Witches’ Brew #2 is a sweet little zine by my friend Nina Echozina. Please see her website here. https://echopublishing.wordpress.com
As a zine trade and part of a multi-year zine friendship, Nina sent me a packet of mini zines. It was joyful to receive them from her in Belgium. So colorful and lively! It’s fun to see all these little zines.
But Witches’ Brew #2 was the one I was most excited about. Amulets are very intriguing.
I think of an amulet as a magical object that was a neutral thing until it’s charmed–or they could be created during ritual, in a crafty manner, with intention or otherwise magical properties. When I did a forgiveness ritual on Thanksgiving last year, I charmed an altar object with my intention of self-forgiveness. So I keep that object on my altar and remember my goals of unconditional self-love and shedding the grudges I held toward myself. (It’s a little carved cicada sculpture.)
An amulet I think of as something to wear as a pendant, so the cicada is not quite that. Long ago I similarly charmed a ring during a ritual bath, also not a pendant. That ring I charmed with an intention related to self-love also, but more specific to my gender wellness. I had been badly hurting about my gender and gender identity, so that magical work healed something that needed healing, and was a culmination of emotional work.
Ritual doesn’t need to have anything to do with religion. For me it does have a religious aspect, since everything I do somehow becomes religious. But ritual can be atheist, or just the self speaking to the self.
This zine was not what I expected, but wonderful in a surprise way. I expected more of a how to. Rather than teaching us how to make amulets, it’s more an overview of pendants and amulets in Nina’s life.
I love to learn about the sacred details of someone’s life, the anthropology of a friend. I enjoyed hearing about necklaces she loves.
Another way this zine surprised me is you can open it up and there’s more on the flip side of the paper. It’s a minizine made of one piece of paper, strategically folded up. Most minizines I’ve seen made in this style are blank on the inside, but Nina has put more goodness to read on the inside. That feels like a caring treat.
I’m impressed by the appealing color aesthetics and with the technique of how well Nina folded up these minizines. When I make zines in this style, I can never get them quite right. Nina has some mechanical skills or patience that I lack.
Overall this zine helped me feel welcomed in, cared for, and generously shared with. I love the warm attitude.
I don’t want to give too much away–please see Nina’s website and consider engaging her work.