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... ROBIN HERNE
What or who inspires you the most and why?
I found The Doctor (Doctor Who) very inspirational from early childhood onwards, not only because he had absolutely no dress sense, which I can sympathise with, but also for his willingness to meet the weird and wonderful with an open mind and try to learn from it rather than automatically fearing everything peculiar and shooting it. In less cosmic realms, I find my late grandmother’s Stoicism inspiring, in no small part because I have lived long enough to see what has happened to society as that approach to life has decreased over the decades.
Do you have any set daily spiritual practices?
Not fixed practices, but every day I sit and see the large photo of my old husky (who died last summer) and think of him as a guardian presence. We have a moment and my mind strays to topics of death, reincarnation, animism, and the duties that come with love. I find creativity – painting, sculpture, poetry writing, storytelling – to be a good way to engage with the spirit realms.
What is your favourite subject to write about and why?
I love stories – telling them, analysing them, seeing the world through their lens. As numerous philosophers have said over the years, we are a narrative species. The Gods also swim through the medium of story. Exploring the mythologies of the Celts, Greeks, Egyptians and so forth enthuses me, stimulates the brain cells and gets me wanting to communicate what I learn to others (I can go for long periods when I forget to talk to anyone).
Do you have a sacred or spiritual place/area (anywhere in the world) that you feel connected to?
I have been to Nechtan’s Glen a number of times and find both the Glen itself and the walk through the woods to it is quite amazing. One of the most profoundly alive places I have ever been to. I also find peace walking the dogs along the banks of the Gipping. I adore Wind in the Willows, wherein the river itself is the fifth character. Jung would doubtless say I am very much a thinking-function (air) person and need to balance with the opposite quality of feeling-function (water), which may help to explain the magical draw of streams, rivers, waterfalls etc.
Where do you work your magic/practice your faith? Do you have a special room or area set aside?
There are altars in my dining room which are the primary focus of group ritual in wet weather, and garden altars for dry weather. There are also altars in the hallway, living room, and main bedroom – each focused on a different set of deities. When I can afford it I would love to get the attic converted to a small ritual space for solitary use.
What book/talk/article of yours are you most proud of and why?
The first published work is, of course, the major milestone but I did enjoy writing the crime anthology, A Dangerous Place, and the research into my own home town where the stories are set that was required. Of all the talks I have given over the years the one I’ve enjoyed most is on the Greek deity Pan and his presence in art, music, literature etc. The talk includes reading a short excerpt from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. List of books published, so far:
Herne, R (2009), Old Gods, New Druids. O-Books
Herne, R (2012), Bard Song. Moon Books
Herne, R (2013), A Dangerous Place. Moon Books
Herne, R (2020), Pantheon – the Egyptians. Moon Books