Tag Archives: magic

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!

 

The road to Samhein

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The Sacred Wheel turns. The leaves turn to russet, drifting to the ground and swirling in eddies like golden dancers. As the end of the pagan year approaches, it’s time to look back, time to mourn, time to celebrate and time to remember. At this time of year, opportunities abound and while I try to decipher the emotions and challenges that battle in my mind, one rises to the surface. Fear.

dsc_0060Where does fear come from? I’ve battled it for years, surprising myself at what I can achieve when I can overcome it but now is the time to go deeper. My fears come from voices of the past…’You’re a fairy elephant! You can’t dance!’…’Ok, you passed nine but you failed one!’…’Where did that notion come from? You’re too stupid to have thought that up yourself!’… ‘If you can’t stand up and speak in a room of future teachers, how do you expect to be a teacher yourself?’…As I type, my throat closes up.

This week, as well as teaching my ladies and editing my first WitchLit novel, I’m healing myself. I’m going back to my roots, deep within the Root Chakra, Muladhara is where I came from and where these voices lurk and where I shall confront my past. I’m sick of fighting, whenever a challenge is put before me.

Healing is magic, bringing together the physical and the unseen, the body and the mind in balance with the Universe.

I want to be the ‘me’ I know I am, without these voices haunting me. This is not the ‘me’ of ego but of self. Time to start believing.

 

The BEAUTYof a Book Fair

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Love books but never been to a book fair? Let me tell you how much fun they are…

B is for books…one of my favourite dreams is finding myself in a room surrounded by books.14441101_928492490589252_1450220905486666353_nTables weighed down with glistening covers and colourful banners fill the hall and all you have to do is browse. It’s a wonderful spectacle and an exciting opportunity to find a book that transports you to another world.

E is for education…because you can talk with the authors, you hear the books synopsis but, more importantly, learn why an author wanted to share their story with you. 14492328_10153797841252327_6965602039928982529_n

We don’t just talk about books either…authors are real people. At Carmarthen Book Fair, I shared about lime mortaring and learned great tips on organic gardening as well as talking about magic. Often, there are talks and workshops where authors share their passion for their work and educate with tips on writing or opportunities to delve deeper into a specific genre.

A is for authors…a book fair is a great place for authors to meet, share and unite. Most of us are introverts by design, creating our stories alone in our own world of words, so book fairs are a great place to feel part of the writing community. 14462752_928492613922573_8779798483905616230_n

U is for universal…at a book fair, there is something for everyone, books spanning all the genres. They are inclusive events, often using the opportunity to raise money for charity. 14440912_928494113922423_5699407015268787620_n At Carmarthen, money was raised for Multiple Sclerosis with a raffle. Prizes were donated by authors and the local community.

T is for time…as an author, it’s time to be yourself and time to share the writing you love. The atmosphere buzzes with excitement yet there’s no rush…time to relax and share with our readers. 14449818_10210590035252262_8255655491257185578_n

Y is for you…we wouldn’t be there without you! Book Fairs give authors the opportunity to be there for you, answer your questions and inspire you to immerse yourself in the world of story.14463312_10153797841292327_4601279399998354486_n

Look out for local book fairs in the press and on social media. If you’re in Wales, I look forward to meeting you at Llandeilo in December.

Happy reading!

Summer of magic

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The day of the Summer Solstice dawned…and it rained all day…didn’t stop us having a fire and dancing though! Sometime you just have to dance in the rain! DSC_0298DSC_0301DSC_0307

I also had a rather damp day, foraging through the Long Wood with an expert forager, Jade, looking for herbs and plants to eat and make vinegars and pickles. DSC_0279DSC_0280I have a notebook with notes in and I walk along looking at the ground now saying, ‘Ooo there’s plantain’ or ‘Ooo that’s self heal’ but have yet to put any ideas into practise. I’d love to go on another walk in the autumn.

On the new moon, I helped one of my neighbours with a small ritual, keeping him positive and looking for work after the misery of redundancy. He’s had a lot more interviews since and if not successful, is being told why, rather than just the fact he didn’t get the job.

I’ve begun writing a Witch Lit novel, a light hearted look at the life of a hedgewitch, juggling work and parenting as well as her own emotional well being. I’ve a week off this week so I’m well on the way to finishing it.

We created our own magic at the Lampeter Food Festival, filling the grounds of the university with music and dancing. 13701245_10153561592555672_7997562574212675563_o

It is almost Lughnasagh, a day to give thanks for the abundance of the fields and the plentiful food we eat. The fields glimmer in the sunlight, golden grain swaying in the breeze. As we light our fires and shine the light, it’s time to think of others who have less than us and share the love…5% of my shopping trolley goes in the local Food Bank box and at this time, I try to give more.

I hope you’re enjoying a magical summer. Blessed Be xx

Summer of writing

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In June, I joined a new group on Facebook, asking for short stories for an anthology. As you may know, I put myself on a one year course from September last year, to explore short stories again and after attending a great workshop by Rosie Dub of Honno Press, I had my first one accepted for publication in an anthology. I’ve had a lot more since then and have enjoyed honing the skill of writing a cracking short story so, I was intrigued by this new ‘shout out’ as the genre was Witch Lit. New to you? I’m a writer and I hadn’t heard of it so I had a think and came up with a definition of my own and wrote my first Witch Lit short story called Last Chance for Love.

A publisher had shown interest in putting an anthology of Witchlit stories together in lieu of publishing Witchlit novels. We shared our stories on the group offering help and advice and so, with this support behind me, I decided to write a Witchlit novel.

My first attempt was not good. I tried to change my writing style so it was a clunky, clumsy read and the storyline was too vague. 10k words in, I gave up…and broke my toe. This was it, I had no excuse not to write and with a big pad of paper and my trust fountain pen, I scribbled ideas and drew circles, linking ideas together until one jumped out at me and I began to write.

Today, I’ve written two thirds of the book and with a week off next week, I’m looking forward to completing it.

So what did I choose as my definition of Witchlit?

Chick Lit is a genre of fiction which consists of heroine-centred narratives that focus on the trials and tribulations of their individual protagonists. These women live in a modern world, coping with work and home life and the genre often uses lightheartedness and humour.

My Witchlit novel’s protagonist is Lizzie Martin, who lives in Romford with her thirteen year old daughter Rowan, works as a receptionist and typist. She clothes herself from the charity shops in vibrant, joyful colours with matching headbands she makes herself, attempting to hold at bay the emotional angst of an ex-husband whose girlfriend is barely out of her teens, a mother with the sensitivity of a crocodile and the big bad world from which she tries to protect her daughter. Colour is Lizzie’s armour. On her thirty eighth birthday, she is requested to bare all. There is hope though. At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Behind the oak and rowan trees, within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…one day, a candle spell or another, a conversation with a goddess. She consults her Tarot cards and some day, she will paint in that shed.

This month I also published the third book in the Standing Stone Series – The Gathering. Linked together across space and time, Rachel, Candy and Fern each work towards ‘a gathering’ of their own, guided by the goddess Rhiannon.

The Gathering - SMALL(1)You can buy all my books via my author pages at

http://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1365459567&sr=1-2-ent

I do hope you’re enjoying the Standing Stone Series…just wait for book five! This young man seems to be enjoying it. I spotted him at a Steampunk event we were dancing at and asked if I could have a photo.

DSC_0284 At this same event, I bought myself a present…I know it’s a children’s book but it’s beautiful. DSC_0285

Research is still ongoing with the third book in the Lilith Trilogy, Angels and Demons…I save it for rainy days I can spend in the library. I’ve written fewer short stories this month, only managing to submit one so far but there are only so many hours in the day.

I would love to hear your thoughts about Witch Lit. I love the idea of a light hearted, fun read where I can empathise with a protagonist but laugh with her too and know all along, that she’s a Hedge Witch like me.

 

A garden on a riverbank

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One of the compromises when we bought our new home was the lack of a garden at the back of the house. Previous owners had done their best to bring some colour into the few square feet directly around our home but the brambles and weeds had run amock, strangling the few daffodils that tried to emerge and embedding themselves deep in the stones around the house. There’s a raised lawn on one side of the house but the moles adore it and apart from letting the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils grow through it and giving it the occasional mow, it’s not what I call a garden. Behind the house is shady, facing north so our riverbank, a short walk down a treacherous slope, is our garden.

The riverbank at the end of Bramble Avenue

The riverbank at the end of Bramble Avenue

While we struggled with no heating, hot water or a bathroom when we arrived in Wales, the riverbank and cutting away the brambles to reveal it, became our sanctuary. DSC_0007It was hard work, two years of it, but when we finally broke through to the end, we were the first people to step on that part of the riverbank for over 20 years.

DSC_0008In some parts, we cut the brambles across the whole width of the bank but in the middle section, we created Bramble Avenue, leaving the natural habitat for the wildlife.

One day I felt an urge to cut a new path down to the river, to the right of a beautiful old tree. We uncovered a magical beach in the bend in the river. Even in the coldest weather, it’s a beautiful spot. DSC_1222 DSC_0046

It’s a great place to write, drum and contact the spirits of the land.

Last weekend, we planted more willow. We tried with willow from Essex, donated by a friend but we waited too long to put it in. We planted some last year but have yet to see any signs of growth so, we’ve planted the new willow in between, hoping it will encourage the other! DSC_0128DSC_0129DSC_0130The ground is boggy on this part of the riverbank so the new willow, which is already sprouting, should really take off.

The plan is to create a covered path to the beach and a dome beside Pan’s Grotto, which will have access through to the end of the riverbank. With the sun still shining, my partner trekked back to the house for tea and sustenance while I attacked brambles with my trusty secateurs. We adjourned to our shelter on the river bank. DSC_0132

Bluebell leaves are gushing from the dead leaves all along the riverbank. The red kites have returned to the same nest they hatched a chick in last year and they’re calling as they circle overhead. The kingfisher whizzes past our noses as we drink our tea, adding a splash of jewel to the muted tones of the riverbank. Robin sits on the handle of my barrow, checking my work and waiting for the nuts he knows are in my pocket. That’s what I call a garden.