Macabre Goddess, or Blaze as she’s known to friends and family, is a solitary, eclectic, witch and Youtube Queen who lives in Southampton. With 15.5k subscribers to her YouTube channel, Blaze is definitely making her mark in the witching world.
I chatted to Blaze about her thoughts on the spooky her-story of the New Forest, how she got into YouTube, gothic glamour, the dark arts, the origins of her name and her number one witchy recommendations.
Hey Blaze. How do you feel about the word witch?
I know that for some people it can be a really, really daunting word. A lady that I used to work with definitely was a witch, she did spells, grew her own herbs, collected crystals but would never ever say the word witch. But personally, I think it’s an empowering word. I think take back the power, use the word witch, throw it around.
You grew up just outside of Eastleigh in Hampshire – I grew up in Southampton, so at one point we were practically neighbours. What was it like for you growing up as a witch in the Southampton area?
In Southampton we have Pagan Pride every year so the city is quite open about witchcraft. It’s such a fun day. Everyone comes out in all their wonderful witchy attire. And then you’ve got the New Forest on the doorstep with all it’s witchy history. I think Southampton is a good place to be if you’re a witch.
Can you touch on the history of witchcraft in the New Forest?
As far as I’m aware the witchcraft history stemmed in Burley. There was a witch in the ‘50s who lived there, Sybil Leek. She was well known for her witchcraft and her little jackdaw on her shoulder, but weirdly local people weren’t too keen on her. I think they were a bit ashamed of her witchcraft so she ended up moving to America. But now in Burley there are all sorts of witchy shops, and there’s a big photo of Sybil and information about her in the shop she named, A Coven of Witches. Now, we sort of embrace her.
Do you have any favourite witchy places?
The New Forest. I think there’s something so magic about being out in nature. Where I live in the city I don’t really see a lot of nature so on weekends and bank holidays me and my boyfriend are always on the train straight to the New Forest. My favourite place is Lyndhurst – I love how cute it is! There are all sorts of shops where you can pick up little bits to help with your witchcraft. One of my favourite shops, well a little cafe actually, does Lavender lattes.
You have to try one. They’re amazing.
Do you mind if we talk about your YouTube channel? I love your makeup tutorials! What inspired you to start your channel?
I’ve been watching YouTube forever. I think the thing that first led me to start a channel was watching videos by other people in the goth community – Toxic Tears and It’s Black Friday were two big goth YouTubers that I loved. The longer I was on YouTube the more goth YouTubers I found. Then I realised that there were also witchy YouTubers. So I sort of just blended everything that I loved into one channel – goth, witchiness, Halloween and make up.
Do you film and edit yourself or do you have support?
I taught myself, I’ve never had help with it. My younger sister started YouTube around the same time so we started giving tips to each other. But by no means are either of us professional. As I started getting more serious about making videos I switched from using my iPhone to an actual camera. I think the first video I ever filmed was on a webcam – the audio and the video were so bad! But I mean, it’s just fun isn’t it?
Is fun an important motivator for you?
For sure. I think because my work is so formal that outside of work I don’t want to be stuck with boring things. YouTube is a bit of a release I suppose.
Talking of work, how do you find the time to balance regular muggle life with being a full time witch?
It’s definitely hard. I’ve missed Sabbats because I didn’t have the energy. But, again, witchcraft is something I do because I enjoy it and I have fun doing it. I don’t want to force myself to do something especially if I’m low energy. But say I’m really tired, I’ll take a bath, light some candles and put herbs in – there you go – I’m doing some witchcraft. I’m not doing something massive but it’s just finding little bits every day. One of my favourite things is in the morning setting my intention with my coffee and feeling that witchy start to my day.
I love that. Fostering a routine of small acts of witchiness every day… Can we talk about your photos? You have some absolutely stunning photos online. How would you describe your aesthetic?
I think… definitely dark and gothic. I saw someone describe their decor as Victorian Funeral Parlour and that pretty much sums up the images I make and how I want my home to be. I just love it – the Victorian era – dark, spooky and creepy. I think as cliché as it sounds I’m drawn to the beauty in the darker things. Beauty in death. I’m drawn to the more taboo things. I think it’s the Scorpio in me!
To me, your images radiate Goddess worship, does that resonate with you?
Glamour and a darker sex appeal are definitley within my vibe. Dita Von Teese, I absolutely worship the ground she walks on. Underwear as outerwear I absolutely love. I think, just embrace who you are, wear what you want and do what you want.
Preach. Do you have any tips for someone who wants to bring gothic glamour into their life?
It’s about finding what you’re comfortable with. What makes you confident, empowers you and then going for it. Instagram is a huge source of inspiration for me. I think a lot of people can be quite daunted by trying something a bit more extreme in terms of make up, hair and dress. But I think… you know, it’s an outfit. If you don’t like it then don’t wear it again. If you don’t like that make up, don’t do it again. Try it out. Go for it. I think that’s what life’s about.
And whilst we’re on the subject of darkness, does your work ever veer into darker territories?
It did when I first started. I think I had a lot of teen angst. I found The Satanic Bible and I was like, “I am so going to get into this”. I read it cover to cover. There was another book, The Satanic Witch and I was like, “Oh I love it!” But, in my opinion, those books are not really about witchcraft. It’s a completely different thing. For me, I saw the rituals and hexes as more of an emotional release, it’s not really about putting a hex on someone, it’s more about releasing the emotions that caused you to want to put a hex on someone. It’s not really witchcraft in the way I understand it so I moved away from those books. I still appreciate the occult air to them; I definitely love the imagery, I think it’s so cool, but I’m not practicing in that way. I think… I would hex if I really, really felt like it but I think the actual witchcraft I practice is quite opposite to the way I appear. I’m very much like, “worship nature, worship the animals, love everyone, be as nice and kind as you can”. My dark, goth image is quite conflicting with my actual witchcraft practice.
Recently I wrote a blog post that compared witches to drag queens and I made the point that, like drag queens, a lot of witches choose their own names. Why did you pick Blaze?
The decision wasn’t really to do with witchcraft but… I think that subconsciously maybe it was. I just felt that my name was so boring, so ordinary, and it didn’t reflect me. Blaze is more fierce and fiery. There’s an edge to it. It felt like Blaze was more of who I was becoming. I was leaving that quiet person behind and my name needed to match. I actually found the name Blaze in a piece of Pierce The Veil fanfiction, which is so embarrassing! I’d never heard the name Blaze before and then there it was. And this was before, you know, “4/20 blaze it”. Some people at first were like, “Is it Blaze because you smoke weed?” And I was like, “nooo!” But you know, I just go with it now.
Do you go by Blaze all of the time?
I would love to be Blaze all of the time. At work I still have to use my birth name which is really shit. Part of me wants to change it by deed poll but then I think… because my work is very professional, I just don’t know if I would still be able to get good jobs with the name Blaze. I think the workplace is definitely becoming more understanding and more accepting but I don’t know if it’s quite there yet.
I’m always on the hunt for new recommendations for myself and my readers, if you had to recommend one book what would it be?
It’s a toss up between two… one I think is more controversial but I loved it. It’s by Lisa Lister and is called Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic. I think the book’s message of harnessing your own energy is amazing, I loved it. I can see that people sort of felt that the book was geared very much towards biological females and sort of making it seem like that’s the only way to be a witch, but Lisa does make a short statement in the book to say anyone can be a witch. But yeah… I found that book really… there were parts of it in the beginning where I was almost in tears because it just moved me so much. Personally, for me, that is a great one. And then Harmony Nice’s book, Wicca. I’m not Wiccan but the amount of valuable information in that book is amazing. It’s like a beginners guide.
I struggled when I first started trying to find a podcast that I felt fit with what I like but the one I ended up absolutely loving was The Fat Feminist Witch. Paige hosts it and I love her. I think she’s so funny and loveable. A lot of her beliefs are similar to mine and she’s so in-depth with her research. She’s read the books; she knows what she’s talking about.
It changes a lot as to who I’m obsessed with but at the moment it’s Gaby Herstik. On Instagram she’s doing a challenge where she posts a different collage every day. They’re so Goddess and Tarot orientated, oh my God, I love them! I think the rituals that she posts for the new and full moons are so good. And her books. I love her. I’m obsessed.
I don’t know how good it is now, but when I first started learning and researching Tumblr was my biggest resource. Obviously you can’t take everything on Tumblr as fact but there are a lot of people on there who want to help educate witches with FAQ’s – you can ask them anything. Also Pinterest. I’d say probably those two.
And how is best for people to connect with you?
I’m most active on Instagram stories – I respond to messages frequently on there. Twitter maybe, that’s not just for witchcraft, so if you want to know what I’m having for lunch definitely check out Twitter, haha.
Any final words of wisdom to share with a witch who is just starting out?
I think as cliché as it is, if it’s meant to be it will be. Try it out, give it a shot. I like the concept of trying something for a year and a day before making a decision. As cringe as it sounds you only live once. If you’re interested in witchcraft you’re probably interested in it for a reason. Witchcraft is a calling. Give it a go.
Thank you Blaze. I adore your energy, your utterly gorgeous photos and the fun-filled videos that you share with the world as Macabre Goddess. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. Blessed be.