A Wiccan woman reflects on her lifetime of magic in her thoughtful memoir Broth from the Cauldron.
Cerridwen Fallingstar’s charming memoir Broth from the Cauldron is full of anecdotes about everyday magic, spirituality, love, and loss.
As a child growing up in an agnostic household, Fallingstar felt a sense of connection to the natural world, beginning when she befriended a tarantula at age three. Her shared childhood memories are colored by premonitions and past-life memories. In graduate school, while covering the trial of a woman accused of telling fortunes, that early interest began to feed into her eventual life’s work as a participant in an often misunderstood practice.
Made up of personal essays that meander through time, Fallingstar’s memoir explores sacred aspects of her everyday life. Its depictions of parenting, friendship, and love are delightful; the warmth of her relationships comes through, especially in her expressed desire to protect loved ones.
Fallingstar covers spiritual experiences like healing an injured dolphin, having a bear pace around her sacred space, and dreaming of her husband before they met. Her life story is constructed more as a labyrinth than as having followed a straight line. It’s an effective arrangement, made in the way that life is navigated, with Fallingstar not always knowing the importance or outcome of a moment while it’s happening.
Lighthearted accounts, as of mistaking a family dog swimming in the ocean for a baby seal, or of using stones to manifest a Volkswagen bus, help to keep the book accessible. Poignant explorations consider the power of ancient trees for healing and the guilt and pain surrounding the death of a spouse. All of these pieces combine to illuminate Fallingstar’s Wiccan way of life, which is playful and openhearted: “Child-self, the wide-eyed, innocent part that believes magic is not only possible but inevitable, is essential for the practice of magic.”
Fallingstar’s writing is conversational and welcoming, encouraging introspection. Her entertaining stories illustrate deeper truths about how others should be treated, regarding the wisdom of animals, and about the power of intuition. The book’s sense of innocence is strong even during more difficult accounts, as when it covers instances of grief, abuse, and the desire for revenge. Insights about accepting hardships and still seeing the beauty that is everywhere enrich the reading experience, which comes to feel like it’s about more than one person’s story. Fallingstar suggests ways for others to live their own spiritual lives, in tune with the earth, nature, and all its creatures.
A Wiccan reflects on her lifetime of magic in her thoughtful memoir Broth from the Cauldron, a text full of guidance for living a more spiritual life.
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