Natural Magic is a fantastic book. Written in a very accessible and personable manner, it teaches the witch about what magic truly is. This particular book resonates with me mainly because I believe magic resides inside us and what we use are extensions or tools to this. Doreen Valiente makes this point in Natural Magic, she is teaching us that we need to look around us because magic lives all around us too. From chapters about amulets, herbs, numbers, weather, sex and a great deal of other things. It will certainly inspire you to step out into the big wide-open spaces we have and work with it in our craft.
Doreen Valiente, although heavily associated with Wicca, is a fantastic author that really pushes the idea of the natural side of witchcraft. Unfortunately, I find some Wicca books to be very ritual heavy often featuring pictures of people performing spells in their living room – this doesn’t resonate with me as much as seeing the lone witch making magic in a woodland. This is why Doreen is a true inspiration to newcomers in the craft and those who have practiced for a long time.
There is one major flaw to my creativity. Procrastination. Although, the more I look into that word I feel that maybe this doesn’t serve me, I just need things to be right.
My desk is a very finely crafted piece of art, in my eyes anyway. No, it isn’t made from trees that stood tall in an ancient forest, it is arranged very precisely and is changed from time to time depending on what mood I am in. Sometimes I enjoy the clutter of books, candles and stationery. Other times I need clarity, space and echoes.
Today, I have a tidy desk filled with a succulent plant, a cat teacup filled with pens and pencils, a small wicker basket that houses my overflowing stationery collection, a mug filled with tea, my notebook and my creative diary. Above my desk I have tacked my favourite images; postcards of Dali, the desk of Dylan Thomas in his boathouse, Anaïs Nin at her typewriter, Charles Bukowski casually smiling with a cigarette between his fingers, a dried flower tucked inside the artwork of Kurt Cobain. Each piece is carefully curated to aid me living my artful life.
Back to procrastinating. I know that I am like a rusty old car sometimes, I need to make that strongly brewed tea, I need to get my notes ready and I know I need to search on Pinterest, just in case I missed an amazing picture (ok maybe the last is procrastination) but there is always this build-up, it isn’t a “oh god, I don’t want to do it” thought, it’s an excitement, the pleasure before the ultimate climax and the dressing up before going out at night. I need to be prepared and in the right frame of mind, I don’t want that just got up and slumped at my desk feeling I get in a 9-5 job – that takes at least three teas and a croissant to make me come round. Creating is important to me and I want to be able to sit, sip and write until my fingers are sore.
Preparation. Not procrastination.
I would be interested in your comments about this and what you do to prepare yourself for a day at work.
Betony Vernon is much more than a sexual anthropologist. She is a sensualist, an artist, a designer, a writer and a bohemian. I happened upon her site one day whilst I was digging around on the internet for lingerie, I’m not really sure how I got there but I am so happy I did.
Her jewellery serves as not only as an adornment but an object that can bring about pleasure, her writing is sexual poetry, her style speaks of ultimate bohemian glamour.
Please visit her site betonyvernon.com to find out more about this majestic creature.
Originally published in 1967, Marvin Cohen’s debut The Self-Devoted Friend has had a rebirth. Tough Poets Press has resurrected a now, out-of-print gem of the literary world with a new introduction from the author himself.
The Self-Devoted Friend is a totally original book. Drifting from normality to abnormality; it is funny, warm, surreal, beautifully absurd and totally dysfunctional in the best way possible.
It is a series of dialogues between the author and his friend; the latter being his “other self”, constantly chattering on every subject imaginable. It is a fantastically entertaining read, it allows the reader to languish in the linguistic feats that Marvin Cohen cooks up for us.
Published by: Paper and Ink (paperandinkzine.co.uk)
Gwil Vs Machine is a collection of nineteen poems written between 2013 and 2016 by Bristolian born poet Gwil James Thomas. The collection is observational, confessional and pulls memories from the past into a freeform, conversational tone that makes you feel you are having a chat with Gwil. This very unique voice gives traditional poetry the boot, this makes you feel something; a little bit of an autobiographical poet, he writes in an honest, cutting and sometimes tender tone. It is a wonderful collection.
This particular poetry anthology has now sold out but you can find his work right here