Witch in practice: week 4

Welcome to the fourth instalment! This week was busy. (So is this coming week, in other ways.)

This week

Thursday, I had the first online call for this year’s round of Spinning Gold, which had a new ritual-focused format. It’s the first time I’ve done an online ritual thing other than purely meditation in quite a while, and the Zoom format worked quite well. (I took the course in 2017-2018, and I’m working through it more deliberately again this year.)

Saturday, we had our third Dedicant class, and what was going to be a full moon ritual, but which I ended up doing with a minimal circle set up, because I got to about 10 am (including going to the laundromat and a couple of other errands) and hit ‘wow, do I not feel great’ in a manner that I am used to these days (autoimmune stuff does this, and it’s been an on-again-off-again couple of months for that.)

However, things went well in the modified ritual, and we had a great discussion in class, so that’s always good. We’ve also worked out our calendar through the end of December, which helps me a lot in planning the rest of my life.

Sunday, I took notes from the Sola Busca book (this time, a discussion of the Mithras cult and what was generally known about the classical mystery cults in the Renaissance). And then I did a bunch of writing in my 1920s romance series, adding a chapter to the book in editing that involves them pulling Tarot cards to represent people.

(This is why I had to come up with a new Tarot deck, because I hit the point where the worldbuilding demanded it: I wanted to de-centre Christian imagery, gender roles are a little different, the court cards need names that support the worldbuilding. I have very clear images of some of the cards now. It’s delightful fun, but also demanding and the kind work I can only tackle on a day with nothing else scheduled.)

The other chapter in the book in progress involves the hero (a Classicist) coming across the heroine (he doesn’t know it’s her) doing a ritual in the woods, and having many complex emotions about it. Apparently it was a day for mystery cult thoughts, because more of that turned up in the chapter than I was expecting. (My book series, it so very much requires having something like my brain to write.)

Speaking of mystery cults – or at least secret societies – I was then up absurdly late not quite finishing Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House. I don’t normally talk much about my reading (I have a ‘if you know what’s in my head, you can steal my soul’ instinctive reaction to talking about what I read in detail). I finished it this morning, of course.

If the description sounds like it might be your thing, let me tell you that she does some fascinating things with different approaches to magic, how certain magical abilities are a lot less fun to have than you might think, and the ways that magical power can corrupt and what the alternatives might look like. Desperately hoping there’s a sequel.

(I should add that there are sexual traumatic events, body horror, and violence, though mostly of the ‘paragraph of detailed description, much more discussion of other things, another paragraph of graphic’ ratio. So if those are not things you’re up for, the warning is there.)

This coming week

This coming week, I have today (Monday) off, dental work on Tuesday (and thankfully got permission to work from home), possibly jury duty on Wednesday (and my county is very large, so I have to be a 45 minute drive away by 8am, fortunately going against traffic), dinner with a friend on Thursday, and a presentation to alumni at the school I work for on Saturday morning plus meeting up with someone from an online thing I’ve been doing.

That last is probably worth mentioning here: for the past 9.5 months (it runs for a calendar year), I’ve been working on the Art of Money program from Bari Tessler, about getting in a better relationship with your finances. I’ve found I had a good grip on a lot of the structural ‘how does this thing supposedly work’, but the program has been really good for looking at things in new ways. There are definitely people in the program (and Facebook group) more on the Pagan or New Age side of things.

The actual state of my budget and bank account is… well, they’re not where I want them to be, but I continue to get better at figuring out what to do about that. An unexpected move in January and a root canal have not, shall we say, helped anything on the finance side (though they were both helpful in other ways!)

If you’re curious about it, she’s about to start running what she calls Money Mochas with snippets of the content. I’m also glad to chat (use the contact form!) if you have questions. (Not an affiliate, not getting anything from this other than pleasure at helping people find tools that help them.)

Friday is the beginning of Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery deep dive, so there will be new things to do then too. Whee!

Other stuff on my to-do list involves figuring out a bunch of housekeeping stuff to better do some things and facilitate some things in my magical and spiritual life (including finally setting up a hearth shrine: I have bits coming in the mail which I think will be lovely.) I may not manage that this weekend, but at least it’ll be closer to happening.

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