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A Q&A with Jen McConnel, author of 'Goddess Spells for Busy Girls'

When did you first become interested in goddesses?
When I was a kid, I had a comic-book style Bible. Seriously. I spent hours poring over it, looking for women. Even then, I was searching for the divine feminine! Later, in third grade, I got my hands on a beautifully illustrated book of Greek mythology, and I learned what a goddess was. I kept searching for powerful women in stories (probably because I come from a long line of very powerful women), and the more I learned about goddess, the more inspired I felt.

Why did you write this book?
This project was an accident. Iíd had a conversation with a dear friend discussing the fate of the womenís movement and the possible fading of the goddess movement from modern Paganism, and that night, I spent a long time at my altar talking to goddess. I wanted to lend my voice to the goddess. The next week, I began brainstorming ideas for this book, and it took on a life of its own. Iím still watching to see what it will do next!

Do you have a favorite goddess?
How can I pick just one? I work closely with Isis, but I also really appreciate Persephone, Hecate, and Brigid. And thatís just the tip of the iceberg! I love the diverse faces of the goddess, and I love discovering aspects and personalities that I hadnít been aware of. The goddess provides infinite inspiration!

How would you explain magic to a stranger?
Magic is energy. Weíre surrounded by magical capabilities. Itís prayer, itís spirit, itís the movement of energy to fulfill a set intention. Itís beautiful!

Has magic ever surprised you?
Constantly! Iím sure youíve all heard the song ďYou canít always get what you wantĒ. Magic is like that. I may do a spell for one thing and end up somewhere totally different, but it has never let me down. I always get what I need in the moment.

Are there any spells you wonít do?
I donít do money spells, or any work that infringes on the free will of another. I also donít hex. But those are just my personal choices, shaped by my own magical experiences. We each have to carve our own path.

How do you bring magic into your daily life? Doesnít it take a lot of work?
Actually, it takes very little work! I do a lot of work with candles and scents, so thatís one way I infuse my home with magic even when Iím not working a spell; a little lemon oil for happiness, some fresh white candles lit while I clean, and presto! Magic in the making. I also keep an altar in my bedroom, which I change at each new moon. One of my favorite magical additions to my house is the crystal prism that hangs from the south facing window: every afternoon, the living room is bathed in rainbow light, clearing away the negative energies of the day. Itís magical!

Describe your relationship with goddesses in general (or with one specific goddess).
Itís a lot like my relationship with my mom (thankfully, Mom and I have a GREAT relationship)! I talk to goddess when I just need to vent, when Iím thankful, or when I need help with something. I once described the relationship as one in which I feel comfortable going out for coffee with Isis: I love getting up close and personal with goddesses!

What else do you write?
A little bit of everything! I write poetry, memoir, adult and young adult fiction. Regardless of genre, somehow all of my work comes back to magic. The world is a beautiful, amazing place, and I try to accentuate the positive through my words.

Anything else we should know about you?
Iíve got the greatest husband on the planet, and the two strangest cats have claimed us as their people. When Iím not writing, Iím teaching writing at a community college, which I love. I adore the ocean, and I love to travel all over. And that, in a nutshell, is me. (Help me get out of this nutshell!)