Safe Hex - An Interview with a Modern American Witch about being a Woman, Wife, Wiccan, and the Practice of Witchcraft
Pics Wiccan & Magical Symbols
Interview with Mary Chapman
There are lots of people who claim to be witches almost anywhere you go, but in particular the West Coast of America is home to more witchcraft practitioners than you can shake a broomstick at. Among the many pagan folk that I have encountered, I have a high respect for a wise woman known to me and others as Mary Berry. Rather than give you a researched disertation on the scholastic records of Wicca and Witchcraft as you have read other places for sure, I decided to give you the views straight from the Mare's mouth. And so without further delay to the viewing audience, an interview with a lady who might tell you that 'nothing sacred' and 'know thyself' are quotes from her personal politics, and someone who is a mentor, a friend, and a Good Witch of the West. It is my pleasure to spend a few minutes introducing you to my friend, teacher, mentor, and one of the wisest women I have ever known. All ye fairie folk across the world wide web may I introduce to you to my red haired gypsy queen, or as her friends call her :
Blake4d: As a Witch, how do you view sensuality, eroticism, and spritiuality?
Mary Berry: Witchcraft is a true belief of life and spirit om all things that share this world, this universe with us. Being able to realize, and fully accept your feelings toward the things surround you makes you understand that even the smallest stone or the tiny flower in a thorn bush can be a sensual thing. As a Witch, one learns to find the many facets that each being has, and opening yourself to this causes great respect and love in all life. Of course love itself is also a combinaton of many things-eroticism, sensuality, and even spirituality are a great part of this, As you realize one of these things you will surely kow them all more, and they belong inside of you always. Not only to experience with other people but with everyththing. Spirituality to me is finding this within yourself, realizing it in all life, and then sharing it. It is passed to us by those who have gone before us, It's up to us to continue on a little wisdom from the ancients.
Blake4d: What is a Witch?
Mary Berry: Okay here we go, hang on tight sweet thing.
Take One...a Witch is a person that is put on this Earth to make normal people realize that there is more to Earth than politics and bullshit. A Witch is here to challenge the philosophy that God is fear, that death is final, that man is a sinner, that woman is subservant to man, that a tree is for pencil making, that a wolf eats grandmothers, and that things are not seen are not real. A Witch is not...a landing pad for houses blown out of Kansas, a pincushion, kindling for a town fire, a floaty toy or a sweet tooth for chubby kids, a coward, a liar, or a Satanist...
Take Two...This Witch is a 42 year old married woman. I have two children, a job and a half, two cats, and two vehicles that run when they feel like it. I am not a member of the Twilight Zone Club. I do not hex the neighbors or my boss. I prefer to wear clothing when I do ritual in public parks...but seriously...
Take Three...I am a Witch, Wicca is my religion, my life. The beliefs and traditions of witchcraft are ages old. The many paths of Wicca are as varied as the countries and times that they were and still are practiced. My Witchcraft is (I'm sure) very different than that of other witches. These are my beliefs : A Witch has a very high regard for life as she/he realizes life and spirit in all things that share the Mother Earth with us. The higher power that Wicca as a religion recognizes is a dual force - one that is Male and Female, the God and Goddess. This power lies within us. We do not put the lives of ourselves or our children in 'God's' hands. We hold responsibility of this to ourselves. We Alone Answer for What We Do. Our judge, and jury,...ourselves. Karma, the powers of cause and effect - the threefold law of what we put out (be it good or evil) returns to us three times over. This makes one think a bit before hexing someone, don't you agree?
Blake4d: It sounds logical, but a lot of people might just call it all hocus pocus, don't you think?
Mary Berry: I am a Witch not a fairy tale...I don't cook and eat children. I wouldn't pluck the eye out of a newt if you paid me; but I do make potions, I know things that heal, I say my magic words, and believe them; I have rituals celebrating life, death, seasons, love, birth, and just plain quiet times of meditiation with a candle, my cats, or the moon. My rituals are your prayers, they awaken the God and Goddess within me. The God giving strength, movement, and fire to act. The Goddess giving intuition, love, patience, and security. The combination of their powers along with that which flows throughout the universe, the elements and the force of the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water...all flow within me as well. As a Witch I know how to touch with these things to create the magic in my life. These powers are not a mystery. There are others besides witches that know them. But only those who are brave enough to truly get to know themselves will ever touch the secrets of a Witch, but...there is always purpose behind the path that leads you to being a Witch in the first place.
Blake4d: What is Magic?
Mary Berry: Magic is Transformation. As a Witch, I view magic as development of the self. My magic is used to improve my life situation that I may change situations around me. Magic is the belief and trust in the unseen world, and calling upon the yet unknown parts of self to create change. This demands strength, patience, self confidence, heart, common sense, and will. Approaching magic with fear, disbelief, and awe will only lead to disappointment.
Blake4d: What about love and sex magic?
Mary Berry: I believe love creates the strongest magic of all. There is power in love unmatched by any emotion. The saying that 'Love conquers all' i so true in my way. There is NO EVIL that can affect one who believes in this power. Personally I know the attacks, the experiences, and the outcome...if there is love in ritual be it healing or whatever, it will NOT FAIL. Doing love spells, I believe can be wrong. These spells are very powerful and if the intent is at all selfish, manipulative, or the least bit taken lightly...much can be harmed. See magic - I believe in it to be the most powerful. This is a time (If done a the right time) when emotions are brought to the utmost peak physically and mentally. Directed to a purpose they are infallable. But these must be done with great knowledge and care - they can be very destructive, especially with th wrong intentions.
Blake4d: What is love versus sexuality?
Mary Berry: Sexuality is only a part of Love. That part which is created by outside experience. I believe if a person is truly in touch with himself, his own inner magic...sexuality is an important role in fulfillment of self. Knowing the male and female within us and accepting them equally creates an important balance within. Unfortunately, society has totally fouled the human brain up concerning this - you are allowed to be one way or another, a few have been lucky enough to break away from these attributes, soon it will be overcome.
Blake4d: What if anything do you see as moral or immoral?
Mary Berry: Moral or immoral, right or wrong, good or bad - it all can be answered with one answer. DISREGARD for any life ( be it human or animal or plant ) that is IMMORAL. There is reason for EVERY life...we have no right to ignore that. To disrespect other life forms, and our own life for that matter, is to shun the very power of creation. And I don't believe anyone has reached a level to where they have authority to do that.
Blake4d: Do you believe in sin?
Mary Berry: I believe in sin only as being the wrong choice made by one who KNOWS the difference between right and wrong. I don't believe man was born into sin, that's like being guilty...until the person is proven innocent. Christianity has a long way to go with that attitude.
Blake4d: Do you believe in monogomous marriage?
Mary Berry: Yes very much. If a couple cannot be heart and soul with each other - they don't need to waste each others precious lives and time by faking it. I don't mean OWNING each others heart and soul either. I believe there are many kinds of love that can be shared with many people at the same time, but that special kind of trust and love in a family, in a husband and wife - is just that. Special. I don't think that can be shared.
Blake4d: What about homosexuality and bisexuality?
Mary Berry: I am a believer in 'live and let live'. I'll always believe that no one has the right to say their way is the only way. I live by the law of the Witches'...'An it harm none, do as thou will'.
Blake4d: As a pagan, what does the AIDS epidemic mean to you?
Mary Berry: It means that man has screwed up - be it intentional or not - we have the responsibility to our very existence to allow the cure to be known (and I believe there is a cure...) and the education to happen to prevent this disease and others like it from ever happening again. Denial is not an option, Death is not something to be taken lightly, part of being Human is being Humane. Respect for life, includes and assumes respect for the quality of life, for ourselves and others. Tragedies, like plagues, are always partly the fault of Human beings being indifferent to other Human beings. I am no fan of bigots, violence, or stupidity...Life has shown me time and again, that any one of them is usually followed by the others. As a Witch, I will use my influece to combat them any time I am given the chance.
Blake4d: What about pornography, as it relates to not just adults, but children?
Mary Berry: I believe what takes place between consenting adults, behind closed doors is their own business, and no one elses. If you choose to then video tape it, market it in the privacy of your own home or place of business, and it helps you earn a living with what your mama and papa gave you...well, there are less desirable ways to pay the bills I suppose. So pornography to me is an option for those who seek the gratification and fulfillment that it offers those so inclined, and is a material world choice. Just like what car you drive, or what job you are willing to do, or what you are willing to be paid may determine your career.
But if it involves the innocent though, that's another tale. I turn to whatever powers that are available to me to combat this in any form. I am a Witch, when I see negative power being sucked from the life and body of an innocent child - I am a Wiccan, a Wise Woman born of gypsy blood from my Mother, raised Catholic by my Father, and given power by the God and Goddess to 'Do as Thou Will'...I know the ways of both White and Black magic. Children are a precious gift. Black magic is best used to combat those whom attract it with their own negative choices.
As I have said several times, I am a Witch...
Blake4d: What about sacrificial and blood magic?
Mary Berry: Different cultures abide by different rules. Sacrifice or bloodletting can mean so may things. Personally my methods are the 'sympathetic magic'. I may imitate sacrifice in acting, candle burning, using a drop or two of my own blood, or just visualizing. Poppets are a prop. Photos can be used, articles of clothing, or personal items can take the place of the real thing. I don't believe it is necessary to harm something to invoke power within myself, or my rituals...I have faith in my own power of intent.
Blake4d: Do you see any connections between the practice of necromancy and the increasing cases of necrophilia and serial killers like Jeffery Dahmer and the like?
Mary Berry: I feel that any connection made between the two are nothing more than the comparison of Witchcraft and Satanism (or Demonic Worship). Just another example of man twisting things around to condone his own craziness, the same as killing in the name of God. It's all twisted...
Blake4d: Would you legalize prostitution?
Mary Berry: Yes, it needs to be controlled though; as to age, health, and protection for both the working party and the shopper.
Blake4d: What about abortion?
Mary Berry: Yes, with much counseling, I prefer prevention of a pregnancy to an abortion, but it needs to be accepted in certain cases and controlled also...to protect the health of all involved. It is an odd historical note, that many women (and witches) were convicted and burnt to death during the Inquisition under the crimes of child murder and baby killing. The irony was, that these maligned women often were Wiccan or pagan healers who knew about Mandrake and herbs that would facilitate the abortion of a pregnancy that was likely to be dangerous to the mother, often because she was too young or unhealthy to carry to term. No coat hangers, or other modern abortion clinic horror tales...just local medicine women and midwives administering local anesthetic and herbs. Burnt alive, hung, or drowned...or worse.
Blake4d: How does the feminist movement fit into all of this?
Mary Berry: Feminism has taken Wicca to heart. The worshipping of a Goddess instead of, or above God has tilted the idea of balance a bit the other way, but it does fit the needs of many women who resent the world being dominated by men, I am very strong in the belief of balance. And I feel we should try to even things out a bit rather than going fanatical against mainstream beliefs of all male worship.
Blake4d: As a witch, what is your personal motto?
Mary Berry: My personal motto is 'Balance'...striving for balance encompasses everything to me. All law requires it. The laws of cause and effect - the Wiccan threefold law, the Golden Rule...everything needs balance, that much I am sure of...
Blake4d: Thank you Mary Berry for allowing me the honor of this interview. Also thanks to your family for allowing us this time alone to conduct the interview in private (despite their being personal needs and an illness at the time of our meeting), and finally thank you to the members of Mary's local pagan community, but especially her personal Coven...whom I have given my sworn promise to retain all of their privacy, and in no way jeapordize their personal information publicly now or ever. In respect to the Old Religions and the Wiccan Way. Love is the Will and Love is the Law...Novus Ordo Seclorum...Lux Fiat...Amen... The circle is open, but never broken. Blessed Be.
A Special New Addition to the Safe Hex hub by request, the lady of the lakeside herself Mary Berry
Since quite a number of you have written or asked who and what Mary Berry looks like, and other silly but sweet questions in response to the article.
Well I found the Wiccan Gypsy herself online and living in California, very happy, very much everything I knew and remembered, and apparently even has herself a new belly dancing partner, well a new snake who I am sure is a helluva dancer too.
Mary thanked everyone for the kind and warm response her interview has received. And in her heart all of you shall ever be...Blessed Be.
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DARK WITH LIGHT / TRUTH THRU WISDOM / POWER AND SOURCE / LOVE UNDER LAW / THUNDER PERFECT MIND / BLESSED BE / KNOW THYSELF