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SkinnyDippingIntoBooks

Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.

 

I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,


Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.


time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.


How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.


Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

A broom is a serious thing, both historically, and magically.

The Witch's Broom: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Broomsticks - Deborah Blake

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“A Witch's work is mind work and utilizes powerful metaphors, allegories, and images that unlock the powers of the mind.” ― Laurie Cabot, Power of the Witch

Please note, my wording may be whimsical at times, and totally and unintentionally 'wrong'. I don't know much about Wicca as a religion and don't mean any disrespect. Because of its historical background, and the way it is continuously misrepresented in today's world, I eagerly await commentary! So slash my review to pieces, if not only to educate me, but also the readers of this review.

I went into this book thinking two things.

1. Witches! how freaking cool. And maybe from a historical standpoint!! SCORE!!!

2…. and this was more so an insight that built up over time while I read the book. I wondered if all this negativity around brooms was just another way to marginalize women. If you think about it, particularly at its earliest use and function, women generally did all the household cleaning, so what better way of affording them more constriction and restriction than to put a negative connotation on the word broom, and then to subscribe some rather faulty logic to support it?

I researched quite a bit, in my inquisitive youth, about Wicca. I thought it would be an interesting way of looking at religion from a perspective outside the current climate of hate that overwhelms Christianity. Given this brief, and scant knowledge of Wicca, I knew some things, as in the origin of the 'witches fly' myth (but not the why), and the use of brooms as cleaning, both physically and spiritually. I knew that it can be used to cleanse a sacred space and for protection.

As a side-note brooms aren't always used for magic, but the author has thoughts on how to make the common act of cleaning a bit more spiritual. There are ways of using a broom for common, physical use as well as magic ones. For instance, the author speaks to actually cleaning your living space. Don't own a broom (YET!) no problem. She isn't deterred by modern cleaning items, such as a vacuums, and opens her mind and body in a way resembling how she would use a broom as a magical/spiritual item.

It explored the various ways brooms have been brought into history, particularly in the form of deities and other 'magical people'/or religious figures centuries old. The real lovely part here is that we get a core understanding of these figureheads.

The myth of flying….

There is really no physical way to fly on a broom (Surprise), however, there was 'flying ointment', a mixture of all things oily, and, among other things, the wickedly delicious hemlock. I jest, it was in fact deadly. The interesting part here is that it 'gave the feeling of flying'; the use most resembles the way acid manifests itself. This issue, one that perked my attention from the start, is explored further on in the book.

As we exit to the more mystical, less tactile experiences and notions about the broom, we head into its function as a magical tool. Along with the cleaning I mentioned early, the broom is often used for spells, including protection. One example is to use salt, sprinkled with a high level of concealment, behind 'dark/negative people' as they exit your humble abode. Fetch your broom and sweep those negative vibes away. This is one of the many examples that someone who doesn't subscribe totally to Wiccan can use a broom in a magic like way. I could see this as both a reject and adjustment of your relationship to self and others, meaning letting things go, as well as a way of pushing other peoples' issues out that door.

There are, as one would expect with an item so steeped in negative feelings and fables, many stories and lore. For instance, step over a broom and become a mother before a wife. Given my observation that husbands are more a hardship than a benefit, I laughed at the ways this would be such a terribly thing. Seriously though, these little historical tidbits aren't all that negative, and while they were a way of criticizing and viewing witches in times past, they are sorta laughable from a contemporary orientation. You can see, historically, how this judged and placed blame on women for unintentional pregnancies.

Creating your own broom, as one should expect, is very empowering. If you lack the physical materials for making a broom, make due with whatever you have on hand. If you need to buy most of the items, that is acceptable, but I am sure you can spruce it up with something from around your home or neighborhood. Various substances are cited, their magical purpose, and the basic physical properties of each, such as strength and longevity. This section concerns itself primarily with wood.

You should properly anoint your creation (pretty much sealing the deal and creating a mental and magical space for its use), even if purchased. Various common substances are explored, and not only types of wood. This section will help you gain knowledge of 'prepping' your broom.

Later on we find out about the best frame of mind, and the ways your intentions are both physical and mental, and provide a space when starting and finalizing your new creation; a clumsy way of saying your can mentally infuse your intentions for the broom by thought.

This book goes step-by-step through the process of making a broom. This section is keenly and carefully written, and is probably rather essential for crafting home-made brooms, but also in embellishing ones that you may buy from a store.

Care, from not loaning your broom, to the physical upkeep is broached too. Storing your broom is also important, and has implications for its use, either the primary objective, or simply while it is not being used for spells. For instance, the book will help in discovering the best location for a specific spell, such as the entry way into your living space.

Your broom is now complete, or maybe you have an existing one. So what's next? The author goes into the critical area of spells, spanning love to all things related to protection. On of my favorites is connecting to birds by placing your broom outside in a special place. As the author notes, use your broom as a way of supporting birds' ecosystem, either through food (the placement of an item like peanut butter on top of the broom) or in providing nesting materials. This is, of course, a spiritual experience. I could really imagine this being a very cool and enjoyable experience, and a good alternative to throwing out wooden brooms.

Look, I could ramble on and on, and that is basically the magic of this book. A newbie to the history of the broom, my knowledge was quite basic, so this was a perfect way of getting more information; and boy did I get a lot. I could see this aiding anyone, especially a newbie to Wicca, as much as I could see someone experienced in the religion getting a clearer understanding of the use and history of this really interesting item.

This was a seriously interesting read, and one that I found highly beneficial. I took a star because the format of the book provided to me, an ebook, doesn't work well with this book. this is a book best explored in paper form, and I highly recommend considering going to your local INDEPENDENT store and finding a copy. It is also worth noting that, given its massive girth in terms of information, I skimmed here sorta like a reference book. I have given it a more intense review, and each time I gather up more yummy information. I could imagine anyone, regardless of his/her reason for buying it, going back to read it.

I can't recommend this book more!!! Serious awesomeness here!