Originally published 2016-09-03: Earth love and gender equality with Reverend Judith Laxer
It’s no secret that I’m not a religious person. It could even be said that I’m opposed to most religions based on common beliefs that I find distressing or even repugnant. That being said, I’m always open to learning something new. I research religions and use elements of them often to bring a new level of understanding to my fiction.
So interviewing a pagan priestess? Right up my alley.
Ladies, gentlemen, and whoever else might be reading this blog, it is my pleasure to present to you Reverend Judith Laxer, author of Along the Wheel of Time!
Welcome, Reverend Judith! What’s your author bio?
Rev. Judith Laxer is a modern-day mystic who believes that humor, beauty and the wonders of nature make life worth living. A Priestess of the Divine Feminine, keynote speaker, and author of Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers [Ravenswood Publishing], Judith dedicates her work to restoring the balance between feminine and masculine energy in our culture.
A young woman follows her lover and finds her spiritual calling in the Autumn realm of the dead; a first-time mother gives birth on the Winter solstice; a daughter’s grief heals in a Spring garden; a joyous ceremony of mature sexuality celebrates the peak of Summer…
What made you decide to write Along the Wheel of Time?
I’d received encouragement from many of my congregants and students to write a book about Earth-based spirituality, but there were already so many ‘how-to’ books written.
One day I realized that there were no books with stories depicting ordinary people living their magical spirituality that weren’t sci-fi or otherworld fantasy. So I decided to write one and Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers was the result. Eight short stories to accompany the holy days on the Pagan Wheel of the Year.
Who is the book’s target audience?
This book is intended for anyone exploring spirituality, anyone who resonates with nature, anyone looking to find an alternative to organized religious paths. I know that Pagans have enjoyed this book, but I’ve also gotten feedback from non-Pagans who found the stories and practices fascinating.
Do you plan to write any other books?
I am currently writing a memoir. And I have another book on spirituality in mind for after that.
In addition to writing, you’re also a minister and teacher. What sent you down such a spiritual path?
I had many psychic experiences as a child (I think we all do until we shut that part of ourselves down to fit in), and this informed me that there is more to life than meets the eye.
I was raised in a non-religious Jewish family with no religious education. But my belief in the world of spirit was strong, and as I got older I began to explore world religions. When I came upon Goddess spirituality, I felt like I’d found home.
In my early 30’s, I know it sounds hokey, but I felt a calling and I left my former profession in the performing arts and dedicated myself to a life in spiritual service. My ministry and teaching evolved from that dedication.
Tell us a little about Gaia’s Temple and what it represents.
I founded the Gaia’s Temple Ministry in September of 2000. Our mission statement is: Gaia’s Temple fosters love of the Divine Feminine by honoring nature and the qualities of compassion and relatedness.
We gather once a month for a worship service that I write and deliver. My congregation comprises men, women and children of all walks of life who believe in the sentience of the Earth and seek to live in Her harmony. Many people from other spiritual paths attend the services because they resonate with the healthy, relatable message offered.
Our vision statement: We create balance in the world through the worship of the Divine Feminine. Our values are Peace, Love, Respect, Integrity. Many people who follow Earth based spirituality have been without spiritual community, and Gaia’s Temple fills that gap. At least, here in Seattle it does!
If you could impart only one piece of wisdom to everyone reading this interview, what would it be?
Only one? How about three?
Slow down. Go outside. Find beauty.
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