I got to interview Leza Cantoral, who I've worked closely with on a few writing projcts—and who inspired one of the rituals in my book. She's a talented visionary editor and writer with an eye on the bizarre, dark, and magical.
Leza the editor of the CLASH Books anthology, Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath & the author of Cartoons in the Suicide Forest. Her writings appear in Luna Luna Magazine, Philosophical Idiot, Entropy, Bizarrocentral, Breadcrumbs Magazine, The Storymaker’s Association, Ladyblog & CLASH Media. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook @lezacantoral @clashbooks @yesclash and on YouTube as Trash Panda Poetry.
What does 'ritual' mean to you, personally?
Ritual is about creating a sacred space using clear markers differentiating a space/moment/act from your everyday life. It can involve something as simple as lighting a candle with intention to create a sacred space. Ritual is a powerful tool, not just for the mind itself, but for interacting with the chaosphere through symbolic language.
How do you incorporate ritual into your everyday life -- especially as it pertains to wellness?
I do yoga in the morning to get centered. It enables me to start my day with clear goals & intentions. I drink green & peppermint tea which help with alertness. When I am able, I go for a walk in the woods to meditate & gather firewood. Communing with the trees always centers & grounds me. I do Tarot readings for myself when I need extra guidance or am brainstorming a new story I am writing. I light a candle on my altar when I do yoga, dance, give offerings, or read cards.
How would you describe your inner magic? What inspires it and makes it come to life?
My inner magic is my instinct, my sense of myself. When my body is awake, so are my higher senses. It is my inner logic, it is how I connect the dots. Danger wakes it up. The moon wakes it up. Fire wakes it up. Water wakes it up. Sex wakes it up. Art wakes it up. Lucid dreams wake it up. Sometimes it is a word or a sound & something flashes inside me saying I need to pay attention. When I get visions, I focus on them. I write them down, I work them into stories, I let them talk to me. When I get those flashes, I know that something important & connected to something bigger is leading me to an idea, a person, an opportunity, an experience I need to have. I am always looking for signs & synchronicities.
Do you have a go-to simple ritual when times get rough?
Repeating an empowering mantra that arises organically from my mind & walking in circles with increasing speed. This is an instant auric reboot for when I feel damaged, scared, or lost.
Bonus: Favorite witchy movie ever?
I Married a Witch, starring Veronica Lake.