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...SCOTT IRVINE
Facebook page www.facebook.com/scott.irvine.313
What or who inspires you the most and why?
I am inspired the most by the books of Haruki Murakami and Paulo Coehlo. I was introduced to Japanese author Murakami when a friend lent me ‘The Wind up Bird Chronicle’ and loved his surreal world of alternative realities and deep isolation experiences of his characters. Nothing is obvious until the very end.
I picked up ‘The Pilgrimage’ by the Brazilian author Coehlo from a charity shop and was hooked from the very beginning. It was a spiritual adventure to Santiago de Compostela and thought that would be the book I would love to write; a journey of self-discovery. Most of his books are based on his personal life experiences, his successes, his sufferings and his exploration of the effects of love and death has on the human mind.
Do you have any set daily spiritual practices?
I try to perform a set daily practice of meditation and Tai Chi warm up moves to prepare my mind and body for the coming day. I manage it most mornings but sometimes because of lack of time or sometimes lack of enthusiasm it does not happen.
I like to start the day, after a cup of tea of course with a meditation I learnt from a philosophy course.
Sitting comfortably in a chair I concentrate on my breathing. Next, I become aware of the pressure of my body in the chair and feel the ground beneath my feet. Then I focus on the air on my skin and the clothes touching my body. I smell the air around me before savouring, or not, the taste in my mouth. I notice the form and colour of everything around me before concentrating on every sound I become aware of. Sitting in the awareness of the five senses for a moment calms the mind before thoughts and emotions invade the tranquillity and I ground myself by gently shaking my hands and arms and tapping my feet on the ground.
Then I am ready for my Tai Chi warm up exercise, slowly gyrating in turn my wrists, elbows, shoulders and arms, the waist, hips, knees and ankles. I do these exercises usually to gentle meditative c.d’s after which I feel relaxed and energies for whatever the day has in store for me.
What is your favourite subject to write about and why?
I love to write about nature and the spirit within it that I see as the energy of the goddess that is sustained by the solar power of the god. I see the spirit in nature as the duality of the Anunnaki fertility goddess sisters Ishtar and Ereshkigal, life and death forces that generate life to Mother Earth. The ancient trinity is completed by their brother Shamash, the wise Sun god giving light and heat so that nature can grow and blossom.
I love researching the ancient myths of Sumeria and Babylon from which the more popular Greek myths evolved and much of the Christian Bible is derived from. Without nature, life on Earth would not be able to exist. As a gardener for the past thirty years I have worked with nature long enough to understand her requirements and the need to protect her in these times of the corporate destruction our planet for wealth and profit. By destroying Mother Earth, we destroy the wild life and the nature spirits who are as much part of this realm as we are.
Do you have a sacred or spiritual place/area that you feel connected to?
My favourite sacred place is an old ruined church perched at the top of a cliff looking out to sea five minutes’ walk from where I live. On each side are two castles, one to the north, Rufus Castle, also a ruin constructed around 500 years ago and a modern folly, Pennsylvania Castle to the south constructed 200 years ago as a retreat for King George III. St. Andrew’s ruin is nestled in a valley between the two surrounded by elm, ash and sycamore. It had been left to return to nature in 2010 when Pennsylvania Castle was bought by new owners and refused to have anything to do with its upkeep. With no legitimate owner, I took it on myself to clear the site of bramble, ivy and buddleia in 2012 and have maintained the site to this day. I find it very rewarding and see it as an honour to the old Portland ancestors that lie in its cemetery. Sometimes it can get busy, especially during the summer holidays so I head to the mainland to explore a nearby hill fort or stone circle and just sit and be, relax from the modern world and relax.
Where do you work your magic/practice your faith? Do you have a special room or area set aside?
The place I do magic is in an old quarry that was once the local council tip. From 1983, it has been turned into a free sculpture park. A group of Dutch sculptors called Groupe 85 began stone carving here in 2001, returning each autumn to add to their ‘Circle of Stones’ at which and altar of Portland roach stone stands at its centre. It is around this that with Clan Dolmen on Sabbats and the Portland Witches at full moons I attend ceremonies making spells and perform magic.
Sometimes we have intimate rituals at St. Andrew’s ruin with close friends or just me and my fiancée to perform personal work with the goddess. I have an altar in the corner of my lounge, which reminds me each morning that the goddess is present. The main focus of the altar is the triple goddesses that I carved myself from Portland Stone, as is the god that makes up the four stations of the heaven. Central to all this is the green man, always reminding me that nature is life and life is nature. You cannot have one without the other. I use this space to contemplate the forces that make up existence rather than perform magic.
What book/talk/article of yours are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of my first book ‘Ishtar and Ereshkigal – The Daughters of Sin’ from Pagan Portals of Moon Books released in March. It is the culmination of three years research, personal experience weaved together for an adventure into the primal feminine powers that the Sumerian and Babylonian empires worshipped and gave sacrifice to.
I had planned book signings and talks in local bookshops and arranged trade stalls at some festivals and camps over the summer but everything has been cancelled for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus. However, the book is in existence and waiting to make its presence felt in the world when things have improved. Where I have plenty of time on my hands at the moment, I am a good way into finishing my second book ‘Shamash – Son of Sin’.
List of books published so far:
Ishtar and Ereshkigal – The Daughters of Sin 2020