The mission of my writing

I am a writer with a mission. All my books have a purpose. They form a story arc and contribute to the overall theme. That mission is to re-vision Western magic.

That sounds pretty grand, and maybe it is! I’ve been living with the idea so long that it seems natural to me. I had the very early experience of being handed a belief system which I rejected. My mother raised me in the Catholic church but I left the faith when I was twelve. My father had exposed me to the wide world of spiritual ideas and I knew that I wasn’t meant to be Christian.

When I was sixteen I bought my first book on Witchcraft and felt as if I had come home. I read “once a Witch, always a Witch” and I believed that fervently. As I approached my first degree initiation I thought, well, if I wasn’t a Witch in a previous life, I was making the commitment now!

The initiation opened a world of mystery to me. I was introduced to the powers of the elements and the Goddess and God of the Craft. I felt as if I had passed through a door and walked in an entirely new world.

That initiation also left me with doubt. An idea nibbled at the back of my mind. Something was off kilter here. I had a nagging sense that there was something wrong, but I couldn’t articulate what it was. The voice of guidance told me that something here needed reform.

I formed the first true bond of my adult life when I met Alex. He practiced Ceremonial Magic. We traded notes – he taught me his kind of magic and I taught him mine. With Ceremonial Magic I had an even stronger sense that the system needed reform. The majesty and precision of ritual drew me powerfully but it also seemed that it was designed partly to keep me out. As a woman I seemed to be pushed into a role that didn’t fit me. Why wouldn’t that be true? After all the culture at large created the box “woman” that confined me to some roles I didn’t want and shut me out of other roles that fit me better. I didn’t want to have children or raise a family. I wanted to devote myself to the life of the mind, the artist’s life.

When I started my current books I envisioned it as a four-part series: The Practical Magician, The Woman Magician, The Pagan Magician, and The Sex Magician.

Practical Magic for Beginners lays the foundation for the work. I am a Western Witch and Magician working within the tradition. The spiritual work grounds in the material world. You have to have a place to stay, food to eat, family and friends to support you, and health in order to launch into the stratosphere of spiritual life.

Donyae Coles recently interviewed me and commented that Practical Magic isn’t a typical collection-of-spells kind of work. It sets out to explain the underpinning of magic. I loved that she caught that, it’s an important part of what I am doing, to put the tools of magic in everyone’s hands so we can all make the magic that works for us.

The Woman Magician tackles the subject of being a woman and doing magic that is centered on my own life and experience. It’s really an extended meditation on gender. As I talk about the work I find that the category “woman” really includes all the “not-male” genders; people who are not comfortable with the binary are drawn to women’s events and to my work.

For the Love of the Gods is the first installment in the “Pagan Magician” series. I trace the connection between ourselves and our ancestors, claiming our history. It is also important that we acknowledge and begin to undo the history of colonialization. Our magic roots in the wisdom of ancient Egypt/Kemet and was created by black people.

I’m currently working on the next installment of the “Pagan Magician”. The working title is “Soul and Cosmos”. Our magic descends directly from the work of the Neo-Platonic philosopher-magicians. They understood the soul to be on a journey to become more and more good and reconnect with our divine origins.

While each book stands alone, they also form building blocks for a new way of experiencing traditional magic, one that acknowledges and equally values all genders and all races and ethnicities. Magic only works for one of us when it works for all of us. Giving voice to that understanding is the mission I am on.

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