Published Books: Basic Info

The books that I have published so far are the culmination of more than four decades of spiritual adventuring, praxis and mystical experience.  Along the way I delved devoutly into Wicchan spirituality, Christian monastic traditions, and the Celtic tradition, both in its Pagan and its Christian manifestations, seeking access to 'the Cauldron of Wisdom.'  In each of these traditions I found touchstones of self-realization and enlightenment; the hope of transcendence and the possibility of communion with that which is both 'within' and 'beyond' us, whether human or divine.

The Fires of Yule  (2nd Edition, 2013) -- is a poetic Pagan calendar of Thirteen Days (13 - 25 December) for celebrating the Winter Solstice Season. The calendar of the Thirteen Dayes is sourced (historically) in Celtic myth and Paganism, as well as (imaginatively) in the lore of the Elves of ancient pre-Celtic worlds.  This book brings together many of the best-known icons and customs of modern Christmas traditions, re-sourcing them in light of a Pagan Hearth and offering touchstones for self-renewal at Winter Solstice.  Each day of the calendar is named after an evergreen or herb that has symbolic resonance with the Winter Solstice and that has been associated with Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice. The calendar presents activities that one can enact on each of the thirteen days, and that contribute to a cathartic or mystical experience as the season culminates.

Heart & Hearth: Poetic Explorations of Authentic Human Dwelling in Earth & Spirit (2009) -- features the Whittiers of Ross County, PA; a fictional family who has been mentioned in my earlier books and whose history is here explored because of their spirituality, which is largely expressed in secular and naturalistic terms.  This book is concerned with the nature of 'home;' what it means to have a home, to lose a home, and to regain it.  The Whittiers celebrate a naturalistic, poetic version of the Thirteen Dayes of Yule.  At the heart of this book is "The Tale of Saint Nicholas and the Elves;" a story that the Whittiers tell at their hearths each year as the Yule begins.

Heart & Hearth brings to fruition the three decades of meditation on the primary experiences of the Whittiers, including the main texts describing their life-together, and the most resonant verses I have written about their life.  This book is not in itself 'domestic philosophy,' but is the narrative touchstone for that project, which I hope to undertake at some future date.  Heart & Hearth poses questions about home and homelostness that I would like to address, philosophically, and provides many instances of the kinds of iconic experiences that many of us here in the West associate with 'home.'  I invite your comments on the book, and would love to discuss the importance of the idea of 'home' with anyone else who is drawn to it.

If you are interested in the question of 'home' and want to explore it, I invite you to read Heart & Hearth.

Tales from the Seasons (2008) -- the stories and poems in this book focus on the kinds of experiences that carry us out of 'the ordinary' into what might be called 'extraordinary states' or 'circumstances,' however briefly.  It delves into what can happen when we live intentionally in the ordinary, open to extraordinary possibilities.  The narratives take the reader to moments in the ongoing lives of characters in Ross County who have immersed themselves in what may be called "the mysticism of the daily" in authentic ways, and who then, because they are immersed in the ordinary, are prepared for experiences of what can be called 'epiphanies.'  _These may also be referred to as 'moments of self-transcendence.' 

Many of the stories deal with the theme of "there and back again;" focusing on the often strange and odd things than can and sometimes do happen when we step outside our door and put foot to a path; whether woodland, existential or imaginary. 

While most of the characters in the stories are all practicing one form or another of the spiritualities I used to teach (Wicchan, Monastic, Celtic), the experiences they are having are at root essentially naturalistic and fully 'human' in what they entail.  They are not 'supernatural' in any way.  They are fostered by the imagination, embellished by the weather and elaborated from various moods that are common to every member of our species.  It is 'human' to have transcendent experiences; to have epiphanies--these need not be thought of as the exclusive province of the religious mystic.  _And, there are very human, personal as well as social benefits to having such experiences.

Those who have read The Fires of Yule (2001) and WellSprings of the Deer (2002) will find in this collection an array of characters all living out the spirituality of the Nine Wayes, as well as others living an aesthetic, literary life.  This book includes all of the stories that I used to use when teaching Celtic spirituality to illustrate the Nine Wayes.  If you have read Ham-Farir (2008) -- you will also find a good many of the characters in that story portrayed here in other life-situations.

Ham-Farir: The Faring of Matthew Thorin Dier (2008) -- is the story of three groups of people who have encountered a strange family known as "The Dier" (pronounced just like 'deer').  These three groups come together at the house of the horror novelist Daniel Westforth Whittier to tell him their stories and try to make sense of what has happened to them.  

In this book you will find characters living Wicchan, Celtic and monastic Christian spiritualities, and others who have a more naturalistic and poetic perspective on life, all dealing with the same 'threat' and coming together, despite their different spiritual perspectives, to solve a mystery.

My blog at this site: "Ham-Farir: In Consequence of Haunted Lives" (21 Sept 2014) goes into some of the background of the story and alludes to the mystery behind the family known as "the Dier."
WellSprings of the Deer (2002) -- is a manual for Celtic spirituality in a contemporary context.  It grew out of my years of instructing students, usually on a one-to-one basis, and presents the spirituality in terms of "Nine Wayes" -- each one focused on a triad of themes that, taken together, link up to create a coherent Celtic praxis.  The book was put together from instructional pamphlets that grew from outlines into full-fledged chapters.  it represented the culmination of almost 20 years of interest in the world of the ancient Celts, Celtic mythology and mysticism.

Blessed be!

I hope you will find something here that interests you!