I bought myself two new books for Yule! Yay!
I bought Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst, which I was really keen on as I’ve been really getting into the domestic vibe of late, and The Way of the Sea Priestess by Louise Tarrier, and being that I am the target audience being dually obsessed by the sea and priestessing I had no choice but to buy it. It was inevitable.
I’ve started reading both of them, and I’m a chunk through, but I am a bit sad as they are not quite what I had hoped for or expected.
Magical Housekeeping is pretty alright – it’s really revving me up to clean, and de-clutter, and maybe even apply some Feng Shui to me little ol’ house – but it is very, very lightworkery and new agey, almost too much for me. When people go on constantly about the amazing vibrations and how powerful they feel crystals and white sage and all those things are without any other explanation or anything to back it up, I get a bit suspicious. The book’s got a real light-and-angel-healing vibe. I’m not sure what I expected – I first read about it on a blog which is one of the white-lightest, new-ageist, and dare I say it, fluffiest sites I frequent (and do I struggle with frequenting it and calling stuff fluffy), so really I should have been more prepared and just got out Sacred Space by Denise Lynn from the library, because that book rocks.
The Way of the Sea Priestess has been very, incredibly disappointing so far. Sorry Louise. Either I got a dud copy or Louise got an appalling editor because the book so far is chock full of awful, awful grammatical errors – apostrophies in the wrong place, incorrect word tenses, lack of commas and full stops some really, really clumsy sentences. That’s the other thing – clumsy writing. Louise is just not a natural writer – things are not explained, sentences are badly put together and stuff comes out of nowhere – for example, a grounding exercise that suddenly asks you to connect with your Mother Star with absolutely no explanation anywhere of what that is, or a ritual that I had to go back and read through again just to work out what the point of it was. At first I suspected maybe the author was trying to write in a mystical manner that made all references to Goddess seem sacred and honoring-y, but round about page 60 I realised that she just can’t write.
Stuff is not explained in depth, or at all. She tells you things are important, but doesn’t tell you why: this drives me mad. It reads like she is just parroting what she’s been told in the past. without coming to an understanding of it herself. The thing is, she may understand it and be very wise about it, but with her writing skills it just doesn’t come across at all.
This is all really sad as I was very excited about reading this book.
I think she’s said it’s meant as an introduction to the practice of a sea priestess, which explains why a lot of the stuff in it so far has been really repetitive and basic. But I think a key point here is that people seeking to become priestesses are not novices in this pagan moonbaking stuff. I reckon anyone picking up this book will be like me and will have a background in a combination of either modern paganisim, witchcraft or devotional practices. A wish for priestessfulness is something you discover when you are already in something pagany, rather than your introduction to the world of pagan-ness.
As I said, I haven’t finished reading either of them yet, so this is a bit of a cheeky pre-emptive review, and I am jumping back into the Sea Priestess as often as I can forgive it’s abusive treatment of the quotation mark as I hope it gets better after the half way mark.
I’m also gonna look for the original Sea Priestess novel by Dion Fortune and see if it informs my reading of Louise’s book at all. And check that I didn’t actually get a dud copy of it, as the editing is truly shocking.
And get all high on clutter-clearing and blitz the house for winter!