Are you part of a particular tradition?
I’m a Gardnerian through the Long Island line, operating a traditional coven in Charlotte, NC. My individual magical practices can span the gamut, but Gard Craft is home.
Most of my Pagan life has not been spent as a Gardnerian, however. Along the way I’ve been all manner of eclectic and had a several year stint as a member of a grove in Blue Star Wicca.
Aside from my participation in any tradition, my day-to-day magical practice is fairly eclectic (pulling on non-Wiccan European witchcraft and American folk magic, along with my traditional Wiccan training) and I have religious obligations beyond my Gardnerian ones. I reject the idea that one can only belong to one religious category or that there’s such a thing as “pure” tradition. Multiple traditions may serve multiple needs with minimal overlap, and I do a lot of compartmentalizing (rather than combining). So in addition to my Craft oaths, I also maintain relationships with gods and spirits outside of my Wiccan tradition.
What’s with your capitalization and word choices?
I don’t capitalize the word “witch” because I see it as primarily an occupational role. For me, it doesn’t require capitalization any more than “baker” or “runner” or “veterinarian” would. When referencing certain traditions that use it otherwise, I may capitalize it in line with conventions, but generally speaking I consider this to be an improper noun.
I mean multiple things when I use the word “Wicca” (BTW, eclectic, etc.) and will specify as needed.
“Pagan” should be taken to mean “contemporary Pagan” or “Neo-Pagan” and never to include Native American, African Diaspora, Hindu, or Buddhist traditions that sometimes end up lumped into this category, unless individuals specifically self-identify as Pagan.
Where are your degrees from?
I hold separate undergraduate degrees from the College of William & Mary (English) and North Carolina State University (Religious Studies). I earned my MA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Religious Studies).
OMG I’M IN THE SOUTH TOO PLEASE HELP
Hey, I’m a transplant, born and raised in DC and surrounding suburbs. I understand the culture shock that goes along with finding yourself in the South. I’ve also heard a ton of stories from lifelong Southerners, afraid to practice openly for fear of being either persecuted or just further isolated.
The good news is that the South is not the magical wasteland that so many people (even locals) assume. There are actually a lot of resources here (and plenty of magic, particularly if you look beyond your comfortable definitions), especially if you’re willing to get in a car and do some road tripping. I’ve actually had better luck making friends, shopping for Pagan items and artwork, and finding quality open events here in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia than I have in DC, New York, and some other spaces that you would assume were crawling with other Pagans.
Begin by disabusing yourself of the notion that you’re in the “Bible Belt” and therefore things are hopeless. There are Pagans here who want to be your friend. I promise. There are shops, festivals, covens and groves, and plenty of other resources. Just because there’s nothing happening in your own tiny town doesn’t mean there isn’t a buttload happening in the next one over. You should also disabuse yourself of the assumption that the local Christians will automatically hate you. My own experience has not reflected this at all. Sure, there are those who will say snide things and avoid you (and obviously some people have very conservative families and uniquely oppressive circumstances to navigate), but they have those up north and out west, too. And most Christians (most people, for that matter) don’t care what you do.
If you’re not already, you need to be on WitchVox combing personal and group ads. You need to visit Meetup and do searches for local groups (And actually go to open rituals and festivals. Don’t just say you will.). Go to the local Unitarian Universalist church and ask around. Get creative. Keep an eye out for people wearing Pagan or Pagan-ish jewelry, tattoos, or bumper stickers. More than one friendship has started with a random conversation inspired by such things.
Can I post or reblog content from Oathbound?
I’m grateful to see my work shared! You’re doing me a big favor when you share my blogs on other social media platforms. I would ask, however, that you do so by posting links that direct readers directly to my blog rather than copying content (there are sharing buttons below every post!). It’s important for all Patheos writers to generate traffic to this site, rather than to personal web pages, etc. This accomplishes a couple of things:
First, it lets Patheos editors and other higher-ups see that we’re doing something right! More views and shares means more content from your favorite bloggers. For many of us, our writing is part of our livelihoods, and on the Internet that usually translates into view stats. When you copy and paste content as opposed to sharing links, you actually redirect people away from our blogs, even if you credit us by name.
Second, it gives readers the opportunity to discover new writers that they may not encounter otherwise! There’s so much going on at Patheos—why not do some exploring and encourage your own readers to do the same?