I hope people will learn that they don’t have to be limited by their disabilities, and I hope the sighted community will learn to look beyond those challenges that we face. I hope people will discover that a little creativity and a willingness to experiment can go a long way toward enriching their experience with the craft, and enriching their lives overall. – Lady Cedar Nightsong
by Tara “Masery” Miller
Lady Cedar Nightsong is the author of “Tangible Magick” in the upcoming anthology Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness. Other authors in the anthoology include local author and PNC editorial contributer Lisa “Spiral” Besnett, Lydia Crabtree, Eric Dupree, Literata Hurley, P. Sufenas Virius Lupu, and Breyonne Blackthorne. You an read an interview with Mr. Dupree on PNC here: http://www.capitalwitch.com/2013/07/interview-with-erick-dupree-of-healing.html
Lady Cedar Nightsong: Thanks for the opportunity to reach out to readers. I love writing, and am just amazed that you liked “Tangible Magick” well enough to run it in your anthology.
Masery: Lady Cedar Nightsong, what is the story behind you choosing that name?
LCN: I honestly use Lady Cedar as a handle for Pagan writing and Internet work. It is not my true ritual name, however cedars are trees I have a deep connection with, and the song of the screech owl at night is unforgettable, once you hear it.
Masery: How long have you lived in Bloomington, Illinois and what is your favorite place to live?
LCN: I have been in Bloomington-Normal for four years, and recently chose to lease an apartment in town and become a permanent resident. I would say my favorites are a toss-up between Fusion Brew, a restaurant selling coffee and herbal tea with a quiet atmosphere, and the farmers’ market in downtown Bloomington on Saturday mornings.
Masery: You are attending Illinois State University to earn your major in journalism. What is it about journalism that interests you? What type of media do you hope to work in such as radio, TV, newspaper or Internet?
LCN: Honestly I have been deeply pondering the reason I got into journalism. At first I didn’t want the job of slogging around disaster areas asking people to think about how badly things are going at the moment. Then in high school I got some CD reviews published, which led to my working for femmemetal.net for about a year in college. While I loved the interviews, I wanted to do something meaningful. I am an activist at heart–Pagan rights, women’s rights, and animal rights are my three main causes. I want to work freelance, publishing articles for both Pagan and non-religious magazines. What I really want is my own online publication, for all things underground, but mainly focused on Paganism and the Craft and environmentalist pieces. I want to make a difference through my writing.
Masery: In your biography you mention that your faith continues to evolve from Wicca to eclectic Pagan. How long have you been Pagan? What is it about Wicca that appeals to you?
LCN: My foundations will probably always be Wiccan. It drew me in, when I discovered that I held a lot of Wiccan beliefs, and seemed to have a lot of craft knowledge from past lives. I love reading about other Pagan paths and adding things that speak to me to what I already believe and practice. I am a spiritual witch.
Masery: You are a member of the Circle of Spirit Tree. What kind of people are in the group? What has been one of your favorite activities with them? You like to work with herbs and stones and consider yourself a hedgewitch. How did you learn your craft?
LCN: The members of the COTST are incredible people. One of the elders is having a book on trees published, both a field guide and a magickal reference. Most members are well-versed in the craft, and many have their specialty, such as the runes, Druidic magick, or herbal remedies. We are a close-knit group with a variety of personalities blended into almost a family dynamic. The most meaningful moments have been the Yule gift exchanges, when we’re all so close and willing to share, and our camping trips, particularly the woodland rituals late at night. There’s a depth and power that is hard to express in words, save to say that it is rooted in the spiritual realm, and in our love for one another and the earth.
I guess you could call me a hedgewitch, although there is also a great deal of cottage craft as well. I call myself an Earthwitch. Either works. For some reason, stones come instinctively to me, though it took a long time to learn to communicate with them. My sister has told me that when I was really young i would bring home shiny stones, wash them, and leave them in the sun, which is a simple cleansing of sorts. Now I have had many years to develop the ability to work with stones. A few favorites are jade, Tibetan quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, moonstone, and hematite, but I’ll work with anything except for tektite, which I get negative energy from anytime I handle a piece. I think herbal work was just a natural extension of the stone magick.
I’m learning to craft infused oils, incense, elixirs, and herbal teas. It is an ongoing learning process, like everything else is.
Masery: You have low vision. Has that been since birth?
LCN: I have had optic nerve damage since I was born. I have no vision in my right eye, about forty percent in my left.
Masery: For the anthology Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction and Illness you wrote “Tangible Magic”. What inspired you to submit the essay to the book for others to read? What do you hope low vision and sited people will learn from it?
LCN: I honestly did it on an impulse, thinking I got so much joy out of my practice; I wanted to share that joy with others, and I thought they might be able to learn something. I hope people will learn that they don’t have to be limited by their disabilities, and I hope the sighted community will learn to look beyond those challenges that we face. I hope people will discover that a little creativity and a willingness to experiment can go a long way toward enriching their experience with the craft, and enriching their lives overall.
I am teaching crystal workshops at Central Illinois and Chicago Pagan Pride Days. I am also offering divination at Central Illinois Pagan pride. I write Pagan poetry and dark fiction as well as journalistic pieces. If anyone is interested in getting an online publication going, here is where they can reach me. Please don’t spam me. It’s bad karma. paganrockchick (at) gmail.com
Lady Cedar Nightsong is a 23 years old senior journalism major at Illinois State University.She is also with the Circle of Spirit Tree. Bloomington, Illinois branch and gives crystal workshops at Central Illinois Pagan Pride and possibly at Chicago Pagan Pride in the future. She’s been a magick practitioner for a little over six years, but says it’s a natural ability. She says her faith continues to evolve from Wiccan to eclectic Pagan and hopes to create her own tradition.