writing

How to Troubleshoot Your Magic is now available!

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DO YOU WANT TO GET CONSISTENT RESULTS WITH YOUR MAGICAL PRACTICE?

Of course you do...

But you can't get consistent results when you don't understand how magic works. And there's nothing more frustrating then doing a magical working and not getting the result you worked for...

You're left wondering what you did wrong, or trying to figure out why the magic didn't work, even though you did everything in the magick spell book. 

In How to Troubleshoot Your Magic, I share my method for troubleshooting magical workings that aren't getting the right results.

And I show you how to fix your magical workings and get the results you deserve.

This is a practical magic book that helps you understand why your magic isn't getting you the results you want...and shows you how to fix your magic workings so you get the results.

Get it now and get better results with your magical practice.

Statements and questions as magical tools

I was watching a video recently where the person being interviewed made a rather interesting statement. He claimed that statements limit and/or close off probabilities, while questions expand probabilities. I thought about it and found myself agreeing that if you look at how language is used from a probability angle, then yes language can be used to either limit or expand probabilities. Let’s consider that angle in further detail.

A statement is typically used to declare an opinion or a fact. From a probability perspective, a statement would seem to typically limit the probabilities available because a statement is describing and defining what is being stated. What we need to understand about statements is that in doing all of that, what’s really happening is a defining on the basis of the agenda of the person making the statement. A statement is really an attempt to describe what something ought to be. And that is pretty accurate in terms of limiting the probabilities through language, because if we’re describing and defining what something ought to be, we’re also trying to rule out what it shouldn’t be.

Grimoire Ulani is now available

Grimoire Ulani Ten years ago, Storm Constantine published Grimoire Kaimana, a book that described the pop culture system of magic Dehara, based on her Wraeththu series. Grimoire Kaimana describes the basic concepts of the Dehara system and it helped create an active system of pop culture magic that is practiced by fans of the series. I was one of the people Storm collaborated with when putting together Grimoire Kaimana and I continued to do my own work in the Dehara system.

Earlier this year, Storm asked me if I'd helped her develop the sequel to Kaimana. It had been ten years since it came out and we both had continued working in the system. We decided to put together our notes as well as collaborate together once again to put the sequel together: Grimoire Ulani.

Grimoire Ulani is available in Paperback and in a limited edition hardback.

Grimoire Dehara: Ulani is the second volume concerning the pop culture magic system based on the mythos of Storm Constantine’s popular fantasy novels, the Wraeththu series. The focus of the system is the Dehara, androgynous deities that represent the alchemical rebis, the conjunction of male and female, spirit and matter.

Following on from Grimoire Dehara: Kaimana, this book explores Ulani, the second tier of the system, incorporating the levels Acantha, Pyralis and Algoma. The practitioner now accesses deeper realms of magical knowledge, utilising their creativity and imagination as a vehicle to study the self.

The book is fully illustrated by artist Ruby, with additional illustrations by Storm Constantine.

Grimoire Dehara: Ulani includes:

Working within etheric realms

Sikaara – the deharan version of the energy system of the body and the study of its centres

Xephelax – the deharan Underworld

The dehara of alchemy and alchemical transformation

The Constellati – beings of the cosmos

Divozenky – the mind of the earth

Creating a Spiritual Pearl

This book is an essential addition to the library of any experimental practitioners of magic interested in new systems, as well as fans of Storm’s work, who want to know more about the magic described in the novels.

Order the paperback version

Order the limited edition hardback version

The Magic Rhythm of Writing

Writing The other night Heather Greene and I talked about the pop culture magic of dance and Theatre. In the midst of that very fun conversation Heather brought up an intriguing point about the rhythm of writing. She explained that when she was writing she wrote to a beat. In other words as she wrote she'd ask herself where she wanted the writing to slow down or speed up or do something else altogether.

I'd never explicitly come across that approach to writing.

Yet I knew what she was talking about because of my own background in literacy and rhetoric, my interest in experimental writers, and of course my own experiments in writing.

Over this past half year I've been doing some experimenting with my writing, so when she talked about the beat of the writing, it made a lot of sense to me and yet it also got me thinking not just about the writing, but the magic in the writing.

The magic in writing is alllll about the response of the people reading the writing. If there's no response, the writing isn't manifesting anything. But if people respond, then something is happening. People are doing something, changing something, becoming something. The writing plays a role in that.

But if you want writing to do that you've got to think about more than just the words you write. You've got to think about the format and appearance of the writing.

This blog post is an example of what I'm writing about.

Note the words which have been bolded for emphasis...That emphasis calls attention to some concept or technique or fact that I want to make apparent to you...or it evokes an emotion, a shared experience that you can connect and empathize with.

Because this is online writing, my paragraphs are shorter. The sentences vary in length and aren't always complete because I'm going for more of a conversational approach.

Then there's the use of punctuation, which creates its own rhythm in the sentence, and in the reading experience. Go back and read the sentence with the ellipses. How does that reading experience differ from the reading experience of a sentence with commas or a period?

Writing has a rhythm and it doesn't have to be poetry to have that rhythm.

The magic of the writing is how the reader responds to the writing; What do they do as a result of reading the writing?

Actually you see this principle at work in speeches as well. A gifted professional speaker knows when to pause, when to speak slowly and when to speak fast. They know how to insert punctuation into the speech, and how to get the attention on the key points of the talk.

So much of my love for writing comes from the formatting of writing, the set up of the sentences and the punctuation and the crafting of the words. It's not just writing words on a page....it's crafting a message that gets a response, whether its a like, share, or comment, or a click on the link that brings you to another site. It's the thoughts the person has after reading, and the actions they take, inspired by the writing.

There's a lot of magic in all of that activity. You just need to recognize it and work it into the writing you do and watch as it takes on a life of its own.

Do you enjoy my writing, videos and the magical experiments podcast? If so please donate. Your donations go toward the costs of the podcast and this website. Even a dollar helps me maintain and continue the work that you are enjoying. Thanks!

How William S. Burroughs changed my writing and magic

William S. Burroughs I never met William S. Burroughs in person, but I felt like his reading his books was an introduction to the person. I didn't even encounter Burroughs writing until the spring of 1998, a half year after the author in question had died. It was a senior class seminar for college and I needed the credits and nothing else was remotely appealing.

I remember walking into that class with only a vague idea of who William S. Burroughs was. I knew he was an author and that he'd written a book called Naked Lunch and supposedly done a lot of drugs. I remember not feeling overly enthused at the time, because I was a straight edge kind of person, but I needed the class.

Little did I know that reading William S. Burroughs work would have a significant effect on my magical practice and my writing.

As I started reading his books, I felt his presence, hovering over my shoulder. Burroughs is one of those writers who lives on in his writing, a phantom presence that comes and visits, whispering secrets in your ears as you read his words. You know he's there, but when you look, you can't find him. His soul is embedded in every word. You could say he's a virus in his words.

As I read his books and learned about his writing techniques, I felt like the secrets of the universe were revealed to me. Soon I was cutting up magazines and newspapers and my own writing and randomly gluing it altogether to create my own versions of cut-ups and like Burroughs I discovered that the cut-ups could circumvent linear time and provide glimpses and even manipulations of time.

But Burroughs didn't just write about writing or drugs or all the other subjects he's most known for. He also wrote about magic. Oh his books weren't your average magic books, written explicitly about magic. No, the magic was in his stories, in what the characters did and how Burroughs explained their relationship to the world, spirits, and whatever else he was writing about. In the lurid sex acts, in the depictions of corporate greed, and the frank exploration of the word as a virus, as well as the stories of magic, what Burroughs did was paint a picture of the world that would make so strong an impression on me that it changed me.

I experimented with writing and I experimented with magic. Burroughs wasn't about rules, but about possibilities, and the recognition that there was no such thing as coincidence in a magical universe. What he taught me was that the universe was magical and I had only to open myself to that fact to discover just how magical it could be.

For several years after I finished my undergrad degree, I religiously read Burroughs. There was always at least one book by him among the collection of whatever else I was reading. In reading his books I connected to his spirit and that spirit was my mentor as I experimented with time, and the alchemy of the body.

Burroughs taught me to question control and all its forms, to question the word and why people used the word in the ways they did. And he taught me to question magic and why magic need be so formal, or if it could just be simple and direct. In those days I did a lot of ceremonial magic and its fair to say that Burroughs ruined that for me, because in the way he wrote about magic, he boiled it down and made it simple. The magic of Burroughs was street magic, survival magic, the magic you do to get results, and you don't want to spend lots of time doing things that are unnecessary with that kind of magic.

I connected with Burroughs because I could relate to the struggle of his life as it pertained to dealing with the Ugly Spirit. My Ugly Spirit was my emptiness and I grappled with it constantly then (and for many years afterwards). In reading his writing and reading about his life, I felt a connection to what he'd gone through and while I didn't do anything so dramatic as his William Tell act, I nonetheless knew something of writing for the sake of writing out that ugliness within one's self, because so much of my own writing at the time was precisely about that.

Eventually I got into a Master's program for English and I drifted away from reading Burroughs work, but nonetheless his writing and magic had change me and my approach to everything I did with magic and writing. When the final book of Burroughs came out, Last Words, I remember picking it up and feverishly reading it, the words inscribing themselves into my soul. And his final words, so strong, so poignant speaking to me of a person who found his answers and was ready for the Western Lands.

I haven't read Burroughs in 16 sixteen years. The truth is that you can't read the works of someone like that casually. There's a commitment, a magical connection that demands discipline from you as a reader and as a writer (if you identify as such). But in this year of reconnecting to my writing roots and in some ways my magical roots once again, I have recently started reading his books again. And there his presence is again, ready and waiting after so long, to continue the instruction. I'm ready now to, ready to continue divesting myself of the dead weight of academic writing, which had dulled so much of my writing, to get back to the non-linear narratives that still sing in my soul.

Hurry up please, it's time to go. Nothing here but the recordings, but he's here to, in the recordings. I'm ready to experiment again, ready to see where this journey takes me. I'm ready Burroughs. Thanks for waiting for me.

Feeling the Writing, Feeling the Magic

From Wikipedia In Ensouling Language, the author discusses how important it is for the author to feel the writing s/he is doing, and likewise how important it is for the reader to feel the words, to encounter the meanings that have been placed into the words by the author. The author also notes that every author (and I would add any creative type of person) inevitably encounters a truth which he states as the following: "You must not extend awareness further than society wants it to go." The responsibility of the writer is to extend awareness beyond where society wants it to go, because when this occurs what is shared is an encounter that goes beyond the word and enters the imagination of the audience. To do that the writer and reader needs to feel the words and experience the meaning imparted in them. It's an interesting perspective on writing that I agree with. Writing should move the writer and the reader.

While I write a lot about magical techniques and practices, I do think its important to also feel magic. What I mean by that is that when you practice magic it should change something in you, move you in some way. If it doesn't, then it becomes empty, something done for the sake of being done, but not truly experienced and consequently not likely to change reality either. When the practitioner feels magic, feels a change, that's when the magic becomes embodied and real. It has meaning and that meaning has shaped the practitioner as surely as the practitioner has shaped the meaning, and as a result also shapes reality, opening it to possibility.

Whether I'm doing my daily work or I'm doing a specific working for a result I want to feel the magic. It is sometimes easier to feel it when doing a specific working, because daily work can get monotonous, but the reason you do the daily work is to challenge that monotony and to recognize that the lack of engagement is coming from you. There may be times where its really hard to connect with what you are doing or why you are even doing it and yet if you stick with it, you come to a deeper appreciation of your practice and magic. That actually applies to writing as well.

I write a lot and inevitably I encounter writer's block, where I can't really feel the writing. Yet I know if I stick with it I will get through that block and feel the writing again. The words will become more than just blots of ink on paper or electronic signals in my computer. The key is persistence. If you feel a genuine connection and passion to magic or writing or whatever you stick with it and accept that there will be periods where you don't feel it as much. You do the work anyway and you do it because that feeling isn't the reward, but is actually part of the process and it can't be forced, but it also can't be let go of. It moves you and you move it and that's what keeps you practicing magic or writing or painting, or whatever else.

Interview: Motherboard vice interviewed me and several other people about pop culture magic. Read about it here.

Magical Experiments podcast: Interview with Author Tom Swiss about his book and the intersection of Eastern and Western practices of spirituality.

How Spiritual Transmission shows up in Writing

From Wikipedia I'm reading Ensouling Language by Stephen Buhner, which is a book about the craft of writing, with some interesting perspectives. In one of the perspectives he shares he discusses something akin to the concept of spiritual transmission, wherein something is passed from one writer to another. Here's what he shares:

In that moment of transference, the real secret that all beginning writers want to know begins to be revealed, slow as that revelation will be...In that moment something begins to be transferred from the older writer to the younger, some invisible that is at the heart of the craft, some feeling sense of state of mind that is essential to the work. And it is that something that is at the core of what it means to be a writer, someone who desires to be more than a typist of words.

I have had this experience of transference as a writer a number of times through my career. It first happened in my early twenties when I was going to a writer's group and sharing my stories in the hopes of improving them. One of the other writers, a fellow by the name of Matthew made quite an impression on me as a writer and it had nothing to do with technique, so much as had it to do with the essence and identity of being a writer. He helped me decondition myself from all the writing classes I'd taken while in high school and college which had filled me with a lot of nonsense about writing.

Later, when I was pursuing my doctorate at Kent State University, I'd go through another spiritual transmission in regards to writing...an awkward and hard stage of learning how to write like an academic. I learned a lot about technique, but what the transmission provided me was something deeper that caused me to become much more of a researcher than I'd ever been. To this day I still do a ton of research before writing. I ended up not getting the doctorate. I wasn't a good fit for academia and vice versa, and I moved onto technical writing, where I received another transmission of sorts at my first contract with Boeing, where I learned how to write process. I eventually took all these experiences and developed my own writing style.

I forgot to mention as well that this kind of transmission, for writers, also occurs through reading the works of other writers. You may never meet the person, but as you read a book with the eye of a writer, you get hit with this awareness about your own writing and suddenly your trying some ideas out about writing to see what occurs. I went through my William S. Burroughs stage for a while doing cutup as a result of such a transmission. Likewise William G. Gray made quite an impression on my writing, with a kind of heavy handedness that found its way into my writing and is still there to some degree. As a writer, you are always picking up the words of other writers and with some of them you experience a transmission that speaks to how you could write and then you find yourself writing differently, your style mutated by this transmission you've experienced.

As for how all this applies to magic...for me, writing is part of my magical work, one of the ways I turn possibility into reality. And I feel that this concept of transmission in writing does extend to more than just other writers. The writer is transmitting the expertise of the subject to readers and its not just a matter of reading words, but also a matter of having an experience that moves you. You read and then you do something with it...you turn what you've read into a reality of your own that has meaning to it. That's how writing becomes a spiritual transmission for the reader who isn't a writer.

Seeking Submissions for an Anthology about Pagan Traditions

Pagantraditions Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions.

We would like to hear from founders and leaders of as many different traditions and organizations, established and brand new, as possible.

Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015.

By no means can we capture a portrait of every Pagan path. What we are trying to do is give aspiring and knowledgeable Pagans alike a springboard for proceeding with their studies, with information and stories from a wide selection of Pagan traditions.

We are looking specifically for articles and stories from tradition/organization leaders and founders as well as other leaders who have a wider view of the Pagan landscape.

Below are descriptions of the concepts we would like to appear in articles submitted for the anthology. This is generally academic, but personal stories within the pieces are highly encouraged.

To ensure thorough and accurate descriptions of your path, what you see below are not so much suggestions for essay topics as they are questions that we would like answered within essays, so that all pieces are validated in the eyes of the reader, and because consistency lends itself well to comprehension and comparison.

For the well-established tradition leader (Gardenerian, Vanatru, Alexandrian, Correllian, Asatru, eclectic Wicca, Helenist and Celtic Reconstruction, Stregheria, etc) we would like to know the basic structure of the tradition you come from. What types of magic you teach? What are some of the basic tenants and values of your tradition? How are groups structured? How study might differ for a solitary practitioner? How you have adapted the path based on your own experiences to fit your lifestyle? Try to come at it from a perspective of teaching students. Please give us a clear portrait of your path, and a little of your personal story so readers can relate. If you can, cite various in-depth texts at least twice in your work. This opens the door for further study by the readers.

We also want to hear from the young traditions/organizations being created as we speak. This is the place for founders wishing for future students. What inspired you to create a new Pagan path? From what cultures, religions, and traditions do you gather your concepts from? How do your morals and values play into the tradition? What would be the structure of a participant’s studies? What are rituals like and what types of magic are practiced?  Please try to cite various in-depth sources of your concepts at least twice in the piece, for validation of where you are coming from.

There are many leaders out there who lead groups that are not strictly based around one tradition or belief system, or are just well-known voices in Pagan forums. Give us your perspectives on some various topics such as: the rise and fall of Pagan traditions in modern times; the levels of dedication needed for truly embracing a Pagan tradition and the various emotional, spiritual, and mundane changes they bring with them; a sense of Pagan demographics. If you can cite texts for validity, please do.

–We would like to hear from a few people who practice two greatly divergent traditions as part of their path. This could be Alexandrian Wicca combined with Chemetism, or other such combinations. You are charged with showing a reader that taking a road like this may be challenging, but it can be done well. Some of the questions we would like answered in these pieces are: How do the tenets, magical practices, spiritual tasks, and forms of study from two different traditions mesh together? How did you choose a road like this, and what are the challenges you face? Please cite two in-depth sources within your work, at least one for each of the different traditions you follow.

 What we are not looking for:

–We are not looking for spiritual awakening stories or stories of how you found Paganism. We also are not after how you take what you learn from established traditions and alter it in solitary practice, unless you are forging a new branch of that tradition and have well-formed practices, values, and ways for people to learn in place and can discuss them with clarity.

–We are not looking for specific rituals or spells.

 Essay requirements:

2500-5000 words, to ensure that there is sufficient knowledge and details presented.  If your piece falls outside these limits, come to us and we can discuss it.

  • Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
  • Bibliography of works cited
  • Prefer the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla
  • A way to contact your tradition or organization so those interested may do so (if applicable).
  • Send the file in RTF format.

Compensation:

Accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays.

Rights:

This anthology will take nonexclusive first world rights for 6 months.

 Deadline is March 1, 2015.

For submissions and questions, please contact CJ Blackwood (cjblackwood90@gmail.com).  Please put “Immanion anthology submissions” in the subject line.

 Editors: The anthology will be edited by CJ Blackwood and Tara “Masery” Miller:

CJ Blackwood is a contributor for the Staff of Asclepius blog on patheos.com.  She also authors another blog, Tales of a Feminist Elemental Witch on WordPress.  She has been teaching crystal workshops at Pagan Pride events in Illinois for two years and will be presenting an “Awakening the Goddess Within” ritual from her own feminist elemantal tradition this year at Central Illinois Pagan Pride Day.  She writes fiction and poetry, and enjoys crafts, fishing, traveling, and spending time with friends.  She graduated from Illinois State University with a major in journalism and a minor in English.  She contributed to “rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living With Disability, Addiction, and Illness” under the name Lady Cedar Nightsong.

Tara “Masery” Miller is a panentheist Gaian mage who has a deep relationship with the Goddess Gaia. I’ve been involved with Pagan Pride Day, the Pagan Leaders Recommended Reading list with Elizabeth Barrett, and other wonderful magic circles over the years. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in mass communications specifically media studies and research and a minor in religion. Part of her course work included an independent study of mysticism in Christian, Pagan, and Native American traditions and a paper on Witchcraft in Colonial America. She was the editor of “Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul: Magic Practitioners Living with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness.” She is also the editor of the Staff of Asclepius blog. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganswithdisabilities/ Her personal website is http://taramaserymiller.com/

 Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.

Deadline coming up soon: Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism

E-mail for inquiries and submissions:  Shauna Aura Knight ; please put “Immanion Press Leadership Anthology Submission” in your subject line.

Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism

Deadline for submissions: September 1 2014.

The words “Pagan Leadership” are often met with scorn and tales of failed groups and so-called Witch Wars. And yet, as our communities grow and mature, we find ourselves in dire need of healthy, ethical leaders. Anyone who has been in a group that said, “Let’s just not have any leaders or power issues,” has seen what doesn’t work. But what does?

This anthology will explore leadership for real Pagans and real groups. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail leadership success stories, best practices, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles. Our specific focus is on techniques to help Pagans build healthier, stronger, and more sustainable groups and communities. We’d like to see a combination of hands-on how-to, personally-inspired, and academic pieces that will offer readers tools they can use in their own groups.

What resources do you have now that you wish you’d had when you stepped into leadership? What problems have you faced and overcome? How have you faced the unique difficulties of grassroots Pagan leadership? What are tools and techniques that have worked? Essays and articles should be 1500-4,000 words.

We’re also looking for brief (500-1000 words) personal stories of what we might call leadership disasters—community blow-ups that you’ve personally witnessed or even mistakes you’ve made as a leader. With few exceptions, these would be published anonymously (not naming names/locations) in order to illustrate, through the personal voice of storytelling, the need for leadership education through the power of storytelling. These stories do not need to be formally written; they should simply tell a story about problems you experienced that caused a group to blow up. Note: We prefer shorter pieces for this, but up to 2,000 words might work.

What we are not looking for:

We are not looking for spells or rituals. We’d also prefer to not see generalized advice, like “leaders should delegate,” but rather, “Here’s how I learned to delegate in my group” or “here’s how a team I was part of successfully handled delegation.”

Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology:

  • Planning a successful Pagan event, or running a successful coven or circle, or—how those involve different leadership processes
  • Skills to build community from the ground up, and skills to sustain a community long-term
  • Organizational leadership techniques
  • Transformational leadership and servant leadership
  • Experiences with Pagan unity councils or other collaborative work between groups
  • Dealing with local Pagan politics, including dealing with difficult, mentally ill, or abusive local leaders
  • Dealing with difficult and disruptive group members, spotting predatory practices, red flags
  • Gossip, bickering, rumors, and triangulation, ego and egotism, conflict resolution and personality conflicts
  • Communication skills and techniques
  • Personal work and self transformation required to be a leader, boundaries, dealing with personal burnout
  • Administrative aspects of leadership, leadership structures like bylaws, mission statements
  • Handling money in your group
  • Ethics of leadership
  • Delegation and dealing with volunteers dropping the ball
  • Keeping people motivated, empowering group members and new leaders, passing on the reigns of leadership
  • Creating a safe space
  • Different leadership models (consensus, hierarchy, rotating leadership, democracy)
  • Facing a leadership disaster/crisis

Submission Deadline is ____. Articles should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Personal experience essays should be 300-2,000 words. Drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.

Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like, and writing in the first person is fine as well. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

Essay requirements:

  • Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
  • Bibliography of works cited
  • Prefer the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla
  • Send the file in RTF format

Compensation:

Accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays.

Rights:

This anthology will take nonexclusive first world rights for 6 months.

Editors: The anthology will be edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood:

Shauna Aura Knight is an artist, author, community leader, presenter, and spiritual seeker who travels nationally speaking on the transformative arts of ritual, community leadership, and personal growth. She is the author of several books including The Leader Within and Ritual Facilitation. She’s a columnist on ritual techniques for Circle Magazine and writes frequent articles and blogs on the topic of Pagan leadership, and her writing also appears in several Pagan anthologies. You can find her site at: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books  and her leadership blog at: http://shaunaaura.wordpress.com and her email address for this anthology is ShaunaAura@gmail.com

Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magick, Magical Identity, and other books on magic. He is also the managing non-fiction editor of Immanion Press. He can be found online at http://magicalexperiments.com

Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.

Call for Papers: Finding the Masculine in Goddess' Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community and Service to the Goddess

ipfacebook Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for Finding the Masculine in Goddess' Spiral: Men in Ritual, Community and Service to the Goddess.

E-MAIL FOR INQUIRIES AND SUBMISSIONS: Erick DuPree:  please put “Finding the Masculine in the Goddess Anthology” in your subject line.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS:JULY 30, 2014. There is a movement among pagan identified men to step out on their own creating dialogues about their masculinity as men of the Goddess.  Men reclaiming their right to a sacred form of masculine, and are wondering, "what type of man am I supposed to be?"  How do Pagan men reclaim the overarching word’s expectation of what masculinity should be, in alignment with a Goddess centered faith?

This anthology will explore men and their relationship with the Goddess and the overarching Pagan community. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail personal experiences with the Goddess, How as men we come to know the Goddess, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles being a man within the Pagan movement. We’d like to see a combination of hands-on how-to, personally-inspired, and academic pieces that will offer readers the tools they can use in understanding the evolving role go masculinity in the Goddess movement.

We are looking for works from men, including the transgender community.

Essays and articles should be 1500-4,000 words.

We’re also looking for brief (500-1000 words) personal stories of how you reframe patriarchy, address feminism, and come into Goddess community.

HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTED TOPICS TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE FOCUS OF THIS ANTHOLOGY:

  • Personal work and self-transformation while working with the Goddess
  • The role patriarchy plays in coming to terms with worshiping the Goddess as a man.
  • How to foster relationships with other men while still honoring women.
  • What is the difference between sacred masculine and male?
  • Does Paganism make assumptions about men and create stereotypes?
  • Stories of inequality and/or discrimination when working in circles
  • Rituals, practices, and experiences with or for the Goddess.

Submission Deadline is July 30, 2014. Articles should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Personal experience essays should be 300-2,000 words. Drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.

Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like, and writing in the first person is fine as well. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

ESSAY REQUIREMENTS:

Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material Bibliography of works cited Prefer the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla Send the file in RTF format

COMPENSATION:

Accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays.

RIGHTS:

This anthology will take nonexclusive first world rights for 6 months.

Editor: The anthology will be edited by Erick DuPree, an Immanion Anthology contributor, and author of the popular blog Alone In Her Presence.

Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at Immanion Press today!

I'm on the cover of Portal Magazine

Portal magazine pic Portal magazine recently published their latest issue and look who is on the cover!!! My article is on how to listen to the universe, basically honing your intuition and other such skills. You can pick up a copy here.

I normally don't publish a post specifically about something I've written for a magazine, but getting my mug on the cover was a justifiable reason to do it.

 

 

Call for Papers for Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism

E-mail for inquiries and submissions:  Shauna Aura Knight ; please put “Immanion Press Leadership Anthology Submission” in your subject line.

Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for Pagan Leadership: An anthology on Group Dynamics, Healthy Boundaries, and Community Activism

Deadline for submissions: September 1 2014.

The words “Pagan Leadership” are often met with scorn and tales of failed groups and so-called Witch Wars. And yet, as our communities grow and mature, we find ourselves in dire need of healthy, ethical leaders. Anyone who has been in a group that said, “Let’s just not have any leaders or power issues,” has seen what doesn’t work. But what does?

This anthology will explore leadership for real Pagans and real groups. We’re looking for essays and articles that detail leadership success stories, best practices, and ways you have worked through challenges and obstacles. Our specific focus is on techniques to help Pagans build healthier, stronger, and more sustainable groups and communities. We’d like to see a combination of hands-on how-to, personally-inspired, and academic pieces that will offer readers tools they can use in their own groups.

What resources do you have now that you wish you’d had when you stepped into leadership? What problems have you faced and overcome? How have you faced the unique difficulties of grassroots Pagan leadership? What are tools and techniques that have worked? Essays and articles should be 1500-4,000 words.

We’re also looking for brief (500-1000 words) personal stories of what we might call leadership disasters—community blow-ups that you’ve personally witnessed or even mistakes you’ve made as a leader. With few exceptions, these would be published anonymously (not naming names/locations) in order to illustrate, through the personal voice of storytelling, the need for leadership education through the power of storytelling. These stories do not need to be formally written; they should simply tell a story about problems you experienced that caused a group to blow up. Note: We prefer shorter pieces for this, but up to 2,000 words might work.

What we are not looking for:

We are not looking for spells or rituals. We’d also prefer to not see generalized advice, like “leaders should delegate,” but rather, “Here’s how I learned to delegate in my group” or “here’s how a team I was part of successfully handled delegation.”

Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology:

  • Planning a successful Pagan event, or running a successful coven or circle, or—how those involve different leadership processes
  • Skills to build community from the ground up, and skills to sustain a community long-term
  • Organizational leadership techniques
  • Transformational leadership and servant leadership
  • Experiences with Pagan unity councils or other collaborative work between groups
  • Dealing with local Pagan politics, including dealing with difficult, mentally ill, or abusive local leaders
  • Dealing with difficult and disruptive group members, spotting predatory practices, red flags
  • Gossip, bickering, rumors, and triangulation, ego and egotism, conflict resolution and personality conflicts
  • Communication skills and techniques
  • Personal work and self transformation required to be a leader, boundaries, dealing with personal burnout
  • Administrative aspects of leadership, leadership structures like bylaws, mission statements
  • Handling money in your group
  • Ethics of leadership
  • Delegation and dealing with volunteers dropping the ball
  • Keeping people motivated, empowering group members and new leaders, passing on the reigns of leadership
  • Creating a safe space
  • Different leadership models (consensus, hierarchy, rotating leadership, democracy)
  • Facing a leadership disaster/crisis

Submission Deadline is ____. Articles should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Personal experience essays should be 300-2,000 words. Drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.

Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like, and writing in the first person is fine as well. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

Essay requirements:

  • Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
  • Bibliography of works cited
  • Prefer the Modern Language Association (MLA) Style http://www.library.cornell.edu/resrch/citmanage/mla
  • Send the file in RTF format

Compensation:

Accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays.

Rights:

This anthology will take nonexclusive first world rights for 6 months.

Editors: The anthology will be edited by Shauna Aura Knight and Taylor Ellwood:

Shauna Aura Knight is an artist, author, community leader, presenter, and spiritual seeker who travels nationally speaking on the transformative arts of ritual, community leadership, and personal growth. She is the author of several books including The Leader Within and Ritual Facilitation. She’s a columnist on ritual techniques for Circle Magazine and writes frequent articles and blogs on the topic of Pagan leadership, and her writing also appears in several Pagan anthologies. You can find her site at: http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books  and her leadership blog at: http://shaunaaura.wordpress.com and her email address for this anthology is ShaunaAura@gmail.com

Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magick, Magical Identity, and other books on magic. He is also the managing non-fiction editor of Immanion Press. He can be found online at http://magicalexperiments.com

Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.

Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love and Health is now available!

9781905713929 I'm pleased to announce that Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love, and Health is now available!

To celebrate I'll be hosting a Virtual Book Release Party and FREE Workshop on Wednesday February 26th from 5-6pm PST. To learn more about the class, go here.

The book blurb is below:

In Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love, and Health, Taylor Ellwood shares a holistic approach to wealth magic that focuses on all areas of your life. True wealth, while involving finances, also includes your health and your relationships. In this book you'll learn how to manifest wealth by exploring what wealth really means to you, as well as as how you manifest it in your life. You will learn:

• Financial tips and resources to reduce debt and improve investments • How to proactively plan for a happier, healthier life • How to define what wealth means to you and start manifesting it in your life. • How to create and sustain proactive relationships with the people in your life. • How and when to apply wealth magic to manifest prosperity in your life.

If you want to manifest wealth, you need to learn the skills that will help you proactively and holistically manifest it as an enduring part of your life. This book will teach you those skills and the magic to manifest prosperity, love, and health.

Manifesting Wealth: Magic for Prosperity, Love, and Health gives readers information that will take them from concept, to the reality of embracing wealth, to improve their quality of life. Taylor Ellwood has created a book that is full of ideas and information, pushing the reader beyond old ideals of wealth, to a more holistic sense of possessing great personal wealth. - Crystal Blanton Author of Pain and Faith in a Wiccan World

 

The Realities of Pagan Publishing and Publicity

quill I recently talked about the glamour of Pagan Publishing. I'm going to let you in on another dirty secret, something not really talked about, but nonetheless present in the Pagan news media, convention scene, and publishing world. If you're an author, and you're not with one of the bigger publishers, prepared to be ignored by the Pagan news media and publicity and convention scene unless you are willing to do a lot of work to make yourself heard or have such an interesting angle they can't ignore you without looking really bad for doing so. Don't get me wrong, all authors with publishers big and small have to do their marketing, but in general authors with bigger publishers get preferential treatment. Authors with smaller publishers that don't have the same resources need to advocate for themselves and prepare to be ignored a lot of the time because they aren't with a big publisher.

For example, a pagan convention recently had a featured guest appear. This author has written  few books and has been around for a while. His books are all from larger publishers, so there's some benefit for suddenly naming this author a featured guest. Now he may have asked to become such a guest, or not. I don't know if he did or didn't, but I'm going to guess he probably didn't. Yours truly, on the other hand, who is attending the same convention and has written more than a few books didn't even get contacted about becoming a featured guest. So what did I do? I emailed them. We'll see if I become a featured guest or not. But here's the ugly truth: When you are with a small publisher you better be prepared to ask for and advocate for what you want, because no one will give it to you. When you're with a larger publisher, you get some of the love from the news media and the conventions just because you're with that bigger publisher.

I've been writing books for ten years, have a dozen books to my name, with more on the way, and I can tell you it doesn't mean squat in and of itself. Books don't sell themselves....your publicity or lack thereof does and any author will tell you that you've got to be prepared to work that publicity for all its worth. However when you're with a bigger publisher doors open a lot easier. The same applies to getting into the Pagan news, becoming a blogger at one one of the Pagan news portals or one of the other outlets, etc. The bigger publishers command more respect, not because they've earned it per se, but because they've got the publicity and marketing resources that help with these kinds of things. I think it sucks, but there it is: the reality of publicity, the Pagan convention circuit, and Pagan Publishing. If you aren't with a big publisher, you have to work harder to get noticed and you should expect that even then you'll get brushed aside, or given delays or told that such and such author from a bigger publisher is the one they'll give the cover photo to. I've had all of that happen to me in the last couple years, despite the fact that I've been writing for a long time.

I'll admit this post is a rant and I'm sure some of you are thinking that I'm being a bit egotistical, but you know what? I've worked hard to get my name out there and that, in and of itself, does not guarantee success. I know this, because I know the realities of networking. In my day business, I do a lot of networking and I can tell you that the more well connected you are the easier it is to get access to resources you want. The less connected you are, the harder it is. I've been ignored and sidelined a lot over the years and its really frustrating. When I see certain authors favored over other authors and see that for the most part, they are with bigger publishers, what it tells me is that there is some bias in place in favor of authors with bigger publishers. Now it could be argued that I should just play the game, get published by a bigger publisher and then I'll get some of those doors opened, but I like the publisher I'm with and more importantly I'd rather kick the board over and reset the game and make it so that the pagans new media and the convention people actually recognize authors that aren't with the bigger publishers and spread some publicity love our way. I don't think it's unreasonable to want that, but I suspect that it'll only happen if issues such as these continue to be pointed out. So to those of you in the pagan news media and convention circuit, I have a simple request: Stop focusing on just the BNPS with the big publishers and start noticing some of us who are with smaller presses, but also have something equally valuable to share with the community.

 

How to keep it real in your writing

  quill

The other day I got a book review of A Magical Life. It was a good review, but I think what I liked best about it was something the reviewer said, which spoke to how the book affected him/her. The reviewer mentioned that the book would move from topic to topic, from personal to philosophical etc and that it gave him/her a case of mood whiplash (which might be trouble for me if the insurance claim has anything to say about it!). Now you might wonder why  like that best, and its not because I want anyone to suffer as a result of reading my writing, but rather because the writing got some kind of response. And to me that is what keeps writing real...when your audience responds. It may not always be a favorable response (though overall it seemed to be in this case), but a response of any kind means that the writing resonated with you. Yes even if you hate the writing, it still resonated on some level.

 

How do you keep it real in writing? Write about your experiences and be genuine about what you share. In this blog and in my books, what I share is my experiences, both the successes and failures because I think sharing both keeps it real. Anyone who reads my works knows they aren't just getting theory or practice, but also the experiences that inform both. When you write anything, even fiction, there still needs to be some basis for experience, something you put into the writing that your readers can relate to.

 

Part of keeping it real also is knowing and defining your audience. Not just anyone will be your reader and indeed your writing isn't for everyone. But if you know who your audience is, then you already are writing for them as much as for yourself. For example my audience typically has an intermediate level of experience with magic (at least) and is interesting in experimenting and personalizing their magical practice. They may only be interested in specific topics that I write about, but what all of them like about my writing is the unusual perspectives I share, and the different angles I apply to my magical work. Knowing this about my audience helps me connect with them better. At the same time, I'd also say my audience is me and I just happen to be sharing what I've written with other people. I find that both perspectives on audience are helpful for me because it speaks to the reality that writing while being for other people is also an intimate activity that can be just for you.

 

Call for Writers– Bringing Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community

Email for inquiries and submissionsCrystal Blanton Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for the Bring Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community.

This anthology explores the topic of Racism and how Racism shows up in the Pagan community, as well as what we can do to recognize it and proactively work to change it by being consciously aware of race and privilege and actively applying that awareness to the Pagan community. We also examine cultural appropriation and its role in racism, and how we can approach issues of culture with conscious awareness that leads to genuine cultural exchanges instead of appropriation.

The vision for this anthology is to include a combination of academic and personally inspired pieces that show the experiences of racism, and the study of racism.

Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology:

  • Your experience of racism and how it has impacted your ability to integrate into the Pagan community
  • Cultural Appropriation versus Cultural Exchange
  • How to recognize and confront Racism in your spiritual community.
  • Being an ally within the Pagan community for people of color.
  • Intersectionality of privilege, or examples of this within the community.
  • Experiences of a lack of cultural empathy, or sensitivity within Pagan groups, and how that impacts safe place for ethnic minorities.
  • Understanding how symbolism within Paganism reinforces racism and separation of diversity within Pagan groups.
  • Is preserving the lineage of hereditary practices and/or cultures racist? When is it not racist and what defines inclusion or exclusion in such cases?
  • How white power gangs are trying to infiltrate the Pagan community?
  • Definitions, understanding or experiences of symbolic, adversive, or systemic racism within the Pagan community.
  • Stereotypes and prejudice and the impact on spiritual or magic workings. Being the only person of color in a coven, group or community
  • Being a person of color at a pagan convention (and how convention organizers can be more conscious of this).
  • How Racism harms the Pagan Community, and how it shows up in the Pagan Community
  • How, as a community and as individuals, can we increase awareness of potentially harmful racial dynamics and proactively work to engage positive change.
  • What is equity and how does it show up in the Pagan Community practically (what are examples of how equity has been or can be applied to the Pagan community)

Rough drafts are due March 15, 2014. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editors. Essays should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.

Essay requirements:

• Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material • Bibliography of works cited • Prefer APA format

Write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like. If your work entirely talks in the first person about your own experience, please include this also. There is a wide range of voices, and we are interested in being as inclusive of style as possible.

Accepted contributors will receive a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays, not when they are accepted for editing. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

The anthology will be edited by Crystal Blanton, Brandy Williams, and Taylor Ellwood. Crystal is the author of two books with Immanion press; Bridging the Gap; Working Within the Dynamics of Pagan Groups and Society, and Pain and Faith in a Wiccan World.  She is also the editor of the first anthology, Shades of Faith; Minority Voices in Paganism, and the forthcoming anthology, Shades of Ritual; Minority Voices in Practice. She may be found online at http://www.crystalblanton.org and her email address for this anthology is crystal@crystalblanton.com .

Brandy Williams is the author of Ecstatic Ritual (published by Immanion Press), Practical Magic for Beginners and The Woman Magician (published by Llewellyn) as well as the editor of Women’s Voices in Magic (published by Immanion Press). She may be found online at http://www.brandywilliams.org

Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magick, Magical Identity, and other books on magic. He is also the managing non-fiction editor of Immanion Press. He can be found online at http://magicalexperiments.com

Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.

An update on my writing projects

book_mystical_journeys  

It's been a while since I've done an update on my writing projects. So here's where I'm at with various projects.

1. Mystical Journeys: The Magical Journal of Taylor Ellwood (2011-2012) is now available from Immanion Press. This is a collection of all the blog posts on this website from 2011 to 2012. I'm not planning on deleting any of the posts, but if you want a book where all of them are referenced or you are just fascinated with my writing and various ideas, this is a good book to pick up. Both years were productive years, where I re-found my love of writing and magic.

2. The Book of Good Practices Vol 1 and The Book of God Practices Workbook by Bill Whitcomb and Taylor Ellwood is now available (self-published). I've been working on a book project with Bill Whitcomb for about 4 years. We finally finished it and are making the core books available as e-books, and the workbook available as a print book. Parts 2 and 3 will be published in the near future and eventually we plan on publishing all three parts as a print book.

3. The Space/Time Magic Correspondence course is coming together slowly. I think it will come together a lot faster now that I'm re-evaluating some of my priorities and scaling back on other activities which have been a distraction from the writing.

4. Manifesting Wealth (my wealth magic book) is done with editing. I'll be doing layout for it in the near future. The cover is currently being worked on and if all goes well, it'll be available in January of 2014.

5. I've just started on Pop Culture Magic 2.0. At one point I wasn't sure I wanted to write more on the topic of Pop Culture Magic, but I've had a change of heart, due in no small part to seeing so many people actually working with and expanding on the concepts of Pop Culture Magick. I've got some intriguing ideas to share.

So it looks like my writing is fully back. I just need to make sure I have time to do it as well as the related work around it. And down the line, I'm going to start writing some fiction...I have ideas there that would be a lot of fun to write.

Why I'm an idea generator

idea generation Every so often I look at the reviews people leave about my books. One of the comments that I see on occasion is that my work is great for idea generation. The reviewers, I think, wish my work wasn't so oriented toward idea generation, because I get the sense that the comment is not a compliment, so much as a criticism. Regardless of what the comment really is or isn't, I actually take it as a compliment. I've never wanted to write spellbooks or anything else that smacks of me holding the hand of someone else and walking them through how to do something. I didn't learn magic in that way. I learned it by reading, practicing what I learned, and then generating ideas about what I could do, and it's my hope that my work provides the same inspiration.

Now I realize some people want something different. They want someone to hold their hands and help them understand how to do something. And that's an expectation that readers should have for a 101 book on magic or Paganism. But when it comes to an intermediate to advanced book on magic (which I consider all of my work to be) the expectation should naturally change to one where its understood that the reader is reading the book to get ideas about where they can take their magical practice. While I always include exercises in my books for a person to do (and I hope they do them), what I'm really presenting is where my own work has taken me and providing suggestions on how someone can take my work and extend it further. I want to help people generate ideas, which is why I also emphasize the importance of experimenting with magic and being your own authority.

Even in classes I teach, while I certainly teach a technique, I want people to come away with ideas of their own about what they could do or how they could do something. Generating ideas for people allows them to make what they're learning something that becomes personalized. It becomes their own magical technique, instead of something taught to them by someone else. When you make something your own, you understand it in a way that is distinct from whatever you were taught. You learn it from your own experience, and without the filters and biases bring into whatever they are teaching.

I never had a magical teacher, beyond two very brief stints that didn't work out. I read books, but I was always reading them with an eye toward how I could take the concepts and make them my own. Perhaps if I'd been taught by someone my books would be less oriented toward idea generation, but I think my readers would be poorer for it. Idea generation is a good thing because it indicates that the real value you are finding in the writing is the ideas you are getting from it, as opposed to whatever instruction is provided. I say read to teach yourself. The writing is just a platform to bounce ideas off of.

My latest article on Pagansquare explains why the question of why is so important in magical work.

Mote 2.0 Reminder

This is a reminder that the deadline for essays for Magic on the Edge 2.0 are due by October 15th. What I need is a rough draft. Right now I have approximately 9 essays, but I need more if this anthology is going to go to print. I've received one new essay and promises of other potential essays, but what I'd really like to see is a full set of 20 essays, none of which are by me. I do have plans to write an article or two for the anthology, presuming it goes through on some of my side projects.

Would you like to see an essay in Magic on the Edge 2.0? If so contact me via email and share with me a rough draft. If you aren't sure to write about, I'm happy to brainstorm with you. I am looking for essays between 2k and 5k in length and they should be on experimental magic, i.e. magical work you are experimenting on which is either entirely original or is an exploration of how a traditional technique can be taken in new directions. Again, if you want to bat some ideas around contact me.