Twenty Years With The Amethyst Circle of Sisters
As a college co-ed, Deborah Castellano received an assignment in her women’s studies coursework that would forever change the course of her life: attend a religious service that is outside your home religion. She attended an intergenerational Dianic Wiccan Circle that had been practicing since 1993. From that observational circle on, she studied with The Amethyst Circle of Sisters, becoming initiated as a Priestess and leading and attending rituals ever since. She will discuss why women’s space is still vital to women’s spirituality, why intergenerational practice is important for young women, rites that honor women’s voices and bodies as well as spirit, healing practices performed by her circle, the revolutionary DIY spirit that still embodies her circle, how gender politics have grown and evolved over twenty years and where the political can overlap the spiritual.
Dianic Wicca has been considered controversial since its inception due to the exclusionary nature of the practice. This controversy has not died down in recent years due to Z. Budapest defining women through biology at Pantheacon and through social media. Deborah Castellano has publicly disowned Z. Budapest as part of her practice for these statements and actions and has gone on to blog and write about how a practice can be feminine but inclusive to all self-defined women as well as people who don’t identify with a gender. Maintaining a delicate balance between welcoming women of all origin while still maintaining women’s space and women’s spiritual rites will define the future of Dianic Wicca.
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want (Llewellyn, 2017) is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble. Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.
She blogs about Glamour Magic at Charmed, I'm Sure.
Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers.
In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.
She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.