Pagan Pages

April 1, 2015

Mabh Savage interviews Hearth for Pagan Pages.

Print interview. Excerpt:

MS: You speak of the obscure reference material that had to be tracked down; what was the oddest or most quirky bit of research material that you used for this book?

HMR: One of my most serendipitous finds was a book called The Laboratory Mouse, by Clyde Keeler. It’s a unique book, long out of print, that looks at mice from a cultural perspective. I had been pulling together the numerous references to mice in folklore and ancient texts and trying to put them in a coherent framework. I discovered through this book that humans have been breeding mice for thousands of years for a variety of reasons, and this was a crucial piece of information that helped me develop my mouse chapter.

MS: When did you first start working with animals on your magical path, or has that understanding always been there at some level?

HMR: Animals have always been an important part of my life, so when I began studying to be a priestess, I naturally gravitated toward animal magic. I was fortunate to have teachers who were knowledgeable about the subject, and even in the early years of my training I practiced in natural settings outside the city, often at night, where the topic would spontaneously arise as we encountered animals literally along our path.

MS: I love the way you tie your experiences with animals back to ancient myths and legends. What is your favourite ancient animal tale, and why?

HMR: Of all the legends in the book, I like “The Three Feathers” the best, because I find the image of a giant wish-fulfilling toad so hilarious. The fairy toad-mother effectively dispels all the evil toad stereotypes.