Dancing with the Faeries

I’m very excited to announce that there will be an OFFICIAL book launch on 12th December in my home town of Lampeter. I know it is a long way for many of you but you’re all invited anyway!

YFM Book Launch Poster

I’m both terrified and thrilled. I love the spotlight, I love Faeries (clearly) and I love talking and dancing and having a party. I’m also, honestly, scared all my friends will judge me for being such a fluffy hippy for having an obsession with these magical, mystical, amazing wild beings because, let’s face it, they’ve not had great press. Or rather, the press has been too good, too sweet, too silly. And we don’t value silly enough. In the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft – which I’ve spent many years involved in – I came across a fantastic phrase: “Reverent Irreverence”. The art of making magic through fun. The skill of doing proper, serious, important work with a light heart. The practice of not taking oneself too seriously and thus cultivating the ability to make powerful magic in pixie wings and glitter, whilst still genuinely honouring the spirits that weave within this land.

Working with faeries is often dismissed as not being serious magic, but you and I know that it is. It is very serious. Faery magic is spirit work. It is delving into the core of yourself and finding the wild magics of the heart of nature, because that is what we are. It is seeking truth and finding our own ethics, with a laugh and a whole heap of sparkles (biodegradable sparkles, mind you!).

I’m always nervous that people will look only at the surface, that they’ll see the word “Faery” and dismiss me as lacking in dedication, or without the guts or the brains to do “real magic” or “real work”. So this book launch is more than just an excuse for a party, it is a declaration that I can be a serious, philosophical, hard-working magical practitioner and that working with the Fae is real spirit-work… and that this is not incompatible with glitter. I forget this often myself, so, finally, this is also a milestone. It is the night I stop worrying about taking it seriously and wake up to the fact that I do, and no-one else needs to validate that for me!

This is not a book for those that want fancy occult rituals or deep, secret lore. It is for those who feel like the world could do with a bit more magic, but aren’t quite sure how to find it in their own way… and love faeries as much as I do!

Onwards and upwards, Feylings, onwards and upwards. Now, where did I tuck that glow in the dark wand…

 

Event Details:

Facebook Event!

Poster (PDF)

Saturday 12th December 2015

Old Hall, Old Building, Lampeter University (UWTSD), Lampeter, Wales.

FREE – you are welcome to come to all or some of it. Bring snacks if you wish and a donation for tea/coffee.

“Your Faery Magic” is being released on Friday so on Saturday we’re meeting to celebrate. I will open with a talk on my philosophy of faeries and how we can relate to them from 6pm-7pm ish. This will probably turn into a Q&A session.

From 7pm there will be:

dancing from the ladies of Tribal Unity Wales and for all who wish to
storytelling with Milly Jackdaw and Will Rathouse
book signing (if you like!)
and a faery themed open mic session.

*Note* If you want to do something at the open mic, you can sign up for it at 7:30, and we’ll have it run from 8-9pm (ish)  for them that wish to share something faery (or fantastical) themed… music, stories, poetry, readings from a play, whatever you fancy!

I may even bring my top hat for an appearance of The Goblin Circus if requested!

 

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A Tour Through Blogland!

Hello!!!

Welcome to my little world. I was nominated to join in the blogland tour by the inspiring Wendy Steele who I met last summer in the guise of Dance Goddess… but who has fast become a close friend and partner in mischief when it comes to writing inspiration and other such things. She writes stories full of magical realism and non-fiction about how to be happy, and is currently working on the second in her Wales-inspired trilogy which began with “The Standing Stone” set across the times all in one place. Her books are all beautiful pieces of re-enchantment. Find Wendy here!

I nominate… James Baker of James Baker Performs! James is a performer and writer of plays currently devising a one-man show on the intersection between creativity and madness. He is also my husband, so you know he has good taste.

I nominate Elinor Prędota, an Interfaith Minister and Pagan Priestess from Scotland who I have had the pleasure of being friends with for over a decade. (Website is currently under construction but should be up and running over the next day or two!)

And I nominate Demelza Fox, Rockstar Priestess, Belly Dancer and Mermaid extraordinaire!

I choose Monday 2nd or 9th of March for your postings, lovelies. ‘Rules’ at the end of this post.

Right then, on with the show!

As part of this tour you get to hear a little about my writing process through the Q&A (And if you follow the breadcrumbs backwards and forwards, you’ll find the answers others have given too…)

The questions, and my answers:

1- Why write? Why not sing, dance or figure skate?

Well now, this is a silly question, on two levels. Firstly, why not write? How could I not? I love to let words flow onto the page and it is a wonderful way of communicating ideas with others. I love that I can fossilise my ideas into paper (physical or virtual) and hand it to you to hear those words far away and a long time from here and now. I love that we can communicate at vast distances through writing, and that I can speak to people in the future right now. I also find that writing is the process by which I come to understand. I often feel like my head is empty, like there is no knowledge, no understanding of the world, until I write. Then the words begin to form themselves into ideas, into stories, into whole worlds of webs of connections that make sense of it all.

The second level that this question makes me giggle is that I don’t just write. I couldn’t just write if I tried. I paint, I dance, I tell tales, I study philosophy. I’ve learnt healing skills and fortune telling, I travel and run rituals, I perform am dram and I’m learning the guitar. So whilst writing is something that I have always done, it is not something I do to the exclusion of all else… though I don’t think I’d be any good at figure skating!

I write because I love it, the same reason I do anything else. Writing, more than any of my other activities, though, helps me to make sense of the world and of what I think and feel about the world. It allows me to make a stand, to say; “here I am, this is what I believe, this is what is important.” And once it is on the page in black and white, then I can see the stories that I wish to share with the world.

2- Do you have a musical play list or do you need to write in absolute silence? If you have a play list would we recognize any of the songs or artists on it?

Ooooh, I don’t like writing in silence but I also don’t have a particular play list… I tend to put on whatever artist I’m most in love with at the time or something really familiar, so SJ Tucker and Talis Kimberley get played a lot, or something classic/prog rock-y like Led Zep. I’ll also find compilations by other people and stick them on, especially if they are long ones so the music keeps flowing without a silence to distract me. My husband made me a collection of all the theme songs from True Blood, so that quite often gets put on as it is several hours of music I enjoy with plenty of variation.

My favourite writing set up is in a noisy, busy cafe where I can sit on a sofa and stare out of the window, with my headphones in and a good, long playlist. And a tasty soya chai latte. Nom.

3- Can you see a future for yourself in which writing forms no part of your day to day life?

I don’t think we live in a world where that is likely, but even assuming that writing falls out of favour somehow… no. I don’t think so. I remember catching bits of early episodes of Big Brother and being horrified that they weren’t allowed pen and paper to write. Bonkers idea. I write in my journal most days, I write poems and snatches of songs that probably no one will ever hear, I write ideas and dreams, goals and plans… I’d be lost if I couldn’t write anymore, I wouldn’t know what it was I knew!

4- Which author/s inspire you currently? I am not talking about some of the greats but departed. Authors alive today, which of them inspire you?

Cat Valente is amazing. Her novels are full of imagery that makes my mouth water with its lushness. Her children’s series which starts with “The Girl Who Navigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” is a beautiful meander through fairyland, and full of magic!

Share an article written especially for this tour!

Ok! I wrote something on what the Goblin Circus means to me, and how it came into being, over on the Goblin Circus site here!

Now, for my nominees, these are the rules for this game…

1. Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
2. Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post.
3. Answer 4 questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
4. Write a one-time article which is to be posted on a Monday (the date supplied by your nominator). This article can be in the same post in which you answered the 4 questions. The article can be anything of your choosing.

Discover your Faery Magic – Upcoming Book!

Exciting news!

This month I signed a book contract with Moon Books, an imprint of John Hunt publishing, for a book of Faery magic which encapsulates my philosophy of Faery.

It is based on my earlier work The Faery Heart but much expanded, revised and improved. For anyone who feels that they are a little ‘other’, a little ‘fey’… this books explores the nature and philosophy of faery and how you can develop your own faery magic.

As a result, The Faery Heart will soon be completely unavailable… Which is a farewell to that chapter of my life and hello to new, published author status! The first book in a long line I hope… I already have designs for a non-fiction sequel, and several novels in mind. One step at a time though, right? Faery Magic and finishing my stint in academia first.

Time to celebrate with a chocolate cake, lots of custard and a manic happy dance!!!

In the meantime, alongside growing the Goblin Circus, which is the manifestation of my philosophy in creative form, I’m developing a series of mini audios for you called… “Thoughts from the Fey” 😉 Watch this space for more.

Manifest Your Dreams

Exhibition at the Mulberry BushLast month I facilitated at a retreat in Spain and had my first solo art exhibition… where I sold a painting to someone whose dream it was.

Next month I travel to Budapest to present an aesthetics paper at a week-long philosophy conference, using the funds from the sale of said painting.

Last year I had an essay on Rhiannon published in an anthology, I’ve got short pieces coming out in three books this year and then, in December, Girls and Philosophy comes out – with one of the chapters written by me.

My dreams have always included travelling, teaching, books and art… looks like the magic wand waving has paid off!

Over the last few years, I’ve manifested these dreams for myself (with the support of my fiance and friends). It hasn’t been complicated, but it has been hard work. Here’s my map to success:

1. Decide what you actually want.

Not what you think you might like, but what you actually, really and truly want. Visualise it, feel it in your body, imagine you are living that dream. How does it feel? If it feels right, even if it is scary, then make the choice now that this is what you want. I wasn’t clear on how exactly it was going to look when I saw myself standing, talking to a large room of people on a subject I’m passionate about, on an adventure across the world… but I knew that was what I wanted to happen. So Hungary happens next month.

2. Commit to it.

Fully commit to it. Even if you don’t know the bigger picture. Even if you don’t know the how. Even if you don’t know anything other than this is what your heart desires. Commit to it totally.

3. Step forward.

Open yourself to opportunities. Apply for opportunities that look good. Sign up to mailing lists on subjects related to your desire. When you see an opportunity to manifest your dream; take it. Say yes. Ask for the place on that course, the time-slot on the schedule, the work-placement in your field, the lift to a faraway place. Send off the application to speak at a foreign philosophical society’s conference…

4. Follow up that lead!

Once the door opens and you step through it, follow that white rabbit all the way to the other side of wonderland. Follow up that email, complete the application, write that rough draft and hit ‘SUBMIT’. Then when they say ‘Yes, we want you’, confirm that you’ll be going!

5. Trust the Universe.

Trust it. Don’t dig up the seeds you’ve planted to see if they are growing yet. Follow up on leads, definitely, but don’t poke them till they die. Don’t worry about the How-exactly it will all work out. Let the solution come to you. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t balance your books and explore the possibilities, definitely do that. This may be precisely where the Universe has hidden your key.) Maybe that exhibition that got delayed by two months will be perfectly placed to unexpectedly cover the costs involved…

6. Follow it through to the end.

There’s no point writing half a book if you want to be a novelist. You’re not a world-wide traveller if you hang up your hat after the first trip out. And you probably shouldn’t call yourself a professional artist if no-one ever sees your work. BUT if you finish the manuscript  and get it out there – you’re an author. If you wrangle one trip a year and really explore the places you get to, you’re living the dream. If you get your paintings in a local cafe, you’ve succeeded in gifting the world with more beauty. Don’t give up until you’ve finished it. You deserve more than that! Book your flights and get on the plane, let it take you to your dreams. And while you’re on the way… have a dream about what the next step you truly desire might be…

When I get back, I think I’m gonna get stuck into painting for the Healing hearts Oracle (and my next exhibition.)

***

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AND if you really want to learn more about manifesting your dream life, using the Elements of Magic, the class is open for registration right now!

Iron Age Storytelling

I followed the white rabbit of inspiration down a rabbit hole of possibility… in the Uni café this spring I saw a friend who tells stories at an Iron Age settlement and the rabbit waved at me calling:

“Over here! Over here! Go on, you could try this!”

It was a crazy idea. Loopy. Daft. But it was also GENIUS.

“Ummm,” I started, “Do you think I could come and tells stories with you as your apprentice?”

“Sure.” He says. And the venue agreed.

Iron Age Storytelling
In full Iron Age gear!

I joined a local storytelling group. I got the costume. I brushed up on my Welsh mythology. And I was terrified. And excited!

The end of the summer rolls round and I’ve been and been invited back, multiple times. Two weeks ago I was gifted a Lyre Harp, so she joined me and enchanted our audience even more than I did… Music is so healing! Today I even got paid for it!

I love performing, I love making things (like costume!) I love mythology, I love storytelling even more than I thought I would. That loopy-idea-bunny has gotten me firmly on the pathway to performing professionally in only a few months… I’m very, very glad I said yes.

So, what loopy idea-bunny is beckoning you to follow down the rabbit hole towards your dreams? What intuition is waiting for you to say yes?

(PS: My stage name? Ceinwen… which means White Hare!)