Now to dispense with one common question I see repeatedly from those who have found their way to my new e-mail addy who are asking about forthcoming books. My last two projects have me moving away from the subject of just Witchcraft or just Wicca, not for any lack of love for my religion, but because I feel I've said all I have to say at this time about Witchcraft. There are plenty of 101 books out there and now a whole new onslaught of books addressing the Craft from the point of view of neurosciences, quantum physics, DNA magick, advanced shamanic practices, and I think they are all fantastic sources for pushing we "old-timers" into new directions of thought and understanding. I do not feel I have enough to add to these intensely Craft-focused tomes to make writing a book of my own worthwhile, not to readers and not to myself.
In answer to the question, I do have book proposals circulating the publishing houses on topics of interests to Pagans, folk magicians, and to those who practice or are curious about syncretic or blended PanAm forms of magick and worship. These are the areas in which I feel drawn to share my experiences.
I have also been asked about a sequel to both my "A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk" (1994) and "The Healing Power of Faery " (2008). First of all, my heart-felt thanks to those who have enjoyed these two books. The world of the fey never fails to entrance me but, until faery itself choses to escalate my faery shaman skills into the advanced levels I see no sequel coming soon. I was pleased to be part of the children's book "Fariypedia" from DK Publishing and hope it finds a happy home with Pagan children and children at heart.
Now for the non-question portion of the program. I do not want my blogs to be about my books. I don't want to feel I'm shoving a sales pitch into your face whenever you pop in to read this blog. Yes, I know this is what publicists want authors to do but I know I cannot handle reading lengthy blogs attempting to disguise a sales pitch. It just gets old. I'd rather share the fun anecdotes that all Witches encounter, the kind we share with laughter around the balefires of coven gatherings, PPDs, and festivals. Since I cannot answer all my e-mails I want this to be a place I can address questions, and to let you know I'm flattered and humbled to be asked anything.
One of my latest encounters with "be careful what you wish for" occurred last winter. One of my best friends--and sister Witch--had just moved into a condo without a fireplace. Morganna, the said friend, is a fire magick fiend so the switch to a non-fireplace home meant getting creative with spellwork. I can't even recall what the spell was that we were putting so much energy into that night. I do know we hand wrote the spells on parchment, added oils and charged herbs, and that we rolled it into a tube. Multiple candles illuminated the spacious livingroom/kitchen area in a golden haze. No one was outside in the raw weather and all was quiet except for the light splintering of ice crystals hitting the windows. Morganna's four cats lolled around the room in sleepy complacency. By our standards this was the perfect mood for serious spellwork.
"How are we going to burn this?" I asked. We always used her fireplace before. "There's too much wind outside." We didn't want sparks flying out of control nor did we really want to try to focus on a spell when the windchill was in single digits. What were two determined Witches to do?
Morganna took the tube over to the stainless steel sink and turned on the kitchen vent. That seemed like a good spot to me. If the fire got messy we could just drop the parchment full of herbs and oils into the sink and turn on the taps. The serenity of the event remained intact.
Morganna's Craft teacher started her out on Silver RavenWolf's books and, because of this, she used many of Silver's chants and incantations in her spellwork, spells she knew to the last word. We focused our concentration on the tube and focused again on our goal, speaking it in the detailed poetry we had written on the parchment. Morganna lit the tube and began chanting one of Silver's incantations for burning paper spells beginning, "Paper does give way to flame..."
The edge of the parchment caught fire as we kept the spell moving. At first it appeared that the flame was going to expand with the swell of the incantation. Near the end of the incantation comes a command to the spell. The exact words used as "fiery bird." As we got closer to this point in the spell the flame began to ebb. No matter how we turned the tube the fire was just not going to cooperate. We started to giggle and Morganna shouted, "I said 'fiery bird!'"
In that instant the parchment ignited like flashpaper. She dropped it into the sink. The flames shot above the sink's edge. An instant later the deafening wail of the smoke alarm shattered the quiet of the night. All four cats leapt in the air like cartoon figures and, hissing and spitting, they each ran to a different quarter of the condo. Some heavy fanning with a kitchen towel silenced the alarm but Morganna and I were laughing hard enough that bodily control was endangered. We got our fiery bird and probably scared several lives out of the poor cats.
Did the spell work? I absolutely do not know. When I look back at this all I can recall is the "fiery bird" and I remember the early Craft lesson which is oh so wise: Be careful what you ask for.
Have a blesséd rest of July. BB and MMA,