Being far more focused on completing the five (at least) current books I am working on, I rarely think about the boring mundane tasks of marketing and promotion, but since I have not recently put up even an announcement about my books, it has occurred to me that it might be salutary to does so, mainly because this morning my Higher Self seems to have taken over and relieved me of worry about the petty, vindictive landlord we are dealing with, reminding me that I have important work to finish rather than waste time and energy on him, although I have been idly contemplating what circle of the Inferno landlords deserve to be consigned to. (One benefit of long practice is being able to get away with that long a sentence.)
The most recent of the books is A Tapestry of Witches: A History of the Craft in America, Vol. I, To the Mid-1970s. In it, along with my Inventing Witchcraft: A Case Study in the Creation of a New Religion (published by my friend Tom Clarke in England), I am tracing the foundation, evolution, and flourishing of the fastest-growing religious movement of modern times, which I’ve been able to do because I seem to be the only person who both can write and saved the primary materials. Its primary importance is that it casts much light on how new religions in general are created.
A related book is my Hippie Commie Beatnik Witches: A Social History of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn. It tells the story of how many friends and I started growing the NROOGD in 1967 and of how we created the Covenant of the Goddess in 1975 as the first national church for Witches. By placing much data about the NROOGD in it, I could keep the chapter on the NROOGD in Tapestry shorter and more in balance with the other chapters. There are stories by about a dozen other NROOGDies in it, and it contains both our basic Sabbat script and the script for the Eleusinian commemoration still being used (occasionally) for the Mabon Sabbat. I’m working on making the music for it available; it is somewhat an oratorio with dancing.
Then there’s Goddess Murder: A Tale of Love, Witches, and Gnostics. A novel enables speculative explorations that go way beyond the acceptable boundaries of scholarship and that may provide useful, testable hypotheses. In it I propose that perhaps some hereditary Witches might be the spiritual descendants of the original Nazarenes who preserved the enlightened Gnostic teachings of a certain Rabbi and his wife, the thoroughly underappreciated Magnificent Mary. Hence I use it as a vehicle for weaving together a diversity of historical, theological, and psychological materials.
There’s also Theoddysies and Paradoxologies: Collected Poems. I hadn’t thought I’d written much, compared to colleagues who pour out reams and volumes of verse, until it occurred to me to count, whereupon I discovered that I have more poems than are in the collected poetry of W.B. Yeats. I’ve had the pleasure of being told by people whose opinions I respect, such as Robert Anton Wilson and Sir Fred Hoyle, that they considered me a major poet. I hope they were right; at least, that’s what I’ve always aimed for. But you can, please, judge for yourself.
I do have current work under way, such as the next two volumes of Tapestry, which will bring the history down to the mid-1990s, at which time the Internet burst upon us, transforming the movement into a very different sort of beast, which I will leave for others to study;my colleague Doug Cowan has made an excellent start on that. I’m also working on a triad of books, intended to provide a three-dimensional structure for explaining everything I’ve been thinking about for the last 60 years.
The first volume of it will be titled The Road of Excess, a reference to Blake, of course. I’m thinking of it as an “Autobiographic theology,” because, for me, the important philosophical and theological questions are not abstract, but arise out of my real-life problems and, occasionally, disasters. I will give a lot of personal details that others might fear to discuss, but that are central to one of my major concerns: how to understand and overcome the world-wide, endemic plague that I have labeled Aphrodiphobia.
The second volume will be the Principia Metanoia. It’s the nonfiction prose discussion of the theories and investigations I have pursued, circling around and focusing on the psychological transformation that the Gnostics called Awakening. This is the volume that will have lots of documentation and footnotes. My contention in it is that only when a majority of mankind has undergone that Awakening experience will we be transformed into the kind of beings and society that any person dreams we might achieve. That won’t happen soon, but I can point toward the need for it.
Third is The Books of the Sacred Marriage, poems, myths, and stories, some in the form of gospels, that lay out what I have learned, in forms that can have the emotional impact needed to be persuasive. In it I rewrite history, or perhaps discover a history that might happened or that did happen but was hidden. I am happy with what I’m creating in it.
So that is my progress report. If you would like to see the books, the hyperlink below will take you to the page on Amazon where you can order them. Whatever you choose will directly benefit my children. The royalties for this month will probably pop onto my debit card tomorrow. They won’t be much, but they will help us get through these last few days before my Social Security arrives.
Blessed be. More will be revealed.