"Everything is story. We define ourselves, relate ourselves to others and change ourselves through the tales we weave around our lives."
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative journey/work.
I always find this a tough question because I never know where to start. I cannot tell you how long it took to craft my bio! I am endlessly fascinated by how we define ourselves and equally frustrated by the connotations that place our personal definitions in all too narrow boxes. As a card-carrying Aquarian who deplores predictability, with a Leo moon that craves sovereignty (and explains my big hair) and a Taurus rising that goes nowhere fast if ungrounded, I am an unapologetic mass of contradictions that often make sense only to me. As a practicing witch and a tarot reader, people are either fascinated or repulsed according to whether they were more influenced by Disney or the Catholic Church. The only person I have ever come across that was not polarised by what I do is my partner.
For me the basis of everything I am drawn to, practice or play with in my own life boils down to a deep abiding connection to Nature. I genuinely believe she speaks to us through the seasons that are hardwired into our biology, the stars and moon that influence everything from our character to our water metabolism, and the weather that affects our moods and daily lives. Beyond that I am a watcher as well as a seer and every change in my environment is duly noted and mined for its meaning and wisdom. My adult son would wisecrack me about this every time we passed a billboard off a freeway, "look Mum *meaningfully lowers voice* it's a sign". Humour is a significant part of our DNA.
My highest god is the written word. I am an unabashed word nerd and delight in wordplay and melody in sentences. My lovely ex hubby reminded me recently when I was banging on about the long process of writing my book that I told him I would be an author the day I met him at 18! I had wonderful teachers at school who really fostered my love of literature and I scribbled furiously in diaries on the side of cliffs overlooking the ocean from the time I could hold a pen. I still have all that awful teenage poetry. My childhood hero was Jana Wendt and my favourite ever book is by Keith Miller, The Book of Flying.
Your enchanted writing explores myth and archetypes found in Astrology and Tarot. How has working with these archetypes shaped the stories of your own life?
Everything is story. We define ourselves, relate ourselves to others and change ourselves through the tales we weave around our lives. I often speak of the hero's (or heroine's) journey in my readings, the fabulous story arc coined by Joseph Campbell. It is without peer as a method of explaining how mythology is more than a bunch of old tales that bear more than a passing resemblance to the themes at play in our very modern lives.
Astrology and tarot are distinct languages for me, that come with a complete set of correspondences and a reliable predictability (which delights my fixed nature, although I like to believe we're all on the spectrum of recovering control freaks). Whether you define yourself by sun sign pop astrology or are a complete astrofiend, there are a set of characteristics and behaviours that are accepted as lore and with very few exceptions fit the bill.
Tarot is a different beast entirely, self generated and usually arriving as medicine. I believe the art and skill of the card reader is to take the bitterness out of the pill, so that a reading is as instructive and healing and wonderful as any other therapy. I cut my teeth reading tarot on the lounge for friends for decades before my hand was forced by a finger drumming universe that had also been pointing its tendrils at me to read for years. I know that during any trying time of my life, it is my cards that gently teach me what I cannot see, correcting the error of old ways and offering new and evolutionary solutions.
One thing that drew me to your work is your grounded approach to magic. Can you speak a little about what identifying as a witch in the 21st Century means to you?
I come from a delightfully straight family so my first exposure to mysticism and magic was via books and movies. It no doubt underpins that grounded approach! I have seen just about every movie ever made that has a witch in it and Practical Magic is basically a comfort food for me. I fell on to the path through western herbalism, which I studied in my early twenties just before I became a young mama. Motherhood certainly turned me into a lioness and it was from there that I think I had the bravery to pursue the crooked path and a road never travelled in my family (so they say). Now I'm the family witch, the town witch and everyone sends me pictures of women on broomsticks and the moon. I even have neighbours in my little country town in the Hunter Valley who leave me snakeskins in the mailbox.
After a health crisis in my late twenties I found energy healing and its undeniable magic. That and one hell of a naturopath helped me learn how to heal myself. I promptly committed to studying it, which led me on a merry journey through flower essences, crystals, astrology, reiki, plant shamanism, animism and finally put down solid roots in witchcraft. For me it is the perfect combination of all my interests and beliefs about this magical world we live in. I have lived this way for lifetimes. The Wheel of the Year and the corresponding movement of planets, stars and seasons frames and structures my life. The path of the moon is my constant ally.
I cannot fathom those who are utterly unwilling to see life through a magical lens. Those who automatically (and with a pompous scoff of their head) shoot up their barriers and blinkers to the lore that has been the underpinning of humanity's understanding of the cosmos we live in since ancient times. Our unhealthy obsession with science and proof is based on a false foundation of authority and merit. Witchcraft should not be punished by a scientific community whose hallowed methods have just not got there yet. I have great faith that they will catch up eventually ;)
Who and what are your muses, and why?
My first muses were *the* muses and it was Xanadu that introduced me to them. If it has been too long between bouts of Livvy and rollerskates, may I recommend! There is no greater thrill for me than finding a fresh voice whose writing I adore and I tend to devour as much as I can find of their writing.
Many of my muses are musicians as I think songwriters are undervalued as great gods and goddesses of the written word. Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave are chief among my heroes here and Nick Cave's essay on the art of the love song is worth reading over and over again.
Images are probably my greatest inspiration. Often I will know what I want to write about but it is in the search for the perfect image - and settling on the most evocative find - that the words begin to take shape in my head and flow from me.
When I first started my blog I created a ritual with a mulberry tree to bring my energy and attention to my writing, to nourish the expression of my authentic truth, the expansion of my writing and my voice. It is on my blog here and it is how I tend to connect with my muses, my magic and my inspiration: through ritual.
What advice would you give to other souls who want to explore their own unique expression?
Above all else, cultivate your intuition. It already knows the way and the why and even the how, if you get still and quiet enough to truly listen. We live in a world that constantly seeks to drown out our inner voice and fill our crammed heads instead with shoulds and cants. Social media seeks to defeat us through comparison and formulaic approaches to art, darling. The creative or artistic path is grossly undervalued by those who only revere capitalism and results. Tosh.
The awakening of the divine feminine is in my opinion an invitation to take an approach - to our unique expression as both our art and our life - that is more centered on the process than any predetermined finish line. That drinks deeply of every twist and turn along the way and crafts from there. That decries a shiny polish for the grit and sweat of creation.
I practice, religiously. Committing to writing every day changed and shaped my voice. It got me fit for the task at hand. Even if you don't put yourself out there every day, still make it or do it. Embody your practice. For its own sake and for yours. There's a very good reason people pay good money for art as therapy.
Robert Graves wrote in the The White Goddess in 1948, "all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals." This is the creed I live by now. I don't say yes when I mean no. I rarely go to anything I don't want to. I value and hoard my own time and that spent with my beloveds. I find magic in the mundane, the every day. I can craft while I am cooking or washing dishes or driving or any of the million repetitive tasks I used to mindlessly endure on a daily basis. The end result is that you inhabit what you do, in every sense. And no one else can do it precisely like you can.
The best piece of advice I was ever given was to start before you're ready, at exactly the point where the doubt is bowel-shaking and your inner critic is screaming. That's your pivot point and a trampoline onto the path of your life. Just jump.
My name is Kerrie and I am an experienced tarot reader, energy healer, astrologer and writer, living in the Lower Hunter Valley in Australia. Living out of the big smoke on a sprawling property with acres of trees, sweet rainwater filling the tank and a crackling hearth in Winter gets me connected, joining the dots between my life and this world, this earth, this place. I am blessed to live where I can watch the trees and the animals and the seasons as much as the people who populate this quirky little country town I call home. I absolutely believe that the Universe speaks to us through the celestial bodies, the movement of creatures and the wind in the trees. This secret language guides my life.
Check out Bohomofo's beautiful new site here or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
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