Contributor Interview: L. Harwyn

L. Harwyn is a genderfluid writing witch and intersectional feminist. Harwyn received her BA in creative writing with honors from Mills College, Oakland, California and attended Scottish Universities’ International Summer School for creative writing in Edinburgh, Scotland. Harwyn has been published by Tethered by Letters, Shoreline of Infinity, Nonbinary Review and elsewhere.

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W&W: Do you consider yourself a witch?


Yes!

W&W: What does your magical practice look like? (i.e. Solitary, Coven, etc.)


I am mostly solitary but I meet about once a month with fellow magical folk. Most of my spirituality is nature-based. I feel drawn to practices people can do very experientially on their own as opposed to practices which require specific initiations, tools or circumstances.
 

W&W: How do you feel about the rise of witchcraft as a popular trend?


I think that more acceptance of nature-based religions is great but the true importance of why it became a trend in the first place is often obscured: people are hungry for spiritual satisfaction and supranatural experiences. One danger is that people going to rituals and using psychoactive substances are looking for something profound but maybe aren't always doing it in a way that is respectful to themselves or to others. That can look like appropriation or commercialism or just not leave people still not feeling satisfied. But there are more resources than ever accessible to people to find meaningful, respectful practices that honor the land, cultures, and ourselves and that is very exciting!
 

W&W: How has being an intersectional feminist influenced your writing?


Everything I write is through the lens of being an intersectional feminist. I try to think about what I'm responsible for when I write and how to do no harm. As a person of European descent, for example, it's not my place to try to tell the stories of POC and it would be wrong to whitewash those narratives. Sometimes it means not writing or not speaking, sometimes it means pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone to talk about something important. I hope to make the world a better place with my writing and learning more about intersectional feminism is the best way I know how to do that.
 

W&W: What influences your creative process?


Nature is a huge influence. Also I tend to read a few specific books and watch the same movies over and over again-- I guess it's going for depth rather than breadth. Sometimes I feel guilty that I'm not reading or absorbing more new material but I'm always amazed that sitting under the same tree or reading the same poem can actually be such a transformative experience, and such a different experience, every time.
 

W&W: Who is your favorite writer and why?

This is so hard to answer! I have read  a lot of Helen Oyeyemi in the past few years, the way she handles fairytales and myths and the way she surprises the reader fascinates me. Her writing definitely influences the way I think about writing, always.
 

So other than being Witchy As Fuck, what do you do in the world of Muggles?

I craft a lot, I make pastries, I am really engaged with my family and friends. I'm basically in that Millennial stage of looking at my finances and my skillset and trying to decide what's next. I have this pipe dream about hosting tea parties for witchy people as my career path--maybe that means I have no Muggle life!
 

Where to find you:

I share writing stuff @harwytch and more spiritual stuff @inthewitchhouse