I was interviewed today on the topic of Wicca.
1. Can I have your full name? You also mentioned that you have authored a few books - would you mind including a title or two?
My name is Alexandra Chauran. I am the author of Crystal Ball Reading for Beginners, So You Want to Be a Psychic Intuitive?, Faeries & Elementals for Beginners, Have You Been Hexed?, Professional Psychic's Handbook (including How to Be a Professional Psychic and The Ethics & Responsibilities of Being a Psychic), Animal Familiars for Beginners, Horned Hunter of the Night, 365 Ways to Develop Your Psychic Ability, Palmistry Every Day, Clearing Clutter, How to Talk to Me After I'm Gone, Spirit Boards for Beginners, Clairvoyance for Beginners, 365 Ways to Strengthen Your Spirituality, Compassion is the Key to Everything, and the upcoming Runes for Beginners. There are a few more anthologies and some fiction, too, but those are the ones you're most likely to have seen on the book shelves related to the topic of Wicca. However, my work of fiction, Horned Hunter of the Night was meant to portray a seeker becoming Wiccan.
2. You noted that you are a practicing Wiccan elder and queen of a coven. For those who might not know, can you explain the meaning behind these labels?
Certainly. I practice traditional Wicca, which is an initiatory, oathbound, experiential, mystery religion. My Wicca is practiced in a group context in groups called covens. The coven assists each initiated member through ritual experiences that allow them to come to their own religious understandings of sacred mysteries. There are three initiations within traditional Wicca. When a Wiccan passes through all three initiations, he or she may teach Wicca and form his or her own coven. A leader of a coven is sometimes called a queen, especially by traditional Wiccans practicing in the United States.
3. How long have you been practicing and what drew you to Wicca?
I believe that the Goddess and God of British Traditional Wicca drew me to them. At thirteen years of age, I had a few metaphysical experiences that scared me, and I was desperate to be able to control them. So, I began exploring and practicing with the local Pagan community, with my parents’ blessings, since traditional Wicca is a priesthood practiced by adults. I spent three years in Wiccan outer courts petitioning for initiation until my first initiation in February of 2006 officially began my practice as a Wiccan.
4. When I pitched this story during my job interview, I mentioned how I was initially interested in this topic after seeing so much discussion about the recent film, "The Witch." Since you are a practicing Wiccan I would love to get your take on the film (negative or positive) and its portrayal of witchcraft. Also, do the Salem witch trials still affect the Wiccan community today?
Ah, I haven’t yet seen The Witch, but I would very much like to! I have two very small children, so my husband and I don’t often get out to see movies. In my local social circle of Wiccans, we eagerly strive to see any movies that could possibly relate to witchcraft mythology. I did see Krampus as my most recent witchcraft related movie. I watched the trailer for The Witch online, and two thoughts sprang to mind. Curses do exist in this world. Mythological baby stealing appears in ancient stories, often associated with faeries replacing the child with one of their own, and taking the child to fairy land. Often, a visitor to the faery realms in literature returns from many years away to find that only moments have passed in the real world. This can be a metaphor for the journey that one takes through the magical realms spiritually, in which wisdom is gained so that it seems one has grown in wisdom much more than is possible in a few moments.
The Salem witch trials say more about racism and human nature with regards to mob mentality and mass hysteria than they’ve ever said about Wiccans.