Guide Patti: Sirona Knight asked Phyllis Curott a fantastic question in an interview, and I'd like to ask you a similar question because I have a feeling the answer will be very interesting. She said that Wiccan writers often have a powerful desire to make the world better, especially in terms of spiritual freedom, and this desire keeps them moving forward despite all kinds of obstacles and dangers. How would you describe the role of Rev. Dana Eilers in the modern movement?
Rev. Dana Eilers: Regarding Phyllis’ answer in relation to myself, she is quite right; that is, one of the reasons why I started writing was due to a powerful desire to make the world better, especially in terms of spiritual freedom. The Practical Pagan was my first book, but it was written with the knowledge that Pagans and the Law was already in the process of being written and that hopefully, Pagans and the Law would be my second book. The Practical Pagan served two purposes: it carried the message that a person could belong to a non-mainstream religion without being a complete cultural and social outsider and in addition, the book opened the door for Pagans and the Law. Why was that important? Because I view my role in the modern movement as the legal voice. My voice is the one that says to mainstream society: “Hey! Remember the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Remember the First Amendment? These documents envelope us as Pagans. They protect us as Pagans. We will be a part of modern society, and we will not endure persecution or discrimination. We may not be mainstream, but our theology, our philosophy, and our views are important, and they will be heard!”
As I have said before: I am a woman. I am a Witch. I am a lawyer. I am someone’s reincarnational nightmare. I have been asked what this means, as if it were not self evident. I am a woman, which means that I am part of a minority whom men have been trying to suppress for over ten thousand years. They have been trying to rob us of our power: sexually, legally, socially, biologically, and politically. I am a Witch, meaning that I am a person who can tap into Universal forces and, with some measure of skill, bend them to my will and advantage. I am a lawyer, meaning that I am educated and have the ability to resort first to the usual rules of the game and can bend those to my advantage, as well. Stir all of this into the cauldron, and you have a person who would have made a formidable opponent to the Inquisition, and I make a formidable opponent now. I would like to think that I can speak for those who are too afraid, too incapable, or too lacking in knowledge to speak for themselves. It is what makes me an activist. I have the ability to even up the rules of the game. My work is all about evening up the rules of the game for modern Pagans. We are going to need equal footing for the fight that lies ahead.