Commencement 2015

I graduated on Friday with my M.A. in English Literature. I did this degree full time over the last two years as I worked full time. I graduated with a 4.0, which was an act of humongous will and stubbornness.

I am very proud of my degree. I wrote my thesis on the witch Erichtho and passed my defense with distinction. Hopefully in the future I can continue the little scholarship on this very interesting Greek witch and contribute to the witchcraft discourse in an academic way.

At graduation, I was confronted with an invocation by a Catholic priest who ignored every non Christian (well really, every non Catholic) in the room. It was uncomfortable. I thought it was in poor taste from a university that celebrates diversity.

Our speakers were decent enough, they had some interesting things to say, but nothing that truly moved and inspired me.

Today, Neil Gaiman posted a link to Ian McEwan’s commencement address to Dickenson College. This is the speech I wish I had heard. I think the things he talks about are so important in today’s world and in today’s America.

If you want to read through it, Time posted the entire speech here.

McEwan says at the end:

I hope you’ll use your fine liberal education to preserve for future generations the beautiful and precious but also awkward, sometimes inconvenient and even offensive culture of freedom of expression we have. Take with you these celebrated words of George Washington: “If the freedom of speech is taken away then, dumb and silent, we may be led like sheep to the slaughter.”

We may be certain that Dickinson has not prepared you to be sheep.

Remember that your words have power. At the end of the day, intention and will is at the heart of every magical working and when you blindly parrot the speech of others, without truly investigating or thinking about what is being said, you help their words take action and form in the world around us. Our speech has consequences, sometimes in ways that we aren’t even aware of. Sticks and stones as the old childhood rhyme goes, but we should all know better.

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GoddessCast Interview

Kenny and I were interviewed by GoddessCast during Pantheacon and the interview is finally up!

Check it out! We had a lot of fun!

You can listen to it here.

Thanks GoddessCast for a fun interview! We really enjoyed being on the show!

Don’t forget, the new book is out May 8th!!! Pre-order it now!

 

The First Review Is In! 5 out of 5 Stars!

Here is the very first review of the new book by Kenny Klein and myself! Fairy Tale Magic, coming out in May on Llewellyn (Amazon is already taking pre-orders). Review by Eryn Bagley for puretextuality.com:


“Klein and DeVoe execute brilliant relationships between engaging archetypal iconography embedded in non-mainstream cultural folk tales with their applications in the setting of practical earth-based magic. The authors elegantly correlate primitive and sacred meanings of magical theory in fairy tales and guide beginning magic practitioners through lessons based in ancient lore. Klein and DeVoe’s research of each apologue offers an impressive understanding of the implications that magic practitioners face when utilizing and calling upon the energies of the universe. By following the precedence set forth in Fairy Tale Magic, those who use the natural elements in their workings will not be steered wrong by the guidance that this work offers. Not only are the stories that the authors chose engaging, their explanations of archetypal significances are concise and extremely valuable. In this reader’s opinion, I would grant this title a 5 out 5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd for the opportunity to enjoy this read.”

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Winter in New Orleans: News and Notes

Three weeks ago we had snow and ice for the first time in New Orleans in five years! It’s pretty rare that we actually get cold weather like that down here. People back home in Ohio always laugh at me when I complain about the cold. While it usually only gets down into the 20s and 30s for a few weeks, very few of us have central heat. And most of us live in really old houses that were built to stay cool in the intense heat of our summers. The houses are raised off the ground and have no insulation. While they do an excellent job of staying cool in the summer, there is no way to stay warm in the winter! Two weeks ago, I went into my office, which also does not have heat and found that it was a balmy 49 degrees. Cold like this is draining and hard to recover from, even when dressed warmly.

It was however, the perfect weather to really embrace Yule and Imbolc. Winter is of course the time of death and the resting Earth and sometimes it’s hard to really take a moment and enjoy that stillness and have that break when things never really take a wintry break. The frost and ice actually allowed us to have a winter this year!

But, I will admit that I was happy to have nice weather return. It’s been in the 60s and beautiful the last week and just in time for Mardi Gras! Walking into work the other morning I walked past this:

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And so the cycle starts all over again: life to death to life.

Just some quick announcements!

I just wrote an article about my partner, Kenny Klein for The Green Egg, one of the oldest running Pagan magazines in America! Their Imbolc edition is now out and is available in print for the first time in years. You should go buy a copy and check it out! The article is titled “Kenny Klein: A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.”

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The new book from Llewellyn is also coming out soon and you can now preorder it from Amazon!

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Last weekend, while at Pantheacon, I sat on a Llewellyn panel about death and ancestor work. The Wild Hunt posted a picture!

From left to right: Tess Whitehurst, Elysia Gallo, Tony Mierzwicki, Jhenah Telyndru, Me, Stephanie Woodfield, Kenny Klein

From left to right: Tess Whitehurst, Elysia Gallo, Tony Mierzwicki, Jhenah Telyndru, Me (Lauren DeVoe), Stephanie Woodfield, Kenny Klein

Last night was my subkrewe’s inaugural march in Chewbacchus, our science fiction and fantasy geek parade! The Party Elves of Mirkwood was a hairbrained scheme cooked up to honor the Randy Thrandy meme from The Lord of the Rings. We had a heck of a lot of fun and think others did as well. You should have been there! It’s totally started my Mardi Gras season off with a bang and is only the beginning! But I was briefly interviewed in The New Orleans Advocate during Comic Con about Chewbacchus, which was a lot of fun.

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