would be decorated with crystals. All the stationery would be made with handmade paper containing rose petals too.

There would be much alcohol and music but also quiet places for people to sit comfortably and talk. Children would have play areas. It wouldn't be full of family friends and family I barely know or hardly see. They would all be there but so would all my friends, old and new, from all around the world. Come to party and celebrate. The only group photo would be one as they all stand together having just arrived, stood as a crowd with upraised glasses (containing rose flavoured beverages) and a photographer looking down...

*sigh* the chances of me affording that are slim so I am working on running away to a nice beach instead...


  1. Hi Rose,
    The answers are fantastic! Thanks so much for your insights and I apologize about "witch/wicca". :)You know, maybe that's why Charles de Lint's novels speak so much to me, I adore the aboriginal spirituality...

    Your dream wedding sounds fabulous, and I'm sure that so many parts will be possible!

  2. Wow...if you pull of the *dream wedding*, I should hope that I'm sounds sooooooo lovely!!! *sigh*

    Awesome answers......

  3. I love Charles de Lint to. I love the way he weaves folklore into a realistic setting. I love the way he makes me feel that magical beings could be just round the corner. I just love him....

    As to my dream wedding.... Lets be hoping I win the lottery....