This is not a book I would put into the hands of a young witch. And by ‘young’, I mean a few different sets of people. 1) Actual witchlets, pre-teens, and teens. 2) Witches of any age that are immature or reckless in their judgment. A nice way I usually say this is ‘young and impulsive’. And 3) those who are new to the path.
I put this warning of sorts here because depending on the reader’s culture, spiritual background, and other contextual factors, some of the suggestions and workings offered here could get some people into trouble. A little bit of knowledge can be dangerous.
For the record, I come from a Christian religious family, but have had folk Catholicism, Santeria, Hoodoo, Voodoo, and similar practices around me for much of my childhood and they have shaped my personal practice. Witchy Floridians – and I would even venture to say Spiritually Aware Floridians – have not only a very interesting relationship with the magick and spiritual systems from a variety of cultures, but we also have a way of reconciling them with the heavy Southern Christian roots that grow deep around us.
Things came together early and I was able to get some of the books on my Amazon Wishlist for my spiritual studies!
The first book on my reading list is The Spiral Dance by Starhawk and then Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham. Wicca is not my first choice as a belief system. There are some core aspects to it (and how it came to be) that I’m not really keen on. However, I haven’t read extensively on it and I want to be as informed as possible. I’m also still looking for a really good primer on all the varieties of paganism and polytheism.
I find myself drawn to the Egyptian pantheon and the history of Egypt in general. That’s another area I’m exploring and discovering. There are some other traditions I’ve grown up around/adjacent to that speak to me and I want to learn more about them. While I did get a book on Yoruban religions, finding a 101 book focused specifically on Santeria is next on my to-do list.
Do I have to pick a religion or belief system in order to grow spiritually and be connected? No. But I was alienated for so long by the Catholic Church that I truly miss community worship and practise.
I’m a big fan of The Serpent Cast and I can’t wait to read Women Who Run with the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Estes, which has been recommended a few times on their podcast.
From Becoming by Michelle Obama: “I tried not to feel intimidated when classroom conversation was dominated by male students, which it often was. Hearing them, I realized they weren’t at all smarter than the rest of us. They were simply emboldened, floating on an ancient tide of superiority, buoyed by the fact that history had never told them anything different.”
Growing up, I never had somebody tell me that I was “just as good” as the boys or even take the time to warn me about the subtle (and not so subtle) forms of oppression and discrimination that I might face.
Boys are told by both their fathers AND mothers that they run the world. Meanwhile so many of us girls are barely propped up by the women in our own families to challenge the status quo. More often than not it’s these same women who dissuade girls from speaking up and stepping out. It’s really not that bad, right? You won’t have to work. You’ll have your dream home and family. You won’t ever have to worry about making a decision.