I’ve just had the pleasure of reading “The Wishing Steps”, which is an upcoming novel by Karen Helene Walker. I had read the first draft of this story a few years ago, and it thrilled me to see that she had finished it. I fell in love with the story from day one, and have to say that she did a fantastic job of telling a tale of Goddess. The book will be released on October 31, but is available for pre-order at Amazon and through iTunes.
She was kind enough to take time out to do an interview with me. Below is that interview.
Even though this book is fiction, it comes through that the message of it is important to you. What is it about the story of goddess that compelled you to tell it?
That’s not an easy question to answer, Tracy. I’ve been a spiritual seeker most of my life. I was born Jewish, converted to Christianity in my twenties, studied Native American spirituality and then Wicca. Both Wicca and Native American spirituality connected with me on several levels, but no one religion has ever become something I can say, “yes, that’s it.” So I’d gotten away from any kind of organized religion, including Wicca, when I went to Scotland and Ireland for a vacation in 2009. I was exploring a 2,000-year-old burial site in Scotland when I heard a voice say, “Tell my story.” I wasn’t sure if I’d even heard anything real so I said, “I’m on vacation,” and went on with my trip. But the next week, while exploring the magical forest surrounding Blarney Castle, the voice came back and said, “tell my story.” When I returned home and began meditating to discern who was speaking and what story it wanted me to tell, I came to believe it was the voice of a Goddess. I was to imagine what it might have been like when Goddess came to the first woman in pre-history and how Her wisdom was shared throughout time to the present. I don’t feel I was compelled to tell it. I feel I was called.
I noticed that in most instances, when a woman in the story would ask goddess for guidance, that goddess’ answers were pretty vague. It was implied often that the women had the wisdom that they sought inside of them already. Would you say that our innate wisdom is somehow connected to goddess?
Brilliant question, Tracy, because that is what I think the Goddess who came to me wanted me to get out of writing the book. That Goddess is a metaphor for our own inner wisdom — a way in, so to speak.
It seemed to me that goddess was more strongly present in the cave, even though she was everywhere. Why is that?
I think the energy was strongest in the cave, but there were other instances when the energy was particularly strong – such as in the last section when the women do a ritual to help a murderer be brought to justice. I know in my own life, the spiritual energy is not consistently powerful either.
One of the main themes of the story seemed to be the importance of humanity’s acceptance of one another being key to ending many of the world’s problems. Do you think that a return to feminine aspects of Divinity would foster that acceptance?
It is the one thing that I wish I understood better, which is probably why it emerged as a theme in this book. I truly don’t understand why we can’t accept each others’ differences. I do believe that during the time in our history prior to patriarchal religions, there was peace in the land. But I hesitate to say that if we returned to that, that it would end the violence in the world. This is such a complicated issue and I am not qualified to address the theological, philosophical and ethical considerations that go into gun control, war, etc. This might cause some people to want to hurt me, but I think the problem with all organized religion is that spirituality isn’t a one-size-fits all kind of thing. I think we all need to find our way to the Light or God or Goddess or whatever you choose to call that higher energy that isn’t human. It’s not a matter of returning to feminine aspects of Divinity. It’s a matter of each of us wanting peace and finding our way to that.
Is there any character in the story who you related to more than others? If so, which one…and why?
I related very much to Brighid in section one because I felt very alone throughout my childhood and had to figure things out for myself. However, I did not have a Goddess sharing wisdom with me. I also related very much to
Brighida in section two because as I’ve grown older and wiser, I feel my power more and more and I loved how graceful and gentle was in her power.