I’m Writing a Fucking Book and Drinking Lots of Coffee

group-shotYesterday was my last day of student teaching, and I’m sitting at a Starbucks drinking liquefied sugar and gleefully clacking away on my laptop for the first time in months. God I missed this. Working really gets in the way of working you know?

I actually feel like blogging.

Good thing, too, because I’m writing a fucking book.

No, seriously. For real this time. The Llewellyn contract is signed, the deadline is set, and pretty soon I’ll have to provide a headshot that doesn’t make me look like I escaped from the woods and got lost at Sephora on my way to a spinster schoolteacher convention.

I got tired of whining about how I don’t know what books to recommend to seekers of traditional Wicca and decided to write my own. This is the kind of project that gets me really excited but comes with a certain level of dread, too. I’m purporting to represent a movement here, and, as a relatively conservative Gardnerian priestess (and a young one, at that) I’m clearly not the most representative voice in the world. To remedy this, I’m trying to include perspectives, anecdotes, and advice from others, in other traditions (as well as my own, of course). I’m working down my list of badass trad Wiccans to contact and beg for input, and I can only hope to be as inclusive as possible. I know I can’t write something perfect, but I at least want to write something that another coven leader in a different tradition can feel comfortable handing to an inquisitive seeker and going, “Here, this is pretty close to what we do and has some things in it that could help you.”

I’m not policing the term “traditional” either. I’m discussing it in terms of the role of initiation, lineage, hierarchy, and the coven, but I’m not out to tell people who is and isn’t legit. Ya’ll can figure that out on your own. So if you’ve got a story to share (I’m especially looking for people to represent some of the less-discussed BTW groups here in the States), please drop me a line. I don’t have the final say about what gets included (and there’s no money in it), but I’ll take all the help I can get to make this thing representative and solid. Seekers, that goes for you, too. Drop me a line. Some of you will hear from me personally at some point, asking for input. I’m envisioning inserts scattered throughout the text body, with advice, anecdotes, and other tidbits from people who aren’t me.

In other writing news, I’m working on another project that I hope will end up being a column for Witches&Pagans Magazine. I’m co-writing with one of the buttheads over at Gardnerians, so I know good things will result one way or another. I’ve been reading Witches&Pagans (back when it was NewWitch) since issues 1 (actually—fun Thorn factoid—I have a letter to the editor in an early issue in which I make myself look like an adolescent jackass), so I’m majorly pumped that they’re even considering my writing.

The great irony is that all of this writing about witchcraft leaves much less time to actually practice witchcraft. Foxfire has been extraordinarily patient with me, and for that I’m grateful. Winter months are just kind of a mess, anyway. Family events, holidays, traveling, work, and weather get in the way of the day-to-day business of coven things, especially when you’re in different towns. It takes an enormous amount of effort from everyone to be in the same space at the same time (both physically and emotionally). The upside is that we all seem to be busy with personal Craft stuff, and everyone seems to be growing despite my neglect.

My social time is limited, but most of it belongs to my HEMA club. I didn’t realize how much I missed belonging to a martial arts school. Taekwondo was this huge thing in my life back in college, and it was devastating to close that door, after moving away, realizing my instructors were assholes, and subsequently being disillusioned by the entire tradition. That was a really rough time in my life, and it tarnished a lot of the things that were really great about the art itself. I told myself I’d never be a part of a system like that again. Money-grubbing “masters” and a bullshit belt ranking system and raging misogyny from ninja dudebros (as well as other women) at every fucking turn. I’m still proud of what I accomplished in Taekwondo, but I’m no longer sorry I quit.

My sword club fills this deep-seated emotional need that I sort of forgot I had. Or was pretending I didn’t have. Or something. It’s a lot bigger than fencing.

And on that note, more coffee.

10 thoughts on “I’m Writing a Fucking Book and Drinking Lots of Coffee

  1. Melissa

    Hey Thorn,
    Long time watcher/reader. My name is Melissa. I have been practicing paganism and witchcraft in one form or another for the last 15 years. Cant wait to get my hands on a copy of your book. A while back a close friend of mine in the craft began studying New York Wica founded by Eddie Buczynski in the 70’s, Eddie was the same guy who founded the Minoan Brotherhood and the Welsh Tradition. My friend ended up forming a coven about a year and a half ago with two other initiates and myself. Since we have added two more members and we operate as a working NY Wica coven in the North Texas area. I would love to see my tradition included in your book. It is a beautiful offshoot of BTW. As Eddie was a gay man coming up in the pagan community in the 70’s the biggest change he made to the Gardenarian tradition in creating NY Wica was making his tradition open to the LGBTQ community as well as creating a more balanced role between males and females in the tradition. Thought this might be relevant and informative to LGBTQ readers of your book looking to become involved in some form/offshoot of BTW. A great read is “Bull of Heaven: The Mythic Life of Eddie Buczynski and the Rise of the New York Pagan” by Michael Lloyd. VERY informative. It is FULL of info about the New York pagan community in the 70’s. Lots of stuff about how the debates over validity of initiation due to gender roles during initiation and all that stuff that happened… Great if you like reading about pagan history and… well… some gossip and quarreling… Anyway sorry for the wall of text. Feel free to contact me if you want more info. 🙂
    -Melissa

    1. Chris Mann

      He was also responsible for the first publication of the “Rede of the Wiccae” (though it was without permission from Gwen Thompson).

  2. Chris Mann

    I was just thinking this would be a good idea when I read your recent Patheos blog, but I was pretty sure that’s what you were working on. Can you work in the word “orthosanguic” in there somehow?

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