Rose Orriculum’s Of Witchcraft and Whimsy: A Review
Ahh, where to begin! I was hesitant to purchase this at first, only for the simple fact it’s targeted towards beginners. I feel like a lot of witchblr regulars could be in the same boat, but I want to emphasize somethin right quick: this is for so much more than beginners. No matter your path, the time you’ve spent on it, and the knowledge you have, I feel like this is a great witchy wonder to have on your shelf.
Terms? Yep. Spells? Yep. Religion, misconceptions, tools, information on appropriation, heck even laws in regards to the craft are covered. It gives basic information that’s wonderful to have, but sets you up to carve out where you want to take it. That thin line between being a guide book and a rule book isn’t crossed, and I have so much appreciation for that.
But heyo, OG witches, this is for you too. It very much so goes over the basics, but my gods if you can have all the things memorized at all the times, you are a legend. And I am indebted. It’s just nifty to have a book that’s concise and covers everything. My grimoire’s a mess, and my search skills are lazy.
Anyways to lessen my ramble, I recommend OWAW, especially if you’re on the fence!!
I had had my palm read once years before, by an old Scottish lady named Graham — Fiona’s grandmother, in fact. “The lines in your hand change as you change,” she had said. “It’s no so
much what you’re born with, as what ye make of yourself.”
And what had I made of myself, what was I making? A mess, that was what. Neither a good mother, nor a good wife, nor a good doctor. A mess.
Once I had thought I was whole — had seemed to be able to love a man, to bear a child, to heal the sick — and know that all these
things were natural parts of me, not the difficult, troubled fragments into which my life had now disintegrated.
But that had been in the past, the man I had loved was Jamie, and for a time, I had been part of something greater than myself.
“Dinner all ready, dear? I’ve brought a new tablecloth and napkins––thought ours were a bit shabby. And the wine, of course.” He lifted the bottle in his hand, smiling, then leaned forward to peer at me, and stopped smiling. He looked disapprovingly from my disheveled hair to my blouse, freshly stained with spit-up milk.
“Christ, Claire,” he said. “Couldn’t you fix yourself up a bit? I mean, it’s not as though you have anything else to do, at home all day––couldn’t you take a few minutes for a––”
“No,” I said, quite loudly. I pushed Brianna, who was wailing again with fretful exhaustion, into his arms.
“No,” I said again, and took the wine bottle from his unresisting hand.
“NO!” I shrieked, stamping my foot. I swung the bottle widely, and he dodged, but it was the doorjamb I struck, and purplish splatters of Beaujolais flew across the stoop, leaving glass shards glittering in the light from the entryway.
Came to this scene in my Voyager reread today and it seemed appropriate for International Women’s Day and the Day without Women Strike. I think Claire’s only regret (and many of ours) is the tragic loss of wine experienced in the exchange. Beyond that, you tell him, Claire.
To every woman who’s ever had the way they spend their time questioned or judged, be like Claire and don’t be afraid to tell them to go:
Let’s face it, we bookworms tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, when it comes to our reading, because we’re weird like that, but in a good way. And, the truth is that reading should always be fun. Guilt free. ALL THE FUN SO MUCH OF THE FUN BECAUSE WORDS ON PAGES *insert screech* You know what I’m talking about. So I thought that compiling a list of the reasons that bookworms feel guilty and why they should just stop would be a great idea
1. Not reaching our Goodreads challenge/lowering our goal for the year
In the past few years, the Goodreads challenge has become a staple of measuring achievement when it comes to reading. It has become insanely popular and it’s honestly such a good tool to keep track of everything you’re reading. But it also adds an immense amount of pressure. I’ve been there. When December rolls around and you see that you’re to the Goodreads challenge what Pluto is to being a planet in the Solar System (a.k.a. not even close; also VIVA LA PLUTO because Pluto deserved better smh), the panic sets in. You’re left with two options: lowering your goal or not finishing the challenge. Both make you feel like crap. But honestly, life makes us feel like crap far too many times, thank you very much, so let’s not let reading add to the ever growing pile of crap, am I right?
There’s no reason to feel guilty. If you read one book that year, you’re still a bookworm and it’s still a HUGE achievement. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t reach your challenge. It’s just a stupid tracking tool on the internet, it’s not something to measure your worth as a reader or as a person. You’re still awesome, even if you read just a page. Even one page counts. We’re busy, school and work get in the way 99% of the times. Unexpected life events occur. Shit happens. It’s normal and it’s expected, because life is fun and all that jazz.
Also, may I suggest a great idea: set your goal to one book for the year. Boom! Pressure off. You’ll still be able to see what books you read, how many pages and all that jazz, with the bonus that you don’t feel like hyperventilating every time you open your Goodreads account
2. Not finishing books (the dreaded DNF)
Let me tell you something right off the bat: life is too short to waste on books that you’re not enjoying. Yes, I know, if you’re like me, you die a little on the inside every time you are at that point where you want to scream at the book you’re reading: BUT WHY ARE YOU NOT GOOD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME WHO DID I OFFEND IN A PREVIOUS LIFE FML FML. It’s a reality. But let’s face it: you’re not going to enjoy every single book you pick up. It’s just not written in the stars. Which is why it’s perfectly acceptable to just…stop reading it. Put it down. Hug a kitten. Contemplate the universe. Leave it be. Maybe pick it up at a later time, maybe not. But don’t feel guilty. You didn’t disappoint the book, yourself, the book gods or literature as a whole. It just wasn’t meant to be and you should never force yourself to read a book you’re not enjoying. In my case, every time I force myself to keep going with a book I’m not enjoying, I tent to end up in The-Thing-That-Should-Not-Be-Named a.k.a. the Book Slump™. Just…no.
3. Not reading classics
80% of the classics I’ve read have bored me to tears. I mean. I want me some dragons, magic and lost princesses. There are no such things in most classics (a huge oversight on the part of the writers, but I’m not pointing fingers). I’ve stumbled upon some that I really enjoyed, but too few to really make me actively pursue reading classics. The trouble is that a lot of people cringe so badly when you tell them that you don’t read classics.
“So yeah, I don’t really read or like classics” “OMG HOW DARE YOU I AM OFFENDED” “Um, I just..don’t really enjoy them/relate to the stories/want to live while I’m reading them” “BLASPHEMY. SACRILEGE. BEGONE HEATHEN. SHAAAAME”
Whenever people react like this, it puts me off reading classics even more, because I hate judgy people. But I digress. My point is, the amount of classics that you read or don’t read doesn’t indicate how “good” of a reader you are (fyi, there are no good or bad readers imo). It’s just indicative of the genres you enjoy reading. That is all. People who read classics aren’t THE BEST BOOKWORMS™. They’re just people. Like you.
4. Rereading books
I will shout this from the rooftops: I LOVE REREADING BOOKS. It’s something so refreshing and comfortable to go back to a book universe you fell in love with. To revisit favourite characters and go on adventures with them again. I reread at least a few books every year. Last year, I actively tried to reread at least one book each month. It was so much fun!
Rereading books can get you out of The Slump™. Rereading books is an excellent alternative for when you can’t afford to buy new books because stupid life costs money booooo. Rereading can be so insightful, because you notice so many things you missed on your first (or second, or third or…you get my drift) read. Rereading can be a whole new experience years after reading that book for the first time. Rereading a certain book can be the best for you at a certain time, because everything is familiar and safe. Rereading is absolutely no reason to feel guilty – people usually say they’re wasting time when they’re rereading (um, no), missing out on new releases (they’ll still be there a week later when you finish rereading your favourite book thank you very much), they fear not liking it as much the second time around (fine, I’ll give you this, it’s a possibility, BUT I ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE). Long story short: reread more books 2k17.
5. Neglecting books because life
We’re bookworms, yes. But we’re also People Who Need To Live and Function in Society. What does this mean? That we sometimes don’t have that much time to read (I know, it’s just so rude). Days may pass when we don’t read at all. Weeks. Sometimes months. Years? (all my college years were spent reading almost academic books exclusively; it was a dark time in my life). But that’s okay. There’s no reason to feel guilty for doing our best to live out lives. Doing that sometimes implies giving up certain things, because we simply don’t have the time or energy to do them. That doesn’t make us bad people or bad readers. Your books will still be waiting for you when you have the time to devote them your full attention. Books don’t judge.
Surprisingly or not, this is just part one. I have many feelings about this particular topic, because I really really want people to read books guilt free. And live the bookworm life to the fullest
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these points. And if there was ever a time you felt guilty for something book related
“Ah, Claire.” He spoke impatiently, but with a tinge of affection nonetheless. “You’ve known forever who you are. Do you realize at all how unusual it is to know that?”
“No.” I wiped my nose with the shredding tissue, dabbing carefully to keep it in one piece.
Frank leaned back in his chair, shaking his head as he looked at me.
“No, I suppose not,” he said.[…] “I haven’t got that,” he said quietly at last. “I’m good, all right. At what I do––the teaching, the writing. Bloody splendid sometimes, in fact. And I like it a good bit, enjoy what I do. But the thing is––” He hesitated, then looked at me straight on, hazel-eyed and earnest. “I could do something else, and be as good. Care as much, or as little. I haven’t got that absolute conviction that there’s something in life I’m meant to do––and you have.”
“Is that good?” The edges of my nostrils were sore, and my eyes puffed from crying.
He laughed shortly. “It’s damned inconvenient, Claire. To you and me and Bree, all three. But my God, I do envy you sometimes.”
He reached out for my hand, and after a moment’s hesitation, I let him have it.
“To have that passion for anything”––a small twitch tugged the corner of his mouth––”or anyone. That’s quite splendid, Claire, and quite terribly rare.” He squeezed my hand gently and let it go, turning to reach behind him for one of the books on the shelf beside the table.
It was one of his references, Woodhill’s Patriots, a series of profiles of the American Founding Fathers. […]
“These were people like that. The ones who cared so terribly much––enough to risk everything, enough to change and do things. Most people aren’t like that, you know. It isn’t that they don’t care, but that they don’t care so greatly.” He took my hand again, this time turning it over. One finger traced the lines that webbed my palm, tickling as it went.
“Is it there, I wonder?” he said, smiling a little. “Are some people destined for a great fate, or to do great things? Or is it only that they’re born somehow with that great passion––and if they find themselves in the right circumstances, then things happen? It’s the sort of thing you wonder, studying history… but there’s no way of telling, really. All we know is what they accomplished.
“But Claire––” His eyes held a definite note of warning, as he tapped the cover of his book. “They paid for it,” he said.
–– Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
First off, add this to the list of scenes I really want to see in Season 3.
Second, it can be so easy sometimes to write Frank off based on how his relationship with Claire ended. But as Claire remembers from time to time throughout the books, things with Frank weren’t all bad, just as they weren’t all good. This is one of those scenes where he doesn’t necessarily understand her but he recognizes something in her that is different, even if he can’t name it. He wants to understand but simply doesn’t know how.
Beyond acknowledging that drive within her to be a healer, he is subtly acknowledging more––the unique nature of her relationship with Jamie. He notes that “To have that passion for anything […] or anyone” is rare. He is perhaps trying to acknowledge the pain that she feels in her loss––even years later––and in the only way he knows how; by not asking her to give up something else she is passionate about, by not forcing her to try and discard another part of herself. Frank does still love her and he can see how much she has changed and I think it pains him to see her broken, especially compared to what she was when they were first married. I think at this point in time (about eight years after her return) he’s accepted that she isn’t going to go back to being that woman on her own but that maybe he thinks medical school and pursuing this particular passion will help her get closer to what she was before.
That final line can hardly feel anything but ominous. “They paid for it.” There is “a definite note of warning” that suggests Frank fears/believes that Claire might not be done paying for it, though it could also be argued (and Claire might well argue at that point) that losing Jamie had been payment enough.
There are elements of the conversation as a whole that echo earlier conversations in Voyager and the earlier books, perhaps most notably the concluding pages of the previous chapter and section in which Mary MacNab explains to Jamie that she knows what he had with Claire was true love and that she, “never had that.” There’s, of course, the echoing of the palm reading Mrs. Graham performed back in the very first pages of the series, which Claire herself calls out a few paragraphs later. The line about “I haven’t got that absolute conviction that there’s something in life I’m meant to do––and you have” that brings to mind Jamie and Claire at Lallybroch and the “I was born for you” conversation.
In consequence, both Jamie and I had a great deal of free time. And, as the Artemis drew gradually south into the great gyre of the Atlantic, we began to spend most of this time with each other.
For the first time since my return to Edinburgh, there was time to talk; to relearn all the half-forgotten things we knew of each other, to find out the new facets that experience had polished, and simply to take pleasure in each other’s presence, without the distractions of danger and daily life.
We strolled the deck constantly, up and down, marking off miles as we conversed of everything and nothing, pointing out to each other the phenomena of a sea voyage