Larkie’s Library: “The Secret Garden”

Hello again, sorry for the disappearance, once again life happens and I have been focusing more on building up/writing in my Grimoire. However, I have been trying to keep up on my reading as well and finished “The Secret Garden” this week (finally), so I thought I would make a return with a book review.
The story begins with a young, orphaned girl named Mary Lennox who is sent to live with her wealthy uncle in Yorkshire, England after the death of her parents from a cholera outbreak in their home in India. She’s a sour child and spoiled beyond belief, but eventually decides (after some persuasion) to explore her new home and soon discovers a secret garden. She also discovers more secrets around the manor and slowly becomes a much happier, healthier child and is even a positive influence to another peer, her cousin, Colin. She shares the wonder and the “magic” of the garden with trusted friends and it has a ripple effect over everyone at the manor. I don’t want to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t read it, so I will leave the description at this point.

Overall, I really enjoyed the story. I’m almost disappointed that I didn’t read this earlier in life, but I still got a lot out of it now. (There is a bit of India-bashing, so just a head’s up there). The “magic” theme was wonderfully done and isn’t Hollywood magic, but more earthly, everyday “magic” you can find in nature. The descriptions of plants coming back to life as Spring arrives, the mist over the moors, the sunshine, the buds sprouting from the ground, the animals coming out, and birds building nests; it was the true magic and wonder one can find every year with the changing of the seasons (yes, it’s not “magic” but the look and feel is quite wondrous at times). And given that I read it during Fall, it really made the seasonal change I was seeing around me pop out. The fading of the leaves from green to orange. The grass becoming blanketed by the same orange, yellow, red, and brown leaves. The chill in the air. It was/is magical.
The theme of secrets really flows strongly through the book. Whether it’s a secret garden, a secret room holding a secret person, a secret “miracle”, etc. And what I noticed was the effects secrets can have, both negative and positive. Keeping things secret due to shame only makes it worse and sours more than the secret itself…it can also influence gossip. More harmless secrets can be fun when kept to oneself, but are made more so when shared with people you trust/friends and can actually be like a gift which strengthens bonds. Not all secrets are bad, but in the end, no secret should be kept that way for long.
There was also quite a lot about positivity and how one can attempt to change how they see the world. A glass half full vs glass half empty thing. I don’t think it necessarily promotes blind optimism, but instead trying not to let yourself be bogged down with negative thoughts all of the time. It’s not just a physical garden they tend to, but the gardens in their minds (I know that sounds hippy and weird, but Mr. Rogers used that term once, so it stands as forever cool, IMO). Of course, we know just thinking positively can’t solve all of our problems and is definitely not a cure-all, but it can have an impact. “Where you plant a rose, a thistle cannot grow.”
Finally, there was a great line in this book about children that I thought was very smart. While I have no intention to ever have them myself, I think it’s great advice for anyone who would so desire some. It goes like this, “Two worst things as can happen to a child is never to have his own way or to always have it.” It speaks for itself.

So there you have it. 4 out of 5 stars from me, would definitely recommend for just about all ages.

Hope everyone had a blessed Samhain. Happy reading!



BBC’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” (1988) Review

movie_142In 1988 the BBC did a TV miniseries based on the first three books (in publication order, not reading order) of C.S. Lewis’ famous and beloved series “The Chronicles of Narnia.” The first of the three is “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” and it is truly my favorite film rendition of the book (even over the more recent version…I’ve always had a fondness for puppetry, animatronics, and costumes over CGI). I was lucky enough to find a DVD boxed set and brought it home to watch. Tonight is the first night, so I started with the first installment (I have actually never seen the other two, so this will be fun!). The books always made me feel a bit more magical and even now the movies inspire feelings of witchiness.

Being as it was 1988, the animation and special effects are not great at all, very elementary and easily seen to be “fake”, but for a TV miniseries in the 80’s I’m sure it was considered fantastic (and I thought so as well when I first watched it in the early 90’s). The acting is theatrical and so funny, but in a very happy, nostalgic way. The comic relief with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver is welcome as, even now, the more intense scenes still make me feel a little scared. I remember Aslan seeming more lifelike when I was a child whereas now…well, the animatronics are very obvious. I also used to have the BIGGEST crush on the actor who played Peter. It follows the book very well (or at least what I remember of it) and is 168 minutes in length. The music is well done and has a perfect eeriness to it for the White Witch and has a pure fantasy sound through the whole thing. I will say the battle scenes are just terribly cheesy and silly; so many of it involves animated creatures which takes more away from it than adds. However, even with that, the rest of the movie is quite brilliant, but that is a biased one since I’ve loved this movie for 20 some odd years!

They just don’t make fantasy movies like they used to. Overall, I’d give this movie high marks and a strong recommendation for everyone to see at least once. It’s possible it may be a bit scary for really young children (I first saw it when I was in 2nd grade, so about 7 or 8 years old, I think, but I did find certain parts scary) so best to watch it either before them to gauge how you think they’d respond or watch it with them.

Have a very goodnight and blessed be!




Meditation and Yoga Practice

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I love to use exercise as a way to build energy for meditation and focusing my intentions. One of my favorite forms of building this energy is through yoga; bonus points awarded because it gives me the opportunity to meditate during the cool down immediately after. The calmness, focus of breath, and flow make it easier to manage my energy and prepare for meditation versus cardio or strength training where my focus is more on not passing out!


Unfortunately, I am not a super skilled “Yogi” and don’t really know how to form a good yoga workout for myself. Therefore, I should NEVER lead a class on it and I am not about to claim I can coach someone in yoga. However, I do have a favorite trainer on YouTube whom I follow and felt like I could shamelessly plug! I do not know her, personally, and have no connection to her. I discovered her channel after a relative posted about doing one of her 30 Day Yoga Challenges on Facebook. Her name is Adriene and she is awesome!
Yoga With Adriene is the name of her YouTube channel and she has some great content as well as yoga challenges. The first one I did was her “30 Days of Yoga” challenge which was really awesome. The videos aren’t terribly long and it isn’t difficult to do or follow (I know some people are put off by yoga through videos since they sometimes can’t watch and stay in a pose at the same time). She gives fairly clear directions and after a couple of days I could follow along with little amount of head turning to check my screen.
Currently, I’ve started her “31 Day Yoga Revolution” challenge and so far am finding it to be just as enjoyable. So I definitely recommend her to anyone looking to get into yoga, wanting to workout at home, etc.

Another YouTube channel I thought I would plug is one that puts out some really beautiful music you can use for meditation, studying, sleeping, etc. It’s called YellowBrickCinema and they have a lot of different videos and playlists to choose from. You’re bound to find something you’ll like due to the selection. My favorite is a 3hr long video that’s supposed to promote positive thinking. I listened to this almost everyday for a couple months actually a couple years ago. It helped me deal with a difficult work situation that fortunately ended well. You can listen to it HERE

That’s it for this update. I’m hoping to do another post on more Pagan podcasts I’ve been trying out and another tarot reading. Hopefully this April has been kind to you all. Don’t forget to March for Science in your area on April 22nd (Earth Day) if you can (and try to only leave footprints).

Blessed be!


Larkie’s Library: “The Color of Magic” by Terry Pratchett (Discworld #1)

Another quick “witchy” type book review comes from none other than one of Terry Pratchett’s books and the first in his famous Discworld series “The Color of Magic.” I have never actually read any books from the Discworld, so this was a long time coming. I also did not realize just how many books there are in this magical universe and I am hoping I’m not in over my head because of it! 😉 51chrfxhmnl-_sy344_bo1204203200_
In “The Color of Magic” we are introduced to the Discworld which rests atop the backs of three large elephants who are riding on the shell of the Great A’Tuin (a large space turtle) who swims steadily through vastness of space. The Discworld is flat and has a very literal edge to it; it also has an eighth color in it’s spectrum, called octarine, which happens to be associated with all things magical. Wizards, barbarians, monsters, and real-imaginary dragons exist in the Discworld which is watched over by multiple Gods/Goddesses (or really entities); Fate, the Lady, and (of course) Death are just a few who watch the drama unfold and even play into it a bit.
The main players are Rincewind, a sort of wizard who only knows one spell, and a traveller from the other end of the Discworld named, Twoflower, who is an eternal optimist and dangerously curious about everything which gets them into trouble. It is written in such a fashion that I picture everything playing out as an almost Monty Python type set-up. They get into situations that you see almost no way out and somehow manage to eek by, but not through skill. Usually they find themselves victorious through perfectly timed clumsiness or just plain dumb luck and I found it to be hilarious at times.
There were a couple occasions that I laughed out loud, ran to my husband, and read the excerpt to him just so I could share the ridiculousness of the situation. And say that last part with love. It definitely wasn’t a 5 star book (there were a couple moments where the story jumped from one perspective to another, which can be confusing and during one of them I actually felt a little lost which resulted in me having to read a bit more carefully to be sure I didn’t somehow miss something), but I’m more than happy giving it a 4. It was a quick, enjoyable read and if this was any indication of how the rest of the series will go, then I’m really looking forward to it and am happy to add it to my Spring/Summer reading list.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessed be!


Larkie’s Library: Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Trilogy

Thought I’d end my blog absence with a quick book review…well, more like three book reviews. I recently finished the Peculiar Children Series and thought it was “witchy” enough that it might be fun to mention here. It didn’t take long to finish and was actually pretty scary at times, which I rather enjoyed.e6d2ff9dbd6d031bc65de02047a01af8

The first, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” was probably the ‘scariest’ for me. Maybe because I wasn’t yet used to the creepy photos in the book or the description of the evil creatures hunting the children known as hollowghasts. The writing wasn’t spectacular, but it definitely drummed up excellent imagery for me (highly active imagination as it is) and my heart picked up speed at the dramatic points in the story. You follow the story narrated by the main character, Jacob Portman, as he discovers the peculiar past of his grandfather. He meets Miss Peregrine and her wards, gets into trouble with hollows and wights who hunt peculiars, and then goes on a journey to save Miss Peregrine’s and the children’s home/lives. (I know that’s not a great summary, but I don’t want to give too much away). It ends with Jacob and his new friends heading out on their mission and left me excited to start the second book.

The second book, “Hollow City” was actually my favorite. It felt action packed from start to finish and was nearly impossible to put down (the first was much the same as far as difficulty in putting down, but obviously not quite as gripping since, as it should be, the first book in a series has to set up the story). It was less scary, but more mysterious and filled with a lot of close calls and not-so close calls. You learn (along with Jacob and the other peculiar children) a bit more about the world of the peculiar in this book. The ending was such a twist that I went out and bought the third book the very next day.

The third book, “Library of Souls” is the conclusion of Jacob Portman’s story in his mission to stop the wights and hollows and essentially save all of Peculiardom. I finished this book in about 24 hours. It was no longer so much scary as it was frustrating; it seemed at every turn they were hitting roadblocks or perfect chances were slipping from their fingers. There are a couple of battles and a few more twists in this story. You’ll meet characters you aren’t sure you can trust and learn if your gut was right or not. And once everything seems to be fairly packaged up, another wrench is thrown in the gears. Ultimately, I loved the book and thought the story was well put together.

The series as a whole was a lot of fun and a great escape from reality. The world is not only peculiar, but magical and helped me get back to a more witchy mindset. As a result, I’ve started reading my actual witchy books again and am feeling motivated to keep on myself in doing weekly meditation and yoga sessions to keep my mind clear and at more peace (which has been a difficult feat as of late). So if you haven’t read these books yet, I definitely recommend them for an easy and exciting read to clear your mind and escape for a bit.

Blessed be!


Checking In

I am still here, but life has been busy. I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on exercising to build up more positive energy and rid myself of the negative. I’m hoping to start up yoga again soon to get back to at least weekly meditations.
I think I’m finally ready to start writing in my Grimoire. It’s been sitting in the closet of my meditation room for a while now and I finally got the feeling that it’s time. I’m searching for decent colorful pens now; possibly making a trip to the store tomorrow to get some. I am also almost finished going through my tarot manual and getting to know my cards; I’ve already found an introductory spread to use them on once I’ve finished studying.
I’ve been focusing a lot of time on reading for fun, practicing music, and building a stuffed animal for a friend who is currently trying to get pregnant with her husband. I’m very excited and have been attempting to put a lot of loving, healthy, and happy energy into my work as I create it. I love making things for people; it always makes me feel really peaceful. That’s about as “magical” as I’ve been getting lately though. I just haven’t had time for anything else really, but that’s okay.
I attended my first political action meeting this month and it went very well. I have a feeling this will become a very positive thing in my life and good way to help me turn something that is very scary and negative going on in my world/country, to something good. I feel more empowered, confident, and like things will be okay so long as I don’t simply roll over and assume certain things can’t happen and other things won’t be so bad. Keep the fire lit, essentially.

Hoping everyone has a great weekend.

Blessed be!


Taking Action

The last week and a half has been a haze of what feels like a nightmare come true. In less than a week, two members of my family have passed on and after all these executive orders I have friends and colleagues who are now unsure about their safety in this country (or their ability to return if they ever go outside of its borders for visiting family or even business). I fell back into a dark place similar to that I experienced after the election. Call it dramatic if you like, but this is so much different from anything I’ve seen before and frankly, it’s really scary to me.

But I’m slowly returning to a level of calm and am ready to continue my focus on my path as well as my fight for my country. I’ve joined a political action group and am excited to get started. I’m also looking into ways to help with various charities (one thing I’m doing is learning to knit so that I may supply hats, socks, scarves, etc to homeless and refugee charities, veteran charities, and also baby hats and booties to NICUs in local hospitals). I was part of my communities Women’s March on the 21st; it was probably the most empowering thing I’ve experienced in the last decade. While I feel afraid, I also feel like I’ve found more of myself that I wasn’t aware was there. I’m seeing that I’m a lot stronger than I realized and I’m also seeing how amazing of a person my husband really is; I mean, I already knew he was great, but his stance and support on many issues has really helped me.

On the witchy side of things, I’m still studying tarot and while I have my BOS, I still haven’t written in it yet. I’m afraid to start it during times of anger or grief or fear, but I’m hoping I will have the motivation and proper mindset to start this week.
I can’t promise this blog won’t contain some political tones, but I do want to keep it relatively focused on Paganism. I will say this though, with this empowerment has come a lot of courage, particularly about being open with my beliefs. I’m not as worried about being discovered since, I feel now is an important time to know who are and own it. Love yourself and don’t be afraid to be open.

That’s all I have for right now, but I will try to be better about not disappearing for almost two weeks. Hope everyone is safe this weekend and taking care.

Blessed be,