Monday, December 30, 2013

A Wonderful Collection of Modern Devotional Offerings to the Queen of Heaven


This is a book review of the latest offering from Bibliotheca Alexandrina.  Queen of Olympos: A Devotional Anthology for Hera and Iuno is edited by Lykeia.

Disclaimer: I am a contributor of a devotional hymn that appears in this anthology.
“Of all the Goddesses honoured in modern times, it seems a bit surprising that Hera doesn’t get much love, when in fact she was one of the more important Goddesses.”  These are the opening lines by editor Lykeia in her essay about the modern worship of Hera.  Indeed, the worship of the queen of the Greek Olympian pantheon may appear to pale by comparison to that of her wayward husband, Zeus, or even other Goddesses such as Aphrodite and Artemis, yet, Queen of Olympos: A Devotional Anthology for Hera and Iuno  is an anthology bursting with original prayers, passionate pleads and devotional hymns to both Hera and her Roman counterpart, Iuno.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Love and Sorrow of Branwen

In the first four stories found within the Welsh collection of myth, the Mabinogion, four enduring female characters can be found.  The better known Rhiannon appears in the first and third stories, with Arianhrod of the Silver Wheel appears in the fourth.  Also appearing with Arianhrod is Blodeuwedd, the "flower bride", leaving the little known Branwen, the daughter of the Welsh Sea God Llyr, to appear in the second story.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

From Avalon to Adelaide

This is one of the anthologies that I have recently written for - The Faerie Queens by Avalonia Books.  When I was in Glastonbury in September, I met with Sorita d'Este and David Rankine (editors of this enchanting  anthology) and received my contributor's copy.  As I was still travelling, I decided to surrender my copy to the postal service and post it back to me  back surface mail.  Just over two months later, my copy of The Faerie Queens has finally arrived and I cannot wait to actually read not only my essay about Morgan le Fay, but also the other essays that make up this anthology.
So just who are these Faerie Queens?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Devotional to Hera now available

I sing of golden-throned Hera whom Rhea bare.
Queen of the Immortals is she, surpassing all in beauty:
she is the sister and wife of loud-thundering Zeus,
-- the glorious one whom all the blessed throughout high Olympos reverence and honour even as Zeus who delights in thunder.
(Homeric Hymn 12 to Hera, trans. Evelyn-White)
I am delighted to anounce that Queen of Olympos: A Devotional Anthology for Hera and Iuno is now available, both in kindle as well as paperback through Amazon.comThis anthology includes my own devotional poem to the glorious Hera which I am rather excited about.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Upcoming Projects

A number of projects that I have contributed this year are nearing completion.  One of these projects is a devotional anthology decided to Hera/Iuno (Juno), the Queen of Olympos: A Devotional Anthology for Hera and Iuno and long suffering "wife" of Zeus/Jupiter.

Edited by Lykeia, this devotional anthology will be published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and will contain a devotional hymn that I wrote for this often misunderstood Goddess.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tutoring at the WEA

In October this year I will be tutoring two exciting new workshops at the Worker's Education Association (WEA) in Adelaide.  Registration for these workshops can be made through the WEA's web site.

Embracing the Goddess

19 October 2013: Embracing the Goddess (Interactive workshop held at the Worker's Education Association, Angas Street, 9:30am-4:00pm).

From the ancient temples of Malta, Egypt, Turkey and Crete; to the sacred springs and mountains of Ireland and Britain; from the Hindu temples to the modern sanctuaries being established all around the world today, the concept of the Goddess, the Divine Feminine, has never truly been forgotten.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Horned Gods and the Green Man

I am delighted to announce that there is a new magazine now available for the discerning magickal practitioner (particularly, but not exclusively, who resides south of the equator), with the first edition of The Green Man Quarterly having rolled off the printing presses ... or more accurately in this modern age, digitalised with files whizzing through cyberspace.

I have yet to receive my hardcopy of the magazine, however from the digital copy, I have to say that I was mighty impressed with the standard of articles, not to mention the amount of work the editor(s) have put into the magazine.

Nine Months and Virtually Sold Out

Dancing the Sacred Wheel at
Dymocks (Rundle Mall, Adelaide)
It has taken some nine months but since Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats was published in November 2012, I released this morning that I had actually sent off my last order of books from this print run.  Save for a handful of copies that I wish to hold on to, I actually now do not have any copies left myself for sale.  This means that the only copies available are through the following stockists, many of whom also have limited numbers now available:

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Irish Phantom Queen, the Morrighan

The following short article has been taken from an article I wrote for the now defunct Australian magazine, Insight, back in October 2010.  I thought I would share an excerpt of this article in light of a new anthology about the Morrighan that is currently calling for contributions, in particular art work.  I recently received notification from the editor that my poem "Call to the Morrighan" will be included in this anthology.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Morgan and the Faerie Queens have arrived

And with them eke, O Goddesse heavenly bright,
Mirrour of grace and Majestie divine,
Great Lady of the greatest Isle, whose light
Like Phoebus lampe throughout the world doth shine,
Shed thy faire beames into my feeble eyne,
And raise my thoughts too humble and too vile,
To thinke of that true glorious type of thine,
The argument of mine afflicted stile:
The which to heare, vouchsafe, O dearest dred a-while.

(The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser)

It has been a long wait but finally The Faerie Queens, edited by Sorita d'Este and David Rankine, is on the verge of being available, with notification being received from Avalonia Books this week that pre-orders could now be taken in readiness for the book's release next week.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Hymn to the Muse

Oh Muse, Thou dear one, sing to me,
Commence and order my song.
Cool breezes blowing from Thy groves
Inspire my breast and rouse my heart.

Calliopeia Thou wise
Principal of the Muses delightful,
Thou too, wise mystery guide,
Leto's child, Thou Delian Paean,
Be propitious and stand by me.

Some rather delightful news was received today that a more personal essay was accepted for an anthology that had already accepted a more scholarly article.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Article in The Cauldron Issue No. 149

The last 24 hours has rendered some disappointing news but also some wonderful news. 
Firstly, I received notification that an essay that I submitted from a proposed anthology, Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys had not been successful.  Its rejection was not because it was badly written, in fact the editor of the anthology personally praised my "scholarly analyst" of a lesser known Mesopotamian sacred journey.  It was rejected due to all the other submissions received being almost entirely poetic and fictional, thus causing a change in direction for the anthology.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Faerie Queens - pre-orders shortly available from Avalonia Books

This lovely, sweet, and beauteous Fairy Queen,
Begins to rise, when Hesperus is seen;
For she is kin unto the God of night,
Unto Diana, and the stars so bright.

Margaret Cavendish, 17th century)

It has been a long time coming but today Sorita d'Este (co-editor and owner of Avalonia Books) announced that The Faerie Queens will shortly be available for pre-order from Avalonia Books.

This anthology is the first that I had submitted an essay towards and some 6,500 words later (a major effort considering I was averaging 800 words for my column with the now defunct magazine, Insight), my essay on Morgan le Fay still remains my favourite.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ancient Festivals that Aid Spiritual Growth - at Cosmic Pages

This coming Saturday (4 May 2013) I will be delighted to be taking part with Cosmic Pages free afternoon talks.  The theme of my talk will be on the festivals and observances of our ancestors and how they can be used today in order to aid our spiritual growth. 
It is easy these days for our modern lives to get out of control due to an increasing number of demands placed upon our limited free time.  Every now and then we need to stop, take some time out and reassess the importance of things in our lives.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Less than 80 copies left

It has only been six months since my first book, Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats, was published on 9 November 2012 and I realised last night that there are actually less than 80 copies left of the first print run.

Naturally I am over the moon with this prospect, especially in light that it has been very well received both locally as well as internationally.  Some of the reviews I have already posted on this blog as well as on the Good Reads book review site.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Appearance at New Dimensions (16 March 2013)

From 2.00pm tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, 16 March 2013),  I will be at New Dimensions Bookshop on South Terrace Adelaide talking about the seasonal "Wheel of the Year".
The "Wheel of the Year", or the eight seasonal festivals form the basis around which many Pagan traditions revolve. Within modern Wicca, they tell the story of the God through the annual cycles of life, death and rebirth. These cycles are all around us in nature as well as within our own being.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dancing the Sacred Wheel review by Polly Lind

Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats
By Frances Billinghurst
TDM Publications, 2012
300 Pages

There is a certain style of writing about the various topics of witchcraft and magic that I look for when reading books about, well, Witchcraft and Magic, which is difficult to pinpoint exactly but I can tell you that several of the books I have been reading lately have it. It is something to do with how they make you think about the topic at hand, and how they provide you with further things to think about, or as I like to call it food for thought. It is important for not just books but podcasts as well.. .. but I digress.

I am very pleased to say that Dancing the Sacred Wheel by Frances Billinghurst also has this quality that I enjoy in good pagan themed books. Which is most excellent as it can always be tricky to review a book of someone that you kinda know. I met Frances way back in 2003 at a Pagan festival here in New Zealand, and needless to say we got on like a house on fire, in the pavilion of judgement, and at the table of dissension. *coughs*. There is now a seat of sarcasm, but that is a different story from a different Festival.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Review Received from Don McLeod

I am delighted to share the following review from Don McLeod, the author of Real Tarot: A Modern Approach to an Ancient Art

Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats
Reviewed by: Don McLeod (January 2013)

Ritual preparation has always been tricky for those in the Southern Hemisphere. Our seasonal observances vary so much from the other end of the globe. Even within our own country the differences in climate from one side of the country to the other are extreme. So, what’s the best way to celebrate the Wheel of the Year in Australia? This is the question that Frances Billinghurst has asked herself. The result is a wonderfully engaging book in which she shares her personal insights into the impact of the seasons on her local landscape. Throughout her book, Frances reminds us, “The more I relate to the land upon which I live and which surrounds me, the more I feel the pull to work in accordance with its own energies—not the energies of some distant land.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Demand is Overwhelming

I am delighted to announce that Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats was finally released in November 2012 and now has been received at the National Library in Canberra as well at the State Library here in South Australia.  This means that when searching the National Library's catalogue, all the necessary ordering details are made available.  As a result I have sold a number of copies to various libraries around Australia so far which is extremely exciting.

Since it's release, the book has been receiving wonderful feedback, including this book review who, despite the reviewer actually living in another country (New Zealand compared to me residing in Australia), she states that "this book will give you a new perspective with which to perceive the seasons in the reader’s own country".