Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Do You Have a Thing for Witches? Author Deborah Blake Does

I guess you could say I have a thing for witches. No—not that kind of a thing. Get your minds out of the gutter. What I meant to say is that witches fascinate me; so I write about them, both in fact and in fiction.

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.

Would you like to win a copy of the

One Lucky Reader will win

To enter tell us, do you have a thing for witches?

Do you consider yourself to be pagan or wiccan, do you practice?

You don't have to answer this if you don't want- I know some of us are still in the "broom" closet.
I admit that I consider myself to be a witch though I honestly don't practice as much as I used to

Contest Open to US Shipping

Winner to Be Announced Wednesday July 14

Receive +5 Bonus Entries for Being a Fang-tastic Blog Follower

+5 Entries for Being a Fang-tastic Facebook Fan

+5 for Following me on Twitter @RoxanneRhoads


Deborah Blake said...

Ooops! I realized that when I sent Roxanne my bio months ago, it was before I signed with my wonderful agent, Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency!
And for those entering the contest, I will be sending the book out personally, so I will be happy to sign it for whoever wins.

Elie said...

I have always had a thing for witches, however I have never practiced. I do think it is fascinating and I completely believe in this kind of majick.

I would LOVE a copy of this.
+5 old blog follower
+5 old facebook fan
+5 old twitter follower

Beth Caudill said...

I like witches. The first short story I published had a witch. Although I've been writing werewolves since then.

Recently I saw Wicked (the musical) and I thought it was an interesting take on the Wicked Witch's side of things.


Roxanne Rhoads said...

You signed with The Knight Agency? Awesome. They are on the top of my list of agents to contact once I finish my novel (if I ever finish one of the novels in progress :)

I am a witchy girl at heart. I remember one of the first books I read that changed my whole outlook was Power of the Witch by Laurie Cabot. I was 13 and it rocked my world.

Now I have a lot of witchy characters in my short stories and books. Along with vampires...

Madeleine Drake said...

Congrats on signing with Elaine Spencer, Deborah!

I love fiction that portrays paganism accurately--there's so much misinformation out there about Wicca and what it's really about.


P.S. Any writers out there considering taking Deborah's course, it's excellent.

Book of Secrets said...

Sure, I have a thing for witches! I've always been drawn to earth-based religions. I'm especially facinated with the beliefs of the ancient Celts. I'd love a chance to win!

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Katy Ravensong said...

Oh, yes, I definitely have a thing for witches. Most of my friends are witches as am I myself. I'm not really Wiccan but am definitely a witch. I practice as a green witch/hedge witch/kitchen witch. I have "The Goddess is in the Details" so I know the new ones will be great!

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

I've always been interested in witches. Read a lot of UF with them in it. And on the realistic note, like the Salem Witch Trials, I've always found them interesting as well. I don't practice though. I am just an interested spectator!

tetewa said...

I enjoy reading about witches one of my favorite series is the Drake Sisters by Christine Feehan! +5 old follower

A.F. Heart said...

Hello there,

Love the post and would love to be entered in the contest to win the book. Yes, I have a thing for witches. I am a solitary who identifies as Wiccan.

+5 blog follower
+5 follow on Twitter

debbie said...

I like witches. I completely respect them. We even had a group of wiccans, but I am not sure what happened to them. They closed up their business, before I could see what they were offering. I would love to win this.
I am a old gfc follower. +5

LibraryGirl said...

I am very interested in the modern idea of witches. I have a few books and feel drawn to some sort of witchy path, although it is rather loose at this point.

I'd be very interested in this book.

Carol L. said...

I have always been interested in Witches. The Salem Witch Trials have always pulled me in.And the Wiccan element has intrigued me as well.Loved Hocus Pocus. :)
I am a Gfc follower.= 5
Would love to read your book.
Carol L.

ktshabatie said...

I'm definitely into witches! But not as much as vampires hehe.

I don't practice or anything, I just find them intriguing!

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ktshabatie at gmail dot com

Gabrielle Lee said...

Although I do not practice I have always been interested in witches. This sounds like a very interesting book.

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katsrus said...

I like witches too. I think they are interesting. I think it would be wonderful to learn about your beliefs. I do not practice. Thank you for the giveaway.
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Sue B

katsrus said...

I forgot to leave my names for facebook(sue brandes) & twitter(katsrus2003). Sorry about that.
Sue B

Aimee said...

I have a thing for witches. I know quite a bit about Wicca & witchcraft in theory but not in practice.
+5 GFC follower
+5 I follow you on twitter @pixie13sweeps


Meredith said...

I do have a thing for witches, however I don't practice myself.

+5 old blog follower

Allison said...

I have a thing for witches but I don't consider myself one.

+5 Blog follower
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