Archive for the ‘New Projects’ Category

This article is a copyrighted extract from the upcoming book, The Inner Alchemy of Witchcraft by Romany Rivers.

Country Diary : Crows fly through branches of a tree“Air is the invisible Element, all around us and within us, connecting every aspect of the universe. It is the space between the cells of our being, the breath we exchange with others and the words we use to share our ideas. Air is inspiration and communication, thought and dream, education and knowledge. It is the Element of mind – ours and the Divine. […]

The secret of Air is its limitless potential, its ability to free every thought, to carry every idea, to blow away the dust from our eyes and show us every inspiration of magic. Air is naturally without borders or boundaries, moving from me to you, from you to another with ease and freedom. The danger of this freedom is that bad news and harmful ideas will be just as airborne as beneficial ones. We can impact ourselves, our friends, our families and our communities just as quickly with harmful words and thoughts. A mind clouded with hatred is just as capable of harnessing the power of Air as a mind clear of cluttered thoughts. Therefore we must, as magical practitioners, be aware of what we think and say. We must also be aware of the thoughts and words of others that we take on as our internal monologue. […]

Air will feed a fire, or put it out.

The flickering flame within the darkness and the house burning to the ground, both are fed by air. Our intentions and our words are like the oxygen that fans the flames of passion or anger. Yet air also has the power to extinguish fire, and it is this contradiction of abilities that we often overlook. Just as we breathe onto a spark to bring it to life, so we can use our breath to blow out the candle flame. We can fan a little flame until it burns brightly in the darkness, using the power of Air to uplift the spirit, encourage passion and confidence, and to illuminate the dark times. We can feed a small fire, giving it the gust it needs to grow, jump, spread and cause further damage. We can inadvertently breathe new life into a dying fire, whether we mean to or not, or we can consciously choose to extinguish a flame before it rages beyond control. How we choose to use our intention and words during times of heightened emotions will determine whether we encourage the fire to rage, or whether we use our power to cease its path of potential destruction.

Those in a position of authority within the spiritual community, teachers, elders, leaders, or priests, will come across this teaching of air time and time again. With awareness we can clearly see how the power or air impacts the power of fire, how the words of someone perceived to be in a position of authority can fan the flames of passion, cut off the air supply that feeds dangerous fires of anger, breathe life into dying embers of old teachings, or fuels the little flames that light up the night. With power comes responsibility, but the power of air and the responsibility of use is not reserved to the leaders of our communities. The Element of Air resides within and around all of us, and we each have the power to choose how we use it. Be aware of how your words and intentions encourage or extinguish the flames around you. Be aware of what you fuel with your breath of being.”

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Romany Rivers is the author of Poison Pen Letters to Myself, The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations, and The Inner Alchemy of Witchcraft. Community books and Anthologies include Witchcraft Today 60 Years On, Naming The Goddess, Moon Poets and Pagan Planet.

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hearth altarAs part therapy and part devotional writing practice, I often use writing prompts given to me. I don’t know what I will be given, and I don’t know what I will write, I simply put pen to paper and let it form before me. These prompts can be an amazing technique for getting over writers block, or for self analysis and self exploration. I don’t think about the prompt too much, I don’t usually edit what words hit the page, and after the fact I often find myself surprised by what is created within the spilled ink. It is as if the deepest parts of me surface, and the small snippets of subconscious become a focus for conscious meditations. Today I was given the prompt “If I were a house, my walls would be…”

I fully expected that the word ‘walls’ would bring forth ideas of boundaries, defensiveness, perhaps even raise the many challenges I have faced this last year. As always, I surprised myself.

If I were a house, my walls would be cracked and patched with plaster and paint. They would be old and new, rough and smooth. Layered with years of paint in various colours, reflecting the seasons and reasons of my life. Here and there, holes still remain from pictures long since removed. Art peppers the walls in muted, rich and earthy tones; pictures and paintings and fabric hangings. To the stranger, a single glance would reveal a creative and artistic house, beautiful and uplifting. It would take a renovator, someone who understands the nature of broken things, to see the cracks and repairs beneath the surface. Someone who knows how much time and effort goes into gentle repairs and careful redecoration. Someone who knows how to make old, tired and broken things beautiful again with love and belief. My walls show the story of a house made a home with perseverance and pride.”

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Writing prompts are endlessly revealing. Take the time today to put pen to paper and let yourself be surprised.

Blessings, Romany

The Woven Word cover(Reblogged From A Bad Witch’s Blog)

Found a wonderful review of my book The Woven Word on A Bad Witch’s Blog. I am so glad and grateful that people are discovering and connecting with the book, and I am inspired by the positive responses to the rites and ceremonies. I truly hope my book will be of use to others, and I am blessed by every review – thank you!

 

 

 

 

“Book Review: The Woven Word – A Book of Invocations and Inspirations

Over the years I’ve collected quite a few books of pagan rituals that I look at when I’m asked to put together a ceremony. Some are better than others, of course, and these days I’m picky about buying any books to add to my collection. However, a new publication I’m really pleased I’ve got is The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations by Romany Rivers.

Publisher Moon Books describes it as: “A creative compendium of invocations, inspirations and blessings for the novice or adept to design personal, unique and magical rituals.”

The first part of the book offers simple poems, chants and prayers for specific purposes – such as purification, invocation or blessing. They can be easily slotted into rituals or used on their own. Some are relatively traditional, others less so. Take for example this elegant but simple “shower cleansing”:

Wash away the stress and strain
Wash away the hurt and pain
Refresh and cleanse my tired soul
To reconnect, to make me whole

The second part of the book contains complete rituals. As well as ceremonies for the usual seasonal festivals, there are ways to honour rites of passage from baby blessings and handfastings to rituals at death. The latter include last rites when a person is dying and a requiem for someone who has died.

As we are approaching Samhain, and this month on my blog I have been looking at various aspects of death, here is a short quote from The Woven Word’s passing over ritual:

Dearest Beloved, you are not alone
I am here to help guide you home
If your soul is ready now to depart
Then leave without a heavy heart
With forgiveness and without fear
For those you love will hold you dear

I wish I had had those words to say when I was sitting a bedside vigil for my father and then my mother before they died.

Moon Books says about The Woven Word on its website: “This is a pagan tome of poetry and prose designed for rituals, festivals and celebrations. Working with deities, Romany has chronicled invocations and evocations for many Gods and Goddesses, and created clear and crafty quarter calls, circle castings, celebratory prose and meditations. Ritual is broken into its component parts allowing for easy reference and personal adaptation.”

What I would add is that Romany’s words are beautiful, simple and powerful. As I read the book I could not only see myself using its rites without adaptation, I also felt that I wanted to use them. And to be honest that’s rare for me. With most of the other books of rituals I own, I find myself changing the words quite a bit to suit my personal taste or simply using them for inspiration and writing my own invocations or whatever based on them. I know I will be using many of the refrains and rites in The Woven Wordin the years to come.”

Links and previous related posts
The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations
http://www.moon-books.net/

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RRivers logoTeachings of Earth: All things must die; yet death is not the end.

Earth shows us the complex cycles of life and death. All aspects of nature, even those that seem most enduring, will eventually leave their current form. They will die, break down, transform. The more we observe nature, the more that we understand that every death feeds into the cycle of life – that energy itself does not die, merely transform. The horror of the rotting corpse feeds the world and nurtures new life. The leaves fall as they must for the trees to survive the winter, to feed the ground, and to make way for the new blossom of spring. The very planets of our universe are born and will die. There are many little deaths within our own life. Moments when relationships, behaviours, beliefs, knowledge, even things we held as truth must die. As it is natural for humans facing physical mortality, we often resist the death of these aspects and grieve their loss. When we face these inner deaths, especially those of deeply held beliefs, it helps to look to nature and understand that the death we resist may actually nurture new life within us, it may in fact be necessary for us to continue along our cycle of magical, emotional or spiritual development. To grieve is a part of the process and may actually be very enlightening, for grief is the twin of love, pain the twin of pleasure. Understanding why we resist the death of that which no longer serves us, why we grieve it’s loss, why we feel pain to let something go, may actually tell us why we held on to the belief, relationship or behaviour so tightly to begin with. Release what you must, watch the parts of yourself that are unhealthy die a slow death, and do so with grace and understanding. These aspects will transform in time, becoming fertile soil for the new seeds you plant.

 

Romany Rivers (c)2014

This article is a copyrighted extract from my upcoming book: The Inner Alchemy of Witchcraft by Romany Rivers

I am very excited to announce the release date of my next book The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations, coming out in hardcopy and ebook on the 31st of October 2014. That is right folks, a happy Halloween release!

The Woven Word Full Cover

This is a pagan tome of poetry and prose designed for rituals, festivals and celebrations. Working with deities, Romany has chronicled invocations and evocations for many Gods and Goddesses, and created clear and crafty quarter calls, circle castings, celebratory prose and meditations. Ritual is broken into its component parts allowing for easy reference and personal adaptation, and the additional correspondences information benefits the creation of unique rituals and celebrations. Created for use by both solitary practitioners and covens, sample rituals are also provided for seasonal celebrations and life events.
Romany’s personal experiences as a High Priestess give this book an enlightened view of the use of poetry in ritual, whilst her skills in classes, courses and workshops create a solid, practical foundation. Pagans, Priests and Priestesses, initiates new to the Craft, RE teachers and students, and anyone who loves Romany’s poetry will thoroughly enjoy this latest work.

“A fascinating book celebrating and utilising the power of the word both spoken and written with all areas of the Craft, including beautiful prose, blessings, meditations, visualisations and invocations. A great reference for how to use words for the greatest benefit.” – Rachel Patterson, author of Kitchen Witchcraft and Moon Magic (more…)

I am so excited to reveal the cover design of my new ritual book The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations.

A creative compendium of invocations, inspirations and blessings for the novice or adept to design personal, unique and magical rituals.”

An extract from this book recently won the Pagan Writers Community Celtx Competition… meaning you can get a sneak peek right here! The Woven Word is being published by Moon Books and is due for release later this year. Please keep in touch for details of the book release, give aways, signings and workshops!

The Woven Word cover

This publication is a pagan tome of poetry and prose designed for rituals, festivals and celebrations. Working with deities, Romany has chronicled invocations and evocations for many Gods and Goddesses, and created clear and crafty quarter calls, circle castings, celebratory prose and meditations. Ritual is broken into its component parts allowing for easy reference and personal adaptation, and the additional correspondences information benefits the creation of unique rituals and celebrations. The use of language as a sacred act is also explored, highlighting the importance of ritual language as an act of magic in and of itself. Created for use by both solitary practitioners and covens, sample rituals are also provided for seasonal celebrations and life events.

Romany’s personal experiences as a High Priestess give this book an enlightened view of the use of poetry in ritual, whilst her skills in classes, courses and workshops create a solid, practical foundation. Pagans, Priests and Priestesses, initiates new to the Craft, RE teachers and students, and anyone who loves Romany’s poetry will thoroughly enjoy this latest work.

Reviews and Endorsements:

“Combining ritual and the sacred with the everyday world. Romany in this timeless work will bridge the gap that once did not exist between the spiritual and actual. Wander into the world of beauty and wonder in these pages and return to a reality tinged with rainbow magick. We will return to this book many times and at different life stages but it will always retain the freshness and inspiration of the first journey.” – Cassandra Eason, Author of The Magick of Faeries, the New Crystal Bible, and A Year and a Day in Magick

“Romany Rivers has created a valuable compendium of poetic verse, ready and waiting for use in your favorite ritual. I wish she had written this book years ago – it would have saved me hours of slogging through piles of poetry and ritual books, searching for the words that would move the participants at the rituals I officiated. Thankfully, it is available now, providing the grateful reader with a wide variety of lyrical verse for use from the opening of the ritual through to the close. Ms. Rivers has thoughtfully included full sample rituals that demonstrate the effective use of her beautiful verse, as well as an extensive set of correspondences that will provide inspiration for the creation of rituals uniquely suited to each occasion.” – Laura Perry, Author of Ariadne’s Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern Lives

In ‘The Woven Word’ Romany has created a real treasure that is destined to become a reference book for everyone interested in learning or developing their own rituals, invocations and practice. There is something here for every occasion and all of it easily adapted to fit the needs of any solitary practitioner or group no matter what their level of experience . Words have power and this comes over very clearly in this careful and considered compendium based on Romany’s own experience as a High Priestess and clear love of ritual and her craft.” – Yvonne Ryves, Author of Shaman Pathways Web of life

A fascinating book celebrating and utilising the power of the word both spoken and written with all areas of the Craft, including beautiful prose, blessings, meditations, visualisations and invocations. A great reference for how to use words for the greatest benefit.” – Rachel Patterson, Author of Kitchen Witchcraft and Moon Magic

I love, love, love The Woven Word! I adore its simplicity, the way that it feels so old and yet so fresh at the same time. There is an akashic nature to what Romany has written, this book almost feels channeled straight from the Divine.” – Arietta Bryant, Author of Ramblings and Rhymes and Circles of Sacred Laughter

Poison Pen Letters to Myself by Romany Rivers

I am pleased to announce the front cover artwork of my new book ‘Poison Pen Letters to Myself’. I am so excited to see the design process of the fabulous Moon Books team, and how they are manifesting my dream into a physical reality. I am really looking forward to holding that first printed copy in my hands!

From a dark mind to a light heart,

a poetical journey of emotional and spiritual self-discovery through the years.

Poison Pen Letters to Myself
Romany Rivers and Moon Books (C)2013

This book chronicles a very personal journey through the years overcoming severe bouts of depression and consequently creating a more holistic and spiritual lifestyle. The chapters Red Letters, Return to Sender and Addressee Unknown reveal periods of depression and anxiety; anger and healing; and acceptance and spiritual growth. The words in these pages were not written for mass consumption. They were not artfully crafted for reading aloud in dim rooms to a soundtrack of clicking fingers and Parisian style applause. They were not intended as political statements or a way of reaching other wayward wandering souls. Over the last two decades they were poured, purged, scribbled and spat onto scraps of paper, napkins, backs of hands, into empty pages and blank spaces of other books. At times of sorrow, frustration, confusion, acceptance and joy these words made sense of the minds muddled meanderings. Within these pages you will find heart breaking, heart healing honesty that crosses the divide and touches the souls of others.

Published by Moon Books, 2014.

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So I woke up this morning to find an email informing me of a book contract offer on my latest book. This is my second contract in just one year, and needless to say I did the happy dance in my dressing gown in the predawn darkness. My first instinct was to say that being offered a book contract feels like winning an award, but upon reflection I realised that wasn’t the best mentality to maintain. Of course I am happy, and of course it is an achievement, but it is a personal achievement. Viewing this achievement in the language of an award places the whole experience in the context of a competition, and competitions by definition reduce experiences to winners and losers. A competition defines personal success by the failure of others. There are simply millions of wonderful authors out there, both traditionally published through a publishing house or indie authors who have self-published, and there are millions more who have yet to be recognised by a publishing house, those who have been rejected time and time again (Keep pushing folks, chase those dreams). Being offered a contract puts me on that spectrum of authors and writers, but I do not need to define my success by those who have not or who have yet to receive the same acknowledgement.

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