Author Interview: Raven Digitalis
Today I’m thrilled to share with you an interview with Raven Digitalis, whose newest book The Everyday Empath immediately became on of my all time favorites!
Raven is also the author of Esoteric Empathy, Shadow Magick Compendium, Planetary Spells & Ritual, sand Goth Craft (Llewellyn Worldwide.) He is co-founder of a nonprofit multicultural temple called Opus Aima Obscuræ (OAO) which primarily observes NeoPagan and Hindu traditions. He also co-operates Mother India Marketplace, wholesaling Ayurvedic and Indian spiritual products straight from the Motherland. Raven has been an Earth-based practitioner since 1999, a Priest since 2003, a Freemason since 2012, and an empath all of his life. He holds a degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Montana and is also a professional Tarot reader, DJ, card-carrying magician, small-scale farmer, and animal rights advocate.
Raven: Hello and thank you for the interview! I’m pleased to talk about my new book The Everyday Empath on Llewellyn Worldwide. It’s also exciting to say that the book is now available in print, e-book, and audiobook formats, which is an exciting first for me! It is my hope that my two books about empathy (including the previous Esoteric Empathy) will continue to help fellow empaths on their journeys for many years to come. So far, the feedback has been wonderful.
Ramona Mead: What made you decide to write books specifically for empaths?
Raven Digitalis: Like many of us, I’ve recognized myself as an empath from the moment I learned what the term means. For me, it was a spiritual elder who introduced me to the term empath. From that day at age 16, it’s been a long journey of self-discovery in order to analyze the concept from every possible angle. I seek to do this in my books, especially because empathy is both a physiological scientific fact as well as a spiritual experience. As with all my books, The Everyday Empath is designed to be a bridge and a light along the way.
RM: Does writing energize or drain you?
RD: It really depends on the context. When a looming deadline is colliding with other big obligations in life, the writing can become a bit of a task. Luckily these moments are few and far between, and usually only apply to my own slacking when it comes to writing articles rather than books! I’ve chosen to diligently work on my books only when the Fates align it! By this, I mean that I know it’s time to write when ample time and creative insights are flowing simultaneously. When I write, I put myself into it whole-hog, remaining ever mindful of the reader’s perspective, in order to assist the reader to the best of my ability.
RM: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with positive or negative ones?
RD: Every now and then I do an “ego search” and look at some reviews. Early in my writing career I tended to become attached to the reviews, especially the critical ones, and would take the feedback to an unhealthy personal level. At this point I focus on the positive aspects of book reviews (and I love constructivecriticism!), because at this point I have a genuine sense of confidence in the work being offered.
RM: How do you get your creativity flowing?
RD: Meditation. Reading. Discussing. Music. Dark red wine. Not necessarily in that order!
RM: What’s your preferred method for writing? Do you write by hand at all?
RD: I take a lot of notes by hand, but compose the books on the computer because that’s easiest way; it’s also the only method accepted by publishers! As a digital guy, I’ve found an immense benefit in a phone app that allows a person to instantly send a text to their own email address. When I’m really channeling or crafting a book, there are days when I’ll send upward of 20 sudden-inspiration “content idea” texts to myself that all begin with, “Talk about this in the new book!”
RM: Do you read much, and if so who are your favorite authors?
RD: Oh yes, reading is life! I’m not big on novels, but thirst for spiritual nonfiction. Lately my focus has been on the various disciplines of Yoga, Hinduism, meditation, and psychedelic spirituality.
RM: Did you design your own book covers?
RD: Nope, my friends Kevin and Donna at the Llewellyn art department are in charge of most of my books’ cover art and internal layout. They are fantastic artists and human beings who I am thankful to know and have on my team!
RM: Do you have a daily habit of writing and/or reading?
RD: I definitely have a daily habit of looking at Internet memes. Reading and writing come when they do, as time and inspiration allows!
RM: What is your view on co-authoring books? Have you done any?
RD: It sounds like a fun idea and is definitely something I’ve considered but never gotten off the ground. However, ideas continue to churn!
RM: Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?
RD: Nah, not too much; not during the bulk of the writing process – which can take months or years. It’s usually doing those last few weeks of intense editorial work where I’ll socially isolate myself in order to get the material just right. This can be a fun and spiritual experience!
RM: As an empath, how do you experience putting your thoughts/feelings onto the page and sharing them with the world? Is it draining or fulfilling or something else?
RD: It’s cathartic, and ultimately fulfilling even if it requires a heavy amount of vulnerability at first. If an empathic reader can empathize with my own experience, and me with theirs, a true bond forms. Then the real transformational work can begin – on both sides!
RM: As an empath, I find your advice different from others because you teach us that we have a responsibility to share our light, and not be sponges. Your books have been extremely empowering for me. Do you hear this sort of feedback from empath readers often?
RD: Thanks so much; there’s nothing more I want in the world than to be able to help others on their journeys and make the world a better place, even a little bit, one day at a time. This begins with self-awareness, which is why I encourage awareness – rather than pessimism – as the first step toward empathic empowerment.
RM: Can you tell us about your current projects?
RD: I’m currently writing a script for an adult-themed play and composing its accompanying musical pieces! Okay, not really. But I amworking on another book, slowly but surely, which ties into personal experiences in India. I’ve also noticed a pattern: just when I think I have nothing more to write about, another inspiration comes right along, needing to be expressed. I think this is the process of art: despite our often-faulty mental filters, the creators are at the mercy of forces both outside of themselves and deep within. And I’ve learned the hard way that it does no good to ignore these inspirations. At the end of the day, it’s an amazing feeling to hold the finished product and realize that it’s a piece of the puzzle for many readers on their journey of empathic self-awareness.
I can’t thank Raven enough for the work he does, and for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions! For more info about Raven, follow the links below!