Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Witch in Every Woman

I finished The Witch in Every Woman: Reawakening the Magical Nature of the Feminine to Heal, Protect, Create, and Empower by Laurie Cabot with Jean Mills and I wanted to give my opinions on the last half of the book.  I liked the second half a lot better than I did the first half.  I don't know if it is because the second half is better or if it is because I'm becoming used to a book on feminine witchcraft.  I've never read a book like this before, so it's possible I didn't like the first half as much because I had no idea what to expect.  It's a whole new genre to me, and I'm excited about it.

Laurie Cabot
I like that Cabot points out that the Witch (she capitalizes it) believes in science.  She means more than just what we call science, but includes the holistic view of science she proposes that our ancestors used.  One of the problems I had with Christianity was the clash with science.  She also founded her own tradition, the Cabot Tradition of the Science of Witchcraft.  She does a lot of work against stereotypes and to defend the rights of witches; she also founded the Witches' League for Public Awareness (WLPA).

There is a enchantment for a awareness that I like, so you will not be deceived or bear the burden of other's deception.  I haven't done any spells yet; I'm trying to learn about/feel energy better first.  Without that my spells would be useless.  It calls for a potion.  I'm really interested in doing this enchantment once I get a handle on learning about/feeling energy.

Cabot stresses neutralizing harm, rather than retaliation.  I like that.  There is no reason to lower yourself down to your attacker's level.  Instead, you can neutralize the harm.  I can think of a lot of instances in my life that if I could just neutralize the harm things wouldn't have escalated to the point were they did--which usually ends badly for me.

Cabot includes a chapter about women's creativity.  She advises Witches to get out of their box, try something new, and inspire themselves.  She lists the "Moons and Correspondences," which is basically a list of the month with the moon name and what corresponds to it.  i.e. "January: Wolf Moon; protection; confidence; strength."  I looked at this month, August, and it says "August: Barley Moon; Grain Goddess and Sun Gods; bounty; fertility; marriage; health."  She says that the Witches' menstrual flow corresponds to a woman's creative flow.  I wonder what happens to women who don't have periods because of injury, birth control, hysterectomy, illness, birth defect, or menopause?  Is their creativity lower than a woman who menstruates?  I've wondered that for awhile now.

She suggests, and even has an exercise in the book, to suck your thumb, pressing the pad of your thumb into the roof of your mouth.  She said that may people used to do this to to into an alpha state of consciousness and small children still do.  Perhaps she is right, but it doesn't matter, because I'm not sucking my thumb.

Cabot devotes a very interesting chapter to women and healing.  It used to be that women did the healing.  They were: witches, midwives, herbalists, abortionists, anatomists, pharmacologists, surgeons, and unlicensed doctors.  The medical community now is quite different than it used to be and I think that's a good thing.  While I do believe in alternative medicine there are some things I prefer to see a doctor for because they graduated from med school and have the experience of seeing other patients in a medical/hospital setting.  I think women healing in alternative medicine is a good thing, though.  Cabot writes on page 176:

Midwives were looked upon as enemies of the Church.  Women were burned alive for using herbs and crystals to ease pain in childbirth.  They were falsely accused of infanticide and for "eating babies" in an effort by the Church to torture women, undermine female strengths, and destroy the practice of midwifery.
She talks about using a psychic diagnosis to heal, when you only know the persons name, age, sex, and location.  I think that may be stretching things a bit far, but I may be wrong.  I know in Reiki you can heal from across the world with only a name, what's wrong with them, and picture.

The last chapter is about accepting and celebrating the power within the Witch.  I'm really glad I read this book, and I think that the the previous sentence sums up the whole book.  This is my first book on feminine witchcraft, and I liked it a lot.  I'm never going to read a book by Z Budapest, though.  She started Dianic Wicca, which is only open to women, and are mostly lesbians.  However she doesn't recognize trans women as being women and doesn't allow them into Dianic covens.  I am a strong supporter of trans rights and consider a trans woman just as much woman as I am, or any other woman.  I will not support her transphobic views by even reading a used book she wrote.  When I heard about her and her "problem" with trans women I was so disgusted I removed every book of hers on my wishlist on paperbackswap and

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