Zanna Blaise is the author of The 72 Sigils of Power. She is a member of The Gallery of Magick, and has been working with magick since 1983. She was interviewed for this blog using questions that were posted on Facebook.
A Note From Zanna Blaise: “Damon asked the questions, but I answered as though I was answering the person who asked the question, because Damon already knows the answers. So it probably sounds a bit weird because of that, but I did my best.”
Q: What was your first experience with magick?
Zanna: I bought a book from Finbarr and tried out some spells. We weren’t a religious family, but it still felt so forbidden. The moment I closed my curtains and spoke the words it felt like I’d passed into another world. Creepy and exciting. It was the tamest candle magick, but I felt like I was calling up the devil. But the first magick that worked was about a month later. I stopped a teacher from bullying another kid, against the odds. Then I knew it worked.
Q: Are you a spiritual or religious person?
Zanna: My friends say, ‘Oh, she’s so spiritual,’ even the ones who have no idea about the magick, but I don’t know what it means. I try to be kind. When you’re into magick you see things that make it impossible to be too cynical. But then you put on the news and you think, ‘Where are the angels now?’ So, not religious, but, you know, I talk to angels, so either I’m crazy or we’re touching on something that’s real and a lot bigger than we are.
Q: What’s been your biggest mistake in magick?
Zanna: How long have we got? Mostly it’s been doing magick for things I didn’t really want. And doing spells for things when I was so, so, so desperate that I needed it to work. I was using these really basic witchcraft spellbooks, and there was no instruction on what you were meant to feel. So I ended up lonely and messed up for a while. It was a setback, nothing too dramatic.
Q: What’s been your biggest success?
Zanna: Finding my soulmate. I have to say that, don’t I? Also, the first few bits of magick that worked at all were the biggest successes in a way, because I didn’t really believe in magick until then, but then tried it and, boom, it worked. I came at it from a wiccan perspective, but when it worked it changed the way I saw everything, so there’s nothing better than that. Getting on the path.
Q: Is witchcraft part of your work now?
Zanna: Not much. The book I’ve just written is a million miles from witchcraft. We all worked through a lot of wiccan ideas, especially in the chaos years, and everybody else moved on before I did. It’s still a part of me. I can’t go anywhere without knowing the moon phase, and I like to perform magick outside, naked, in the rain or by a bonfire. That never happens, really. I go to the local park or open a window. So, witchcraft, yes, a bit. I sometimes think about writing a book of spells, just the good ones, and putting it out there to see what people think.
Q: Do you keep a written record of your magick and if so what does it look like?
Zanna: I journal obsessively and always have. I should take a picture. A pile of notebooks taller than me.
Q: Do you have favorite angels, spirits or demons that you like to work with?
Zanna: No. I’m too scatterbrained. I work with whatever’s right at the time.
Q: Do you do a daily meditation to enhance Magickal results?
A: Not to enhance the results, no, and not daily. I use the Contemplation Magic that’s in my book almost every day. And there are other things I do daily, but not meditation.
Q: Do you have a ‘Real World’ identity doing other work besides writing and performing magick?
Zanna: Writing is a minuscule part of my life, so I can’t really call myself an author. Magick is something I enjoy and love, but it’s not my whole life. My background’s in music. I work in various different roles in the industry. Anybody want me to release a CD of angelic music?
Q: How long did it take you to find the occult path you wanted to pursue? Did it just lead you to it or were you actively looking for it?
Zanna: It’s changed so many times, I can’t say when I actually found ‘the way’, or even if I have yet. Magick’s always changing, and me too. I’m finding out new things that change how I work all the time. But I was drawn to it, and I can’t imagine life without it.
Q: Besides the shared passion of magick, what other interests do you share with your fellow members of the Gallery of Magick?
Zanna: Everyone’s into art. Not everybody makes art, but we all have connections to the industries – film, theatre, music, painting. So that’s the other stuff we talk about.
Q: Does eating natural grown foods enhance magickal results, in as far as concentration and relaxation goes?
Zanna: I think it does for some people. I mean, if you pig out or get a hangover, you just aren’t in a great place to do magick. But I don’t think you have to live this pure life to get it to work. I shop at Whole Foods, but I’m not obsessive.
Q: Is there “conflict” between the members of the Gallery of Magick?
Zanna: We always came at things like an experiment, so we’d bicker about what to do next, but rather than going on about it for months, we’d test it out, get on with it. It was never a cult of believers all on the same page, but we’re pretty gentle with each other.
Q: As writers, how will you handle ‘negative press,’ if at all?
Zanna: Reviews go with the territory, and it’s not just writers. You put a post on Facebook and it’s instantly reviewed. People comment, like, dislike, start a flame war. Constant trial by social media. I’ve worked in music, and people think their opinion is fact, so you become immune to it. Most of the time, if you’ve done a good job, it’s really about finding your audience. Who likes you, who likes your work. You find those people and create your work for them. If it’s just negative press about magick or about The Gallery, I’m not so bothered, but I don’t want to disappoint anybody with my book.
Q: Will you do rituals to protect your work, name or reputation from negativity?
Zanna: Haters gonna hate. So, no. Hopefully I won’t need to.
Q: How did you meet Damon and join The Gallery of Magick?
Zanna: I met them before it was called The Gallery of Magick. It was a bunch of kids and a couple of older men. Sounds so weird when you put it that way. I was a bit younger than them. I was designing record covers, and they were all trying to be artists, start bands. They hired this horrible room that was one day going to be a gallery, but we ended up just using it for band rehearsals and magick. That’s how the name came about. You’d say to your parents, ‘I’m going to The Gallery,’ and they thought we were these really progressive young adults setting up an art gallery, but we were mostly doing rituals and drinking a little too much. But yeah, when I met them, they could see my record covers were full of witchy stuff and that got them talking, and next thing you know, it’s all happening.
Q: Do you have a favorite magickal ritual?
Zanna: No. Boring answer, but no, I just go with whatever feels right at the time.
Q: Do you guys all live in the same city and has it always been this way?
Zanna: Most of us grew up in an English city. That’s where it began. By the mid-nineties we were all over the world, but some of our best work was done then, when we were apart. We hardly ever get together in the same room. But there’s plenty of communication across the time zones.
Q: How does the magick that you do (and teach) affect the real world?
Zanna: I can’t answer without saying, ‘Read my book.’ It’s about the interplay between what goes on within and what happens outside of you. When you do magick to change something in the world, it changes you too. But you can reverse that. Change something in yourself, and the world changes in response. That’s my book in a nutshell.