Amazon still offers books by A.J. Drew. That’s me. So if I slip into discussing myself in third person, please excuse the insanity. It started with Wicca for Men. It was a short and lighthearted book. From there, I built a short lived career. It was fun for a time. But between the publishers, editors, and fans I essentially lost my mind. A moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) sped that process along but it would have happened without. You see for the most part I did not like my publishers, editors or fans. I suspect few authors in this genre do.
You see publishers and editors tend to influence their authors in the hopes of selling the largest volume of books. This results in books which attract readers who enjoy what those publishers and editors decided the book should contain. Often the author’s message is obfuscated in the name of greater sales. I wanted to connect Wicca with family life. Telling young folk to find a coven sells more books. I wanted to share the protestant work effort, the thought that the divine rewards labor with prosperity. Providing money spells sells more books. The struggle continued until A Wiccan Formulary and Spellbook. That is when I really lost all faith in the system.
Within that books original manuscript, I includes recopies to infuse food with marijuana. This was a time when we didn’t use the word edibles. Most folk had no knowledge of fat or alcohol infusions. They did not know the benefits of heating cannabis before consuming. They didn’t understand it was the fat in brownies that made those brownies a particularly effective delivery method. So they didn’t know chicken soup would be a good delivery method only when the fat content was high. The book was published without those recipes because the publisher refused to promote illegal conduct.
Witches may not promote illegal conduct? Fighting the system is at the very core of witchcraft. When the church demanded the sick be treated with priests and prayer, witches said they would use medicine. My recipes came from my wife who used them to treat her mother’s cancer. While it did not cure cancer, it did relieve suffering and wasting away syndrome. But like the church of old, who felt god insisted on suffering, today’s laws perpetuate suffering if there is not money to be made from easing that suffering. This is why the states who have legalized marijuana attach a heavy tax.
Today things are different. Publishers do not have the influence they once did. Thanks to the internet, the modern pagan community can grow, expand and change based on more than profit speculations alone. In a way, today is the third wave of the modern pagan movement.
The first wave was Gerald Gardner, Alex Sanders, Doreen Valiente. The authors who shaped the initial introduction of the movement. From them came folk like Raymond Buckland and Silver Ravenwolf. These were the second wave. While these two are very different authors with very different approaches to witchcraft they were both controlled by their publishers. The third wave is you.
Today’s movement is much less controlled by traditional publishing. Today’s influencers tend to be self made. Today’s movement tends to be much more fluid, more organic. So while I do invite you to purchase my books, please know they are a part of an era which is thankfully slipping away.
Blessed be and live free.