The net-neutral internet has been a wonderful asset for me as I continue to research sources of magical knowledge, pagan traditions, and other esoteric materials for The Dire Deeds of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits. Here I want to list some of the sources and teachers who have become important and inspirational for me in this year of writing. However, though I am absorbing quite a lot of material and ideas from these and other sources, I am combining what I learn in a fictional way. However, none of what I write in the book is an accurate portrayal or reflection of the teachings and sources below.

Ariel Gatoga’s podcasts, The Witch’s Primer. (Also found in iTunes.) The Witch’s Primer is a course in the basics of “non-denominational witchcraft.” Ariel is an engaging teacher and I find his approach refreshing. I’ve also enjoyed many of his Druidic Craft of the Wise podcasts as well, especially the one called A Charmed Life.

Dr. Daniel Foor’s Ancestral Medicine website, lectures, book, and classes, which conveys a practical, luminous path for working with ancestors. This is exceptional work and I am so glad to have found Dr. Foor’s teachings.

Gatoga and Foor are definitely two of my most meaningful discoveries during this time.

Books by Starhawk, Scott Cunningham, Morpheus Ravenna, and Raven Kaldera (to name just a few).

Podcasts such as Bespoken Bones (hosted by Pavini Moray) and Down at the Crossroads (hosted by Chris Orapello and Tara Maguire) provide thoughtful conversations with numerous magical practitioners and authors.

I have enjoyed Magic in the Middle Ages, taught online by instructors at the University of Barcelona on Coursera. This class provided some wonderful background on one period in the history of European magic, as well as the criminalization of witchcraft and spellwork.

“Inclusive heathenry” and “Northern Tradition Paganism” has also made its way into my life during this time (and may influence the second book in the series) and so I owe a debt of gratitude to The Troth and Hrafnar, as well as to various Lokean websites and groups. I am particularly happy to make the acquaintance of the Norse deities: the trickster god Loki, who is my “most trusted one”; Freyr and his Jotun wife, Gerda; and Freya.

I’ve also drawn freely on what I know about trance states as a hypnotist and as a practitioner of Western Neo-Tantra.

So my book is definitely “a work of art, on the whole, but showing the influence of too many schools” (as Oscar Wilde wrote of his character, Mrs. Cheveley). But in this case, perhaps it’s not a bad thing!

August Natterer: Witch’s head, c. 1915, Prinzhorn Collection – public domain.


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