Of Wand & Earth’s Lisa Wagoner Details First Book, “Positive Pagan”
MARSHALL – The word “pagan” may cause some people discomfort due to a stigma attached to the term, but a local resident and employee of a Marshall company is hoping to dispel the idea that the term should have a negative connotation.
Lisa Wagoner, Asheville resident and downtown social media manager for Marshall’s Of Wand & Earth, recently released her first book, “Positve Pagan: Staying Upbeat in an Offbeat World,” and will host a book signing at the store. June 18.
Wagoner said she’s contributed to anthologies in the past, but “Positive Pagan” is the first book she has written on her own.
The author said she started writing the book after noticing an inordinate number of people in the Pagan community were focusing on negativity while it was in the throes of the COVID pandemic.
“I’ve noticed in the Pagan community, as in so many other communities, so much negativity and a lot of complaining,” Wagoner said. “So I wrote this blog called Being Positive in a Dark World, and I got goosebumps because I got a huge response to it. Some people felt outcast because of the concept of ” toxic positivity,” or being positive was kind of a negative thing. I looked around, and there wasn’t necessarily a book like that, full of practical ideas.
The publisher of the book is Llewellyn Publications, an independent publisher of body, mind and spirit books, according to its website.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Wagoner said. “I cried when I received my copy in the mail, because up until then it was a hassle copy, which is very approximate. So when I received it, I had the felt like it was me in book form. That’s what I really have. I want people to not feel alone and feel like they can get things done.
Wagoner said she believed the book could be used as a resource for readers as needed.
“This book isn’t necessarily meant to be read cover to cover. It should be picked up, put down, kept in your backpack or bedside table, and just dipped into it,” he said. she declared.
Oxford Languages defines “pagan” as someone with religious beliefs other than those of the major world religions.
According to the author, the term need not be uninviting.
“I don’t want the word ‘pagan’ to be off-putting,” Wagoner said. “I used to work at another metaphysics store, and I’d see people get really scared, and be like, ‘I kind of have a stake in this, and I don’t know what to do.’ , and it’s really a temporary thing.”
Wagoner said she hoped to convey the idea that engaging in pagan practices — sometimes called “folk magick” — isn’t meant to be exclusive.
“I even say this in my introduction, that you don’t have to identify as a heathen, necessarily,” Wagoner said. “If you appreciate nature, like hugging trees or you know, hiking or whatever, I want this book to be a bridge. You can have your own spirituality and still dive into the book, because the whole premise of the book is action. I feel like a lot of people get bogged down in things, and action is what gets you going and gets you to the things you want, and to the life you want. Positivity is an energy, that you tap into, and then you can get things done.”
The author said she hopes the book will help readers tap into that spark of inspiration and intentionality.
“Human experience can be important,” Wagoner said. “I have this perspective on life that’s difficult. It’s just a way of coming back to an ember that’s inside of you that you can tap into, to get that positive mindset back.”
According to Pascha Solomon, owner of Of Wand & Earth, the book is particularly relevant today, as anxieties and mental health issues are rampant due to certain stressors such as social isolation and economic insecurity.
“It’s hard to get up every day, and it’s hard to watch some of the isolation and the struggle that’s going on around us,” Solomon said. “What I liked about the book, as an extension of Lisa, and as an extension of our vision here, is the idea that (the practices detailed in the book) create a connection that there is good in the world, and that doesn’t require you to have a belief system other than “I believe there is still good in the world”.
“That’s what I think people here in Madison in particular, regardless of what they believe, have felt outside of this for a long time. A lot of people who have populated this area for centuries come from this connection with nature, of the indigenous peoples, then later the many seers and practitioners who came here and understood this relationship with water, with time and with the mountain. They may have gone to church on Sunday, but they had this relationship, and intertwined in that is trauma, hardship, pain and struggle.”
According to Solomon, the store is the only metaphysical store in the county.
“I think our responsibility in being here in Madison County is to help raise the vibration for everyone,” Solomon said. “We don’t require anyone to feel, believe, practice a certain thing to walk through those doors or participate in what we hope to create. One of the reasons why (Lisa and I) get along so well and found each other and continuing to grow together is because we believe now is the time to support our community.”
Wagoner started working for Of Wand & Earth in 2021 as Social Media Manager, or as Solomon dubbed her, the “Maven of Mystical Curation”.
In the fall of 2021, the couple launched their podcast, “Mystic Tea.”
“It’s largely an extension of ‘What do you put into the world that raises the vibration that creates a magical place of existence?'” Solomon said. “So for me, I believe we’re not doing magic. We’re magic. We’re creating a magical way of being. My heritage is French Moroccan and Cherokee, so I have these ways of thinking that are very different from those certain traditional ways. A lot of it is the connectedness of it all. When we’re connected to good energy, it’s magic. It’s not sitting around and doing that kind of sleight of hand.
“So what we’re tapping into is how to tap into nature to create a balanced and harmonious world for all. We talk about things like that on the podcast. It could raise your vibration through food. It could be tapping into in the mycelial network. Most of the time, we toast and laugh.”
The podcast is available on Spotify.
When they’re not recording podcasts, the couple are also scrambling to sort out the store’s redesign, as the downtown Marshall site is undergoing a mystical makeover, with plans to add a dog-friendly tea house .
“We like to have a welcoming space for everyone. There just aren’t as many places we’d like to see for that,” Solomon said. “So we thought a tea house would be a non-alcoholic way to sit down with your friends and recharge your energy.”
According to Solomon, she is considering rebranding and has considered changing the business name to The Two Brooms Tea House. For now though, the store name remains Of Wand & Earth: Marshall’s Mystical Mercantile.”
Wagoner, a board member of the Downtown Marshall Association, will hold a book signing at Of Wand & Earth on June 18 from 3-5 p.m.
The book is available online at Amazon, Llewellyn and many other outlets.