September is that month between summer and autumn, hung in suspension between the swelter and cool release. Or that was my understanding of fall. On California time, autumn really seems to come when the rains begin. I’m told this happens in October. I’m writing this in the first days of October and every morning of the month thus far has begun with low cloud and a kiss of moisture in the air that if I lived anywhere else I would swear promises rain. But the clouds burn off to a cobalt sky and warm afternoons. These are drought years and instead of deciduous trees waiting to release their fall fireworks, I am watching dusty olive and palms waiting for a deep drink of promised rains.
(Links are to Bookshop.org if it is available there or to the independent author’s page and I do not receive any kind of compensation or commission — with one obvious exception this month.)
Ascertain with Astrology by Lizzie Burgess — a podcast read, more of a workbook with a course from Lizzie and helpful to look at and maybe reframe how I run my business of writing and podcasting and publishing. It was helpful to look at my reasons for doing what I do and for better articulating my ideas of what success looks like.
The Modern Witch’s Guide to Natural Magic by Tenae Stewart — podcast read, and a lovely intro book into working with the elements and herbs. Tenae has a gentle teaching voice that invites readers to take what she’s written and find their own path.
The Moon Manual by Quinn & Morgan — podcast read, this is a fun mix of reference book and graphic art. Quinn and Morgan take you through all the cycles of the moon and arrange them by what might work best depending on the astrological sign that particular moon phase falls in. You know me. I immediately flipped to dark moon in Scorpio, my natal moon. I got the review copy was an ebook but I would strongly recommend buying this as a printed book for dipping into.
Year of the Witch by Temperance Alden — podcast read & reread, I appreciate Temperance’s very practical approach to witchcraft which shows up both in her make do and use what you have spell craft as well as the advice to look at where you live and what’s important to you to build out a wheel of the year that works for you. Southern Florida isn’t going to line up with agrarian seasonal cycles of the British Isles.
The Disaster Ready Home by Creek Stewart — for my own edification, I’m not one to catastrophize … okay, I am, but only in that I think we need to be prepared to rescue ourselves and our neighbors. We are our own first responders and as things get more intense it’s important to be prepared for what is most likely to happen where you live. This is a good intro for that and is a good jumping off point if you would like to do a deeper dive on certain preparedness things.
The New Homemade Kitchen by Joseph Shuldiner — for my own edification, Maybe this is related to disaster preparedness, maybe I’m just fascinated with the things we buy that we used to make at home. Maybe I like the idea of making things with ingredients I can control. Maybe it’s all the above and this is a great book for that.
FYMA: The Lesser Key to the Appropriation of Jewish Magic and Mysticism by Ezra Rose — for my own edification, I have been trying to educate myself on the appropriative nature of the Western esoteric tradition and its use of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) and Hebrew in the grimoire tradition especially but also in the use of Kabbalah in magic systems and the Tarot. I highly recommend this as an explainer for why it’s important to think about these things and as a jumping off point for a deeper dive.
Burnout: The Secret to unlocking the stress cycle by Emily Nagoski PhD and Amelia Nagoski DMA — for my “serious” book club (I’m in two as you may remember or not — one reads escapist fun and the other is based in a more community minded, emergent strategy, understand ourselves with some witchiness thrown in kind of place), It would not be an overstatement that this book changed my life in the span of a week. It was like a huge dose of permission to take care of myself to be better prepared (see that word again) for the world as it is and as it is becoming. Damn. Just read this. Better yet listen to the audio book because the sisters trade off reading chapters and it like having tea with the best friends you didn’t know you had.
What Abagail Did that Summer by Ben Aaronovitch — continuing my love for the Rivers of London series. I listened to this one with keifel on a trip and was kind of in and out on it. So as a treat, I read it and listened to the narration. Always a joy and Abigail is going to make a better wizard than them all.
A Very Cryptid Christmas by D.S. Dane, Su Fertall, Victoria Raschke (hey that’s me!), D.B. Sieders, Gemma Snow, E.C. Spaur, Lulu M Sylvian, and Wednesday Wheeler — galley proof, a final read before the book comes out on the 18th and I finally got to read everyone else’s stories, which I loved. The romps run from sad and sweet to seriously funny and spicy. If you like paranormal romance of the decidedly monstrous variety, I think you’ll enjoy this. And I had blast working with these peeps.
Weeknight Vegetarian by Ivy Manning — fun, edification, continuation of getting my cooking mojo back. Easy veg forward dinners, my kind of thing.
Magic Circles in Grimoire Traditions by William J. Keisel — edification, further reading in the Western grimoiric traditions with a mind to better understand them, do research for my own writing, and think about magic in different ways. This is a monograph, so a quick read if you’re into these kinds of things.