Books I read in November

November seems to have been a month of starting books and not finishing them. I started a novel by Isabel Allende and did not finish it, as it’s rather depressing. I started reading a book by Nigel Pennick written in 1992, and then learned that he has links with the far right, and haven’t felt like continuing with it (I probably will finish it, because I can read critically, but just felt sick at heart after finding out about it). I have managed to finish two books, though.

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Nature, tradition, and ancestors

I am very keen on rejecting, resisting, and repudiating the infiltration and co-opting of Paganism by the far right, and so I found Amy Hale’s article on The Pagan and Occult Fascist Connection and How to Fix It a very useful resource, particularly the questions at the end. I would encourage you to read the article, and use these questions as journaling prompts.

So here are my answers to those questions for initiatory Wicca (in some cases, I have previously written blogposts on these topics, so I will link to those).

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No platform for fascism

I recently posted on Instagram about a book I was reading by Nigel Pennick, and was informed by Amy Hale that the author has links with the far right (she published an article about it in The Pomegranate in 2012). I was horrified, as I have been recommending his books to people. If you Google his name, the first results that come up will not be related to his links with the far right, but if if you Google his name along with “Arcana Europa”, a far right publisher, you can find ample evidence of these links. He has also published a book with Arcana Europa. Accordingly, I created another post repudiating his work.

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Fire Magic and Earth Magic

Llewellyn have recently published a series of books on the Four Elements, called Elements of Witchcraft, and the two that I was asked to provide endorsements of are excellent. All the authors of this series are experienced occultists and Pagans, so these books are well worth your time, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced practitioner, or someone who is interested in folklore and mythology.

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Witchy aesthetics

There’s a lot of talk about Halloween being “the season of the witch” and it is true that what sets us apart from many other paths and traditions is an enthusiastic embrace of both darkness and light. But that is not the full extent of witchy aesthetics.

There should also be winter witches and springtime witches and summer witches. We are a religion for all seasons!

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