Tabs on Trad Interview: Lady Lucina
When I was considering whom I should ask to participate in our next Tabs on Trad interview, I realized that we didn’t yet have any Blue Star Elders. I wanted to get to know someone who has been around the block in our Tradition, someone who could get down to the nitty gritty of what Blue Star is all about.
It didn’t take much thought to arrive at a decision.
Lady Lucina, as she would prefer to be called in this interview, has been around from nearly the very beginning, when our fledgling Tradition was little more than a single Coven operating out of New York City, under the direction of our first High Priest and Founder, Frank Dufner, and his wife Tzipora.
At heart a Teacher, Lady Lucina lives the virtues of discipline, humility, and good humor, and she has been integral to keeping the lore and the core of our Tradition alive and well for all the generations of Blue Star since, and hopefully for many to come. She is the Third Degree High Priestess of Crystal Blue Star Coven, and was initiated in 1980, along with her husband and High Priest, Lord Odin.
Without further adieu, allow me to introduce her:
“Every family has different “types” of people – characters if you will. What role do you think you play in the family – how would your Caricature be drawn?”
That is easier than I would like to admit. Although I would prefer to envision myself as the vibrant teacher who whisks people off on a magic carpet to places of wonder, my real life role in Blue Star as a whole is a bit less fanciful.
I have sort of become the Great Aunt who knows a lot of stuff that most of the time people don’t want to hear about… until they need it…
“Is there anything that you can tell us about your name, and what it means to you?”
My Name… My Craft Name is Lucina, which was given to me at my Dedication, by a person who barely even knew me. I have since made part of my personal Path trying to discover who “the” Lucina is/was and why She is me.
I have gone through several missteps along that Path and came to recognize that, among other water-related pieces of Her persona, Lucina was involved with tides, undertow and the cycles of the sea.
She is, therefore not surprisingly, a Goddess very involved in childbirth and midwivery. Her name suggests “light;” however She is not so much light as in candles or fire/flame, as the Scandinavian Goddess similarly named is and the name might imply, but rather the “light” the baby sees as it is moving towards birth… the light of emergence.
Some say She is also the nether light that guides us along the tides toward Death at the other end of life as well, but research confirming this is more sketchy. When I came into the Craft I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, for medical reasons proven again and again, that I could have no children, so I perceived Lucina’s Path for me to be as a sort of spiritual midwife… a teacher and guide or mentor. Today I am the mother of a strong son. Maybe there’s something to Naming after all.
“What initially brought you to Blue Star? How did you “know” it was your spiritual home?”
What brought ME to Blue Star? That’s easy. I found out one of my best friends was getting involved with a coven of witches. I came to rescue her from a fate worse than death…
It worked… She became a Druid.
Why? I guess it might have been the music and the wonderfully theatrical people. Or perhaps it was just the swirl of colours and friendly faces… Of course it could simply have been the nature of the sacrifice I had made to protect my friend from an “awful fate” … (… yeah …uh… right… whatever… that’s a joke, okay?) … but I think I got the better part of that deal.
I would like to say something profound like: “I heard the call of the Gods in my head.” But the truth is that it simply felt good. I was happy.
“How old are you?”
I am as old as the Hills and as young as my Dreams… Or is it the other way around?
“What have been some significant or influential events that occurred in the Tradition since you joined?”
“Influential events” would be up to history to decide.
What might seem to have been influential to you looking at it today might have been commonplace, or even annoying, to me. People came and went, especially at The Shop in New York City where I began my training with Tzipora and Frank; and “important” people are often more important to themselves than to anyone else, especially in Craft environments. Yes, I got to meet some very colourful folks. Some of them still live inside me whenever I do circle workings or any thinking of the responsibility or influence of magick or ritual. I like to say that they showed me who I wanted to be, but also who I did not want to be… often in the same person.
I hate name-droppers.
The problem herein being that much of what we see as the Craft now was only just forming, in its adolescence (and that is being generous), when I started my journey. Blue Star certainly had only just begun to become what it turned into to get it to what it is today…
Everything that has happened began to happen in that time. “Significant?”
But what about me specifically? This is the point where I might say: “sit down my children and let me tell you the tale…” But I will leave some of that for another time.
My first Craft/Blue Star ritual experience was Mabon 1979. I was Groved shortly thereafter. My early Craft experience was at Tzip and Frank’s shop in New York City. It was called Tzipora and the Wizard. Many wonderful and amazing people came and went through that shop. I learned quickly that there are people who play with magick and there are people who are magick.
Early in my experience at The Shop, Blue Star (and therefore everyone I knew there) became involved, along with a few other groups, in creating and running of one of the first pagan conferences/gatherings. Today it is called Pan-Thea. Then it was called MAP-PCAF (Mid-Atlantic Pan-Pagan Conference and Festival). It was very new stuff back then, even a little dangerous. How times change. I am pleased to know that this conference is still going on.
Many things have happened over many years. One of the most significant to Blue Star, of course, was when Tzipora and Frank divorced just as my husband, Lord Odin, and I were about to take 3rd Degree. When the Blue Star Coven broke up Frank charged my husband and I with carrying on in his footsteps and guarding what we knew. When Tzip and Kenny took Blue Star on the road, the nature of Blue Star changed dramatically to meet new needs that go with the paradigm of a non-grounded practice. Lord Odin and I took very seriously the task of preserving what we could and continuing to practice as we had been trained.
As a result, from boxes, notebooks and tiny bits of paper, the Blue Book was assembled to help maintain continuity and to assure that we still had clear references to earlier Blue Star teaching. I am proud to know it is still being used today. The Book of Classes was also compiled, although much later, to contain, in lesson format, much of the earlier teaching and curriculum of the earlier Blue Star. You might say that my husband and I became archives, of a sort, of information from the days before the divorce of Tzip and Frank, and before the Tour Years.
“Is there a particular Sabbat that is most fun or fond for you?”
The whole Wheel. Yeah, I know it’ll sound corny and like “teacher-eze” but they just don’t work without the whole set. Each has its own glory and its part in the story. Each has its own set of mysteries and histories. One leads to the other and is its own past and future that way. You can’t take them apart.
I could say Mabon because it was my first, but then there was that Yule-tide with that really great bonfire or the first time we made the Lammas sacrificial Bread Man. Oh! Let’s not forget Maypoles and garlands or those long Mid-Summer nights and Fire-Fly! And Spring brings Pan, but Imbolg visions leave me almost as breathless as the Mighty One and the Veil at Samhain… But what about that sacrificial meat loaf!
I’m most fond of the one I haven’t done yet.
When asked if there have been any books that were influential to her spiritual growth, Lady Lucina responded with something that may sound familiar to many of us. Arianthe and I often approach research projects in much the same manner:
Okay well, reading… Now you’ve hit on a very tricky subject.
A lot of people think that the only way to do well in the Craft is to be a voracious reader, and I’m just not really a reader.
I changed schools 3 times during critical years when reading habits are formed… And then I went into remedial reading programs that only made it worse. I read, but slowly because I have to hear each word in my head as I read in order to understand.
For critical projects, my husband, who is a very quick reader, will guide me to things he thinks are important when we do research together and then I sort of tear them apart, fan them out and expand and contract it all and put them together to get the meat and juice out of them.
It’s not that I don’t read. It’s that I read selectively.
My favourite Craft book will always be Stewart Farrar’s What Witches Do … simply because it helped me need to know more. It turned me toward the Star I now follow. There have been lots of great and good books since, but it’s like love… You never forget that first one… the one that helped you grow up and gave you your heart.
“What are some of your lesser known hobbies or interests?”
Hobbies… I like to teach and write. I make preserves, sew and sing some (by the way, I am one of the female voices on Moon Hooves in the Sand). I’ve been a patternmaker, a costumer, a student, a teacher, an artist, a parent…
And a Priestess …
After all… What IS a hobby?
The temple room in our home has murals on the walls and ceiling expressing times of day and seasons appropriate to their quarter nature… Once the borders were up, I painted the walls myself…
But mostly I like to teach. I like to tell the stories and help show people why things are the way they are, why the mechanics of the circle work. I like to show them the building blocks and help create the foundation of magick.
I like them to ask and answer the question: “Why?”
Oh yeah… and I’m a Trekker.
“If you could offer a single message to young or new seekers to the Trad – what would it be?”
The most important thing you will find here, if you look hard enough, is you.
I don’t think it can be said any better than that. As we head into the future of Blue Star Tradition, it is always wise to look carefully at where we’ve come from, so that we can know where we’re going. We are truly blessed to have Elders like Lady Lucina in our Family, who can provide us with much needed direction and guidance as we move forward.
Thank you, Lady Lucina, for taking the time to be interviewed. Your responses were warm, humorous, humble, and enlightening. Our future generations are that much richer for having you and the rest of Crystal Blue Star around to keep things in perspective.