Below you will find an interview with Scarlet Magdalene, author at Patheos.
Scarlet Magdalene is a witch, magician, and priestess living in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a priestess of Apollo, Dionysos, and Hermes and honors Hekate as her tutelary deity, and has been a polytheist for most of her life. Within the Hellenic polytheist community, she is best known as Kyrene Ariadne, one of the founding members of Hellenion, an international Hellenic polytheistic organization.
Prior to her entry into the craft, she was an initiate and initiator in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn for over ten years and ran a local temple before turning to traditional witchcraft both Wiccan and non.
Currently Scarlet is an elder of the Chthonioi-Alexandrian Wiccan tradition and a member of the Sheaves of Demeter coven. She is also a student of Blue Star Wicca and a member of the newly founded Sapphire Grove. In addition, she is currently in the second level of Jason Miller’s Sorcery of Hekate course.
Q: What do you consider your greatest magical achievement?
A: I’ve had a number of really great ones, so it’s hard to choose a single one. I think I’ll sum them up in their entirety as “getting my shit together”. Magic has helped me to pay off a ridiculous amount of debt and land myself the dream job I never even knew existed, and I’ve been here for almost three years. In an industry that is lucrative but volatile, this is a blessing. It allows me to have the time and energy to focus my pursuits on other things besides just surviving. Thriving is fantastic!
I believe that magic is a fantastic way to both help you to achieve your goals and explore the world and what passes for reality around you. With it you are the ultimate explorer.
Q: Who are your personal heroes, those who most inspired you on your own journey?
A: I have no heroes. I know, that sounds so sad. There are people whose words, art, and works I find interesting and inspirational, but I’ve long learned to separate the art from the artist, so to speak. I think that in general what has inspired me the most has been some excellent novels, including Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle In Time series, Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story, and numerous works of science fiction and fantasy. Alan Moore, Phillip K Dick, Mercedes Lackey, and Neil Gaiman are among a few of my favorite authors. So I guess you could say that I’ve found my own heroes in writing and works of fiction.
Q: What importance, if any, do you place on full visual manifestation of a spirit during evocation?
No importance whatsoever. I tend to be far more likely to get astral visions clear enough that the physical vision isn’t all that necessary. Sometimes I get physical manifestations and they’re great when they happen, but aren’t necessarily an indicator of either success or failure.
Q: What was your first “oh fuck, this shit is real” moment in your personal magical practice?
A: My friends were simultaneously visited in their dreams by the exact same entity I had accidentally conjured up as a teen witch. Same appearance and description, all demanding to know more information about me. A few of them hadn’t even known about my magical life at all, and had to get a crash course as a result!
Q: What is one piece of magical tech you could not live without?
A: I confess to doing my best not to rely on tools, as tools can get lost, broken, or otherwise misplaced. But any and all of my tech surrounding my trad craft practice and Hekate has been worth its weight in gold. Anything that is the simplest, most magically efficacious way of getting the job done is everything I need in my work.
Q: At what age did you start practicing magic and why?
A: I was about 12, I found books of my dad’s and started reading through them and experimenting with all sorts of stuff. At some point he pulled me aside and started buying me books on Cunningham Wicca because in his words, it was harmless and he wanted me to have a foundation in something that wasn’t going to get me into too much trouble.
Q: What is your advice to the young aspiring magician just getting started today?
A: Read, practice, meditate, and know thyself. Don’t be afraid to “get it wrong”; just do as much research as possible and get the thing done, learn how to craft those magical requests as succinctly as you can (think of the SMART principle in determining goals), and do absolutely every ounce of personal development and introspection on an ongoing basis. Treasure all of the constructive criticism, feedback, and everything you can manage in regards to your own life, and make sure that you keep a good balance between the research and the doing. Learning how to feed your magic daily through regular ritual is one of the best things I ever managed to do for myself.
It’s like going to the gym; you won’t get results just by reading or wishing, or only going sporadically. It has to be done on a regular basis in order to see results over time.
Q: What are your current magical endeavors?
A: The list is long. I just wrapped up Hekat2, the sequel to the Sorcery of Hekate course that Jason Miller teaches and just started his new one on St Cyprian. I’m also prepping for my next initiations in my trad craft traditions (thankfully just the two and not incompatible with each other!). In addition I’ve been engaging in daily practice for all of them, and will be restarting the LevelUp course as well. In my spare time, I’m also attempting to learn about herbalism and faery witchcraft. I’m always researching and reading up on new projects and finding ways to think outside the box I’m in, and my “to be read” pile is enormous. I frequently am reading multiple books at once to try and get through them all.
Q: How do you respond to Christian evangelists knocking on your door at dinner time?
A: Thankfully I’ve never had to worry about this! For some reason my house is even missed by trick or treaters. It’s like I’m invisible or something. I do pass many of them by during my work commutes, and I just ignore them and keep walking. It’s not worth my time or energy to engage, and neither of us stand any chance at benefiting from it.
Q: What effect and focus do you think magic should have upon politics and world events?
A: We need to think about what we each can do as individuals to make ourselves into the person we need to be in the world in order to influence those events in a positive fashion, and get together with like-minded individuals to bring about greater change. No one person is an island, and too many people have stopped caring or realizing that our very survival depends on a healthy, thriving society and that other people matter. Whatever magic we can do in order to bring this about, I highly recommend.