Friday, 4 February 2022

Interview: Irisanya Moon, Reclaiming Tradition Priestess

Irisanya Moon is a priestess and teacher in the Reclaiming tradition, and the author of a Pagan Portals book on Reclaiming Witchcraft as well writing about goddesses and environmental activism. She kindly agreed to be interviewed for A Bad Witch's Blog. 

Q: What is it that attracted you to the Reclaiming tradition?  

A: I found Witchcraft in the late 1990s and one of the first books I read was The Spiral Dance by Starhawk. It was one of the first books that really felt like home to me, though I wouldn’t meet actual Reclaiming folks until 2008. Through synchronistic events, I found myself at a California Witchcamp and from there, took all the core classes, started planning rituals, and then began to teach and was initiated in 2014. 

What called me in further was the people I met and the idea of spiritual authority. Knowing that I could arrive just as I was allowed this tradition to become my home. I stay in the tradition because I’ve seen people and practices evolve, and I am excited to see what might emerge next.

Q: If someone was interested in learning more about Reclaiming Witchcraft, apart from reading your book, what would you suggest they do? 

A: Since Reclaiming is an ecstatic and often oral tradition, I recommend that folks go to rituals (often online these days) and attend classes (also with online options). Participation in the magick is the way to learn more, in my experience. Books are a great way to start, but being in community with others, listening to elders, and trying out new things is the way to see how this particular tradition of Witchcraft settles in your bones and heart.

Q: You have also written books on Aphrodite and Iris, what drew you to focus on those two goddesses? 

A: While Iris is the first goddess who really knocked at me to work with Her, Aphrodite came tapping at me during my initiation process. She started showing up EVERYWHERE and I followed the trail of pearls to Her. The story that I tell now of Aphrodite is that She came to me when I needed to learn more about self-love and to stop avoiding matters of the heart. I used to be more of a hard person who hid feelings and let them build up inside. Aphrodite seems to give permission to be unapologetically messy and soft. She has also strengthened my ability to be in the world, with all of its stereotypical ideas of love, and to feel into the depth of beauty as an experience versus a certain image.

Iris came to me when I was trying to decide whether to take Reclaiming classes, so She is really the one responsible for me moving into a life of service to community. She also is a messenger of the godds (this is the spelling I use to be more gender-full), which aligns with my writing and my frequent role of being the one who communicates between groups. She is also a psychopomp, which is fascinating as I’ve recently completed several courses on deathwork so it seems She was a part of that eventual journey too.

I work with these godds (and more) primarily because of how they arrived in my life. They are long-standing relationships that I (try to) work on every day. They are the ones who inform my magick and my teaching the most, and who have become dear friends as I tend to matters of the heart.

Q: I understand that you are currently working on a book about environmental activism from a spiritual perspective. Can you tell me a bit more about that? 

A: I recently completed compiling a book on environmental activism in Reclaiming Witchcraft. I wanted to bring together multiple voices from various areas of the world, as it’s common to think that Reclaiming is only US-based. I am honored to share a timeline of actions and related events, poetry, rituals, exercises, stories from the ‘front lines’ of protests, personal reflections on activism, and more from voices in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada.

Reclaiming has been around for more than 40 years, so this book is just a small piece of a very big part of Reclaiming’s history.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to say? 

A: One of the things that keeps me going in my life and magick is the understanding that there are many voices and many beings who are all in this together. We’re not alone in the work that we do, even when it feels like it. My hope is that my writings (more coming!) help folks find a place of home, wherever they are. 

If folks are interested in learning more about me and the things I offer, you can go to my website www.irisanyamoon.com to sign up for my new moon newsletter. Or you can just look at all the things I have there right now. I’m also really easy to find on social media, so I’d love to connect there too!

You can also find Irisanya's author page at publisher Moon Books.

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