In today’s podcast episode I chatting with Holland Otik, a maker, chef, teacher, researcher and animistic object enthusiast who incorporates magic and ritual into everything they do. She currently owns a small shop and studio in Hereford.
This conversation was epic. So much so that we ended up talking for twice as long as we scheduled, and this interview will be split into two parts. Our first two parter!
So today’s episode is part one of the two part interview with Holland Otik.
In this episode Holland shares how she got to this stage in her life and career. How a series of ‘missteps’ got her to this point, and by doing things didn’t serve her authentic self helped to realise what was right. What started as an identity crisis became an identity, and Holland realised her superpower.
Holland shares what a maker actually is and what they look like. She explains what a creative practice looks like.
She shares how having disappearing into play and using her imagination with the objects around her as a child is linked to the work she does today. We talk about how objects imbue meaning. The people who buy her work get it.
Holland talks about masks and how that is linked to her interest in animism. We go into detail about what animism is and what the looks like.
Our conversation then turns to ritual and what that means to Holland. We discuss the power of ritual, how it doesn’t need to be repetitive, and how it can be meaningful for an individual.
We talk about symbolism and how even the same thing can have different meaning for you at different times in your life.
Holland spends a lot of time researching magical practices from all kinds of cultures. She talks about contemporary British neo-pagan witchcraft, and how a lot of it hinges itself on old practices from long ago, but a lot of them were written down in the 1960s by a bunch of nudists.
We talk about the problems that arise by placing importance and meaning on old cultural practices. Often it ends up that people that wouldn’t otherwise engage with a culture often cherry-pick parts of it for themselves.
We chat about the power dynamics in the wellness and spiritual industries. How often it removes personal power and places it in the hands of somebody else.
Holland shares the importance of learning about something, being a custodian of that knowledge, and either you leave it alone, pass it on, or ruin it and misinform.
We talk about the challenging conversation of how does the average person get curious and learn about spirituality in a responsible way. Nobody wants to be doing it wrong, but we don’t always create space for a person doing it wrong to learn from it.
Holland shares her thoughts on private beliefs and whether we should share those with others. We chat about whether there is an ethical, responsible, and self-aware way to practice spirituality.
Subscribe to the podcast and tune in next week for the second part of this interview.