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Ask-A-Priestess

Ask-A-Priestess: Magic Answers and Spells From a Real Witch by Lady Passion of Coven Oldenwilde

Ask-A-Priestess: Magic Answers & Spells From a Real Witch

5 stars
Dixie Deerman (Lady Passion) (Smashwords e-book, 2010)

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Wish you had a wise woman on-call for spells, spirituality & solutions to stresses? Lady Passion answers magic questions from folks worldwide — empowering all to work Witchcraft to help themselves and the planet thrive. From jobs to Jesus, fairies to flying ointments, and pets to persecution, no topic is taboo for this R.N. Witch counselor!

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Witchcraft Basics

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Aradia Gospel of the Witches

Aradia: or, Gospel of the Witches

5 stars
Charles Godfrey Leland (1890, repr. Lost Library)

Review:

Authentic 19th-century Stregheria (Italian Witchcraft) liturgy, mythos, spells, and traditions descended from a medieval-era, roaming female Witch named Aradia, who taught the oppressed how to use magic to protect themselves from their rich overlords. Leland, a British folklore researcher, acquired the information in this book from a Strega known as Maddalena. In the 20th century, Doreen Valiente adapted and popularized the “Charge of the Goddess” from this book.

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Witchcraft Basics

Witchcraft: The Old Religion

Witchcraft The Old Religion

5 stars
Leo Martello (Citadel Press, 1973)

Review:

Magic that rings true, rare interviews with seminal Gardnerian figures, and a fascinating 1970s-era view of the challenges that Wicca’s burgeoning popularity posed the Craft community; written by a Strega practitioner and ground-breaking activist for Pagan and gay rights.

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Witchcraft Basics

An ABC of Witchcraft

ABC of Witchcraft

4 stars
Doreen Valiente (Phoenix Publishing, 1973)

Review:

Alphabetized information about Craft beliefs, traditions, lore, and practices; written by a witness to the modern rise of Witchcraft.

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Witchcraft Basics

Goodly Spellbook, The

The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems

5 stars
Lady Passion (Dixie Deerman) & *Diuvei (Steven Rasmussen) (Sterling Publishing, 2nd edition, 2014)

Amazon Smile: Choose Coven Oldenwilde

Review:

Illustrated, definitive, fascinating guide to Witchcraft that explains how everyone can use common ingredients to work effective magic to help themselves, others, and the planet; written by trained, experienced Gardnerians.

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Witchcraft Basics

Amazon Smile: Choose Coven Oldenwilde

Drawing Down the Moon

Review:

Craft history, information about diverse magical practitioners, groups, and Covens, and resources; written by a traditionally trained Gardnerian Witch; the author included information about Coven Oldenwilde in this 20th-anniversary update of her 1986 original edition.

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Witchcraft Basics

New Edition of The Goodly Spellbook

A decade after the debut of The Goodly Spellbook, magic is more needful than ever as pollution and technology alienate us from nature, robots render our jobs obsolete, and relentless corruption, inequality, intolerance, and violence make us feel like vulnerable prey.

Spellcraft is the remedy for our hardscrabble lives. Its timeless power helps us oppose oppression and enables us to thrive by giving us health, wealth, peace, strength, and joy.

Did you know:
  • that the yin-yang symbol decorated ancient Roman shields?
  • that the exclamation “Holy Moly!” praises a magical herb?
  • that a Russian spell in a Herzog movie protects travelers?
  • that eating certain seeds can banish an incubus or succubus?
  • that striking a flamingo pose can stop an attacker cold?
Want to learn magic such as:
  • how to get fast cash by growing a green crystal garden?
  • how to influence anyone by plaiting string?
  • how to compel a Goddess to get you child support?
  • how to conjure a personal helper spirit?
  • how to break any addiction or compulsion?
  • how to foretell the future by tossing dried beans?

“The Goodly”, as fans affectionately call it, has enjoyed international acclaim. A Book-of-the-Month Club selection, it has been reprinted multiple times in hardcover and paperback, translated into Italian, and published as a Barnes & Noble Nook eBook.

In an era when printing tangible books has become a rarity, we feel privileged that Sterling considers us “evergreen bestsellers” and encouraged us to add new material to our classic spellbook. We hope that you’ll appreciate our care in revealing relevant, traditionally based spells helpful to your daily life and ongoing spiritual growth.

Sporting a fresh cover, intriguing new illustrations, and an impressive 520+ pages, The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells For Modern Problems explains magic’s fascinating history, comprehensive Witch skills, and hundreds of workings to enable your success, health, wealth, peace, strength, and joy.

So thrill to the new inclusions in our 10th anniversary 2nd edition, which includes a bibliography of herbal resources, an expanded index for quick reference, and access to private online courses that can lead to Initiation or even launching a home-based magical counseling practice! thrill to the new inclusions in this 10th-anniversary edition of “The Goodly” as fans affectionately call it, such as more easy, effective spells, fascinating illustrations, a bibliography of herbal resources, and an expanded index for quick reference. Further, it provides access to private online courses that can lead to Initiation or launching a magical counseling practice at home.

The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems

The Goodly Spellbook 1st-edition cover (2005-2014)

The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems eBook for Nook app or devices

The Goodly Spellbook eBook for Nook app or devices

Refer to the book during ritual; pen notes in its margins; color-code or tab its sections; dog-ear important pages; or meet others of like mind by forming a study group using TGS as its curriculum.

Authors Lady Passion and *Diuvei of Coven Oldenwilde in Asheville, NC are fan-friendly and encourage readers to email testimonials about how the book enables them. The High Priestess and High Priest will be doing book-signing events at area venues.

The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells For Modern Problems (2nd Edition) by Lady Passion and *Diuvei (Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen) Publisher: Sterling Publications, Inc., New York, NY Paperback, list price: $14.95 2nd edition ISBN: 978-1-4549-1392-4 Release Date: Sept. 2, 2014

Celebrity Praise of The Goodly Spellbook:

“The Goodly Spellbook is a well-written, beautifully presented collection of old and new magic, utilizing time-tested spells of all kinds. The authors have accumulated a wonderful and useful assemblage with everything needed for magical success. As is stated in the Introduction, ‘This book does more than merely reproduce recipes . . .’ Indeed it does! It gives the background to spellwork; it details such tools as magical writing, music, chant, dance and song; and it even speaks of the importance of ethics in magic and spellcraft. This is a worthwhile book for every Witch, magician, and sorcerer’s apprentice.”

— Raymond Buckland (Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft, The Witch Book)

“Offering a wide variety of enchanting spells complete with origins and magical theory, The Goodly Spellbook is an impressive, comprehensive work that is surely destined to become a classic. As an occultist and long-time priestess of the Old Religion, I strongly recommend this fine volume to all magical practitioners and anyone interested in the Witches’ craft.”

— Gerina Dunwich (Wicca Craft, Dunwich’s Guide to Gemstone Sorcery)

“The Goodly Spellbook is a delightful and refreshing blend of sound practical advice coupled with traditional folk magic practices. Every magical library should contain a copy of this book, which preserves ancient tradition while making it pertinent to modern times.”

— Raven Grimassi (Italian Witchcraft, The Wiccan Mysteries)

“The Goodly Spellbook powerfully expresses the beauty, joy and potency of spellcraft. Lady Passion and *Diuvei have lovingly crafted an elegant, eclectic and wide-ranging collection of traditional and modern spells. With information for novice and adept alike, The Goodly Spellbook is a valuable addition to any magical library.”

— Judika Illes (The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Emergency Magic!)

Publisher’s Description of The Goodly Spellbook:

This is not your average mystical tome — but a special spellbook by two practicing Witches.

Here is the thoroughly comprehensive, absolutely definitive guide to spells — the basic handbook for anyone looking to practice some hands-on magic. Delightfully well written and practical, filled with atmospheric illustrations and diagrams throughout, it encompasses all the principles and philosophy of spell casting, and gives recipes for charms to solve common contemporary problems. This offers what most witchcraft and Wicca books don’t: an in-depth understanding of what’s behind the spells and why they work. It’s amazing how much magic is in here: Geomancy, Elemental Scrying, Tree Divination, Mystic Dance and Drumming, Kitchen Witchery, and lots more. From healing, protection, and attraction spells to spells for discernment, repulsion, and concealing, not a topic goes uncovered.

Lady Passion (Dixie Deerman)

has been a public Witch for almost forty years, and a registered nurse for decades. The Lady is an eco-activist, occult author for numerous magazines, and advocate for the religious rights of Pagans persecuted in prisons and institutions throughout the U.S.

Lady Passion is a blind seer whose magical specialties include fortune-telling, making potent herbal medicines, and regressing people to experience their past lives. Folk worldwide seek her confidential clergy counsel.

*Diuvei (Steven Rasmussen)

first discovered magic three decades ago while studying music at Princeton University, and applies it as an astrologer, investigative journalist, historic preservationist, and web designer.

*Diuvei’s Craft name is pronounced DYOO-vay, and means “Sky God” in ancient Oscan, which was spoken by the last Italian tribes to retain their independence from Rome.

Lady Passion & *Diuvei

are Third Degree Gardnerians of the California Line and the High Priestess and High Priest of Coven Oldenwilde, a 501(c)(3) Wiccan religious nonprofit in Asheville, North Carolina. For over twenty years they have taught Italian Strega and Gardnerian Witchcraft in a three-story Covenstead in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Successful spiritual activists, they officiate legal marriages, conduct public Sabbats, lecture at universities and gatherings, and write popular online correspondence courses on magic.

Email them via their websites: oldenwilde.org, wiccans.org, artmagicalacademy.org, and oldenworks.org.

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Bele Chere 2013: Going Out With Style

Coven Oldenwilde volunteers in 'Witches of Coven Oldenwilde' t-shirts.

Coven Oldenwilde’s volunteer band of wristbanders.

For the third year in a row, Coven Oldenwilde manned a “beer bracelet” booth during Asheville’s annual street fair held on the last weekend in July.
Booth table with assorted appurtenances and signs

Booth table on Friday, July 26, 2013. (Click photo to view fullsize in new window.)

This year was heartrending since weeks before, City Council voted to discontinue the event after this, its last hurrah. Public input was not solicited prior to the surprise move. We were stunned that our city renowned for cultivating tourism would dispense with the well-known event it had publicized nationally for decades. Further, forty local non-profits have benefitted from receiving a percentage of the proceeds they raise on behalf of the city by working the event. Worse still, we soon learned that two other festivals — LAFF and Goombay — are also cancelled this year.
Ribbons, divination kits, cards, signs on a table

Ribbons, divination kits, cards, signs ….

Decorated card, 'Magical Bookmarks', atop silver ribbons in basket

Samhain 2012’s handfasting ribbons became Bele Chere 2013’s magical bookmarks!

Nonetheless, Coven Oldenwilde decided to go out with a bang. In addition to selling alcohol bracelets, we planned to elicit donations in exchange for handmade, organic divination kits, copies of The Goodly Spellbook, Coven T-shirts, and embossed Handfasting ribbons from Samhain 18 re-purposed as magical bookmarks.
Cauldron with 'TIPS' sign, small brass bell, lid

Our “tips cauldron” with a bell hung on its bail and a lid in case of rain.

While prep was duly extensive, it was well worth the effort because we made mad “tips” this year — often a fiver or sawbuck put in our cauldron in appreciation of our being public Witches!
Booth table with assorted appurtenances

Booth table on Saturday.

View of booth with pavilion above table, two water barrels on either side anchoring guy ropes

Coven Oldenwilde’s booth open for business.

As always, we received a kind reception from fellow citizens who sought out our booth and thanked us for saving local old magnolia trees from a developer’s ax; entertaining them with our annual public Samhain rituals; and for our various spiritual activism exploits. Among the many vignettes we’ll never forget:
  • Two precious wee sisters who fell in love with Lady Passion’s div kits. The stayed up all night planning to return and buy some with their allowance. They convinced their Pagan parents to bring them back to our booth the next day.
    Divination kits in baskets with sign

    Divination kits: 3 magic beans answer questions. Left: $10 pouches; right: $5 clear packs. (Click photo to view the two kits close up.)

    They beamed so proudly when picking out the kit that appealed to each of them. What a sterling example of parental support, we thought!
  • A man buying a bracelet from us remarked that we had a friend in common: renowned Gardnerian elder and author Raymond Buckland. (Indeed, Raymond gave our The Goodly Spellbook a glowing review and gave us insider info on where to schedule signing events during our 2006 book tour throughout England.) *Diuvei gave the man two of our business cards — the back of which sports the magical alphabet Passing the River which Raymond publicized in his famous “Blue Book.”
    Coven Oldenwilde business card, with Magical Alphabets cheat sheet on back.

    Coven Oldenwilde business card, with Magical Alphabets cheat sheet on back. (Click image to view in print resolution.)

    A few days later, Lady Passion got a sweet email from Raymond: The card had quickly made its way to him, and he appreciated our work. Wow!
  • A former male student whom we’d trained from childhood came up repeatedly to relate how profoundly we’d affected his life. He’d named his firstborn girl-child Apassionata in honor of Lady Passion, and was writing a book of poetry based on magical techniques we’d taught him!
  • Seeing the courageous strength displayed by two Friends of Oldenwilde when countering evangelical fundamentalists damning families attending the event.

    *Diuvei captured on video one of Bele Chere’s bullhorn-bullying street preachers being overwhelmed by a diverse crowd protesting fundamentalist religious intolerance, including Latisha and Abramsbane.

    Protest sign

    Our friend “Abramsbane” protested the street preachers with a sign pointing out the “iron chariot” Bible contradiction in Judges 1:19. (Click photo to view sign larger in new window.)

    Latisha in Coven Oldenwilde t-shirt

    Latisha describing her experience protesting the street preachers (as seen in the YouTube video).

    Both exercised the Power to Be Silent to strong effect in their own separate ways: One man stood quietly holding a thought-provoking sign in front of a succession of men spewing ear-splitting screeds through a bull-horn, while the other (booth volunteer Latisha) used her break to stand beside one — the brazen Coven T-shirt she wore showing dignified resolve in opposition to the hysterical zealot. Interestingly, someone must have heard the suggestion we published after last year’s Bele Chere to counter the street preachers’ sonic disruptions with music. This year, festival organizers set up a karaoke stage in the central Vance Monument area. Sure enough, that area was freed from the amplified ranters for the first time in years. The only hate-speech zone festivalgoers had to endure was in Pritchard Park, where hundreds peacefully but powerfully responded by exercising their own First Amendment right to protest against the fundamentalists’ hypocrisy, intolerance … and their inhumane lack of humor :-). (Rumor had it shortly before the wild scene we captured on this video that one of the worst preachers gave up after catching a pie in the face.)
  • Lady Passion in front of view into beverage booth

    Helping out at Bele Chere will be a sorely missed source of survival funding for dozens of the Asheville area’s hard-working non-profits, which perform irreplaceable social and charitable services but receive few or no government or private grants in today’s increasingly stingy financial environment.

  • Hearing pervasive poignant sadness regarding the unceremonious discarding of Bele Chere by the powers that be. Many related memories of their decades of observing the yearly festival, expressing in blue streak fashion their certainty that the decision would inevitably wreak financial ruin on the city. Grumbles about governmental disregard for the people’s pleasure abounded.
Coven Oldenwilde fulfilled our obligation in high Witch style, but it’s with heavy hearts that we bid Bele Chere adieu. We are proud, though, that for the past three years we represented Paganism with panache.

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Bele Chere 2012: The Rule of Two

Slideshow of Coven Oldenwilde’s wristband booth and volunteers at Bele Chere 2012.

First time’s beginners’ luck; second time’s a challenge. That’s the “Rule of Two” we wrote about in The Goodly Spellbook, and our second year running a nonprofit wristband booth at Bele Chere, the Southeast’s largest street festival, bore it out on Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28, 2012. We had a smaller crew handling a bigger crowd. Gangs of screaming street preachers took over downtown Asheville’s Pritchard Park, just around the corner from us (see below the letters we wrote to local media about how we successfully prevent such ilk from disrupting our public Samhain rituals). Festival organizers stocked too few wristbands, and when we sold out right at the peak of the party on the second evening, *Diuvei had to race like an artful dodger through the crowded streets to get more, while Lady Passion had to handle tactfully a pair of drunk evangelicals who took that opportunity to badger her with “questions”.
Coven Oldenwilde volunteers hard at work banding Bele Chere festivalgoers.

Coven Oldenwilde volunteers hard at work banding Bele Chere festivalgoers. (Photo by Bob.)

But we followed our own advice about the Rule of Two — “no matter what happens, remain precise and persistent throughout” — and all of us worked hard and well, keeping our spirits high by experiencing as well as encouraging the joy, freedom, and beauty people who come from every continent radiate when they visit our mountain cultural oasis here. As the first-time volunteers discovered, the exhilaration far outweighs the exhaustion when you’re representing Asheville’s Witches to the world!
Coven Oldenwilde's magical Bele Chere belled cauldron gathered donations, gave blessings.

Magical belled cauldron gathers donations, gives blessings.

Sign: Donate to benefit Coven Oldenwilde. Ring the bell & get a blessing!

Sign: Donate to benefit Coven Oldenwilde. Ring the bell & get a blessing!

Witchcraft sign advertising Samhain 2012: Love is the Law

Witchcraft sign advertising Samhain 2012: Love is the Law

We experimented this year with using a greenery-decorated cauldron to collect tips, topped with a little bell people could ring for a blessing. It worked very well, and many people told us they enjoyed hearing the bell’s clear tone float over the crowd noise every time someone got a blessing.
Lady Passion wearing her new terrarium talisman atop her Witches of Coven Oldenwilde T-shirt.

Lady Passion wearing her new terrarium talisman atop her Witches of Coven Oldenwilde T-shirt.

Closer view of terrarium talisman.

Closer view of terrarium talisman.

Local residents tend to avoid Bele Chere — they’re not big fans of Budweiser, for one thing, which still holds a controversial near-monopoly on the festival’s beer and ale sales in a city that’s become world-famous for its local breweries — but many went out of their way to find us and thank us for saving the magnolia trees and, in the doing, changing Asheville for the better (to sum up: more preservation, less corruption!). An artist, Tristan Hertz, who makes terrariums — living landscapes in glass containers — expressed his gratitude to Lady Passion by giving her the beautiful little pendant terrarium pictured here. Other folks from all over came by to tell us how much they were learning from The Goodly Spellbook, show off their pentagrams (one man had 11 pentagram tattoos and counting!), pick up Lady Passion’s card in case they need magical or psychic help, or drop in a donation. One well-dressed man who came by to do so related to us that he was a elder in a conservative church whose pastor’s son was a big fan of the Harry Potter books. One Sunday the pastor was delivering a fiery sermon on the life to come. At its climax, he demanded of all assembled, “And when you get to heaven, who do you think you’ll see?” His son piped up loudly: “Witches!”, breaking the congregation up in laughter. As the man dropped in his donation, he looked toward the sky and smilingly prayed, “Jesus forgive me!”
Bob and cauldron after a busy Saturday evening for both.

Bob and cauldron after a busy Saturday evening for both.

Last donation being left in cauldron to charge it.

Last donation being left in cauldron to charge it.

When our last shift ended Saturday night and we’d folded up our starry tablecloth, rolled up our fringed banner, and packed away everything but the heavy iron cauldron, one more person stopped by to drop a donation in it. (We’re keeping it in there for luck.) Then, we heard Dixieland music coming from the middle of a huge, dancing crowd writhing up the street past us from the stage, as Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band closed the show by marching off the stage and away through the Bele Chere crowd. At times we swore we’d never do this again … but if we can get a larger crew of volunteers in 2013, we probably will. After all, if you survive the Rule of Two: “Third time’s the charm!” Letters to the Editor: How to Beat Street Preachers To Mountain Xpress: Street preachers have been invading Bele Chere like poison ivy in a park. This year they spread their amplified hate beyond Vance Monument and took over Pritchard Park. Just around the corner by the Battery Park Stage, however, we wicked Witches of Coven Oldenwilde — whom many might assume to be a natural target for puritanical ranters — actually welcomed thousands of festivalgoers at our non-profit wristband booth unmolested. Here’s why, based on our two decades of experience in preventing the disruption of our annual public Samhain ritual by brigades of anger-addicted Bible thumpers bused in from out of town: The preachers’ sole weapon is sound — a loud megaphone drone of accusatory spew that intentionally ruins the spirit of the festival. Their tactic only works in a relative sonic vacuum — easily neutralized if the local sound-scape is filled with amplified live or recorded music, as by a stage or concerted drumming, such as a drum circle. Asheville can’t afford to lose the valuable publicity boost the Southeast’s largest street festival gives it each year. Here are two suggestions for keeping future Bele Cheres from being expensively buzz-killed by evangelical agitators: A) Asheville’s drum-circle regulars could organize and raise funds from affected merchants to pay a rotating crew of skilled drummers to keep a danceable beat going at Vance Monument and Pritchard Park throughout the festival; or, B) pre-recorded music (preferably by local bands and DJs) could be played continuously there, amplified loud enough to defeat megaphones but not interfere with the live bands nearby. # # # To Asheville Citizen-Times: Hate-spewing street preachers have been invading Bele Chere like a Christian Taliban — this year commandeering not only Vance Monument but also Pritchard Park. Just around the corner by Battery Park Stage, however, we wicked Witches of Coven Oldenwilde peacefully welcomed thousands of festivalgoers at our non-profit wristband booth without interference from the puritanical ranters. After two decades of experience in preventing the disruption of our annual public Samhain ritual by bused-in brigades of Bible thumpers, we know that their only weapon for disturbing the peace is sound. Their droning condemnations are easily neutralized if the local sound-scape is kept filled with amplified live or recorded music, such as by a stage or concerted drumming. We offer two suggestions for keeping evangelical buzz-killers from turning Bele Chere into a fest to avoid: A) Merchants adversely affected by the miasma of moralizing could hire rotating crews of recruits from Asheville’s drum circles to play an ongoing dance beat at Vance Monument and Pritchard Park; or, B) pre-recorded music (preferably by local bands and DJs) could be piped in at a volume that drowns out the megaphones of doom without interfering with the live bands on nearby stages. # # # Credited photos by Jack Hedden, Backspace Photography, backspacephotography-at-gmail-dot-com. All others by *Diuvei unless noted.

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