Interview with Dorothy Morrison
An Interview with Dorothy Morrison
1. How did you initially become active in the Craft?
The Ancient Arts have had a hold on me ever since I can remember. As a child, I saw auras. I never thought to discuss it with anyone, though, because I just thought that everybody knew people were “colored on the outside.” I found out differently in first grade, however, when my teachers insisted that I not color outside the lines. There was such a ruckus that my parents took me to the doctor to have my vision and motor skills checked! There were other things too, but probably the most aggravating to my devoutly Catholic parents was the fact that I absolutely refused to pray to Jesus. To my way of thinking—I was only five at the time—it was a complete waste of time. Instead, I developed quite a relationship with his mother. My reasoning was that “mothers” were all-powerful folks and that not even Jesus would dare to disobey his. It was a much more practical solution for me.
It took eighteen years for me to find Wicca, and I was actually introduced to the religion through a tarot card reader I’d gone to visit. We became friends and she eventually invited me to a party. Little did I know, though, that it was an “after coven meet.” You can imagine my shock upon discovering that I was surrounded by Witches—especially since I knew nothing of them other than what I’d read from the Brothers Grimm. Fortunately, the shock wore off quickly. And once I became engrossed in the question/answer banter of serious conversation, I realized that Wicca was not only a religion I could embrace, but one whose path would lead me home.
2. You’re working on a series of Everyday Magic books—Everyday Magic, Everyday Tarot Magic, and now Everyday Moon Magic. What was the impetus that started that series?
I tend to observe fellow practitioners, and what I saw over the years really disturbed me. Here were folks much better equipped than most to change their personal realities, yet they simply refused to do so. Instead, they just stayed in financial distress, in damaging relationships, in poor health, and so on. And that was really hard for me to understand. All they had to do was apply the necessary tools to the tasks at hand. From my point of view, it was a little like standing in the kitchen and dying of thirst, instead of simply turning on the faucet.
Sadly enough, most people think that for magic to work, it must be mysterious and time-consuming. One needn’t spend weeks in the planning stages, days gathering obscure ingredients, and hours in front of the altar, though. All that’s really necessary is a firm desire, a few minutes, and an unshakeable belief. And when added to a few common household items, these can shape a whole new reality. Once I understood the problem, I felt compelled to set the record straight: magic makes our lives easier, not more difficult. And the Everyday Magic Series was born.
3. What book or author had the greatest influence on your development as a Witch? How did that book or author affect you?
On the whole, Scott Cunningham ’s books impacted me the most. It was through his works and down-to-earth style that I began to see how truly easy magic could be. He set me on the path toward living the magical life.
I have to say that Trish Telesco showed me not only that magic was everywhere, but that coupled with hard work, endurance, and tenacity, it could make even the most impossible dream come true.
I owe them both a great deal. Without their involvement in my life, I’d never have become the Witch I am now, nor the one that I may yet become tomorrow.
4. What are the greatest challenges for you as an author? The greatest joys?
Believe it or not, my greatest challenge is finding time to write. It’s not unusual for me to be gone for appearances nearly six months out of the year. And since my schedule often involves sixteen hour work days, there’s just no time to write while on the road. This means that I have to schedule blocks of writing time, and that isn’t always easy if I’m only home for a couple of days in-between.
Just as challenging though, is keeping each book project fresh and exciting. Since most subject matter has already been explored in some fashion, it’s only the author’s personal angle which brings it new life. And finding that spin—that assortment of things which brings a fresh perspective—can really take some doing.
Are the rewards worth the effort, though? You bet! They come when you look out over a sea of faces and see a sense of understanding begin to register. They come in the email that thanks you for making someone’s life better. They come in knowing that something you did or said really made a difference to somebody. And there’s just no greater joy than that!
5. You’re very active in the Wiccan and Pagan community. How do you feel that community has changed since you first became active in Witchcraft?
Our community hasn’t just evolved—it’s evolved past my wildest expectations. And I believe that’s largely due to the fact that we’ve grown up.
Thirty years ago, when I started out, nearly every community member I knew thought that money was a bad thing—that you had to be poor to be Pagan. Even worse, most couldn’t be bothered being responsible enough to even pay their bills. More embarrassing was the fact that they didn’t watch their children, didn’t worry about purchasing car insurance, and certainly didn’t vote. In fact, a good number of them didn’t even hold down regular jobs. It was as if anything even remotely smacking of responsibility was to be avoided at all costs. Today, we’ve grown and learned; we’ve achieved and accomplished. We’ve come to understand that responsibility isn’t a bad thing at all, but that taking a responsible, pro-active role in our world is imperative to truly living in harmony with our planet and its beings. It’s an accomplishment so rich that I can’t help but be proud of how far we’ve come. In fact, I can hardly wait to see what we can manage in the next thirty years.
6. Witches in popular culture have gone from being green and warty to attractive and seductive, but are always a little spooky. Do you feel like that image is accurate? If not, what could or should real Witches do to change that image?
True enough, the media does like to present us as being anything but “normal.” It serves their ends and sells whatever they’re marketing—films, products, music—and they’re only concerned about the bottom line. Unfortunately, such displays by the media tend to promote a very inaccurate view of who we are and what we’re all about.
The only way to squelch something like this is to prove them wrong—not just once or twice—but again and again and again. Does this mean that we shouldn’t wear our pentacles? No. What it does mean, though, is that if we expect to be treated like normal people, we need to look like normal people, behave like normal people, and interact like normal people.
The other thing we can do to change our image is much easier. It has to do with being who we are—responsible, compassionate, caring members of the human race—and showing that side to others before we spout our religious preferences from the rooftops. The fact of the matter is that most folks don’t give a tinker’s damn what religion you embrace—unless, of course, you scare them with it. And many of us have a habit of doing just that. We toss our religion out to the masses just to see what will happen. And when it frightens others away, we pretend that we don’t have a clue what went wrong. The problem, of course, is that we simply don’t give others an opportunity to see who we really are first; instead, we see whether they can withstand a shock to the system and still like us. And when they don’t? Well, we decide that they’re just not very nice people. And that’s just not fair. I think the best advice here is to remember that religion is just as personal as your sex life. It seldom bears discussion.
7. What do you like to do in your free time—when you’re not writing, or being religiously active, that is?
I really am a homebody, so free time is often spent with needlework projects—sewing, quilting, embroidery, beadwork, etc.—and gardening. I’m also quite the NASCAR fan, so when I’m home on Sundays, everything comes to a screeching halt once the race begins.
I also catch up on my reading—something I don’t have time to do when I’m on the road. I’m especially fond of murder mysteries, and just finished the Rowan Gant Series by M.R. Sellars—very scary stuff—and I’m currently picking my way through the Alex Cross Series by James Patterson.
8. How on earth do you ever find time for everything that you do?
Lots of calendars, a day planner, and a PDA—sometimes, even they don’t help! On a more serious note though, I think that we all can find time for the things that we really find important. For example, I wrote my first three books while working a 70-hour-per-week job—all between 3:30 am and 6:30 am. It was the only time I had available; the rest of the day was taken up with family responsibilities and the everyday duties of my day job. It’s just a matter of what the individual sees as a valuable use of time.
Today, however, getting everything done is much easier for me than one might think. But that’s only because I have the most incredible husband on the planet. He not only works a day job, but picks up the slack on the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and shopping—sometimes, there’s a lot of that to pick up!—so I’m much better able to manage my schedule. I simply couldn’t do it without him.
9. What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out in the Craft?
Always be true to yourself. In the final analysis, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, says, or does. All that’s important is that you live your own truth. And if that means developing your own spiritual path by grabbing something from this sector and that—and working with the combination—then by all means, go for it. It is, after all, your path and your life. And if you walk it honestly and in a manner of which you can be proud, there will be no mistake: you’ll be walking the precise path you were born to travel.
10. What do you have coming up? What’s next for the ever-busy Dorothy Morrison?
I’m currently working on Everyday Sun Magic, and it’s a project that I’m really excited about. Fact is, we’re so conditioned to work magic around the Moon phases that we completely forget the power of the Sun. We have no clue how potent it is or what it can do for our magic. More importantly, we forget that the Sun brings phases that work in harmony with our efforts every single day. By using those phases, we don’t have to wait a week or more to set magic in motion. We can get more done in less time, and that’s very exciting, indeed.
So, what will you find in this book? Things like the human connections to the Sun—physical, emotional, and psychic—an explanation of the workings of solar magic, and a discussion of the Sun phases and their magical significance. Then it’s off to the individual Sun signs and a detailed look at their effects on magic, mundane event planning, and the practitioner. A series of Sun sign rituals and party ideas is also included. And since no book in this series would be complete without a spell section, you’ll find that there too.
I always have lots of stuff sitting on the back burner. But I have to keep a few things under my hat. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have anything to look forward to!
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The Sun impacts our lives like no other force in the universe. In addition to sustaining life on Earth, the potent energy of this mighty star can lend a powerful spark to daily magic.
Taking... Read more