// Updated 1-11-11

Education & Training • Personal Biography  •  Music Lessons  •  My Magical Timeline  • Favorite Authors 
Rev. Su's Basic Beliefs  • Etiquette for Working with a Minister 

Personal Biography

I was born and raised in western New York State. I went to college near Pittsburgh and came back home. I met my husband in 1994 and we became engaged in 1995. I began teaching in the public school in 1998, and finally earned my Masters in Education in 2002.

I am now a homeschooling advocate.

After a nerve injury sustained in a car accident, I moved down here to North Carolina in the summer of 2003 to take an elementary music teaching job. My husband and I married at the Wake County courthouse in July 2005. We renewed our vows at Church of the Earth a year-and-a-day later. We now live in northeast Raleigh with our rabbit. I teach music lessons from my home studio, and give school employees and Neo-Pagans a special rate of $20 per lesson (click for info).

As with many Neo-Pagans my age, my first practical experience of magic was in college.  I read Tarot cards with uncanny accuracy and insight, and never looked back!  I devoured fantasy literature which gave me vocabulary for the sights I was seeing and the experiences I was having.  I developed my witch powers, and began to crystallize my personal theology.  Thank God and Goddess for Catholic colleges, eh? <LOL> In truth, I had magical ideas long before college, as you'll see in my Magical Timeline.

Grown up SuI have been a Board member of Church of the Earth of Raleigh, and am still a member of the church.

I perform many weddings and handfastings, I am a substitute teacher, and as I said before I teach private music lessons. I enjoy nature, baking, and making things with my hands and mind. I am on Facebook.com and PaganSpace.net.

 

 

 

 

Religious and Teaching Education and Training

Lutheran (ELCA) Convention Youth Delegate (1987-1989)

Catholic Mass Cantor (1991-1994)

Bachelor of Arts in Music (May 1994), nearly completed minors in Religion and Music Composition

Episcopalian Eucharistic Lay Minister Training (March 1994)

Episcopalian Youth Minister (1996-1998)

Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Music Education NY(December 1997)

Master of Science in Education (May 2002)

Board Member "Fire" for Church of the Earth (2007)

Our Lady of Enchantment Seminary Graduate (October 2007)

Associate Pastor at Loxley Abbey Church (2007 to 2009)

Classroom Teacher Certification NC (May 2008)

 

Etiquette for Working with a Minister

Coming soon!

 

Reverend Su's Basic Beliefs

I do not belong to any tradition or clan, although if pressed, I call myself an Elementalist, meaning I see the world through a four-part lens, not three.  To get REALLY specific, I am a bitheist because I believe that God is the transcendent spiritual aspect of the universe and Goddess is the immanent physical aspect of the universe who was created from God's imagination as a companion.  I believe that God/dess (the Mother and Father of All) generally try to keep the big picture of creation going toward a positive, constructive end, rather than entropy. But I do not believe they are all-powerful because they gave up some of that power when they designed creatures with free will.That is why bad things sometimes happen to good people, and vice versa.

In terms of magic, I am a hedge witch. Much of what I have learned, as a solitary seeker, I have learned through reading and experience (very comman in Neopaganism, I have found.)  My basic understanding of the mechanics of magic has developed over time through experience, thought, and discussion with others.  I believe in Bohm's holographic universe, and Higginbotham's Theorem of Paganism.  Many of these terms are defined further on this site (see "Theology Vocabulary").

 

My Magical Timeline

1970's

As a very young child, I experienced God as a playful, loving leader and partner of creation.  Sometimes he had a flowing beard made of clouds, sometimes, sparkling eyes made of sunlight.  He always smiled at me.  

 

Early 80's

At 11, I began to see terrifying images of death, and they always came true.  This has happened four times since then, and I no longer read the newspaper or watch the local news.  

My most recent vision was of looking through a scrapbook, especially at two young soldiers.  I kept hearing someone say "51" as I went through the album.  Three days later (October 11, 2007) the news broke that there had been a major mortar attack the night before on an American base in Baghdad, with 2 Americans killed and at least 40 American, Iraqi and third-party nationals wounded.  I didn't search online for the pictures from the scrapbook in my vision; that would be too hard to see.  

 

Early 80's

At 12, I began to debate theology with my Jehovah's Witness neighbors.  My mother and I talked at length about the Trinity and the Eucharist and their roots.  

 

Late 80's

In high school, I wondered if I would ever be a good enough Christian.  

 

1991

At 19, I had a dream, where I met Jesus camped out in the sanctuary of the church of my youth.  Others were on a scavenger hunt for him, searching in the pulpit, the altar, the cross, the choir loft, the organ, the Bible, the fellowship hall, the Sunday school rooms, the office, the kitchen, but only I could see him with his tent and campfire waiting for them.  He told me that I'd be all right, as long as I lived a good life.  He makes a darn good hot cocoa.  And, of course, I summarized the experience in a song -- "Picturebook".  

 

Early 90's

In college, I began to take away pain and read Tarot for my friends.  I also began to see and interpret "colors," which I guess are like auras, but the colors are inside the outlines of a person's body and exhibit personality.  I took many courses in religion and began to develop my personal theology. 

 

1994

I took a Lay Eucharistic Minister training course with my step-nephew offered through the Episcopal Church of the USA, Western NY Diocese.  We learned about the origins of modern Christian ritual, and I began to see that the contemporary traditions have strayed far from what Jesus and his disciples would have practiced.  This troubled me.  I began to yearn for a spiritual practice resembling that original philosophy.  

 

September 1997

While listening to Christian scripture which seemed to support my theories about the origin of Jesus' powers, I made my break with the Christian church after years of internal struggle.  I dedicated myself to Goddess and God, acknowledged my powers as a witch, and began to identify myself as a pagan witch.  

 

July 2003

After meditating on finding a totem, three times I ran into images or sounds of an owl.  That was it!  I now collect owl figurines and images that call to me.  Later I found a secondary teacher, the otter.  Hard to keep him in one place long enough to hear what he had to say! LOL

 

Feb. 2004

After praying for a sign of a community of witches in my new home, and receiving the three signs, I joined Church of the Earth of Raleigh.  I was “Fire” for nearly a year until the next elections could take place.  I brought to community calendar and encouraged new practitioners to try their hand at leading in a safe and casual atmosphere.

 

Oct. 15, 2007

After three years of study at Blue Moonlight Coven Seminary and Our Lady of Enchantment Seminary, I was legally ordained by Lady Sabrina of Our Lady of Enchantment Seminary.

 

Influential Authors

Mercedes Lackey (Bard's Tale, Bardic Voices, Bardic Choices, Brainship, Fairy Tale, Five Hundred Kingdoms, Halfblood Chronicles, Valdemar Universe)

Misty Lackey was my first introduction to fantasy literature. When I was laid up after some surgery in 1994, I read all 13 extant Velgarth books. I still have them, and plan to reread them...again.

She is also a musician, and she and some friends got together to make an album of songs based on the Elfquest comic, back before it was republished and expanded as a graphic novel series. I still have it on tape I got in 1991 from a friend who got it from a friend, who got it from a friend who was friends with one of the musicians on the tape, and if it ever gets released on CD I will be THRILLED!

Another of my favorite series from this wonderful author is the Five Kingdoms, which as of this writing consists only of two books: The Fairy Godmother and One Good Knight. I like how magic works in this world.

Sylvia Browne (The Two Marys)

She is , well, honestly, she's a little fruity. I have always liked the myths of Magdalene and her daughter Sarah, fathered by Jesus. I have never believed that Jesus did not marry or that his mother, Mary, never had more children. I like this book because of her attitude of "of course this is the way it happened." But when she starts talking about her spirit guide, Francine, who "was there," I start to turn off a little. Not because I don't believe in spirit guides, it's just, well...

 

Jim Butcher (Dresden Files)

These books are a great look at the world if bolt-throwing magic were real (which I don't believe). It's also a great drama centered on a troubled man and his choices. Very cool, and way better than the Sci Fi channel show (which I loved.)

 

Anne McCaffery (all things Pern)

Pern is one of those worlds that you become totally involved in, like Velgarth. I can definitely see some stylistic differences, and to be honest, I like Lackey more. But I like McCaffery's emphasis on music.

 

Dennis McKiernan (Fairy Tale Seasons)

This is the whole if-there-were-a-secret-portal series. I love it. I like how the seasons each have a kingdom and how each prince or princess has certain elemental powers. And the central figure is almost always a girl, so it's easy for me to relate to.

His other major series takes place on the world of Mithgar. More Tolkeinesque that Lackeyish. I think the young author of Eragon read both Tolkein and McKiernan, for the resemblance is striking.

 

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Spellsong Cycle)

This is a set of thick books. I like the way magic works in his system, especially because he uses music. Very geo-political.

 

Silver RavenWolf (Solitary Witch, Hedge Witch)

A lot of people poo-poo RavenWolf. "She's just cashing in on the teenagers!" they say. Well, actually, I have found a lot of useful material in these two books. And I like her writing style. Yes, it's odd to read a bit that is obviously trying to talk to a teen, but I undersstand and move on. I hate it when peolpe are 'paganer-than-thou.' The irony is amusing, but in the end that kind of attitude just divides us needlessly. Cliques are supposed to stop after high cshool, right?

 

Margaret Starbird (re: Mary Magdalene)

Another Magdalene believer. She talks about the idea of sacred union.

Unfortunately, she bases most of her three books on the work of only one or two authors expanded by her own thought and logic proofs. But still inspiring to those of us who admire Jesus' closest disciple, his wife.

 

S.M. Stirling (The Change series)

Wow. Post-apocalyptic saga of Earth if gunpowder and electricity (and some other technical things) didn't work anymore. The central characters are Celtic Wiccans, and you can tell the author did his homework, so it's fun to read about traditions made alive through necessity. I don't want to give too much away...