Morgan Daimler Interview

Aug 14th, 2014 | By | Category: Pagan People

I’ve been aware of Morgan for a while now, mostly via our publisher, Moon Books, and through the medium of Facebook. As Druids go, we’re a long way apart, but that can cause fascination… she’s a very busy person exploring a lot of ideas, and her creative explosion in the last year or so has been spectacular to watch.

Nimue: Following you on facebook I’m seeing that your writing projects range  widely through different kinds of Pagan practice and tradition. How does  that nomadic approach impact on your spiritual life?

2665Morgan: I’d say it’s a reflection of my spiritual process. I use reconstruction as a framework to approach spirituality, but within that I am drawn to an array of different things. I tend to be very ancestor based in my approach to religion, so my main focus is Irish and Germanic. Up until recently I expressed the Germanic through a Norse lens because of the difficulty in finding German material, but as my own process moves me forward I’ve found that I’m not happy with the easy road, so to speak, so I’m starting to explore the Germanic end on my own and with the guidance of a few friends who are similarly interested. The Irish has been a huge factor for me for decades, and folk magic is also major focus for me, whether that folk magic is from 2000 years ago or 20 years ago. Also, although I know my interests can seem widely diverse on the surface, to me they are all tightly bound together by my strongest interest which is honoring the faeries. This is part of my Druidism, as honoring the daoine sidhe, and part of my heathenry through honoring the land and house wights, and is a pivotal part of my witchcraft. Although, it might be fair to say that there is an inevitability in anyone who is so focused on fairy work ending up being nomadic, given how liminal anything Faery is….

Nimue: What drew you to things faerie?

Morgan: I’ve always had that affinity. When I was very young I would go out and build little houses for them out of twigs and stones, and tell my parents stories about my fairy friends. Luckily my family was very tolerant of my eccentricity and didn’t discourage me. I think that’s why when I was a bit older (around 11) paganism appealed to me so much, because it fit in so well with what I already believed.

Nimue: Are there any faerie traditions you find especially resonant (the little houses make me think of Shinto, a touch…)

Morgan: Mainly the Celtic Fairy Faith/ Creideamh Si and the closely related Norse and Germanic practices, although I also find the Cherokee beliefs about the Yundi Tsundi very evocative. It’s fascinating though how similar most cultures are in approaching faeries, both in belief about them and in practices dealing with them. Most cultures seem to have had a belief in the importance of being in right relations with the Otherworldly spirits of the home and the land – some still do – and this is what forms the bedrock of my own spirituality, so I enjoy studying it in any context.

Nimue: Is that relationship, for you, simply a logical extension of relating to the natural world, or are there other aspects to it?

Morgan: To me Faeries are far more than just nature spirits, so connecting to the natural world is only a small part of it. I have what the Irish call second sight (an dara sealladh) so it gives me a different viewpoint on the subject, since I have always been aware of the faeries in a variety of contexts. I suppose I would say that I believe that the visible world is only a portion of reality and that in order for all things to function best the visible and unseen worlds have to be in harmony, which is what the practices of the Fairy Faith do. By honoring and respecting the beings of the Otherworld we avoid misfortune related to angering them and invite good luck and blessings, whether that’s in our homes or on our property, or traveling in the wild places.

Nimue: What can a person who does not naturally have that insight, do, if this speaks to them? Does honouring without understanding/being able to interact, work?

Morgan:  I think the key is studying the folklore and old Fairy practices – of any culture – in order to build that bridge. The old Fairy Faiths represent hundreds of years, if not more, of collected practices which are literally time tested. If you understand the old practices and why the people did things that way then you can create your own connection in our modern era. It may be harder to reach out when you can’t necessarily see or hear what you’re reaching towards, but if you know it’s there then I think you can still succeed in reaching it.

Nimue: Am I right in thinking that’s an approach that underpins much of reconstruction work? That in working with tested methods, we can make contact?

Morgan: Yes, I think so, although in reconstruction it’s also partially the point of using the culture specific methods themselves. The idea of course is that using the time-tested methods to create the connection then opens the person up for experiential connections of their own.

Nimue; How important is culture, do you think?

Morgan:  Well, that’s a tricky one. On the one hand I think culture is very important because it provides the context to really understand the why behind most practices and beliefs; culture is like the lens that provides focus. Totally out of context its difficult to really understand a practice, why its done, or even how to do it, or for that matter to get to the root of beliefs about Gods or spirits. We can see some fascinating examples of this in modern paganism where a deity is taken from one culture and totally re-interpreted – basically re-invented – for the new group’s needs because there is no understanding of the original cultural context or beliefs. On the other hand though culture itself is a very fluid, malleable concept that includes a wide range of subcultures and time periods, so even when we are looking at cultural practices we’re never going to get a simple cut and dried viewpoint. Culture evolves and changes so that the beliefs and practices of one culture at one point in time may be very different from that same culture at a different period of time. It’s probably one of the most difficult challenges of reconstruction, to follow that thread of culture from the starting point forward and then imagine it as a modern faith or practice in a modern context, without losing the heart of the original culture. It gets to the core question of (for example) what is Irish culture? What makes something Irish? And specifically Irish pagan? What is the quintessence of Irishness? I think we’ll never stop asking ourselves these questions, which is a good thing because I think its through asking the questions that we are pushed to really seek beyond the obvious boundaries and definitions.

Nimue: Do you have a sense of where your path is taking you, or are you finding your direction one step at a time?

Morgan: I often think I know where my path is going but it rarely does what I expect. I never thought I’d have a religious blog, or write books, especially not books about honoring fairies! In fact that’s something not too long ago I’d have said I would absolutely never do. There were points where I would have said, “no my path is clear-cut and exactly this”, but I realize now that nothing is that easy. Every day is a new adventure, so I’d have to say that I really am just finding my way step-by-step. I enjoy it that way though – I’ve learned to embrace the unexpected and be willing to revise my opinions about almost anything, and I’m learning to push my own boundaries and to expose the more personal aspects of what I do, which is very hard for me. My spirituality today is much more complex than it used to be, but its also very fulfilling and challenging in good ways. Since growth and change – and the Good Neighbors – seem to be the only constants I’m kind of curious myself to see what tomorrow will bring.

Nimue: Where can people find you online?

Morgan: http://lairbhan.blogspot.com/

http://fairywitchcraft.blogspot.com/

http://moon-books.net/blogs/moonbooks/category/hawthorn-heathen-morgan-daimler/

http://hartfordfavs.com/about/contributors/morgan-daimler

https://www.facebook.com/wodenswanderingwitch

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/morgan-daimler/a-childs-eye-view-of-the-fairy-faith/paperback/product-20450349.html

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Hawthorn-Grows-American-Reflections/dp/1780999690

http://www.amazon.com/Land-Sea-Sky-Morgan-Daimler/dp/0557495121/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376479769&sr=1-3&keywords=by+land%2C+sea%2C+and+sky

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One Comment to “Morgan Daimler Interview”

  1. Great interview, Nimue.

    Morgan, I find your connection with the fairies particulalry resonant. In my case it was bullied out of me at primary school, and I kept trying to deny it until I discovered Paganism and that communing with the fay was actually a valid part of living. Similarly I’ve found that my relationship with the landscape, and intuitions of its otherworld dimensions and peoples have been pretty much constant most of my life, whereas particular careers and ‘paths’ have not.

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