Tag Archives: magic

Witch Lit is Magical Writing!

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I had a lovely day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on Saturday at their storytelling event, Plant & Plots, talking to the public about the inspirational, magical landscape of Wales, writing and Witch Lit.

Some people are confused when they see the word ‘witch’. In their minds, witch = demons/devils/black magic/sorcery/Satan/baby killers, not necessarily in that order. While many are interested in the idea of living in harmony with nature, giving back and celebrating the beauty and bounty of the planet and taking time to be present and appreciate all that life has to offer, some cannot see beyond the above list. Saturday was no exception; I stood and took the spitting abuse and personal remarks, as well as the advice that I should ‘look to my Bible’.

Brought up in a Christian household, I went to Sunday School and church and became a Sunday School teacher. I’ve always loved the stories of Jesus, full of kindness, compassion and common sense. As a pagan and a witch, I have no problem appreciating Jesus as a prophet before his time, in the same way Buddha was. I’ve read many books by the Dalai Lama and the inspirational Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, has my vote as one of the most important and influential women of this time.

As a witch, I follow no organised religion, only a path of love, kindness and compassion towards the planet and all those who live on her.

That’s what I want to inspire with my books. The Lizzie Martin series is funny, the stories are compelling and Lizzie uses magic in her every day life to help her with the stresses many of us face. She is a strong woman. She likes men, but doesn’t need a man to define her.

Witch Lit is magical writing of every kind; prose, poetry and song. Join the #witchlitrevolution and bring a little magic into every day of your life.

 

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The Waning Moon

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If I could choose, I’d snuggle up in my writing room from full moon to new moon.

At new moon, I’m fired up and open to ideas zipping around the universe. I take them, examine them and claim them if they’re useful. Sometimes I let them go; often I save them in case they may prove useful.

At new moon, I’m working towards. I act on new ideas. I can see where I want to be, what I want to achieve and a path to follow to get there.

At new moon, I’m fresh, vibrant and excited.

On the full moon, I give thanks – I’m here! I made it! There’s a sense of achievement, even if I’m not where I expected to be.

And then the moon begins to wane.

Louise asks Lizzie the question in The Orphan Witch:

“So the full moon isn’t necessarily the end of something? You mean while it’s waning is the time to dot the ‘I’s’ and cross the ‘T’s’ and confidently file away the past weeks?” Lizzie nods in reponse to Louise’s grasp of the concept.

I’ve completed one week of the waning moon, with another to follow before the new moon on 13th July, and I’m longing to hide on my riverbank, just me and the trickle of water over the rocks, the call of the red kite and the abundance of butterflies flitting among the brambles. Reducing the Vesuvius size pile of day-to-day, is exhausting. But there’s five days to go. I must complete what I’ve started. I must rally, summon the energy and push through to the end.

This is also my time of the month for letting go. Some tasks are challenging, some actions may not have succeeded or caused problems. Often my own doubts surface at this time of the month and cloud my vision. This weekend, on my riverbank beneath the waning moon, I’ll write down those niggles, those old stories that take away my confidence and I’ll burn them, sending them away so as not to carry them forward to the new moon.

…and then I’ll be ready for whatever the new moon has to offer….and I’ve new ideas battering my ears already; new music to dance to, new dance combinations, new lesson plans and, best of all, new stories.

For more magical musings and a FREE short story, sign up for Wendy Woo’s Round Robin here http://wendysteele.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd3cc38cba01c2dea4a5f386f&id=6210056252

 

Witches don’t share their magic

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I’ve not read it or been told, I just know; witches don’t share the details of their magical workings. You’ll read books of spells, books of correspondences, practices and rituals you can create for yourself, and manuals and guides for you to create your own magic, but the magic of an evening beneath the moon is for the witch alone. Her personal feelings, gains and knowledge gleaned are for her benefit, for her to mull over and learn from, as it should be. Except for Lizzie Martin.

In the Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, Lizzie Martin shares it all, just like the characters in Dion Fortune’s fiction. It was through Dion Fortune’s books, especially Moon Magic and The Sea Priestess, that I felt compelled to write stories of my own about real people and the magic they create in their lives.

Lizzie Martin includes you in her world, and that includes her magic. In The Naked Witch, Lizzie extends to you the privilege of her Sanctuary…

‘At the bottom of the garden, she squeezed past the oak and rowan trees and opened an old wooden door. Smells of pine, incense and wet wool greeted her. Rowan called it her ‘Mum Cave’. Lizzie called it Sanctuary. Neither carefully synchronised calendars nor lists adorned the walls. No colour co-ordinated work outfits or labelled files filled the cupboards. Swathed in rich tapestries and layers of ancient rugs, Lizzie’s escape was the home she longed for. An ancient chaise longue, draped in rugs and throws spread along one wall. The corner opposite held an exquisite, dust free altar. In the centre sat a curvaceous wooden figure of the goddess.’

Near the beginning of The Orphan Witch, Lizzie shares with you her simple ritual, and her feelings on this Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween…

Inside her Sanctuary, safe in her circle, Lizzie made a bed in her lap with her cloak for the chicken. The bird trotted around, mimicking a cat following its tail. Cooing contentedly, she nestled down. Two white candles burned on the altar, casting an eerie flickering light, quickly guzzled by the fog of frankincense. The mist swirled, set in motion by splutters from the candles.

Wrapped in sheepskin, Lizzie sat on the hillside, watching the moon bathing the land in shadow. Sheep huddled among the giant boulders. Men and women stood around the standing stone on the hilltop behind her. Darkness was coming. It was time to return to the valley.

She climbed to the peak, the crackling of the fire welcoming her before its blessed warmth. Tonight they would keep the dark away, for one night at least.

The comforting aroma of ancient books stirred Lizzie and she looked down to the tome open before her. The ticking of her heart sped up. The pages turned in a blur, glimpses of the past bleeding through. Marsha waved from a luxury yacht as did her Granddad, recognisable by the watch chain he always wore in photos. Faces flickered, the pages speeding up, sucking Lizzie into the past with them until she sat wrapped in skins again, looking up into a beautiful, dark brown face framed by oiled and braided plaits. The word ‘mother’ burst within her and Lizzie knew. On the night we remember and revere our ancestors Lizzie was not alone. This was her mother; the mother of us all.

In The Flowerpot Witch, Lizzie invites the reader to Tal-y-Llyn lake and her ritual for Imbolc…

Backpack bouncing, Lizzie set off across the uneven grass. She grimaced over the stile, her ribs screaming at her, across endless streams and springs gushing from the earth, onto the track around the lake. Large stones and rocks littered her way. She stopped often, enjoying the fresh wind on her face and the glints of sunlight bouncing off the water. Diverting from the track, the land was rutted and boggy. Her thighs ached and her ribs burned, climbing over the grassy mounds and ridges before dropping down towards the lake.

There was little flat ground, but she was sheltered from behind, the only wind blowing off the lake in front of her. She trapped the flapping, white altar cloth with her goddess statue from her Sanctuary. She’d never get the candle in the Goddess’ arms to stay alight, but she’d planned ahead and brought two glass jars and two chunky candles, one white and one orange, already charged with chamomile, myrrh and cinnamon which she placed on the cloth along with a handful of white ribbons, a cloth bag, a jar of milk and an old but serviceable horseshoe.

Standing on the tiny beach, the cold wind tugged at her hair and the cloth bag in her hand. She grounded herself, and then cast protection around her before kneeling at the altar. A warm stillness hung over her circle of protection.

            Blessed Brigid, Triple Goddess, Protector

            Preserver of All Memory and Knowledge

Lizzie lit the white candle.

            Goddess of Fire and Fertility

She lit the orange one.

            Welcome to my circle.

Lizzie knelt before the pregnant maid, mesmerised by the candle circlet adorning her tendril curls. Swathed in a cloak the colour of new leaves, her arms wrapped protectively round her belly, the goddess looked into Lizzie’s eyes. Wisdom, compassion and understanding connected the women and Lizzie found the courage to speak.

            The long days of Winter are behind us

            With your blessing, we look to the Spring.

 From the cloth bag she withdrew multiple stones, offering each to Brigid to be blessed.

            Sweet lady, Goddess of light

            Bless these rose quartz so they may bring me wisdom

            To heal with love and compassion.

 

            Bless these citrines so they may drive away the darkness

            Bringing light into the hearts of those who need it.

 

            Bless these rubies in memory of the fire of life that glows in your belly

            And the promise of life to come.

She picked up the horseshoe.

            Bless this iron horseshoe

            Above whichever door it hangs

            May that house be a happy home.

At her altar, around each stone and the horseshoe, she tied a white ribbon before picking up the jar of milk and stepping back onto the beach, in front of the goddess. Opening her arms to the wind, she breathed in the beauty of Brigid and sent up her prayer.

            Dearest Brigid who nurtures the seeds through the winter

            Bringing the promise of Spring

            Blessed Goddess who gives and shares

            Showering us all with your enchanted, empowering light.

            I honour you and give you thanks

            Offering back the milk of innocence

            To ensure new births and new beginnings.

            She unscrewed the lid and dripped the milk onto the stones and in the lake.

            Goddess of fire and light

            Grant me the courage to see the truth in my life

            And to understand the truth when it is shown to me.

            On every Spring day

            When the sun shines

            I will remember you.

 

Begin your magical journey with Lizzie Martin and The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series.

For all my books:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

 

 

Magic Matters 2

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Almost a year ago, I posted about my exploration of the definition of magic and I offered my interpretations to help you live and enjoy a more magical life.

https://wendysteele.com/2017/07/10/magic-matters/

I showed you how small changes in your life, connecting with the planet and the universe, spending quality time with family and friends, getting closer to animals, birds and other wildlife and caring for the world family, would change you. These small changes can make a big difference; being LESS attached to technology, electricity, gadgetry and computers and MORE in touch with the natural world, showing kindness and love, will impact on your health and wellbeing.

In this second post, I’m focussing on one aspect of your life you could change that could bring you new adventures, new challenges, exciting opportunities and more love in your life… removing the old stories.

We believe we’re making our own decisions, walking new paths every day but instead, we carry the past with us and its influence on every thought and action means we’re living old stories….

“I’m so stupid!” “I can’t move like that because I’m too old/too stiff/unfit/fat.” “I’ll never be able to do that because I’ve got my mother’s feet/knees/eyes…” “I always get nervous when…” “I always give up when…”

From today, this very minute, now, hear when you say this, correct yourself and change your life. “I’d like to learn more about that.” “Tell me again and I’ll make a note of it.” “I’ll need to practise. I’m sure I’ll get it.” “I love a challenge/new idea/adventure/book/song.”

Some old stories will take a lot of clearing, however. I was lucky enough to be invited by Katie Holland to join her first facilitator training course for Awakened Bellydance™.  Awakened Bellydance™ is healing through movement, using sound, vibration and bellydance moves to clear and cleanse the chakras. You can find out more here https://www.awakenedbellydance.com/what-is-awbd

Letting go of the old stories leaves room for you to write new ones, giving you space to explore and helping you understand how unique and special you are. Obstacles and fears are only perceptions.

Use the changes from Magic Matters to inspire you… DANCE under the stars, LAUGH and CRY with your family and friends, SING to the birds and animals and spread LOVE and WARMHEARTEDNESS wherever you go.

Don’t let old stories hold you back. Enjoy writing a new story for yourself today.

Bright Blessings xx

 

Story matters

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And in this case, it is one particular story that matters. It’s a story I’m sharing with you all because it marks a defining moment in my writing.

This story is the culmination of eight years of writing and publishing novels.

I began writing about high magic and the Wheel of the Year in the two books published so far in the Lilith Trilogy, Destiny of Angels and Wrath of Angels. In both books, Angel Parsons travels the paths of the witches Qabalah and celebrates the Sabbats with her friends. I had read all of Dion Fortune’s books and wanted more.

The Standing Stone book series picks up the threads of the Sabbats of the previous novels, setting the lives of the three women lead characters to be directly affected and influenced by the changing seasons on the Wheel of the Year. These books were inspired by my own arrival in Wales and the luxury of owning land, including a riverbank and the luxuriousness and diversity of the Welsh landscape.

‘Last chance for love’ is Sally’s story, a modern witch using magic in her daily life but mixing it up, using whatever assistance feels right to her to aid her in her last hope. Reading it now, I find it a little ‘clunky’ compared to the Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novels, The Lizzie Martin Series, but this story was the stepping stone to the WitchLit I write now.

This story matters. This story led me to an opportunity to share with every reader the ways that they can be empowered to bring a little magic to their own lives in whatever way they like.

WitchLit is easy to read but eloquent. WitchLit tells a good, simple story, and then you begin to peel away the layers to reveal its complexity.

Sign up for my newsletter today and receive your copy of ‘Last chance for love’.

http://wendysteele.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd3cc38cba01c2dea4a5f386f&id=6210056252

 

 

Pagan Tribal Gathering – The power of women

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Last weekend I was invited to teach American Tribal Style® Bellydance at a brand new Pagan Tribal Gathering in Upton, Nuneaton. I spent three nights in a field with a brand new tribe.

Organised by Pia Morgan and a team of fabulous, dedicated helpers, I enjoyed a relaxed, friendly weekend in tune with the Earth Mother, taking part in ceremonies and rituals and learning new skills. There was no pressure to join in, only respect requested for those who wished to. There were crafters, traders, artists and wise folk, sharing their work and beliefs, and selling their wares. Together, three hundred people birthed a new tribe and laughed, danced, drummed and danced some more.

New enterprises are never easy to get right, yet one woman’s dream was brought to fruition by the belief and endeavours of others and the blessings bestowed by the Goddess.

And that’s why I write Witchlit. Women are awesome and, guided by the Goddess, unstoppable. Who doesn’t want to read about strong women? If Witchlit is a new reading genre to you, think Helen Fielding, Sophie Kinsella and Candace Bushnell stories with witches.

Witch Lit is contemporary, magical realism, where the magical and the mundane co-exist. The stories are gritty and believable while magic is sprinkled through the stories, offering the reader a new perspective on reality.

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

https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steele/e/B007VZ1P06/ref

and for FREE Witchlit short stories and extracts, subscribe to my YouTube channel Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

Join the Witchlit revolution and demand more fiction about real witches. Follow on Twitter @WitchLit1 !

New moon blessings to you all xx

 

Listen with Woo

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I’ve always loved having a story read for me, have you? I’d curl up with Rosy rabbit in front of the radiogram, running my fingers across the metal grid on the front until Listen with Mother began.

And now I’m reading my own stories for others to listen to.

This week on Phoenix and the Dragon, I’m talking about WitchLit and reading a magical extract from my first Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel, The Naked Witch. Happy listening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBjmFeYMgLM

 

 

 

Review of Every Day Magic

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I treated myself to Every Day Magic in paperback in early December with some of my birthday money.

Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Days: 366 Magical Ways To Observe The Cycle Of The Year by [Starza, Lucya]

Every Day Magic, A Pagan Book of Days, is a gem of a little book. On every page are treasures, ideas, recipes, meditations, spells and so much more. Whatever pantheon you follow, or even if you don’t follow one at all, you’ll enjoy exploring thoughts from other lands and belief systems.

I read this book from  cover to cover first but it’s an ideal book to dip into at Sabbats and Esbats or just because you feel like it.

A perfect book to bring a little magic into every day.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Every-Day-Magic-Magical-Observe/dp/1785355678/ref

https://www.amazon.com/Every-Day-Magic-Magical-Observe/dp/1785355678/ref

 

Happy Birthday to me!

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To celebrate my birthday, I’m treating my readers to an ebook copy of my first Witchlit novel, The Naked Witch, for just 99p from 1st – 5th December and 99c 2nd-5th in the United States.

Why Witchlit?

Witch Lit is contemporary, magical realism, where the magical and the mundane co-exist. The stories are gritty and believable while magic is sprinkled through the stories, offering the reader a new perspective on reality.

Writing about women gives me the opportunity to write about a different kind of protagonist. My women don’t need to behave like men to succeed and they don’t need a man to define them. Their power, their strength, grows through the books as they learn to connect with both the feminine and masculine energy inside themselves, standing up for what they believe in and facing adversity with courage.

Who’s the main character?

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.

Celebrate with me and treat yourself to a bewitching read for December. Bright Blessings xx

and for my friends across the pond

 

 

 

The Music and the Magic

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Following a successful day at the Narberth Book Fair last week, where I gave my talk ‘Magic, Witchlit and a vote for women’s fiction’ for the first time, an idea for a short story arrived in my head.

Within hours, I had a beginning, a middle and an ending. The next day, I began to write.

This time of year, after the autumn equinox, wending our way to Samhain, it is time to look back and reflect on the year that has gone but also to be open to new ideas and change.

The story that emerged from my pen, The Music and the Magic, reflects these changes, not only in my protagonist’s life but in mine, yours, our local community and the world.

We live in an ever changing world, political decisions seeming beyond our remit to influence or change, but in our own way, in small important ways, we can make a difference. By supporting and being active to promote kindness and thoughtfulness, we can change our world for the better.

It wasn’t the story I’d intended to write but I allowed the story to unfold, trusting in the magic. I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMcZbl4K2E

 

If you’d like to hear more stories, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon for Tales from Pan’s Grotto from my riverbank in Wales.