December Update

Traditional Wicca2I’ve been pretty quiet on the Internet lately. I haven’t blogged, haven’t posted to Facebook, and have just generally been keeping to myself these days. The Internet is pretty amazing a lot of the time, but I think sometimes we use it as a replacement for actually getting out and doing things. I find that I get online to check something or look something up, and suddenly I get sucked into some rabbit hole and lose whole hours. I needed a break.

I’m up to a lot these days. Traditional Wicca: A Seeker’s Guide is up on Amazon, and I just can’t get over it. A friend pointed out just this weekend that I now have an author profile on Llewellyn’s website. It’s incredible to me that I grew up in the Craft (and in general) reading Llewellyn authors, and now I’m one of them. This process has been wild. It’s slow, too. I wrote the bulk of Traditional Wicca almost two years ago, and in between I’ve worked full time and gone back to school. I get so busy with daily life that I actually forget about it sometimes, and then I get an email from my editor asking for me to look at something, and I go through the shock all over again. Holy crap I wrote a book.

Check out what Ray Buckland wrote about my work:

“Thorn writes with obvious sincerity, with feeling, and from experience. Her book covers everything from defining Witchcraft, through the workings of a coven, to actual initiation and beyond. She warns that Wicca is not for everyone and–I am personally delighted to see–includes a chapter on recognizing ‘red flags’ when first contacting others . . . especially those who might claim to be more than they actually are. This book is the quintessential guide for the true, sincere seeker.”―Raymond Buckland, author of Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft

I was literally screaming when I first read this.

The best part is that now that I’ve done it once, I know it’s doable. I’ve got other projects in the works, and writing no longer feels quite as daunting. Currently, my focus is on the young adult novel I’ve always wanted to write. When I was a teenager, I loved Isobel Bird’s series Circle of Three and Cate Tiernan’s Sweep. I still love them. When I’m feeling shitty and need a pick-me-up or just want to feel that inkling of falling in love with witchcraft again, I reread the first books in these series. For a long time, I’ve wanted to take those same tropes and revisit them through my own experiences as a young witch (and can you believe those books are now as old as they are? First published in 2001, some of them you can’t even find in print anymore). The world needs more realistic teen witch stories.

Non-fiction is in the works, too, but I’m getting a kick out of shifting gears these days.

Changes are afoot in my online life more broadly. I’m doing some consolidating. I’m in the process of moving my tarot content to my main website, as well as some of my old Patheos articles. Just for the sake of keeping track of things and not feeling like I’m being spread so thin. I anticipate writing more on all fronts in 2018. I’ll be setting up a mailing list this upcoming year, too, so keep your eyes peeled.

Obligatory New Year’s Post

Oh god it’s 2015 and I could swear 1995 happened ten years ago. Jesus.

As a perpetual student and academic, my new year really begins in the fall when classes start. January has always struck me as a dark, in-between place of sadness where nothing good ever happens (but thank god the champagne is on sale). As a Wiccan, I’ve always thought of the new year as beginning at the Feast of Torches (that’s Imbolc or Candlemas to others), and that’s really when I start to feel more like myself. I know for others, Halloween is the “Witches’ New Year,” but for us it’s really just the end of the old, marking the beginning of a liminal period characterized by darkness and cold. January is just when the fireworks happen, as far as I’m concerned.

Nonetheless, I thought it would be worthwhile to lay out some goals for myself in 2015. I’ve found over the years that I’m way more likely to actually do things if I write them down and then tell everyone I know about my intentions. Then I’m socially obligated.

Leaving off the boring, mundane stuff about running and finding a job that doesn’t shame my parents, most of my goals are tarot and Craft-related.

For those of you who weren’t aware, I’ve taken my tarot reading beyond the party and festival circuit and am now offering readings throughout the year. I’ve got a gig at a local shop (Laughingbrook Spellcrafting & Ancestral Arts in Huntersville, NC) and now provide readings through my Etsy shop, Widdershins. Along with my own website just for tarot things, 2015 also marks the release of my monthly newsletter, The Tarot Skeptic (first issue out tomorrow). All of this has been a great way to foster my own studies in tarot, provide a service that is actually useful and enjoyable, and meet a bunch of new people doing something similar.

The biggest news is probably my recent decision to complete the book proposal I shelved after graduate school. I’ve already put a lot of work into this, but the malaise that set in after graduation caused me to shun any kind of even vaguely academic writing, and this project is a heavy one. It’s something of a crossover, designed to appeal both to other Pagans and to those simply interested in Pagan communities. To my knowledge, there’s no comparable work on the market and early drafts of my proposal received enough publication interest that I think it’s worth pursuing. I feel like it’s time to actually start writing something substantial, because there’s just no way around it: it’s going to be a butt load of work no matter when I do it. May as well do it now. And if I tell you people I’m writing a book and the proposal is going to be done by the end of the year, then I will actually do it. Please feel free to harass me about it.

Foxfire is growing and changing, now operating with an inner court and outer court. It’s exciting and enormously nerve-wracking, but I’m grateful that we’re healthy and happily functioning, which is more than most covens can say in their first two years. It’s thrilling to see a growing Gardnerian presence in North Carolina.

I guess that’s all.

Here. Enjoy a YouTube video on the word “Neo-Wicca” for those who didn’t catch it earlier.