Welcome to my website! On it you will find much of what I do and am (if there is a difference; sometimes I wonder). There are excerpts from books, both published and unpublished, stories, essays, and rituals. Lots of ritual, in fact, including prayers. My books on prayer may be what brought you here, where you will find some of the prayers Iíve written since my most recent book on them. Maybe some day theyíll all be part of a third book. Or maybe Iíll even achieve one of my fondest dreams, and be able to combine them with the prayers from my two prayer books, to form one large book filled with just prayers. Hey, it could happen, although it may be after my death, when my wife gets the rights to all my books.
But I ramble. I have some biographical information here, for those who are interested in such. Maybe someone will use it some day as the basis for a Wikipedia page. (Hint, hint.)
In a way, though, all of these pages form a sort of biography, especially of my spiritual life. There are excerpts from Butterfly Dreams, a collection of sayings on spiritual subjects I wrote about 30 years ago. There are excerpts from Back to the Beginnings, a book on Wicca which I wrote at the culmination of the Wiccan period of my life. I think it contains some of my best ritual work, and fills an important gap in Wicca Ė a complete Book of Shadows based on what we know about actual ancient Paganism, with a running commentary giving both the sources of the Book of Shadows material (no ďit comes down from the Stone AgeĒ here) and a theological commentary, theology being something that Neo-Paganism, especially Wicca, is short on. You can even buy the whole book from me; see Publications.
One part of my site that sadly gets little traffic is the section on the culture of Tuadem. This is a world I made up for a fantasy novel I was writing long ago. When I started on The Pagan Family, I was also working on The Starís Gift. At first I thought Iíd try my hand at both fiction and non-fiction. Then I realized 1. I needed to concentrate on one book at a time, and 2. I didnít understand people well enough to write good fiction. So I decided to concentrate on non-fiction, which has turned out to be a good idea. I discovered I had a knack for taking complex material from the academic world and boiling it down to simple presentations, making things accessible to those without the time, training, or access to resources that would enable them to do it on their own.
But I still have a love for The Starís Gift, and especially for its world of Tuadem. I return to it from time to time, adding a scene here or there. Iím not even sure how it will end; Iíve written that scene quite a few times. I doubt it will ever be finished, and even more that it will ever be published, but itís a fun hobby, and has allowed me to explore how people behave and think, something I still have troubles with.
The culture of Tuadem, though, is well worked-out, especially, no surprise, its religion and language. Yes, it has its own language. Iím proud to say that I was inventing languages long before reading Tolkien. When I was in 4th grade, I read The Return of Tarzan, which included an Ape-English dictionary. At first I thought that it was really a record of how apes spoke. When I realized that Burroughs had made it up, I was bowled over. The idea of making up a language had never occurred to me. When I encountered Esperanto in high school I was impressed with the idea of creating an entire language. I toyed with the idea of learning Esperanto, but decided to go for the even more useless goal of inventing my own language. This was followed by a second one when I was in college.
Neither of these went beyond the language itself (although I did make up a phonetic alphabet that I still use sometimes for taking notes, especially on how words from other languages are pronounced). When I decided to write a fantasy book, I realized that I needed a fantasy world, which would require its own culture, which of course needed its own language. So I invented one, using Indo-European roots and a non-Indo-European grammar.
The culture also needed a religion, of course, and that meant rituals, and it only made sense to translate some of them into my constructed language. On my Tuadem page youíll find some of these rituals, as well as much more information on the culture of the Tua. You can hear me reading a prayer from one of my books that I translated into it here. If the language interests you, drop me a line and weíll talk.
My research on Indo-European roots paralleled and recursively fed a growing interest in Indo-European religion, which was one of the driving forces behind Back to the Beginnings. It became its own thing, however, with a growing interest in Proto-Indo-European religion. This eventually turned into my book Deep Ancestors, excerpts of which can be found here. I hope youíll be as struck by the beauty and depth of Proto-Indo-European culture as I was (and still am).
This led to my involvement with the druidic group Ńr nDraŪocht Fťin. Iíd been a member of it from its beginning, but not done much with it. I began to dig deeper into it, and became very active. Youíll find a lot of what Iíve written for ADF on my ritual page.
One thing I did was to help organize a grove (which is our name for local groups), Nemos Ognios. Iíve written a lot of our rituals, the basic ones of which can be found on my ritual page, and some of the seasonal ones of which can be found on Nemos Ognios web page.
I have a blog which isnít really a blog, since it doesnít have an interactive feature. Instead itís an infrequently updated place for ramblings and announcements, primarily about what changes and additions Iíve made to the site.
Thereís much more Ė some essays on the history of Wicca, a list of links to sites that I find useful or interesting, poems, light bulb jokes (an underrated art form, in my opinion), some essays on the often misunderstood Roman mystery cult of Mithraism, and much more. The site is pretty large, and getting larger all the time. Donít try to take it in in one gulp. Bookmark it, and rummage around in it from time to time.
One more thing. Iím also active on youtube. I post videos on the sort of topics youíd expect Ė rituals and Indo-European cultures, mostly, but there are other things there, including a prayer in my conlang for those who want to hear how it sounds, and one with the title "Good Flags, Bad Flags, and How to Tell the Difference." Youíll also get to hear me speak some Proto-Indo-European. Check it out, comment, subscribe.
Thatís all for now. The rest of the site speaks for itself. If you have any thoughts on what you see here, just send me a message at CeiSerith@aol.com. I love getting mail, and I promise youíll get a response.