Coven structure & roles

I recently listened to an interesting podcast from Circle Talk: Four Witches on Coven Hierarchy. I was pleased to note that most of the speakers on the podcast were advocating for a pretty flat hierarchy. I have written a fair amount about the roles and expectations of the different degrees in Wicca (in All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca) and quite a lot about coven leadership and the concept of “elders” (in The Night Journey: Witchcraft as Transformation). I regard the Wiccan degree system as being like the apprenticeship system in medieval guilds (apprenticeship, journeyman, master). There was very little in the podcast that I disagreed with, except the one guy who makes his first degree coveners clean the coven brassware. I’m with the woman who said she is happy when people volunteer to help, but she doesn’t make them do tasks.

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My books

My books

DARK MIRROR

“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”

— Morgana Sythove,
Pagan Federation International
https://silvercircle.org
https://wiccanrede.org

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


THE NIGHT JOURNEY

The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”

Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


ALL ACTS OF LOVE AND PLEASURE

“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.”
Sable Aradia

Available from Avalonia Books and all other online retailers

Missing Witches

I was on the Missing Witches podcast recently. It’s a new and original format for a podcast: more like a structured group chat, ably facilitated by the lovely hosts.

Among other things, we discussed the subject of the book I’m currently writing, Changing Paths, which is about changing from one spiritual path to another. I was also really pleased with the circle opening that I did for this episode.

You can catch the episode at Missing Witches.

Queer Pagan Reading List 2022

New titles this year by Enfys Book of the Major Arqueerna blog, Casey Giovinco, Fire Lyte of the Inciting a Riot podcast, Aaron Oberon, Fio Gede Parma and Jane Meredith, Lee Morgan, Devdutt Pattanaik, Roberto Strongman, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, plus translations into other languages of Mat Auryn’s book Psychic Witch.

Check out the 2015 list, the 2018 list, the 2020 list, and the 2021 list.

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Fire Magic and Earth Magic

Llewellyn have recently published a series of books on the Four Elements, called Elements of Witchcraft, and the two that I was asked to provide endorsements of are excellent. All the authors of this series are experienced occultists and Pagans, so these books are well worth your time, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced practitioner, or someone who is interested in folklore and mythology.

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Witchy aesthetics

There’s a lot of talk about Halloween being “the season of the witch” and it is true that what sets us apart from many other paths and traditions is an enthusiastic embrace of both darkness and light. But that is not the full extent of witchy aesthetics.

There should also be winter witches and springtime witches and summer witches. We are a religion for all seasons!

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