Tag Archives: Sheena Cundy

Treehouse TV

I know Sheena Cundy through Moon Books – she’s a massively creative person – a fiction writer singer, songwriter, and now she interviews people in a tree…

In this video, Tim Gwyn Clay talks to Sheena in the Treehouse about his transition from 20yrs of C of E ministry into Druidism, the issue of hierarchy in religion and his call to serve Andraste, British Goddess of the Iceni.

 

In this video, Imelda tells the story behind her book, Natural Born Shamans – inspired by her spirit-led work with young people – and the importance of the shamanic perspective when dealing with the challenges of life today.

 

 


Sheena Cundy

Sheena Cundy is another of the under-sung people of whom I have been a fan for some time. I’ve met her in person – she’s lovely. I’ve heard her band twice (at time of writing this) – Morrigans Path – overtly Pagan and great to dance to. I’ve read her novel – The Madness and The Magic, and greatly enjoyed it (there’s a review here – https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/friday-reads/ )

Here’s a track from Morrigans Path

 

Find out more about them on their facebook page or on artist trove

Here’s a little flavour from Sheena’s novel

Sheena quote

And you can find out more about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/madness-magic

And this is Sheena’s website – http://www.sheenacundy.com/

 

 


Witch Lit and why we need it

I read Bridget Jones’s Diary back when it came out, curious about the hype. I hated it. Over the years as a reviewer I’ve been hit by the odd low-flying chick-lit title, and as a reader I’ve read a lot of book covers. Aside from romance, this is the genre targeted most at women. It tends to include romance anyway. Unfortunately the women in Chick Lit novels (based on the blurbs, and Ms Jones) are alien creatures I can make no sense of.

Not so long back, I had the good fortune to read Sheena Cundy’s The Magic and the Madness. It revolves around a small, witchy family. Modern Pagan witches that any modern Pagan woman could recognise. If you aren’t one of the characters, the odds are you’ve met her at a moot. Real life issues, magical issues, matters of life and death – and yes, a bit of romance. Lots of comedy, and lots of values and ways of seeing the world and being in it that I recognised and responded to. I enjoyed it a lot, and found it affirming.

I’ve never been a chick. Never aspired to be one. Why would I read books that I assume I’m someone I am not? I have an on-off relationship with Women’s Literature as well – all too often these are books in which very little happens and everyone thinks about it a lot (that’s a working definition of literature). I want books where a fair bit of interesting and surprising stuff does happen, and people do reflect on it and it has real consequences for them. I want books where women are main characters, and where their lives do not revolve entirely around their love affairs with men. I want to read about women who are complex people with an array of things going on.

Sheena generously waved her book at me because she’d read Intelligent Designing for Amateurs, and based on what I’d written, thought I’d like her book. She was absolutely right. Stories about women doing things, more and less realistic, are very much my cup of tea. Throw in some magic, some comedy, a broad emotional pallet, and I’m in. And yes, the blurb focuses on the sexy vicar, but I’m glad to say the world of this novel doesn’t revolve around him. It’s heart is the relationships between the central women.

What I need, is Witch Lit. Stories about earthy, passionate, grounded women living real lives and doing outrageous, wild and wonderful things. Women whose lives do not revolve wholly around the presence or absence of men. Women whose conversations with other women do not revolve exclusively around the discussion of their sex lives, and the presence or absence of men. I’m starting to realise why, for most of my adult life, I’ve been so drawn to Lesbian Fiction – it’s one of the few genres where you can be reasonably confident of finding women who are not all about the men. However, not being a lesbian myself, I’d really welcome more stories of bi and straight women doing things as well. I like men, and I’m not averse to romance in a story, but I don’t enjoy samey books, and I don’t like the priorities of many of the female characters in rather too many books.

I am prepared to bet it’s not just me. Less Bridget Jones, more Minerva. Less Chick Lit, more Witch Lit.


The Magic of Nature Oracle

I tend to use oracles for meditative rather than divinatory purposes. I used to do a lot of divination, but I’m good at it, and obsessive, and frankly this is not a winning combination. I often end my day with an oracle card – I default to Philip Carr Gomm’s animal and plant oracles, but have recently been working with Sheena Cundy and Tania Copsey’s Magic of Nature Oracle.

It’s a charming set, which came to me in a really nice hessian bag, it immediately felt personal and accessible. There’s a folk art quality to the illustrations, which I liked, and the supporting book is pleasingly minimal and unobtrusive while giving you plenty enough to work with. It’s a fine balance to strike, because you don’t really want a thwacking great tome to deal with when divining or seeking the raw material for meditation, but you need enough. I think this set has that balance. The 39 cards offer a broad array of nature and concepts, the tone is overall positive and is more about taking you forward than telling you where you might be getting it wrong. It’s affirming to work with.

The nature represented in this oracle set is very British, and contemporary. Either you want to be British to use it, or have a desire to connect with the British landscape – if the UK is part of your blood ancestry, or the ancestry of your tradition, you could find this helpful.

As a tool I think it also has value for teaching/study purposes. Someone new to their Paganism and trying to work out how to connect to nature might well find this set very useful. It would easily open the way to deeper working and wider study, and being an affirming experience, is a good place to start. It would help a student see relationships between themselves and the natural world and start a journey towards a greater feeling of connectedness.

I also think it would be a great thing to give to younger Pagans. It’s as safe to use as anything ever gets, and again that building of relationships with the natural world is a great grounding for the interested young proto-pagan. The gentle, natural imagery is unlikely to frighten nervous parents, and it gives a young seeker something good to be working on. I know that not teaching younger Pagans is often considered the best solution, but they will (I know, I have been around this) run off and explore anyway, unsupported. I’m constantly on the lookout for good things to put in young people’s hands to help them progress without making them vulnerable, and this will be going on my recommendation list.

You can find out more, or order sets from themagicofnatureoracle.com/ and find out more about Sheena (who has a book coming out later this year) at craftycrones.org