Eeee I’m all excited to have Michaela from The Penniless Pagan joining us today 🙂 She is a delightful witchy blogger who shares tips on how to practise witchcraft on a budget. She’s also written two books 😮 Samhain Traditions and By The Light of The Moon, you can learn more about both of those here.
Grab a cuppa, then have a read through a most magickal bloggy interview with Michaela below )O(
If you’d like to have a read through later don’t forget to pin the post 🙂
How Would You Describe Your Spiritual Path?
Just teasing. Spirituality is such a personalized endeavour. I’m a big believer in learning the how’s and why’s of our existence through observation, specifically the observation of nature. But I’ve also done a lot of reading over the past couple decades, everything from Paganism to Shamanism to Chinese medicine, which is deeply rooted in a mind/body/spirit approach.
Ultimately, for me, spirituality is being in harmony in nature, honouring the natural cycles of life, and recognizing my place in that proverbial web. (And doing so with simplicity! I’m not a fan of complicating things just for complication’s sake.) I think it’s so vitally important people listen to their own intuition and draw conclusions from their own experiences, which is what I frequently express on PennilessPagan.com.
2. What Inspired You to Create The Penniless Pagan?
This is such a weird story, but I’ll try to keep it concise! In late 2015, a few months before I launched the blog, I was still trying to break into writing fiction. I needed a way to expose potential readers to my books, which is often done through blogging. But in order to be successful, I knew any blog I created needed a focused purpose, and I didn’t know how I could incorporate fiction and blogging in a manner that made sense and was interesting to read.
One afternoon I found myself pacing around the living room while my poor husband was trying to eat lunch. I was blathering on about my dilemma when I said, “What the hell would I even write about on a blog? They say write what you know. Well, I know how to make spells out of mushrooms and twigs! But how does that relate to fiction?” *frazzled hands* Then I blurted, “I should just give up fiction and start writing about spirituality. I could call it ‘Penniless Pagan’ and the tagline would be ‘Worshipping nature shouldn’t cost you a dime!’”
Not having any idea where that thought originated, I stopped pacing. Always the reticent type, my husband calmly looked at me and replied, “That’s actually a really good idea. You should follow that.”
I got giddy, he got to eat his lunch in peace, and over the next few months I scribbled down every single idea I had for the blog while I blundered my way through the set-up process. It sounds cliché, but blogging sort of found me, because it was not my intended path. But I’ve come to enjoy blogging so much I no longer write novels. I’m sure someday I’ll drift back to that, but I adore writing about spirituality and especially enjoy interacting with readers way too much to go back to the endless solitude of fiction just yet!
3. How Has Blogging at The Penniless Pagan Influenced Your Spiritual Path?
It’s encouraged me to pay more attention to those lesser celebrated sabbats. While I always acknowledged the day, I didn’t necessarily stop what I was doing to honour Imbolc or Beltane. Now I make sure to take even just a few minutes to reflect and have some sort of ritual, even if it’s just a silent walk outside.
4. You’ve Published Two Books on Paganism This Year – Could You Describe Your Experiences as an Author and Publisher?
Publishing By the Light of the Moon and Samhain Traditions was exhilarating, exciting, and very chaotic! There’s a lot that goes into publishing a book. I most definitely see the value in a traditional publisher. But with that said, I truly enjoy having total control over everything, like covers and interior design. Photography was something I always had an interest in but never really pursued. Publishing books with photos has forced me to sit down and actually learn what the heck an f-stop is and how to work with natural light.
It’s been a really fun experience, albeit daunting. I truly, truly want readers to not only enjoy the final work but to feel they got their money’s worth, so I get REALLY nervous as the release date nears. I don’t think you ever really get over that if you care about what you do.
5. You Mention in Your Bio That You Love to Daydream About Ireland. What Would You Most Love to Visit in Ireland?
It’s not so much one specific thing as it is the whole experience. I feel so alive in lush green nature and vibrant moisture, which is the exact opposite of what I’m currently living in (dead, brown, and dry desert! We don’t have a say in the matter due to my husband’s career.) I’m of Irish heritage, which you can tell the moment you look at me, so I’ve always felt a kinship to Ireland. But even beyond that, something about Ireland just always felt …soothing. Maybe it’s the sexy accent!
6. Are There Any Other Places That You Find Spirit Calling You to Travel to?
Hoh National Forest! My husband and I are planning a major cross-country trip next year, and the Hoh forest is (so far) what I’m most looking forward to! Who knew you could visit a rain forest without leaving America?! I’ve never visited the Pacific Northwest, but I’m most definitely enamoured. I’m half convinced we’ll get there and I’ll refuse to leave. I just adore humidity and the thriving landscape it allows—something I sorely miss after fifteen begrudging years in the desert!
7. What Advice Would You Like to Share With Anyone Considering a Magickal Path?
Follow your intuition. There’s nothing deviant about nature; we ARE nature! Magick in and of itself is neutral; it’s all about the intention. Read whatever you can get your hands on, learn from others, and reject anything that doesn’t feel right regardless of the source! This is YOUR life; you and only you can control your happiness. Follow what feels like home; reject dogma. Honor nature and yourself. And know that everyone’s spiritual path looks different, nor will your spiritual journey always be flowers and gemstones. That’s okay! We’re here to learn, and growth is painful. It’s okay to question and wonder and feel a bit lost at times. But ultimately, know you are one with this beautiful, magical planet! Celebrate the life you’ve been given!