I hope everyone had the sort of Christmas that brought the love and light that 2020 so desperately needs. We had such a nice snowfall here, complete with a chance to go sledding, and then Christmas eve rained most of it off so it was really more of a green and muddy Christmas here, but it meant my chickens could range a little and now chicken prints are frozen into the mud and snow around my home, and it feels complete.
I also found hay cubes to roll under the shed where wild rabbits have made a winter hideaway. My sister is sending me gifs of old school Snow White.
I was going to do my 2020 specs today but seriously, I can kill more books between today and the New Year on Friday, especially with the cold and the pandemic preventing me from doing a whole lot of anything. And I love the reading binge that these dark, cold nights bring on at the end of the year while I’m eating Christmas treats. Sidebar: my college roomie has a baking blog, Boston Girl Bakes, and I made her Irish Cream pie and summarily won the Christmas meal. No small feat as my husband breaks out a reliably excellent holiday meal. Sidebar sidebar: I feel badly for my son when he moves out and realizes the excellent cooking he had at home. But hopefully he will be a decent cook himself by then.
Instead of reading specs, then, I decided to share something a little more personal, and that is the metaphysical reading I’ve been into since I received a Reiki attunement in September. It’s a good thing I read so many scary reads over the summer to leave me the space to learn about the spiritual side I’ve known I’d be welcoming back someday. I know, not my usual post, but I’ll try not to make it terribly woo-woo. Reading is such a lifetime love and how I learn, so a foray into metaphysical books has been important for me this year, too. I also tend to read spiritual books as the year closes out. Maybe it’s because I’ve likely finished my other challenges, but also maybe there’s something about the changing year that makes me want to get back in touch with it.
I won’t go through every one like I do most of my posts, but there are some that deserve mention.
Resonance: Nine Practices for Harmonious Health and Vitality, Joyce Whiteley Hawkes
I had the pleasure of watching Dr. Hawkes present at a complementary therapies conference a few years back and she’s absolutely captivating. She’s incredible in person and I bought both her books when I was there and her work inspired my current novel (more on that to come). But I had not actually sat down and read this one and I felt called to go back to her profound spiritual journey and what it was for her. She’s a gifted cell biologist whose near death experience propelled a spiritual awakening that has taken her all over the globe.
The magic of this book is that she breaks down the spiritual magic of how our bodies work on a cellular level and juxtaposes it with stories of healing for others and her own spiritual experiences. She talks about how meditation turned from an obligation to a joy and suggests meditations for the practices she discusses. It’s a spiritual and scientific text. I can relate to hating meditation; as a Psychology student and practitioner it is so emphasized with mindfulness as the hot thing, but it didn’t hold a lot of appeal for me until I could use it to deepen my intuition. In the process I have also found more energy, less exhaustion, and my mood is consistently brighter. I connected with some of her processes and the changes she saw through meditation. As I am really just starting out I can only be in awe of what she has done and seen in her travels and the healing that she does, but the journey makes me consider where my own might go. It’s just a great book and I wish her meditations were available on iTunes or youtube or something so I could just stream them rather than looking in the book, but she’s not a spring chicken and she has built her empire without a social media platform. So she probably doesn’t have to produce and market her meditations, as much as I’d buy them.
Crystal Reiki, Krista Mitchell
This book was recommended to me by the woman who certified me in Reiki. A woman who I knew I needed when I met her ahead of a card reading I had booked with her, right after thinking I needed a spiritual support person more locally. A woman my age who works with kids like I do. I always remember the moments I meet the people who end up playing a serious role in my life, and with my increased awareness I can usually tell immediately when I’ve come in contact with someone important. This lovely human was no exception.
Now, this book is about reiki, but it’s really more about energy, and how crystals combine with energy. It’s a lot about being conscious of, clearing, and really taking care of one’s own energy. The protocols and her healing work are obviously very cool, but this book made me so aware of energy and the magic of crystals. I bought one of her classes and I like her youtube videos and insta posts about meditations and crystals. She is much more bonded with and responsive to crystals than I am, but the larger lessons about energy and helping me understand it better have really been her gift to me. As much as I love my work I used to wonder how long I could really feasibly do it for, but with increased awareness and care of my energy, I don’t feel so depleted as I used to, and part of that I owe to this book as well as my meditation practice. So cool, so much more than placing stones next to someone on a healing table. I bought more energy clearing tools and she makes the whole idea super accessible.
I can’t write much more of this post without getting super exhaustive about my personal journey so I’m tossing in one more because it’s a good intro book if any of my readers feels pulled toward the woo:
Witch, Lisa Lister
This book is a general introduction to witchcraft without being super overwhelming. It, like witchcraft, is deeply feminist, and I feel more than teaching about spells and tools it’s more about how a woman chooses to embrace her particular power. It mentions the seasonal rituals and recovering from the wounds of witch trials of the past. The tools mentioned talk about the physical ways a woman can manifest her power, but in the end it’s truly about empowerment. You can do all of it, you can do some of it, but the power to create and manifest is already there and we have to know it and feel it. Not be afraid or ashamed of it. Crystals, spells, herbs, and divination are all mentioned in a general way, but all as a means to harness the power we already have. I have read general books to learn more for the purposes of writing fiction, and this is definitely one I would have read at that point too. It’s a good starting point.
Others worthy of mention: Moonology, Yasmin Boland, Tarot for Creatives, Jessa Crispin, and Lisa Chamberlain’s Wicca series.
Ooh, longer than I expected. I promise specs next week, let’s see what I can get done in the next few days.
Let us ease a toe into the hope of a new year.