Everything is Very Serious

A few weeks ago, a new book called Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven hit the shelves and all hell broke loose in the social media witch-o-sphere. Written by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, published by Quirk Books, and seemingly available in trendy clothing shops everywhere on the planet, it appears to be just a novelty item designed to capture the attention of young women as they stand bored in the check-out line. 51WcQguq2JL._SX369_BO1,204,203,200_

One would have thought the book was actually titled Basic Witches: All Your Witchcraft Are Belong to Us from all the pearl-clutching and terrified moaning its discovery elicited. I read comments from people about how they saw it and literally puked in their mouths, I read angry diatribes about just how fake and insincere it all was, I saw hopeless hand-wringing over the pending Becky-invasion (with pumpkin spice latte in hand!)  taking over witchcraft, there were even questions here and there over whether this was cultural appropriation.

On the show lately, Chris and I have been having a lot of discussions with our guests, as well as just amongst ourselves in the mini-episodes, over favorite witch-related books and movies, both the kind we enjoy (or hate) now and the ones we feel were instrumental in aligning our newbie feet to the paths we now stride. It’s been mostly fun, despite the occasional grumping in the sidelines from those who require ideological purity and seriousness at all times- they don’t like fun, it would seem, and believe that the witchcraft and paganism communities need to get their collective heads out of the clouds and stop liking fluffy fantasy quite so much in their chosen entertainment because we must all be very very serious in every breath of every day.

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The Lesson of the Yew

As many of you may remember, Chris and I signed a contract earlier this year with Weiser/Red Wheel Books to write a book about our style of traditional witchcraft. We had been working on it for quite some time before the contract was even solidified, as we are both very pragmatic creatures with contingency plan upon contingency plan stored away in our heads, and we are quite happy to say that as of last week, the first draft has been sent over to our editors for the review-and-revise part of the show. (more…)

As of late…

I haven’t written one of these in a long time. It’s cool. There’s a lot of things going on with Tara and I, which includes the podcast, the coven, other ventures, and life in general.

The podcast. Will be coming back on track. Due to life, family, and the oppressive heat of the summer, there has been a brief gap in show production. This will be changing. Those of you who have been with the show for years may have noticed a pattern during this time of the year. The heat sucks and it sucks me dry of energy, which means little to nothing gets done. Plus with the need of the air conditioning to keep us comfortable and sane, turning it off to record an episode is always a concern. Not to mention the air conditioning units from our neighbors, which we can’t turn off, also create additional background noise in the show. Unfortunately we don’t have a better recording environment. I hope to change this in the future. (more…)

What is Paganism? An Experiment In Certainty.

paganism_umbrellaBecause there is no central text or authority on the matter, defining Paganism for the understanding of outsiders and insiders of the Pagan community can be tricky, but not impossible as long as some things are kept in mind.

First off, Paganism is a term of self-identification. Period. No one person or path has a single claim to this term because it has no definitive meaning or specific association.  However there are nearly a dozen ways for someone to ‘wear’ the term because of its versatility and with that said, it also has no set political affiliation.

Secondly, Paganism is a category or classification and not a specific path. It has no set practice or system of belief.  It has no religious affiliation or implied theological or cosmological outlook.  Paganism is not a religion or set spirituality unto itself. (more…)

As of late…busy, busy, busy as usual.

I realize that I don’t often post much about what’s been going on in my life anymore. Not that anyone has to care, but I thought I would share anyway for good measure.

Summer time always knocks me down. I don’t do well with the heat and humidity of NJ and honestly it may just be the humidity that does it because hot or cold, humidity will add a special layer of ugh to any type of day.  However, despite the season, I’ve been trying my best to fill orders, podcast, study, practice with Tara, work my day job, and just be as present as possible in my own life.

Along with my usual activities, Tara and I have recently been involved with organizing a Sharon Knight concert with one of coordinators of SJPPD which will be happening in Maple Shade, NJ on August 4th. I imagine you’ve already seen my announcements about it somewhere via social media. If you’re local enough, you should come out for it because it’s going to be a fun time.

altarNow, what did I mean earlier, by “practice with Tara?” Well, I mean just that. Since I left the Gardnerian coven I was apart of 1.5 years ago, Tara and I have been working together in a ritual sense, in a magickal sense, and in a witchcraft sense. If you weren’t aware of this that’s OK because this is the first time that I’ve written about it online, but some of the altar pictures I’ve shared in the past have been from our nights working together. I haven’t posted any images recently because after a while they all tend to look the same, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been doing ritual in some manner or another.

What we’ve been doing is trying to find our way of working together which has been a lot of experimentation and research on both our parts and a lot of determining what feels better for the both of us, what works and what doesn’t. What our efforts have begun to establish is something different, but in some ways something new, and in other ways something completely recognizable.  I wouldn’t call what we’re doing as being eclectic because it has a formal structure and firm foundation, and it’s certainly not Wiccan for over a half dozen reasons and that’s fine. There’s enough of that to go around and we were pursuing something more relevant to our needs and sense of place.

I’m bringing the coven up in this post because we’ve decided to be a little more public with it in an effort to help it along and to not be so tight lipped about it. Like a plant, any growing thing needs some exposure and interaction with its surroundings in order to develop further and what we’re doing is no different.  Our work needs exposure and the opportunity to stretch its legs despite it being an initiatory tradition for practical reasons.

Aside from the coven, and yes, that’s what we’re calling what we’re doing because we’re hoping to attract others down the line, the resin version of my sculpture The Witch Lord will be available in the Fall, which is exciting! I’ll also be at various local Pagan Pride Days as well as FaerieCon! So, the rest of the year is full of wonderful things ahead and I hope to be sharing them with you all in some way or another!

Cheers!

 

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