march goals

Oh goodness, I know I did NOT do well on my goals for this past month. Maybe I had too many of them and too many were outside of my normal type of goals?? Who knows. But I know my February goals summary will be abysmal.

February goals

  • Read 5 books.      XX      I did not do this. I had a very light reading month in February.
  • Finish the Grisha trilogy.     XX         I did not do this either. See above.
  • Drive one place that scares me.       !!         I did this! I drove to get my hair bleach and then went to Books a Million after and it was very nice and fun. Would do again.
  • Go to a new restaurant by myself.         XX         I did not do this. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing it in the future either because I’m trying to be more healthy, emphasis on the *trying* part.
  • Stay up late at least one night.       !!        I did this! A couple times! My boyfriend started a weekly movie night so we can spend more time together and I stayed up a little later than normal all those nights. I was very proud of myself.
  • Journal more when I’m having obsessive/compulsive thoughts.     XX      Did not do this. They also didn’t feel as bad as normal this month?
  • Clean apartment once a week.    X!     I somewhat did this a couple times?? I forgot this was an actual monthly goal.
  • Start researching/outlining my new WIP idea!      LOLXXXXXX      I of course did not do this. I just stewed about writing and freaked out about starting to write and did not write even though I still like this WIP idea.

 

March goals

  • Read 5 books. Actually do it this month.
  • Read more new releases. Ideally at least 3. I’ve been doing a very good job with the Beat the Backlist challenge this year and have read almost exclusively backlist books so far in 2019, but I feel a little behind in terms of new releases and I want to read some of the stuff people have been raving about and keep up with my ARCs.
  • Finish the Grisha trilogy. Actually do that in March.
  • Try one new recipe per week. When I cook for myself, I try to make things as easy as possible during the week and tend to only cook a certain comfort food until I get tired of it. I want to get better at trying new recipes and new things in general and not sticking so resolutely to the same routine, so I want to try one new recipe per week this month for my dinners during the week.
  • Eat healthy 5 days out of the week. I’ve been trying different diets for a couple years now. I’ve been hesitant to write about it on the blog because I feel like trying to lose weight gets a bad rap in liberal circles because body positivity is such a huge thing, and I definitely consider myself body positive, but I personally don’t feel comfortable or healthy at my current weight and want to do something about it. So I’d like to work on eating more healthfully more often throughout the week and change my unhealthy eating habits.
  • Clean apartment once a week. And actually do it this month.
  • Research astrology. I mentioned in my last weekly wrap up post that I want to write more witchy posts, and one of the things I’d like to do is do recs based on different astrological happenings…but I don’t know pretty much anything about astrology so I’d need to do research.
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february rewind \\ calm before the storm??

things that happened

  • Honestly…not much…January was stressful because the teens were out of school so much, but February was comparatively calm. Hopefully it’s not the calm before the storm, but honestly not much happened. Things were relatively quiet at the library, plus I got a snow day once which was nice.
  • Bae and I started movie night. The only thing of note that really happened is that my boyfriend instituted a movie night for Saturdays because we often don’t see much of each other during the week because of our schedules and don’t get to spend as much time together as we did over the summer. So far we’ve had three movie nights and I have actually enjoyed them so far. I need to find more movies for us to watch that both of us will enjoy though, and not just kids/animated movies that I like.
  • I got a Nintendo Switch! I guess that is a somewhat big thing. I bought it with the part of my tax return that didn’t go into savings, and I have been enjoying it very much but would like to own more than two games. So far I only have Super Mario Bros. and Let’s Go Eevee.
  • I had my one year anniversary at my job. I survived my first full year as a full-time librarian! I don’t know how I did it and wish I could erase the first six months when I was an emotional wreck, but I did it and even my boss thinks I’ve improved a lot, so hopefully my annual evaluation will go well and they’ll take me off probation.

 

what i read

I read an embarrassingly small amount this month. I also realized I’ve been almost exclusively reading backlist books and need to catch up on new releases. Anyway. My favorite reads were definitely THE POET X, an new read, and SHADOW & BONE, a reread. I read THE POET X because it’s one of our summer reading books for 2019 at the library job, and I was SO impressed and can totally see why it won a National Book Award AND the Printz, if I’m not mistaken. It was so good and I’m definitely recommending it to literally everyone I know for the foreseeable future.

The only book I was kind of “meh” about was ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY, which I read for a program at work. It was cute and funny, but definitely younger than I usually read. However, I would very much recommend it to younger readers and will probably do so with some of my kids who like gaming who always say they want to sleep in the library (I have two of those. It is annoying when I want to leave at the end of the day and they’re trying to stay but it’s cute). Anyway. I was a little weirded out because the author liked the two tweets I wrote about it, which I guess is fine but I didn’t write the author’s name or tag him in the tweets, and I wonder what the response would’ve been if I said I *didn’t* like the book, and I would rather authors not interact with my content if I don’t tag them directly or write their names in the tweet I guess. Maybe it’s not that big a deal but I felt weird about it.

 

blogging things

Not much of note happened on the blog this month. I did do a few more witchy posts that made me happy, including an etymology post, a Willow Adds post, and another tarot reading of a book I haven’t read, NO ONE HERE IS LONELY. I really want to start writing more witchy posts, including stuff that’s not strictly bookish, but I’m a little worried nobody will be interested because even though my witchy posts get a lot of views, they don’t get a ton of engagement and I’m not sure why.

 

around the blogosphere

As usual, there were lots of great posts this month. Here are some of them:

  • Marija discussed the five star rating system and its advantages and downfalls.
  • Charlotte recommended a bunch of quietly magical books and I want to add all of them to my TBR.
  • Kat and Tracy had an the amazing BLOGIFUL event, which was all about blog design, including how to make great graphics, navigation, branding, and more!
  • Kat also launched her design shop, Waffley Cute Designs! If you’re looking for someone who’s great to work with with a real eye for design for your blog, definitely check her out!
  • Marie wrote about how to stay positive while book blogging.

 

book haul highlights

  • Symptoms of a Heartbreak | Sona Charaipotra – This book is about a med student who falls for her teen patient and it sounds like its gonna crush my soul and I am READY.
  • The Lost Coast | Amy Rose Capetta – Two words: QUEER. WITCHES. It’s me in a book!
  • If It Makes You Happy | Claire Kann – I don’t actually remember what this one is about but it’s by Claire Kann who wrote the wonderfully delightful LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE and I’ve been absolutely DYING for another book by her and cannot wait to read it!
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weekly wrap up // 2-24-19

weekly happenings

This was a relatively quiet week for me, since I only worked 3/5 days because of President’s Day and we also HAD A SNOW DAY!!!!! I am hoping for at least one more snow day this winter, preferably on one of the days I would’ve had to work late. In other news, I may have an interview this week for a job that sounds really cool with a totally awesome arts organization. Something you probably don’t know about me is that I was actually a musician for most of my life. It’s taken kind of a hiatus since college because I can’t afford lessons/have time for lessons and have nothing to prep for, but I’d still really like to do something in the arts because that’s where I’ve always felt most at home. So I’m really hoping this works out.

 

what i read

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  • I am still rereading SIEGE & STORM so I can finally read RUIN & RISING, then move onto SIX OF CROWS duology and then KING OF SCARS. Two of my teens are also reading the Grisha trilogy and there are few things at work that I have been more excited about. I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on these books because I love them and need to gush with someone.
  • I also read THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo because it’s one of our summer reading books for our summer reading challenge at the library for the teens. I am so embarrassed that I didn’t read my eARC of it when it was coming out last year because OMG SO GOOD??????? This is definitely the best verse novel I’ve read, and I am still book hungover from it.

 

what i posted

I didn’t post much this week. I haven’t been feeling much in the mood to post, and am more fine with it than usual but also still feel like I *should* be posting. But anyway, here’s what I wrote this week:

  • A tarot reading of Sarah Everett’s new release, NO ONE HERE IS LONELY
  • The first post in my new feature, Willow Adds, ft. one of my cute cats and his fantasy book recs!

I’d really like to start posting more witchy stuff, including stuff that’s not strictly bookish, but even though my witchy posts seem to get a lot of views, they don’t get much engagement and I’m worried people think it’s too weird. I know what matters most is that I enjoy writing it, but I also really like talking to my bookish and blogging friends, so I’m not sure what to do about it.

I also want to start studying astrology because I find moon phase stuff fascinating, and I’ve recently become curious about the signs and what they mean at different times, because honestly people ARE more crazy when the moon is full or mercury is in retrograde or whatever in my experience at the library with patrons, and it just seems cool. I’d love to start rec’ing books based on astrology stuff or do different types of posts based on the phase of the moon and fully be a Cotton Candy Book Witch. But again, not sure if that’s too niche or people would enjoy it because it’s super different from most book content out there.

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willow adds: upcoming fantasy

Hello, and welcome to the first post in my new feature, Willow Adds! I will be doing this feature in conjunction with Cedar Adds on a semi-regular basis, hopefully. When I made the switch to Cotton Candy Book Witch, you may recall that I also introduced my two cats, Willow and Cedar, who will be serving as my familiars on my blogging/witchy journey. I decided that Willow would probably read fantasy and Cedar would be more into contemporary, so those are going to be the genres they represent.

willow

Today I’ll be sharing some upcoming YA fantasy books that Willow added to his TBR recently.

  • Serpent & Dove | Shelby Mahurin |September 3, 2019 – The general gist I got from the synopsis is that this book is about a war between the church and witches, and OMG give me ALL the witchiest witchy witch books! Any time I see the word “witch” or “coven” in a YA fantasy synopsis I get ridiculously excited and immediately add the book to my TBR. Willow is also looking forward to cuddling me while I read it, and therefore needs this book to come out yesterday, and is also extra curious about the bird part of the title. He’s such a cat.
  • When We Were Magic | Sarah Gailey | 2020 – Willow and I need a release date for this book SO FREAKING BAD. In WHEN WE WERE MAGIC, a teen girl accidentally kills a classmate during prom with her magic, and has to bring him back or suffer the consequences. This book sounds spooky and eerie and right up my alley.
  • Winterwood | Shea Ernshaw | November 2019 – According to the synopsis, this book has a) an “enchanted and angry” forest, b) a “haunting” romance, and c) a mysterious boy who suddenly appears. I am all about creepy and atmospheric forest books (um, THE HAZEL WOOD, anyone??) so GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!

 

  • The Beautiful | Renee Ahdieh | October 8, 2019 – Can Renee Ahdieh make vampires cool again? Willow and I aren’t sure, since we haven’t gotten around to any of her books yet…oops! However, historical fantasy vampires from 19th century New Orleans DEFINITELY sound cool, so we shall see…
  • A Song Below Water | Bethany C. Morrow | 2020 – Ughhhhh why do I keep finding books that sound amazing without release dates?????? This book immediately went on the ole TBR with the phrase “two magical black girls” and even more with the mention of SIRENS which are one of my fave fantasy things.
  • Sea Witch Rising | Sarah Henning | August 6, 2019 – OMG it has a release date now but NO SYNOPSIS so I don’t know if this is a continuation of Evie’s story or a new character and I am so afraid but I’ll read it even if it’s a new character because I LOVED the first book, SEA WITCH, last year, though Willow is personally a little apprehensive about facing his fear of water and things with tentacles that jump out of it.
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tarot reading: no one here is lonely

Hello, and welcome to a new tarot reading! This time, I’ll be reading for a book I haven’t read, Sarah Everett’s new novel, NO ONE HERE IS LONELY. Here’s a synopsis:

Our entire lives are online, but what if the boy you love actually lives there? For fans of Adam Silvera comes a story about the future of relationships.

Eden has always had two loves: her best friend, Lacey, and her crush, Will. And then, almost simultaneously, she loses them both. Will to a car accident and Lacey to the inevitable growing up and growing apart.

Devastated by the holes they have left in her life, Eden finds solace in an unlikely place. Before he died, Will set up an account with In Good Company, a service that uploads voices and emails and creates a digital companion that can be called anytime, day or night. It couldn’t come at a better time because, after losing Lacey–the hardest thing Eden has had to deal with–who else can she confide all her secrets to? Who is Eden without Lacey?

As Eden falls deeper into her relationship with “Will,” she hardly notices as her real life blooms around her. There is a new job, new friends. Then there is Oliver. He’s Lacey’s twin, so has always been off-limits to her, until now. He may be real, but to have him, will Eden be able to say goodbye to Will?

no one tarot

Now for the reading. This reading is for a three card spread of PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. The past can be any time in the past, either recent or not, the present is the current situation, and future is what is to come.

***

past

Ace of Wands. Ace of Wands symbolizes new energy and enthusiasm for a new path being taken. In the book, Eden used to be enthusiastic about her friendships with Lacey and Will, so I interpret this card to represent her past friendships with them. This card appears to represent when she first became friends with each of them.

***

present

Two of Wands. This cards means an important choice is afoot. Eden must choose whether to keep confiding in an electronic friend who doesn’t exist or move on.

***

future

The Hanged Man. This card is all about being in limbo and represents a significant shift in perspective. I take this to mean that in the book, Eden’s feelings about her former friends will change and she will grow from them.

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weekly wrap-up // 2-17-19

weekly happenings

This was finally a relatively calm week for me. Our normal security guard was on vacation in Cancun which stressed me out a bit because I like routine and I like her and whenever she’s not there things seem to happen, but only one major thing happened (a patron cussed out another patron) and the teens were all fine. I was sad because the schools were out for two days and we didn’t even get a delay.

In more exciting news, I GOT A NINTENDO SWITCH AND I AM SO EXCITED!! I have never had my own gaming system before and I am very interested in exploring and experimenting with different games. I already bought Let’s Go, Eevee! (because Eevee is the best Pokemon), Mario Kart, and Super Mario Bros. I am very very excited to get more into gaming and was glad I got to spoil myself with part of my tax return (oh yes I am so Adult).

 

what i read

  • I DNF’ed THE EVERLASTING ROSE. Which I am very sad about because it was my most anticipated sequel of 2019. It made me remember that initially, I actually had very mixed feelings even about THE BELLES, which was the first book, because of the writing and pacing. I liked the writing better this time since I was prepared for it to be very flowery and pretty, but this book was just so sloooooow and by 25% in hardly anything had happened and I felt like it was a little too predictable. I might end up coming back to this one, especially since I pushed to invite Dhonielle Clayton to the library for an event in the summer, but for now, I think I’ll unfortunately have to put it aside.
  • I finished ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY. I read this because it was my pick for a special event my library is helping the local schools with called Battle of the Books, where kids have to answer questions about different books for a tournament-style game. This was our pick for a book for a younger age group. It was very funny and had a lot of librarian/bookish humor that tickled me, but it’s definitely intended for kids so I wouldn’t say I liked it as much as a book that I could relate to.
  • I started SIEGE & STORM. Instead of continuing to trudge through THE EVERLASTING ROSE, I started my reread of SIEGE & STORM. I’m really hoping to finish it this weekend (in between gaming!) so I can read RUIN & RISING this month finally. Am enjoying the reread so far though and <3 <3 Sturmhond <3 <3

 

what i posted

  • I wrote about what my aesthetic would be if I could bookstagram
  • I made a list of ways to be a literary witch
  • I posted for WWW Wednesday
  • I had my one year anniversary of being a librarian!
  • I shared the etymology of the word “witch”

 

other blogging things

Marie very kindly alerted me to an issue with comments that is now resolved! But…if you’ve commented for approx. the last 2.5 weeks, a mysterious plugin that has yet to be identified probably deleted it 🙁 I am so, SO sorry to all those who have commented on my posts or tried to comment on my posts. If I have not responded, this is the reason, but unfortunately I have not found a way to recover the missing comments. However, the issue is NOW FIXED so please feel free to comment as usual and thank you for your patience while I resolved the issue <3 <3

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etymology: witch

I’m giving this feature about witchy etymology (history of a word) a shot again, this time with the actual word “witch!”

  • in the OED, has uncertain origin
  • probably from old english “wicce” which means female magician/sorceress
  • more specific kind of magical craft practiced by women than later general definitions
  • later meant “ a woman supposed to have dealings with the devil or evil spirits and to be able by their cooperation to perform supernatural acts “
  • possibly connected with Old English word “wigle” meaning “divination”
  • could also come from  Proto-Germanic wikkjaz “necromancer”
  • in 1601, phrase “men-witches” and “he-witch” started being used because the feminine meaning was so widespread

 

dark witch (1)

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stronger than you think: my librarianniversary!

Friends, February 12 was a momentous occasion: It was the one-year anniversary of my first full-time library job! I have actually been celebrating a lot of anniversaries this month, including having been living on my own for a full year and having my kitties for a year. The thing I am most proud of though and feels most significant is my one-year anniversary of being a librarian! I have done library work before but this was my first year with a Librarian title and with my degree 🙂

It has definitely been A Year. I’ve had a ton of ups and downs as a librarian (okay, it feels like mostly downs, but I’m still learning I guess) and learned a TON. Today, I want to reflect and share some of the things I’ve learned in my first full year as a librarian:

  • Forging relationships with teens can be hard. It’s definitely worth it, but some teens just don’t want or care about having a relationship with their librarian and I’ve had to just accept that that’s okay. This does make all the relationships I have made with teens that much more significant, and each connection I’ve made with a teen really does feel like a huge win and accomplishment, especially in the rough area I work in.
  • Urban libraries are REALLY different than rural. This probably shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but the transition from mostly rural libraries to urban was HUGE. I really feel like there should be more professional trainings on this. The urban population is definitely different and has a different set of values and experiences than a rural population as a whole, and it has been A Task to get used to that.
  • A lot of library programming websites cater to suburban white kids. Or at least, I feel like the ones I’ve been mostly reading do. My work partner and I agree that a lot of the well-known library sites tend to cater toward a certain kind of kid and those interests. We’ve had to do a lot of improvising and experimenting to figure out what our kids like and what will bring them to library programs.
  • Don’t take it personally. I’ve been cussed at a few times and people (mostly adults) who come into the library tend to be super rude and aggressive, but I feel like for the most part I’m improving at not taking it so personally, even though I don’t think I’ll ever not be sensitive to people cussing at me. However, I do think I’ve gotten better at realizing that lots of people who come into the library have their own issues that keep them from interacting like normal and polite people, and it probably doesn’t have anything to do with me or what I say.
  • I am better at being patient and kind. For some reason, I’ve always had this fear that I’m not actually a nice person. I don’t know why, but it’s been a pervasive thought for me since I was a kid. Recently though, people have often commented at the library on how patient I am with the teens or how nice I am, and it’s made me think that maybe I am actually a kind and caring person, even though sometimes I have to fake it on bad days.
  • I’m stronger than I think. I think this is the biggest lesson I have learned, and it largely has to do with the boss I really hated and was terrified of at first because she pushed me so hard to push myself, and it was really scary at the time because my anxiety and depression were horrible and I didn’t think I could do pretty much anything, even come to or stay at work sometimes. But, I’ve now done a bunch of things that I am very proud of that I couldn’t have done a year or two years ago when I first entered the library field, or in my life in general, and I largely have that boss to thank for that because whenever I try to talk myself out of doing something hard or scary, I hear her voice in my head telling me I’m stronger than I think. I think my confidence is growing, even though it feels like it’s happening very slowly at times, and that’s a lot to be happy about.

This year has been a ride but at least according to this post, I’ve learned quite a lot from my time as a librarian. I don’t know what the future will hold or if I want to continue working in this field even, but it has been a learning experience at the very least. I am very proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish this year and all the scary things I’ve pushed myself to do, and I hope that continues in the next years.

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www wednesday \\ 2-13-19

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

 

just finished

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I have started my Grisha Trilogy reread (well, my S&B and S&S reread) so I can read RUIN & RISING and then move onto SIX OF CROWS and then KING OF SCARS! I only read SHADOW & BONE for the first time back in July, so this is the soonest I’ve ever reread something, but I have terrible series amnesia and have forgotten everything from the first two books so I need to reread them before starting RUIN & RISING again. I definitely enjoyed SHADOW & BONE just as much the second time around and I’m really looking forward to SIEGE & STORM and Sturmhound <3 <3

 

currently reading

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I’m taking a Grisha break and reading the second Belles book, THE EVERLASTING ROSE. I’m not sure how I feel about it so far, which is how I initially felt about THE BELLES. The writing is pretty, but I’m finding the story a little slow. So far nothing has happened other then them hiding from Queen Sophia for the first 20% of the book. Well, okay, a couple things have happened but it just feels slow to me?? And Camille is annoying me a bit, and Edel is definitely annoying me a bit, and maybe I should come back to this one and read SIEGE & STORM instead, but I feel like I need to finish it.

 

reading next

What I SHOULD read next is SIEGE & STORM since I don’t want to forget S&B again before I read it. But I also really want to read ENCHANTEE because it’s Paris in the 1700s but plus dark magic. But I’ll probably reread SIEGE & STORM and then take another break before RUIN & RISING and read ENCHANTEE, then move on to R&R.

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how to be a literary witch

Something I find really fascinating about witchcraft is that there are a lot of different “paths” you can take. Each “path” has a type of “magic” that they focus on, like a green witch, who focuses on plant things, or a kitchen witch, who focuses on magic in the home. I’ve seen literary witchcraft mentioned very vaguely in some people’s huge masterlists of types of witchcraft, but it seems to be a super niche thing and not really mainstream. So, I have compiled a list of ideas for those who might be into the literary or scholarly side of witchy things like I probably am.

  • Host an informational blog. There are actually a TON of witchy blogs on Tumblr, which is how I discovered witchy stuff in the first place, since I read it was becoming popular there. I have a witch-specific Tumblr as well, where I repost a lot of tips and informational stuff about witchcraft.
  • Write your own spells. Not all spells in witchcraft have words, but some do, so writing your own spells is definitely something literary/witchy to do.
  • Write review posts of witchy books. I would love to do this more on this blog, actually, but it’s hard for me to sift through all the witchy books out there and find ones that I think are good and useful. Plus, a lot of them are not…pretty? So that bugs me even though I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover blah blah. But if someone were to make a review blog of books about different aspects of witchcraft, 10/10 would follow.
  • Make booklists of witchy books. This could be either for nonfiction witchy books about tarot, crystals, etc, or even about fictional books that just feature witches. I am planning to start making a lot of these as the blog transitions to more witchy things.
  • Write spells based on poetry. I like this idea because I generally find reading poetry to be a magical and inspirational thing. I also feel like it would probably easy to transfer a poem into a spell, especially ones that rhyme even though that kind of poetry is my least favorite (looking at you, Lang Leav).
  • Read and post about witch history. I would def like to do more of this. Witches aren’t just a western culture thing, and lots of cultures have witches in some form. I would be fascinated to read about how witchcraft has evolved in different cultures, etc.
  • Keep a physical grimoire. Smol info dump: a grimoire is basically a witch’s journal, where we keep spells, information, general witch-related journaling, and other things. I personally like the idea of both a physical and digital grimoire, since with the physical one I could make it pretty and with a digital one I could organize it more easily.
  • Post pages from your grimoire. I do this sometimes on my witchblr, but I’d like to do it on my Instagram to as I try to find a pastel, cotton candy witch-y aesthetic. I’m actually part of a bullet journaling for witches group on Facebook, and people often post things like their moon phase spreads and herb/crystal correspondences and similar pages, and it’s so cool to see what everyone puts in their journals. Also, you’d think that bullet journaling witches would be a really niche thing, but the group actually has almost 6,000 members, which I think is pretty cool.

I should also mention that there is definitely no “right” or “wrong” way to be any specific path of witch (even though some people of course would like you to think there is). But it can be nice to have some guidance of a place to start, so that is my intention when sharing any info on witch types.

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