The Rowdy Goddess

An Ecstatic Vision of the Goddess, dancing in harmony with the Universe.

Archive for the tag “books”

A Life Through Reading

A Life through Reading

My parents were/are readers. I have some wonderful memories of my parents readings bits and pieces of books to each other and to us. They found this one author really hilarious. So one of them would read the book first and then read funny bits to us out loud. Then the other would read the same books and read different funny bits out loud. After my parents separated, and I lived (as an adult) with my mother. She’d continue to read bits of books and the paper out loud to me. I thought it was normal.

When I moved away from the Washington D.C. area, I discovered that one of the things I really missed was the Washington Post. Then when I had the opportunity to subscribe on my e-book reader, I discovered what I really missed was my mother reading it out loud to me. I read out loud to other people. In one relationship that didn’t work out, he really didn’t get what I was doing. He didn’t think it was fun, cool, or endearing. Lucky for me, Mike finds it endearing; maybe he pretends but he pretends! I think we’d still get along if he didn’t but you know some things are a real litmus test…

When she retired at age 55, my mother got to read all the time, something years of teaching didn’t allow. She’d go to the library and get shelves of books. To prevent taking out the same book, she started a notebooks of things she had read. Organized (of course!) by author’s last name, she kept track of authors and titles. Somewhere along the way, my brother and sister put the book into a word processing program, and then printed it off. The notebook which we all call The BOOK, is in a binder with alphabetical tabs. She’s eighty now and the book is substantial and hefty. A lot of the times, my youngest brother goes to the library for her. He takes The BOOK with him and consults it. The librarians know him and The BOOK. My niece was visiting and she took The BOOK to the library but she got things my mother had already read. She said to me, “I don’t use The BOOK right.” “Ah grasshopper,” I said, “It takes years to get wise in the way of The BOOK.”

My mother reads mostly mysteries and several years ago I started reading them again so we’d have some things to talk about and read out loud to each other. Now I consult The BOOK for ideas what to read next. We have different tastes, but I can rely on her for some pretty cogent and succinct assessments.

I have a BOOK of sorts of my own. I use the online community of Good Reads. It’s a cool place similar to this blog where you can write about what you read, and then read what others write about books. It’s very cool. I think it combines two things I love: writing and reading. You can find me at if you are interested in reading what I write about what I read. Perhaps in 25 years, it will be The BOOK for me.

So in these week of love remembered, read something you love. Go to the library and rekindle your love of reading.


Neo-Shamanism and Wicca: Can We Be Friends?

A friend of mine has moved to a new area and is tentatively seeking out new friends and new spiritual community. She was telling me that she had met someone who was a Reiki Master and a shamanic practitioner. When my friend mentioned Wicca, the shamanic practitioner had a mild reaction like an indrawn breath. She told my friend that she’d met some Wiccans and they seemed to be of the behavior and mindset, “I hate my religion of birth and so I became Wiccan. Can I tell you how much I hate my religion of birth!”

I drew my breath in too. If I were still a fundamental Christian, I’d be saying, “Bad witness, man, bad witness.” That means as the embodiment of our religion, others witness their understanding of that religion or spiritual path by the things you do or say. Quite a responsibility.

On the other hand, it is a phase that most pagans including Wiccans go through. We have left the religion of our birth and need to process the reasons for it and what that means for us. At some point, though, most of us cross a threshold where we our message for others to witness is “I am Goddess, I am God.” And that speaks volumes about where we are, but not particularly about where we’ve been.

A wise high priestess once told me that in her coven the behavior that we call “Christian bashing,” can go on for a short while, but then if it continues, she goes to the person and says it must stop. All the bashing and complaining serves to do is to demean the new witch, and does not create change. Without change, there is no magic.

Wiccans and pagans can be friends with any religion since tolerance and acceptance are one of the outcomes of our ethics. Sometimes within our own community, our behavior creates misunderstanding. Yes, we can be friends with each other as well as the outer community.

My personal practice for many years has been weaving the threads of seemingly separate practices to create a pattern of wholeness. To me, shamanism and Wicca meld and dance together. We are all walkers between the worlds. We dance, play, grieve, and celebrate our divine aspects in both paths. For me it is the whole cloth. And there’s a great book that demonstrates just how that can be done. I am pleased to announce that my new book The Shamanic Witch is now available from RedWheel/Weiser or from many other booksellers including


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