Halloween always makes me think of witches. And my search for something witchy to write about led me to white witches.

White witches were, historically speaking, folk healers—people that lived primarily out in the countryside and provided healing and midwifery services to their community, which was very much needed as doctors were difficult to find outside of cities. This practice lasted well into the nineteenth century.


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I never would have thought it, but Twitter has turned out to be my favorite social media outlet. It turns out that if you follow interesting people on there, then it’s really quite easy to find interesting material. I’ve come across fascinating articles and beautiful artwork I probably otherwise would never have found. Like this Memoir of a Stomach.

The downside is I sometimes fall into rabbit holes as a result, like when I came across an article called “Ten Dangerous Beauty Trends from the Victorian Era”. The article, though interesting, isn’t what consumed my time. It was a book that the article referenced, written by an American woman in 1874 called, “The Ugly Girl Papers, Or, Hints for the Toilet


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Despite Sweden being considered one of the most secular countries in the world, religion still plays a big part in many of the holidays. Honestly, I think Swedes will embrace just about any reason to take a day off work or, in the case of today, eat pastries.

Swedes love pastries.

Like, a lot.


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Old-Door

 

I like it when the new year rolls around. There’s a sense of optimism that knocks about the pessimism that sometimes follows me around. It’s like crossing a threshold, and that’s exciting. Who knows what’s on the other side? It makes sense that January is named after Janus, the god of gateways and beginnings, which sounds like an excellent time to start a new year, don’t you think?


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Technically I’m on vacation. It’s not a traveling kind of vacation, but rather a sit-around-and-be-lazy-and-do-things-you-didn’t-have-time-for-before vacation. Which, for me, means I’m dedicating most of my time to these three things:

1.) I’m playing Skyrim. Again. (Any Skyrim fans out there?) But this time I’ve installed survival-type mods that change the experience of the game somewhat. I’m having a ridiculously good time with it, especially considering this is around my fourth time through (only completed the main story on one play-through though).


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800px-Carl_XVI_Gustaf_och_Silvia_på_Skansen_2009

Photo by Bengt Nyman — Carl XVI Gustaf och Silvia på Skansen 2009

Just a short post today. Yesterday was Sweden’s National Day, which resulted in me being lazy and not preparing any blog posts. But here’s a picture of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, with the Queen wearing the national costume of Sweden, which, I’ve discovered, was created in the early 1900’s, but didn’t become “a thing” until Queen Silvia wore it in 1983–the same year when June 6 became the National Day of Sweden. Prior to that the date had been Swedish Flag Day, but didn’t actually become a full-blown holiday with time off and people being lazy until 2005. Crazy stuff. There’s your Swedish Fun Facts for the day!

Anyway, so the giveaway for A Shadowed Spirit is done, and I’d have to say it was a pretty good success. It drummed up some interest for the book and brought quite a few new folks to the blog, which is great. Welcome everyone! It was also good fun, so I’ll probably do another one in the future. So, if you didn’t win this time, don’t fret, you’ll probably get another chance!


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