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Auguries and Alchemy: Starting a New Publishing Company

Publisher Pamona Sparrow shares what inspired her to start her new publishing company, Auguries and Alchemy, and how to submit to your own magical stories.

I’m not alone or unique in questioning every choice I’ve ever made and deciding to upend my whole life in hopes of finding a more fulfilling path. The pandemic brought that out in record numbers of people. Everything stopped. We were able to get off the merry-go-round, take a step back, and look at our lives. 

(5 Ways to Keep Focus When Burned Out and Brain-Fried.)

My salon was forced to shut down and I welcomed it. I did not miss it. I had been doing hair replacement for almost 30 years. I was done. It was taking a toll on my shoulder and my patience. I didn’t want to hear about it, talk about it, or learn anything else about it. That’s how you know for sure that you are truly finished with something. When you no longer have a desire to learn anything new about it, it’s time to start working on your exit strategy.

Auguries and Alchemy Pamona Sparrow

I wanted to create a life in line with not only what I know, but what I’m passionate about. I have been a divination card reader for many years, Tarot, Lenormand, and oracle cards. I decided it was time to put into action a dream (literal and figurative) I had had rolling around in my head for a long time. So, I started working on the Auguries Oracle deck. 

I was going to create and publish my own cards. I decided to start a publishing company. I called it Auguries and Alchemy. We would focus solely on magic-related works. It could be fiction, nonfiction, journals, all types of divination cards, and one cozy little space for all your magical print needs.

The problem was, I knew nothing about publishing. I knew divination. I knew magic. I loved books and I loved to write. I started there. Society opened back up earlier in my state than most in the country and I had to go back to work, not leaving a lot of time to learn or work on my deck. It did, however provide some necessary funding. I read about publishing every chance I could. In between haircuts, while cooking dinner, and after everyone had gone to bed. There’s a lot to learn and I was enjoying it. This is an industry that is forever changing so I will be forever learning and changing with it.

I soon found that the hardest challenge I faced getting started was not my lack of publishing knowledge. As with most new endeavors, it was fear. And there was a lot of it hanging around. There was the fear that I had made a terrible mistake in leaving a successful career with a steady income. How would I pay my bills? No matter how magical your path is, there will always be bills to remind you of the practical side of life. 

There was the obvious fear of failure, but luckily it was outweighed by the fear of an operation on my shoulder if I continued doing hair and the fear of waking up every day to go to a job I didn’t love. So, that aspect of fear of failure was quickly cancelled out. There was still the fear of letting down our first author.

As I said earlier, I was not alone with the life altering, chasing your passion, live your dreams decision making. I had a friend who was going through the same process of assessing and changing her life path. She was writing a book and she made the brave decision to trust me and my company to publish it. I will be forever grateful to her. Her debut novel was everything I was hoping for in our first offering. It perfectly represented the company I was creating. It was full of magic, divination, otherworldly beings, and strong women perfectly capable of saving themselves. But most importantly, it was an incredible story told in a bold poetic language that deserved the best representation available. I had to put fear aside and get on with it.

Fearless Writing William Kenower

Now I wake up restless and happy to get to work. I’m passionate about my life and career. My goal is to put out the highest quality magical works and distribute them all over the world. Sometimes I don’t sleep very well because I’m going over list upon list in my mind to make sure I haven’t forgotten a critical detail leading up to the books release date. Sometimes I sleep like the dead because I’ve stayed up till 3am doing the same thing.

Much like my last career, as I continue along this path I will develop patterns and a working routine. I will gain confidence and sleep will come easier. Unlike my last career, I have a desire to learn everything. I realize it isn’t possible to know everything, but it’s important to have the desire. Those are the authors, artists, and creators that I want to work with on future projects. Those with a passion for magic, books, divination, and learning all that they can about their chosen craft. Those are the people I want to surround myself with, to work with and represent. That is the life I want to live.

If you are a magical writer with a story to tell, Auguries and Alchemy would love to hear it. I feel like a lot of magic-related publishers miss out by only publishing nonfiction. There’s a lot of truth in fiction and a lot of magic in stories. Don’t let fear stop you from writing yours. 

We don’t leave out the nonfiction writers though. We’d love to hear your unique take on an old tradition or a new one. We are also very aligned with the divination arts. Do you have a tarot, Lenormand, oracle or other deck you’d like to share with the world? You can send your submissions to auguriesandalchemy.com.

If you’ve never upended your life to follow a dream, I highly recommend it.

(The author of this article is not responsible for the fallout that may occur with the upending of your life.)

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