1. Your new book, Drawing Down the Sun, focuses on reclaiming the lost archetype of the solar feminine. What inspired the idea for this book?
Surprisingly enough, the Dark Goddess in a way inspired me to learn about sun goddesses. In my work with the Morrigan I had come across references to Macha, one of the aspects of the Morrigan, being called the "sun of womanhood." The connection between the sun and a female figure was so against the norm I was used to. Later when I began working with the goddess Brigid I noticed she had a strong connection not only to fire but the sun. The more I researched, the more I found that solar goddesses were not an anomaly—they were actually just as common as lunar goddesses. This reshaped many of the way I both saw and worked with the Goddess.
2. Why do you feel the archetype of the solar feminine has been neglected or lost?
One of the first things we learn as Pagans is that the Goddess is connected to the moon, and there are numerous lunar goddesses, but I think this idea stays with us as we grow and develop our spiritual identities as Pagans. It is one of the fundamental building blocks on which we base our concepts of the Goddess in today's Goddess culture. Because we are so familiar with classical myths and the Greek and Roman idea that goddess always equals the moon and the sun is always masculine, it can be difficult for us to part with that line of thinking at times. But our ancestors saw her just as often in the sun as the moon, or in any other natural force. She is a fiery figure, quick to action, creative, and sometimes warlike. It's an archetype that I think modern women, and goddess worshipers, can identify with.
3. Drawing Down the Sun includes an in-depth exploration of 14 solar goddesses from around the world. How did you decide which to include?
There is a surprising number of solar goddesses out there! It would be impossible to include them all in one book. It was important for me to include many of the sun goddesses that I have worked with in the past and feel a close connection to. I also tried to include goddesses from a variety of pantheons; the sun, and its goddess, are viewed very differently in different parts of the world. To someone who lives in a desert the sun has a very different influence on their lives than someone who lives in, say, Europe or the far north.
4. Your previous book, Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, focused on invoking the power of the Morrigan, the "Dark Goddess." Is it different working with "dark" goddesses versus the "light" solar goddesses?
Both the dark goddess and those connected to radiant solar energy challenge us. The solar goddess's ability to burn away the things we no longer need and the her capacity for destruction is remarkably similar to the dark goddess, who also delights in stripping away our illusions. They both have the ability to destroy in order to create anew. I also think it give us a balanced view of the Goddess, exploring both her darker aspects and her radiant solar side.
5. The title of your new book is a play on the ritual of "Drawing Down the Moon." What inspired the title?
The title was inspired in part by what I hope readers will get from the book, being able to draw the myths and magick of the many solar goddesses into their lives and magickal practices. It was also inspired by one of the first rituals I did in order to connect with the solar feminine. Drawing down the moon had stood out for me as one of the most moving ritual experiences that I've had when working with lunar energy and the goddesses connected to the moon. So I did my own drawing down when I started working with the solar energy, where I called upon several sun goddesses. After that ritual, I knew these goddesses where divinities I needed to work with, and they reshaped how I view the divine feminine.
6. What do you hope readers will take away from Drawing Down the Sun?
I hope readers will learn about a new side of the Goddess that they may not have been aware of. The Goddess is within all of us, and I hope this will inspire them to reclaim of side of their self that might have been missing in their spiritual practices. As Pagans it's important to delve into all aspect of the Goddess. The solar feminine was an important figure to our ancestors and she can be just as important to us in the modern world.