Today I'm interviewing SunshineMoonRaven . She has her own approach and you will quickly see, She has the 'Blood'
Anyway first question:
Sunshine or should I say Lady Sunshine MoonRaven HPS and founder of the NeverEnding Circle, HPS Coven of the Black Swan, Founder of Project Brigit's Fire, and S. Central Regional and state chair- PUC (Pagan Unity Campaign)...
Tell us about your early life and blood connections to the Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch or PA Germans?
My Mother's family was Pensy Dutch, both on her Paternal side and Maternal side. I was told we arrived in the 1600's and that my family came from the Black Forest region. One town being Manheim. Some of our families surnames were Gross, Koch, Fretz, Weidner,Linc, Mae, and Baum. <--- Tree *lol*
My grandmother grew up on Cole Mountain (Sp?). My mother was the last of my family to speak in the old tongue of the Pennsy Dutch. Her Grandparents refused to learn the language of "foreigners" as it was put. I was born in Brooklyn NY and raised in Manhattan, but every weekend was a road trip to my Nana's in Quakertown. I grew up on Chow chow, wet bottom Shoofly pie, and many a Sunday of homemade sticky buns. My Popop was number ten or eleven of eleven boys on a farm in the quakertown area, so I remember my early years with many family members sharing dinner on Sundays. My earliest memory of a hex sign was on one of my relatives barns, I was a bit of a wild child that enjoyed being adventurous.. the hay loft called to me and it looked too much fun to resist; so that's where the beginning of my journey started.
You have incorporated the Wicca and certain Druid elements into your workings, can you share about how that happened and where you are with that. How does it meshup with the Deitsch?
That's a complicated question for me. I sought out Wiccan training for the fact that my hands were constantly on "fire", and I had never been taught how to deal with it. Many people tried to teach me to ground a certain way, which in actuality really just amped and charged me up. (turns out I am a passive grounder thank the Gods for training and Granny Breid!)
But, I started with Tai chi to try and help me learn to focus it b ut the instructor just wasn't right. I tried interative Hatha Yoga to help me with this quagmire I tried charging a tiny little crystal sphere and it imploded onitself and burfned my hands. Had to sit with my hands in Salt water on and off for a day or two after that one So,. I looked at varied traditions over the years trying to find my place in the Magickal world. I ended up reading a book called American Folk Magic and it was written by Lady Silver Ravenwolf. I noticed she was trying to keep the practice of the Hex alive. Her book spoke to me. So, since she came from the area my family originally hailed from I wrote to her asking how to learn from them. The first time my letter was responded to, in form letter form. So I kept seeking. I decided to write the Clan one more time.. and not in email, in snail mail form. This time someone was ready to teach me! I journeyed all the way to OH from MA in two days just to dedicate to their ways. Hence the beginning of an ever-changing evolution. I can't say that I incorporate one or the other. I don't mix pantheon systems. Sometimes I feel called to work things using the magicks taught to me within the Pow Wow system, and then I raise the hedge. I don't cast a circle. Or I work with my sweetie and his alchemy in a circle within a square. It all depends.
I see the varied magickal traditions as forms, like one sees in martial arts. The Black Forest Wiccan training was my saving grace as a beginning to my twisty and windy path.
As I worked through the lessons and various elevations I felt like the lessons were more liek confirmations on things I intuitively did, and knew. The BFC gave me the foundation I was so thirsty for. After rigorous years of working lessons, and finding out why I could never "ground" the traditional way I came into my own. I am a fully initiated Witch and High Priestess granting me an ordainment of Legal Clergy status within the Black Forest Circle and Seminary.
After earning that level of accomplishment , I still felt thirsty. Having lived with my fiancee who is an Irish Draoi, I wanted to learn his ways which I saw matched my philosophies.
I began my fast for my Druidic Fire. I made it that night and am still learning I am at the level of Taibhsear which is a like an Ovate. While reading the many Hero stories for the druidic studies I found the Mersenberg Chant in an Irish story , worded a little differently but still the same. This is where I had my confirmation on my theory that some my heritage kept Celt things. The Druid approach has shown me that there are many parallels. So I like to refer to myself as a practicing , "Beyond Tradition"
I think it's important to see the universalism in a lot of things and digest it, and allow it to be a part of who we are. I really hate the label thing as there is no label for me I chust am. = p I don't eclectically gather information and piece it together. I use one system or another and never mix. Other than in "trying" for people. It seems I unc onsiously have seen things and just do them without knowing it till after. So when healing, I use techniques that are just a part of me and can't say it's this or that . I just do it and act as a conductor in a lovely sea of energy!! Tis' not me it's the ALL.
Your affiliation with Black Forest Clan (BFC) is very interesting? How does it relate to PA Dutvh Braucheri and Hexerei? What are its core teachings and how do you apply them? How does it relate to European Shamanism, divination, spellwork? Is there a Runic component?
Are there any religious traditions inherent in BFC? Germanic or otherwise? What pantheon is invoked?
How do I appy the core teachings to my lifestyle? That also is a hard question for me to answer, I just live it. It's all second nature to me. The "form" is shamanic based off of indo-european ways. Divination, I just naturally do, using whatever means calls to me at the time. We are encouraged to go beyond what we have learned and keep learning. Spellwork is just done and again, it depends on what is needed; and what I feel I am drawn to utilize. I was given the tools in my training and part of my job as a HPS is to discern what methods and means are neccesary. When I am called to use the runes they are for warding, sealing, casting, cursing, and healing to name a few. Below I have taken some older information from Lady Silver's website which explains a few of your questions. This information is over 6 years old so the numbers are a little different than stated and we now have covens in Europe along with Canada. There are now much more than 23 covens.We don't hive (like Wiccans), we multiply.
I have seen your hex signs that you paint, and I want to ask you this; symbolically or otherwise, what tradition powers them up for you?
My Germanic Roots. I don't mix traditions.
Tell us about Texas, you know I like it and specifically your thoughts on Germanic heathenry and or aspects of the Pa Deitsch tradition there.
Texas, hmmmmmmm... the Pagans out here are different than the people I met and have had the honour to know up North
I offend people because I insist that there are "valid" oral traditions that remain unfettered. One of them being Pow Wow, others like my Sweetie's family's druidry. The Recons in both paths seem to feel the need to have things in black and white, and that just isn't possible. I could give a flying fig, if people see it as "valid" or "pedigreed". It all works and that's all I need. : ) The few heathens I have encountered dowen this way are just a bit too complacent and have the "uber" attitude.It 's not my thing so I don't look for them. There is more Germanic influences out towards Fredricksburg and Austin... (THree+ hours north of me, and then a little west) I still keep hope that one day I might find, or be in the right place at the right time to meet others more akin to my philosophies.
Any thoughts on Hurricanes, their energy and how that might tie into the Hexology/weather time/space continuum, I know you have felt them think it was Ike most recently.
Who doesn't love a good storm to play in? I do feel them coming days ahead .. that's when I get migraines and know to get ready. There is a lot of RAW power there and we can use that energy to heal, bend , create, and destroy with. I think if we keep our minds outside of boxes and outside of knowing it all there is a vastness that I haven't even gotten through the top of when tapping and learning!
Danki, und Machts Gut!