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Author Snapshot Interview: Olivia Church

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...OLIVIA CHURCH

1. What or who inspires you the most and why?

Can I say Athena? That's my genuine answer right now. Whenever I feel lost, distracted or without direction, I consciously remind myself to 'be more Athena'. She archetypally reminds me that I am in control of my daily life, that I can choose to work hard or be lazy, that I manifest my reality and that when challenges do arise I can face them. As a devotee of Aphrodite this is often easy to forget! So right now Athena is inspiring me to get my writing done!

2. Do you have any set daily spiritual practices?

Most of the time my daily practices involve watering the houseplants and going on short walks, either along the beach or in the park. It's very easy to get stuck on the computer and buried beneath books and to-do lists. Being out in nature helps to realign me with my spirituality and the world outside of my house! I used to do a lot of belly dancing as well, which connected me with my body and the Goddess/es - I'm out of the habit but intend to rectify this soon! Beyond this if I feel the need for something more formalised I will either have a long bath, with Aphrodite's statue and candles, or will sit in front of the altar giving offerings and prayers.

3. What is your favourite subject to write about and why?

I love writing about ancient religion and feminism, which is why I am writing my doctoral thesis on it! I am one of many who are attracted to the romance and mystery of the ancient past. I am also a feminist, which means that often my romantic retrospection becomes disrupted by the evidence of the poor treatment of women in history, or by diluted modern receptions of ancient women and Goddesses. I find this such a juicy and interesting topic that I can't resist disecting it in my writing.

4. Do you have a sacred or spiritual place/area (anywhere in the world) that you feel connected to?

I have always been spiritually called to Egypt and when I was there I particularly loved sailing on a felucca along the Nile. Just being on that river is so wonderful... Closer to home, I adore the Gower in South Wales, where I have built many fond memories with the local Pagan community.

5. Where do you work your magic/practice your faith? Do you have a special room or area set aside? My partner and I have beautiful outdoor spaces where we currently live, so there have many options. Most often my practices are discrete, such as pouring libations and saying prayers, so doing this publicly at the seashore is no problem. When we host open ceremonies we often do these in local roundhouse in the woods. I always prefer to be outside when possible, though I confess, I really dislike being watched by curious onlookers. I also have an altar at home which is the centre of my practice indoors. Sometimes I have multiple altars at once in different areas of the house, but my partner and I have just adopted a rescue cat so I am now revising how I display my altars! Also, a lot of my Aphrodite practices and worship occur in the bath!

6. What book/talk/article of yours are you most proud of and why?

My first published book comes out in February 2021 as part of the Pagan Portals series and focuses on the mythology and worship of the Egyptian Goddess Isis! I am very proud of this, not only because it is my first publication, but because it is my first attempt to combine my two passions in life: Ancient History/Egyptology and Paganism. In this book have endevoured to write something that is aimed at Pagan readers and contains both accesible academic information alongside contemporary Pagan perspectives.

List of books published, so far:

Pagan Portals - Isis: Great of Magic, She of 10,000 Names


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