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Book Review – Witchbody: A Graphic Novel by Sabrina Scott

March, 2019

Book Review
Witchbody
A Graphic Novel
By Sabrina Scott
74 pp.

“Can magic teach us how to love?” asks Sabrina Scott partway through their graphic essay, “Witchbody: A Graphic Novel.” As Scott builds up layers of radical environmentalism and transformative animism through the book, the answer crystallizes: yes, magic can teach us how to love, because empathy and experience are the way forward, and magic gives us the tools to learn and practice both. While it is difficult to pin down a single thesis for this essay — perhaps only because the scope of Scott’s topic is so broad — one clear theme is that through the intentional sharing of spaces and bodies, and the experience of other bodies in relationship to our own, we come to know, understand, and love each other. By experiencing pain, grief, loss, and transformation, we learn to recognize and honor these experiences in others, and in the world around us. By seeing ourselves as we truly are, what we share and where we differ with others, we come to be one.

More
a poetic essay than a narrative, “Witchbody” is a book which
muses about ontology, experience, physicality, and spirituality —
and what these things all have to do with each other. Scott’s
beautiful ink and watercolor illustrations enrich their words,
lending reinforcement to their message through the depiction of
interactions between humans and the liminal spaces that guide us
between and within our urban and natural environments. 

Scott’s
magical attitude takes flight as everyday activities are transformed
into moments of transcendent beauty, during which awareness and
empathy inflame a daily sense of unity with the surrounding world.
Man, earth, and animal engage with each other on a daily basis. In
these watery, organic panels, bones, phones, ferrets, and flowers all
float down the same stream as the self; all inhabit one sphere and
collide with each other in the same space, as one body. And in these
bodies, and in our shared body, we can suffer pain, illness, and
death — and when we deny the truth of our shared body, we truly do
damage to each other. At the same time, our sensuality is a gateway
to ontological understanding; by having a body and engaging with our
own bodies, we can come to understand what it means to have a body,
to be a being in the physical, natural world.

But
Scott does not praise only sameness or the recognition of shared
traits by different bodies; while this is an attractive shortcut, it
can also invalidate more experiences than it validates, and ignores a
lot. Instead, Scott delves into how the self-as-same and
self-as-different juxtaposition propels animistic empathy forward,
causing true transformation and understanding through primary
experience and communication, rather than analysis, reflection, or
judgment. It is in the active compassion for the other that we build
the bridge between our own experience as human individuals, and the
experience of the others, by extending our own capacity for feeling
and our borders past our own skin.

Sabrina Scott’s “Witchbody” is a beautiful book which will appeal to animistic and environmentally-minded witches, artistic witches, and anyone who believes that we are all one. While there is more text here than in a regular graphic novel of the same length due to the dense and complex nature of the content, it’s still an easy afternoon read that will leave you eager to experience how engaging with the natural other can strengthen and sustain our collaborative, shared world.

Witchbody: A Graphic Novel on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

Sarah
McMenomy
is
an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork,
trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at
https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

3 Pagans and a Cat Monthly Feature

February, 2019

3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast3 Pagans and a Cat Podcast

Three Paths, One Journey, No Cat

In this highly informative & entertaining podcast, three family members embroiled in wildly divergent traditions gather in one room to discuss, debate, and flat-out argue about their magical, mythical, and mundane lives, all for our education and pleasure.

***

Each Month… we will share the previous month’s episodes with you from their site to help keep you up-to-date with their impressive podcast. While there, don’t forget to listen to this month’s as well, we wouldn’t want you to miss a thing!

January 2019 Podcasts

Episode 28: Fire Festival – Imbolc: You thought Car, Gwyn, and Ode had said all they had to say on the subject of holidays, but lo: they’re back for another year of talking at each other about the deeper significance of fire festivals and cross quarters, starting with Imbolc. Are there things yet to learn about Brigid, lambing season, and the start of spring? …well, listen and find out, what do I look like, a prophet?

Episode 29: Liminal 2 – Electrical Boogaloo: Car, Gwyn, and Ode are back for another round of discussion and strong opinions about the role of gender and sexuality in paganism, including a discussion of queer deities, fertility outside heteronormativity, and the deliberateness of inclusion.

This Month’s Podcast Share from their Backlog

Episode 8: Building Your Book – Dedication: Car, Gwyn, and Ode continue the Building Your Book series by talking about dedicating your book (and yourself), cleansing (or not cleansing) your book, and magical methods for protecting your book from prying eyes.

Where
Else to Find 3 Pagans and a Cat…

Their
Website: http://www.3pagansandacat.com

Their
Twitter: https://twitter.com/3_Pagans

Their
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3PaaC

Their
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0GJacu9SUzuumXJNNUZwQ

Their
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/2/collection/oCWVXE

Remember

You
can always support your favorite podcasts with a donation.
Every bit helps to keep them
going.

***

About the Author:

Jennifer
Wright
is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She
founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to
share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things
to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Art Video

November, 2018

Swedish Petroglyphs

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Slo9jbw2duI[/embedyt]

 

Sweden has an abundance of mysterious petroglyphs. The Swedish word for petroglyphs is “hällristningar”. This refers to figures and shapes carved in rock surfaces. Most of these images are pre-historic in origin.

Scandinavia has a very large concentration of rock art, created around c. 9000 (the first century BCE). There are about 30,000 registered sites (but new sites are being discovered all the time). Vivid interpretations have been attempted, based on Old Norse beliefs and Sami ethnography.

In truth we do not know until today what their purpose or meaning really was. Do they tell stories? Were they a backdrop for community rituals and ceremony?

This video offers an introduction and some key information followed by shamanic drumming inviting people to meditate on (or journey into) five photographs of Swedish Petroglyphs.

I invite you to share your experiences in the comments section for this video. Who knows, this might just give us some powerful (if non-scientific) clues to the lives of the Bronze Age inhabitants of Scandinavia!

I look forward to reading your responses!

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages on Amazon

Coming Out of The Psychic Closet

October, 2018

Are You Afraid to Share Your Experiences with Others?

It is certainly encouraging that modern society is beginning to allow people to come out of their unique closets of personal truth and be accepted for who they are. 

Those people are finding the courage to reveal the true nature of their individual life choices and experiences. But what if you don’t understand the nature of your life experiences and don’t remember making choices to be psychic? How do you share such a thing with your friends and family? Will they reject you, laugh at you, or call you ‘crazy’ and force you back to the safety of your secret closet? And if so, how long might you remain alone there until you try again?

We asked medium and mentor, Sheri Engler, author of The Pearls of Wisdom: A Fairytale Guide to Life’s Magic Secrets For All Ages for advice to help one cope with burgeoning psychic skills, while finding balance between personal and social realities. She says, “It is important to first identify what your fears actually are. Then simply replace them with something more comfortable.” 

Here are a few typical questions and fears with some possible solutions to help get you started:

Does using the word “psychic” conjure foolish images of fortune tellers with crystal balls; spiritualists raising tables in shadowy séances; greedy scammers on psychic hotlines; or even new age, “airy-fairy” wannabe’s? —If so, consider using other words such as “intuition” or “high sensitivity to energies”. Try enlisting support from others by confiding that you are experiencing “metaphysical events” that you do not yet fully understand yourself. Ignite their interest and compassion, as opposed to judgment, by researching together the many resources online. Treat it as light and fun, and it will likely be less fear-provoking for all concerned. It is important to avoid trying to prove anything to anyone, as that quickly develops into a negative debate instead of the positive support you are seeking.

If you were to accept that you do indeed have “psychic ability”, could it suddenly take you over or invite dark energies? —The short answer is “No”. The longer answer is that having a fear of anything is the surest way to attract that exact thing to you. So don’t. Know that you have complete control over your own mind and your own personal space. You have a sovereign right to declare your space to be free of all negativity. It is as simple as that. Consider this… by the act of driving your car down the road, are you risking that your vehicle may suddenly take over your ability to control it?—Or could driving be construed as an invitation for someone to crash into you?… Of course not. You simply drive safely and go about your business, right? 

What about the reaction your religious acquaintances or your partner might have once you reveal your “psychic self”? Might they reject you? —It needs to be said here that not all relationships are supportive to one’s own growth. Inner and outer change and expansion are opportunities to houseclean not only your own belief systems but those of others as well. True love will accept you as you are. This may be a providential litmus test for your highest good. If you stick to the rule of “keep what serves and leave what hurts,” you will rarely if ever go wrong.

Ms. Engler advises those who are having unexplainable experiences to “Be calm and go with the flow. Don’t be afraid to discover who you are, but use discernment when choosing with whom you wish to share your exciting journey. Frequently, you’ll find that they are grateful to you for coming out of your psychic closet, because it offers them courage to come out of their own! This increase in energetic awareness is happening on a massive scale. Statistically speaking, it is more unusual to not have had some sort of psychic experiences than it is to have them. Survey your friends and see for yourself.

The truth is we are all born into this world as psychic beings. This heightened sensory ability is greatly revered in indigenous cultures. Modern society, however, begins at childhood to systematically shame away this basic component of our natural birthright to the extent that we have forgotten that the “supernatural” is natural and the “paranormal” is normal.

Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with you—in fact, there is something very right with you. You are just as you were born to be, so be who you are.

***

About the Author:

Sheri D. Engler is the author/illustrator of The Pearls of Wisdom: A Fairy Tale Guide to Life’s Magic Secrets for All Ages(www.ThePearlsOfWisdomBook .com). She is an experienced mentor, medium, and metaphysicist with a background in psychology, counseling and research. She received a BA in Clinical Psychology at San Francisco State University.