1. You are German; what inspired you to bring your latest book, Magical Healing, to the United States?
It's the same inspiration as for the German readers. Due to my calling as witch and writer, I'm in a position where people talk to me freely about old customs or magical traditions they know from the past. I also do a lot of research in old sources and somehow it bothered me that our own traditions are quite underrepresented in the spiritual healing field.
We have many books, for example, on Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine, but our own healing traditions seem to lurk a bit in the dark compared to them. Don't get me wrongit's a blessing that we can learn from each other in a worldwide exchange of thoughts and traditions; I'm definitely for it. But, our own tradition also has many things to contribute, and the more people that know about it, the more they can incorporate it.
2. What inspired you to write Magical Healing?
As a child, I grew up in a rural region where it was customary to go to a shepherd to let him talk off warts or zoster. When we children bumped into something, our granny came with a big knife and put it flat onto the hurting spot to draw out the pain. These things were natural to me as a child, and for a long time I did not realise that they where not natural for everyone.
I've always been fascinated with the folk magical knowledge that is just under the surface of everyday life. But this knowledge is fading. The first big impact on it was after World War II, when people wanted a new life, they wanted to consume and use all sorts of modern things. Old traditions where seen as a kind of rural superstitions. Today is another impact with all the stress and fast-paced living of our time, which is the contrary to the "natural time" of magical healing.
My main inspiration is to preserve this old knowledge before it fades away, and it has already begun to. Many traditional healers don't find successors, and since they are more secretive and discrete than the loud "healing market" with its conventions and star-healers, their wisdom passes with them. I want to carry together as much as possible of the old healing traditions so they will come back to life and not fade away, because they are a treasure of knowledge.
3. Can anyone use the techniques in Magical Healing? Or is previous work with folk magic needed?
Anyone can use the techniques; folk magical knowledge (or even prior knowledge in magic at all) is not necessary. This kind of magic has always been the magic of ordinary people. It was meant to be an efficient self-help for people in need.
The example in the book of the Swabian women who received magical spells at their wedding to heal their own family illustrates that well. These women were ordinary women, not healers.
Of course, practise and time will show which (and how much) talent one develops in this field, but this is true for every art. You could compare this to math: not everyone will master higher mathematics, but putting two and two together is possible for everyone.
4. How was this magic handed down from previous generations?
The most important way was the direct transmission from healers to their successors and also to their patients. Many things also were common knowledge that everybody knew.
Later, when a growing part of the population was able to read, small magical books appeared, sometimes even published by pharmacists, often also by herbal shops. The boundaries between allopatic and natural medicine where often blurred in those days.
The third important strand of transmission is the tireless work of folklorists who collected, often just for small regions, as many gems of old knowledge as they could and wrote books and chronicles about them.
So, we find a mixture of oral lore, written records,and vernacular knowledge that is sometimes in use even today.
5. What do you hope readers will take away from Magical Healing?
The old healing techniques are simple, proven, tested over centuries, and feasible for everyone. I hope the readers will find a source of inspiration for their own healing work, to use these techniques as they are or to incorporate them in the healing ways they already walk.