Sat, Nov 19 at 1pm – Fall 2022 Boston Austen Book Club – “Lady Susan”
The Fall 2022 meeting of the Boston Austen Book Club will be Saturday, November 19 at 1pm via Webex. We will meet to discuss the novella, “Lady Susan” — no specific edition of the book.
The meeting will be held remotely via Webex. Make sure your RSVP information matches your Webex info.
If you cannot RSVP at the Facebook event page or have not RSVPed with Bridget already, send an email with the subject “Lady Susan RSVP” with your name in the email, and make sure that your name matches your Webex info.
Who Is Invited?
As always, the book club is open to new members. All you have to do is read the book and come to the meeting to discuss it.
Save the Date: Winter 2022 BABC, Fri, Dec 16
Also note that our Winter 2022 meeting will be held in the evening on Friday, December 16 in honor of Jane Austen’s birthday. We will meet to discuss the Stephanie Barron Jane Austen Mystery, “Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Hope to see you on Sat, 11/19 and Fri, 12/16!
Fall 2022 Boston Austen Book Club Details
Who: Boston Austen Book Club; always accepting new members!
What: Lady Susan
When: Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 1pm
Where: Via webex, see this page for webex info on the day of the event
How: any edition of the book is acceptable
Why: Because we love Jane Austen
Boston Austen Book Club Homepage
Learn more about the Boston Austen Book Club at our new homepage, here at Notebook Witch.
Happy Samhain! It’s officially been a year since I woke up and decided to start that witchcraft blog I’d been mulling over for a while! And how is it going? Well, in truth, it’s okay…I’m actually writing this opening part of the post a month after Samhain because, as I’ll explain in a moment, this year has been RIDICULOUSLY busy.
Still, I’m glad I’m finally fitting in a time to make yet another Samhain graphic, which you are welcome to use for your social media. (Bonus, since I didn’t post it this year on my own social media, I can use it for next year!)
Why Samhain Is a Good Time of Year to Start a New Adventure
It’s the New Year! In a witch-y sense. Samhain is the final harvest holiday so it’s the end of one year of rest, sow, grow, then reap. The quietude of the resting period is a great time to make plans for the future.
I don’t save resolutions for the start of the calendar year. I do them at various times throughout the year. Like in September, since I work in higher education, I do a New Academic Year Resolution each year. It may or may not be directly related to work. Sometimes it’s a thing to help me be more productive at work, like KonMari-ing the office. Sometimes it’s a thing to make a better work-life balance for myself, like do Tori Amos’s post-show skin care regime each night (failing at that elaborate regimen, but at least I’m at least washing and moisturizing my face before bed, as opposed to falling asleep in my makeup and waking up look like a member of the rock band KISS).
My Samhain resolution this year is to get a 10-minute walk in each afternoon. But last year, it was to start this website…
A Year Since Notebook Witch Started: Samhain 2021-Samhain 2022
So, why have I been so busy? Well, I did take some time out around the actual Sabbat to make a Facebook post about what has kept me from being more prolific in official blog posts. And with that preamble, I’ll copy and paste below.
I started Notebook Witch right around Samhain last year. I’ve built the website, established the social media accounts, and posted a decent amount of blog posts.
Not bad for a year in which I also:
started working in-person again (hour commute each way)
moved (albeit up one story but no matter how far you go, it’s still a pain)
kept the fundraiser aspect of BPM going and raised almost $1000 each for the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund and Rhode Island’s The Womxn Project
won a seat on my city’s Democratic Committee
was sick with the worst (non-covid) virus I’ve ever had
had a bad break up; was sad; started trying to date again
started “The Artist’s Way” and kept up with my Morning Pages almost every day
was tested for ADHD and diagnosed with inattention issues due to anxiety and ‘porr sleep hygiene’
started going to therapy for my anxiety
worked on better sleep hygiene and practices
started becoming a morning person
lived my plain old day-to-day life with chores, errands, grown up tasks, and the all-important rest
Hmmm. Before I listed out all those things, I hadn’t even realized how much I’d been up to and was kinda feeling bad I hadn’t had more posts up on the blog. Now I’m surprised I was able to do anything at all!
Well, thanks to everyone who is supporting the page! I appreciate your interest as I explore what’s going on in the witch and modern pagan community-at-large, what’s going on locally, and what I’m up to on my own as a solitary eclectic neopagan witch.
Here’s to whatever else I get up to in the next year of Notebook Witch!
Witches of Northern Rhode Island and All Over New England Celebrate the Premier of Locally Filmed Hocus Pocus 2
The long awaited sequel to Hocus Pocus, Hocus Pocus 2, premiers this weekend. It was filmed in my backyard, practically. Ha! Well, filmed in nearby Lincoln, East Providence, and a block from my old apartment in Federal Hill.
(Side note: it’s silly to have my main graphic be Hannah Waddingham and not the Sanderson Sisters, I know. But my love of Ted Lasso only grows, whereas And Just Like That has diminished my devotion to SJP and Sex and the City. Hahaha. Anyway, that’s why Hannah gets pride of place!)
Hocus Pocus Happenings in Rhode Island
To commemorate the occasion, Rhode Island is chock FULL of celebrations and tributes. And there’s a lot of great stories of people who worked on the film some way or another.
Blackstone Valley Events
Super sad that the BeWitched and BeDazzled Event at Chase Farm is sold out! It is going to be AMAZING! If you’re lucky enough to somehow get a ticket, I hope you have a great time.
Mabon 16×9 Graphic for Facebook Cover, Twitter Post, and Social Media in General
Here’s a cute little graphic I made for the Mabon sabbat. Feel free to use it on your social media to observe the holiday. If you do, please credit Bridget Eileen at Notebook Witch.
About the Sabbat Mabon
The Autumn Equinox has arrived to the Northern Hemisphere and by golly have I been going through from sweeping changing with this season that ushers in sweeping changes!
Mabon signifies the end of summer, the start of Fall, and the winding down of the growing season. The apples, squashes, pumpkins and Halloweeen decor is coming out. The swimsuits and beach chairs are getting stored away.
Though Spring cleaning is a well-known custom, the start of the Fall season is also a good time for sweeping up and battoning down for winter. Many witches often do ritualistic cleaning, including a deliberative sweeping ritual.
My sweeping change is in fact much bigger and more metaphorical. I have a new neighbor in the 2-family home that my mother and I own: my mom! She lived in New Orleans for a dozen years and has now returned to New England. She is retired and wants to be closer to family now. She’s really close to me–just a stairway apart.
In all the chaos of moving my own belongings to the second story apartment and moving my mom out of New Orleans and into the first story apartment, I have not had much time for Notebook Witch blog posts.
Remember to Follow Notebook Witch on Social Media
I have put up a few posts on my Instagram account, which is @TheNotebookWitch. I didn’t have time for much in New Orleans during this trip, save for packing up my mom and getting some delicious food.
I did, however, get one visit into the New Orleans Healing Center in St Claude, and bought some lovely things at the Island of Salvation Botanica there. I took some photos and plan to do a blog post about it sooner rather than later.
Blog Plans for the Rest of 2022
Notebook Witch will remain in “soft launch” mode for the rest of the year, given the moving circumstances. And given that things are very wild at my day job. It’s chaos everywhere, it seems.
My goal is to at least observe each Sabbat with a post here at the blog. Here’s hoping I can stick to that!
The dates for the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 are still To Be Determined, but the titles are set. We will meet again on Jane’s birthday. This is a special celebration because the BABC turns FIVE this year!
Poem Prayer for Neopagans to Recite During the Lord’s Prayer
A poem-prayer for neopagans, witches, and other people with an earth-based spiritual practice to recite during the Lord’s Prayer
A little while ago, I was at a wake for an uncle of mine and the service ended with the Lord’s Prayer. I wanted to pray, too, but I’m not Christian at all (I know some people identify as Christian witches). So, I decided I would write something I could say instead of the Lord’s Prayer.
I kept with the rhythm of the Lord’s Prayer and many of the words, if not the consonance of them, as often as I could. That way, it will be easier to either insert the variation into my head (& thus heart) or even say it aloud, without being intrusive to those who are reciting their prayer.
And now I’m sharing with you, in case you find it helpful as well! Please keep it however you need to in order to make it useful for yourself. If you share it on, I do appreciate the credit ♥️
Our Mother (The Earth’s Prayer)
Our Mother, who art within us Honored be thy work Thy loving light Thy giving dark This Earth, it is our heaven Give us the strength to honor you And help us listen, too That we listen well the lessons you teach us And lead us always with your nature Which is neither good nor evil For thine is a cycle A power to be gloried Forever and ever Bless’d Be
I’m making some “personal branding” choices right now, har har. I can’t type that and keep a straight face about it. Who talks like that in earnest???
Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I’ve decided that NotebookWitch.com will be more than just home to its main purpose: a blog about witchcraft and witchery. It will also be home to everything else I am “up to” that I want to promote.
One other thing that I’m up to, though it is not directly related to my spiritual practice as a witch, is being the founder and leader of the Boston Austen Book Club.
The BABC started in Fall 2017. We are coming up to our 5th anniversary! We even survived a pandemic–and in fact expanded as a result. We have had three different Jane Austen authors join us in one way or another. And we have welcomed members from all over the county while on Zoom.
(Though we do miss the delicious food of our original home, The Pleasant Cafe in my old neighborhood of Boston, Roslindale. We hope to be back in 2023!)
Happy Pumpkin Spice Season! Hahaha. I am a fan of pumpkin spice flavored things. Since I’m a New Englander to my core, I like to go to Dunkin for my pumpkin spice drink of the season. My order is a little fancy though: medium iced coffee, with 4 pumpkin, 2 mocha, and oat milk. It feels like I’m drinking Pumpkin Milk…or something.
What is Lughnasadh?
Since we’re halfway between Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox, neopagans, witches, and others celebrate this midpoint between the seasons with a sabbat, aka holiday.
Lughnasadh is pronounced LOO-nah-sah. (There’s a series of videos on YouTube that help with pronouncing sabbats, including Lughnasadh. They’re very helpful!) It is the first of the harvesting festivals. The other two harvesting festivals are Fall Equinox, aka Mabon, and Samhain (sow-een), aka Halloweeen.
Lughnasadh is often symbolized with wheat, corn, or other grains, since those things are harvested around this time. That is why the graphic I made has wheat and corn in it.
Anyone can use these graphic for their Facebook banner, Twitter post, IG story or whatever they like in order to commemorate the Lughnasadh sabbat on social media. (If you can magick it into a video, go for it, since that’s all that Instagram is paying attention to as of August 2022, in order to compete with TikTok. Wah.)
Aug 28 at 1pm via Zoom, “Unmentionable” by Therese O’Neill
Even though some of my literary endeavors may not be directly related to witchcraft and witchery, my own spiritual practice is closely tied to what I’m reading, writing, and consuming in arts and entertainment, so I will also include certain posts about those things here at Notebook Witch.
While this book focuses on the Victorian Era, Regency Era customs are also discussed. If you’re a weirdo like me and have ever wondered how these beloved Austen characters did things like go to the bathroom or brush their teeth, this book has some answers for you!
The book club will remain online for Summer 2022. We will meet via Zoom on Sunday, August 28 at 1pm ET. Zoom information will be posted the day of the event for those who RSVP and the Facebook event page. If you’re not on Facebook, you can email Bridget Eileen at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
As always, newcomers are welcome! You can join us from wherever you are. Just read the book and prepare for a lively discussion. This event is free!
It’s teeny tiny and tucked away but it’s rich with history and intrigue. The VooDoo Museum is just a few rooms on Dumaine St in the French Quarter, but there’s a lot to see in all the nooks and crannies from ceiling to floor. I recommend it as a unique New Orleanian attraction.
I don’t know exactly how I heard about the VooDoo Museum. A few guidebooks do mention it. I did not go in as someone spooked by voodoo, though.
It was 2013, and I was just settling into realizing I was a neopagan (a solo practitioner, pantheist, eclectic who observed the Celtic pagan holidays, to be exact, as I define myself now.) So I went to the VooDoo museum with more reverence and a desire to learn about the history of this practice.
When you first walk in to the little museum, the person at the front desk may have a large snake around them. That was the case for me. I think the guy wanted to shock me. But I’m a snake person. Heck, I’m going to the VooDoo Museum, you know?
Anyway, you give your admission and then you can walk through the rooms. Though it is small, it is packed from top to bottom with artwork, offerings, altars, and exhibits.
There is a small gift shop. I bought something, and I have to tell you: it worked. I bought some gris gris (talisman). A blue little bag, for wealth. I was on unemployment and only partially employed at the time. Later in the month, I got two full-time job offers. Coincidence? Maybe. But I still have my gris gris, and I’m still grateful for the fortune it may have brought me.