Monday, January 16, 2017

Rev. Judith Laxer ~ an interview and her novel ~ Along the Wheel of Time

Rev. Judith Laxer

Rev. Judith Laxer is a modern-day mystic who believes that humor, beauty and the wonders of nature make life worth living. The founding Priestess of Gaia’s Temple, an inclusive, earth-based ministry in Seattle, Washington, Judith also enjoys a successful private practice as a psychic, spiritual counselor, hypnotherapist, shamanic practitioner and teacher of women’s mysteries. A keynote speaker and author of Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers [Ravenswood Publishing], Judith has presented classes and workshops on the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine since 1993 at conferences nationally. She dedicates her work to restoring the balance between feminine and masculine energy in our culture.,


Q: How would you describe yourself as a color? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious color?
A: I like depth in every way. Deep colors are all beautiful to me, but if I had to choose one to describe myself, I’d say I’m a rich, deep and royal purple. You know, next to patent leather black, blood red, emerald green and cobalt blue.

Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: I’ve always been a night owl. Used to be I couldn’t fall asleep before at least midnight and morning didn’t start till 9 at the earliest. But as I get…ahem…older, I find I am getting up and hitting the sack earlier. Who knew mornings are so beautiful? Oh. I guess lots of people did.

Q: Tell me one thing about each of the four seasons you like. It can be anything.    
A:        Winter = I love the cold, the starkness, the stillness. (Wait that’s three things. Why is it always one thing? Or your favorite thing? Why must a girl choose?)
            Spring            =the scent of apple blossoms
            Summer =eating from my garden          
            Fall =EVERYTHING!

Q: Tell me something you would like your readers (fans) to know about you. 
A: I’m a pretty good cook and I love to can. This year I made 38 pint jars of apple sauce from just one of my apple trees, 21 jars of spiced pears and copious amounts of apricot jam, pear chutney and Asian Pear cordial. The grapevine on my fence is loaded and the clusters are almost ripe. I make a delicious spicy grape jelly, and this year, I am trying my hand at homemade wine, too.
Q: Dress up or dress down?
A: Up! Living is all about beauty for me, and I do my best to  dramatize and amp that up in any way I can.  Life is one costume after the next.  I love getting all dressed up, even if I have no place to go. My life is a place to go. Who doesn’t feel divine in velvet? Whose spirits are not lifted by deep red lipstick and those fabulous shoes?


Q: How did you come to write your genera of choice?
A: Nature inspires me and all my writing seems to emerge from where nature and the human spirit meet.  I believe that nature’s cycles are a spiritual model for the evolution of the soul. And just like with all cycles, there is no beginning and there is no ending.  This offers an abundant amount of food for thought and is the foundation for all my work.

Q: How do you handle a writer's block?
A: I have to say I have never experienced writers block. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been stalled or worried or afraid or taken breaks, sometimes long ones. But I think that is really what happens when we call it ‘writers block’. There are fruitful times when the writing flows, fallow times when it stops. If I am stalling there is a reason; most likely I am unsure of what I want to say. If I am worried or afraid it’s usually because I have trepidation about how my words will be received. But I don’t ever really feel blocked, as if something wants to be written but I am unable to write it.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: Structure works really well for me. Even if it’s just an outline or a list of ideas or scenes I want to write. I tend to flood and overwhelm paralyzes me.  If I can go back to a guideline already created it helps me continually make progress. But it can’t be too rigid.  More like a loose container so I can still allow my creativity to flow. Structure, not rules.

Q: What geographical locations are your favorite and why?
A: My favorite is my desktop computer in my home office.  It’s on a big roomy desk with all my mojo around, and I can look out through a big window onto my beautiful garden. I make a pot of my favorite tea-Black Currant- and settle in and go for it. But I can write anywhere as long as it’s quiet and there are no distractions. Some folks can write with music playing or the TV on. I can’t. Also, when I write at home, I love to take breaks and walk in my garden, commune with nature. It’s a great way to integrate the work I am doing and helps me look at it with a fresh eye when I get back.  


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I just finished the first draft of my m-m-m-memoir. (Did I write that out loud?) I’ve hired an editor and am about to send it out for evaluation and I find I am stalling. All the fears of ‘what will my family and friends think” are up for sure. But more than that, I think I am stalling because right now it’s still my baby. Once it goes out and returns with feedback, it’s not completely mine any more. Off I go onto the next stage-revision!

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A:  Yes, I do.


TITLE: Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers
RELEASE DATE: June 25, 2016
AUTHOR: Rev. Judith Laxer
KEYWORDS: nature, magic, pagan, paganism, ceremony, seasons, earth/air/water/spirit, spiritual, rituals, life cycle
CATEGORIES: Magical Realism/Paganism
ISBN: 978-0692736340
IMPRINT: Gaia’s Essence

The various characters in this collection of magical short stories demonstrate how the changing seasons are a spiritual model for the soul.

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: these stories and more explore magickal realism in ordinary life. Following the Pagan Wheel of the Year through the experience of the characters, this collection of stories demonstrates how the changing of the seasons is a spiritual model for the soul.

My book is a short story collection, not a novel.  So here is an excerpt from the Mabon (autumn equinox) story because that is the one we are closest to right now on the calendar.  It’s a story written by a daughter to her deceased mother in letters. If you don’t think it works, feel free to leave it out.

Sept. 21

Dear Mom,

Last night I had the most amazingly vivid and detailed dream I have ever had, and you were in it!  I arrived at a familiar place that I don’t actually know. In the dream, I had been walking for several days to get there. I am welcomed by several women who take me into a bathhouse. They take my dirty clothes and I walk down a few steps into a beautifully tiled bathing pool. The fresh water is warm and it soothes my tired body. There are bowls of fruit, bread, and clean water to drink.

The scene shifts and I am dressed in a simple linen robe, walking in a long line of people, up a hillside scarlet with poppies, and around an impressive building that somehow I know is a holy place. There are seats carved into the hillside and soon we are all sitting in them, theatre style, looking down at a stage. There is a performance going on. I don’t remember the details of it, but it is very dramatic, and along with the rest of the audience, I gasp and shout and laugh and cry and wail in response to what is being shown to us.

While the performance is taking place, I notice that one at a time, people are being led, I presume, back stage. When it’s my turn, a man leads me out of the theatre and into a huge temple space. It is magnificent. Full of clean lines, and lit only by candle and torch. At the entrance, he dips his finger in a small bowl of oil and marks my forehead with it. He leads me into the center and leaves me there alone. I am not sure what I am supposed to do so I stand there taking the place in with my eyes. The altar holds a silver cup, a basket with a half shucked ear of corn, and an open pomegranate, its blood-like juice having pooled on the marble.

A Priestess approaches and leads me off to the side and through a door into the inner sanctum.

“When you are ready, she tells me “knock on the portal to the Holy of Holies.”

When I do, it opens by itself. Another, older Priestess sits waiting for me. I don’t remember what happened next, except that I was embraced so tenderly and she told me things I swore to remember but now cannot. I leave feeling special, renewed, and blessed, like I have been given a great gift.

I expected to exit this sanctuary back into the Temple but instead the same door leads me outside. It is daylight, in a busy village square and you are sitting on the wooden bench that surrounds a central well. It has been so long since I’ve seen you, Mom. It was as real as if you were actually there. I step in closer to look at your face, into your eyes. You look so sad. The sorrow in your eyes caused my tears to flow. You look directly at me and say ‘Come home! Come home, Elaina!’ and then I woke up.

So good to see you last night.


I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter.  I hope you had fun with the Q & A’s
Thank you! It’s nice to have some different types of questions to answer!

What they’re saying:
Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers beautifully illuminates the heart of earth-based spiritual practice. Rev. Laxer, a contemporary Priestess, weaves stories of modern life infused with the sacred and with ancient ways of worship. I loved this book. -Shawna Carol, author of The Way of Song: A Guide to freeing the Voice and Sounding the Spirit

In Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers the personal and the mythical intertwine, which is how sacred story should be. Page after page, Judith Laxer pours out the mystery of time and being like a wondrous broth and on it we dine. We are served nourishment through our seasons from her lips, from her heart, and from the voices that move through her beyond the veils of time. –Normandi Ellis, author of Awakening Osiris: the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Rev. Judith Laxer’s Along the Wheel of Time: Sacred Stories for Nature Lovers seamlessly melds the mythic journey of the seasonal holy days to sacred stories of diverse human relationships. Through the mirror if Judith’s storytelling this unique juxtaposition transforms the mundane to the sacred and the sacred mysteries deepen. -Ruth Barrett, author of Women’s Rites, Women’s Mysteries, Intuitive Ritual Creation.

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