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Raising the Sacred Fire: How to Build and Move Energy in Ritual

DSC01798_smallAs I’ll be teaching a number of workshops on ritual facilitation at Pantheacon, ConVocation, and Paganicon, I thought I’d offer up one of my articles on leading rituals that is included in my book, Ritual Facilitation.

I’ve also created a Facebook group with the intention of discussing and teaching techniques for leading more potent rituals. Feel free to join up if you like!

Raising the Sacred Fire:  How to Build and Move Energy in Ritual

Together we are singing, moving, dancing, chanting, and drumming around the fire in the center of the circle. The energy builds and slows then rises up again. I move the drum beat, and the drum beat moves me. We draw closer; I look into the firelit eyes of people around me and we smile as we sing. We drop the chant down to a whisper, then bring it back up again. Our song is a prayer for transformation, a prayer for our individual gifts to be transformed on Brigid’s Forge into their highest potential. I am singing for my gift, and for the gifts of everyone there. Our prayer is singing, movement, rhythm, and our shared intention. The chant moves into a tone that rises and falls like a fire at the bellows until we hold the silence together.

Have you ever worked to build ecstatic energy in rituals?

Raising energy in ritual can be a difficult function to facilitate. Many ritualists get a chant going only to find the group stops singing it as soon as that ritualist pauses to take a breath. Despite the challenges, there are some skills, tools, and processes that you can use to help build potent, transformative energy in rituals.

Facilitating ecstatic energy is the ability to sense energy and the ability to understand the logical energetic flow of any event. Having talent as a singer, drummer, musician, or dancer can help; it’s perhaps more important to have a team of people that is engaged, excited, and willing to model the energy as an example. Excitement is contagious, and if you are invested in the energy, then your participants will be more willing to buy into it and commit their energy as well.

What is energy?

While some ritualists may be gifted with the ability to see auras and energy, I’m not among them. I sense energy more kinesthetically, and I also work with energy less as a metaphysical thing, and more as the life-force cycled from our bodies. Breathing in oxygen, there’s a chemical reaction and we exhale carbon dioxide; chemical reactions release energy. I can also see energy through the physical reality of body language. So sensing energy is largely becoming observant.

Think about the last meeting or class you were at. How were people sitting? Did people look interested or bored and tired? How about the teacher or facilitator, did their voice drone on, or were they excited? Now think about a concert or sports event. How did you know if people were excited? Were people standing up and cheering or dancing? When people applauded, what did you feel inside?

Notice the environment around you and how you can sense the energy level of the group. Energy comes across in our body language, movements, actions, how we are talking, and the look in our eyes. If I’m talking to someone and they’re not looking at me, I don’t feel like they’re really interested in me. But if I go to a friend with a problem and they’re looking deeply into my eyes, I feel like they are really present and connected to me.

Ways to add energy

Here are some ways to add my energy in ritual, broken down by element.

Earth—Body, movement, dancing. Whether I’m a great dancer, or just adding my energy by swaying back and forth to the rhythm of the chant, I’m adding the energy of my body. When I move, my blood moves faster. Calories are consumed, and energy results in my body radiating heat and the energy of my physical life force.

Air—Breath, speech, chanting, singing. In ritual, I add Air when I participate by speaking aloud an intention or wish, when I lend my voice to the chant. When we sing together, we are breathing together, harmonizing our breaths and our pulses. We don’t need to be good singers to still make a sound and add the energy of our voice.

Fire—Rhythm, percussion, drumming. Drummers can add some of the intense sound and rhythm to the ritual. I can also add rhythm by clapping, stamping, snapping my fingers, or through vocal percussion and making rhythmic sounds with my mouth.

Water—Connection, intention, emotion. I can connect to the intention of the ritual within the depth of my heart, and to others in the ritual through deep, sustained eye contact or through touching hands. If I’m emotionally invested in the intention, in the community, if I’m connecting to the divine and to the divine within me, then I am adding my emotional energy to the ritual. Even if I am not physically able to move, if I’m rhythmically challenged, or not comfortable singing, I can add my energy by holding the intention in my heart.

Energy Flow

Any ritual has an energetic flow, and what happens in the first few minutes of the ritual will set the tone for later on. In the rituals I offer, which are in the ecstatic tradition taught through Reclaiming, Diana’s Grove, and other shamanic traditions, I am working to get people engaged in the ritual and inviting participation.

Here is a typical flow of a public ritual in the ecstatic, participatory style. Usually these rituals are facilitated by an ensemble team, so each piece may have more than one person leading it.

  • Marketing/promotion: Emails and flyers set the tone for the ritual theme and helps build communal trust in the ritual team.
  • Arrivals/Greeting: As people come to the space, the ritual team works to greet the participants. Ideally everything’s already set up so that we can welcome people to the space, since welcoming makes people feel more safe, and thusly, more willing to risk singing and moving later. Having social time of at least a half hour before the ritual helps people transition from interacting with traffic into ritual space.
  • Pre-Ritual Talk: This session (15 minutes or less to hold people’s attention) addresses the theme, intention, and any ritual logistics. Give people a chance to speak, even if it’s going around the circle with names, as that sets a tone of participation and helps the group move from strangers into a tribe. It’s a good time to address basic group agreements of what’s ok to do and to teach any chants so that people aren’t stumbling to learn them later. Typically I will also use the elemental model (above) to let people know how they can add their energy.
  • Gathering: Instead of beginning with smudging or similar purifications that involve a long line, Diana’s Grove uses an energetic gathering. This is somewhat a purification of sound and rhythm as well as a way to get people from individual mind into group mind. The idea is to begin at the energetic level of where the group is and take them to a more collective place. You can have the group sing a tone, or you can get people clapping and moving and singing to build up some energetic fuel for later in the ritual.
  • Grounding: As much as the gathering is energetic and group mind, grounding, in this context, is about connecting more deeply to myself, becoming more present to the divine, and connecting to the theme of the work. A typical tree grounding can work just fine, or any meditation to facilitate participants going internal to get into a sacred mindset.
  • Casting a Circle: For the rituals I offer, casting a circle is less about an energetic barrier keeping negative energies out, and more about an energetic boundary acknowledging that we are here together as a tribe. As grounding is internal, circle casting takes us out of ourselves to connect as a tribe. The circle is the edge of our tribe for the ritual, and it’s important to establish connection and safety. This is the cauldron that will hold the soup. In ecstatic participatory ritual, one or two people facilitate the circle casting but the intention is to have participants add their energy to the process. The challenge is to do an inclusive casting, or invocation, in around 2 minutes or less to keep people engaged.
  • Invoking the Elements: The elemental invocations, similarly, are an opportunity to invite participants to lend their voice, body, movement, and intention, as well as to deepen the theme. In the rituals I work in, instead of facing the direction, the elemental invoker moves into the center and facilitates a process where the whole group invokes the element. An example: “Will you join me in welcoming Air? Will you take a breath together, will you make the sound that is the wind in the trees that blows the leaves to the ground, will you move as air moves? Air is the breath of life, can you feel how the change in the air heralds the change in the seasons? Welcome Air.”
  • Center: I typically work with center as the gravity well that draws the community together. What is the reason that people came? This is another opportunity to connect the group together as a tribe, and to the center that holds us.
  • Deities, ancestors, allies: We invite in whichever deities or allies we’ll be working with in as inclusive a way as possible. What each person participates in is more potent than them watching a ritualist do something. Liturgy and poetry can be powerful, but if you want the group to add their energy later on, give them some way to participate in every piece, even if it’s just closing their eyes and imagining the ancestors.
  • Storytelling: Often the working part of the ritual begins with storytelling or some piece to add context to what we’re doing in the ritual. This piece can be longer than 2 minutes, provided people are given a chance to get comfortable.
  • Trance Journey: Storytelling often transitions into a trance journey which takes the theme of the story and move it from a story about gods and heroes into a story that we personally can interact in. Storyelling, and trance journeys, brings people’s energy internal and will require a transition if I want them to come out of trance and be active.
  • Physicalization: As much as possible, it helps to offer experiences for multiple learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, etc.). If the trance journey took us to a place where we connect with the fire of our personal magic, then the physicalization might be inviting people to choose a stone to represent their magic. Or it might be to have them stand and go to an altar and offer their personal magic to Brigid’s forge to be transformed. A physicalization helps integrate the ritual intention, as well as transitions people from internal to external so they are more ready to participate in the energy.
  • Energy Building: A sustained energy piece is the fuel for the magic. Often it helps to start slow and build through layering chanting, movement, harmonies, vocal percussion, drumming, and more. The ritualist team should be fully engaged; if you aren’t willing to stand up and sing, no one else will be. The energy may rise to a peak of sound and rhythm, and after there is usually a moment of silence. A typical time length for energy is 8-10 minutes; 15 minutes may be longer than many people can chant. The energy, and the ritual, should have a defined ending. People can drum and dance more after ritual.
  • Benediction: Let people know what the ritual was about, such as, “Brigid, thank you for helping us find our personal magic and transform it in your forge. May we support each other in community.” This seals the deal on the working and leads to devoking the allies and elements. Opening the circle is a last chance for the group to connect as a tribe before opening.
  • Dessert/Feast Ecstatic participatory rituals tend to not use cakes and ale within the ceremony because of the energetic lag created by a long wait for food to be passed around. Post-ritual dessert or feasting is an intentional bonding time to grow community.

Layering the energy

To build up a sustained energy, it helps to layer in voice, rhythm, and movement. As each layer builds, gently bring in another layer, as that will feel more natural to the group and they will be more likely to participate. Drummers should follow the group’s energy rather than drive the group; building it too fast and the group may “check out.” If the energy spikes up too fast you can drop the chant down to a whisper and build it back up. You can invite group participation through eye contact, beckoning, or by asking, “Will you join your movement and voice to this ritual?”

Having a team of people willing to sing and dance models what behavior is “ok” to the group and creates safety. Watch a ritual where one person starts to clap; if no one else does, they’ll stop. But if a second or third person does, then others will.

If you have some strong singers, you can use a chant with 2 parts or harmonies to add another layer of energy. A basket of rhythm instruments is another opportunity for people to add a sound.

Working the energy is a balance of letting the group drive how fast the chant builds, and pushing the energy along. The energy will plateau, and rise again when you add a layer. At first it’s hard to sense if the group’s ready to be done, or if it’s just a natural plateau where another layer will build the energy back up.

Noticing Energy

Begin to take more notice of people’s body language. Are these people willing to stand up and sing? The kinds of energy you can build in ritual will depend on your team—do you have drummers and singers? How many attendees—10 or 100? What’s the chant you are using—is it cradling, or an energy-raiser?

Observe the rituals of different groups. What happens to the energy when 40 people smudge themselves or stand in line at an altar? How long do people speak? When is it boring? When are people invigorated, willing to sing or participate? When are glazed over?

While the skillset of building ecstatic energy in ritual takes time and practice, these tools should offer a way to frame ritual in terms of energy and begin to build techniques into your own rituals. With practice, you can raise the sacred fire of ecstatic energy in your rituals.


This article was first published in Circle Magazine Issue 105, Sacred Fire and also appears in Stepping Into Ourselves: An Anthology of Priestessing. It is also one of the articles collected in my book Ritual Facilitation.

CoverRitualFacilitationRitual Facilitation: Collected Articles on the Art of Leading Rituals

Pagans and practitioners of alternative spiritual path face the challenge of learning to lead compelling rituals with little to no training in techniques of facilitation, public speaking, or event planning. Many learn the theology of their tradition and then get frustrated leading ceremonies through trial and error. If you are called to lead rituals and ceremonies, learn how to create potent, powerful rituals that will inspire your participants.

Each of us can learn to create more magical, memorable rituals. Whether you are an experienced ritualist or brand new to ritual work, this collection of articles and essays will help you learn to facilitate stronger rituals. Techniques include ritual structure, handling logistics, common pitfalls, engaging participation, and helping new leaders to step into speaking roles.

Ritual Facilitation by Shauna Aura Knight
Available as an eBook for $4.99 at Amazon  & $15 for the hardcopy. If you need an eBook format other than Kindle you can buy direct from me, just comment here or email me at ShaunaAura (at) gmail (dot) com.

Filed under: Facilitation, Ritual Tagged: ceremonies, community, Energy raising, event planning, facilitation, leadership, Pagan, Pagan community, ritual, shauna aura knight, transformation

The Devil, the Tower, and the Star: Tarot Blog Hop

4585466_xxlI’m going through a Dark Night of the Soul. It’s seasonally appropriate during the dark time of the year, though I find I’m facing the darkness of winter again while  going through a “Tower” moment. If you’re not conversant in Tarot-reader lingo, the “Tower” is generally shorthand for, “life-altering disaster.” The Tower is one of the cards in the Major Arcana.

Before I get too far– this post is part of the “Darkness into Light” Tarot blog hop. The previous blogger is Chloe McCracken and you can check out her post, or there’s a link to all the posts at the bottom.

Tarot and Personal Spiritual Work
I teach workshops on spiritual, esoteric, and personal transformation topics. One workshop I offer is “The Devil, the Tower, and the Star,” which helps participants to work through current/past Tower moments. My work with the Tarot is less about doing readings, and more about working with the archetypes for deep transformative work.

So I definitely have tools when lightning strikes and the Tower is burning down around me. However– having tools to work through an experience doesn’t mean I’m not going through the stress, the impact. I can teach these tools, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t own up to going through my own dark nights where I doubt everything. My self, my work, my spirituality. I wonder, “Why me,” the same as anyone else. I wonder if I can survive it, wonder if I can pull myself up by my bootstraps yet again.

Because…I am very tired of hauling myself up by my bootstraps.

The Devil, the Tower, and the Star
Let’s talk about these three cards. My Tarot mentors at Diana’s Grove referred to the Devil card as contracts we signed, stories that we agreed to. These contracts bind up our identity, our life force.

I looked at those three cards and thought…the Tower falling is supposed to ultimately be a good thing. The Tower is a symbol for structures that keep us safe and insulated but that really doesn’t serve us. I saw the Tower as structures built out of contract after contract, story after story. It becomes a symbol for the old patterns we’ve bound ourselves into that  are more cage than protection.

Then, the Tower is destroyed in lightning and fire. The Star is the waters of starlight pouring down, it is unbound life force, healing, inspiration, and hope.

I think of it as, we’d never have seen that luscious starlight pouring down if we were stuck in that Tower. So while the ashes are burning down behind us, if we look, we can feel those waters, let that starlight pour into our heart and replenish us, and then we can do what we will with that energy. We aren’t bound by the old contracts.

The Tower
A “classic” Tower moment is losing a job. I was laid off once  from a job I hated. But I was stuck in that, “I can’t afford to not have a job, but I hate it,” position. My department getting downsized led me to the work I’m doing now–leadership, writing, artwork. Would I have ever gone down that path without getting laid off?

Other Tower moments are a major breakup or having a group blow up. Tower moments break up old structures–and it’s usually not pretty.

However, if you can look at those terrible life-shaking moments, you may see where this also broke the chains that bound you.

Two years ago my fiance left me without warning after stealing from me and leaving me in an apartment with months of unpaid rent and utilities. I’m still paying off debt incurred from his actions. Days after he left I thought I might to die. Not because I was in love–not after all the cheating, stealing, and emotional abuse.

But because I didn’t know if I could pull myself up by my bootstraps again. The financials were dire, and I thought, why keep fighting?

iStock_000001460525MediumWhy we Require Shock
However costly his leaving was, him being gone unshackled my hands. I tend to think, in for a penny, in for a pound. With him, I felt that I’d covered up his indiscretions so many times, done so much to make our relationship work, that I felt like I couldn’t back out. That would mean that the years I’d put into making it work had been a waste.

If he hadn’t left, I’d have kept trying to fix things. Sometimes the known, comfortable situation feels safer than the unknown–even if it’s hurting us.

I’m so glad I’m not bound by that particular contract any longer, that I’m not stuck in the “story” that I had to make things work. I’ll never thank him–but, I’m glad he’s gone. I didn’t have the strength to end things. Suddenly I was free and could move on.

Starlight Interrupted
It took a while for the light to come back. I was only just starting to feel the glimmer of hope. This summer I published my first book, and I have others coming out. Just when I thought that I was eking past that Dark Night and the wreckage of that Tower from two years ago…

Two weeks ago I was in a car accident. Nobody was seriously hurt, but the accident totaled my car. The other driver took an illegal left, though there may be no way for me to prove it. I’m waiting to hear if I’ll get any financial compensation. If I don’t, I’m stuck without a car and without any way to get one.

It really hasn’t set in yet that I could have died. The police were shocked I walked away from the accident with only a bump on the head. 

Dark Night
Here’s how my panic over this financial gut-punch leads to my current Dark Night of the Soul. The limited amount of income I’ve had in the past years has come from from traveling and teaching and selling my artwork. I had to cancel my teaching engagement this weekend. I currently live in a rural area. I’m really sunk without a car.

On one hand, I’m aware this is a Tower moment that might open the way to something else…but, I’m also still caught in the emotional undertow.

My dark night is about the deeper question–should I keep trying to follow my calling of teaching leadership, ritual facilitation, personal growth work, and writing and painting?

I’ve sacrificed a lot in order to follow my spiritual calling. I‘ve managed to hang on by the edges of my fingernails the past years by living simply, trying to make the work I do to start bringing in more income.

I was already running out of time–my current living situation won’t last forever and I’ll have to start paying for an apartment again. And yet, without a car, I can’t even get a local retail job, much less something that works with my skillsets as a graphic designer, consultant, or even temp secretary work.

Now–you might think, published author = raking in the dough. Did you know 3500 print books are published every day? That doesn’t count eBooks. My books are starting to sell, but it’ll take a while–and having more books out–before I start bringing in actual revenue.

Sacrifice and Fear
I have given up so much in my life, so many conveniences that people think of as basic, in order to live lean so I could do the work that calls to me. In working to make myself affordable for local Pagan groups to hire me for workshops, I’ve ultimately paid more out of pocket to travel and teach than I ever have made back in class stipends.

I just can’t do it any more. I can’t keep on going and wonder, am I ever going to be able to afford going to the doctor again? Can I afford the gas money it would take to be able to go out on a date? Can I afford food?

I’ve started to wonder, is it all worthless? Did I give up years of my life for nothing?

Even worse, I wonder, am I teaching people a bunch of crap? When I teach personal growth classes and lead rituals, I work to help people open up to their desires, to wanting, to reaching for the dreams and hopes they haven’t dared give name to. I work to help people identify what kind of work would bring meaning to their lives.

I’ve done my best to live that, to reach for my own dreams with both hands. And I’ve hung on, I’ve sacrificed a lot to make this work.

4418451_xxlThe Devil’s in the Contracts
The other day my mom’s words that fell on me like a hammerstroke. “You might have to put your dream on hold.” And all I could think was, no. NO. No, I will not put my dream on hold again. No, I will not put myself back into those chains and contracts.

I think of all the people shackled by the contracts they signed in their own blood, putting their dreams on hold. “I’ll just do this for a few years, and then I’ll live my dream.” And five years turned into ten years turned into twenty years.


I reject the chains of shame and “should” and “We’re supposed to.” I want to live in–and I work to build–a world where we get to do work that calls to our souls, where we get to live our dreams.

Yet, getting hit by that car brought reality into my windshield.

I don’t know what’s worse–wondering if I’m going to have to give up my dream, or wondering if I’ve been teaching a lie, a fancy dream that nobody can actually fulfill.

I need that unveiled light of the Star, that healing and life force, the waters of beauty and love. I need to remember why I bothered doing this work at all.  The only thread of hope I’m really holding onto right now is a dream I had about six months ago.

Tarot and Dreams
Dreams and Tarot share similar mythic, archetypal symbolism. I often teach people exploring Tarot to look into their dreams.

I had a dream in June relevant to my current Dark Night.

I’m running late, racing to get to an airplane in New York. I manage to get onto the plane. Then we’re flying over the pitch-black sea over the Atlantic, along the East Coast. Around Georgia, some people throw me off the plane, and I fall from the sky down into the  black waters.

shutterstock_30733696I begin to swim, but the waves keep going over my head, the waves are high, nauseating. I don’t have words for the horror and fear, I’m swimming in the terrifying dark. I don’t know how many hundreds of miles I must swim but I keep going. I wish for someone to help me. Or even just someone to witness what I’m going through. I keep swimming.

It seem that I wake up on a beach in Florida, and I’m found by Pagans who take me to the Pagan conference I’d been traveling to. Though I was swimming for days, I’m only one day late for the conference. Everyone there is glad I’m ok and talks about how I broke the

“Hex.” A notable Pagan leader is running a workshop and mentions that in the weeks I was swimming, several anthologies have come out that have my published works in them. One is an anthology on how I broke the “Hex” of the people who were on the plane who tried to kill me.

Dream Prophecies and Symbolism
On occasion, I have dreams that come true, but usually the symbolism is difficult to discern at best. It’s rare for a dream to just come directly true. In this case, symbol mixed with reality.

Right now, those waves are over my head. However, it has come to pass that several anthologies with my writing plus several standalone books are all coming out at about the same time–right before I’m supposed to be teaching at several Pagan conferences in February. I did teach in New York recently, though I drove. My mom will move to Florida once her house is fixed up; there have been delays but it’s looking like maybe spring.

If I read the dream correctly, late winter/early spring may see things easing up.


Tarot, Dark Nights, and Returning Light
Right now, I’m holding onto just a thin beam of light through the clouds. Just a couple of days ago, my book Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path was released, and you can read the first chapter available as an excerpt.  

My Dark Night is not over, my mind is full of questions. I know that I must renegotiate a “contract” I hadn’t realized I’d made–the contract that I’d sacrifice everything to serve community. That “contract” I chose has helped to place me in this situation. I must find a way to take care of my own needs or I cannot do this work. There are things that I started thinking of as luxuries that are actually basic necessities, and I got into “contract tunnel vision.” I was so focused on my calling that I managed to convince myself that I could live without certain things–like health care. I took that to a dangerous place and thought it was ok.

And it’s not.

I know the light returns. I’ll climb out, though I’m unsure how. For me, it’s less about doing a Tarot reading than understanding the progression of the archetypes. The contracts are broken, and the light–somehow–returns. Until then, I’ll use this dark time of year to seek answers while I slog through dark waters to shore.

Tarot Blog Hop
Next in the Yule Tarot Blog Hop is Christiana Gaudet. You can see the entire lineup of Tarot bloggers at

Filed under: Dreamwork, Leadership, Personal Growth Tagged: community building, dark night, dark night of the soul, leadership, longest night, Major arcana, Personal growth, shadow work, shauna aura knight, Star, Tarot, Tower, winter solstice, Yule

A Winter Knight’s Vigil: Pagans, Leadership, and Romance

WinterKnightsVigilCoverI’m sure that many of you probably don’t read romance. However, for those that do–I have a novella that came out today, A Winter Knight’s Vigil. Unlike most romance novels, this one deals with Pagan characters–and, not witches cursed with ancient powers, or druids who happen to be werewolves. Actual, regular Pagans.

The characters in the story are all members of a coven. The twelve of them are on a Winter Solstice retreat weekend in a woodland cabin. During the weekend, the two main characters, Tristan and Amber, both go through the various rituals and work through their own personal shadows.

Among these shadows are them dealing with their attraction to one another. Their coven has a rule that covenmates can’t get romantically entangled in order to prevent group dynamics and drama. After a hot night together, they have to face the consequences, and figure out if they’re going to hide what they did, or risk one or both of them getting kicked out of the coven.

Pagan Group Dynamics
While the book is not intended to teach in-depth ritual facilitation techniques or leadership for group dynamics, or even a guide to shadow work through Arthurian myth, all of those are components of the book. I hope to show a healthy way that things like that can be handled. Because, if you’ve read any of my blog posts about sex and ethics or other group dynamics, romances within the Pagan community tend to be one of the big problems with groups that go kablooey.

That being said, the book is an erotic romance, which means that there’s no closed doors. It’s rather spicy! So if that’s not your thing, you should know that up front :)

In the novella, Amber and Tristan are going through their own journey through the Longest Night vigil to step into Knighthood. To step into Service. To stand with integrity and make a commitment to their coven.

I think that non-Pagans will certainly enjoy the book–it’s about two people finding love together, it’s not about being Pagan. But, I also think that Pagans will get something special out of this story because it has some of the unique quirks of our community, of the things that we do. There’s Arthurian myth, there’s ritual work, there’s characters who do the Renaissance Faire and SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), and just for fun, the coven hosts Heather Dale for a house concert.

Word of Mouth
If you like romance, consider checking out the book. And, if you know folks who like romance, consider the book as a Solstice gift or just mentioning it to people that might enjoy the story.

As more and more books are published, it’s sometimes difficult as an author without a massive marketing budget to get the word out about my works. Advertising is expensive. As I work to bring in enough income as an author and artist to fund my work so that I have time to write about Pagan leadership and ritual facilitation, I definitely appreciate any help my readers can offer in spreading the word.

I often say words are powerful magic, but it’s true. Word of mouth is pretty potent, particularly when promoting small and independent writers, artists, musicians, and publishers.

Pagan-Owned Businesses
I also want to give a shout-out here to Pagan Writers Press. All month long, Pagan Writers Press is offering discounts and giveaways to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Buying from PWP supports another Pagan-owned business and Pagan authors. PWP is a small press, and can also use any help you might offer in promoting their books.

What’s the best way you can help Pagan authors and Pagan-owned businesses? Other than buying books that you enjoy, the best way you can help is by sharing the link to the book on your Facebook or Twitter, and even just telling people about books that you like. Writing a nice review–even a short one–is a great way to help a book get more attention and sell more copies.

And, for those of you where Romance novels aren’t your thing, no worries. I have a book on Dreamwork coming out from Jupiter Gardens Press in a couple of weeks. Jupiter Gardens Press is another Pagan-owned business. More on that soon!

A Winter Knight’s Vigil is an erotic romance novella available through Pagan Writers Press.

About the Book:
Sexy, kilt-wearing Tristan has captured Amber’s attention on many occasions. But as members of the Kingsword coven, which has strict rules about intimate relationships inside the circle, dating him is out of the question.

When the coven heads to a secluded woodland cabin to celebrate the Winter Solstice, Amber finds herself closer than ever to Tristan. As the Longest Night approaches and their group’s ritual workings intensify, the pair realizes that they can no longer hide from their feelings.

Just as King Arthur held vigil before being knighted, Tristan and Amber face their shadows—and the realization that one or both of them might have to leave the coven.

Or can they be together without breaking their honor?


Excerpt (PG-13) Amber experiences a trancing and drumming ritual   |  Excerpt (Spicy hot)
Buy the book for $2.99  | Smashwords   | Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  All Romance eBooks

Free Giveaway: 
I’m hosting a giveaway including one hardcopy of the Wild Shifters anthology (with my story Werewolves in the Kitchen in it), one eBook of A Winter Knight’s Vigil, several pieces of hand-made jewelry, 3 gently used Sherrilyn Kenyon books, one set of 4 handmade cards, and one small painting. Click the link to enter by liking my FB page, following me on Twitter, and a host of other ways to gain additional entries.  9 winners will be chosen.

Filed under: Fiction Tagged: A Winter Knight’s Vigil, challenge, community building, Coven, fiction, fiction writing, Heather Dale, hero's journey, Kingsword, M/F, magic, Pagan Writers Press, pagans, paranormal romance, ritual, shadow work, shauna aura knight, teaser, urban fantasy, writing