This Could Be Dangerous – books

Uh oh. I’m about to watch a library tour. I back art witch Molly Roberts on Patreon. Her patreon-only offering this month is a video tour of her library. Uh oh. I have WordPress open, and am ready to make a list. This could be trouble, considering I have my ipad and my e-book ordering apps just sitting there within arm’s reach. Uh oh.

The Complete Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

The Crystal Bible – Judy Hall (yes, I could definitely piff all my crystal books and just have this one)

The Illustrated Guide to Divination –

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need –

Sun and Moon Signs – Julia and Derek Parker

Vampires Over The Ages – (textbook for a course)

Mastering Herbalism – Huson

Polish Herbs, Flowers, and Folk Medicine – Hodorowicz Knab

The Way of the Green Witch –

Modern Ailments and Ancient Remedies –

Cunningham’s Encyclopaedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic – Scott Cunningham

Crystal Vision Through Crystal Gazing – Frater Achad

Kabbalah Inspirations – Jeremy Kosen

Tarot of the Golden Wheel (tarot deck)

Flower Fairy Books – Barker

The Book of Answers – (bibliomancy)

The Cottage And Three Acres – O-Neill

The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life –

The Childless Witch – Camelia Elias

Sidewalk Oracles – Robert Moss (Molly recommends anything by this author)

The Book of the Law – Crowley

The Devil’s Notebook – Anton LaVey

Myths etc – Joseph Campbell

HerLand – Gilman

Prayers To The Great Creator – Julia Cameron

365 Goddess –

Illuminata –

Earth Prayers – Elizabeth Roberts

Songs of Shades – Joey Morris

Pronoia –

The Goddess Companion –

Dancing In Moonlight – Thista Minai

The Storyteller’s Goddess

The Wheel of the Year – Campinelli

Aphrodite’s Priestess

Casting The Circle – Diane Stein

Unbound, A Devotional Anthology for Artemis –

Intergalactic Wickedary – Mary Daly

Succulent Wild Woman – Sark

Witchcrafting – Phyllis Curott

Goddess Communion – Selena Fox

Colour Magic for Beginners – Brewster

Financial Sorcery – Miller

Confessions of a Tarot Reader –

The Tarot – Case

Bones, Shells, and Curios –

The Complete Guide to Tarot Illuminati –

Prime Chaos –

Practical Kabbalah –

The Sorcerer’s Secrets – Miller

John Dee’s Conversations With Angels – Deborah Harkness

Moon Magick –

Ask Baba Yaga –

Rust Belt Arcana –

Maps To Ecstasy –

The book of Life – Macino

Earth Power – Cunningham

Fear – Thich Naht Hahn

Merlin’s Book of Magic and Enchantment –

Dictionary of Superstitions – David Pickering

Practical Greek Magic – Murry Hope

Glamour Magic –

Urban Primitive –

Folkways – Telesco

Urban Shaman –

Teutonic Magic –

The Encyclopaedia of Magic and Alchemy –

The Book of English Magic –

On Becoming and Alchemist –

Star Songs and Water Spirits –

Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil

The Enneagram –

The Road Back To You –

Mystic Approaches – John Butler

How To Read Water – Tristan Gooley

*******

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s the books I could catch sight of. If an author isn’t listed, it’s because I didn’t see the author’s name, or it was mentioned. These books are the ‘esoteric’ or magical part of Molly’s bookshelves.

This list isn’t a recommendation of any of these books, as I haven’t read many of them. It’s a personal suggestion list for me, should I be looking for my next read.

All thanks to Molly Roberts for her video, and the look at her magical bookshelves.

Book Review: The Midnight Library

Copied and pasted from my FaceBook page.

I inhaled THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig in one sitting. What do I say about this book? It starts out with a suicide attempt. A young woman hates her life, and the huge amount of paths not taken that surely would have been better than the depressed, hopeless state she now finds herself in.

Whilst unconscious and hovering near death, she travels to a place called The Midnight Library, where she is given the opportunity to explore those untaken paths.

The first 2/3 of the book grabbed me, but then….it slid into Messages To The Reader On The Importance of Truly Living The Life You’ve Got. And as I read on, it became more and more bloody obvious, this Uplifting Message.

Now, I don’t mind the message. It’s one I’m doing my best to live right now. But I agree with the GoodReads reviewers who have given this book 3/5. The writing is good, very good in fact. Interesting characters, but they felt a little cardboardy. There are a few pages or paragraphs I’ll copy out to keep, but on the whole, this isn’t a book I’d read again.

And so we bid a fond farewell to THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY, and give it a 3.5/5, and recommend a library copy to curious readers.

Book Breather

I have so many unread books that I have a complete book case devoted to them, and some on the floor in front of it. Many are op shop finds. Some I’ve picked up in a panic because I’ve come out somewhere without a book, and I must save myself from mindlessly scrolling Facebook for twenty minutes while I wait to be seen for an appointment, or wait for a meeting to start. Or gods forbid I eat a meal with attention. I must read whilst gobbling.

Others are curiosities I’ve found, and thought ‘might give that a go’. A few are ‘that’s interesting artwork I could use in mixed media, but I really should read the book first before I go tearing and cutting it up’.

I have quite a few books I’ve bought because I was near a bookstore and it’s not right that I go past without at least looking.

But, now that Melbourne’s in its fourth lockdown in a year, and our NDIS coordinator, Contact Chrissy, has put us in touch with a professional organiser(I am slightly shamed by this), the time has come to examine the book piles and do a bit of sample and decide.

I sometimes do this between solid book reads. This past week, I’ve read THE EMPORIUM OF IMAGINATION, and THE LAST TUDOR. Both required my focussed attention, and I’m not quite ready to settle into another book so quickly. Thus, today is ‘you have twenty pages to impress me, or goodbye’ day.

So far, two books have been sampled and put into the ‘goodbye’ box. I have pulled another 4 from the bookshelves and will sample them this afternoon. I know, I know, the absolute horror of getting rid of books. But, I can’t stand to have this much crowding and clutter around me. Some books have been sitting there six years or longer. I absolutely cannot stand this any more.

I have beside me BAD GIRLS AND WICKED WOMEN, which I bought at an op shop because of the cover. It will be sampled after lunch, and a decision made. From there, it’s on to other tomes, until I have a box full.

Do have ‘impress me or leave’ days?

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – First Session

Last week I had my brain mapping session, so I was all set to go yesterday. The first of my 30 treatment sessions. It’s been vaguely on my mind, that this was IT. I was hopeful, a little fearful. I had tap dance class in the morning, and so I felt well exercised. All the fidgets out of me. I’ve not allowed myself the thought of: what if I’m in the one third this doesn’t work for. As I’m in the middle of rereading E-Squared by Pam Grout, and doing the experiments, I’ve been putting my thoughts on ‘this will work 100%’. There has been some ‘who will I be without depression and anxiety?’ though.

It’s a 35 minute drive to Narre Warren. A cold front swept through Melbourne at 10am, and it started pouring rain as we got in the car. Heavy rain. Oh no, I thought. PizzaBoy is driving, in heavy rain. It should be me driving. But by this time, my brain was a little fuzzed with nervousness. I tried doing jigsaw puzzles on my ipad, but not much good. The car shook a little too much.

I was seen almost straight away. I shouldn’t have had all that fluid in the morning. I needed to pee often. Nervousness too, I guess.

A different technician this time, one of the senior psychologists. A nice young woman with blonde hair that was in a semi-messy bun on top of her hair. I reflected she didn’t have the swathe of thick hair that I do, and she laughed when I said Olivia, the other technician, the psych in training, had lost a hair barrette in my hair during mapping last week. PB gave that back today.

Another mapping session, just on the left side of the brain, where the depression area lies. Oh no, I thought. I’m not going to get a treatment today? I want this to start! The mapping confirmed Olivia’s measurements and readings. The first part is like being measured for a hat. I am 55cm around the widest part of my head. Small average.

Single pulses are sent in the approximate area to stimulate the motor cortex in the place that operates the hand muscles. They look for 3 responses(involuntary hand movements) out of 6. That’s called the Resting Response Something. Any more than 3, too active. Less than 3, not active enough. They have to find the pulse level that produces the RR thing.

But then, a session! I got my first treatment. Ear plugs in, overhead light off, and away we went. I was in a very comfy adjustable chair, leaned back, and my legs raised enough that I wouldn’t fidget. Altogether there were 3000 pulses, rapid-fire, in short bursts of about…I want to say 15, but it’s probably more than that. There’s the sensation of static electricity, but without the sting. Rapid pressure on the scalp but no pain. It sounds like an MRI, and it’s like a woodpecker or sewing machine. There’s sensation, but no pain…except there was, a while into the treatment, like someone kept poking me with a sharp fingernail over and over. So they lowered the dosage to my RR thing, and the pressure pain lessened. I also had some achey pain in my left eye, right in the corner. I was warned this, or jaw pain might be the case. A sharp ongoing ache, until the dosage was adjusted. Not really uncomfortable, but minutely moving the magnetic coil helped.

Otherwise, I just lay there with my eyes shut. I wished I’d driven down, because then I could have listened to my current audio book, which is PASSAGE by Connie Willis. It’s about Near Death Experiences. I’ve read it before and know it’s about the sinking of the Titanic as a metaphor for the experience of death.

This set me off on what felt like long screeds of slow thought about the movie ‘Titanic’, the actual sinking, PASSAGE, and related things. I suppose because I was in a medical situation, and something was acting on my neurotransmitters, and the characters in the book are working with neurology…..I don’t know why. But it felt like this was the first time in a very long time that I could have long threads of thought. Maybe it was that I was in one place, not doing anything. Maybe it was the treatment.

I felt relaxed, and deliberately tried to relax myself more. There was a sensation of diving deeper into the centre of my brain, and the treatment, the pressure, and the noise, were what was happening on the surface of me.

The psych kept asking if I was okay, because I was very quiet.

“I didn’t know I was supposed to talk,” I said. Because I had ear plugs in, I wasn’t sure how loud my voice was, or if I was heard above the racket of the machine. It makes 3 ticking noises before the next burst of woodpeckering, so there’s no sudden bodily start when it begins again.

“I’m okay,” I said, and it felt thick to speak.

Just as I started thinking ‘Is this over yet? How much more? Are we done?’, it was done.

I was interested in how many beats per minute, because I’m doing tap dance, and it’s said Ann Miller could do 150 taps per minute. I wondered if the beat was similar. The psych didn’t know, but said that over a 20 minute session, I received 3000 pulses. But the intervals are nowhere near a minute long. Ha. The machine doesn’t even have the stamina of Ann Miller.

I felt a bit dopey, and floppy afterwards, a little like moving through molasses. I noticed I was slightly off-kilter walking to and from the toilet. By the time we got out to the car, it was gone.

I had a residual…not headache, but not not headache either, and when I got home, I just crawled onto my bed and read. Couldn’t concentrate well. Mind was a bit all over the place, as is usual for me. Took me a while to go to sleep that night, but I slept well. Feeling okay this morning. Woke at 6am. Full bladder, Angel had meowed loudly in my ear, body slightly chilly inside. The house felt cold, so I cuddled down and listened to more of PASSAGE.

I no longer have caffeinated tea in any more as a rule, thanks to the auto-immune protocol diet. However, I’d promised myself a cup of green rose tea this morning if I was a good woman yesterday and did my treatment. So, having just had my tea, it’s on with my day. I’m on an ‘up’ in my depressive cycle(the senior psychiatrist who zoom interviewed me for the TMS programme said he suspected bi-polar more than depression and anxiety, because the major onset of my symptoms was post-natal depression), so I’m wanting to do stuff. I’m watching carefully for any swing towards the near-mania I’ve had happen in the past.

It’s weird to feel wary, and afraid of feeling great. Because it’s never just great. A feeling of ‘oh, I feel really good’ leads to not sleeping, leads to pushing myself so hard that the hypothyroid body collapses. It’s never just feeling great. And then there’s the crash, the exhaustion, the pain, the brain fog. It’s never just feeling great.

But, today, I’ll take that I feel okay, that one cup of caffeinated tea is enough, that I will need some meditation time to equilibrate.

The Daily Blog: Why Am I Crying?

It’s Easter Sunday, and fair dinkum, neighbour, how on earth are you still edging your garden after 3 days? Good Friday, you mowed. Saturday, I don’t know what you did, but it was noisy and to do with the lawns. This morning, it’s edging. How can you possibly still be going?

But that’s the topic of the day. I’m reading ONE LAST DANCE by Emma Jane Holmes. The memoir of a funeral director and lingerie waitress. Well, thus far, lingerie waitress. I suspect she ventures further into the adult industry as the book goes along. “My life in mortuary scrubs and g-strings”.

Why am I crying? Because, when I separated from my first husband, I had no idea of how sexy and beautiful I was. I still had unlined skin, looked younger than I was(30), had a great figure, and long reddish blonde hair. Instead, I threw my assets away on scoring the next man and the next man, in my desperate search for the one who would rescue me, and support me, and my kids. I used sex, and my body, and my bubbly surface personality. A couple of years, and broken hearts later, as I descended into deeper and deeper depression, I started cleaning houses for the City of Monash. I thought I wasn’t even worth the easy jobs, but that I deserved the ‘first person in to clean in three years’ jobs.

I did it super-tough, because I thought that’s what I deserved.

If I had known that all I needed was a decent body, a great string bikini, and stripper heels, I could have been making wads of cash in hand as a lingerie waitress in pubs.

Oh Satya, if only you saw in yourself then what you see in old photos now. The pale skin, brown sparkling eyes, the wide smile, the amazing legs shaped by ballroom and belly dancing, the only slightly rounded tummy that some gym work would have solved, perfect breasts. I was gorgeous. Why couldn’t I see it then?

I learned in high school (I am on the autism spectrum, so I learned how to high mask, and to do what it took to appear normal) that the way to blend in was to not be too brainy, to struggle in at least one or two subjects, and to put yourself down. I watched girlfriends put themselves down, and garner friends and attention from boys. Oh, so that’s how you do it. That’s how you survive.

And because school scarcely interested me, except for the books we needed to read for English and English Literature, and facts garnered in Science and History, I muddled along, my grades gradually falling from Year 10 onwards, except in English. By Year 12, I flashed around my D’s in Biology and Politics, and thought I was part of the mob. I’d learned to wear baggy sweaters nicked from my Dad’s closet, and to poke at my hips, sighing.

I had a perfect hour glass figure. I ‘killed it’ in a bikini. I was smart, strong, and walked 5km a day.

What hope does a girl have? Society tells her to cover up, that she’s less than she is. The advertising industry tells her she’s ugly. She doesn’t fit exactly into Target clothing.

Oh Satya, no wonder you’re crying. No wonder you admire a friend of a friend who embraced prostitution during school hours, through a brothel, and made a bundle. Last I heard, she had put all three kids through private schooling, invested well in the stock market, had a house in Bentleigh East, and a holiday home in Sorrento, and another in a European country(maybe Switzerland). And when she got sick of that, she took to the phone sex lines, once the kids were in bed at night, and during school hours, and made more money. And she never regretted a moment of it. She did what she needed to do, and did it wisely, avoiding the pitfalls of drink, drugs, STDs, and self-loathing.

Too late now. I am 57, and well past the age of being a lingerie waitress, prostitute, phone sex worker(I tried it in my 40’s and just started laughing at the fantasy of ‘I’m lying on my bed wearing a red teddy, and I’m really horny’ and the reality of me chopping up vegetables for soup), or even returning to professional belly dance.

But oh, what could have been if I’d taken several paths less travelled. If only I’d seen my own reality, instead of what society thought I should think of myself.

Musings on a quote

Complaining is one voice of the dark goddess.  It is a way of expressing life, valid and deep in the feminine soul. It does not, first and foremost, seek alleviation, but simply to state the existence of things as they are felt to be to a sensitive and vulnerable being.  It is one of the bases of the feeling function, not to be seen and judged from the stoic-heroic superego perspective as foolish and passive whining, but just as autonomous fact — ‘that’s the way it is.’  Enki’s wisdom teaches us that  suffering is part of reverencing.” – Sylvia Brinton Perera, DESCENT TO THE GODDESS.

I came across this quote thanks to this blog: Home — Jung at Heart (jung-at-heart.com)

Oh, how often I have sat in circle with women, and have heard nothing but hours of complaints. What irritated me was not the complaining itself, because yes, it’s a first step towards recognising all is not as we want it. ‘This isn’t right’. ‘This is injustice’. ‘I am not heard’. What gave me the irrits was that nothing ever changed. I found that, over time, even with the application of the advice, guidebooks, and tools to enact change, most people didn’t. And don’t.

I had a girl coming to me for a tarot reading every six months, then every three months, then trying for every month, then every week, with the same question: When will he marry me?

The answer was the same: He won’t. He has what he wants now.

When I refused to read for her any more, on the basis that she came with the same situation and the same question each time, she tried seeing a girlfriend of mine, who told her the same thing. Now, we both gave her the same advice. Dump him, and find someone who is on the same wavelength as you.

This did not mean: set your cap for the captain of the Australian basketball team who has had the same girlfriend since he was 16, and is set to marry her. It did not mean: sleep with another team member to see if that will garner his attention.

Anyway, she finally took up with a bloke 30 years her senior, which was also not our advice. A month into their relationship, she came home to find he had cleared out with everything in their flat, including the furniture, the rugs, and the light bulbs.

Most of that story is beside the point. Yes, complaining has its place. I do my fair share of it. But I’m always pleased to hear solutions and enact change to that this ceases to be an issue. Most people, I find, are far too attached to complaining and ‘poor baby’ to change. Some will even get enraged if you offer a solution.

“I’m just complaining.”

Yes, but this is the 14th time you’ve done it.

Am I impatient? Un-empathetic? Quite possibly.

And yes, I have done my time in the barrel of ‘for goddess’ sakes, Satya, leave him!’

Maybe I just have to wait for the complainers to grow up a bit.

The Daily Blog: Moxie

I finished reading MOXIE by Jennifer Mattieu today. The end just leaves stuff hanging. I guess the book can’t go on forever, but, like the movie, after the girls walk out of school, very little happens. I wanted it to go further. I don’t know in what way, but I wanted something more. Half a point off for that.

I’m still churned up about #MarchForJustice, and the state of the world in general as regards the status of women. It doesn’t seem to matter what I write or art, it’s still there like a furnace inside me. I don’t know what I can do to change the status quo. I want to go make male world leaders as vulnerable as a woman walking to her car after dark. I want them to live on rations in a womens’ shelter for a month. I want them to survive on the sole parent pension in rental accommodation, while working a shit job, for six months. I want to burn things down, punch someone, bite ScoMo on the leg, and scream until every wall and glass ceiling comes down.