Who the hell are you, and why do you think you know everything?
Gosh that’s a harsh question, but I can be harsh, too, so we’re even. I’m Fire Lyte. No, that’s not my birth name. It’s one of those silly ‘magical names’ that pagans and witchy folk give themselves to make them seem like a character in some high fantasy novel or MMORPG. I’m a 20-something college grad who is in love with learning all there is to know about religion, spirituality, politics, the legal system, psychology, literature, medicine, and pretty much anything else that a human can learn. Except math. I hate math. A lot. I definitely don’t know everything, and that’s exactly what this blog is: my endless quest for knowledge and sharing what I find along the way…along with a snarky comment or 7.
Since you brought it up, where did you get the name Fire Lyte?
I made it up. I did one of those name calculation things where you put random words together and use basic numerology to match the ‘magical name’ with your birth name. I basically did it so I could have a little anonymity online. No, I’m not ashamed of myself, my religion, my sexual orientation, or my political views, but I am also aware that we live in a digital age and employers tend to frown on opinionated bloggers.
What’s your favorite food?
Wow, you’re random. Umm…ok. Most Tex-Mex cuisine, good sushi, Italian pasta, a hearty chicken Caesar salad, a medium-well steak, anything I can dip in Ranch, PIZZA (!!!), chocolate chip cookies, brownies, most desserts, milk, Southern Tea (bonus points if you know what that is), homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, and anything else that is saucy, dippy, yummy, messy, delicious, and totally awful for you.
What is Paganism to you?
When I use the term pagan, I typically mean a spiritual path (not necessarily a religion) whose semi-formal structure – meaning the holidays celebrated and various terms for special occasions, tools, etc. – was created over the last 50-100 years and is heavily influenced by Wicca and other modern magical movements. It involves a belief in magic, a love and reverence for the earth, the acceptance of the possibility of more than one deity, and a general worship of the cycles of life, the cosmos, and the natural world.
What do you think magic is?
Magic is a universal force, like kinetic energy or the laws of physics. It has rules in the sense that gravity has rules. You cannot make gravity disappear, but by playing by its rules you can learn to bend them a little or find another way around them – like flying a plane. Magic is a force that can be used to achieve a desired result, as long as that result exists in the realm of natural possibility. Like I’m not going to call upon the 3rd Law of Physics to turn an apple into an orange, I would not be able to use magic to achieve that result either. What exactly that force is and how it works, however, is the greatest mystery of all.
Why did I start a blog?
I hated Facebook. That’s really pretty much it. I was tired of being sent a fake drink or asked to start a fake farm or asked to be online friends with a person I had a class with 3 years ago but never actually spoke to. I did, however, like being able to post my writings and opinions online for my friends and family to see. So, I started the blog. I was shocked at how quickly it took off. Ok, that’s a lie. It didn’t take off for months. It was probably about 6 months before I got my first feedback from a reader, but since then it’s been a Riot. Yeah…I know that’s a bad joke.
Why did I start a podcast?
After a while the blog was getting such readership that I felt it was time to take it to a new medium. Podcasting is a great way to reach a new audience, and I love being able to bring my views, news, and general upsetting of convention to the podioverse. Also, I felt that something was missing from today’s Pagan Podcasting lineup. Don’t get me wrong, I love so many podcasters out there. Truly I’m their biggest fan, but I felt that there was a lack of focus on the tougher questions in paganism. I remember listening to a show on the Burning Times from a podcast I love and thinking, “Yeah, but what about this…and that…and this over here?!” That was the day I started considering adding my voice to the internet airwaves in order to say what I thought was missing.
How would you recommend a new person begin to study Paganism/the Craft/Magic/etc.?
Don’t rest on any one source. Go to your bookstore and find a small, paperback book called Wicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. Read that. It has a decent overview of God/Goddess dichotomy, magical basics, blah blah blah. Then realize that it’s all – mostly – complete crap. Correspondences are meant to be personal, spells are written yourself, rituals do not have to be done in the nude or in a robe, pentacles are not the Pagan cross, and you’re not any more or less pagan if you don’t have an athame. Read absolutely everything in your bookstore, your library, and on decent websites (like Wikipedia, Britannica, or WitchVox). Also, head over to iTunes and download as many podcasts as your little hard drive will let you in the Religion & Spirituality category. And, no, don’t just download pagan podcasts. Learn a bit from every religion. Paganism is about finding your own path, which can be cobbled together however you want. Never stop being a student, and you’ll eventually learn what’s mostly truth, what’s mostly crap, and what will mostly make up your Pagan worldview.
Hey, you’re pretty cute! Are you single?
Not at all, my dear Rioter. I am in a very happy, long-term relationship with my partner, Partner. Yeah, he’s called Partner on the blog and podcast for the same reason I’m named Fire Lyte. We like our anonymity.
How do I get in touch with you personally?
I don’t really get to know too many online people personally anymore. Your best bet if you have any questions concerning the podcast or blog is just to email IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com. I don’t really communicate with readers or listeners any other way. Sorry if this is an inconvenience, but this is just one of my many hobbies, and I prefer to keep it in its own separate little world.
Do you teach or would you consider teaching me?
I don’t teach magic or spell crafting or paganism or any other related topic. I also don’t take on students. I in no way feel qualified to do that, as I feel that paganism is a path that has very few rules. How can one teach someone else to find their own path? Now, if you have a specific question about something I do or something I’ve learned, feel free to email me! I answer everyone!
Do you share spells, rituals, etc.?
Under the right circumstances – and I pretty much deem what those are on a case by case basis – I have no qualms with sharing spell information. I don’t really think it’s going to do you much good, though, if you don’t personalize it. Which, again, is why I do it only on a case by case basis, and only if I have a pretty good idea that you know what you’re doing and that anything I have could help.