Connecting with the stars…and ourselves

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There’s a lot going on in our solar system in August…a full moon and partial eclipse today, peak of the Perseids meteor shower on the 12th and a new moon and total solar eclipse on the 21st. “So?” I hear you ask, “What does that mean for me?”

Continuing my blog posts about finding magic in your life, connecting to the universe is an easy way to begin so let’s begin with the sun… the sun is the star at the centre of the Solar system, made up of hot plasma, whose diameter is 109 times that of the earth, consists of hydrogen and helium plus a little oxygen, carbon, neon and iron and whose mass is about 330,00 times that of the earth. Wow! A huge, almost spherical ball of energy, 149.6 million kilometres away, is the main source of energy for life on earth. And you know what? Carl Sagan said that we are made of star stuff, the death of ancient stars helping to create us.

Whether we like it or not, we are linked to the universe. We are made up of the same molecules. The universe was there before us, creating and uncreating until all the elements and conditions were aligned and life began on our earth.

Our ancestors understood their connection to the universe, you’ve only to look at the legacy they left behind to see it.

Stone circles and avenues, temples and pyramids were created and aligned, markers of the sun, moon and stars. Our ancestors linked to the past and the future, making themselves a part of a cycle of life that sustained and informed them. They knew about the seasons and the best time to plant and harvest; their link with the universe was life giving….and so can ours be today.

Tonight, like others on this amazing rock we call earth, I’ll be taking a few minutes to connect with the stars. For me, it’s about focussing on a bigger picture. We get hung up on the minutae, the earthly problems we face each day (I did it yesterday attempting to file my tax return!) and forget to look wider…we are part of a world family on a beautiful planet, abundant with diverse wildlife and we have our own star to thank for giving us the opportunity to be here in the first place. Attempting to comprehend the universe, we may be a small speck on a little planet but inside each of us is the potential to create and to open our hearts and minds to compassion, love and warmheartedness. We’re held back by the ‘old stories’ we carry, causing doubt, fear and anxiety when we attempt to break away and try something new yet, we all have the capacity to write ‘new stories’ for ourselves, living our lives full of hope, creativity and love. For me, the inspiration comes from the universe, above me, and my connection with the earth, below me.

Join me at 8.08pm for 8 minutes, linking yourself with others on the earth and to the stars from which you came.

Connecting with the stars, we connect with ourselves.

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Magic Matters

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People say to me ‘Magic isn’t real though, is it?’ My last blog post https://wendysteele.com/2017/06/06/a-magical-life/  was about being ‘present’ to experience the magic. ‘Magic Matters’ takes this idea one step further.

One of the definitions of magic, according to my trusty, yet rather battered Oxford Concise, is ‘an inexplicable or remarkable influence producing surprising results’. In order to experience this, however, we need to be connected to ourselves, the planet and the living beings upon it. Why? Because so much of our lives take us away from this state. We live in a dream supported by those who want to control us and who want to sell to us.

In so many ways, we don’t live our own lives. We perform the stories dictated to us by others. Taking back control is the magic. Here are a few ways to rewrite your own story and live a life full of magic and love.

1 Connect with the planet and the universe

We live on an amazing planet within an awesome universe. I’ve recently been inspired by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, helping me to understand the cosmos from both a scientific, as well as personal perspective. Human knowledge at this time gives us a tiny hint at the enormity of the universe, a glimpse of where we came from and the planet on which we reside.

We can play our own part to stop global warming and the rape and destruction of the world’s resources. Recycling and being choosy who and where we buy from keeps us connected with a world community who love their planet too.

The media wants us to buy more of everything, even if we don’t need it.

I’m lucky to be able to stand barefoot on grass or in the river circling my home. I can light a fire on my pebbly beach and feel the breeze chilling my skin while red kites perform their circle dance above me. I used to live in a town but on day’s off, I sought woodland walks or trips to the sea and spent holidays camping beneath the stars. Those moments of connectivity helped sustain me and I invested regular time revisting those happy moments in the natural world and thanking the planet for its sustenance.

2 Family and friends

One good quality of social media is the ease in which it enables us to keep in touch. The huge downside is how it drags us in, wasting our time looking at a screen. Communication has changed but, speaking to our loved ones or preferably hugging them, is far more rewarding. During the second year of our move to Wales, we spent months trying to get a new roof, rebuilding, knocking concrete off walls and remortaring with lime, clearing rubbish and brambles as well as working at our ‘day jobs’. Everything seemed to go wrong, take forever or land us with costs we hadn’t expected. Short of time and funds, we hardly saw our family. It wasn’t a healthy time for myself or my partner. I was a functioning but empty shell. I recognised what was lacking, started a ‘weekend away’ fund and have booked time to see family and friends on a regular basis ever since.

3 Animals, birds and other wildlife

Caring for the planet means caring for all living creatures. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twenty two and moved onto a plant based diet last year. When my children started school, talk between parents often moved to ‘what are you having for dinner?’ By sharing tasty, nutritional but meat free recipes, friends started adding one or two meat free meals to their repertoire each week. The production of meat, especially beef, is unsustainable. Vast areas of land and millions of gallons of water are used, resources that if sustainable crops were planted, could feed the world.

Other friends only buy their meat from local, organic farms and have switched to free range eggs. It’s definitely a step in the right direction but if you fancy trying some new recipes, have a browse on YouTube for inspiration. Cheap Lazy Vegan is funny and her recipes are easy to follow and delicious. Veganlovlie is adorable and her recipes are scrummy.

4 Caring for the world family

I love leading Tribal Unity Wales out to dance for our local community but in the past year I’ve arranged impromptu haflas (belly dance parties) to raise money for people who need help around the world. We’ve helped Wales Air Ambulance, Smalls for All and Hafla for Humanity and are supporting SHARP, Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response Project at the moment, raising money with a hafla and collecting donations of clothes from friends and family and adding one item of toiletries to our weekly shop to put together a box to be delivered to SHARP at the end of this month.

It isn’t about the amount you donate. When I shop, I add one item for the local food bank and one for SHARP and I think of those mother’s desperately trying to feed their children and keep them clean and well.

I’ve been criticized for my views on helping others but I refuse to judge or exclude. We are one family, the family of humanity. ‘Do as you would be done by’ is a good creed to live by in my humble opinion.

 

So where’s the magic?

Living in tune with the planet, loving friends and family, caring for all animals and wildlife and supporting the human family is the first step to magic and these lifestyle choices will change you. Why not give them a try? How bad can it be living the life you choose?

The next step is all about you so I hope you’ll join me and discover more about magical influence the surprising, exciting results???.

Keep sharing the love.

Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

A Magical Life

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We all experience magic in our lives. There is no need to be pagan or a practising witch. All you need to do is ‘be’.

We believe we live in the present, this time, now but often our minds have wandered to the past or the future and because of our lack of being rooted in the present, we miss the magic.

Sitting on my riverbank is magic…sunlight trickles through the leaves blessing my skin with the warmth of the sun…water rattles and skates over rocks and stones…dipper tips his wing and skims across the water.

Dancing in the rain is magic…clouds bursting their blessings on the earth…the wind blowing up the valley…music, friends and smiles.

Time with my children is magic…catching up on news…sharing success and new ideas…supporting them taking adult steps into the world.

Time with animals is magic …snuggles with a rescued lamb…warmth and love for a rescued kitty.

Looking into the eyes of a new born baby is magic…Dancing together to raise money for those in need is magic…Sharing my stories is magic…Decorating my home to welcome in the light is magic…The first flower of Spring is magic…Walking on the beach and paddling in the sea, whatever the weather, is magic…

 

I write about magic…real magic…the magic that fills our lives with moments of inspiration, hope, understanding, empathy and love.

Join me for stories on my Welsh riverbank https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

or find my books on my author pages https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

or for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

Make time in your life to ‘be’ and enjoy every magic moment.

 

 

Look out for The Orphan Witch!

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The Orphan Witch,  Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel 2, is out to first readers! I’m excited, especially as they couldn’t wait to read it.

Have you met Lizzie Martin yet? You can read her story here https://wendysteele.com/2017/03/17/my-name-is-lizzie-martin-and-im-a-witch/ 

Here’s the blurb for Lizzie’s first story The Naked Witch…

Lizzie Martin lives in Romford with her fourteen year old daughter, Rowan. She enjoys her job as a receptionist and typist at an old established, family run company. She clothes herself from charity shops in vibrant, joyful colours with matching headbands she makes herself. Colour is Lizzie’s armour and she uses it to hold at bay the emotional angst of her ex-husband, Josh, whose girlfriend is barely out of her teens, her mother who has the sensitivity of a crocodile, and the big bad world from which she tries to protect her daughter.

But today Edward Brown – her new boss – has asked Lizzie to ‘bare all’, and become more corporate. For Lizzie, swapping paisley for pin stripe is like asking a parrot to wear pea hen.

Meanwhile, as Edward Brown retakes his position as head of the law firm, Lizzie has to choose between her job and her integrity, cope with an unexpected stay in hospital, continue seeking the truth about her father’s death and juggle two new men in her life.

There is hope though.

At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Steele/dp/1543165044/ref and for my friends across the pond

 

The Orphan Witch continues Lizzie Martin’s story…

Lizzie Martin doesn’t ‘do’ committees. Without a job, having discovered her mother isn’t her mother and the recent loss of her beloved Marsha, attending the PA meeting to please Richard was a stupid thing to do. On the other hand, organising a road trip to Wales with her best friend Louise, was her best idea yet.

But was it a holiday or a ‘detectoring’ expedition? Was she taking a break to grieve for Marsha or was the fear of being alone more important? Had she thought to find roots in the Welsh landscape or was she running away from her responsibilities in Essex?

There is hope though.

The squirrels are on her side, the rescued chickens love their new home and her new magical plan to get closer to the earth brings her real mother, and her father, into her life.

 

Cover will be ready in July and I’m hoping for a publication date of 21st August 2017 so keep in touch for more books you’ll want to read again and again!

Bright blessings xx

 

What do YOU want from a novel?

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I gave up putting up the book I was reading on Goodreads…because so many were so bad, I couldn’t finish them. Each and every one had been recommended by glowing reviews yet they didn’t grab me or keep me wanting to read them. I know what I want to read, my latest review ‘Soul Doubt’ by D Hart St Martin, proves that but maybe other readers are looking for something different?

I want…believable, real, engaging characters

Identifying with the characters is paramount in my reading. I don’t have to like them all, but they need to be ‘real’. I’m a visual reader so if I can’t picture the characters acting out the scenes in the book, you’ve lost me already.

I want…a story that holds my attention

Moving on from the characters, it’s the story that holds me and compels me to read on. It can be happy, sad, thrilling, exciting or inspiring but I need to believe that the story is important. For me, the story isn’t the plot; it’s what the book is really about.

I want…a well-crafted book

I love words. I love them used to create a memorable sentence. I don’t mind background or words that move the reader from scene to scene but I want words used thoughtfully, provocatively and beautifully.

I want…a well-edited book

I’m not a stickler for this but if the formatting is heywire, there are additional words, words spelled incorrectly or if a book feels like a first draft, you’ll lose me after a couple of chapters. I may read on if the story is compelling but rarely to the end.

I want…to be left wanting more

I love reading a book that I enjoy so much that I can’t wait to read another by the author. We all have our favourite authors, those books we devour the moment they are released and many readers enjoy books from a series, each book a whole story in its own right while the next moves the characters and story on further.

I want…a story to dwell in

For me, all books are magic, transporting the reader to another time or place, away from our own reality. Total immersion is what I seek. I want to be clinging to the side of a Viking ship or taking my first space walk to fix a problem with the solar panels. I want to sun myself on a beach in Australia or battle the elements, climbing to a mountain summit. I want to ride a train to Budapest or a camel in the desert. I want to dance at a ball in my high necked gown or hide in a cave from a demon.

What do YOU want from a novel?

 

From Samhain to Spring Equinox

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Living my life by the Sacred Wheel of the Year, my new year began after Samhain with dance workshops and performances and meeting up with an old friend. There’s been book fairs and fairytale fairs, my long awaited tattoos and happy family gatherings in our farmhouse in Wales.

I write every day but in January I began editing my first Witch Lit novel and writing dance workshops. Learning new recipes to enhance my plant based diet has been both exciting and challenging. I’ve made new friends, meeting and supporting authors and welcoming new ladies to my dance classes. Tribal Unity Wales hosted a wee hafla for S.H.A.R.P. Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response project and raised £170 and gathered boxes of clothing donations.

I’ve cut back brambles and nettles, clearing my land to allow the plants and my apple trees to breathe.

My second Witch Lit book is written in first draft and the spring flowers are brightening up my hill top.

It’s been a long, cold, wet start to the year but it’s all been leading to today, the launch of The Naked Witch, a Lizzie Martin story, dedicated to my amazing daughter, Jasmine and written for all the strong, beautiful and amazing women out there. Bright Spring blessings to you all xx

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

and for my friends across the pond

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Steele/dp/1543165044/ref

My name is Lizzie Martin and I’m a witch

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Hi, I’m Lizzie and I’m a witch. Not that I wear a pointy hat and travel to work on a broomstick! In fact, unless you get to know me well, you would never know. I live my life following the Sacred Wheel of the Year and use magic in my daily life. I might draw a single card from my Tarot pack, set a candle spell working or consult with Cerridwen and her cauldron but even if my focus is not on a magical act or ritual, the Wheel turns and I move with it.

 I was a ‘ginger’ at school but if you’re going to label me, I’d prefer redhead. I love wearing bright clothes that compliment rather than clash. Paisley, velvet and Indian fabrics are my favourite, swathing my body in colour and light. I’ve never felt the need to show off my figure so I let my clothes do the talking. I rarely have to do more than smile, which I prefer. I learned to be quiet at an early age while my parents argued.

 I’m not a great one for shouting. At our old house, I avoided the neighbourhood squabbles and gossip, preferring peace to provocation. I got on well with everyone but had no particular friends. My fault? Probably but I’m a private person and I worry about sharing too much of myself with strangers. At our new house, it’s different. Mr Brody is our next door neighbour, his house adjoins ours, so we met on the day Rowan and I moved in. I was worried about Rowan’s music disturbing him and he was embarrassed that his TV would annoy us!

 Louise and I are friends, good ones I hope. She’s one of the security guards in the building where I work. She’s raven haired and vivacious, completely different from me but they say opposites attract. She’s kind and funny and that’s why I like her.

 With Josh, my ex-husband, out of my life, Rowan is my family. My father died when I was young. He is my first thought on waking, while my mother and I struggle to form any kind of relationship, even now. Affectionate isn’t a word I use to describe her. Some days, I don’t think she cares about me at all but she’s Rowan’s Granny, so I do the best I can. Marsha, on the other hand, Josh’s mum is a sweetheart. She continues to treat me as family, phoning for advice about her dreams and welcoming Rowan to her villa in Spain every year.

 ‘Call yourself a witch! Where’s the magic?’ I hear you ask. At the bottom of my garden is a little wooden shed that I call Sanctuary. Rowan calls it my ‘Mum cave’. Within its warm and welcoming walls, I draw and paint and surround myself with magic.

FAQs about The Naked Witch

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The Naked Witch is available for pre-order now! https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

or for my UK readers https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Steele/dp/1543165044/ref

Not sure if The Naked Witch is your kind of book? Here are some of the FAQs about the book to help you decide…

Do I need to be a witch or a pagan to enjoy your book?

Absolutely not! The Naked Witch is a contemporary read for all women everywhere…that’s not to say men won’t enjoy it but ladies, I wrote it for you.

What or who inspired you to write it?

My daughter, Jasmine, to whom the book is dedicated. Lizzie Martin is a modern woman, juggling full time work, a teenage daughter and the usual gambit of relationships and The Naked Witch is her story but her relationship with her daughter is her inspiration too.

My previous novels have either focussed on the witches Qabalah, Destiny of Angels and Wrath of Angels, or the energetic links of the land, The Standing Stone book series. I wanted to write a book that all women could identify with, about a woman with dreams and aspirations, faced to conform in a modern world.

Tell me more about this new genre, Witch Lit.

The Naked Witch fits into the genre magical realism…but without the fantasy elements. Witch Lit sums up the book perfectly…it is a heroine-centred narrative focussing on the trials and tribulations of the individual protagonist, Lizzie Martin. She lives in the modern world and the book is peppered with a smattering of light heartedness and humour.

Is it a romance, mystery or thriller?

That’s the beauty of Witch Lit, it encompasses all three. Lizzie’s life doesn’t revolve around dependence on men but she’s not averse to a tight buttock or chiselled jaw. Matt is the lead singer of a band while Richard is a widower, seeking to build a new life for himself and his son.

The mystery is in Lizzie’s search for the truth about her father’s death and when she attends a beach party in Spain, she enters an underground world of money, deceit and intrigue.

If I enjoy it, will there be any more Witch Lit books and where will I find them?

Oh yes! The sequel to The Naked Witch is already penned in first draft and entitled, The Orphan Witch. All my books are available via my Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

or for UK readers http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

I hope I’ve answered some of your questions. Press on one of the top links to pre-order your copy for a compelling read you won’t want to put down.

 

 

The Naked Witch is here!

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Thank you for waiting for my first Witch Lit novel! Get ready to immerse yourself in Lizzie Martin’s world but why squirrels, you ask? Let’s ask Lizzie…. “It’s no big deal. I like squirrels. They’re surprisingly good company.”

Here’s the synopsis for The Naked Witch…

Lizzie Martin lives in Romford with her fourteen year old daughter, Rowan. She enjoys her job as a receptionist and typist at an old established, family run company. She clothes herself from charity shops in vibrant, joyful colours with matching headbands she makes herself. Colour is Lizzie’s armour and she uses it to hold at bay the emotional angst of her ex-husband, Josh, whose girlfriend is barely out of her teens, her mother who has the sensitivity of a crocodile, and the big bad world from which she tries to protect her daughter.

But today Edward Brown – her new boss – has asked Lizzie to ‘bare all’, and become more corporate. For Lizzie, swapping paisley for pin stripe is like asking a parrot to wear pea hen.

Meanwhile, as Edward Brown retakes his position as head of the law firm, Lizzie has to choose between her job and her integrity, cope with an unexpected stay in hospital, continue seeking the truth about her father’s death and juggle two new men in her life.

There is hope though.

At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…

Pre-order your copy now!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

 

Sneeky peek – Wrath of Angels

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wrath-of-angels-cover-proof-v1 Sometimes the first few pages aren’t enough so here, for your enjoyment is a little more of Wrath of Angels…

As a full moon filled the night sky, Angel walked down the
stone steps to the basement of her house with the basket for
her path working on her arm. Once below she lit the wall
sconces and the braziers on either side of the altar. Light and
warmth seeped into the stone walls. A single red rose lay on a
seven pointed star on the altar surrounded by thyme,
feverfew, yarrow and verbena.

She wore an amber shift belted with a cord of olive green
and gold, a green cloak and at her throat hung an emerald. As
Thoth greeted her on the astral plane, promising to protect
her, she stood upon the Path, a rose in one hand and a lantern
in the other. Her heart began to beat fiercely and the rose in
her hand vibrated as she walked into a courtyard surrounded
by cool, white buildings and seated around the well within sat
female love deities. Freyja sat with Venus, their fair hair
glistening in the sun while Rhiannon, her horse tethered to
one side, spoke with Ishtar. They laughed together as Angel
approached. The maiden Cerridwen caught Angel’s eye and
smiled at her and as Angel smiled back, she stood naked
before the beautiful naked women.

Angel felt no embarrassment. A vibration began in her
groin as if something was awakening in the root of her being
and as the sensation climbed up her body, she felt aroused and
uplifted by the beauty of those around her. Each woman came
forward and embraced her and then held a hand as a circle
was formed. Into the middle, Angel lay the rose and the
lantern before taking her place in the circle.

The rose sparkled and the lantern began to glow until a
glistening golden ball spun hovering in the air before them.
The sphere darkened and then stars appeared, some singly
and some in clusters until the ball glistened and shone. Ishtar
stepped forward, reaching into the ball and plucking a web of
twinkling stars which, with skilful hands she fashioned into a
girdle. Turning to Angel, Ishtar wound the stars around her.
Never had Angel felt so complete nor so content as she did in
such lovely company.

The ball spun again and from it flew a white dove which
landed on the outstretched palm of Venus. She walked
forward and offered the bird to Angel who took it on her
finger. She spoke one word to it as she stroked its milky white
head. Over and over she spoke the word, the word that
encapsulated love in just two syllables. Aidan. She lifted her
hand to the sky and the dove flew away.

The women watched the sphere as colours and images
flashed across its surface. Forests, mountains, deserts,
meadows and plains were a backdrop to every living creature
that roamed the earth and Rhiannon stepped forward and
plucked a lynx from its tree top resting place. She brought her
before Angel and the lynx lay down. She observed the women
with her luminescent reflective eyes and when Angel looked
at her, she saw mirrored back, her own perceptions and
understanding. She knew from then on, to trust her female
intuition. The lynx stood before Angel, shut it’s eyes and
bowed before vanishing.

As the sphere spun again, fields of glowing corn, wheat
and barley showed on the surface and the lilting tunes of a
flute began to play. As the music grew, accompanied by drum
and violin, the women began to walk around the circle while
Freya could wait no longer and took Angel’s hands and they
danced. Angel’s feet reflected the notes her ears heard and she
began to feel with her whole being. Her body swayed and
skipped as all the women joined in, a joyous dance borne
from the music. There were no thoughts of why or how but a
communal joining within the beauty of the tune. As the music
faded away, the flute the last to leave, the women, bright eyed
and breathless, took their places.

As Cerridwen approached the spinning ball it became her
cauldron and from it rose the number seven. She went to
Angel, took her hand and Angel understood. She saw the
Seven of Wands, appreciating the struggle of one against six
but saw too the dominance and the forth coming victory of
the one. She saw the Seven of Swords and understood the
Occult Intelligence, the hidden force behind the action, the
unqualified force without will. As she saw the seven chalices
of the Seven of Cups, she wondered at the power of creativity
within the Sephirah Netzach but also understood that with so
much energy and so many possibilities it was difficult to
know which choices are real and which are illusory. She saw
the Seven of Pentacles and the potential of a fruitful harvest
and understood the need for action to bring in the abundant
crop before it spoiled. As these thoughts entered and worked
in her mind, Angel lifted her hands, as did the others and a
waterfall of love and beauty washed over them as the sky
filled with pure white light.

Back in the basement, Angel thanked and bid farewell to
her guests as her mind pondered the force and beauty of
Netzach and the form and logic of Hod.

You can buy Wrath of Angels here … https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrath-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KTH2E4Y/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Wrath-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KTH2E4Y/ref

 

You can find all my books on my author page here…https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Wrath-Angels-Lilith-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KTH2E4Y/ref

 

Watch out for my new novel, The Naked Witch, available for pre-order from tomorrow!