#religion, folklore, guide, Guides, history of magic, history of nature and science, how-to, magick, Spiritual Literature, spirituality, Uncategorized, witchcraft

The MoonLightShop, “How to Start Being a Wiccan,” https://themoonlightshop.com/blogs/news/how-to-start-being-a-wiccan (Accessed, October 7, 2018), Pp. 11

Wicca article .JPGHave you ever wanted to understand or practice Wicca? If so then this short article is a quick and informative resource to tap into. Not only does this article briefly overview the important key features of Wicca it also defines many of the crucial elements of Wicca–no pun intended! For example, this article enlightens the reader to what Magick,  the Wiccan Rede, the Three-Fold Law, Book of Shadows, Sabbats, where to connect with a coven, and what a pentacle is and stands for. One shortcoming was the lack of resources this article rendered for the reader. Other than name dropping the two most popular authors on Wicca/Wiccan tradition and practice, Scott Cunningham and Raymond Buckland, the article failed to provide any other resource for reader. Although this article had some downfalls it was made up for in the way the article defined and provided a succinct overview of The Craft.  I would definitely  recommend this short read to anyone who is interested in Wicca. Its enough to spark your interest in magick!

Source: https://themoonlightshop.com/blogs/news/how-to-start-being-a-wicca

Picture Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/wicca

 

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Book Review: Sidney W. Mintz entitled, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Publishing, 1985), Pp. 274

book .jpg Sidney Mintz takes an anthropological approach to discuss the rise of economic gains of the production and consumption of sugar. An important component of this economic feature is in the labor that is used in the manufacturing of sugar. Mintz ultimately tracks “the ways power was exercised” by following the development of one commodity—sugar (xvi). Sugar became a status symbol of “wealthy, power, and status…by eating these strange symbols of his power” (90). This commodity becomes a marker and is a cite that anthropologists and historians can use to locate conceptions and legacies of power, labor, and goods. Mintz states, “Sugar began as luxuries, and as such embodied the social positions of the wealthy and powerful” (140). The author identifies a sociological aspect to the history of sugar as well as a physiological, environmental, cultural and economic  factors that drove this commodity to be purchased and desired.

Sociological: The sociological side for this increased desire for sugar may have been a status or class privilege ambition. Mintz also argues there is also another component to the desire for copious amounts of sugar.

Physiological: The component of a physiological side to this desire and consumption of sugars. Mintz discusses that sweetness would have been known to our primate ancestors and to early human beings in berries, fruit, and honey” (16).

Environmental: This is important in understanding some of the environmental factors in sugar consumption. But what seems to be more profound is the cultural or constructed side of the history of sugar.

Cultural:The definition of culture for Mintz is asserted as, “Culture must be understood ‘not simply as a product but also as production, not simply as socially constituted but also as socially constituting’” (14).

Economic:  Labor and economics of sugar have a deep and significant history that Mintz documents.  It has been asserted by Mintz that, “Using imported slaves—perhaps Europe’s biggest single external contribution to its own economic growth” (55). With the manipulation of labor and creating situations in which labor would become slave labor led to the increase of exploiting resources, labor, and commodities by Europeans.  Mintz discusses this by stating, “Slaves and forced labors, unlike free workers, have nothing to sell, not even their labor; instead, they have themselves been bought and sold and traded” (57). Mintz illuminates the cruel reality of Europe’s commodity history. Commodity of bodies and sugar in concert with one another provided an exotic component to how individuals who labored and those who purchased sugar were positioned. This text provides a inter-disciplined narrative on the history of one commodity and its affects on the world. This is a text anyone could read!

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10/10

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Book Review: Klaus Vollmar, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols (New York: Sterling Publishing Co.,1997), Pp. 509.

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This little, big, book is a pleasant contradiction! One of the smallest books on my shelf but also one of the most informational ones as well.  I have had this little, big, dream symbol book for many years and refer to it regularly. I have done a lot of research on my dreams but this book continues to deliver with some of the most insightful information. It is so small yet so major in its meaning makings. Overall I would recommend this to any of my cosmic friends! You will appreciate this little, big, nugget book.

10/10