My name is Irene Glasse, and I identify within the diverse umbrella of Paganism as a Mystic Witch. I am also a musician – I write and perform with Kindred Crow (a Pagan folk project). The rest of my bio can sound a little ridiculous, so strap in: I’m a former Marine, currently a yoga teacher, tarot reader and minister. I swear, it all made sense at the time. I live in Western Maryland with my sweetheart, two cats and a dog-goat-wookie hybrid of some sort.
I’ve been practicing witchcraft for over 20 years now. Like many in the Pagan world, my personal practice is a self-constructed, trial-and-errored amalgamation of techniques, beliefs and traditions cobbled together from many different sources. I began in Wicca, as so many witches my age did. I have never regretted having Wicca as an underlying structure for magick – it made a great skeleton for the body of work that the past two decades have included.
In my late 20s, I began to drift further from the tradition I was part of (I am a former high priestess of the Tradition of the Witches Circle, based in Occoquan, VA) to explore more transcendental techniques for connection. The reason I use the word ‘mystic’ to describe my witchiness is that mystical experiences are what I crave and seek out – I pursue direct contact with the Divine, the Powers, the Spirits and the Ancestors. I push the edges of consciousness, of the linear and logical. I practice trance states, oracular work and visionary quests.
Over the years, I have had the great pleasure to study under some excellent witches, magicians, seers and practitioners. I am a divinator with a specialization in Tarot, an avid advocate of guising and shapeshifting, a ritual practitioner proficient in high magick to sacred theater to almost everything in between, a Hrafnar-style trained practitioner of Seidr, I am cross-trained in Shamanism, and I am a longtime teacher of Paganism, Wicca, Witchcraft and associated paths in the Western Maryland community.
I firmly believe in pursuing skill development, education and new techniques regardless of how long anyone has been on this Path. I don’t know who said it to me first, but I absolutely agree with the phrase ‘beware the teacher who has no teacher.’ Toward that end, I am enrolled in the Commissioned Lay Ministry Program through the Unitarian Universalist Association. Through the program, I am further developing my pastoral counseling skills, my abilities as a community organizer and leader, and, of course, my spirituality. I also attend retreats, conferences and workshops presented by others at every available opportunity.
I currently have the great honor of serving the Frederick, Maryland, based Pagan community through Frederick CUUPS (the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans). Frederick CUUPS is a large, vibrant community of diverse paths. As a UU Pagan, I welcome all seekers to visit and explore with us – you’ll find an open-minded group of folks happy to share their paths with you, and support you as you develop your own. Frederick CUUPS offers monthly Earth Centered Spirituality Services, Full Moon Labyrinth Walks, the eight High Holiday rituals of the Pagan year, the annual Frederick Pagan Pride Day, the Midwinter Ball, and many classes and workshops. If you’re in the area, I invite you to visit. I have been involved with Frederick CUUPS for just over eight years now, and the Lead Squirrel Herder (chairperson) for the past four.
I also serve on the board of the Sacred Space Foundation, the board that organizes and presents The Sacred Space Conference. The Sacred Space Conference is the premier annual esoteric conference on the East Coast for intermediate to advanced practitioners. Meeting in spring in the Washington, DC/Baltimore area, each year our featured teachers and a host of highly qualified regional teachers offer a wide variety of workshops and rituals developed for a more advanced audience.
I primarily follow the Gods, Goddesses and Powers of the Heathen pantheon. My Patroness is Freya, and I work most closely with Her. I practice inclusive Heathenry – if you feel the call of those same Gods and Powers, I welcome you to our ways regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, gender expression, sexuality, creed, economic status, family status, citizenship, occupation, physical or psychological ability. I also pride myself on my ‘handshake relationship’ with the Gods and Powers of many different pantheons. I serve an open community, so I’m always happy to make new ‘friends’ on the other side.
And, I’m happy to make friends on this one. Pleased to meet you! Feel free to say hello in the comments, drop me a line, or ask me a question. You found my online Witch’s Cottage – pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea, and let’s chat!