Tuesday 30 October 2012


Wanton Green has just been reviewed on the lovely, thought-provoking and often challenging site "Enfolding". The opening paragraph follows, you can read the rest here

A key feature of contemporary Paganism is our relationship toplace. Curiously though, there seems to be little in the way of in-depth exploration from within the Pagan community of how we make and sustain our relationships with places, nor of place-making as a social or political practice. There are some excellent scholarly books examining place-making – such as Corinne G. Dempsy’s Bringing the Sacred Down to Earth: Adventures in Comparative Religion (which I reviewed
back in July) and Adrian Ivakhiv’s Claiming Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Politics at Glastonbury and Sedona which argues that “sacred spaces” are heterotopic – where meaning is created, contested, and negotiated by different groups. Hopefully, The Wanton Green (Mandrake Books, Oxford, 2011, 222pp, p/bk) – an anthology of contemporary Pagan writing on our relationships with places – will inspire further explorations of Pagan approaches to place-making.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Touchstone review

Review from Touchstone, the journal of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Thanks, folks, the positive reinforcement is much appreciated!

THE WANTON GREEN ed Gordon McLellan and Susan Cross
ISBN 978-1-906958-29-9 
Gordon, a.k.a. ‘Gordon the Toad’ is widely respected as an educational ecologist and shamanic practitioner: and what’s in this book is from people similarly worth listening to. The approaches which this collection of contemporary pagan writings on place covers are; personal journeys and intimate connections; river, well and sea; exploring - mud on your boots; step back and consider; where are the wild places?; and urban wilderness.
There is something for every thinking Druid here, served from individual perspectives of those who walk their talk: its breadth is inspirational.                 
The ethos is sound: Pagans, far from feeling ‘ownership’ of the world, ‘recognise a symbiosis where we are simply a part of the whole and certainly not the most important part of it all’ and the book is, ultimately, about knowing and belonging, in the profoundest sense. The editors are active in working for change, but this is not a strident or uncomfortable read; the pieces are celebratory, intimate, praise songs to beloved landscapes, gentling us into a mindset to open to just being part of it all. Not just the pretty bits; all. ‘I spoke up on behalf of trees and hills, grubby backyards and windowboxes...’ A deeply enriching read. Recommended.Penny Billington

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Honouring the Ancient Dead

We are giving all the royalties arising from the sale of The Wanton Green to this organisation, so it seems right to offer some more information about HAD...

Honouring the Ancient Dead is a British network organisation set up to ensure respect for ancient pagan human remains and related artefacts. HAD was established in May 2004, initially in response to negotiations following the Public Enquiry into proposed road developments at Stonehenge, Wiltshire.

HAD's main aim is to be a rational voice for those Pagan groups and individuals who are concerned about the care of ancient human remains in Britain, ensuring inclusion in any consultation and decision-making processes.  Key areas of interest are how archaeologists, museums and government departments care for ancient human remains, through exhumation, study, storage and display, with a parallel focus on issues of repatriation (within Britain) and reburial.
The full text of HAD's Statement of Intent may be found at  http://www.honour.org.uk/node/5

Whom HAD represents
HAD is fundamentally inspired by and rooted within the modern British Pagan community and its many spiritual, religious and philosophical perspectives.  As such a diverse community, however, it is difficult for any organisation to claim that it represents Paganism.  Addressing this issue, HAD does not represent a membership of individuals or groups for whom it speaks and to whom it is then accountable.  Instead HAD is representative of British Paganisms.  It achieves this through its structure: its Council, its advisors, its volunteers and its ability to access and listen to the many networks of Pagans whom it consults.  It is the weaving of all these voices that gives HAD its clear strong voice.

A personal note; a group of us were involved in a ceremony at Manchester Museum a couple of years ago to honour one of our Unburied Dead. Lindow Man, an Iron Age Celt found in the peat bogs of east Cheshire in the 1980s, was brought back to Manchester for a year from the British Museum. The story of that ceremony is for another time but, this image of the offerings brought by the company can close this entry with brightness and the promise of growth and life. Gordon 

Up, out and running about!

Wanton Green is now up, out and running!

Order a copy today, tomorrow or maybe the day after you read this!

For a modest £11.99 ($23) and whatever the postage costs, you can mull over the full versions of the extracts teasing in this blog

Dive in! Have a read and a think. Let us know how you feel

You can order from Mandrake
or from your local, delightful independant bookshop
or big chain bookshops or an on-line store….we don't mind, you can gauge any Brownie Points incurred for yourself (or by negotiation with relevant Household Goblin Authorities)

The authors and editors of Wanton Green have all decided to offer any royalties growing from sales of Wanton Green to Honouring the Ancient Dead. In considering how we deal respectfully with our ancestors' remains, we must question our own current relationships with people, legacy and land. 

HAD keeps asking questions of us as individuals, as communities and as part of a wider society

Saturday 19 November 2011

Wanton Green is out!

Besiege Amazon! 
Support your local bookshop! 
Get out there and buy your own copies, 
give them away,
read other people's copies, 
buy some more,
loiter excessively in shops, on street corners, at bus stops praising this book loudly 
be found weeping on park benches over choice punctuation

Or just order a copy and enjoy it!

Full title and other stuff:
The Wanton Green: contemporary pagan writings on place
ISBN: 978 1  906958 29 9
Price: £11.99

You could also order your copy direct from the publisher: Mandrake

The authors and editors of Wanton Green are donating their royalties to the Honouring Ancient Dead group. More details to follow 

Tuesday 8 November 2011

It will look like this!

"The Wanton Green: contemporary pagan writings on place"
Order your copy now - or at least very soon! from Mandrake

Facing the Waves

and as we reach the last of our chapter excerpts, Wanton Green, the book itself, is released! Details to follow very soon!

It is the smell that hits first; the pungent salt-rot of seaweed, lifted and lightened by the breeze. Or perhaps “arriving” begins earlier than that with the change in the sky before ever I see the waves: a lightness, a sense of space, a buoyancy reflected on clouds or hidden but present in the drifting curtains of rain. Or earlier still, facing the waves begins in the anticipation. A dry whisper of excitement like the rasp of the seaweed hanging weather-wise on the wall. A childhood shiver of growing excitement, of sandy toes, buckets and spades. An excitement that decades have not dimmed. An excitement that wakes a stillness that swells with the waves, rising as steadily, remorselessly, as the tide.

“Going to the seaside”, an adventure full of childhood memories and excitements. A starting point. For me, the sea has never lost that wonder and I recognise in that lifelong relationship some of my earliest spiritual experiences and explorations that set me on a career as ecologist, artist and storyteller.

Now I am here. Standing on the sand, watching waves, watching rocks, watching gulls wheel, slicing the air above me. Terns floating, white leaves, flakes, feathers, lilting. Now I am here, trying to let go of agendas. To be here is not to come with a ceremony in a carrier bag to enact on the seafront. To be here is not to have rehearsed the words, the prayers that should be said, the responses that should be expected. To be here, to really be here, I need to give myself to this moment, to the movement of water on shingle, to the sigh as the wave breaks on the sand