It’s come to my attention that I’ve been getting a fair amount of traffic from Adventures in Witchery this month, so I popped over to Veles’s site to see what’s going on. Well, to my surprise, he’s nominated me for a Leibster blog award, which was awfully sweet of him. Thank you, Veles!
I’d never heard of the award before, but it is a bit like a chain letter. Someone nominates you, gives you a list of 11 questions to answer, ask you to create a list of 11 question to ask others, and then to nominate 5 other blogs who have less than 1000 followers. Apparently, these are the “official rules“:
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:
- Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
- Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
- Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
- Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
- Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
- Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
- List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
- Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)
These are the questions Veles would have me answer:
1. What is your most favorite magical mistake?
I like the magical mistakes that end up as total failures because I failed to take a very crucial practical concern into consideration. There was one instance where I was doing a spell modified from a resource that had me take various herbs, put them in a sealing jar with water, and let it set for a period of time. Well, the jar I used sealed too well, and all the herbage started to ferment…which I should have realized would happen. A couple weeks later, I’m sitting round the house watching TV and hear a noise like a gunshot. The gas had built up in the jar and couldn’t escape readily enough, so the jar exploded. It was not a nice mess to clean up. The spell totally didn’t work, either.
2. What resource (book,etc) do you actively discourage people from reading?
This will sound hypocritical in a few months when I release the “15 years later” post I’m working on for Silver Ravenwolf…but I do discourage relying upon Mama Silver. I think that Silver has some wonderful exercises and an approachable style, and I actually quite like a lot of the liturgy she’s created, but if you rely on her every word as though it were gospel, you may run into some ethical issues…and her books largely appeal to people who have not yet developed some important critical reading skills or a witchy bullshit barometer, which compounds the problem. By the same token, I do advise people to avoid Edain McCoy’s works. Sabbats wasn’t terrible, although the history she included is problematic. Ignoring that, it does help newbies shape their own Sabbat traditions. But the other books? Witta? Solid pass.
3. A God you’d most like to shag? (We love blasphemy here at Adventures in Witchery).
I think I’ve said before how shaggable I’ve found Cernunnos, particularly as Neil Sims depicts him. Going beyond that, however, I pretty much find all the images James C. Lewis created of Yoruba Orishas quite yummy. To wit:
4. Favorite movie witch?
Probably Harry Potter‘s Minerva McGonagall. That might just be my admiration for Dame Maggie Smith talking, though. She nailed that performance even though J.K.’s McGonagall was supposed to be much younger. I love that moment in movie 8 after she casts the Piertotum Locomotor spell. It’s such a serious moment–that is a spell of last resort and shit’s getting real. It’s a moment that is supposed to be full of gravitas, but even so she’s still capable of that sort of childlike appreciation of magic. You’d hardly expect her to gleefully bubble “I’ve always wanted to cast that spell!” but she does. That’s awesome.
I also aspire to be like the Aunts depicted in Practical Magic when I’m a real grown-up. I’m a firm believer in the power of Midnight Margaritas.
5. Favorite actual witch?
I admire the hell out of Deborah Lipp and hope to make her acquaintance some day.
6. What first drew you to witchcraft?
Harry Potter and Silver Ravenwolf. Shut up. It’s a deeper story than that, and I’ll be telling it in more detail in that forthcoming post I mentioned about Silver Ravenwolf. For now, here’s what I wrote on the matter back in 2007.
I started learning about Wicca back when I was 14. I’d seen Silver Ravenwolf’s Teen Witch once and laughed about it, wondering how any one would be silly enough to believe in witchcraft. But then I’d read the Harry Potter books and heard all the press about how some parents thought they were teaching kids witchcraft and thought I should probably see what ‘real witchcraft’ was about. So I snuck off to Waldenbooks once while my mother and aunt were shopping and found Teen Witch. I read through Silver’s introduction and the 1974 “13 Principles of Belief” and quickly realized that there was definitely no Satan involved and that everything mentioned as an area of belief seemed quite rational–honoring natural cycles, believing in an interaction between conscious and unconscious planes, an inclusive deity that was every deity and in and outside of everything, respect for those who teach, respect for those who learn, and a large emphasis on individual discovery. It was liberating, and I wanted to know more.
7. If you could go back in time to your newbie self, what mistakes would you correct?
Ground more. Meditate more. Play with energy more. Get outside of my head and air work so much. Experience life. Experience passion. Revel in the wonder.
8. Favorite tarot deck?
I’m not really a tarot hound. I really do like the standard Rider Waite deck, though I prefer the coloring of the Universal Waite deck that Mary Hanson-Roberts did. I also love her deck, the Hanson-Roberts Tarot, though her people are a bit too cherubic for my taste. As I deepen in my BTW work, I find I respond more and more to the images of the Robin Wood’s deck, so I pretty much use that deck exclusively in my readings these days. I think the art of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s Shadowscapes Tarot and Mark Ryan, John Matthews and Will Worthington‘s Wildwood Tarot is drop-dead gorgeous. I wish they spoke to me for reading, but they don’t.
9. What drew you to your particular tradition?
It’s hard to say, really. When I first began to learn about the different traditions within Wicca, Gardnerian craft pulled my interest more than the others. After I got in, it just felt like home.
10. What magical or religious system outside of your own interests you?
I will always be a recovering Catholic. As much as I disagree with many of the Church’s stances, I love learning about its dogma and history. I am also interested in Hindu practices.
11. Biggest pet peeve about online paganism?
Despite having a significant online presence, I don’t do that much with online paganism. From my experiences with different online BTW and Gard forums, I tend to find that a few dominant personalities in an online community become dictatorial, and the communities slowly become more hierarchical than I would like. The power of the Internet is in bringing people together in collaboration, and I think Pagans need to remember that a bit more than I’ve seen practiced.
Niki Whiting at A Witch’s Ashram
Jason Mankey at Raise the Horns
Marietta at Witchy Words
Cora Post at The Heart of Water (Erstwhile known as Iconoclastic Domina)
And Ruby Sara, wherever she may be. Ruby, your words have been a life’s blood to me and you are missed.
For those who accept, here are my questions:
- What was one problem you faced that you wish you’d magically influenced?
- What was one problem you faced that you wish you hadn’t magically influenced?
- What is your favorite resource (book, etc.)?
- What is one resource you would recommend to newbies?
- What is your favorite holiday and why?
- If you could update Starhawk’s The Spiral Dance for the 21st century, what is the first thing you would make sure it included?
- What was your most favorite magical working you ever took part in?
- What is your favorite divination method?
- What is the thing you like best about your tradition?
- Who is the witch/magical practitioner you most look up to and why?
- What is the one thing you have done as a magical practitioner that you are most proud of?