Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Deborah Blake, author of Circle, Coven & Grove; Everyday Witch A to Z; Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook; The Goddess Is in the Details; and the new Witchcraft On a Shoestring.
Every book has its own origins. I wrote my first one—Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice—because I wanted an easy guide for my first year leading a coven, complete with a year of rituals, and couldn’t find one. So I wrote it myself. I wrote my third book—The Goddess is in the Details—because people kept telling me that they wanted to integrate their spiritual lives as Pagans with their everyday world, but didn’t know how.
My newest book, Witchcraft on a Shoestring, has a different story behind it, though. In fact, it wasn’t my idea at all, and I was initially somewhat resistant to writing it!
When I’d finished book number four, The Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook, I didn’t have anything in particular in mind for what I’d write next. I had set myself the goal of writing five books in five years, so I knew I wanted to do at least one more, but the few ideas I’d suggested to my editor, the fabulous Elysia Gallo, met with, shall we say, less than ecstatic enthusiasm. (I believe there was yawning.) So when my pal Bryanna, a member of the first coven I belonged to, wandered by my shop one day, I asked her the following question: “If I were going to write a book on any topic you wanted, what would it be?”
She said without hesitation, “Witchcraft on a shoestring.” She went on to explain that she found the practice of Witchcraft to be frustratingly expensive, and wished she could find way to do it that cost less.
Huh, I thought. Interesting idea, I suppose. And then I went on with whatever I was doing, and filed the comment away in the back of my head.
A couple of days later, I was on the phone with my father (not a Pagan), and we were discussing the books I’d written already. And he said, “You know, you should write a book about how to practice Witchcraft cheaply; something like ‘Witchcraft on a shoestring.’ With the current economy, people are looking for ways to save money while still doing the things that are important to them.”
Huh, I said. Interesting idea. And now it’s come up twice, from two completely different sources. Maybe there’s something there. So I called Elysia and mentioned it to her, and she loved it. No yawning now! There was only one problem…I wasn’t sure I was the right person to write this particular book. You see, I’d never particularly felt like it cost too much money to have my practice. I tend to be frugal, and make a lot of my own supplies, and the same was true of all the women in my coven, Blue Moon Circle.
But Elysia made a good point; she said that meant I was EXACTLY the right person to write this book. My entire practice was based on making something from nothing, or doing things more cheaply, or figuring out ways to celebrate my Pagan ideals without spending more money than I could afford. So I called the Blue Mooners and asked everyone for their favorite inexpensive feast recipes (most of which we’ve eaten at one of our own feasts), looked over all the Craft crafts on-the-cheap that we’ve done over the years, and set to work.
Even more importantly, I thought about all the ways I celebrate being a Witch without spending a penny, and which parts of a Pagan practice didn’t require “things” at all. Because when you come right down to it, you don’t need to buy anything to be a Witch—you just need to believe. And it is that premise, really, that is the origin of Witchcraft on a Shoestring.
Our thanks to Deborah Blake for her guest post! For more from Deborah, visit her author profile page to view all of her books and articles.