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Happy first day of spring, everybody!

20 Mar

This morning I unwrapped the balcony plants. The tiny apple tree has started growing leaves already, and to my neverending surprise neither the lavender plant nor the verveine have died. The avocado tree hasn’t made it, unfortunately. I do have kind of a brown thumb, to be honest.

Spring manifests in other ways as well – I feel a strong urge to purge our apartment, get rid of all kinds of stuff and downsize resp. redecorate. For some time I have been trying to get rid of one unnecessary item per day, such as old clothes, kitchen utensils we never use or decoration. I am a knick-knack horder, and all our shelves are filled with tiny puppets, poppets and gadgets. Some things are given away to people who will appreciate them, others are donated to good causes, and the rest is thrown out. (Germans are masters of recycling, so don’t worry … we have containers for papers, bottles and old clothing on almost every street corner, and every household separates their trash anyway, it’s mandatory – the only thing I miss is a trash can for biodegradable waste, which is optional and which our landlady won’t order because of the costs (and because many people think that these trash cans are especially disgusting … ah well).) Also I have started some major cleaning endeavors, such as foam-cleaning our matresses and shephearding all kinds of blankets and pillows through the washing machine. It’s kind of scary, and I hope this urge goes back to sleep soon.

And I feel the need to eat tons of green stuff – salads, tiny carrots and tomatoes, all kinds of fruit. You name it, I’ll eat it. In winter I prefer soups and stews and potato-laden dishes that are warming and filling, but now I would rather increase my intake of raw plants. Of course this means I have to get to the grocery store more than once per week, for many things don’t keep that long in an average kitchen. Took a BLT salad with some extra chicken (for yummy protein) to the office for lunch today.

Last Friday we did our first official run of the year as well – a 7.5 kilometer run around a lake in Cologne, with the paths lit by torches and a tiny celebration afterwards. We did not stay long, instead drove home and fell asleep on a heap of blankest spread out across the living room floor. That’s my favorite way to spend the weekend.

What else is new? Oh, I have started translating “School of Fire” for you, the fifth of Helena’s magical adventures behind the mountains. The series is intended to end after the ninth book, and by now I even do know where everything is headed. I am currently writing book six in German and hope to get the English and the German version out at the same time. Translating means an extra editing round, after all.

Makes any sense? No? Ah well, stuff happens. Gotta get back to bread-winning, and later curl up on the sofa (freshly cleaned) with some zucchini in tomato and feta cream, served with smoked trout. This witch knows how to spring-party. ^^

A review: Jailbreaking the goddess (Lasara Firefox Allen)

28 Feb

Book blurb:

Jailbreaking the Goddess is a revolutionary revisioning of the feminine divine. Where the maiden, mother, crone archetypal system is tied to female biology and physical stages of life, the fivefold model liberates the female experience from the shackles of the reproductive model.

In a woman’s lifetime, she will go through several different cycles of beginnings, potential, creation, mastery, and wisdom. This fivefold model is not an adaption of the threefold. It is a new system that embraces the powerful, fluid nature of the lived experience of women today.

Join Lasara Firefox Allen as she explores the nature of the five archetypes; gives examples of what areas of life each might preside over; lists goddesses that fit within each archetype; suggests ways to begin building relationship with the different archetypes; and provides simple rituals for recognition, transition, and invocation.

 

MY OPINION:

No breakthroughs, only replacing one system of sorting the deities with another. Many of my friends have been raving about this book, but I just can’t find my way into it. First the author explains that the “maiden-mother-crone” system is harmful to modern women because it is too rigid for the modern world. But then she goes and replaces it with a just-as-rigid system consisting of deities such as the “creatrix”, who is nothing but the mother. I don’t know, maybe it’s just the right book for you, but for me – I was hoping for someone to show the deities in all their glory, instead of providing just a different sorting box. The tasks to be performed are mostly theoretical – at least for the part of the book I could make myself read – and lack divine connection. Sorry, just not my type of book.

Carnival sheenanigans

25 Feb

Where I grew up, there never was such a thing as a proper carnival celebration. Imagine the culture clash when I moved to the rhineland area, where between Fat Thursday and Ash Wednesday basically everybody is dressed up and drunk. All. The. Time.

To be honest, even after 15 years I have not gotten the hang of it. Instead I have started my own carnival tradition – I hide at my own place, eat lots of unhealthy food and watch horror movies. It started in my dorm room, which I would only leave to heat food stuff in the communal kitchen, and continued at my first own tiny one-room flat, where I invited a friend or two and we made a lounge landscape under my bunk bed, eating The Sandwich Of Doom and scaring each other with weird movies we had found online.

Living in a real flat, with a real kitchen, it has become easier, but also less adventurous. We have a kitchen we can use any way we want, and our movie collection is well-stocked. In addition we live at the very edge of town, just a stone’sthrow from the woods, and no “Jeck” is going to come this way. Last night I did a huge grocery haul, and once I have finished writing this I will start looking for a cinnamon roll recipe – yes, our ideas of “unhealthy food” have changed as well. The only thing I make every years is a giant batch of “Laura Moon’s Chili” from The Geeky Chef, which tastes terrific and has its roots in my favorite novel, “American Gods”. Apart from that we have a tiny collection of ice cream, chocolates, crisps – and fresh fruit, which I am having for breakfast right now (watermelon, pineapple and mango). The older I get, the more I crave that stuff. It’s weird, I tell you. Maybe I’ll make waffles or pancakes to counteract all the vitamins.

As for movies, the only thing we have decided on so far is “It follows” from 2015, which we saw advertised somewhere a while ago. I want to make Richard watch “The crazies” and “The caller”, but he is hesitant, as he knows my taste in movies. And the cats just hope to eat, cuddle and sleep a lot. I guess they got it figured out!

Do you have any alternative traditions for public holidays you would like to share?

Never too old to learn … on Climate Change, for example.

7 Feb

This morning, I started calculating … last November I turned 34. Which means that I have, depending on luck, genes and a bit of self-care, I have about 50 to 60 years left on this planet. Which means, consequently, that I have 50 to 60 more years to remain either dumb(ish) or continue learning on all kinds of topics which have no connection and may turn me into even more of a weirdo than I am already. Sounds fun, right?

If, like most people, you do not have the means to attend (or return to) university, the internet provides a host of opportunities to quench that terrible thirst for knowledge. One source I am currently exploring is the community at FutureLearn, where you can take online classes by professionals on various topics. (Another course I just stumbled across deals with “Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crimes” – you know I couldn’t resist!).

The topic I have chosen for a start is – you guessed it from the headline – clinate change. As one starting point, the students have been provided with a link to a NASA knowledge collection on climate change. You might want to take some time to read through everything, it’s highly interesting – and perfect ammunition when talking to those people who are “simply not sure whether climate change is a real thing and not just some random hippie catastrophe scenario”.

As the course advances, the students are welcome to reflect on certain questions, which I may occasionally answer in depth (no one can reign me in by simply limiting the amount of letters I am allowed to type! Ha!) around here. Just so you know what I am suddenly up to.

Anyway, climate change deniers usually point out that there have been climate changes in the past, long before the Industrial Revolution, which is supposed to have set off the current change. It is worth noting, however, that the amounts of certain so-called “greenhosue gases” has increased drastically due to human actions such as deforestation or increased carbon dioxide production. And while I highly doubt that humans are capable of destroying earth, we are no doubt in the process of making it a very, very bad place for us to live. There will always be species who thrive under altered conditions, but we are not necessarily among them. If you would like to experience one possible outcome, I recommend reading “Mara and Dann: An adventure” by Doris Lessing. (You knew this would end up with books, right?)

Stay tuned for more ramblings, random bits of knowledge and general smartassery!

Book review: “Filthy witch and dead famous” (Pearl Goodfellow)

17 Jan

A COZY MYSTERY, SHROUDED IN PARANORMAL SUSPENSE, WRAPPED IN A COMEDY-FANTASY!

Nebula Dreddock has been murdered. Most would say the actress had it coming, but that’s beside the point. Nobody deserves to die this way. Even if it happens to be Gless Inlet’s bitch … ahem … witch-iest A-lister.

Portia Fearwyn, Nebula’s crotchety neighbor, seems the most likely suspect. The pair have shared some bad blood, after all. But, what about Cressida Dreddock, Nebula’s mad-as-a-hatter twin? With multiple escapes from Midnight Hill asylum, it’s soon clear that Nebula’s crazy sister does, in fact, have an even crazier motive to want her famous twin dead.

Reluctant witch, and practicing herbalist, Hattie Jenkins is drawn into the case as herbal consultant. But, wherever Hattie is, her eight (insufferably) immortal black cats aren’t far behind.

Will Hattie and her fuzzy sidekicks find Nebula’s killer before yet another untimely death takes place? And, can Hattie pull it off without having to engage with her inner sorceress?
Join Hattie and The Infiniti as they race against the clock to unravel the clues!

Part one of an eight-part series: Hattie Jenkins and the Infiniti Chronicles.

On Amazon.com

On Amazon.co.uk

This book came to me as recommendation from a good friend, so of course I picked it up between sorting through my virtual ebook files. And I did, indeed, love it! Even though I am not too fond of romance and all. Hattie and her friends are highly likeable characters with personalities of their own, coming alive between the pages without too much description. The world they inhabit is familiar and strange at the same time, and there are many things I feel are worth exploring. Plus the story contains the odd herbal remedy or two (and you get even more when you subscribe to the author’s newsletter!)

All in all I highly recommend this book to everyone looking for an entertaining, cozy, witchy read. If you like cats, tea and/or mysterious murder, you’ll feel right at home.

Body Poetry

16 Jan

In honor of trying new things, I have written a haiku on my Sunday adventures:

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Ouch ouch – Pilates

Have a great week!

Busy-ness

8 Jan

The next days are going to be hectic, and I am kind of looking forward to it. Movie, burgers, gym, hairdresser, samaritan errands – the whole package. Throw in the office, exercise, writing and a household, and I kind of don’t know when I will sleep. Only bad thing is that I have not yet gotten around to doing my annual tarot spread, or calculated the holidays. But I figure it will happen, some time.

Over the last five or something years it has been a pattern – when a witchy holiday comes around (full moons, equinoxes etc.), my schedule is always even more packed than usual. I wonder whether the universe is trying to tell me something. Am I supposed to pick my battles? Does it mean I should celebrate the witchy things with the rest of my life instead of trying to keep the worlds apart? I mean, I could gladly fit everything into my life if it weren’t for this pesky office job … just kidding, I really like my job. Despite the clients and the colleagues and the intercultural madness. And the salary is nice, too. I honestly cannot think of a single thing I would want to drop from my schedule.

And how’s your life going? Busy? Chaotic? Or have you found the secret key to having it all (and eating it, too)?