Thursday, September 8, 2011

An update: the Esoteric Book Conference and my current writing

This weekend I'll be at the Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle.

I'm not presenting anything at this conference, but I'll be seeing many of my friends and acquaintances, both local and from further afield. My publisher will be there, as will Hex Magazine, which is reprinting my Amanita muscaria article from "Shaman's Drum" in its new issue, #9.

I've been hard at work writing this past year or so. A number of projects have been finished and turned in, including my piece on geilta and PTSD, which will be published in an academic anthology from Palgrave Macmillan late this year. My essay, "Since Feathers Have Grown on My Body: Madness, Art, and Healing in Celtic Reconstructionist Spirituality," will be published as chapter three of Disability and Religious Diversity: Cross-Cultural Narratives and Inter-Religious Perspectives, edited by Michael Stoltzfus and Darla Schumm.

My first piece of fiction, "Birth," is the opening essay in The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth from Bibliotheca Alexandrina. I was delighted to be included in this volume, which was released late last month.

My book A Circle of Stones: Journeys and Meditations for Modern Celts is going back into print from Immanion/Megalithica, the kind folks who printed my ogam book. It should be available sometime next year. I'm negotiating to have sound files available so that people will be able to hear the pronunciations of the Irish and Gaelic prayers involved.

I'm currently finalizing my finished draft of "Queering the Flame: Brigit, Flamekeeping, and Gender in the Celtic Reconstructionist Pagan Community" for an upcoming Immanion/Megalithica anthology on queer magic. I'm very excited by the work I've done on this piece and hope that it will receive some attention. This is not the only Brigid themed work I'm engaged in at the moment; an essay I'm working on for Scarlet Imprint's next anthology on sacred poetry, Mandragora, deals with Brigid as a totemic figure for sacred poets in filidecht, and themes of visionary poetry and burial/incubation/enclosure as initiatory. It's a lot of interesting material.

I'm also at work on an article for a new esoteric magazine, "Phosphorus", dealing with issues of racism, homophobia, and misogyny in certain segments of the reconstructionist movements, focusing primarily on CR's response to Steve Akins, his forgeries/plagiarisms, and his Stormfront connections. Both the Mandragora essay and the "Phosphorus" piece are due in by Samhain. Thankfully, they don't have to be very long. I'm currently at work on the local group's Samhain ritual at the moment, as well.

Once I've got those together and dealt with my notes for next year's PantheaCon, I'll be settling in to work on my book on Brigid and flamekeeping. I believe that I've mentioned this project here before: it will be based on my own flamekeeping practice, and on the liturgy of the CR flamekeeping group, Brigid's Irregulars. Much of the work I'm doing with all of this poetic and Brigid material will be tapped into for my trip to Ireland with the Sisterhood of Avalon next year. We'll be doing a pilgrimage to a number of Brigid sites, though details are still being worked out.

I should note that my friend Finnchuilll, of Finnchuill's Mast, is putting in a joint proposal to PantheaCon involving the two of us discussing visionary poetry and doing some work with writing and visionary exercises for poets and writers interested in both the Gaelic tradition of filidecht and the connections of writing and mysticism generally. I'm very excited about this potential session and hope that we'll be able to do this for the con.

I can't exactly give excuses for my spotty posting here, but I can say that I've been exceptionally busy this past year, and I hope that the results will be exciting for more than just me!

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