Author. Independent Metaphysician.
How was I going to self-identify after introducing my name?
“Author” was easy. I can confidently and factually claim that I am an author of two books, Holistic Tarot and The Tao of Craft, both published by North Atlantic Books, one of the coolest publishers, like, ever. I can tell you now there is definitely a third one in the works, but which will get to the finish line first, I’m not sure.
I’m not unaware that “Independent Metaphysician” sounds goofy, but all the other possible self-identifying titles sounded goofier. Plus, “Independent Metaphysician” is descriptive. I liken it to people with bios that refer to themselves as independent scholars, because they’re not affiliated with any universities or institutions, except here I’m saying independent metaphysician. Like, you know, because I’m not affiliated with any longstanding esoteric traditions or lineages. Yet my concentration of study is in various metaphysical practices. So I am an independent metaphysician. It makes sense. Don’t laugh at it.
Then we have the issue of the name. Benebell Wen. It is a pseudonym.
It’s based on my Chinese name. For those who can read Chinese, it’s 善 (which basically means “good” or “benevolent”) and 鈴 (“bell” like the musical instrument). But if I called myself Benevolent Bells, you’d look at me funny. Hence, Benebell. Still funny, but less funny.
Wen is the surname I should have had, but I guess when my family immigrated to the U.S., people were playing fast and loose with transliterations and so my legal surname is something else entirely. In so many ways, this pseudonym is closer to my true identity than my given legal name. Weird, huh?
Yet I opted for the pseudonym in a determined attempt to keep what I do here separate from my professional life as a corporate attorney. Oh, yeah, by the way, I’m a lawyer. I am licensed to practice in California and New York. I work in-house and do mostly corporate transactions, which is like mergers and acquisitions if you’re really curious. I work in venture capital. And yes, I am still juggling that full-time in-house legal job with what I’m doing here, and the books I’m writing. More reason to continue the pseudonym. Plus, throughout occult history all the cool people had pseudonyms and if nothing else I want to be cool.
I grew up in upstate New York and later moved to Northern California. I was that quiet kid who read all the books in the occult section of the local small town public library. In third grade while at a mega-bookstore for the first time (or first time in recallable memory), my father said I could buy one book, any book I wanted. I chose The I Ching: Book of Changes. It was a copy where one side had the original Chinese text and the opposite side had its English translation. The very first book I bought by myself with my own allowance money was in sixth grade. This was a big deal, mind you. My own money! I bought The Encyclopedia of the Occult or something with a similar title like that. It was a nice, thick, juicy book chock full of reference material. In junior high and high school, I was that kid that got yelled at by my mom for burning candles and incense in my room. [By the way, you can read more about that in an old blog post, here, “Magical Parenting: The Metaphysician Mother”] I’d spread a savvy piece of fabric over a nightstand and on it, arrange various figurines and doodads I picked up in forests or by the creek.
Then at some point adulthood happened and I became really focused on higher education and then my career. I sought out resume-worthy accomplishments, not woo-woo pastimes, though without a doubt there has always been an intense streak of woo within me. I just kept it to myself. Like, wayyy to myself. That’s why when Holistic Tarot was published, it came as a surprise to many in my arm’s length social circle, though upon reflection of all my demonstrable interests, those who really knew me and had already been getting tarot readings from me, receiving mysterious talismans “for good luck and protection,” heard me talk about feng shui or ascendant signs, or had accidentally stumbled upon my gemstones and crystals collection, the new public push of my metaphysical interest was no surprise at all.
Oh, and also, I’m Taiwanese American. The only reason I mention that is because you’re looking at that photo of me and wondering, “Where is she from? What is she? Some kind of Asian, for sure.” And that’s cool. I love that you’re interested. Well, that kind of Asian is Taiwanese. I add the American because I’ve been to Taiwan all of five times in my life, so I’m not entirely sure birthright is enough to claim my Taiwanese-ness.
Now, since this is my website on metaphysical interests, let’s talk about my metaphysical point of view. I don’t take divination, craft, or any of the work I do in the esoteric lightly. It is inextricable from my understanding and view of the world, of the cosmos. For me, strict compliance to ethics isn’t a matter of professional code or integrity; it’s a matter of my own fate and personal karma. Something that has pulled me always, throughout all of my life, has been the need to share. My mom says that when I was a toddler and others visited our home, I’d run to my room to grab all my toys and share my toys with everyone. Any time I found myself in possession of five pieces of candy, I would give away four. The more I liked something, the more I wanted eagerly to share it. That kind of pull has always guided me and that’s why this website happened.
However, if you want free downloadable reference goodies, it will be a bit of an egg hunt. I don’t have a single consolidated page of “Free Downloads.” I figure if you really want knowledge, then you will take the initiative to search for it.
Yet permit me to give you a few hints to start you off:
A Free Multi-Media Course on Writing & Publishing Nonfiction
How would you like to take an independent study course on writing and publishing nonfiction in the spirituality and New Age category? I provide a free multi-media five-module course. Start by clicking here, for Module I, and then work your way through the five modules until Module V. Module I is an Introduction; Module II covers how to complete your manuscript; Module III is what you need to know about traditional publishing; Module IV covers self-publishing; and finally, Module V is about marketing, book promotion, and post-publication strategic plans.
For Professional Tarot Readers…
Are you a tarot reader looking to start your own professional reading business? Here’s a workbook for spiritual entrepreneurs to devise their business plans (for MS DOC download, click me). It was provided in an old blog post about the workbook, here. [In fact, if you’re a professional tarot reader, check out the archive of old blog posts on tarot business; click here.]
Gemstone and Rock Lovers–
An alphabetized glossary of gemstone correspondences (for PDF download, click me) with click-friendly navigable and bookmarked entries, plus quick-reference correspondence tables in the back, stone shapes and their metaphysical uses, and a field guide to rocks, check out this old blog post, where you’ll also find a download to the MS DOC version if you prefer that file type.
Learning Western Astrology?
What about an alphabetized glossary of astrological terms (for PDF download, click me)? That and other free astrology downloads can be found on this page here.
Study Guides and Free Supplements to My Books
Can I presume you know about the dozens of study guides and supplements to Holistic Tarot for free download on this page here? And you also know about the Fu talisman instructables as free PDF downloads that serve as supplements to The Tao of Craft, which you can find here? That is not including all the free downloads for The Tao of Craft to help you enhance your metaphysical practices or to add to your own Book of Methods here….
And all that covers less than a third of the free goodies offered on this website. Happy hunting! ❤
Subscribe to My Newsletter
I share my ramblings and metaphysical dabblings in a semi-private newsletter, which you can subscribe to via MailChimp.
Click here to subscribe to my newsletter. The frequency of this newsletter is about once every quarter or season.
Click here for the archive to read past newsletters. I write a lot about my experimentations, spirituality related reflections, personal stuff, and more. If you’re wondering whether or not to subscribe to my newsletter, just check out past issues to get a sense for them.