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The Author's Corner

 

Michele Morgan

 

Simple Wicca

Simple Wicca:
TWPT Talks to Michele Morgan

©2000TWPT


TWPT: Before you discovered Wicca what kind of a spiritual path were you on?

MM: In Simple Wicca I talk about going to church with my family when I was young, and feeling very odd—sad, displaced, like I didn't’t belong. I knew there had to be something more, some greater connection to God than what I was being offered, and at times, that longing became almost unbearable. I felt that way for years, even attempting to “fix” the feeling by getting baptized in the Christian church when I was in high school. This actually made it worse, because I experienced a tremendous amount of hypocrisy within the youth groups at the church I was attending—certainly no one “walked their talk,” and yet all delighted in the judgment and condemnation of others. I explored some of the Native American teachings, but more from a creative standpoint, rather than a religious one; I even went so far as to spend an afternoon with two Catholic priests, because I had so many questions I wanted to find answers to, but after they backed me up against a wall (and I do mean literally, physically against a wall!) and told me even though I had been baptized, I was still going to burn in hell because I hadn't been baptized in their church, I escaped and said goodbye to religion as a whole. At that point, I became one of the righteously disillusioned.

TWPT: Do you find an equal amount of hypocrisy among those who claim to follow the Wiccan path and yet do not apply themselves when it comes to “walking their talk?”

MM: I think that sanctimoniousness exists in all religions. In my line of work, I meet people on just about every spiritual path there is, and find those who absolutely embody their faith, and those I call “pseudo-spiritualists;” people who can quote from the teachings of the masters, and own all the best-sellers, but whose behavior and attitudes are a far cry from what they purport to believe.

TWPT: Was there a hint in these earlier spiritual experiences of what was to come?

MM: Because “religion” wasn't working for me, I opened myself up even farther to my intuitive nature and the experiential connection to music, art, my writing, and the rhythms of the Earth...all very much components of the Craft.

TWPT: When was it that Wicca entered your life?

MM: I was in my late twenties when I actually began exploring the Wiccan path. Wicca gave me a language, and a tangible framework, to put to my instincts regarding Spirit—all along knowing that it was something so much deeper, and so much more real than what others had been preaching. With Wicca I could hold God in my hands, and know that my voice was being heard without question. This, in turn, helped me to understand the limitations, but also the gifts, of religion as a whole—simply different dialects with which to define the truth of who we are as spiritual beings. Having found my native tongue, so to speak, I was able to put away my rebel attitude, and hear the similarities in what everyone was ultimately saying. Quite a freeing experience!

TWPT: Once you began to walk the path, was it what you expected?

MM: Much more so. Being a Solitary, my creative muse was completely cut loose, and I had an absolute blast exploring ritual and magical doings. I loved understanding the ancient agenda behind what I had always been instinctually drawn to—the energies of color, myth, seasons, directions; to be able to utilize, in such profound and tangible ways, the kinds of “fantasy” things that had always captivated me, like dragons and faeries, glitter and moonlight, and most of all, "words". But the most powerful aspect for me was the immediate and tangible connection that I forged with Spirit.

TWPT: What made you decide to practice as a Solitary as opposed to working with a group or coven?

MM: One word: control. (Big toothy grin) Honestly...I’m a self-professed, semi-recovered, work-in-progress control freak. (Sun and Moon in Sag, with a Virgo rising. ‘Nuff said.) I wanted to write it, speak it, dance it, dress it, make it up as I went along, without rules. I learned the basics from a wonderful, brash, red-haired Priestess, who taught me that the most important thing about Wicca, or any spiritual path, was to trust my own instincts. Later, I did participate in a few coven celebrations, but found it didn't’t engage me in the same way as my Solitary practice did. Later still, I organized and presided over a few Moon circles for some other folks, and loved it... but again, I was in the driver’s seat. {{{Sigh.}}} What can I say? Wicca has always been about spiritual communion for me, and I really tend to go the monk route, except, of course, when I’m standing at the pulpit preaching!

TWPT: What kinds of contact did you have with the community at large and were they what you expected?

MM: I haven’t actually had a whole lot of connection with the Wiccan community. I will say, however, that in the experiences I have had, in particular through the process of writing Simple Wicca, I was surprised to find there were Wiccans who were every bit as zealous and dogmatic about their path as the most fanatical Christian or Catholic ever was. Fascinating to realize that that kind of blindness actually has little to do with religion, and more to say about fear and personality.

TWPT: What are the dangers of zealous and dogmatic Wiccans and how does it generally manifest itself in outward actions? As Wicca becomes more widespread and out in the open, do you see this dogmatism becoming more of a problem?

MM: In my experience I’ve only seen it appear as major attitude and self-righteousness. Spirituality is such a hot button for the human species that until we’ve come round again to everyone finding and owning their own spiritual truth, there will always be those who insist that theirs is the “one, right way.” It’s really a symptom of the pack mentality, the basic survival instinct of the human animal: “If I’m not accepted by the pack, I’ll be abandoned and left to die.” People need others to see the world the same way; it helps support the illusion of safety. My personal opinion is Wiccans should know better... the essence of the Wiccan path is one of peace and acceptance, and most Wiccans have dealt with prejudice and oppression in some form or another (and usually in more than one lifetime!) so I guess I expect them to be more conscious than most.

TWPT: Were there any books that you found helpful at the beginning of your journey?

MM: Absolutely. Scott Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, Laurie Cabot’s Power of the Witch, and To Ride A Silver Broomstick, by Silver RavenWolf. There were others, which I list in the back of Simple Wicca, but I practically wore those three out.

TWPT: When was it that writing became a force in your life? And how did that end up being a career option?

MM: I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I used to sit at the fireplace hearth in our living room, writing and illustrating “books” on wide-ruled notebook paper. When I was about seven, I was working on a masterpiece entitled “The Country Mouse,” and I asked my mom who wrote the biographies of the writers on the backs of books, because I wanted to go ahead and write my own! Poetry and fantasy fiction have been my main expressions, until Simple Wicca. I’ve been heading towards this piece of my career path for a long time, with a lot of side trips, re-routes, and the inevitable roadblock or two. I was fortunate enough to be tapped by Starwave in 1994 to write the script and act as Tarot consultant on Sting’s CD ROM project, “All This Time,” a personal exploration of Sting’s life and music, in which he appears in one part as a “seer” who reads the Tarot cards. Then I hooked up with Conari Press for Simple Wicca, and my current work-in-progress, due for release in February of 2002, tentatively titled Tarot: Finding Your Intuitive Voice. I also have a fantasy novel, The Seventh Moon, I’m working on finding a home for!

TWPT: How in the world did you hook up with Sting and end up as his Tarot consultant on the CD-ROM project?

MM: The company that produced the project, Starwave, is located in the Seattle area, and they sent someone to EastWest Bookshop to scout out a good Tarot reader to help on the project. EastWest recommended me, I let Starwave know I was a writer; they liked the samples I sent them, and they hired me. I never actually met with Sting, because they were filming the project segment in England; but I did get to see a video of him “acting” the script...he’s a very interesting man. The CD-ROM is pretty amazing--very complex and strange, with awesome graphics. Fun stuff!

TWPT: What is a professional intuitive and could you give us an example of how that works?

MM: Well, I can only speak for myself on this. People come to me with questions about all aspects of their lives--love, money, career path, family of origin issues, past lives--you name it, I’ve been asked about it. I use my psychic abilities to help them understand themselves and their world from a spiritual perspective, to make empowered choices, to break free from old patterns and karmic imprinting, and to chart the most magical course for creating the lives they desire. An intuitive/psychic reading shows only the potential path or paths of one’s future, based upon seeds of energy and intent that have been sown in the past and present; seeing the “blueprint” of what you’re creating gives you the ability to take responsibility for it, change what you don’t want, and fully receive and embrace what you do. I do readings in person, and over the phone--physical distance makes no difference in my ability to “plug in,” because I’m accessing universal consciousness, and that information transcends time, space, and everything in between.

TWPT: Tell me about the beginnings of your interest in Tarot?

MM: As a writer, I’m always gathering creative and inspirational imagery. One year I got some money for my birthday, and bought myself a couple of decks, mainly for the artwork. I fell in love with the symbology and mystery of their language, took a one-night introductory class, and felt as if I’d come home, as if my entire life up to that point suddenly made amazing sense. I began doing readings professionally a short time after that.

TWPT: How do you use the Tarot in counseling efforts?

MM: I use the cards to visually connect to psychic information. They’re like a doorway for me; I’m such a visual and tactile person that the imagery acts like a conduit, giving me uncontested access to the channels of universal wisdom.

TWPT: Energetic Release sounds like an interesting form of therapy, could you expand on this and give our readers an idea of what is involved.

MM: Energetic Release is a form of healing work which concentrates on past life memory and trauma held in the physical body. I use my hands as conductors of energy, and by scanning a person’s body, I can “see” blocks in their emotional field which manifest on a physical level as some form of pain, discomfort or limitation. Then by connecting psychically to the source of the block, I remove it, heal it, stitch it back up--whatever is appropriate to the original problem. It’s absolutely fascinating. I’ve removed shackles, stitched up knife wounds, re-set broken bones, and even sewed one man’s hands back on! He was a pianist, and came to see me because he was having trouble playing on stage; in a session we determined he had had his hands lopped off at the wrists as some form of torture or punishment, and I re-attached his hands energetically. He called me a few days later, completely amazed at the transformation in his playing. Not only was the block physically removed, but the awareness of that past life experience freed him up emotionally and mentally as well, and he went on to great success with his music. I do Energetic Release quite frequently in conjunction with NLP; the two compliment each other well, and often I combine the techniques into one healing modality.

TWPT: What kinds of topics do you cover in your lectures and the classes that you teach? Are those who attend knowledgeable about these ideas or do you have to start from scratch when you approach your audience?

MM: I teach classes on intuitive Tarot, Wicca, creative prayer, prosperity principles, and manifestation. My students run the gamut of experience on any given topic, and for the most part, my methods are pretty unusual, so hopefully everyone learns something new!

TWPT: In your work at the bookshop have you noticed a change in the kinds of folks that frequent the shop?

MM: Not so much in the kinds of people, but in the kinds of questions they ask. Just a few years ago, people came to me wanting to know if they should change jobs, sell their condo, or put a singles ad in the newspaper. Now, they want to know about karma, what their spiritual purpose is, and what in the #@&! is going on with the planet in general. Everything is quite intense these days.

TWPT: Do you find the shop acts as a meeting ground for those of like mind to seek each other out?

MM: I think the bookstore is a definite gathering place of kindred spirits, particularly in the classes and programs offered each quarter. I’m pretty much sequestered in the back “counseling” room (or the broom closet, as some of us like to call it) so I don’t get in on much of the dynamics in the store itself, but the energy is a draw for sure.

TWPT: I understand that you have recently opened a center called RavenHeart that has been on your mind for quite some time. Tell me about how this dream began.

MM: When I first started my career as a psychic and spiritual counselor, I envisioned a place where my clients could come and truly experience sanctuary...an environment of peace and healing, with magical spaces both indoors and out. We are such a concrete culture, so removed from the Earth and her energies...I wanted to create sacred space for people to reconnect to nature, and redefine themselves as spiritual beings.

TWPT: How has this been made a reality and what plans do you have for RavenHeart in the future?

MM: In 1999, I bought an enchanted 1916 farmhouse on an acre of land 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington, and this last summer, I had a detached garage and storage shed on the property transformed into a beautiful office/classroom space, and moved my practice away from the chaos of the city. RavenHeart is absolutely my original vision--the land here is so powerful, it literally transforms you when you come through the gate. “Phase II” of RavenHeart is what I’m most excited about...the Healing Garden, complete with fountains, spiritual shrines, beds of herbs and antique roses, small secluded “rooms” for meditation, and a seven-circuit labyrinth right in the center. The garden will be a place of silence and communion with nature, to enhance the growth process and restore the spirit. I hope to begin the project this coming spring.

TWPT: How much of a role does the setting play in what you try to accomplish with your clients?

MM: Many of my clients never even set foot on bare earth--city folk all the way. When they come to RavenHeart, they can walk, sit, lie down in wildflowers and green (and many of them do... nap time in the pasture was a favorite activity this past summer!) and feel the stress and electricity of the city drain away. They come to their sessions clear and relaxed, and leave with a sense of peace they can draw from for the rest of the day. The Healing Garden, with the labyrinth and meditation spaces, will be even more powerful. I’ve had several clients inform me that when the Garden is completed, they’re moving onto the property and living in tents in my back yard!

TWPT: You mentioned that you can do readings over the phone but I was wondering if these energies can be utilized over the Internet as well.

MM: I’m sure they can, but I don’t do readings via computer. For me, it’s a little too impersonal, too removed--I still find myself a bit intimidated by the whole “web” thing. And because I spend so much time at my computer writing, the thought of typing out readings as well makes me want to scream! (Can you say, “Carpal Tunnel”???)

TWPT: Do you have any new books coming out in the near future that we should be aware of and if so could you give us a capsule view of what the book will cover?

MM: I’m currently working on my next project for Conari Press, tentatively titled Tarot: Finding Your Intuitive Voice, due for release in February 2002. It’s my Intuitive Tarot class on paper: a hands-on, out-of-the-gate connection to the intuitive muscle in everyone, with a wicked delight in breaking damn near every “traditional” rule connected to the cards. It’s great fun!

TWPT: For those who are just finding Wicca or spirituality in general in their lives, do you have any advice on how they should approach this new and wonderful segment of who they are?

MM: With humor, deliberation, reverence, and intent--remembering always that there is no “one, right way” to worship or connect to Spirit. Religion is the language of spirituality, nothing more...I firmly believe that God/Goddess wants us to always continue changing, growing, exploring, and redefining our path. No one knows better than you what your own heart and soul desire--trust yourself, above all else.

TWPT: How is it that you integrate your spirituality into your own life?

MM: One of the things I’m the most proud of in my life is that I definitely walk my talk when it comes to my spiritual nature. I spend the majority of my days helping others find their God, and in the hours in between, I am in constant contact with my own, through prayer, affirmation, ritual, journaling, and my creative process. I have my moments when I feel less than connected, but I’ve learned over the years the fastest way off that ledge is a good old-fashioned out-loud prayer session. There is truly nothing more powerful, or more immediate.

TWPT: Finally are there any last thoughts that you would like to share with our readers?

MM: Simple Wicca was a definitive labor of love--a chance to write the kind of book I would have given anything to read when I was first exploring the Craft. I wanted more than instruction... I wanted someone to tell me what it felt like to cast a circle, to raise a cone of power, to see the world through magickal eyes, to chant and drum and sing with the gods. This book gave me a chance to give voice to those very experiences. Wicca is an enchanting and transformative spiritual journey, one that allows for an ever-changing, interactive relationship with God, by whatever name you choose to know Him/Her.Brightest blessings to all of you! And to you, Imajicka... for your energy, your patience, and for affording me the opportunity to hang out here on this wonderful website!

TWPT: It has been a pleasure talking to you, Michele and we wish you the continued blessings of the Lord and Lady upon your work and your writings.