Monday, March 3, 2014

Update Thus Far for 2014

It is March already and with it the first two months of this new year appear to have flown by.  For the last few weeks I have noticed a distinct changing in the seasons as we move into Autumn and the Autumn Equinox inches ever closer.  The mornings are distinctively darker, even though (with our extended daylight savings dragging on until the end of this month) the afternoons are still quite hot.  The two heatwaves that we have endured has all but destroyed my beloved garden, and with the cooler weather, what plants hadn't been annihilated has gathered a second wind and are trying to flower again.  It seems like Mother Nature is just as confused as the reason of us.
Any new writing projects have been put on the backburner for a while as I have been focusing on my upcoming tutoring obligations with the WEA Adult Learning and it was a great honour to be invited to attend a tutor gathering the other week in light of the fact that I have only taught one workshop.  Being a long-time attendee of various courses and workshops that the WEA has offered over the years, I was able to catch up with some of the tutors whose events I had enjoyed who were more than generous in their advice.
The WEA is not the only venue where I will be running workshops, a selection of Goddess-themed events will be occuring at The Goddess House this year.  This half day workshops include Celtic Warrior Queens, Underworld Goddess, a puja in honour of Lakshmi, and a healing session with the Egyptian Cow Goddess Hathor.
One of the outstanding projects from 2013 that I had contributed towards is now available.  Paganism 101: An Introduction to Paganism by 101 Pagans is an anthology edited by Trevor Greenfield from Moon Books and includes essays from the likes of Emma Restall-Orr, Brendan Myers, Melusine Draco, Cat Treadwell, and Mark Townsend. 
Philip Carr-Gomm, author and Chief Druid of the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids has indicated that "this is a much-needed book that gives voice to the diversity of ideas and opinions being voiced by contemporary Pagans. As I read it, I felt as if I was sitting in a circle, in a community of like-minded souls,hearing new points of view, challenging ideas, old ideas expressed in different ways. Warmth, humanity, creativity all flow from these pages."
The late Neville Drury described the book as "a breakthrough in itself. This excellent sourcebook highlights significant recent writing by practitioners of Druidry, Wicca, Shamanism, Goddess worship, Herbalism - and a whole lot more. Highly recommended."

As such, I am dependly honoured that my vignette on undertaking ritual has been included in such work.
There are two further compilations by Trevor Greenfield and Moon Books that I have also submitted to - one about the Goddess and one that will be celebrating the 60 year anniversary since Gerald Gardner, the "father" of modern Witchcraft, published Witchcraft Today.  Both of which I am very excited about.

Another outstanding project from 2013 is the release of A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional Anthology for the Queen of Heaven that has been edited by Jen McConnel and Bibliotheca Alexandrina.  Within the pages of this rather large anthology (totalling over 300 pages) can be found my essay on the Egyptian Goddess of the Sky, Nut (who was also an inspirational source for the early 19th century magician Aleister Crowley), together with a further essay on modern moon worship.
I have also been busy getting the manuscript of Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats ready for its re-release that should occur later this month or in April.  With this being my first book, I was rather surprised (yet extremely delighted) that the first printing sold out within six months.

My endeavours to find an Australian based publisher to take over any future printings unfortunately were not successful, the book will be re-released through an on-line print on demand site.   Anyone wishing to be notified when Dancing the Sacred Wheel: A Journey through the Southern Sabbats will be available again, please email me and I will add your name to the notification list.

The manuscript of my second book (which will contain a selection of expanded essays I have written on various aspects of the Goddess) is also nearing completion, save for obtaining a suitable cover image.  I am hoping that this book will be ready for release around the middle of the year.

As a bit of a distraction from the reading (and re-reading manuscripts) LunaNoire Creations was launched at the beginning of this year.  Offering a selection of of handcrafted goodies, such as this Goddess Moon Devotional Rosary with carnelian specific purpose beads.  Carnelian is a crystal that helps to ground and accept the cycle of life.  It offers protect against envy and resentment, while helping to calm anger.

The Celtic Triquetra, or "Trinity Knot" symbolises the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth, thus reminding us that everything is interconnected and we too have an important part to plan in the greater scheme of things.

The bee has many representations, from fertility (being a symbolg of the heart and the "sweetness" that life can bring) to hidden wisdom of the Eleusian Mysteries.  It is also a symbol for the sun an s such this rosary can be used to help bring such energies into your life.

More rosary designs as well as crystal bracelets to assist with specific ailments and conditions will be made available shortly, and I am always happy to discuss any custom made items.

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