Dear Fellow Pagans and Witches, Do you love your Guns, Gods, and Community?

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Nope, this is not a political post, well not in the sense of taking a particular side of recent tragic events. Kudos to those who caught the play on the title. Anyway, after a night of spending what should have been three-hours in a car, no thanks to a snow storm, I planned to use the day to catch up on writing and to relax. As I sat down to type a blog post that I had yet to finish, the previous day’s discussions had surfaced to the forefront of my mind.

At yesterday’s book signing, I spent much of my day talking with the customers and owner of The Cauldrons Flame in Connecticut. Although, the day was exciting and lucrative, it was also eye-opening.

As I drove the three hours to Connecticut my ears were flooded with news and commentaries on the Parkland shooting from the radio. Between this and Facebook I was tired of hearing about who and what was to blame. It’s not that I am insensitive to the event, I am just disgusted with how people chose to react. So, I chose to drive in silence instead. As I came upon just crossing the state line, I passed the exit for Sandy Hook, thinking to myself was this going to be the under tone of the day.

The bulk of the day was filled with normal conversations about my book and the usual Pagan topics. It wasn’t until the end of the event that I had gotten into an interesting conversation. Its topic brought me back to passing the Sandy Hook exit. What had started as just a chat about one’s son had turned into a discussion of the current state of the world we live in. Sadly, and repulsed I had learned that even after Sandy Hook, the state of Connecticut does nothing to help children who are struggling emotionally. This person’s son, who had been dealing with depression and anxiety due to constant bullying since elementary school had been pushed aside. Over the years, many things had happened and nothing was done for him or his family. The local school system and officials ignored and pushed aside every attempt to help this child. Luckily, he had a family that stood beside him along the way to keep him from going over the edge. The most shocking part of the whole story was that even after what had happened a few years before in Connecticut, nothing is still being done to help children and families who are in need of support. I learned that there is a lack of psychologists and therapists for children in the state due to the fear of liability that stemmed from Sandy Hook. I found it disturbing that even the school system would rather sweep things under the rug than have to deal with the fact that the children in their care may not be safe from social pressures and harm. I fear that this may be the norm across the county, in hindsight of the recent events. One question I have among many others is, where is the community involvement? It is very easy for the armchair activists (on both sides) to sit there complaining and posting their views and agendas. But what are we really doing in our community to make things better.

Anyone can post and say that they are “praying or sending love and light to the victims and families of this tragedy” But in all honesty, have they? And what, may I ask are you asking for from your Gods? Is it about your personal ideals on guns and government, and the awakening of the opposing party to these ideals or are you asking for a path to be shown on how you can make a difference in a troubling world, and the ways to get off your armchair and help someone who might be in need. We as Witches and Pagans should be a pillar in our community and not a pillow in front of a computer. As an early childhood educator, I see far too many children that are more in need of an honest, good hug than last year’s hot toy at Christmas time. My work doesn’t end when I walk out the school doors at the end of the day, nor will it end when I finish my teaching career. Many of the children I had when I first began teaching are now entering High School and I still talk to them and their families. Although it’s not directly, I am still a part of their life. I also check in with parents of certain children who I know are having a rough time, or they call me when they need help or just want that escape. This is the path I have chosen through the guidance of my own gods and goddesses.

One of the last conversations I had before I left for a five-hour drive was with Heidi, the owner of The Cauldrons Flame. We were casually discussing what she does for her community and how the store fits into it. She views her store not only as a place of business and resource for a local community, but a center of wellness and comfort for anyone seeking acceptance and knowledge. When she opens her doors daily she also opens her heart to a community in need. Heidi knows firsthand the hidden troubles in her community and she takes charge by providing a safe environment for not only Pagan and Witches but those who just may need a place to escape the outside world.

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This post was not meant to rant or finger point to any one side, but to get us thinking a little more about ourselves and our community in a such a crazy messed up world. When all is said and done with our current world, community maybe be our only resource for survival.

News: “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum”, New Book by E. Massey Coming This Spring..Cover Sneak Peak

E. Massey’s newest book, “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” is set to be released mid-spring. For those who are awaiting his first full length book, you will be able to pre-order it starting in April.

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“A Modern Witch’s Curriculum” combines history, science, and hands-on magickal and spiritual activities and experiences in an easy to follow calendar format. Although, it is written with the advanced Witch in mind, this curriculum is relevant to anyone of any magickal tradition or spiritual background, and those who want to learn more about their own traditions and themselves.

Interview with Lehighvalleywitchcraft.com

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I am Honored that I was chosen for the first spotlight of the new local PA Witchcraft Blog site, Lehighvalleywitchcraft.com, created by the talented and magickal Rik Silfies-Potter. It’s great to see positive work being done in our community which has been on a decline for some time. This promising site might ease some of the separation we have seen in our community. You can see the full interview here January Spotlight: E. Massey.

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News: Introducing a New Workshop- Magickal Paint and Sip Party

Join artist and Witch, E. Massey in a one of a kind workshop that combines art and magick into a relaxed and fun class. No artistic or magickal skills needed, everyone is a magickal artist .
E. Massey will guide attendees in creating a one of a kind magickal masterpiece. Learn how to incorporate magick and spellwork into art with color, herbs, energy, and intention. All painting supplies, canvases, easels, and aprons will be provided. Attendees are to bring beverages or any snacks. Painting subjects and spellwork may vary.

Suggested Time Duration: 2 hrs.
Suggested Price: $40 p/p

If you are interested in booking E. Massey for this workshop please contact E. Massey or visit http://www.e-massey.com

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News: Casting Creative Magickal Circles North East Book Tour

I am so excited to announce a north-east meet the author and book signing tour. This was something not originally planned when this book was first released as a short read e-book. However, now that it has been brought into print distribution, more people have become interested in Casting Creative Magickal Circles, and I couldn’t be happier. This tour will only be within the North Eastern states.

First stop will be at Practical Magick In Staten Island NY, where I will be joined with foreword writers and owners of this amazing shop, Mark Eadicicco and Richie Drawneek, “The Staten Island Witches”.

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“Casting Creative Magickal Circles” by E. Massey *now available in print format

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Author and Witch, E. Massey provides an excellent resource for the magickal practitioner of any level. Casting Creative Magickal Circles outlines unique ways of casting magickal circles for all Eight Sabbaths and the Moon Phases. It Contains principle information and personal references that any coven or solitary witch would need to create fun and interesting rituals. A must have for ones magickal library. Foreword by Mark Eadicicco and Richie Drawneek “The Staten Island Witches” of NYC’s Practical Magick.

Paperback $7.99/E-Book $3.99

 

AVAILABLE ONLINE IN PRINT AND E-BOOK FORMATS and at select Witchcraft, New-age, and Metaphysical shoppes in the U.S.

“Casting Creative Magickal Circles” is available online at:

Amazon.com

Barnes&Noble

Lulu.com

also available  at the Apple iBookstore and KOBO

 

Pop Culture Paganism Pt 2- Interview with Taylor Ellwood, author of “Pop Culture Magick”

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I can honestly say when I started writing the first of this series of blogs on Pop Culture Paganism I did not realize the full scope of its system. Although, it does not resonate with me, I can understand its appeal and how one can employ its system of belief. When I wrote part one what I had thought I understood of Pop Culture Paganism was just one aspect of its thoughts on a spiritual universe. It was not until after I spoke with Taylor Ellwood via email that I began to understand the scope of its complexity. Especially in the idea of whether not one can worship the Justice League as Gods.

Taylor Ellwood considers himself a “magical experimenter” that has created four different systems of magick and is the author of multiple books on advanced and cutting edge magick and Pop Culture Paganism. As a self-taught magician, he has an extensive background in magick and has studied and practiced various systems, including Western Ceremonial Magic, Chaos Magic, Neo-shamanism, Taoism, Dzogchen, and Tantra. Taylor is the creator and founder of the Magical Experiments University, where he offers classes, specialized training, and co-op experiments in magick. And of course he loves pop culture, spending his free time playing video games, reading sci-fi and fantasy books.

EM: After I posted my article on Pop Culture Paganism,‭ ‬I noticed a lot of mixed feelings of its acceptance within the pagan community,‭ ‬How would you approach the negative or purist comments about Pop Culture Paganism‭? ‬How do you feel is the best way to explain it to the broader community‭?

TE:‭ ‬I ignore the purist comments about Pop Culture Paganism and Magic.‭ ‬There‭’‬s no argument they‭’‬ll accept about the validity of pop culture spiritual practices,‭ ‬and so it‭’‬s a wasted effort.‭ ‬The best way to explain pop culture paganism to the larger community is to simply share that you believe in pop culture spirits and have created magical workings‭ ‬rituals around that belief that allows them to connect meaningfully with the spirits they‭’‬ve chosen to work with.‭ ‬And the advice I would give to someone practicing Pop Culture Paganism is not to focus on trying to get acceptance from the larger‭ ‬Pagan‭ ‬community,‭ ‬but instead focus on connecting with other Pop Culture Pagans and Magicians.

EM: I based my article on a question that was posed to a Facebook group,‭ “‬Can you worship the Justice League as Gods‭? ‬In your book,‭ “‬Pop Culture Magic Systems‭”‬ you explain how one can create a system of magick and practice from their favorite genre of Pop Culture.‭ ‬Going back to the posted Facebook question,‭ ‬Is it possible to create an entire magick and belief system around the Justice League universe‭?

TE:‭ ‬Why not‭? ‬People have‭ ‬done it with the Marvel Universe,‭ ‬so it could certainly be done with the Justice League as well.‭ ‬To do it successfully requires a solid understanding of how magic works and the person should spend some time working with each character so that they can develop the appropriate relationship and understanding of how those spirits will fit into the system.

EM: Do you feel that these characters can be archetypes of the traditional gods or could they just be a new face to an old name‭?

TE:‭ ‬Do they need to be either‭?‬ It could be enough that they are spirits in their own right that can be worked with.‭ ‬Of course the other perspectives could also be valid.‭ ‬The only way to find out though is to do the work.

EM: Why do you think‭ “‬beings‭”‬ and characters such as Merlin and Hercules are widely more acceptable in the use of magick in the Pagan community rather than let‭’‬s say Dr.‭ ‬Strange and Superman‭?

TE:‭ ‬If it‭’‬s old then it has value.‭ ‬If it‭’‬s new,‭ ‬then it doesn‭’‬t.‭ ‬That‭’‬s the best way to sum up why certain spirits are considered more acceptable versus others.‭ ‬It‭’‬s worth noting, though both Merlin and Hercules were‭ ‬the pop culture of their time,‭ ‬the myths and that Dr.‭ ‬Stranger and Superman is part of the mythology of our time.‭

EM: Concerning your article,‭ “‬How Pop Culture promotes interest in Mythology‭”‬ on witchesandpagan.com.‭ ‬One thing I found rather interesting was the idea that the Gods are more or less speaking through new platforms to reach a new modern audience.‭ ‬Do you think that new stories based on myths,‭ ‬such as in the new Assassins Creed Origins video game are just extensions to the old myths‭? A‬nd could they be accepted as such a thousand years from now‭?

TE:‭ ‬I don‭’‬t know that they‭’‬re extensions,‭ ‬but what I do know is that modern culture‭’‬s exploration of older mythology and the new stories that come out are another way for people to discover older mythology and the spiritual traditions that are focused around that mythology.‭ ‬And the benefit for the Gods is that it provides additional‭ ‬vectors for interaction with people who might otherwise never‭ ‬know about them.‭

EM: As an author and practitioner,‭ ‬you have released many books and articles dealing with Pop Culture Paganism and Pop Culture Magick can you explain a little about the difference between the two‭? A‬nd how they also can go hand in hand with each other‭?

TE:‭ ‬Pop Culture Paganism involves what I would consider to be a devotional approach to working with pop culture spirits.‭ ‬In other words,‭ ‬there is a recognition that the pop culture spirits are beings that the person wants to work within a devotional manner,‭ ‬which could include prayers,‭ ‬offerings,‭ ‬and rituals done for purposes of honoring the spirit,‭ ‬as well as other activities that the pop culture spirits feel are appropriate.
Pop Culture Magic involves the use of Magical techniques and practices with pop culture,‭ ‬in order to achieve a result and/or do some‭ ‬type of devotional work.‭
‭For some pop culture Pagans, the magic is optional, whereas for Pop Culture Magicians, the magic plays an integral role in their pop culture workings. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, however, and can come together if magic plays a role in the pop culture Pagan’s practice.

EM: In part one of this blog series,‭ ‬I mention how I can see traits of the Egyptian God,‭ ‬Anubis in the character of Batman.‭ ‬A few readers were in disagreement.‭ ‬Are there any specifics to the choosing who or how you see a character and the relation to a tradition deity‭?

TE:‭ ‬I don‭’‬t typically match a pop culture‭ ‬spirit with a traditional deity.‭ ‬I prefer to work with the pop culture spirit,‭ ‬in and of itself,‭ ‬instead‭ ‬of trying to map it onto a traditional deity,‭ ‬so I wouldn‭’‬t associate Batman with Anubis because they aren‭’‬t one and the same,‭ ‬and there is a huge cultural difference between the two.

EM: In my manuscript for‭ “‬The Little Witches Curriculum‭”‬ I discuss how children can use fictional characters or their favorite toys as a representation of the gods when building their personal altars.‭ ‬This concept seemed to be well received in the community,‭ ‬why do think the community looks down‭ ‬on adults who would do the same‭?

TE:‭ ‬If you like pop culture you‭’‬re considered a geek or a nerd.‭ ‬And as I mentioned above,‭ ‬what‭’‬s old is valued,‭ ‬while what‭’‬s new is‭ ‬discounted.‭

EM: In my research on the topic,‭ ‬I came across a few sites and articles referring to you as the leading expert or the creator of Pop Culture Paganism,‭ ‬to me that would be a tough burden to carry.‭ ‬How do you see yourself within the magickal community‭?

TE:‭ ‬I didn‭’‬t invent Pop Culture Paganism or Pop Culture Magic.‭ ‬I was the first person to write a book about Pop Culture Magic and of course I‭’‬ve continued to since then,‭ ‬but I‭’‬ve also written books on a variety of other magic subjects.‭ ‬I‭’‬m a magical experimenter first and foremost,‭ ‬and what really matters is the evolution of magical practice and theory.‭ ‬Pop culture magic is one avenue for that evolution and I‭’‬m pleased my works have helped other people on their own spiritual‭ ‬journey.

EM: I am assuming that you did not just wake up one day and start following a Pop Culture system of magick.‭ ‬When did you start considering yourself a Pop Culture magician and practitioner‭?

TE:‭ ‬I‭’‬ve always had an interest in pop‭ ‬culture,‭ ‬but I didn‭’‬t start practice pop culture magic until the late‭ ‬1990‭’‬s.‭ ‬I‭’‬d already been practicing magic for‭ ‬5‭ ‬years at that point,‭ ‬and I saw an opportunity to take some of the pop culture I enjoyed and apply it to magical practices.‭ ‬That‭’‬s when‭ ‬I began practicing pop culture magic.

EM: What can the community and your readers expect to see from you in the near future‭?

TE:‭ ‬Check out my site Magical Experiments,‭ ‬which also has Magical Experiments University featured on‭ ‬it,‭ ‬where I share online courses I‭’‬ve created for people who want to learn my systems of magic.‭ ‬I‭’‬m also working on my next book the Alchemy of Life,‭ ‬which is an in-depth exploration of the‭ ‬biochemistry‭ ‬of the body and how to work with it.

 

List of Taylor Ellwood’s books and publications