* * * * * * *
Interview with Katlyn Breene by Willi Paul
Do you understand what some writers and artists are calling “new mythologies”? What inspirational sources are in their tool kit?
To begin it might make sense to show you the mission statement of the spiritual community we founded here in Nevada:
DESERT MOON CIRCLE:
“The Desert Moon Circle (since 1995) is a private network that acts as a vessel for the expression of its member’s individual spiritual paths and connections with the Divine.
We honor Goddess and God equally in their innumerable forms and manifestations. We observe the Mysteries of the Wheel of the Year, Natural cycles, and claim our connection with the Elemental energies. We are a community which promotes individual growth, healing, and wholeness of being through communion with the inherent Divinity that is Nature. We are committed to reclaim the goodness of humanity, to rediscover the Mythic traditions of the World, and to bring to life a new Myth that is revealed to us to suit our time, our needs, and our condition. We are committed to create and share Sacred ritual space, to experience love and trust firsthand. “
We feel the world needs new and better stories to guide our passions and paths. Even though that may sound simplistic, it is not. All cultures have their stories that inspire , direct and heal the people. Oberon Zell is great example of taking fiction and making it “real”. His visions of poly-amory and paganism use “Stranger in Strange Land” as its “myth”. When anyone on the path of Earth Spirituality hears the blessings “May you never thirst” it is more than fiction.
After all in order to change the current paradigm we need to have new myths and symbols that bind us together culturally. They must include and not avoid the Mysteries that science and Nature reveal to us . Not to sound irreverent but in the mew “religions” we do “make it up” as we go along now. See what new myths empower us , what symbols unite us.
We can use the classical myths for their archetypal lessons and images, The work of Jung and Joseph Campbell comes to mind. Yet our knowledge of the world and the universe leaves us looking in awe with new eyes at our spiritual place on this planet.
People need the magick that mythology brings, we just need better stories.
Letting go of the old ones is never easy, especially those that are faith based. Each year in our circle we create ceremony and celebration that hopefully will be meaningful to our present condition. There may be reference to the old gods and goddesses but we try to update those archetypes with more a current view that meets the needs of our time.
Things are born from the old, new ways of looking at ancient stories, and new myths will arise within a group.
As we say in this season of the year (Fall) “No life without death” – The old myths are falling away.
Are you hopeful that new mythologies can have an impact on the current Earth crisis? If so, how?
My spiritual path has one true north and that is the Earth. The holiness of Gaia and the soul of the world, anima mundi, the Mother Earth. To create spiritual community that first finds their sacred selves in their connection to Nature, to see God/dess in all life.
The Gaia theory is good example of how we can mythologize science to unite us in our love for the planet.
I feel that there will always be a desire for ceremony and sacred traditions that honor the transitions in our lives. There just needs to be a new vision and spirit to these rites of passage, with new myths come new ways to truly connect .
If children grow up with Avatar as one of their stories, rather than , let’s say , the Old Testament. Their visions will be inspired by beauty, courage and the protection of the natural world. That is what we need, not fear and blind faith in old ways.
Myths are only there as sign post and guides, as a common language we can share, they can be created and need to change with us.
Science and Soul together.
Are there Goddesses alive on the planet now? Who are they?
I believe that all women are Goddesses just waiting to see their true selves revealed.
In my work as a priestess I am privileged to see women empowered by their own personal connection with the divine feminine. Their self realization of spirit in body.
I do have say that my life was truly affected by Ammachi, She is unique in her ability to manifest pure love and compassion. Yes to me she is a Goddess incarnate.
How do you differentiate between magic and mythology?
One inspires the other, to have that synchronistic magick occur when working with a personal myth is a very potent experience. In that connection lays the heart of the “Mystery”. If you look for something you will find it.
Ceremonial magick relies on the practitioners in depth knowledge of its symbols and myths, otherwise it is just words.
Real magick is as personal as fingerprint, there is no definition that works for everyone. Except maybe that the deeper you get into to it the less you seem to know.
This may sound odd but one of my favorite images is from a movie that used “The Tempest” as its basis. When I seem to be lacking in the “awe and wonder” department I’ll do this.
The “magician” stands upon a cliff and simply shouts “Show me the Magic!”
Try it ….all it takes is a belief that you will be answered.
Is alchemy a process that intrigues you? Do you actively use it?
I have a great affinity with the art and imagery of alchemy, though in traditional practical knowledge I am no expert. .It is fascinating what one can intuit from alchemical illustration.
I suppose that you could say my work with incense is alchemy. How the fire brings out the spirit of the botanical substance. I have a wonderful Laboratory and have the opportunity to share equipment and ideas with folks I consider true alchemists. The Alchemy Guild has provided such an amazing source of information and knowledge as well as personal inspiration from people like Dennis Hauck and Jeff McBride.
On my web site I define incense simply in elemental terms:
“From the living creations of Earth and Water
Transformed by Fire
Released into Air
To inspire the Spirit…”
Also I work with some amazing folks here in Nevada, the Vegas Vortex . We are using an Alchemical model to facilitate group experiences and firecircles. This is a big concept and I recommend that you visit the web site to find out more about this wonderful transformational path. (the video was shot at my home and the sanctuary used for Desert Moon Circle)
Is sustainability like a new religion to you?
Yes , I would say it is a big part in the work we do, though I wish like most of us, that I could do more. It needs to become our spiritual path and Earth our Church. If the energy put into the major religions was focused upon sustainability and Earth consciousness, just imagine how things could change.
Can you offer us some symbols, songs or stories that speak in mythological terms for the Sustainability Age?
“All the streams of the heart
weave and join become a part
of the web of life
we are giving birth
To the church of earth”
This a lyric from a song we wrote and became an inspiration for a special incense called Earth Church, that for me was a personal expression of this vision.
It was like a form of ecological alchemy.
“Earth church incense is the result of a quest to create a perfect incense for the love of Earth. An incense to represent the many sacred plant traditions of the World All its ingredients are from sustainable harvested sources and their traditions are honored. Most of all we wanted it to smell beautiful clear and sweet , able to up lift the heart .
We feel that this incense fulfills that quest . Earth church is our gift to the Soul of the World and her children, a scented prayer for peace and connection with the Green.
Its creation began when the crafters of natural incense, John and Maria Yagar of Journey scent and Katlyn Breene of Mermade met through their shared love of ceremonial incense and the realm of sacred plants. For over a year they worked, experimented and exchanged ideas on the making of a pure natural blend that not only made use powerful medicine plants but that also smelled sweet and beautiful. Each ingredient was carefully selected for its energy and traditional use for spiritual work, one from each part of the World. To make all these diverse botanicals merge into a harmonic blend was a great challenge. Earth church is an analogy of world peace, diversity can come together in beauty.
Burn it as a meditation for peace and let the sacred smoke carry your prayers”
Are shamans born or created these days? Any examples?
In my experience I have encountered shamans through their work with plant guides and teachers, also as the “myth Keepers” . This is important medicine that is enhanced when guided by one who traveled between the worlds before and carries the “maps”. The term Shaman seems to have lost some of its meaning by being over used and commercialized.
I feel plant teachers guide the seeker to becoming their own shaman.
Are you seeing any shifts away from traditional religion to a more Nature-based view?
I think I pretty much covered this question in the above.
“We are committed to reclaim the goodness of humanity, to rediscover the Mythic traditions of the World, and to bring to life a new Myth that is revealed to us to suit our time, our needs, and our condition.” * * * * * * *
Katlyn short bio –
Katlyn Breene (Born 1953):
Katlyn has been creating sacred art , community and ritual for over 30 years. Her art is a manifestation of her beliefs and can be seen in places of worship in over six countries. She is currently the owner and creator of Mermade Magickal Arts (since 1984) which makes fine natural hand blended incense and perfume and is the author and illustrator of many books on spiritual arts and folklore. Also the Co-founder of the “Road to Eleusis” an initiatory and transformational retreat based on the Mysteries of Ancient Greece at Eleusis (since 1991) and an original Member of the Grey Council. Now in Nevada, Katlyn is the founder and Priestess of Desert Moon Circle.
Katmermade at gmail.com