Monday, September 25, 2017
The Story Behind Pagan Portals Fairy Witchcraft
Every book that's written has a story about the motivation behind it's writing, and this is the story behind Pagan Portals Fairy Witchcraft.
In 2013 I was on social media one day and I stumbled across a link on a page which purported to discuss 'Faerie Witchcraft'. Clicking on it showed a convoluted and confusing hodge-podge of paragraphs that wandered between nonsensical and silly - calling the mid-winter holiday 'Nollaig' for example, which literally means Christmas in Irish, but implying it was an older and genuinely pagan name for the holiday*. It took the common modern approach of treating the fairies as a kind of hybrid between elementals and nature spirits, shoe-horned into a tight corset, and then shoved into a pagan framework. Being rather feisty myself I went back to my own social media page and ranted a bit about kids these days staying off my lawn and bemoaned the growing trend of blending this view of fairies into a pagan framework.
And then I had one of those moments that will sometimes happen, where I felt like they were saying to me, 'If you don't like it, do something about it.' And I stopped, sort of mid-word as I was typing on facebook and I thought about that. Because venting to my friends whenever I ran across something that seemed so offbase to me was fine but ultimately it didn't accomplish very much. The mainstream perception was still what it was. And so I started to think about what I could really do about that and the idea of a book came to me. I had written one book at that point for Moon Books so I had an idea how the process worked but I was uncertain about writing anything about Themselves and also nervous about writing anything about my own personal style of witchcraft. It was one thing after all to write about my spirituality in a more general sense or to write about the theory of things and another entirely to write about how I actually did things myself.
Nonetheless the idea wouldn't go away and I kept feeling pushed to do it. I felt like it was something that the Good People wanted, as trite as that may sound, to have that option out there for people seeking to connect to them from a neopagan framework. There were a few things in print but they inevitably were separated from the root cultures in important ways, usually through the addition to different degrees of ceremonial magic or Kabbalah**. My own focus was on the Fairy Faith without that overlay, and with my pagan religion as a base instead of Catholicism. That made it something different from what I was seeing elsewhere, and that difference had its value.
So I decided to write the book as a Pagan Portal, a very basic introductory text. It would give people the idea of what was possible and a direction to go in if it interested them. It would put the option out there. I really struggled over calling it Fairy Witchcraft though, as I am not personally a fan of the 'f' word however I eventually acknowledged that to reach the people who were looking for it meant it needed a very clear and obvious name. So subtelty went out the window for the sake of a clear message. I rather think that amuses Them actually.
And as it turns out that voice telling me to 'do something about it' was right, or at least correct in that there was a need for it. Certainly people seem to find something meaningful in it and the Pagan Portal was followed up by a full length in depth book, with a third book coming out next year. In the end I am glad I listened, and glad I took that chance - and very glad Moon books took a chance on me.
*spoiler alert - Nollaig is from the Old Irish notlaic which in turn was borrowed from the Latin natalicia - 'birthday'
**I'm not judging that by the way, just saying that it takes the beliefs in a different direction from the folk beliefs of a hundred or two hundred years ago, which were more what I was working from. Obviously I add in neopagan influences to evolve things in a unique direction.