Saturday, March 31, 2018

Two New Books (Sort-of) part 1

A Guide to Pagan Worship

People who watch me on FB have seen this, but I want to archive it here, as I play bloggo catch-up

The catalog blurb:
“A non-Wiccan traditional ritual style for modern Pagans! Pagan Ways - based in the reality of nature and the visions of ancient wisdom, offer a platform for many people to seek their own spiritual fulfillment and growth. If you seek a personal Pagan practice, the blessings of the Gods, the Ancestors and the Sacred Land, this small manual offers clear instructions and easy-to-begin methods. Arranged for modern living but rooted firmly in tradition and scholarship.

• Easy Prayers and Simple Offerings
• Simple methods for meditation and divination
• Making and Using a Pagan Home Shrine
• Building Your Own Pagan Practice
• Formal Invocations and Seasonal Rites
 For those seeking the ways of ancient cultures, this book offers a simple ritual format that is in accord with the basics of traditional Paganism. For anyone who wishes to grow closer to the spirit and spirits in the Holy World, it offers a door, and the first steps of a path.”

Weekly in internet chat and Pagan discussion we see newcomers asking the basic question - "how do I get started?" This small book is meant to directly answer that question.
Beginning with a short generic (i.e. non-ethnic-specific) discussion of the Gods and Spirits, and the mythic and symbolic cosmos as understood in traditional Euro-Paganisms, the book begins by guiding students through beginning simple prayers, offerings and exercises, doable even without a home altar. Such simple methods can be started with little more prep than the purchase of some incense, and can offer a practical approach even to those leading busy modern lives. The next step for many the establishment of a shrine in one’s home. I provide clear, adaptable instruction in to how to establish a home-shrine and begin basic simple rites of offering-and-blessing.

While this is not a book about meditation, I provide basic exercises for meditation and mental focus that can help enliven devotion. Likewise simple methods of divination are offered, to help students communicate with the gods and spirits.
Finally I discuss more full-scale ritual for invocation and communion with Gods and Spirits. One of the most common questions I hear is how to decide which of the multitude of Gods and Spirits to actually approach. I offer guidance in choosing beings and symbols for individual work. Another common question is “How do I begin a relationship with a deity?” Drawing on the traditions of theurgy and ritual magic the book offers an instruction in how to make the first formal invocation of a deity, and the follow-up of establishing home cult.  It also discusses the creation of home and family seasonal rites and customs, and the development of ‘magical’ rites and requests for specific boons.
The book is divided into a front section of theory and some of the very basic practice, and then a presentation of all the prayer and ritual work in a spellbook format for easy use. The style of ritual presented is non-wiccan, grown mainly in Neopagan Druidry. It is devotional and invocational, based on ancient models and traditions of fire-ritual and offering. It approaches the Gods and Spirits as living beings, and intends to help students to develop their own personal Pagan religion – i.e. their own relationships with those Powers. It is likely to be useful to anyone seeking to work with the gods and spirits of the peoples of pre-Christian Europe, and quite possibly to a much wider audience.

All of this is presented in 140 pages of concise teaching and practice, with a minimum of padding. The clear and practical instruction takes a student directly into real practice. More good news... I've kept the price at under $10. (Please take note – there are two paperback and one hardback edition in my catalog. The higher-priced paperback exists only to get the book into wider distribution channels – please by the lower-priced edition, as linked.) Presently one can get 10% off that price, plus free shipping (actually a nice deal) with the checkout code BOOKSHIP18 (case sensitive).

Thursday, March 29, 2018

What It’s Been Like

So, the biggest thing that happened over the past year, in my immediate life since I was last actively writing this blog, is that the wife and I are formally ‘retired’. That is, we’ve chosen voluntary unemployment, and relying on our pensions and savings. A little family money from my prudent parents has helped, and we’re doing OK. One might think that being ‘at leisure’ would have increased my output… but…
               The second-biggest thing is the birth of my first Grandchild! This won’t have much bearing on blog content, but it is already changing my schedule. On to a new phase of life.
               See, I moved this blog to the Patheos platform about 2 years ago. Something about that blocked me up bad, and I posted nearly nothing there in a year, then moved back to this platform… where I posted a few things, then nothing for nearly a year. Admittedly, Facebook is competition for this format, but I find I like being able to archive the micro-essays that have tended to vanish into the FB stream. Throughout I have used the articles here in FB discussion, and traffic here has never slowed to zero…
But why should you care about any of that…
               Any long-time readers left will know that I (we… Liafal and I) have been building out our small (17 acre) farm as a temple and facility for our Pagan Church. (Stone Creed Grove ADF – nearing its 30th year). Over the past year that project has reached its basic completion. We’ve built all the big roofs we mean to build, and now we’ll slowly improve off-grid power and water, etc, as we can spend a little budget. Little budget is the fact, now; big, capital-improvement budget is done spent.
A pretty good map
of the Whole Place
The Little House next door.

               The past year has mainly been focused on renovating the small house next-door. When the owner, L’s old friend, passed she left the house and tiny yard to us, along with some debt and a big project. Here on the flat wetlands on the Lake Erie shore, things are generically wet. Little cottages like this will simply sink into the soil if not tended, and that’s what was happening. We tore up 60% of the floors, poured concrete where needed, dug new drainage and put in pumps… one of those jobs where one task requires two others. We finished just as winter approached, and now have a snug small house, with numerous guest-beds and a real bath and kitchen, for small gatherings and hospitality. I do think that marks the final phase of our Tredara build-out, which we began as long as… 6 years ago with the new barn.
That said, we have plans for infrastructure, artistic and ritual improvements. Older ritual sites on our back corner need to be preserved and improved, including the relatively unknown Original Circle in the woods. We also have plans to add as many as three new shrines. We’ll install an earth Mother shrine immediately next to our barn’s common-room and indoor hearth; watch this space for news on that artistic commission; also we’ll install a Herm at the ‘Lower Crossroad’ in the middle of our bit of woods. With those in place we can fulfill my notion of ‘ritual by procession’ – starting at the social hearth with the Earth Mother, and making our way along the pathway, past the Gatekeeper, to our Kindred shrines and finally to the Fire of the Gods in the Nemeton. Everyone loves a parade!
               My occult work has been sluggish as well, in terms of anything creative. Breaking weather and a chance to get out to the shrines more should help that. I have completed a couple of publishing efforts that I’ll be touting here soon.
               So, on we go to a more colorful season, and more to report. For those who are former readers, thanks for reading again. To new readers, welcome – I’ll try to have to interesting stuff, and in the meantime there’s 8 years of nack-articles in the headings over on the right.
Spring Blessings!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tá sé ar ais !

Yes, It’s back. After a hiatus of nearly a year between posts, I’m gonna reanimate this blog. I miss having an excuse to write short stuff, and am finding myself with this and that to say.
So, where the hell have I been. I dunno… check the tapes… I’ll do some updates as spring progresses.
Coming up fairly immediately, a publishing announcement…