I began gardening back in the eighties in grad school, but I’ve been interested in magic for a lot longer. When I was a teen, I got my first tarot deck–the Ryder deck–but I soon found that the Thoth deck really clicked with me; I still use that one now. I did a little magic then, managing to scare the wits out of myself when it actually worked, but I didn’t get serious about magic until many years later. I thought magic was too much of a contradiction with my interest in radical politics on the one hand and alchemy on the other, but I have since found ways to get my various interests to live peaceably in the same neighborhood.
After teaching at the university level for a while, I realized it was not for me (I love research but hate meetings). I wandered around for a few years and began ghostwriting, which allowed me to use my research and writing skills to support myself. While I had the leisure of that occupation, I decided to take the advice I kept hearing about creating your own job doing something you love. Since I loved gardening and plant lore, I created a little online shop selling seeds (I would always buy too many!). Gradually that business grew to include herbs, resins, incense, oils, and essential oils, and its focus became magic, especially as it relates to plants. My little site went from 3 pages to over 500 600. Three years later I was able to quit ghostwriting, and although I do not make anywhere near as much money running my shop as I did writing,
12 14 years later, I still love this business. I meet sorcerers and witches from all over the world, and I have the perfect excuse for researching the arcana of plant lore and magic. It has also allowed me to express the full scope of my creativity in writing and in working with the spiritual and magical aspects of plants and their scents.
I have learned in my business that all kinds of magical practice work and give value to their practitioners’ lives. My own magical interests range from ceremonial magic to witchcraft, from plant alchemy to working directly with plant spirits. I respect the study of historical magical works (especially ancient practices), but I also value knowledge gained through practice, vision, and interaction with the spirits. I continue to be interested in Jewish magic and mysticism and to implement various of its techniques in my own work, especially in terms of talismans and meditation. Spiritually, I feel most drawn to aspects of the divine in the form of Hermes/Thoth and the Dark Spirit of the Crossroads.
My mundane interests include the medicinal use of herbs, growing and preserving foods, frugal living, sustainability, and reading good novels.