Announcing the Mark of the Wolf (Book of Secrets Vol. I)

 

When Margaret is attacked by what she believes to be a werewolf, her life is turned upside down. Confused and afraid, the only people she feels safe going to for help are the strange goth kids that everyone says are witches.

Dominic and Aaron are Pagans, not fools, and smell a trap. But Jacob insists they take her seriously. When they agree to help her, they – and all their friends – are swiftly drawn into a larger world of monsters and magic more dangerous than they had ever suspected was real.

This is the 90s nostalgia novel every queer and witchy horror fan as been waiting for.

After ten years of drafting and three years of editing, my debut novel is finally here.  The kindle edition is already out, and the paperback is coming very soon (shortly after the final print proof arrives on my doorstep, actually).  I’m diligently working on getting all the preorders out to my kickstarter backers.

The book (and the series to follow) and the world in which it is set are what I hope you will agree are an artful blend of genre tropes, folklore, the Western Mystery Tradition, and thematic innovation.  I think you, my readers and fellow occult nerds, will find it particularly interesting.  The characters will be painfully familiar to anyone who was practicing Witchcraft in the Midwest in the late 1990s.  The setting will be hilariously familiar to anyone who has spent any amount of time in Lawrence, KS.  And the story, I think, will be excitingly fresh to anyone who has spent any amount of time in the urban fantasy and occult horror genres.

Proof of Life

I am not dead.

I have not quit.  Well, not quit this, at any rate.

I apologize for my absence.  There have been shenanigans.  There has also been a great deal of artistic productivity.  I’ll be talking about the latter a lot.  It’s good stuff, y’all.  I’ll only be talking about the former a little, and that probably more than I should.

There’s also been a bit of magic, and I’m going to be talking about that almost as much as the art.  It’s been exciting and, wow, y’all, have I got some stories to tell.

 

Meditative Acts — Research #2: Candles

Aradia and I have been talking about making our own candles for a while now.  In particular, though not necessarily relevant to his conversation, we have some interesting ideas regarding Imbolc and Valentine’s Day and recycling candles to light new fires for the coming year.  So, when I started thinking about devotional meditations, in part inspired by folk saint rituals, it wasn’t much of a leap to DIYing the candles.

Candle making, at its basic, is simple.  You need wax, wicks, and a couple vessels.  A weight for the bottom of the wick is handy.  So’s a clip to hold the wick still while you pour the wax.  You need one vessel to melt the wax in, and another to pour the wax into.  You can add dies, scents, glitter, and a variety of other things to make end result prettier, the process more involved.  And I may do that as I get down the “don’t make a mess” part.

The wax and wicks arrived a couple weeks ago.  In my first test pour I discovered that while the vessels I have to pour the wax into – reused novena candle containers – work just fine, the vessel I have to melt the wax in and pour the wax from – a Pyrex measuring cup – is not quite as large as I need.  The larger wax melting vessel should arrive in the mail today, along with some wick clips just to make life a little easier.

When the wax has cooled, I’ll stick each candle with an image of the divinity to whom it’s being dedicated.  It should surprise y’all none that between my own art and what I’ve found on the internet, I have a lot of devotional to bring to the occasion.

I’m still trying to decide, from a ritual standpoint, whether it’s better to make the candles in advance and come into each week prepared, or to make making the candles the core of the ritual for the first night of each week.  From a logistics standpoint, obviously, it’s easier to make them in advance.  And the candle making doesn’t fit really well into the “meditative acts” frame of this months’ challenge.  I suddenly remember, though, that 4 weeks =/= 30 days.  There’s room for a prologue and an epilogue.  That day at the beginning gives me time to make a lot of candles and keep to framework I’ve already established.

Hymn to Baphomet

baphomet

A new hymn for a god/dess of witches, sorcerers, and madmen.

 

Hymn to Baphomet

Io Baphometos!

 

Strange god!  Gnostic god!

Creator and destroyer!

Friend to the alienated,

lover and beloved

of artists and magicians!

 

You who reconcile false dichotomies:

mortal and divine; man and woman;

human and animal; of the Earth and of the Air.

You are of the Dark Moon and the Light.

Solve et coagvla.

 

You are the Sabbatic goat!

Winged, and crowned in horn and flame,

sacred hermaphrodite;

Thyrsus and caduceus, thy tumescence.

You are the Mysteries made flesh.

 

O you Hidden One!

You are ancient yet unfinished!

You are many formed, many natured!

Panphage pangenitor!

You are All-Father, All-Mother, All-Lover!

 

Io Baphometos!

All hail Baphomet!

Witchcraft is Transgression

Witchcraft is transgression.

We are not “just like them”.  Though we may wear their clothes, to do so is a mask which must be discarded each day at the first opportunity lest we lose what we are.

We are the darkness.  We are the ecstasy.  We are the song in the night.  We exist to rend the veil between worlds.

Never forget: there is more to life than your mortgage.

Witchcraft is transgression.

The Roman Empire gave up the Old Gods and knelt before of the One.  The Greeks gave up the Mysteries in favor of the Savior.  The Norse abandoned traded their sacrifices in return for the keys to the Kingdom of God.

Do you honestly believe that the Mysteries lead to empire?  Do you honestly believe that the Old Gods will bless the empires of the One?

Take up arms against the oppressors, not against your neighbors.  There is no place for patriots among Pagans.  If you love your country, go back to Jesus.

Witchcraft is transgression.

Neither sex nor gender are cosmic principles.  Does a prokaryote have a penis?  Does a cactus have a cunt?

Your body is not your destiny.  You are not what your parents and their doctors told you that you must be.

Gender is a toolbox.  Build your identity with your bare hands.

Witchcraft is transgression.

Reject materialist values, not the material world.

Feast upon the bounty of the harvest and the hunt.  Sing your joy and scream your rage.  Dance for the sun and cry before the moon.  Love all that you can.  Fuck all that you will.

The dead envy the living for a reason.

Witchcraft is transgression.

Wage war against the Archons.  Wage war against the Machine.

We will survive by whatever means are necessary.

We must dance on the bones of the empire.

Assimilation is death.

Witchcraft is trasgression.

Armed Venus

Armed Venus

“Armed Aphrodite”

A young woman stands bare chested, a cloth draped around her waist, a golden-colored apple in her left hand and a sword in her right.  From a Classically themed photoshoot with a friend from college, this image was inspired by a combination of art and myth.  The apple identifies the figure as Aphrodite; the sword is inspired by a spear-bearing statue of Aphrodite that I saw at the temple of Asclepious in Greece.

From a photo shoot about this time last year, this post somehow got lost in my drafts folder.  To see the rest of the series, or order prints, please check out my portfolio.