1. What do you see as the most outstanding similarity amongst Hindu, Egyptian, and Greek pantheons of goddesses?
All of these mythologies offer a comprehensive range of goddesses, covering intercessional needs and most aspects of the female psyche.
All of them feature strong, independent feminine deities, such as Durga in Hindu belief, who, though exquisitely beautiful, will never marry, and fends off her suitors with weapons. A Grecian equivalent is Artemis, fiercely chaste and confining her energies to independent pursuits such as hunting. The Egyptian Isis stole her magickal power from Ra, and Sekhmet is similarly independent and formidable.
However, these belief systems also depict gentle goddesses, such as Parvati and Sati, Nepthys and Hathor, Iris [the goddess of the rainbow] and the Graces. So all three are wonderfully diverse, and have many parallel deities.
2. What are the most outstanding differences?
The Olympians stand out against the others for several reasons. One, we have more ancient Greek texts than any others, and each, being creatively written in the case of plays and paeans, is different. Thus we might find in most texts that Eros is Aphrodite’s son, and in Hesiod that he is not, but rather, a cosmogonic power. Greek mythology was widely adopted in Alexandrian and Victorian literature, again changing our perceptions of the deities. Eros and Aphrodite became intimately interlinked, for example, whereas in ancient Greek literature their interaction is minimal. Secondly, the Greeks are physically very refined, reflecting the aesthetic standards that bred them. No multi-armed deities or chimerae in Olympia! Thirdly, the Greeks tend to represent the psychological, where as the Hindu and Egyptian symbolise more spiritual principles. Of course, there are cross-overs in each, but that is how I perceive them in the main.
3. Is there a particular goddess to whom you feel personally connected? Which one and why?
Like many who follow magickal paths, I have always felt particularly drawn to Isis. She, to me, represents the Goddess in toto. Durga and Kali are also favorites, because of their strength, and the message that the physical is illusory.
4. Are there goddesses you tend to avoid? If so, why?
There are none I avoid particularly, though some interest me less that others—Norse, for example. It’s just a question of personal proclivity.
5. With so many destructive possibilities around us, how can women engage the destructive side of the goddess to provide creative, constructive ideas to society? Is there a particular goddess to work with?
That’s a big question! Most of the goddesses that manifest a negative side are doing so for positive purposes—Sekhmet in Egyptian lore to punish man’s infidelity to Ra (i.e. lack of attention to the spiritual), Kali and Durga to destroy demons, for example. Only the Greeks seem to act through personal pique, but it is possible to harness their positive side regardless. Meditation on the deity concerned, in a suitable environment, using the correct correspondences, creative visualisation, and magickal workings will produce a connection. It is best to work with goddesses with whom one has a personal rapport—there is usually a good reason for this!
6. What twenty-first century role models draw upon goddess energy and how?
You’d have to ask them that! I can merely tell you which ones seem to emanate Goddess-like energies: Madonna, not least because of the flexibility of her persona—and Kate Bush, who is definitely a goddess in her own right! The astonishingly powerful singer/songwriter Diamanda Galas seems to use dark, Kali-like energies in that inimitable style of hers, and Tori Amos and writers such as Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston know how to process anger creatively—but whether any of these people would consciously work through a goddess (or consider themselves “role models”), I have no way of knowing! I suppose any woman, doing what she loves and being glorious in the process, is drawing upon goddess energy.
7. Your biography mentions that you are a vocational healer. What is that, exactly?
It means that I do healing work, when I can, and when the circumstances are right, but never for money.
8. You are related to famed occultist Alice Bailey. Can you tell me a little about what that means to you?
I had some of Alice Bailey’s books before I realised she was a relative—so we have very similar interests. I read some of her early work, and was flabbergasted—it was almost identical to things I’d written in my teens. At that stage though, I felt a bit crazy—I did not understand why I was so interested in the esoteric, as nobody had told me about my heritage.
Since then, I have discovered I come from a long line of mystics, Witches, ministers, and esotericists, which was a huge relief, to be honest. I see Alice as an inspiration because she kept her eyes fixed on the Higher Purpose—that of channeling God-energies to earth, and the ascension of human consciousness towards the Creative Intelligence. My only regret is that she was so intent on serving “The Masters” (spiritual entities helping mankind) that she did very little creative work of her own—I think she would have been good at that.
9. How did you become interested in studying the Goddess?
I was attracted to mythology and Wicca from an early age. I had a thing about Artemis and the Moon—very apt for a teenage girl—and I loved the way the Goddess was revered in modern Witchcraft. My studies of mythology grew alongside this, so that my interest became intellectual as well as instinctual.
10. Your most recent book is about Kabbalah. How did you become interested in studying the Kabbalah?
My mother’s side is Jewish, which may explain part of my natural attraction to this mystical system. However, the book is on Qabalah—I use the “Q” to differentiate it from traditional Jewish Kabbalah. My interpretation is of the Western Mystery Tradition—highly eclectic, and influenced by Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune, Crowley, and so on. So my interest came both from my Jewish roots and my interest in High Magick, which started in my teens.
11. And for men, you have another book coming out. Tell our readers about that.
Invoke the Gods is for men and women alike—but admittedly I wrote it when my male friends read Invoke the Goddess and said, “Hey, can you write one more geared towards us?!” I’m just as interested in male gods and archetypes, so I was happy to oblige. The book deals with fifteen male godforms, Hindu, Egyptian, and Greek. It describes their symbolism, studies their purpose, and looks at the related literature. The reader is then offered that chance to encounter the deity personally, through a guided visualisation. It’s the twin and male counterpart of Invoke the Goddess both in content and in format.
12. What other projects do you have in the works?
My next big text will be on witchcraft, covering just about every aspect one can. I am also designing two Tarot packs.