The Pagan Alliance and the Importance of a Witches Ball

Sometimes, the best way to understand an issue, particularly in the Pagan community, is in microcosm. One of the biggest issues many Pagan communities face today relates to providing services and infrastructure, how we fund the things we say we collectively need. With the current focus by Pagan media and social networks on the question of gender within our rituals, communities, and events, my mind immediately turned to The Pagan Alliance-organized conference from last year. That event, the 1st Annual Conference on Earth-Based, Nature-Centered, Polytheistic & Indigenous Faiths, had a theme of Gender & Earth-Based Spiritualities, and sparked a dialog that the organizers decided should c … [Read more...]

Quick Note: Llewellyn Talks Finances in a Post-Borders World

Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune does a profile of local business Llewellyn Worldwide, the largest publisher of Pagan and metaphysical books. In the article owner Carl Weschcke addresses the recent collapse of Borders, which cost the company half a million dollars, saying they've managed to stay profitable.The company has weathered the Great Recession despite losing $500,000 in the Borders bankruptcy, Weschcke said. He credited stringent controls put in place by his wife, and company president, Sandra Weschcke, for keeping the company profitable despite the Borders loss. Their son Gabe Weschcke is Llewellyn's vice president. The company ended its 2011 fiscal year June with $15 m … [Read more...]

Musings on the Fantasy Boom

The other day I was at my local used bookstore and found an out-of-print edition of Rosemary Edghill's "Book of Moons," part of a trilogy of mysteries involving a Wiccan protagonist and a number of lightly-fictionalized real-life Pagans. While not fantasy in the slightest, as Wiccan and Pagan spells in the novels "work" much as they do in the real world, I can only imagine that these books, if released today, would benefit greatly from the current boom in fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and genre fiction in general. The old saw states that escapist entertainment thrives during tough economic times, and with some saying that were already in, or about to be in, a new depression, … [Read more...]

Borders Closure a “Body Blow” to Pagan Publishers

On July 22nd the bookstore chain Borders started the process of closing its 399 remaining locations. This move was long predicted by industry watchers as the once-mighty chain wobbled in the face of's rise (a company it once outsourced to) and costly missteps in non-book merchandise. The last few weeks of media coverage has featured a mixture of fond reminiscences, 20/20 hindsight analysis,  and predictions for the future of the book-selling industry. Many of the predictions haven't been too cheery, for example, the investment site The Motley Fool predicts that Barnes & Noble will ultimately suffer the same fate, noting that "just because B&N will be the last one standing … [Read more...]