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Interview with Wendy Steele: Perception of Reality

November, 2018

Wendy Steele: Perception of Reality

Wendy Steele, or Wendy Woo, is the author of the ongoing Lilith Trilogy, the Standing Stone books and the Lizzie Martin Witch Lit series. Witch Lit has become a widely used term for magical writing, and there’s even a group on Facebook where aspiring Witch Lit authors share ideas and inspiration. Wendy also sells gorgeous Pixie Coats, perfect for any Pagan camp! Wendy was kind enough to take a break from her busy schedule to have a chat with us about her books and more.

Mabh Savage (MS): When did you first start writing and what drew you to it?

Wendy Woo (WW): I wrote my first poem when I was twelve years old, after visiting the Tutankhamun exhibition in London and there began my love of Egypt and all things Egyptian, and a love for writing things down after visits and events. I began my first novel, Hubble Bubble, after a two day writing course on characterisation. All 100k words are sitting under my bed, waiting for me to edit them into a decent novel!

MS: Do you think the genre Witch Lit is becoming more popular at the moment? If so, why do you think this is?

WW: Witch Lit is becoming more popular on a couple of different levels. about vampires and werewolves have saturated the market, so the time for real people and real magic is now. Magic allows the reader a different perspective on reality, and with science making discoveries in the area of quantum, the possibilities of other dimensions and discovery of matter we’re unable to see, our perception of reality is changing.

MS: What’s been your favourite book that you’ve produced so far, and why?

WW: Choosing a favourite book is like choosing a favourite child! I’ll say The Naked Witch because Lizzie Martin, the protagonist, appeals to everyone, despite the fact or maybe because she’s a witch, and this novel was a delight to write. I still remember the excitement of writing a contemporary story, with a hint of magic, that every reader could identify with and learn from.

MS: What would your advice be to aspiring writers who aren’t sure where to start?

WW: Don’t write unless you’re compelled to do so! Writing a good short story is hard; writing a novel is harder. Characterization, plot and setting are all very well, but make sure you really know what your story is about. It might never be mentioned in the book, but the author needs to know, or the story won’t work. Be prepared that editing might take you as long as writing the story. Do not be precious about your writing; listen to all advice, think long on it, even if you don’t take it all. Be prepared to slash and cut if your writing needs it. Good luck!

MS: Your Witch Lit series starts off with protagonist Lizzie struggling between corporate life and her own integrity and passions. How much of this was inspired by your own life and experiences? Do you think we all struggle with this from time to time?

WW: BC (Before Children) I ran an offshore fund settlements department in the City, so the office world was familiar to me, but all Lizzie’s experiences are her own. I witnessed women attempting to make long term careers in a man’s world, and know the difficulties they faced. It was not my place to judge, but I wouldn’t have made the sacrifices they did to climb up the career ladder.

MS: What’s your most magical experience that you’d be willing to share? ?

WW: Many of us ‘see’ in different ways, from auras and energies, to scrying, tea leaves, tarot cards and crystal balls. Within magical ritual, I ‘see’ through my third eye. On one such occasion, at a secret well site in Essex, I ‘saw’ the god of the forest, Cernunnos. Though I call in gods and goddesses to my circle, I usually work with the goddess, so to spend time in the presence of the god was truly magical, offering me insights and ideas into a different kind of masculine. He had the strength of a lion, but the mischief of Pan about him, yet there was a gentle, sensual power and when he visits me now on my riverbank, it’s this energy he brings.

MS: What’s your favourite time of year, and why?

WW: Now I live entrenched in the Welsh landscape, I love them all! There is something magical about the first buds and green shoots piercing the earth in early spring though, especially if the winter has been long and hard.

MS: Finally, what’s next on the horizon for you? What projects are you currently working on?

WW: With the first three books of the Lizzie Martin Witchlit series being devoured by readers, I’m working on the next three of this series. The Eloquent Witch, book four, is almost complete, but then there will be editing and polishing, and my plan is to write books five and six while I’m doing it. Short stories still spring from my pen, and these I tell on my riverbank for my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon. Having written a steampunk ghost story recently, I’m considering more adventures for the two main characters, and I’m planning on publishing a short story anthology in the next year.

Best of luck with the upcoming books Wendy, we look forward to reading them! Keep up to date with Wendy’s work at her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Her books are available via Amazon and she’s also on Goodreads and AllAuthor.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

 

The Divine Child

January, 2018

 

I am writing this article on Boxing Day or Annandag Jul in Swedish (our family is in Sweden).

I always pay close attention to dreams and my dreams last night were full of children.

I am wearing a warm furry silver cloak and walking around a forest. There is a spectacular night sky overhead. The stars are reflected by the ice crystals trapped in my cloak meaning that I myself am sparkling with star light (not unlike a Christmas tree!) I am Mother Winter! All around me child spirits are darting around and playing in trees: luminous, joyful but also “ghostly”, as-yet-unborn. I open my cloak and give them all a place to gestate safely, in the Womb of Mother Winter…

The central event at Christmas is, of course, the birth of a Divine Child. For Christians this is a very particular child: Jesus Christ. However, the concept of a Divine Child exists in other cultures and belief systems as well. Here is a blog that provides a good overview:

http://mythicspiral.blogspot.se/2013/02/gods-divine-birth-in-religion-and-myth.html

It explains how many of our world’s myths and religions start with the birth of a Divine Child who grows up and becomes a Saviour God as an adult. This Divine Child or god, incarnated on Earth, usually does not have an easy time of it. Often it comes close to being murdered and faces an evil ruler (sometimes its own human father). Miraculously, this child does survive and becomes a revolutionary who plants the seeds for a new paradigm and new ways of collective thinking and dreaming.

The Divine Child exists in alchemy as well. It is often seen as the offspring of the alchemical marriage of opposites or opposing forces: sun and moon, light and dark. You could say that the whole sacred art of alchemy is contained within the image of a magical or divine child because it holds the key to processes of transformation and transmutation.

What if some of the children leading tough lives today are here to become our future world leaders?!

Christmas is a good time to reflect on the fate of children in today’s world. My husband got our three children up before dawn this morning to perform a pagan family ceremony by the nearby lake. They considered themselves hard done by, being lifted from their warm beds before sunrise!

Many children all over the world face serious (real) hardship today as well as every day and night of the year. They grow up in war zones, politically unstable regimes or places of extreme poverty and deprivation. They are at risk of losing their lives, their parents, families, homes or livelihood.

Even in the more affluent Western world many children suffer abuse at the hands of the very people who are supposed to love and protect them: their own parents. The so called “festive season” tends to increase family tensions meaning that for many children Christmas is not a happy time. Instead it is a time of increased physical and emotional abuse. Alcohol use increases too and that is never good news for children.

So today I invite everyone reading this article to spare a thought for the children facing hardship almost beyond human comprehension. Also for the spirits of children who died young or where aborted, who live on as spirit children in other worlds. For more about this I invite you to watch my 2014 art video:

 

SPIRIT CHILDREN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpSLQLHN2B4

 

 

I am a presenter Year of Ceremony with Sounds True and the title of my Full Moon Ceremony) on January 31st is Drawing Down the Divine Child. I invite everyone to check out this wonderful program!

 

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86

 

In a way all children are divine children because a divine spark glows in their heart (as it does in adults). Might it be the case that some children choose to come to Earth to hold up mirrors for all of us and expose injustice?

Might it be the case that soul groups of children incarnate collectively to bring specific issues to global attention? If so, could we find ways of honouring this sacrifice?!

Our word sacrifice is derived from Latin and literally means: making sacred by offering to the gods.

We are all on Earth for a relatively short time before we become ancestors for those who come after us. Do we give enough thought to those future generations, the children of our children’s children and beyond? Do we actively try to create the right conditions on Earth for their arrival?

Shamanism teaches that we can step Outside Time. Once we do so we can work with both Past and Future. Many spiritual schools of thought teach that Time is an illusion and that Past and Future co-exists in parallel dimensions. (Personally speaking I think of Time as an organising dimension on Earth, not as an ultimate reality). If this is so, it means that we can already connect with the children waiting to be born. We can communicate with those souls and find out what they need from us, what seeds they need us to plant for their future existence.

These are some of the issues we will engage with during my Full Moon Ceremony for 31 January 2018!

For today I invite you to do a meditation (or shamanic journey) and seek guidance from spirit on how you can reach out to one child (or several children, (or even a group of children) today and make a difference. Could you be a mentor, provide a listening ear or a sanctuary? Could you be an ambassador working in a different way: speaking, writing or campaigning? Is there some unique contribution only you can make? The lives of many children have been turned around by having access to that one crucial person who was there for them and provided unconditional support. That person is not always a parent, often this is a neighbour, teacher, aunt/uncle, youth leader or grandparent.

If you are a holistic or spiritual practitioner already working with children I invite you to join a closed Facebook group I recently created (and there is some lively thought-provoking sharing going on there!) The idea is to connect people and map where everyone is, so referrals can be made and experiences can be exchanged.

 

GLOBAL GRID OF SPIRITUAL PRACTITIONERS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1084444561692912/

 

All of us grown-ups are ex-children. Somewhere within all of us lives the Divine Child!

I will close with a beautiful poem that friend and fellow author Laura Perry brought to my attention:

 

For So The Children Come

By Sophia Lyon Fahs

For so the children come
And so they have been coming.
Always in the same way they come
Born of the seed of man and woman.

No angels herald their beginnings.
No prophets predict their future courses.
No wise men see a star to show where to find the babe that will save humankind.

Yet each night a child is born is a holy night,
Fathers and mothers–sitting beside their children’s cribs feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning
They ask “Where and how will this new life end?
Or will it ever end?”

Each night a child is born is a holy night–
A time for singing,
A time for wondering,
A time for worshipping.

 

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently working on her second book Sacred : A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where Meets Shamanism)

 

For Amazon information Click Image

 

 

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist  (Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86 (Year of Ceremony)

 

 

The Global Apology Project Shamanic Journey or Meditation #1

December, 2017

Shamanic Journey or Meditation #1

Please see my related feature in this edition explaining what The Global Apology Project is!

In the Closed Facebook group I have started for this project we have decided to post a suggested shamanic journey or meditation every week, inviting others to focus on a particular aspect of this work. In this short article I will share Journey #1. The link for this group is:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1902301606465391/?fref=nf

Journey or Meditation #1 (posted on Sunday 26 November 2017)

Today I invite everyone here to undertake a journey to your Helping Ancestors and ask to be shown if there is apology-and-healing work to be done on acts they committed and never made amends for.

This journey is not at all meant in a judgemental way. Perhaps they were involved in things that felt “right in the cultural climate of those times”. Perhaps they were under extreme pressure (e.g. war or famine imposes exceptional demands on people). Our job is not to judge – our job is to feel compassion and apologize, unreservedly.


Perhaps they were involved in wars, imperialism, colonialism? Perhaps they stayed closer to home but were involved in disputes with their neighbours over land and marriages or inheritance?


When you are shown an issue – do your own work, following a method that works for you.

When it feels “done” return and do your own shadow work or inner work on this issue: do you, in any small way, perpetuate this issue in your community/web/family etc. today? Apologize and commit to making small changes, one day at a time.

If it feels right to share – feel free to share your discoveries here and inspire others – or seek support. I trust it will be freely given!

Love and Blessings to All as our group continues to grow and people continue to gather.


Please expect further blogs and updates from me as this project unfolds!

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon in August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.  She is a presenter on Year of Ceremony for Sounds True and on the Shamanism Global Summit with The Shift Network.

For Amazon information, click image below.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk