Most people know me from my Llewellyn books. I have five, if you include the two coming out this year. EVERYDAY WITCH A TO Z SPELLBOOK just came out this month, and WITCHCRAFT ON A SHOESTRING will be released in September. Both of these books were a lot of fun to write, but there is more to them than that. The truth is, I write the nonfiction witchy books in the hope of sharing knowledge and helping out others who are walking the Pagan path, or thinking about doing so.
Yes, I’m a witch. (Don’t worry—I’m a good witch, not a bad witch. Mostly. *wink*) The books I write are based on personal experience and my own beliefs, as well as a whole bunch of things I’ve learned along the way from a whole bunch of other folks. But what does it mean when I say I’m a witch?
Er…depends on who you ask, really. Modern witchcraft has an incredible amount of variations and approaches. But here are the basics:
Witchcraft is a nature-based religion, usually involving the worship of both a goddess and a god (and is often polytheistic and involving many gods). It has its roots in the culture and practices of early Paganism, most especially that practiced in European countries, but with many modern aspects added in by those who have adapted it to the current times. Witches follow the natural cycles of the moon and the seasons (often called The Wheel of the Year). Wicca, which is a specific form of modern witchcraft, is the fastest growing religion in North America, and probably the most readily identifiable, although not all witches are Wiccans. There is one central rule, called The Wiccan Rede, that is generally (but again, not always) followed by most witches: An it harm none, do as ye will. And those who practice witchcraft believe in the power of magic (often spelled “magick” to differentiate between “rabbit out of a hat” magic) to create positive change in the universe.
Yes, you heard me—I said magic. The word probably brings forth images of Samantha the witch twitching her nose (no, I can’t do that) and Harry Potter turning muggles into toads (nope, that either—mores the pity). But it might make more sense if you think of magic as a kind of energy that science hasn’t been able to quantify yet.
To most witches, magic is a matter of will made manifest. We focus on what we want to achieve, direct our will into a spell or blessing, and send that energy out into the universe. If you want, you can think about it as a prayer. Did you know that they’ve done studies that show that when a number of people pray for someone in the hospital, that person tends to get better, even when they don’t know they’re being prayed for? Same basic principle, I think.
Of course, magic won’t bring you everything you want, right when you want it. (I wish. I’ve got a list, you know. A long list.) But sometimes it can help to give things a shove in the right direction. I’ve seen some pretty amazing results, actually.
If you want an example of what I’m talking about, here is a prosperity spell I’ve been using for years, often with great success. (It can be found in my first book, CIRCLE, COVEN, & GROVE: A YEAR OF MAGICKAL PRACTICE, Llewellyn 2007.)
God and goddess, hear my plea
Rain prosperity down on me
Send me monies, large and small
To pay my bills, one and all
Money earned and gifts for free
As I will, so mote it be
Pretty simple, eh? If you want, why don’t you try it and see if it works for you? Don’t forget to concentrate and focus your will on what you want. And be sure and let me know if you land a great job or win the lottery. (It is more likely to help in small ways, but you never know.)
Magic is a great tool to use in my everyday life. But it is also a great tool to use in writing, as well. I’ve written a number of novels with witches as protagonists, ranging from a paranormal romantic comedy about a modern witch who accidentally brings back King Arthur, to the urban fantasy my agent is currently shopping to editors.
I love being able to combine the “real world” magic I believe in with the “fictional magic” my characters wield, and I try to keep even the make-believe magic as realistic as possible. In fact, I even teach a popular online writing class called”Witchcraft for the Pararnormal Author” to help other writers do the same. Within reason, of course. What’s the fun of writing fiction if your characters can’t do things that are at least a little bit beyond what is possible in the real world?
So let’s hear it for magic in whatever form it touches your life, even if it is just the magic that comes from having a great book transport you to another world, and away from your everyday problems. Magic—you got to love it!
Deborah Blake Bio
Deborah Blake is the author of Circle, Coven and Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice (Llewellyn 2007), Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft (Llewellyn 2008), The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch (Llewellyn2009), and the forthcoming Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (2010) and Witchcraft on a Shoestring (2010). She has published numerous articles in Pagan publications.
Her award-winning short story, “Dead and (Mostly) Gone” is included in the Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales (Llewellyn, 2008). Deborah is currently working on her third novel and hopes to find both an agent and a publisher for her fiction soon. Deborah’s first novel, Witch Ever Way You Can, has been the winner or finalist in many RWA (Romance Writers of America) contests and received the EMILY “Best of the Best” Award.Her fiction is primarily Paranormal Romance, although she also writes Fantasy, Mystery and Young Adult.
Deborah had been interviewed on television, radio and podcast, and can be found online at Facebook, Twitter and www.myspace.com/deborahblakehps .
When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker. She lives in a 100 year old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.
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