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Fiona Horne on Witchcraft

Sept, 1998 - Rolling Stone

Fiona Horne in Red Dress

I practice witchcraft (namely wicca). This is a nature worshipping, Goddess oriented spiritual path that makes sense to me in a way that Catholicism, (strait) laced with all the obvious shortcomings of a patriarchal mind-set, never did throughout my childhood.

I have trouble believing in things a lot of witches are adamant about. Witchcraft has an enormously lush and varied pantheon of Goddesses and Gods -- embracing as it does expressions of human spirituality from many cultures. However, I don't believe in Goddesses and Gods -- that is I don't believe they exist in some perpetual reality dealing out judgment and assistance on call. I believe when I talk to the Goddess and God I am talking to parts of me. I am using archetypes and forms to access parts of myself to unleash potential -- to remember what I've forgotten -- to learn what I don't yet know.

I don't believe there are established divine plans, I believe you make your own. I don't believe in karma (as a hierarchical institution) and I don't believe in reincarnation -- all these things (most) witches take for granted.

I do believe the world answers according to the questions you ask of it. I ask witchy questions. I believe there are forces in nature that a witch can harness magickally and use to create and destroy. As a witch I believe my existence and reality is completely enmeshed with Gaia -- Mother Earth... Planet Consciousness.

My personal brand of witchcraft is fairly loose and unstructured which allows me flexibility. I do believe nothing stays the same -- especially when working magick -- the one spell often won't solve the same problem twice.

Witchcraft places your religion in your own hands -there's no definitive book written about it (you write your own "Book of Shadows").

There's no one way of going about it but there are three "Laws":

  • Do what you want but harm none.
  • As you send out, so returns threefold.
  • Do what you want but don't interfere with another's free will.

A lot of people believe in a religion because it helps them fear death less -- they can go to heaven, can be reborn as a greater (or lesser) creature -- or a witch can go to Summerland (a witch's heaven) until it is time to be reborn. I believe what happens when you die is what you think will happen. You see what you want to see in those last infinite seconds before final shutdown. I don't expect I'll see much except my life flash before my eyes -- and one last goodbye.

One of the reasons I started doing music was because I wanted to feel immortal -- I wanted to leave something behind, something others could enjoy (life is more about giving than taking). Maybe that's why so many of my song lyrics haul themselves up a mystical mountain. As a witch I believe every second counts, that every minute has the potential to be infinitely long and short -- that time is an illusion that I can play with. I'm not racking up points on a spiritual scorecard -- the way I choose to experience my life is a personal choice that isn't under anyone or any God's jurisdiction. It's important and unimportant, essential and unessential -- it is what it is, what I am and what I do.

Witchcraft provides for me a framework -- a multifaceted, holographic one at that -- in which to explore my life. It's what has worked best for me so far.

Fiona Home is the author of "Witch" and the former singer with Sydney band Def FX.

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