Books I read in April 2022

Dragon Rider #2: The Griffin’s Feather, Cornelia Funke

Another exciting tale of magical creatures, with lots of thoughts about conservation and wildlife.


India: one man’s personal journey round the continent, Sanjeev Bhaskar

The fact that Sanjeev Bhaskar is part of the Indian Diaspora and visited India as a child gives him a really good perspective on India, as both insider and outsider. He also writes in a very engaging way, so this book is easy to read. The TV series it was written to accompany was also very good, and both the book and the series explore the multifaceted nature of modern India. He also writes very movingly about Partition, the massacres that took place, and its effects, both on his family and on India and Pakistan.

The uncomplaining stars

The low cosmic hum
Of all the stars
singing the worlds into being.
Who can know the thoughts of a star,
Or how they compose
The music of the spheres?
What faults might stars commit
That they fall to earth
A bolt from the infinite,
Becoming finite, massy?
If they look upon the pale blue dot
And hear the tumult,
Do they not complain
Of the marring of their music?
Or is the discordant theme
Woven into the greater music?

Yvonne Aburrow, 8:00 am, 26 April 2022

Inspired by the line “The uncomplaining stars composed their lucid song” in Voltaire at Ferney by W H Auden (1939). With a nod to the retired stars Ramandu and Coriakin in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C S Lewis, and the music of the Ainur in JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. And of course, a nod to Carl Sagan’s awesome meditation, The Pale Blue Dot, which was inspired by this photograph.

Ramandu, by Pauline Baynes

My books

My books

DARK MIRROR

“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”

— Morgana Sythove,
Pagan Federation International
https://silvercircle.org
https://wiccanrede.org

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


THE NIGHT JOURNEY

The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”

Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


ALL ACTS OF LOVE AND PLEASURE

“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.”
Sable Aradia

Available from Avalonia Books and all other online retailers

Missing Witches

I was on the Missing Witches podcast recently. It’s a new and original format for a podcast: more like a structured group chat, ably facilitated by the lovely hosts.

Among other things, we discussed the subject of the book I’m currently writing, Changing Paths, which is about changing from one spiritual path to another. I was also really pleased with the circle opening that I did for this episode.

You can catch the episode at Missing Witches.

Call for contributions – Changing Paths

Have you changed from one religion to another, or from a religion to none? Did the process take a long time or was it a sudden change?

I am writing a book to support people through the process of changing paths (leaving a religion, joining Paganism, or changing paths within Paganism).

I am looking for contributions of around 1500-3000 words from people who have joined a Pagan tradition from elsewhere, or left a Pagan tradition for another path.

I am especially interested in people who have left Paganism and then rejoined it, and people who have joined a Pagan tradition from a religion other than Christianity.

What annoyed you about the religion you left? What attracted you about the religion or path that you joined?

Contributions from marginalized people (disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA, neurodiverse) are especially welcome. Were you marginalized within the tradition you left? Is that still the case with the tradition you joined?

Email for contributions is yaburrow@gmail.com

Queer Pagan Reading List 2022

New titles this year by Enfys Book of the Major Arqueerna blog, Casey Giovinco, Fire Lyte of the Inciting a Riot podcast, Aaron Oberon, Fio Gede Parma and Jane Meredith, Lee Morgan, Devdutt Pattanaik, Roberto Strongman, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, plus translations into other languages of Mat Auryn’s book Psychic Witch.

Check out the 2015 list, the 2018 list, the 2020 list, and the 2021 list.

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Books I read in 2021

At the start of the year, I figured I’d try to read around one book a week. Then I faffed around in January starting books and not finishing them, and thought I’d fall well short of 52 books, so I reset my Goodreads target to 42 books (42 being a resonant number for Hitch-hikers fans).

Around the middle of the year, I did a lot of reading, especially while we were camping, so I got ahead of schedule, and ended up with 52 books by the middle of December. Of course, I don’t read to complete targets, but since the advent of smart phones, I find it is good to note the amount of books I am reading, just to remind myself to put down the phone and pick up a book.

So here’s a list of my 2021 book review posts, and a list of books that I have read.

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