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What I’ll Be Doing For The Rest of the Year

o dear…


So…today I had brunch with my friends Mia and John, and my work-wife, Star.  Mia asked me if I had posted where I’ll be appearing for the rest of the year and I looked at her blankly. Recovering what passes for my composure these days, I allowed as how I probably should do that. Somehow I don’t have a sense that people want to know such things but Mia assures me some may very well.  With thanks to her for her encouragement, here’s where you may see me in the next six months. 

Hang on to your knickers.

June 22-25, Wisteria, Ohio

Midsummer Festival with a focus on primitive skills. Teaching traditional Appalachian herbal healing.

June 28, Ashe County Public Library

A talk on Appalachian folkways with a focus on folk magic

July 7-16, Summerland Festival, Wisconsin

Teaching some stuff, doing some ritual, hanging with friends

July 20-23, Mystic South Conference, Hotlanta, Georgia

Headliner: which means teaching some classes. I will also present an academic paper on my recent research on the roots of Appalachian folk magic. And, shockingly, I will be leading an early morning tai chi class. I know, right?

September 9-10, Organic Growers School, Asheville, NC

Teaching a seminar on Appalachian folkways

September 15-17, Delaware

Delmarva Pagan Pride (and a class at a local shop the night before TBA)

September 22-23, Piedmont Pagan Pride

Teaching and talking; class the evening before (TBA)

October 5-8, Calderafest, somewhere in Georgia

Huge Pagan music festival that you shouldn’t miss; I’m just going to goof off but will be singing in the choir for the performance of Brian Henke’s Raven King

October 13-15  Southeast Wise Women’s Herbal Conference, Swannanoa, NC


October 26-29, Florida Pagan Gathering Samhain Festival

Headlining: teaching, ritualing

November 2-5, FaerieCon, Hunt Valley, Maryland

Teaching, dressing up like a faery, drinking to excess

I think that’s it.  I’ll be helping to train new priestesses for Mother Grove Goddess Temple and continuing my clergy work there, of course.  I plan to have my new book–Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet–off to the editor by Lughnasadh. So a new book by year’s end, if all goes well. Plus gardening, canning, teaching locally, reading tarot. You know..the stuff one does when living a rich and juicy life.

Come see me at one or more of these things. I’d love to see you.

Oh!  And witchery. Lots and lots of witchery.


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Whither then? I Cannot Say

The books have arrived.  I have three boxes of “Embracing Willendorf” that constitute the pre-publication sales (thanks to all who did that–it’s really helpful). I have a bunch of labels and a couple of good pens and will spend the afternoon inscribing books and preparing them for shipping.

A lovely way to spend a potentially rainy Appalachian afternoon.

The book party was announced a couple of weeks ago.  My friends at Asheville Raven and Crone are hosting a celebration of the new book on Saturday, May 27 at 6PM. I’ll talk a little about why I wrote this book and read some of the jucier parts.  And sign the books that folks buy. Usual stuff. I’m planning to bring a rather nice bottle of champagne, with which to toast Absent Friends.

I’m off next week to celebrate Beltane a little more.  A gaggle of Mother Gravians are going up 81 to middle Virginia for Blue Ridge Beltane.   You can click on the romantic Hares below to go to the Event Page on Facebook–


I’m sending in class proposals for Wisteria’s Midsummer event and will let you know if they decide to bring me in for that.  Camping in the heat again–I didn’t do well at Pagan Spirit Gathering last year. But we’ll see how I do when I have less to get done and it isn’t a nine day event.

Many more festivals and appearances coming up plus more writing. Ritual, writing and renewal–I am counting on these things to see me into the depths of this Tower Time and to keep me relatively sane.

Per ardua ad terra! (And possibly more later.)

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Embracing Willendorf–Free Willi!


The proof for my new book–Embracing Willendorf–has been in my hands since Monday evening and the first bulk order has been placed by the publisher, Smith Bridge Press.

You can order it through the publisher’s website, by clicking on the roses below–



Oh. My. Gosh.

I returned from two weeks of Beltane bliss on Monday afternoon and have been spinning plates like a magician since then. It’s been grand.

Book in hand–still breathless from the Florida Pagan Gathering, the recording sessions in Marietta and Beltain at Our Haven amongst the floods of Indiana–I turned to one of my favorite things–a new online class. It took a couple of days to coordinate the email addresses but the first class of six went out today and I’ve gotten some good feedback already.

So grateful.

Monday was sweet. It began when I woke up in a real bed and got to spend time with my old, dear, beautiful friend Gabrielle who had given me a bed for the night, after weeks of traveling. After that I got to have lunch with my wonderful daughter (whose birthday was yesterday) at a place called Amelie’s.  I love that kid and I also like her. A lot.

Now I’m tweaking three Beltane rituals for this weekend and also have to start serious planning for Blue Ridge Beltane in a couple of weeks.

And there’s gardening to do–the annual herb sale starts tomorrow.

Are you breathless yet? 


Reach out right now and grab all the life you can. Play and love and laugh like a mad thing.

The time is now.

Here’s what I posted on Facebook on May the First.  You may ignore the time code and do it tomorrow morning.

        Say Her name.

        This morning, as you wash your face in dew and wreathe your head in flowers, know this–you are    not separate from the earth nor from the Ancestors who made you. You carry them in your cells like refreshing streams of water. This day, this perfect day, honor Those whose names have been covered in mist, whose deeds have been falsely reported. Dance the ring with ancient outcasts tonight and spare a thought for your own immortality. Merry Beltane, my lovers! Revel like it’s 999! Sumer is i-cumen in!


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Honey on the Stones

Some of my recent research and practice has included an intense examination of several aspects of what has come to be called “sex magic.”  I have found the work endlessly fascinating and am offering a workshop at the end of this month called Honey on the Stones.  Variations on this workshop will also be offered at Florida Pagan Gathering, Beltaine at Our Haven in Indiana and at Blue Ridge Beltane.

Here are the details for this month’s offering–thought you might find it interesting, too.

Honey on the Stones: Sovereignty, Sex and Myth

The counterbalance to living in a culture of death is to embrace the totality of life and enrich the life force through conscious and intentional action. This workshop will explore the Sacred Sexual as a healing modality for both ecosystem and human community. We will examine techniques for utilizing the life force as it courses through human bodies to enact change in the world around us—sexual activity (partnered or otherwise) as a means of raising energy. Discussion will include the hieros gamos and sovereignty in the modern world, the so-called Great Rite, and the terrible question of power. This is an intensely adult workshop covering several aspects of sexual activity (including technique) in the service of Earth healing and of magic. It is very sex positive. Space is safe and private but very limited and I reserve the right to refuse potential participants.


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Back in Town

I spent the weekend in San Jose at Pantheacon.  I taught a class and gave a talk and helped with a Brigid healing ritual and signed some books and generally had a terrific time. I have a series of blog posts that I plan to do–sharing them between here and my Witches and Pagans blog.

Below is a photo of a couple of simple country women–Rowan Fairgrove and yours truly. Rowan and I met at a United Religions Initiation North America summit years and years ago and haven’t seen each other since.  It was a delight to see her again, even if we didn’t get nearly enough time together.


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Imbolc and Candlemas and the Too-Early Promise of a Too-Soon Spring

We only got cold weather a few days ago.  Until then it had been unnaturally warm–and now it is unnaturally cold. Mountain winters have always been unpredictable and climate change seems to make that even more true than it was when I was a child.

People from around here who are about my age will remember that glorious year when we missed so much school. The weather was our co-conspirator. Every Sunday night (for weeks!), there would be a fall of heavy, perfect snow.  Schools would be closed, of course. The temperature would hover just below freezing and there was sledding and snowball fights and snow folks.  Long about Thursday, the temperature would rise just a bit and the back roads would clear almost enough. Almost.  Parents would shake their forefingers at us and exclaim–Back to school on Monday!

Ha ha ha. Sunday would be bright and cool, and the afternoon sky would darken after Sunday dinner.  It would start snowing by sundown and…repeat. Like Dylan Thomas, I was never sure how long this lasted but it seemed to take up the better part of a month. 

It was glorious. 

I am preparing for Imbolc–or Bridnasadh, as I call it–which is rightly called Féile Bríde in Gaeilge. As soon as the Winter Solstice has been duly celebrated, I am digging out my little piece of turf and dreaming of my other homeland. The one that isn’t these old southern highlands.

I have a new pair of shoes so there is a brand new shoe box to create the Brid’s Bed. I’m thinking of creating that little space as my homely art for this weekend. I’ll post pictures if I do.  Next Friday (15th), I’m leading a workshop on Imbolc prep at Asheville Raven and Crone.  Here are the details for that–Getting ready for Imbolc? Learn all about the traditions of the season–the Bridey Bed, clouties, Wheels, candles, water blessing, spinning, new fire, the Bhrat…There will be show and tell and places to create your own Wheel, tie a cloutie and practice healing. There may even be coloring sheets for your inner Irish child. Join Byron Ballard for one of her favorite celebrations and all it entails. There’ll be some soda bread and butter, too. Suggested donation ($10) to help with Byron’s Pantheacon expenses.

And we’re doing the 2nd annual Brigid, Dark and Bright retreat on the last day of the month. Here are those details–We’ll gather at the Maya Angelou Peace Garden to learn more about Brigid–Irish Goddess and saint–and to link our lives to Her inspiration and example. There will be poetry and fire and the making of vessels and healing techniques and ritual and clouties and song and dance and wanders through the woods. And soup and soda bread and lots of good hot tea. Space is extremely limited–we probably can’t comfortably do more than ten in addition to the helper folks. $50 for the day. Contact me if you have questions. This is the second year for this hands-on retreat. If you were part of this adventure last year, I invite you to return and re-experience this power and wonder. And if you are new to dear Brigid, this is a welcoming form of engagement.


Mother Grove Goddess Temple’s South altar, all tarted up for Imbolc