I am biting my tongue. I'm trying to write an intro for Rachel Patterson, high priestess and author of the brand new book Moon Magic, without calling her Tansypants. Except the idea of writing an intro to a friend who I've spent a lot o' time with weaving spells, making magic and eating cake with without calling her Tansypants, just seems ridiculous. Tansypants and I went to witch school together - yes, we did spells, no, it wasn't like Hogwarts - she's a mumma, co-founder of Kitchen Witch and author of four books, including Kitchen Witchcraft and her most recent release, Moon Magic - an introduction to working with the phases of the Moon and how to utilise all the magical powers it provides. Come meet her. Describe Rachel Patterson in a tweet: Wife, mother, witch, author, food fanatic (not necessarily in that order)
You're a priestess and a witch, what's your relationship with the moon and your favourite way to work with la luna? The moon is such a powerful energy that can either help us or hinder us. I have often found myself feeling all kinds of freaky and then realised that the full moon was upon us. For me it was working out how the different moon phases affected my moods and my feelings and then working with those energies for the best outcome. I can then also tie in my work and activities in the same way; planning and plotting new project launches to coincide with the New Moon for instance to give my project more chance of success. I actually just love to sit and look at her working the simplest of magics by just sending up a request.
How can we awaken or connect with the witch - the ancient ways - that lay dormant inside us all as women? Nature…such a simple answer, it really is that easy – connect with nature. Everything around us has energy from the pebbles on the beach to the leaves on the trees. Each one has its own natural energy field and we can connect with all of them to awaken our inner being, to release that ancient connection. To live and work with the seasons, to feel the heart beat of Mother Earth and to become one with her.
I recommend your book Kitchen Witchcraft to all newbie magic makers - what exactly is kitchen witchcraft and does it involve cake? Everything I do involves cake… Kitchen Witchcraft is about using whatever you have to hand, it is not about spending lots of money to purchase beautiful but expensive tools it is about making use of what you have. It is also about putting magic into everything using the simplest of ingredients. We all have kitchen cupboards with herbs and spices in – each one of those has magical properties and I encourage everyone to just use your intuition and connect with those ingredients and see what magical correspondences they give to you. Witchcraft is a journey, a personal one and each and every person will follow a slightly different pathway. To me, Kitchen Witchcraft is about taking all the bits that work for you from all the different pagan pathways and making them your own. There are no hard and fast rules, there is no right or wrong, it is your journey and no one should be able to tell you otherwise.
Have you always wanted to be an author – if so what made you decide to stop thinking about it and actually do it? Being an author was never on my bucket list, it happened totally by accident. I answered a question from the Moon Books publishers with a suggestion that Kitchen Witchcraft would be a good subject…so they asked me to write a proposal…no one was more surprised than me when it was accepted.
You're a prolific author, with four titles under your witches hat already, how long does each book take you to go from idea in your head to actual hold in your hand book? Pagan Portals Kitchen Witchcraft was written in 2012 and then published in 2013 and Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch followed shortly afterwards – the Grimoire is the largest book I have written but actually the quickest as it is essentially my own Book of Shadows so I had most of the information already it just needed collating. Then Pagan Portals Hoodoo came after that. The Pagan Portals books are smaller so the process did take less time and I am passionate about all the subjects which helps a great deal. I do procrastinate quite a bit but once I get focused I find it all flows and I write huge chunks at a time, it is actually the checking, proof reading and final faffing that seems to take longer! So the time has varied depending on how much I had already in hand and how much research I have needed to do.
Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process please? Do you have any rituals? Particular times of the day to write? I procrastinate, I eat cake, I find all sorts of other jobs to do around the house, I get distracted easily “oooh shiny things”…but once I focus I do write and write and write, it all just flows and I sometimes realise I have been sitting at the laptop for hours and hours at a time. I research first mostly from books, covering them all in post it notes and I might print off items from the internet and I have a blank journal that I scribble ideas, thoughts and inspirations in, then I usually start with chapter headings and work systematically through them, one at a time. I usually write during the day when the house is quiet!
Quick fire round: What’s your favourite… Book: Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett Author: Terry Pratchett Movie: Practical Magic, Pretty in Pink, St Elmos Fire, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (I know that’s more than one…just so difficult to choose!) Place to hang out: My home is my haven but I love the city of Bath and Paris (always in a café or restaurant obviously) and if not at home I can usually be found in my local coffee shop (Chi Coffee). Tarot set: Shadowscapes by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law Crystal: Atlantisite or Merlinite Writing ensemble: Whatever I happen to be wearing on the day inspiration hits me but usually something hippy/floaty – think Stevie Nicks (but less expensive).
What’s next in the world o’ Rachel Patterson? Are there more books in the pipeline? The contract for my fifth book was signed last month – A Kitchen Witch’s Book of Magical Herbs & Plants (not the catchiest of titles!) A journey into the magical world of herbs and plants, filled with magical uses, folklore, history and inspiration and practical magic. A go to guide on how to work with magical herbs, how to use them and what to do with them.
My diary for 2014 is also pretty much fully booked with workshops, rituals and talks as well as co-running the Kitchen Witch online school.
To find out more about Rachel - not Tansypants - click through to her website: www.rachelpatterson.co.uk