I’d like to hit on the Conjure part of this blog with a book review.
I recently read Ruby Warrington’s Material Girl, Mystical World : The Now Age Guide to a High-Vibe Life.
And by read, I mean I gave up about half way through.
If I had been smart, I would have noticed how often the word “sophisticated” was used in conjunction with the book. On the inside cover it even says “-a sophisticated upgrade on cosmic thinking, from healing crystals to doing your dharma, for women who know that a closetful of designer shoes can happily coexist with a deeply meaningful life.”
Guys, I dont think I’ve ever owned designer shoes. My day to day shoes are Wal-Mart Chuck Taylor knock offs. And I think “sophisticated” would be the last word anyone used to describe me. I know my please and thank-yous and I chew with my mouth closed , but cosmopolitan I am not.
That being said, I believe you don’t always have to personally relate to a theme to learn from it. While I am open to accepting all walks and stations in life, many of the experiences cited in the book fell flat for me. Also, the constant mention of fancy pancy shoes kept throwing me off. Miu Miu shoes may be the cat’s meow, but name dropping them as a status example every few pages gets a little exhausting. (Also, I really dislike feet. So everytime I read about $350 shoes, and it’s mentioned a lot, I end up thinking about the feet that go into them.)
As an author, Warrington is open and friendly. Reading her prose was like listening to a friend talk. But not a good friend. One of those older friends of the family you kinda-sorta know and hang around at BBQs because you hope some of her coolness wears off on you. The first chapter gives an okay introduction to astrology, but it’s under a lot of fluff. The chapter starts with a description of the time the author interviewed a model and they totally “soul sister”ed over their love of astrology. It kind of sets the tone of name dropping in an effort to validate something doesn’t really need celebrity validation.Then we are introduced to The Astro Twins who are everything their name implies, twin sister who do astrology. But, like omg! they are regulars on The Real Housewives of New York ,too. We’ll categorize that as another missed red flag.
As we will the numerous mentions of the author’s online magazine. I am all for getting yourself over, but after the third or fourth time, it’s like damn ,we get it, its called The Numinous. High five for the project, but either write about it in full or move on. Slipping it into to everything discussed in the book makes the whole work feel like commercial.
The rest of part one of the book touches on Tarot (and name drops an American’s Next Top Model judge), Psychic ability, and Karma/Dharma. Even if the writing and narrative voice got under my skin, here and there were interesting tidbits of knowledge,quotes or ideas. Part two focused on Health and Wellbeing. It was full of yoga ins and outs as well as a hashtag word used as part of a sentence. That was almost the point I put the book down. It’s my belief that there is no place in a sentence for #POWERWORD nonsense. Meditation, shamanism, and chakras rounds out the end of part two and I found enough information there that I decided to carry on reading.
Part Three was where it started to unravel. Love, Sex, and Relationships get tied together in a semi logical way. There are interesting thoughts presented in the section. Sex, friendships, and the Divine Feminine are all discussed in acceptable and sometimes humorous ways.
But in the discussion of the many elements of The Divine Feminine, Warrington ventures briefly into conversations about her mother. She writes that our relationship with our mother is first time we get to experience sisterhood. She then says that healing her relationship with her mother was what lead her to her “ultimate self-acceptance”. She reiterates the idea that Mother is name for god on the hearts of all children with the idea that mothers are the first and only true creators. Therefore, Mother is the earthy vestige of The Goddess and the one who tells and teaches us to trust the Universe.
If you know me, you know the relationship I have with my mother prohibits me from seeing any of that as valid. My mother was not the Goddess. My mother did not teach me to trust the Universe. If anything she taught me it was always out to get me. Her lessons were ones not to connect me to a higher power, but to tear me away from myself. Her goal was to mold my fragile mind into something of her own creation, with her own standard settings. So the idea that my self acceptance depends on healing those wounds is a no go for me. It was that vapid thought that ended my reading of the book.
Not everyone has the same privilege. I feel that is the overall message that is lost in this book. Some of us have no relationships we want to heal, no famous friends to chat with, and no fancy shoes to wear. And that means, we have to forge our own paths in New, I’m sorry, Now Age. Maybe someone us aren’t as material as we thought.
Best of luck to Ms. Warrington on her book and her online magazine. While I may not agree with your book, I respect the hardwork you put in it and in all other facets of your journey. Thank you for the experience.