can you briefly tell us about yourself? What is your profession? Any
I am an author and currently have eight books on the
cookbooks and five books of fiction. My hobbies are gardening, cooking,
reading, and collecting cats. The last is not a pastime I took up
intentionally. Cats just seem to come to me, each with a horror story,
and I simply cannot turn them away.
When did you begin your path? What inspired you to walk this journey?
I was late coming to the Craft--in my mid-fifties.
My husband bought me
a book whose title I can no longer recall. In truth, it wasn't a very good
book, but it lit a spark in me that I simply could not ignore. Having
studied all the sky god religions and having found them wanting, I had
actually given up on religion. Then I discovered the Divine Feminine.
I learned that it was all right to feel the reverence I
have for the
earth and all her creatures. It was okay to be a tree hugger. I
that it was not only okay, but vital to be a serious environmentalist,
that our planet was in trouble and people needed to return to the old
I immediately sought out a teacher and stumbled across Shekhinah
Mountainwater, who taught me with great patience and
affection. She urged
me to press on, even if I didn't feel ready, and I've been doing that ever
Can you tell us a little about your path? How would you describe yourself?
I am an eclectic Pagan. I have a strong Celtic
bent, since Shekhinah
did, but I also do Shamanic work and have recently been working in the
Polish way. I had to learn the Polish Path for my books, the Forest Song
series. In truth, it's very similar to other Pagan paths.
Does the path you've chosen affect your profession? If so,
Oh it's because of my path that I write. Shekhinah gave me several
assignments to write short stories, and I had a wonderful time. She liked
my writing so much that she introduced me to a fellow author who also read
my work. She was so impressed that she wrote her publisher strongly
suggesting that the house publish my work. And so Hidden Passages: Tales
to Honor the Crones was born. From there it's all history, as they say.
I simply could not stop writing.
I always knew that I was meant to write. I just
never had anything to
say. Suddenly I had everything to say. And so I am still writing.
fact, I am very close to finishing up the first draft of my sixth book of
Is community important to you, or do you prefer to
express you beliefs as
Community is important to me. But I work as a
solitary. I have such a
demanding life that I honestly cannot work on other people's schedules. I
need the flexibility of working on my own. Additionally, I happen to live
in an area that is very hostile to all things Pagan. I know very few
witches here, and those whom I do know are deeply hidden in the broom
closet, also working as solitaries. It really isn't safe here to work in
Are you associated with any organizations, volunteer
work, or groups
that support your spiritual beliefs?
There are no groups like that here where I live.
And, while I used to
do volunteer work in unrelated areas, that is no longer possible because
of my situation at home. My husband is disabled, which happens at our age.
And so I pretty much have my hands full.
Would you say your path has been an easy or difficult
advice for someone new to this path?
Oh, like anything else in life, it's been both easy
and difficult. I had
a great deal of trouble ridding myself of that angry male god I grew up
with. I had trouble telling my family about my beliefs. They are
fundamentalist Christians. I lost a few friends over my decision to follow
On the other hand, the sense of relief when I finally
Craft was enormous. I was at peace with my spirituality as I had never
been before. I had finally come home. As for learning the mechanics
the Craft, I worked assiduously on that for some time until I caught on
that I could do it all intuitively.
My advice to someone first starting out is to trust yourself. Women,
especially of my generation, grew up being told to doubt our own feelings
and our own experience. My advice is to trash all that teaching.
your innermost feelings. Trust your experience. Trust your power.
above all, work in love.
I invite you here to share any information you find
important that we
may have missed in our questions.
As I mentioned, I am an author. The titles of
my books that are
currently on the market are:
Hidden Passages: Tales to Honor the Crones, a
collection of stories
about women and girls who, in times of transition, turn to their elders,
the Crones, for comfort and advice.
Forest Song: Finding
Home, the story of Judy Baumann, a seven year old
girl, who follows her dream and escapes to the woods of the German-Polish
Corridor in 1929 where she discovers the mysteries of living in a magical
Forest Song: Little Mother, which continues
Judy's story. In this
volume, Judy grows into her power, saves the lives of two old friends, and
falls in loveall while surviving the dangers of war!
Forest Song: Letting
In this third book of the Forest Song series
Judy Baumann and her friends survive death-defying exploits along the
German-Polish Corridor during World War II, overcoming betrayal and loss
with courage, cleverness and even humor.
Short Stories, which is a collection of twelve
stories about fear,
jealousy, and the power of love.
Forest Song Cookbook
is a collection of the recipes for all the dishes
served in the first two Forest Song novels. I wrote this one for all
those people who kept asking me how to make these dishes.
Home for Dinner Cookbook is my first vegan
cookbook. This one speaks to
my passion, which is living close to the earth and eating of the bounty
Gaia gives us. It is also loaded with good information on how food can
protect us from disease and even help to heal us.
Feasting from the Garden is my second vegan
cookbook, and it too is
loaded with wonderful recipes and excellent health information
All my books are available for just 99 cents at amazon.com, at
and at smashwords.com.
The easiest way to check on
them, however, is to just go to my website, http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com.
where you will find all the links to all my books.
Please feel free to contact me at http://www.vilaspiderhawk.com.
Finally, what three books would you say most influenced your path.
The three most influential books I have read in this
The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
by Barbara G. Walker
The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner
Casting the Circle by Diane Stein
I was born with the ability to see
the world for what it may be. I have a sense for what is around me on
both sides of the veil.
I also enjoy gardening, painting, pottery and adore my family. I have a two story log
cabin in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey with my husband, teenage son and baby