Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kris Bradley aka Mrs. B

Happy Sunday All!

First up, I'd like to thank Monica for being so open and sharing her voice with us. Please check out her post if you haven't already done so!

Secondly, we have a new post. Many of you know her as "Mrs. B". Please welcome Kris Bradley. Kris is a Domestic Witch and writes a very funny blog (see below) and she's been a big help to YMR as well!

Here is Kris “Mrs. B.” Bradley's Introduction:

I am a very happily married mother of three and practicing domestic witch. I love to write, sketch, paint, cook, read and garden. Though I grew up in Texas, I now reside in New Jersey (without the fake tan).
Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom at
http://silvermoonwitch.blogspot.com

Domestic Witchery column:
http://www.examiner.com/x-26373-Newark-Domestic-Witchery-Examiner.

1) What religion do you practice?
I consider myself to be a “domestic witch”, which would probably fall under the realm of “eclectic Pagan”

2) Did you convert or were you born into this religion? If you converted, what did you need to do to convert? And what did you practice prior to converting?
My family, growing up, was Presbyterian, though not really actively practicing. I have been really interested in mythology, herbs and nature since I was very small, so I like to think I was on this path long before I really knew what it was. About 11 years ago, I started reading about Wicca and Paganism and knew it was the right thing for me. I self-dedicated about a year later.

3) Would you consider yourself a moderate, conservative or other.
Hmm, I’m not sure those terms really apply in the Pagan umbrella of religions, really. I’ll just say that I am very devoted to my path.

4) In your opinion, what makes you moderate/conservative/other?
N/A

5) In your opinion, what makes someone conservative? What makes someone moderate?
N/A

6) What's your heaven/paradise like?
Heaven, or Summerland, is a place of natural beauty, simplicity and peace, where souls go to connect with their ancestors and loved ones.

7) In your opinion, does everyone make it into heaven/paradise? If they do not, why?
It’s my personal belief that everyone makes it to Summerland. I believe those who have made bad choices or inflicted cruelty on others have their eyes open to the pain they have caused and must live with their own pain at their choices until moving on to a new life where they can try to live in a better fashion.

8) What makes your religion a good fit for you?
There are so many things I could list here! I love the balance of being part of a religion that gives equality to a female deity as well as a male. I have a deep love of nature and animals. I also love being in a sacred place no matter where I am!

9) What are your holy days and what do you do to celebrate them?
I celebrate eight holidays (we call them sabbats) that correspond with the changing of the seasons, and the midpoints in between. The new year starts on Oct. 31, or Samhain; Yule is on the Winter Solstice; Feb. 2 brings Imbolc, the Spring Equinox is called Ostara; May 1st is May Day; the Summer Solstice is Litha; August 1st is called Lammas; the Fall Equinox is Mabon. (Not all Pagans celebrate these days, and some use different names, depending on their own Pagan tradition). I celebrate the sabbats with rituals depending on what season it is, with big family dinners and doing seasonal crafts with the kids. Recently, after being a solitary practitioner for so long, I helped form a new coven and we celebrated Ostara together. It was a really amazing thing!

10) Do you consider people of other faiths to be your friends?
Absolutely! I have friends of many faiths. Two of my closest friends are Catholic, my parents are still Presbyterian, I have a very close friend who is Muslim. I believe down deep we are all worshipping the same deity, just in the way that is right for us. My husband’s family is very Catholic as well.

11) Would you ever join people of another faith to celebrate one of their holy days? Please explain why?
I celebrate the Christian holidays regularly with my husband’s family. Oh, and I recently attended “Sauces and Crosses” at the Catholic church with my friends. I have no problems joining in a good celebration!

12) What are your thoughts on the burka, and Shariah Law?
I don’t have a problem with either, as long as they are being practiced voluntarily. I have an American friend who lives in Saudi Arabia and lives by traditions of the area by choice. I don’t believe however that anyone should be forced to live by any such rules against their will.

13) What are your thoughts on women not being allowed to become priests?
Oh, that’s a tricky question. I believe in a perfect world, everyone would have the chance to take part in all parts of their religion. There are certain traditions and rules to every religion and there are other choices to be made if you don’t care for the ones in place. Of course, in my religion, women are allowed to be priestesses and have equal billing to the men, so it’s not something I have to really deal with.

14) Does your place of worship segregate? If yes, how does this make you feel? There are some Pagan traditions that are all female, but mine is not one of them. I do belong to an all female coven, but it’s a choice we made, not a rule of the religion.

15) How much does your religion affect your daily life and how much thought do you give it when making a decision? Does it affect in any way your decision on abortion, gay marriage, etc?
As a domestic witch, I try to bring deity into my life every day, even into the most mundane chores. I live, for the most part, under the rule "do as you will, but harm none". That means you try not to harm yourself, others or the earth. My religion has no rules pertaining to abortion or gay marriage. As a person, I believe in a woman's right to choose (and the act of taking responsibility for your health and your own actions) and I fully support gay marriage. I believe it's a basic civil right that should be afforded to all American citizens.

16) How would you react/feel if your child wished to marry outside your religion? I’d be completely fine with that, as long as their partner accepted them for who they are and treated them well.

17) In your opinion, if someone is not of your faith, will they go to hell?
Absolutely not!

18) Who do you think is not a practicing ----- in your religion and why? ie who in the public domain claims to speak for your religion? Do you agree with them or not?
There are so many forms and traditions of Paganism that no one person in the public speaks for all of us. I think that there are some very steadfast, good people doing good work out there that are good representatives of Pagan people, though. One of my favorites is Selena Fox, who puts a lot of time and effort into supporting those of the Pagan faith, and just people in general. There are those who end up in the news who would try to represent themselves as "witches" who are just generally mentally unstable, not real Pagans. A recent story about a man who killed a woman for "breaking a Wiccan blood oath" comes to mind. No real Wiccan would ever do such a thing.

19) Have you ever been the target of a hate crime? Please explain.
I would say I've been the target of a hate crime as much as the target of occasional email harassment. I regularly get comments to my column, blog and in email about how I am going to burn in hell for my beliefs. I let them roll off my back for the most part. There are fundamentalists in every religion, so I don't hold the wack-os up to their alleged religion.

20) Do you ever feel like your religion devalues you?
Not in any way. Men and women are equals. Everyone is encourage to be strong individuals, to educate themselves on many topics, and to be open and accepting.

21) Does your religion give you peace of mind?
Very much so. I have very strong beliefs, strong connections in my Pagan community, and the knowledge that I strive to be understanding and open to all people.

22) Do you believe in reincarnation? Why or why not?
I do. I believe that souls have the chance to come back and live another life and to learn lessons that they missed in their previous lives. I also believe that it's a choice to come back and that not everyone does. Thanks for giving me the chance to share my views! Kris

1 comment:

  1. great interview! who doesn't love mrs. b.??!!!

    ReplyDelete