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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Books
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A Gramarye of Pśsie |
Author: Deborah Snavely [a Witchvox Sponsor]
Publisher: Independently published
Category: Grimoire Level: All
The notion of writing a poetic grimoire (often called a “book of shadows, ” or spell-book) planted itself in my brain early in my acquaintance with British Traditional Wicca. You see, my travels to the Craft took a while—in part because I began my search about the same time that Wicca is documented to have crossed the Atlantic, in 1962–63. (It happened earlier, but secretly.)
So my youthful studies wandered through legends, myths, folk & fairy tales, along with historical snippets from the Stateside experience of witch hunts. Adolescent contact with newly invented Renaissance Fairs expanded my historical interest in folk custom and craft. Collegiate accident led me roundabout through historical re-creation groups into the occasional contact with self-described practicing witches, while post-graduate psychological classes led me into divination studies. From there, study of both the tarot and astrology deepened my accumulation of the knowledge that interweaves throughout European magical lore, and the next breadcrumbs along my path were The Golden Bough and The White Goddess.
As a self-identified but untrained neoPagan, self-healing led me to cooperative healing circles for the next few years. Life intervened with a major career overhaul, and finally I wandered through the messy process of divorce before I returned to that old, old calling, very nearly on the exact day I left my first husband. That brought me into contact with the quality information published in the fifteen years since I had last sought occult writings.
Behold—such newly available enriching authors as Marian Green, Vivianne Crowley, and even Scott Cunningham had joined Margo Adler and Sybil Leek and Gerald Gardner in print, and I was off. (Interviews and autobiographies are all very well, but do not enable one to learn to practice.)
Of course, to discover this content-rich material, each visit to my nearest metaphysical, occult, or pagan bookstore or supply shop took an average of two hours, thus: First, drool over the case of silver jewelry…. Next, fondle the rich colors and smooth surfaces of tumbled pocket stones…. Beyond that, sniff at fragrant displays of incense and scented candles…. At last, reach the trove of shelved books.
Look over the new titles. Grab one with landscape or Celtic knotwork cover art, avoiding the dramatic or sexy. Scan the back blurb, shudder, put it back. Select the next one. Read a few pages, put it back on the shelf. Pick up the gaudy red plush hardcover in disbelieving horror, open it with perverse curiosity, close it carefully, and wipe fingers on hanky after tucking it firmly back in its place—way back. Pick up an unfamiliar title that sounds as though it might have some content of interest, and after reading it without halt for 20 minutes, realize I’ve got a winner, and head to the front counter to ransom it from the cashier.
Among the imperfections of content even in my richest selections was the fact that some of the better witchy authors nonetheless write feeble poetry. Because any spell operates better when personalized, I found myself rewriting or (usually) creating my own poetry for every working. When I shared such texts with others, someone, or several someones, always asked for the words. Thus I came upon the idea for this volume—to share magical words with those who are not naturally wordsmiths.
To all and any who prefer their own words to mine, more power to you! I write for those to whom spelling and grammar are arcane arts; for the initiate who speaks numbers as her primary language; for the book-learnéd solitaries who find that Cunningham’s scansion limps at best; and for those seeking access to the Gods & the Craft in ways yet undiscovered.
And for those with the skill but not the calling to craft words as though they were seasoned wood for the carving, I hope that some few of these verses may prove entertaining, useful, insightful, thoughtful, even valuable.
In the mundane light of day,
Sylvan folk may walk and play.
Down a dark or dreary hall,
Where troubles wait or cares befall,
Listen to the fair ones call….
Where To Buy: Available through Amazon.
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