Name: Nila Dominique Latimore
Location: Ovanåkers, Sweden
Website: Dollmuffin.blogspot.com , Nilaexplosion
How long have you been a Wiccan/Pagan? What drew you to the path?
In 9th grade, about 8 years ago, I became good friends with a Wiccan and I asked him about it. He would allow me in on his esbats and sabbats whenever possible. In the beginning, I just learned by watching the compassion for nature he had and then tried to become more involved. It was a bit hard because my mom at the time was a very strict Baptist. When I would go to friends’ houses for celebrations and rituals, I didn’t let my mother know. I look back on it and know it was wrong (concealing from her mother), but it had brought me to where I am now.
How has the path changed you? How much of you stayed the same?
I began as an eclectic Wiccan, but I explored other paths after two years. I looked back into Christianity as a Universal Unitarian. I looked into Buddhism as well but, ultimately, I felt most connected to The Goddess and the path I had become so connected to when I was beginning high school. Now, I’ve learned what feels right to me spiritually and to go along with the ride rather than follow others’ paths so strictly.
What inspired you to create “Nilaexplosion” blog?
It was started when I lost my phone. I couldn’t remember the last time I used it nor what day it was. I was out of the country on vacation, extremely relaxed, and thought, I need to document important days as well as the mediocre ones. So, it’s not particularly focused on one thing. I talk about everything I love, from extreme music to vegetarianism, about my path to my garden and my little kitten, Moshi.
Name one misconception of being a black witch, pagan, Wiccan that you personally feel should be addressed? How should the black pagan community combat it?
I choose not to let many people know directly about my path, but those that do generally ask the same questions. Firstly, they tend to assume that I practice voodoo. Once it’s established that that’s not my practice and that I also don’t believe in the same type of magic as Harry Potter, they ask why I worship Gods and Goddesses from European cultures instead of ones from my own. I just explain that I believe they are essentially all the same. When I choose to call them by a name, I choose from European pantheons because I feel more connected to them for some reason. It may be from first learning about Wicca with those names in mind or it may just be from a deeper spiritual connection to them.
I don’t really know how else one in the black pagan community would combat the misconceptions we confront but to be honest and sincere when answering such questions. One day, paganism itself will be more widely accepted and I believe to get there we must respond in a manner that is gracious and informative.
What is your personal practice, spiritual/religious identity that you go by? Why do you choose such title?
I am an eclectic Wiccan. I call myself that because it really is the best way to describe my practice. I take several different rituals and celebrations from different pantheons. Depending on my mood, I call the God/Goddess by different names. So, I am most comfortable being called an eclectic witch.
I am a solitary witch. I have attended group rituals back in the USA but, since moving here, I haven’t found any groups to practice with. I do think I would still mostly work solitary just so I don’t feel too influenced by others, but I would love to find one for special celebrations and rituals.
What was your religious background prior to your current path?
My mother raised me and my brothers as Baptists, but I cannot say I had ever fully accepted it. In my teens, I realized that I didn’t truly have a religion and thought I should look into it.
What type of audience do you feel would benefit from your blog?
Anyone who is looking for a good read would probably like my blog. I’m a fairly witty writer. I don’t enjoy reading anything that isn’t entertaining, so I try to my everyday commonplace life sound a bit more amusing.
What deity (deities), if any, you most “work” with?
I mostly just refer to the feminine divine as Goddess or Lady and the masculine as God. If I had to choose one deity, it would be Nyx or Nótt. I feel most connected to the Goddess at night and it feels right.
When did you move to Sweden?
I moved here last December to be with my sambo, live-in boyfriend. I was also here a few months last year as well. It’s an amazing country.
What is the difference of being pagan in the United States vs. Sweden?
They are much more accepting people. Whenever I have talked about it to someone, they ask questions, wanting to know more about my practice. I have yet to receive a dubious look or been unaccepted for my beliefs. And, the Scandinavians are much more intoned with their history and folklore. They know the Norse Gods and Goddesses and the stories from the Poetic Edda. They also do very witchy things and not know it. In the region I am in, they burn a giant hay-goat around the holidays. Their days of the week are named after the Norse deities. They call Christmas Jul, pronounced exactly like Yule. And they celebrate Midsummer; I believe it is the second largest holiday here.
What are the similarities of being a pagan in the United States and Sweden?
Being solitary, the move to Sweden hasn’t really changed too much with my practice. I still do my rituals and celebrate the same way.
How has the move to Sweden changed your practice? How has it stayed the same?
I go on meditative walks a lot more, which I couldn’t do in the city, not like here. I feel much more connected to nature. I live on a farm in a rural valley town now. I can take a nice, long walk in the forests or along the river in the back yard. I also grow my herbs now, which is quite nice. I can do rituals under the stars and moon without any light pollution, which I believe has made practicing my witchcraft more powerful than before.
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