Welcome to the Team, Autumn Zenith!

I am so excited to introduce the newest member of my growing team here at The Witch of Lupine Hollow! Autumn Zenith will be joining me as a regular contributor, and you’ll be hearing from her on the blog at least once a month. Autumn is a wonderful, lovely soul who lives in Canada and loves Samhain and vintage fashion! I’m so excited to be working with her and thought a witchy interview would be the perfect way to introduce her to all of you. 

Thank you very much for interviewing me, T.C., it is a sincere honour to speak with you and your blog’s audience.

How did you come to find yourself on the path of a practicing witch?

Autumn: The simplest answer is that, I firmly believe, I was born on this path. Even as at a very young age, I felt like I was a witch. Not as they were often portrayed as fantasy characters in movies, TV shows, books, and comics, but a child of the earth who sensed, saw and interacted with the natural environment and larger universe in a way that went beyond the seemingly ordinary and everyday. 

As I grew older, I read and explored the vast subject of religion (as well as atheism) and spirituality intensely. Pouring over nearly every book on the subject that both my school and the town’s public library had on its shelves. 
Between the ages of about 11 and 13 years old, I felt an indescribably strong pull towards Judaism (my family is not Jewish), which I now recognize to stem from an especially traumatic past life experience in which I was Jewish woman. However even when I was feeling called towards that faith at the time, I still knew in my heart of hearts that I was a witch and that the various mainstream, if you will, religions that dominate in today’s world were not ones that felt like the best fit for me in the long run. 

By my mid-teens, there wasn’t the tiniest sliver of doubt in my mind that embracing being a Pagan witch was the right choice for me. Then, as now, and at all points in between, I’ve been a solitary eclectic witch. Educating myself through real world practice, listing to and learning from the universe, interactions with spirit guides and the Divine, books, the web, and (since publicly coming out of the broom closet in 2017) conversations with fellow witches, Wiccans and Pagans of all  inspiring sorts. 

I’m now in my mid-thirties and couldn’t fathom not walking, waltzing, and skipping merrily along a Pagan path. It’s who I am at my core. 

What are your sun, moon and rising signs and how do you relate to them?

Autumn: Sun = Cancer. Moon = Sagittarius. Rising/ascendant = Aquarius. 

Of these three key signs, I feel that I most embody the traits/tendencies of Cancer, my sun sign. At times its nearly chilling how much I’m the poster child for Cancers everywhere!

There are some commonly associated traits that I don’t have (or have to the degree many Cancers are said to possess), especially negative ones (which isn’t to say that I don’t have other faults, shortcomings, etc – naturally, like each of us, I do), but again, in general, goodness, am I a Cancer! 

I’d say that I next relate to/embody my rising sign, Aquarius, most closely – especially in terms of the fact that for much of my life, I’ve felt most like myself when I dress differently from most other people, something that is often ascribed to those who have Aquarius rising in their charts.  Much like Cancer, “AR” is linked to intuition, positivity/optimism, compassion and being a deeply emotional person (even if those emotions are frequently kept close to one’s chest), and those are certainly all areas that resonate deeply throughout my life.

With my moon sign being in Sagittarius, the element of fire enters the picture and is, to my mind, a fascinating counterpoint to the water (Cancer) and air (Aquarius) elements of my chart. Folks whose moon is in Sagittarius tend to adore exploring and travelling, greatly value their freedom, love sharing their knowledge and understanding with others, often enjoy a good challenge, and have a sunny, positive disposition. Each of these things applies to me and my life big time. 

What is the most profound spiritual experience you have had as a witch, (that you are comfortable sharing with us)?

Autumn: Unquestionably, that would have to be the ways in which my spirituality helped to cope, heal, and carry on after my husband and I heartbreakingly lost our home, belongings, my home based business, and infinitely most tragic of all, our darling cat (Stella) in an arson house fire back in October 2016.

In the wake of this tragedy, as shock, grief, disbelief, hurt and myriad other emotions and thoughts filled our weary minds, I leaned more heavily on my spirituality than I had previously ever done so – even in other times of immense personal hardship. 

I’ve never believed that one needed any specific tools or other accouterments to be a Pagan or a witch, but having nary a crystal or a wand to my name, I turned inward and tapped into my own innate power and ability to create magick, manifest positive outcomes, and connect all the more with nature in ways that I’d never done before.

Nature has always been where I go to sooth my soul, uplift my spirit and deepen my practise, but in the wake of that fateful blaze, I all but (literally) lived outside. Even in the depth of a bitingly cold Canadian winter, I would spend hours in a local patch of woodland, working magic, praying, speaking to the universe and my spirit guides, communing with flora and fauna (and the fae), and letting nature heal me. Icy cold wind whipped hot tears from my flushed checks, encounters with (friendly!) wild animals and Mother Nature reminded me of the cycle of life and that no matter what changes in our world, certain things are eternal.

I emerged from the throes of grief and confusion with a startling sense of clarity, greater confidence, more strength and a closer connection to both my own spirituality and the broad spectrum of Paganism in general. For these things, and countless others, I will never have enough words to express my gratitude to the universe, Spirit, and the earth beneath our feet that we’re incredibly fortunate to call home.

What is your favorite sabbat and why? 

Autumn: As one of those folks who absolutely adores holidays, sabbats and special occasions (enter Cancer, stage right!), there isn’t a sabbat that I don’t enjoy and actively engage with. That said, I feel an especially deep connection to the three autumn sabbats (Lammas, Mabon and Samhain, respectively), with my bond to Samhain being the most powerful.

I find this time of the year, as the veil thins, to be incredibly healing/cathartic, as well as (what feels to me like) the start of a fresh year. I do a lot of ancestor work and, in general, have always been deeply interested in history, so at Samhain I like to honour not only my own family members, but to look for ways to pay tribute to the fascinating and important collective past that all of humanity shares.

The harvest element of Samhain, as the season winds down, and we brace (in the Western Hemisphere) for another long, snowy winter also resonates a great deal with me. As much as I do enjoy travelling, I’m quite a homebody and Samhain is the jumping off point for the season of cozy hibernation, spending (more) time indoors, and making our nest a sanctuary from the subzero temperatures just outside our doorstep.

While I know and respect that not all witches/Pagans feel drawn towards this side of October 31st, I also love Halloween and make the day a continual celebration of both events. To me, they’re two sides of the same beautiful autumn time coin. 

What are the common tools of your magickal practice?

Autumn: Nature, my own energy, herbs and spices (major kitchen witch over here!), my altar, candles, incense, oils, and crystals + stones are amongst my most frequently used tools. 

I read and write a great deal, so I consider books, pens and paper, and my computer to be magickal tools as well. I also have a beautiful wooden engraved wooden Wheel of the Year altar ornament that I purchased shortly after the fire from a stellar Etsy seller called Pandora Witch Shop, which I treasure. As each Sabbat draws near, I rotate this good sized wooden disk, which usually resides on my altar, so that the current Sacred Day is at the top of the wheel. 

Describe your daily spiritual practice for us. 

Autumn: While my days often share much in common with each other, they’re also quite varied. No matter what’s transpiring on a given day, however, I try very hard to make each of the following things a part of my spiritual practice: 

  • Interact with and honour nature.
  • Interact with and honour Spirit/the Divine.
  • Do at least one thing to try and make myself a better person (and by extension, witch).
  • Live by the Golden Rule.
  • Do at least one thing to help others (without any expectation, or need, for them to reciprocate), be they humans or animals. 
  • Learn as much as I can on a wide array of topics, many of which pertain, either directly or indirectly to my Pagan path.
  • Engage in acts of self care and self love.Give thanks to the universe for the fact that I was fortunate to experience another day and for the many blessings, seen and unseen, that fill my life. 

I also try to find even just a few moments to do something that wholly pertains to my path – be that spending time at my altar, forging for wild ingredients to use in my practise, working tarot and oracle cards, decorating and/or cooking for a sabbat, spending time with the moon, engaging with my crystals, conversing with a fellow Pagan, creating arts and crafts related to my life as witch, or any number of other activities that deepen my spirituality.

What would be your advice for someone new to witchcraft, looking to develop their own magickal and spiritual practice?

Autumn: Follow your heart and intuition, but make sure to use use your brain as well. Look up to, and be inspired by, others but remember to always be your own unique, wonderful self. Don’t be afraid to try something and fail – or to not be as good (at it) right off the bat as you’d ideally like. A solid magickal practice/path takes time, dedication, trial and error, personal growth, determination, and tenacity. 

Remember that tools don’t make the witch, you do! And by the same token, don’t believe anyone who tells you that you’re not a witch (or Druid, Wiccan, etc) because you don’t engage in X, Y or Z, perform a spell or ritual a certain way, arrange your altar exactly like they do, or anything else. You are a witch/Pagan because you choose to be, plain and simple. We are each blessed to walk our own exciting paths and to practise our craft and embrace our spirituality however our heart desires.

Just for fun, what is your result in the “What Kind of Witch Am I?” quiz and do you think it accurately describes your practice? 

Autumn: Drum roll, please…

This delightful quiz gave me the result of being a Hedge Witch, which I don’t argue with for a moment. While I do consider myself to be a multi-disciplinary Pagan witch, the classic practices and deep connection to nature that hedge witchery commonly entails makes it a form of witchcraft that I’ve long identified (and labeled myself) with and actively engaged in. I’m delighted that the quiz results were accurate and highly recommend that others take it to see if it jives as closely for them as well.

Thank you so much for joining us and for sharing in so much detail about your spiritual life and practice, Autumn! We can’t wait to hear more from you in the coming months.

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