So, here’s another of Juniper’s things I figured I’d play with.
Please describe briefly your Path:
I suppose I’d go with Sorcerer Heathen, though I’ve also used the terms wizard, warlock, and so on. Mainly Asatru, mixed with Alchemy and various forms of magic I get interested in.
Please describe briefly how you practice it:
Mostly just by living it, seeking the path of power, trying to learn more and more magic, alchemy, and the lore of my people.
When did you first commit to your Path?
About 6-8 years ago. It was kind of a gradual thing, not a sit down one day and say “this is it.”
How is your practice different now than it was then?
I know a bit more, I realize I know a lot less than I thought, just keep trying to plug away at it.
Is your practice different today than how you thought it would be back then?
In some ways yes, in some ways no. I’m starting a new part on my path, and I wasn’t sure where it was going in the first place. I just walk the path till the end.
Does your Path and core belief system differ now than how it was when you first started?
Yes and no. It’s always been about power, to one degree or another. The pas part of my path influences the current one. I know my life isn’t what I pictured it to be, and my path is changing to fit that. I thought I could change the world, but in the end I can only change myself.
What is your heritage and how does this inform your Path?
I’m Scandinavian, and it’s certainly influenced my path and my life. Back when I first got into Paganism and Heathenism, I figured out all the gods were real, so it was a matter of what “team” I wanted to play for. And since my grandparents were immigrants from Scandinavia, that’s what I went with.
What are your main influences for your Path?
The Dresden Files, Metal, the Norse Lore, Alchemy is a big one, and whatever magic books or teachings that speak to me.
Which do you do more: practice or research?
Honestly, more research, but that’s gradually changing. My power has been changing as of late, so once I understand it’s new way, probably move more into practice.
Do you feel that one is more important than the other?
No, they’re both equal. You can’t practice what you don’t know, but if you never practice what you know, you can’t say you really learned it.
What values and ethics are important on your Path and in your practice?
Lol, that’s a fun one. I’m not really sure, since I’ve rejected most of the values and ethics of pretty much anyone out there. I suppose Power is at the top, with loyalty, kinship, and some of the Norse values certainly. Beyond that, most everything is negotiable.
Every “evil” action can be justified as “good.” Once you realize that, it’s hard to really agree with most “ethical” systems.
What sort of cycles do you feel your practice goes through?
Well, I don’t know about cycles. More like an alchemical process. There’s three main phases, the Black (destruction), the White (purification), and the Red (rebirth). Right now, I peg myself as somewhere in the White, have been for the last year or so, but I am finally moving through its purification.
What is one of the greatest obstacles or struggles you have had to over come?
Honestly, not having a teacher. I’ve had a lot of hardships in my life, but I managed to get through them okay, if through some pretty dangerous methods. My larges obstetrical at this time is trying to forge through the path and gain the knowledge to really use my magics when there aren’t a lot of teachers and most of the magic I can understand (Alchemy and the Norse magics) just don’t have a lot of info out there.
Also, my power has been locked away for the longest time. I recently broke down those barriers, and currently and rebuilding my power in this new phase. Hopefully that will make it easier to learn to fully use my gifts.
How do you see yourself practicing in ten years?
Ask me in ten years. I never know where I’m going to be. I’m not where I thought I would be ten years ago.
How do you incorporate your practice into your life?
I spent a lot of time building my path, and I keep building it. Everyday is adding or subtracting or practicing the alchemical cycle. I use my gifts as I can.
Has walking your Path changed you as a person?
Yes, very much so. It’s made me more individualistic, made me seek power in different ways, taught me a lot about myself. In some ways, it cost me my family, but it guided me towards building a new one. It’s made me proud of who and what I am. It’s made me more eager to fight, to test the bounds, to push past the limits people set, and declare that I will make my own way in life.
Do you consider yourself to be a priest/ess? How so?
Hmm, not really. Maybe in the future. I’ve long been drawn to the religious path. I thought of being a preacher and a rabbi at various points. I’ve considered becoming an Asatru Gothi. But for now, I walk alone. If someday people wish to follow me, well that will be then.
A witch? How so?
Not really. Right now I think of myself as a Sorcerer, or sometimes a wizard or warlock. They all mean different things, and the same thing. I’m just a person exploring his power.
A shaman? How so?
Which matters more: getting the vocabulary right or the actual practice of what we are trying to define?
I’d say the actual practice. the Vocabulary is important, because it’s how we know what people are talking about, but we don’t need to get hung up on it. I use some terms differently from others. It’s what we do that matters more than what we say, sometimes. Everyone ends up being a hypocrite, myself included. It’s what you do that says what you are.
One of the most profound things anyone ever said to you was:
“When you no longer recognize the man in the mirror, it’s time to step back and find out the last place where you knew who you were.” Michael A. Stackpoll, I, Jedi
“There are only two things that matter in this world, Power and Style. And in a pinch, you can do without style.” Xycon the Sorcerer, Order of the Stick
“…Heroes have an infinite capacity for stupidity! Thus are legends born!” Walter Simonson, Thor, Mjolnir’s Song
Anything else is probably from Nietzsche or the Sith.
A defining moment on your Path was:
When I realized that my loyalties had been misplace, that a Jewish religion my family was not born into was more important to my Mother than her family or myself, even though I was the last one there. When I realized she didn’t see me, but just who she wanted me to be, and the hatred she felt for the fact that I wasn’t that person.
When I realized that Power was what was at the basis of all life. When I realized that one needs power to be free. When I decided to seek it.
And when I realized the Gods were real.
Have you ever taken a “leap of faith”?
Please tell us something stupid, reckless or embarrassing you did once in your practice:
Throwing myself into the darkest parts of myself and never looking back. I’ve come to realize that while it was the only path I could take, that had I not been very gifted and very, very lucky, well…
What is the most frustrating thing about your Path?
Lack of instruction, lack of abilities to do things that it seems many other Pagan magic practitioners can do. The fact that I can’t throw a fireball like Harry Dresden.
Have you ever been frightened?
No, not really. During the Black phase I was the scariest thing I could think of. I know it sounds egotistical, and it is, but it’s the truth. The Grudge movie kinda freaked me out though. But there’s still a lot of road to travel, and I’m working through the White phase and still have the Red, so we’ll see what happens.
Can you perform ritual without a script?
Sure. I tend not to do a lot of rituals, but if I did one I’d do my best to not work while reading a script. Something tells me I’d need to focus on what I was doing, more than exact words. If the exact words were important, then it would be hard work.
Have you ever preformed spontaneous magick/spellcraft?
Yeah, several times. Mostly warding stuff, I seem to have a natural talent for that.
What are you still exploring or experimenting with?
What (or whom) are you the most committed to in your practice and on your Path?
Power. It is part of, and influences everything.
Ritual tools are …
Handy, complicated, expensive, and troublesome. It’s awesome if you can do the magic without them, but sometimes you need that focus and energy for other stuff, so use the tools.
Magickal tools are …
The one thing you can’t do without is:
My brain? Or my heart. Those go away and I’m screwed. Otherwise, I wouldn’t want to be without my power or my magic.
Seeking personal power is …
Good and worthy of doing. Seeking power for others is no where near as good as seeking power for yourself, because no one else will ever use that power like you can, or to your standards.
Politics and you Path are …
My politics come from my path. Sadly, too many people seem to draw their path from their politics. It’s one of my major issues with the Mainstream Pagan community.
One thing you wish people would understand about your Path and/or practice is:
I’m not really a conservative. I might be evil by some peoples standards. I don’t demean anyone as a general rule, even if it sounds like I do. You shouldn’t assume things about me, or label me something, just because you don’t like what I say or where I come from.
Do you teach?
Not at the moment. I’ve explained a few things, but I’m not really a teacher right now. But I suppose people can learn things from me, as I learn from them.
What do you feel is the role of clergy in modern Paganism and Heathenism?
I think they have a valuable role to play. I think a lot of them become clergy for the power, which I don’t have an issue with. I think, however, that most of them don’t understand what power is, or their responsibility to the communities is. I’d like to see a return to the ancient set up, with temples and shrines staffed by clergy, but people still practicing in their homes, like you find through out European paganism.
When the Veil (or Hedge!) is thin, how does that feel to you?
Not sure, I’m still trying to figure out how that feels. And I can’t say I do a lot of Veil/Hedge work.
What entities do you work with most? (ancestors, gods, fae etc)
Gods, I suppose, mostly the Norse. Thor, Hel, and sometimes Freyja. Haven’t really dealt with wights, alvs, spirits, or the Fae. I really don’t want to get involved with the Fae. I have been drawing towards Hel though.
What is your relationship with the Land?
I try to respect it. Sometimes I feel a connection. I’m somewhat more connected to storms though. And in the future, we’ll see about graveyards.
The most important aspect of ritual is:
The result, I suppose.
The main purpose of ritual is:
Whatever the reason for that ritual is.
What is the purpose of divination/dowsing (or whichever form of augury you use)?
To understand what is coming in the past, present, or future.
What was the most difficult book you ever read? (Either difficult to understand or hard to face what it said or both)
Hmm, not sure, really.
What book do you recommend the most to others?
The Complete Idiots Guide to Alchemy. Or the Dresden Files. Magic books, I don’t really recommend to people.
What is you favourite podcast (if any) and favourite blog (other than your own)?
Steve McNallen’s Podcasts I like. Need to try and catch up on them. Blog wise, I read several, but Walking the Hedge right now is one of my favs.
If you could impart only one last piece of wisdom or knowledge, or share one experience with the world at large, what would it be?
When you step on the road of Power, forever will you have to fight. But is a path well worth walking in the end, if you follow it with the right will.
Is there an additional question you would like to see here? What is it? (please also answer)
Let me get back to you on that.
Please finish this meme with a picture, image or photograph of some sort: