The Bi-monthly interview on Witch View.
Today, we are hearing from Heather.
Do you follow any particular religious path? What is it? Are you part of any particular tradition? Can you share with us what that is?
I feel most close to the Greek Recon tradition. I work as a solitary currently, having not found a coven of like-minded individuals that isn’t all petty politics or money grubbing jerks.
How long have you practiced witchcraft?
I’ve practiced since 1997. I did a Wiccan self dedication on Lughnassadh 1997.
Were you born a witch, or did you become a witch? At what point did you know?
I feel I was born one. I remember going to church as a child and it working for me until I started reading the Bible and questioning why a moral God would order things that we consider immoral. I’ve always felt connected to nature. I’d much rather be outdoors than cooped up inside (the exception being in winter, when my ideal situation is to stand near a window with a cup of tea or cocoa, watching the snow fall).
I knew when I was a kid, but at the time I didn’t believe that Witches were real. I started seeing a guy that I’d later marry back in 1995 (we got married in 2000, divorced in 2006). His dad had books on Witchcraft. The first one I read was Uncle Bucky’s Big Blue Book – Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. I knew then that I wasn’t crazy, that Witches were real, and that I had been one for as long as I could remember.
Do you follow, or have you dedicated yourself to, any particular deities?
I have dedicated myself to Hestia, Hera, and Hecate, as well as Apollo, Zeus, and Poseidon.
What type of crafting are you best at, or do you focus on the most? i.e. herbs, stones and crystals, candles, divining
I do well with candle magics. I love to make sachets and herbal charms as well.
Do you celebrate the Sabbats? All or just some of them?
Out of habit, I still celebrate the Eight Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year. In the Greek calendar, there really isn’t a Lughnassadh, or Beltane, or Imbolc. There IS celebration of the Equinoxes and Solstices (which are my favorite Sabbats), and there is a Samhain celebration (celebrating Hades), but since I began in 1997 as a self identified Wiccan, I like to celebrate the Wheel of the Year.
Books! How many books about witchcraft do you own? Have you written any of them?
I have a GIGANTIC steamer trunk full of books, and more that usually end up near my bed, under it, etc. The only books in there that I’ve personally written are my own Books of Shadows. I don’t think anyone would be interested in buying my book (if I ever got around to writing one). If I were to write a book, I would probably write out one that deals with Greek Reconstruction. There isn’t a specific book out there with the Greek celebratory calendar, and there isn’t one out there readily available that has the information about the pantheon that many of us need. There ARE plenty of books out there about the information, just not one that I’ve found that has everything you’d need at your fingertips (if there IS one out there, please let me know!)
What have you been doing recently that is craft related?
I’ve not been able to do much this past month. We’ve been in the midst of moving in with my mother-in-law, and so I’ve been focusing on that. I have, however, been working on my herb garden and planning and working on my garden ideas. I’ve been reading several books and working on a blog challenge of my own: Dancing the Goddess Incarnate (a lovely book by Dorothy Morrison and Kristen Madden). I’ve been working through the chapters one by one and talking about what feelings I get, the answers to the questions, etc. It’s a wonderful book. I highly recommend it.
Magical and mundane life. Are they kept separate or are they combined?
Magic can permeate all aspects of life, it’s just a matter of stepping back and SEEING it there. We all move so fast these days, and we have almost no concept of patience any more. One of the best ways for me to experience the magic in my life is to sit on my front porch and swing. I feel the air, see the sky, smell the breeze, feel the warmth, etc. It lets me quiet my mind and just relax.
I also do a bit of Magical Housekeeping – I light a candle to Hestia, veil myself (more on that later), and concentrate on the task at hand being a positive one. I try to infuse magic into my home to make it a more warm, loving place, especially now that we’re sharing space with someone else.
Are environmental issues important to you? What are you doing or how have you adjusted your life and your practices in response to these issues?
Yes, environmental issues are important to me, however, living here in southern WV, there is not a lot I can do. I recycle glass jars *like baby food jars* to use as herb containers, or spell bottles. I wish we had recycling here but we don’t. I try to do things green, like making my own laundry soap and cleaning supplies. I will admit, I use disposable diapers (I know, I know), and I will use plastic cups (but if I have time, I’ll wash them). I don’t like styrofoam, though.
Do you have a familiar?
At the moment? No. I DO have a bitchy black cat named Cocoa, though. My eldest son named her because in the sun, she looks like dark chocolate.
Do you have a craft name? Do you believe craft names should be kept secret, or can they be shared?
My current name is Sapphire Firebloom. I think that you can have more than one name, just like you have a first and middle name (for the most part). I think you can have one for public use and one for private use.
If you have children are you raising them in the craft?
Yes, I have two children: both boys. I am trying to raise them in the Craft, but it’s not always easy. We celebrate the Wheel, changing of seasons, etc. I haven’t delved into much theology with them, as they are far too young for that. I have talked about the Sun and the Moon and the God and Goddess, though, and they love to welcome the changing of the Seasons.
Do you wear, or not wear, any particular clothing or covering? Do you wear this all the time or only when doing magical work, or a bit of both?
I recently started veiling – covering my head when I do ritual or domestic work. I wear a covering when I go outside for the most part. I actually feel naked without a veil at this point, so I wear a veil or head covering pretty much all the time now. I usually wear the Jewish tichel style. I think it’s very pretty.
I also constantly wear a triple moon moonstone pendant with a hidden pentacle. I WOULD wear a moonstone ring, but I’ve lost weight recently and it’s too big for my finger. I need to have it resized.
What are your views on ethics in witchcraft? Do you follow the 3-fold law or the Wiccan Rede?
I try to refrain from manipulative magics. If I wouldn’t appreciate it done for me, I won’t do it to anyone else unless I have a very large reason. I don’t follow the Rede, per se. I see no need for things to come back three times. Once is probably sufficient. I think that you get back what you put out, and like I said, no need for three. There just isn’t a reason to think that way for me.
What is something you know now that you wish you had known when you first identified as a witch?
That I was probably a witch all along – I didn’t need to stand up and shout “hey look at me! I’m a WITCH!” If you feel the call, there is no need for grandeur; there is no need for a pat on the back or preening. It is what it is and there is no need to proclaim it – being a Witch can be a simple, private, intimate thing.
Name one ritual tool you just wouldn’t want to do without?
Candles. I love candles and they have many uses, not just magical. Aside from that? My ability to visualize.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the world?
Like I said above – just because you feel the call and respond, there is no need to stand up and proclaim it. Taking your power doesn’t always mean screeching at people like Agnes Skinner from The Simpsons. It can happen, and often does, with a whisper.
Well, that and quit fawning over “Big Name Pagans” – most that I’ve met have been total assholes who are so full of themselves that they’d float if you tossed them in water. If you want to join a coven and they charge for lessons, leave, because they’ll just keep pressuring you for money that you may not have.
Heather would like you to visit:
A Pagan Mother’s Life (http://paganmotherslife.blogspot.com)
Witchin’ in the Kitchen: (http://witchininthekitchen.blogspot.com/)
Covered in Light.(http://www.facebook.com/groups/293866330671324/ )
If you want to know more about veiling as a Pagan/Polytheistic woman, go here! Membership approval needed.