Books I’ve read in August.
Many years ago, Steve Wilson gave a talk entitled Archaic Witchcraft. One of the things he said was to remember how you imagined witchcraft would be when you were a kid. What thrilled you about the idea? What did you imagine that witches did? And then he suggested creating a Witchcraft to fulfill those childhood dreams. He proposed calling it Archaic Witchcraft. I suppose it could also be called Instinctive Witchcraft.
Some recent posts that I have enjoyed.
Lake Erie is one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. The surface area of the Great Lakes is about the same as the surface area of the British Isles (a statistic I’ve often quoted to impress the sheer size of Canada upon my fellow English people).
Despite Canada (1) possessing the largest body of fresh water in the world, a significant percentage of the original inhabitants of this northern area of Turtle Island (2) do not have running water in their homes.
The Earth Child
by Gerald Gould
Out of the veins of the world comes the blood of me;
The heart that beats in my side is the heart of the sea;
The hills have known me of old, and they do not forget;
Long ago was I friends with the wind; I am friends with it yet.
The hills are grey, they are strange; they breed desire
Of a tune that the feet may march to and not tire;
For always up in the distance the thin roads wind.
And passing out of sight, they pass not out of mind.
I am glad when morning and evening alter the skies;
There speaks no voice of the stars but my voice replies;
When wave on wave all night cries out in its need,
I listen, I understand; my heart takes heed.
Out of the red-brown earth, out of the grey-brown streams.
Came this perilous body, cage of perilous dreams;
To the ends of all waters and lands they are tossed, they are whirled.
For my dreams are one with my body, yea, one with the world.
From The golden book of modern English poetry 1870-1920, selected & arranged by Thomas Caldwell
French Druids, tidings of Ragnarok, responding to the climate emergency.
Pride started as a riot. As everyone knows (or should know by now), Pride commemorates a riot at the Stonewall Inn. A riot that lasted six whole days, and changed the course of the gay rights movement from one of assimilationism to the celebration of queerness. And two of the main leaders, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, were Latinx and Black drag queens.
Posts that got my attention this week. A reminder that humans are animals and a part of nature; fatphobia; the birth of Witch Lit; the power of stories.
I was reading the fascinating American Folkloric Witchcraft blog, and came across a post about folk rhymes and witchcraft. This reminded me of a talk given by Steve Wilson in 2004, in an attempt to launch a witchcraft tradition that would be like how you imagined witchcraft would be, before you found Wicca. It also included a disquisition on the possible esoteric significance of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, among other cryptic folk rhymes.
What I have been reading this week.