Pagan Insights – Interview with Paul Pearson

The wonderful thing about Paganism is the freedom to tailor your beliefs to you as an individual. You can very much be rooted in one aspect but still have elements from other paths included. Here Paul Pearson of Greenmantle magazine tells us about his path.

What is your path. How would you define it?
I consider myself an animist, though my path has included Wicca and the rural Strega in Tuscany.

What drew you to this particular path?
I think it was my interest in Wicca and the occult from an early age – but this was inspired by the writings of Alan Garner which inspired my interest in myth and landscape when I was still at primary school. Later I explored mythology and folklore which eventually led to working with a rural tradition in Cheshire and my later initiation into The Hermetic of the Silver Blade.

What festivals do you celebrate as part of your path?
I have no rigidity in celebrating festivals, but I generally acknowledge the Equinoxes and Solstices and festivals such as Beltaine, Yule etc. I find my main celebrations come from the land – much of this coming from my experiences in the rural traditions where the seasons and the changes in the farming landscape become apparent.

If rituals form a part of your path, what is included, or could you possibly give an example?
Rituals take many forms, from simple acts to more elaborate ceremonies. They usually take place in the natural world – the countryside, though occasionally indoors. As some of the rituals incorporate the teachings from my past, they can be varied in their delivery.

Is yours a magical path? If yes in what way?
Yes, there is much magic incorporated in my path. Some of it comes from my Wiccan training and some from my ceremonial workings from the past. Within animism, the magic can also be very intuitive and spontaneous.

Do you work with the deity? If yes which ones?
I see deities as aspects of nature, and as such I recognise and respect most deities, but none specifically.

What do you like best about your path?
I work and experience magic in the natural world. Living in a rural area I experience nature in all its guises on a daily basis. Each day I am firmly entrenched in the landscape and the myths and magic it contains.

Are there any books you’d recommend that relate to your path?
I would, of course, recommend The Mountain and the Stream by myself and Tallis Harill – this gives a broad outline of my path. I would also recommend any book written by Doreen Valiente, especially “Witchcraft for Tomorrow” for a workable and ‘user friendly’ approach to Wicca.

Are there any resources for people who would like to know more? Of course, there is the Pagan Federation – the first port of call for anyone needing to find information on their spiritual path. There are few Animist groups, I think, because of the many ideas in a nature based path.

Hannah Semple
Intrafaith Manager

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