Silver RavenWolf (1956-) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Writings, Sidelights
Given name, Jenine Trayer; born 1956; Religion: Wicca.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Llewellyn World Wide, 84 South Wabasha, P.O. Box 64393, St. Paul, MN 55164-0383.
Writer. Member of Wiccan clergy and leader of thirty-five covens in the United States and one in Canada.
Authors Guild, Authors League of America.
To Ride a Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1993.
Beneath a Mountain Moon (novel), Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1995.
To Stir a Magick Cauldron: A Witch's Guide to Casting and Conjuring, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1995.
HexCraft: Dutch Country Pow-Wow Magick, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1995.
(With Nigel Jackson) The Rune Mysteries, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1996, second edition, 1999.
Angels: Companions in Magick, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1996.
American Folk Magick: Charms, Spells, and Herbals, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1998.
Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation (young adult nonfiction), Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1998.
To Light a Sacred Flame: Practical Witchcraft for the Millennium, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1999.
Silver's Spells for Prosperity, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1999.
Halloween: Customs, Recipes, Spells, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 1999.
Silver's Spells for Protection, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2000.
Silver RavenWolf's Teen Witch Kit: Everything You Need to Make Magick! (young adult nonfiction), illustrated by Natasha Melhuish, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2000.
Murder at Witches' Bluff: A Novel of Suspense and Magick, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2000.
Silver's Spells for Love, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2001.
Solitary Witch: The Ultimate Book of Shadows for the New Generation (young adult nonfiction), Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2003.
Some of RavenWolf's books have been published in Czech, German, Italian, Danish, Russian, Polish, and Spanish.
"WITCHES CHILLER" SERIES; YOUNG ADULT MYSTERY NOVELS
Witches' Night Out, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2000.
Witches' Key to Terror, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2001.
Witches' Night of Fear, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2001.
Witches' Voodoo Moon, Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN), 2003.
A practicing witch and follower of the nature-centered religion known as Wicca, Silver RavenWolf has spent much of her life trying to demystify her religion and eliminate the negative things many people think of when they hear the word "witch." RavenWolf has been interested in Wicca since she was a young girl, because she found this belief system to be more comforting to her than other religions, such as Christianity and Judaism. RavenWolf dislikes the popular image of witches as women who fly through the sky on broomsticks, associate with devils, and cast evil spells. Wicca and witchcraft, as she explains, have nothing to do with Satanism. As RavenWolf commented on her Web site, "I never realized how insidious prejudice was until I became Wiccan. Uneducated, fearful people can be cruel, vindictive, and downright ignorant, simply because they don't have the correct facts. We … abhor abuse of any kind. We do not condone drugs or crime of any type."
One aspect of Wicca is magick, which followers of the religion spell with a "k" to distinguish it from the sorcery one finds in fantasy novels and on television. "I specialize in criminal magicks (working to apprehend dangerous criminals), hypnotherapy, astrology, and various
methods of divination," RavenWolf explained on her Web site. "Magick itself is the art and science of creating change through the use of our emotions, thoughts, and often, a physical catalyst.… Magick is neither positive nor negative—it is an energy to be used for our benefit and the benefit of others."
In her nonfiction writing, RavenWolf seeks to explain this principle to those interested in exploring witchcraft and Wicca. She has written witchcraft guides not only for adults, but also for teens interested in exploring Wicca and magick. She was inspired by her own teenage children to write the books Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation and Silver RavenWolf's Teen Witch Kit: Everything You Need to Make Magick! These books help explain what it really means to be a witch and correct teens' possible misconceptions about the religion. As she commented on the Llewellyn World Wide Web site, "I wrote [Teen Witch] … because I cared about kids and I wanted them to have legitimate information on how to work real magick."
When one of RavenWolf's daughters suggested that her mom write fiction for teens as well, the "Witches Chiller" series was born. Books in the series feature sixteen-year-old Bethany Salem, who is a practicing witch, as are some of her friends. The magick in these stories, in which the teens solve various crimes, is based on actual Wicca practices, although sometimes RavenWolf speeds up the time required for spells to take effect for the sake of pacing in the stories. The author's protagonists are realistic teens: they face typical teen problems involving friends, family, and school. In the first installment of the series, Witches' Night Out, Bethany is shaken by the recent deaths of her mother and boyfriend, Joe. Although Joe died in an automobile accident, Bethany suspects foul play and decides to use her knowledge of the Craft to do something about it. Although a Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the plot lacked suspense, School Library Journal contributor Lynn Bryant countered that Witches' Night Out "will appeal to teens who enjoy a strong-minded heroine and have an interest in Wicca." Reviewers of other "Witches Chiller" books had similar reactions. In School Library Journal Angela J. Reynolds commented that while the writing in Witches' Key to Terror "is not top quality," "the story and characters are interesting." And Elaine Baran Black, in a School Library Journal review of Witches' Night of Fear, noted that although characters are predictable, "readers interested in both mysteries and the craft will find RavenWolf's novel enjoyable."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Library Journal, October 15, 2000, Jackie Cassada, review of Murder at Witches' Bluff, p. 108.
Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2000, review of Witches' Night Out, p. 92; August 21, 2000, Jana Riess, review of Murder at Witches' Bluff, p. S19; October 2, 2000, review of Murder at Witches' Bluff, p. 64.
School Library Journal, June, 2000, Lynn Bryant, review of Witches' Night Out, p. 152; May, 2001, Elaine Baran Black, review of Witches' Night of Fear, p. 158; October, 2001, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Witches' Key to Terror, p. 168.
U.S. News & World Report, March 1, 1999, Anna Mulrine, "So You Want to Be a Teenage Witch?," p. 70.
Llewellyn World Wide Web site, http://www.llewellyn.com/ (January 30, 2004), "Silver RavenWolf."
Silver RavenWolf Web site, http://www.silverravenwolf.com/ (November 25, 2004).*
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