The lovely and generous proprietor of the gaming blog Mementos of Tyria nominated me for a Liebster Award, which you can read about here. Part of the acceptance involves answering a series of questions about myself. I’m very flattered, and hope you enjoy!
1.) Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I didn’t feel that my particular kind of Wicca was fairly represented on the Internet. I began practicing as an eclectic in the late nineties, just when the Internet really became significant in the spread of ideas about the Craft, and so much of my early formation was dependent on sites like witchvox.com, personal Geocities and Angelfire pages, and America Online chat rooms (remember those?). I understand and appreciate how much impact the Internet has, and over the past decade and a half I’ve watched it shape Wicca as thoroughly as any book, bad movie, or TV show about witches. And, while I love being able to watch more people discover and develop in Pagan communities through online interaction, I’m also troubled by the homogeneity that I see, especially when it comes to Wicca.
I got really tired of hearing (from both proponents and detractors) about how Wiccans are x, y, or z, knowing that I wasn’t represented in those categories. It’s really surreal as a Gardnerian (first as a seeker and then as a third) to watch people on the Internet spout authoritatively about “How Wicca used to be,” or lament (or celebrate, sometimes) that there are no more traditionalists. And I was always thinking, “But we’re right here!”
It’s also really weird to hear stuff from the latest wave of Cochrane witches (and others calling themselves “traditional witches”) about how Wicca is an inferior brand of witchcraft because of x, y, and z, when x, y, and z are not part of traditional Wiccan practice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve befriended non-Wiccan witches who tell me later that they respect my practice only because it’s “not really Wicca” and I’m more like them. It’s always a little mystifying.
And while I don’t write about the specifics of my tradition, I do write as someone who wants the online community to understand that there are alternatives to what is usually (and often shallowly) offered up as Wicca. Love and light not included.
2.) What is your favorite thing in the world, that you can’t live without? Not a person, but an object.
It’s definitely a guitar, though I couldn’t tell you which one. I’ve been playing music since I was 13 and it’s as much a part of who I am as my Craft practice. I might go months without playing—usually when I’m dealing with depression—but I always come back to it as though I never stopped. If I injured my hands and couldn’t play, I don’t know if I could really ever be happy in the world again. It sounds melodramatic, but the thought fills me with dread.
If the house was on fire (and Oliver was safely outside in the arms of a hot fireman), I’d go for Charlie, my 1946 Gibson LG-2, or for Maeve, my 1998 Epiphone Les Paul (because it was my first electric guitar and a gift from my father, who had finally decided to be encouraging).
3.) What is something about you, that you want to share, that no one knows?
I secretly love the contemporary evangelical Christian movement. From its music to its God-loves-you-perfectly-even-though-you’re-broken message, I think evangelicals are fascinating. Bands like BarlowGirl, Skillet, David Crowder Band, and Superchick are in regular and unapologetic rotation on my car stereo. When I feel like shit, I listen to TobyMac and Hillsong United.
When I was doing a year-long ethnographic project with a local megachurch, I started having difficulty with another witch in my life. In addition to the usual practical measures, I also set my friends in the Bible study groups to praying on my behalf (they offered) and included my situation in the prayer list at the church. I literally set hundreds of people to pouring energy into effectively improving my situation. Now that is practical magic.
And while I don’t agree with much of the politics that goes along with the movement (nevermind the tendency to ignore or misrepresent science), I also don’t believe that Christians are our indiscriminate enemies. Most of the Pagans I know could benefit from a Christian friend or two. I certainly have.
4.) What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Baskin Robbins’ mint chocolate chip, because the chocolate is shredded into the perfect consistency and its appropriately dyed green. Otherwise, chocolate.
5.) What was the last book that you read?
I just finished Byron Ferguson’s Become the Arrow: The Art of Modern Barebow Shooting, because my nerdy academic tendencies extend to archery, as all things.
6.) If you could be one for just 24 hours, what cereal box cartoon character would you be? Why?
Toucan Sam, because I could fly. He also seems to be quite a bit more dignified than the others (it’s probably the accent).
7.) If you could have had the starring role in one film already made, which movie would you pick?
That’s really hard. Maybe Fairuza Balk in The Craft (because history and hilarity), Rachel Leigh Cook in Josie and the Pussycats (because fun), or Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean (because Johnny Depp is a pirate).
8.) Who inspires you and how are you a bit like them?
I’m inspired by my friends Angie and Danielle, who pieced together some pretty exemplary specimens of awesomeness despite growing up in abusive religious communities. I aspire to be half as smart and talented as Danielle, and a quarter as courageous as Angie (who left an abusive husband on top of everything else).
9.) What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
I was a fiend for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I had the fucking Turtle Van and it was totally boss. Leonardo was the best.
10.) Piece of art that moved you deeply?
The first time I saw a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues I was 20 and struggling with my place in the world (and a lot of self-hatred). Parts are hysterically funny (pun definitely intended) and others are almost overwhelmingly heartbreaking. I think it’s a must for everyone, regardless of gender.
11.) On a day off what do you always look forward to doing?
Running and shooting. I love to go for a hard run and then take my sweet time stretching and cleaning up and getting ready for the rest of the day. On free afternoons, I’ll drag a target out to the construction zone in the neighborhood and practice shooting from weird positions and angles.
Also part of the process, I get to name some of my favorites and pass it on! So if you haven’t checked these folks out, please do:
Kathryn over at Practical Magic
Raven at The Raven Scribe
Corvus at A Lazy Witch
Lore at Ecstatick Magick (who needs to write more, because it’s brilliant when she does)
and Witchfire, who runs a few blogs and always has a lot of passionate things to say, which I love.
If you accept, your questions are:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What did you think you would be when you grew up?
3. What is your biggest blogging-related pet peeve?
4. What movie makes you cry every time you see it?
5. Tell us something about yourself that none of your blog readers know.
6. What was your high school experience like?
7. What is your favorite book and why?
8. If you could choose, what would be your super power?
9. Who inspires you and how are you bit like them?
10. If you could live anywhere in the world and money wasn’t an issue, where would you go?
11. What would you do if you won one million dollars (there are no taxes in fantasy land)?