Horne ~ Sexy Spirituality
Think witch and the first image that comes to mind
involves a broomstick, a cat and a pointy hat.
Image two may involve the sexy trio from Charmed
or one of the new generation of modern witches,
such as Fiona Horne.
What do the new witches think of the old fairytale
witches and the TV stereotypes?
According to Fiona, the old image of witches
arose out of ignorance and fear and the new is
nothing to be worried about.
She says: “I grew up watching Bewitched,
and Charmed is just another piece of fiction.
Most people are able to tell fiction from fact
and so it should be enjoyed as an entertaining
show and not taken to be a documentary about witchcraft.”
Unlike the Charmed sisters modern witches don’t
spend much time blasting ghouls back into their
appropriate dimensions. But they are into something
that has a magical feel about it.
Fiona states emphatically though that this doesn’t
mean they all believe in the existence of obscure
She calls herself “a self-confessed atheist”
and says: “I don’t believe that gods
and goddesses exist other than as archetypes,
or images we form in our minds.”
Is this a Jungian approach?
“Yes, very much so. I don’t call
it my religion. I prefer the term spiritual path
because it’s more open. There are others
though who do consider it a religion, and I respect
their choices. These people are into Wicca, which
is the religious branch of witchcraft.”
Interestingly, according to Fiona, although not
all witches are into Wicca, Wicca is still the
fastest growing religion in Australia. She cited
recent reports that there had been a 300% increase
in people identifying themselves as religiously
Wiccan or Pagan since the 1996 census, which is
huge considering the decline in numbers being
experienced in other religious circles.
While the roots of witchcraft stretch back into
misty pre-history, the term Wicca was coined only
as recently as the 1950s, by English witch Gerald
Gardner, making it a relatively young religion.
According to Fiona, “Wicca is still in the
process of forming itself and witchcraft is more
a melting pot of ideas than an organised system.”
She says: “There is no one voice saying
this is what witchcraft is. Different people say
different things and overall our strength is in
Describing her current role as a writer and entertainer
disseminating information about witchcraft she
says: “It’s important work because
forging any religion takes time. It usually takes
a few hundred years for people to learn about
and to get comfortable with it and this is a path
with so much to offer that I feel that it’s
a privilege to be part of the process of sharing
information about it.”
Fiona, who started her career as the lead singer
of the 1980s chart topping rock band DEF FX, has
written six books about witchcraft, appeared on
dozens of TV shows talking about it and is now
living in LA developing a TV series based on her
Why is she so interested in speaking out about
her beliefs and spiritual practices?
She’s cheerfully emphatic that it’s
got nothing to do with furthering her own public
profile. “I was on TV before I came out
about my witchcraft. I’ve always been a
performer, it’s my job.”
She says: “I don’t see myself as
a leader or a prophet, but I have experience that
I’m happy to share and I’m comfortable
with the media, which makes it easy for me to
On a personal note she adds that the fusing of
her industry work with her witchcraft “feels
like a natural progression. It’s about doing
what I’m passionate about, which is fantastic”
She draws lines though and insists that while
she is earning a living from her media work she
“never has and never will charge for her
witchcraft” ~ meaning the spells and rituals
she does for individual people.
Does information about witchcraft need to be
Fiona is adamant that her work isn’t about
recruiting converts to the craft. She says: “People
are curious about it and are looking for information
and I feel that I’ve been called to take
on a teaching role.”
The other side of her work has been a kind of
campaign on behalf of witches. In her words: “Explaining
that we don't worship Satan, we are not anti-Christian
and that we deserve the same respect as people
on any other spiritual path.”
Alongside her writing she has spent many hours
over the last few months working on her website
that receives a whopping 6000 visits a month.
She says that while there is a huge amount of
interest in witchcraft, it’s important to
remind people who come to the site and ask questions
that while its an honour to be asked for advice,
they have to lead themselves. She says: “You
have to find out what’s in your heart, who
you are, you are always your own boss. I encourage
people to understand that. I’m not one to
look up to or to put on a pedestal. Things need
to be kept in that perspective.”
Keeping things in perspective, she sees the Internet
and television as natural mediums for communication
about a new religion or spiritual path.
She says: “It’s about being part
of the culture that we live in. Jesus spoke to
people from a mountainside, which was the equivalent
of mass media for his time and place. If he was
alive today he’d have a website and a chat
While the media work is fun and exciting, Fiona
stresses that that’s not what being a witch
is all about. She says: “Witchcraft is an
occult path. It’s not about being famous.
The best moments of our lives are quiet moments
“It’s a way of experiencing life
in all its richness and fullness. Obstacles are
seen as opportunities for growth. There has to
be death and decay in order for there to be growth
and renewal, something has to pass to make way
for the new.
“It is a way of making sense of the hard
times we live in and that's why I love doing it.”
Asked for more on the basic tenets she says:
“We see nature as sacred.
“We recognise that there is a power in
natural things and believe that certain spells
and rituals can harness and direct that power.
The rituals are about creating alignments between
objects, lining them up like magnets and focusing
your will on them and through them.
“It’s about recognising that we are
all powerful beings.
“It’s very different from my Catholic
upbringing where all you could do was pray and
hope that something would happen. Witchcraft is
much more interactive.
“It is also a very sensual sexy religion/spiritual
path. We see our bodies as perfect profound expressions
of divinity as opposed to the Catholic idea of
bodies being unclean.”
Her fifth book, Magickal Sex, released by HarperCollins
and Random House last year tackled the issue of
sexuality head on.
Fiona says: “The witches I know are very
comfortable in their sexuality and their sensuality
and that includes their cycles, their menstruation
and their orgasms, it is all seen as being part
of the joy of being alive and it doesn’t
lead to promiscuity or any of the sicker sides
“When it comes to sex we are into spiritual
ecstasy and much as physical ecstasy.
“Instead of saying a prayer before you
go to sleep at night you can have an orgasm and
offer the energy up to the light. It’s more
fun than saying a prayer and it’s a wonderful
thing to harness the power of orgasm and to treat
it as a sacred entity.”
Connecting this with history she describes witchcraft
as pre-technology, saying, “it goes back
to the old days when there was the Celtic festival
of Beltane celebrated in spring when people were
encouraged to make love in the fields and it was
important that human seed was spilt upon the soil,
because it was about connecting with the fertility
of the land.”
It’s this simply earthiness and sense of
connection with nature that Fiona says she loves
While the ‘great rite’ is always
part of Wiccan ritual, it is often celebrated
symbolically with a phallic object such as a dagger
and vessel-like object such as a chalice. In some
instances though participants take on the roles
and do it for real.
The most important point about this, Fiona stresses,
both in our interview and in her latest book,
She says: “If anyone tells you that you
are required to do this in order to be initiated,
or for any other reason, then you know for sure
that they are a wanker and not a witch and you
should get out of there as soon as possible.
“It isn’t about one person having
power over another. It is about making a connection
with nature through which the simplest of acts
becomes extremely sacred.”