On January 18th the Federazione Ufologica Italiana in Rome, Italy published an Italian language interview with me about my book La Strega – The Witch, witchcraft, and my experiences and research with UAP and UFOs. Grazie Mille F.U.I and especially Simone Leoni for his excellent questions that I really enjoyed answering. You can read the interview in Italian on FUI website by clicking here.
For my English readers I will reproduce the questions and answers here. Thanks so much again!
Long dresses, pointy hats and flying brooms. This has usually been the identikit of those beings that the world knows as witches. These figures have always been considered concubines of the devil, but it must also be said that the era in which they lived was pervaded by a terrible obscurantism, and ignorance reigned supreme; in fact it was very likely that among the ranks of these satanic brides, there were also “Witches” whose purpose was not at all negative, but on the contrary, they used their practices to feel close to nature and help others. Here I will submit some questions to one of them, writer, researcher. artist and witch: Susan Demeter.
1) Simone Leoni: Susan, you are a researcher, a writer, an artist, but above all you are a “Witch”. In 2020 you wrote a book called “The Witch” published by Le Due Torri in Bologna Italy. What do you tell in this work? Your life or are you trying to explore a controversial issue for many?
The Witch in Italiano and Cosmic Witch in English is a book about witches, witchcraft magick and the paranormal written by a witch and is designed to be accessible to anyone who has a curiosity about these subjects. My book explores our more dominant traditions, our myths, our magick, female sexuality, the supernatural, and empowerment. And it is an invitation to learning more about magical practices, and the supernatural.
I am a pagan witch, and within that label there is a lot of diversity. I cannot pretend to speak for or even understand every witch’s or pagan’s approach to their spirituality and magic, but I do let the reader know where I am coming from as a Cosmic Witch who was intiated by the mystery lights known today as UFOs. And I give the reader a good basic introduction to what it means to be a witch in the early years of the 21st century.
I write about the terror of the European witch trials and some of the historical witches I have come across in my research here in Italy and how these women have inspired me. In more modern times millions of people across the world are identifying as witches and pagans at a time when nature is at serious risk, and western society desperately needs to become enchanted again.
In part my book is a call for magical activism drawing upon inspiration from the past like the shamanic shapeshifting witches of Friuli and current witches of Romania who are magically protecting old growth forests from illegal loggers.
The intention of my book is to inspire, enchant, empower, and challenge the reader whether they identify as a witch or not. And I have no doubt that some readers will find what I have to say very spicy and controversial. I write about concepts that involve philosophy, morality, nature, spirits, science, UFOs and religion in a heartfelt, provocative, and magical way.
2) Simone Leoni: What is magic? And when did you realize you were a witch?
Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with our will, in other words shaping reality to work towards our intentions, goals, and purposes.
I want to quote from one of my favourite magicians Damien Echols who was a victim of bad policing and the satanic panic that swept through the USA in the 1980s He spent 18 years of his young adult life on death row for a crime he did not commit, and it was his magical and spiritual practice that he credits with saving his life. He describes magick in a way that I completely agree with.
“Magick is not a path for followers; it is a path for questioners, seekers, and anyone who has trouble settling for dogma and pre-formulated answers. Magick is for those who feel the desire to peel away the surface of reality and see what lies beneath. Like various persecuted forms of mysticism, magick promotes direct contact with the source of creation.”
I believe in my heart that my initiation as a witch occurred when I first experienced the strange, mystical lights in the sky, which some people identify as UFOs. In a spiritual sense, I view them as messengers of the Goddess and throughout my life they have extended to me their cosmic invitation, and allowed me to participate in their magic. I discuss these initiations in my book.
3) Simone Leoni: If I’m allowed to ask you, what kind of witch are you? And what kind of magic do you practice? White, black or red?
I am eclectic in my practice. I work with the Goddesses, celestial energies, spirits, archetypes, tarot, astrology, hydromancy, creative play and writing, and modern tech works its way into my magic. I usually introduce myself as a witch without any other identifiers, however the term “Cosmic Witch” works well with the variety I like to incorporate into my witchcraft, and because of my experiences with UFOs.
I do not use the terms “white” or “black” or “red” when referring to my witchcraft or magick. In pop culture white and black magic are terms often used to signify good or evil. Magick is simply magick. It can be used either negatively or positively depending on the intention of the witch or magician.
Witches like nearly everything else in life are never purely good or completely bad. All of us human beings with very few exceptions have the capacity to be both depending on the circumstances. You can think of this like certain plants; Belladonna can heal or it can poison depending on the dose and intention for its use.
I follow my conscience, common sense, and ethics within my magickal practice. I see myself as beholden to the greater Cosmos and dedicate myself to fulfilling the great work through the feminine aspect of the Divine.
4) Simone Leoni: I speak as an ignoramus, but many say that even those who practice white magic are something “sulphurous”. But if these practices are divided into different colors precisely because of their functions, why judge them in the same way?
Generally speaking people who judge all magical practices or witchcraft as inherently evil are likely being influenced by the medieval propaganda of the Church and State, which was designed to persecute marginalised people, particularly women whether they were really witches or not. The witch trials and satanic panic of the past has in more modern times been used within popular culture particularly horror films like Suspira and Rosemary’s Baby. While these films are fun to watch they do not represent traditional or modern witches or even Satanism as a modern philosophy.
I am a pagan witch so my concept of dualism is different than the dualistic cosmology of the Abrahamic religions like Christianity. To me light and dark do not correspond to notions of “good” and “evil,” but are aspects of the natural world such as day and night, or summer and winter. This is very much like the yin and yang of Taoism. Both light and dark are needed to provide balance and harmony.
5) Simone Leoni: In the Arthurian cycles, which I remember also tell of the Holy Grail, there is a wizard among the ranks of the knights of the round table, and his magic was certainly not malevolent. What can you tell us about Merlin?
Merlin was a character in the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth that was likely inspired by actual magicians and druids of that time. It was through the cleric’s writing of the Arthurian legends that we first become acquainted with this magical character who was Arthur’s mentor and teacher. And yes, Merlin is considered benevolent with his prophecies and magickal workings even helping Arthur to become King of the Britons through his prophecy of the sword.
I am far more interested in Morgan La Fay whose is another magical character in Arthurian legend and is a student of Merlin. Her name denotes a connection to the fairies and she is sometimes portrayed as either good and a healer, or as a seductress and at other times the enemy of Merlin, making her character far more complex and intriguing to contemplate.
I would love to see the character of Morgan La Fay rewritten and updated for our modern times to focus on her being a super bad-ass enchantress, and powerful woman who not just brings down Arthur’s male-dominated court, but takes down all of the patriarchy ushering in a new era of true equality and opportunity for all people no matter how they identify their gender.
6) Simone Leoni: Indeed there is always one thing that I have asked myself: does magic really work? Is it something perceptible to everyone or is it a prerogative of someone with particular gifts?
Yes! Magick works. Think of it like saying a prayer. A prayer is a very simple form of magick. There are scholarly studies that demonstrate praying for people who are sick has a beneficial affect on patients even if they do not know they are being prayed for.
Magick comes easier for some people. Some people are much more psychic or more attuned to Nature, but with all worthwhile things it simply takes practice. Not all of us are natural born athletes so you can think of it like weight training. The first day you might feel tired, but after a few weeks you are stronger and your magical muscles are building. All magickal practitioners have had moments of doubt and then bam!! Your magick works and you know it is in fact a real thing!
7) Simone Leoni: Where does the magic originate? and what influence did it have on world folklore?
Magick originates from the source of all creation and from the mind of the witch or magical practitioner.
Witches draw upon the energy from natural sources such as earth, air, fire, water, the Sun, the Moon, storms, tides, the trees etc. Through our rituals and practices we draw their energy into ourselves, then shape and focus that energy into our intention. Then we release our energised intention as magick, which works to create a desired outcome in the physical world.
We can draw upon several deities and spirits including our ancestors to assist our magick depending upon our tradition. I work with the Goddesses, celestial energies, local spirits and even UFOs.
There is evidence that the earliest humans used magick for protection, and to bring luck to their hunts, their harvests, and assist with fertility. Magick began by looking to understand the ways in which the cosmos and nature work and because of this it has informed the folklore, science and knowledge of every different culture and tradition around the world.
8) Simone Leoni: Could magic be considered a kind of pseudo-religion?
In pre-monotheistic religious traditions there is no distinction between religious practice and magic. And an arguement can be made that religions such as Catholicism are in fact a type of magical system. So in answer to your question it depends on the magical practioner, their tradition, and beliefs.
9) Simone Leoni: In addition to dealing with magic, you are also interested in parapsychology and ufology. Have you had any particular experiences in these areas?
Most of my adult life has been spent in pursuit of these subjects and I draw many comparisons between UFOs, Parapsychology and Magick within my own research. I discuss some of this research and my own direct encounters with the supernatural in my book.
I have conducted PhD supervised research on behalf of the Defence Studies Department of the Canadian Armed Forces College in Toronto, Canada on the topic of UFOs, and for the The Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland regarding poltergeist activity.
My writing has been featured in a number of publications, and I am a contributing essayist to Robbie Graham’s groundbreaking UFOs: Reframing the Debate. My essay explores the subject of UFOs through the lens of scientific Parapsychology.
I have actively investigated spook-lights in both Canada and here in Italy, including in field work as an independent boots-on-the-ground UFO researcher. My case files have been used in a number of studies including the annual Canadian UFO survey.
My speculations, hypotheses, and modelling are based in what is known as psi.
Psi is the “modern collective term for the psychic functions of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis.” Parapsychology generally divides psi into two types of effects.
The first is known as extrasensory perception, which is communication of information without known physical means; this includes telepathy, clairvoyance, mediumship, and premonitions. The second is known as psychokinesis or PK which is when mental intentions affect matter without known physical means.
I speculate that psi is in the form of PK is what is operative when magickal rituals are performed because they have a direct effect on living beings, and objects, affecting the information of matter itself. I also believe psi plays a role in all paranormal encounters and UFOs that involve high strangeness.
I am an experiencer of UFOs and throughout my life I have had encounters with the paranormal. These experiences have been a catalyst in propelling me towards my research interests. My magickal practice also informs my experiments which will be the subject of the book I am currently writing.
11) Simone Leoni: Is there any aspect of magic that not everyone knows?
Magick is a continual learning process and it is a very individual thing. What works for me may or may not work for others and vice versa. No one witch or magician knows everything even the greatest witches and magicians who have spent their lives studying and practicing magick can still learn more. I give examples of various traditions in my book and invite the reader to use their intuition to guide them towards knowledge and teaching that they are drawn to and go from there. Magick is innate, it is accessible to everyone, and it is our birthright!
12) Simone Leoni: What do you want to add for our readers?
The witch as an archetype is strongly defined as a powerful female. Sometimes she is a seductress, or the wise woman at the edge of the village, or she is simply a rebellious woman who will not be subdued within a patriarchal social structure. No matter how one defines their gender the modern witch is channeling some very powerful Divine Feminine energy. And that is exactly what this world so desperately needs right now.
In my research I like to examine links between powerful female apparitions and UFOs such as the case of Fatima where the shepherd children encountered a Goddess just prior to a UFO event described as looking like the Sun and witnessed by more than 70,000 people.
I also love to hear from other magical thinkers and witches who have experienced or are inspired by UFOs. I can be reached through my website http://susandemeter.com and my social media. You can write to me in English and Italian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Much love and gratitude to my publisher and all those who have read or will read my book, it can be purchased through Le Due Torri, Amazon or ordered through local book stores.
And thank you to Simon Leoni for the opportunity to be interviewed here and these great questions.
La Strega – Italiano
The Cosmic Witch – English
Susan Demeter Bio
Susan Demeter is a Canadian born scholar, author, artist, and she is a witch. The themes of her writing, research, art, and spirituality incorporate her lifelong interest in exceptional human experiences, UFOs, nature, social history, mysteries, and cosmic magic.
Susan’s first book The Witch (Italiano) Cosmic Witch (English) was published in both English and Italian in August 2020.
Susan has conducted scholarly research on behalf of the Defence Studies Department of the Canadian Armed Forces College in Toronto, Canada on the topic of UFOs, and for the The Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland regarding poltergeist activity.
The author’s writing, and research have been featured in a number of publications, and she is a contributing essayist to Robbie Graham’s groundbreaking UFOs: Reframing the Debate. Susan’s essay explores the subject of UFOs through the lens of scientific parapsychology.
Susan has actively investigated spook-lights in both Canada and her adopted home Italy, including in field work as an independent boots-on-the-ground UFO researcher.
In 2015 she collaborated on “I See Words, I Hear Voices”, a major art exhibit at the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, on the themes of exceptional human experiences, anomalies, and marginalization. Susan’s alien themed art was a featured as a finalist in the 2021 Making Contact Art Contest
Susan has conducted a series of experiments based on and inspired by the work of the late mathematician, Dr A.R.G Owen, and psychotherapist Dr. Joel Whitton, that is popularly known as “The Philip Experiments.” This will be the focus of her second book Out Of My Mind’s Eye: Conjuring UFOs which will be available in 2023.
Susan is a contributor to the highly successful Ufology Tarot which will be available to Kickstarter supporters in November 2022.
Susan lives in the Apennine Mountains, with her husband, astrophysicist and electronic musician Massimo Teodorani, and with their two cats Pixie and Merry. Her home studio faces a mountain peak that was in ancient times considered to be a holy place by both Pagans and early Christians. And it is there that the ultra-terrestrials inspire her witchcraft and her art.
Read more about the author online at http://susandemeter.com