Recently I had the pleasure of talking with Jason Pitzl-Waters, founder of The Wild Hunt. He answered questions I had about his journey and his work. I truly feel Jason does a great service to our community and so I would like to introduce him to you.
Moonwater: How did you start on the path to Wicca?
Jason: I was first introduced to Wicca in high school when a friend loaned me a Raymond Buckland book (the big blue one). That moment was a completely life-altering moment. While I was dissatisfied with mainstream religion, and always interested in pre-Christian mythology, I had never thought that the worship of pre-Christian gods was something that people could do. From there I never looked back.
Moonwater: Who has influenced you the most on your journey with Wicca and why?
Jason: I would say my friends were my biggest influence on me, it was together that we fumbled through learning and experiencing Wiccan ritual. Later, I would meet formal covens, and a variety of experienced practitioners, but I think those early days shaped me in ways that persist to this day. Beyond that? I found the writings of Margot Adler and the Farrars pivotal in my early years.
Moonwater: What led you to blog for the community?
Jason: A dissatisfaction with the Pagan media led me to trying to do it for myself. This was the early days of the Internet, before social networking became dominant, and even before blogs were something pervasive. I remember wanting to know what was happening in our community, to know what our leaders, clergy, philosophers, were thinking about important issues. There were some useful sites, Witchvox, for example, but nothing that captured the sort of advocacy journalism I yearned for. So I became the change I wanted to see in my community, and here I am!
Moonwater: What book or books have influenced you in your practice of Wicca the most?
Jason: Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler, A Witches’ Bible Compleat by Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, and later, The Triumph of The Moon by Ronald Hutton.
Moonwater: For someone who is just starting on their own path with Wicca, what would you tell them was the most important thing to know about it?
Jason: The interconnectedness and sacredness of nature, and by extension, the turning of the wheel of the year. Everything springs from there, our wisdom, our joy, our fertility, and our gods and goddesses.
I just want to say thank you to Jason for his time for this interview. Please visit The Wild Hunt to see what Jason has to say on the pagans days events.
Jason Pitzl-Walter’s Biography:
Since launching “The Wild Hunt” in 2004, Jason Pitzl-Waters has become one of the leading voices for analysis and insight into how modern Pagan faiths are represented within the mainstream media. In addition, “The Wild Hunt” has also conducted in-depth interviews with prominent figures within modern Paganism, academia, and religion journalism. Jason wants to raise the level of discourse and journalism on important issues within the modern Pagan and Heathen communities, while advocating a broader commitment to encouraging religious multiplicity and solidarity (where appropriate) with surviving indigenous and non-monotheistic faith groups.
In addition to his work with The Wild Hunt, Jason has also written for newWitch Magazine, PanGaia Magazine, Thorn Magazine, and Llewellyn Worldwide. He also maintains a weekly podcast entitled“A Darker Shade of Pagan” that explores underground music from a Pagan perspective.
Jason is a former Board of Director member of Cherry Hill Seminary, and is coordinating The Pagan Newswire Collective, an open collective of Pagan journalists, newsmakers, media liaisons, and writers who are interested in sharing and promoting primary-source reporting from within our interconnected communities.
You can contact Jason at jpitzl at gmail dot com