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Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul

Magic Practitioners with Disabilities, Addiction, and Illness

Reviewed by Jolene Dawe

Every now and again, a book comes along that catches you unaware and forces you to reconsider ideas that you’ve held, unchallenged, ideas that you may not have even realized you held in the first place. I’ve been pagan long enough that the more typical “This is how I practice my path” books don’t tend to do that – I enjoy them, I love learning about what other people are doing, how they interact with the spiritual realms and how they integrate those interactions into their lives. I find it fascinating, but they don’t always pull me out of my self, out of my thought patterns and expectations, and make me consider what might be different, if. Rooted In the Body is a book that takes us into those uncomfortable places.

What if I was not as able-bodied as I am? What if I was blind, deaf? What if I struggled with addictions that took over my life? What if I was less normative when it came to my mental state? I may joke about being “crazy”, but being outside what mainstream society considers “normal” is not the same thing at all as not being able to touch in with what that “normal” is. What if, what if? These questions are important, and they are dear to my heart. My partner, Beth, struggles with arthritis and a chronic pain condition that has seriously impacted her quality of life. Over the last few years her struggle to work full time has taken its toll, and she’s been forced to scale her hours outside of the home way, way back. We’re lucky in that we’ve been able to afford it, but when we reach the end of being able to afford it she isn’t going to miraculously be able to return to the work force. I cannot imagine people in similar situations without any sort of support network, and my heart breaks for them.

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