Update – Pestlework

WOO! Back to the grind!

(See what I did there? Ha, witch puns…)

I’m finally back to writing, and I’m spending today working on the manuscript. I’ve got a handful of oil formulae to concoct, several powder descriptions and suggested uses to write, and big swaths of the introduction to finish. It sounds like a lot, but really, it’s very manageable. The manuscript is probably about 85% finished at this point. Plus, my girl Lauren Goodnight ( @thelulusoldier​ ) is writing the foreword, and I’ve already got the cover art finished.

My goal is to have the manuscript completely finished and ready for editing by the end of July, so I can do a few weekends’ worth of editing and hopefully have everything ready to go in short order. The tentative release date right now is August 16th, but don’t hold me to that just yet.

Further updates as events warrant! 🙂

Update – Pestlework

Well, after a week-long break to adjust to my new day job, I’m back to work on the book!

Like I’ve said before, the book will include all of my recipes from The Witches’ Cupboard and from Grovedaughter Witchery. I’ve also created several dozen additional recipes to fill out the mix and make the new book worth purchasing. The total is up over 200, which was my goal, and the manuscript currently sits at a comfortable 150 pages. The price of the published book is tentatively set at $15.95 USD, and I am on track to have it published by the end of August, if all goes well.

At this point, I’ve finished with the creating and testing phases, and I’m working on descriptions and suggested uses for the various powders. I’ve finished a good deal of them, the two most recent ones being Rose Salt and Spirit Salt just today.

I’m hoping to spend this coming weekend just sitting and writing all day, if I can. It’s difficult to retain spoons for writing when my work day requires so much cognitive heavy lifting. Still, it’s a big relief to have the regular income again.

Further updates as events warrant! 🙂

Witchy Things: Battling The Slump

The Slump is an irritating phenomenon that affects many practitioners. You wake up one day and your interest and enthusiasm for witchcraft is just…gone. No idea where it went, or why it went, all you know is that your books and crystals and herbs just don’t hold the same appeal that they used to.

I hear about this a lot. More than you’d expect, really. I ran into a similar problem five or six years into my own practice, and I’ve gotten similar messages from other witches at around the same general period in their own journeys. (I think The Fifth-Year Slump might be a thing, but really it can happen anytime.)

We all get to a point where we feel like we’ve stalled somehow. We’ve learnt the basics, we’ve run out of Witchcraft 101 books to read, we’re looking for the next step and not finding it, we haven’t had a reason to cast a spell in a while…it could be any number of things. And it’s very frustrating. Makes a witch want to hang up their boots.

For those of us with mentors or a local witchy community to offer guidance, it’s a little easier. There are extra resources and knowledgeable people to turn to, and that can help buoy things along until the slump passes.

For solitary practitioners, even with an online support system, we can be left feeling like, “Well….now what?”

What I’ve found to be helpful is getting back to my roots. By this I don’t necessarily mean starting over, but instead, going back to the things that made me want to be a witch in the first place, the things that made me turn my face to the autumn wind and wonder if I could fly.

Here’s a short list of suggestions to help you work through your slump:

Try something new. If your current line of study isn’t doing anything for you, branch out! Curious about the history of magical practices? Always wanted to try divination? Go for it! There are lots of places like Sacred Texts and Project Gutenberg were you can read books for free. See if something new grabs your interest. Nothing revitalizes a practice like having something new to explore.

Play in the dirt. For witches whose practice revolves around plants, getting into the garden and working the soil can make a world of difference. Go out and pull weeds for a bit, or plant something new, or just sit and soak up the sun with your plants. Pick up a potted plant or some kitchen herbs that are easy to grow. Tend them and harvest them. Seeing little bundles of drying herbs and flowers hanging about always makes me feel better.

Get out of the house (if you can). Stir things up with a little fresh air and a mini road trip. Go visit a local park. Take a stroll through the woods. Visit a sacred site. Is there a particular spot within easy travel distance that makes you feel witchy and powerful? Go pay it a visit and see how you feel.

Attend a gathering. If time and energy and finances allow, see if there’s a pagan (or at least pagan-friendly) festival in your area. The largest concentration of gatherings usually happens in spring and fall, so these might be the best times to go looking. It doesn’t have to be a full-on rite or anything elaborate; it can be as simple as a local street fair. Sometimes just seeing and interacting with other practitioners, even on a momentary basis, can give us a helpful and refreshing boost.

Curl up with an old favorite. This one is going to sound silly to some folks, but I swear to you, this is probably the most effective method on the list. If you’ve hit a slump and nothing else is helping, pull out the books and movies and music that make you feel witchy.

Doesn’t matter what month it is, it’s always a good time for The Worst Witch or Halloweentown. Loved Practical Magic or The Craft? Watch them again. (Don’t be ashamed, I love them too.) Reread that book that made you want to cackle over a cauldron. Harry Potter? The Abhorsen Series? The Enchanted Forest Chronicles? The Discworld Witches? The Black Jewels? Do it. Put on a playlist with a witchy feel while you’re running errands or cleaning or chilling on the computer. Anything that floats your broomstick. There are plenty of them to be found on Spotify.

Whether it was hearing “Seven Wonders” at just the right time, or a poignant remark from Granny Weatherwax that really hit home, or that one episode of AHS: Coven, these things affected you in a profound way for a reason. Revisit them. Say hello. Don’t be surprised if the magic is still there. Because it’s still in you too.

You just need to find it again. 🙂

Magical Powders & Why I Love Them

The nice thing about making magical powders is that once you’ve got a jar of something ready, it’s very easy to toss a pinch or two where it’ll do the most good, even on your low-spoon days.

Case in point – House-cleansing needed on a day when you have no energy to spare for gathering jars and blending herbs? No problem! Toss some dried sage or cedar chips into a burning bowl, light it up, and add a few pinches of Clean House Powder along with your intent. Easy peasy.

Granted, there’s some effort involved in making the powder in the first place, but it’ll save you a lot of time and energy later on.

(Incidentally, this recipe along with dozens of others will be available in my forthcoming book, Pestlework. Look for it this August!)

Book Sales

By the by, if anyone has any pagan festivals coming up, I do offer my books to faire vendors at 60% of MSRP with low-rate shipping anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact me via email at Bree NicGarran@outlook.com. I need to make at least three more direct sales in order to keep the lights on this month.

Thank you for your support!

Updates – May 19, 2017

With The Sisters Grimmoire once more on digital shelves, it’s on to my next big project!

Pestlework, as some of you may have seen, is due out this August to replace The Witches’ Cupboard. (The copyright for that is reverting to co-author Anna effective September 1st.) I’ve already compiled all of my recipes from the Cupboard and from Grovedaughter Witchery, and now I’m in the process of creating a few dozen entirely new recipes to give the book a bit more heft.

The goal right now is 200+ recipes (nearly there) and 150+ pages (sitting around 110 at the moment). I also have to spruce up the instructions for making magical powders and oils, suss out the safety information, and expand the descriptions of some of my older recipes. It’s going fairly well thus far, and I’m on target to meet my expected release date.

My method right now involves flipping through the Heldstab, diGregorio, and Cunningham books on oils and powders and jotting down concept ideas as they come to me, then going back and fleshing out formulas and descriptions later on. This both keeps the creative juices flowing and keeps me from accidentally plagiarizing established works.

As it turns out, a fair amount of pop culture magic is finding its’ way into this piece. To give a prime example, there is a formula that helps the caster achieve their goals by removing the competition. I call it Blue Shell Success Oil. (I can hear you groaning. That’s okay. My husband did too.)

I’ve been at this all afternoon, so I think I’ll take a quick break to grab some food and re-up my drink, then I’ll be back at it until the wee hours.

Thank You, Silver Stars!

Silver Stars has just purchased my books for inclusion in their Fayetteville, NC store!

From the website:

Merry Meet ,
We are a family owned Pagan Shop and have many things to help with your ritual and spiritual needs . We enjoy meeting new people and visiting with old friends . If you just have questions we can help you find the answers.

We have the supplies you need for all your ritual and spell work.
Herbs, Candles, Cauldrons, Spell Kits, Books, Jewelry, Incense, Stones …etc
We also offer Tarot readings and Dream Interpretations every Tuesday thru Sunday.
We look forward to seeing you !
Blessed Be

Please help me say Thank You to the wonderful staff of Silver Stars by giving them your business! 🙂