I asked a bunch, or should that perhaps be a 'bibliography' of authors...whatever the collective noun for a group of authors is...a few quick snapshot questions.
This week is...FRANCES BILLINGHURST
Website: Writer’s Blog: http://francesbillinghurst.blogspot.com
Temple of the Dark Moon www.templedarkmoon.com
Isian Centre of Metaphysics: www.isiancentreofmetaphysics.com
Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/frances.billinghurst
Temple of the Dark Moon: https://www.facebook.com/templedarkmoon
Isian Centre of Metaphysics: https://www.facebook.com/isiancentreofmetaphysics
1. What or who inspires you the most and why?
As I have been initiated into a more traditional style of contemporary witchcraft, my main influences include Gerald Gardner, Alex Sanders, and Doreen Valiente. I am also find Aleister Crowley and Andrew Chumbley extremely inspirational due to their innovative and personal dedication to their magick/Craft. Modern writers such as Shani Oates (from Robert Cochrane tradition) as well as researchers like David Rankine also are added to my list.
2. Do you have any set daily spiritual practices?
My daily spiritual practices often include meditations, devotional prayers and offerings to the Gods that I am personally work with. I observe the changing moon phases and seasonal wheel of the year, currently on a more personal level.
I also find a degree of spiritual fulfilment when I go about more seemingly mundane tasks such as gardening. I think Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh talks about “meditation by the kitchen sink”, finding the sacredness in the ordinary which is the essence of how I perceive my spiritual/magical practice when the mundane demands take over.
3. What is your favourite subject to write about and why?
There are three main subjects that I tend to write about: The first being what are often classified as the “darker” aspects of the Gods which still tend to be greatly misunderstood, especially from a more historical perspective. The second is providing information about working from a Southern Hemispheric perspective which is still greatly under represented. The third is that I am finding an increasing call to write more about my practices with respect to bringing the “traditional” element back into focus without breaking any initiatory oaths of my traditions.
4. Do you have a sacred or spiritual place/area (anywhere in the world) that you feel connected to?
· Kilmartin in Scotland – truly magical, ancestral lands
· Clava stone circle, Scotland – where I experienced my first physical fae encounter back in 1994
· Nusa Penida, Bali – in particular the underground cave complex of Giri Putri where I experienced a number of “interesting” connections with primordial deity in 2017.
· New Zealand bush – where I spent time in my youth
5. Where do you work your magic/practice your faith? Do you have a special room or area set aside?
I am fortunate enough to have a freestanding room separate to my house which is used as my permanent temple and teaching/healing space. I have a grass circle out outside workings and various other altars and shrines throughout my garden for various devotional practices and where offerings are placed after rituals are undertaken.
I also have various shrines set up throughout my house.
6. What book/talk/article of yours are you most proud of and why?
My essay entitled “The Transforming Illusion of Morgan le Fay” that appeared in The Faerie Queens: A Collection of Essays Exploring the Myths, Magic and Mythology of the Faerie Queens still one of my personal favourites due to me having a long term fixation with the Arthurian legend.
I am also extremely proud of Encountering the Dark Goddess which will be my first book with Moon Books. This book has been the result of over 10 years personal exploration and work with deities, and already a follow up is being drafted.
List of books published, so far:
· Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats (self-published, 2021, 2014)
· In Her Sacred Name: Writings on the Divine Feminine (self-published, 2014)
· Call of the God: An Anthology Exploring the Divine Masculine within Modern Paganism (self-published anthology, 2015)
· A Witch’s Circle: A Practical Guide to the Art Magical (Self-published, 2019)
· A Little Book of Wicca (self-published, 2020)
· Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms (Moon Books – due for release 26 March 2021)
· Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magical Life (Moon Books – release TBA)
· Under Her Starry Skies (due to be self-published later in 2020)