book

Book Review – The Ultimate Dictionary of Dream Language by Briceida Ryan

June, 2019

Book Review
The Ultimate Dictionary of Dream Language
by Briceida Ryan

Brightest Blessings

This book contains a wealth of knowledge in an easy to use format. You will want to take your time reading the references especially to know what your dream means. It’s perfect to pair a cup of tea or hot cocoa with in the morning and go over. Each entry is well thought out.

Ms. Ryan gives detailed information on types of dreams. Some of my favorite types of dreams that she gives information on are: intuition, spiritual guides, deities, extraordinary figures & numerology. She also gives you information on the benefit of dream interpretation and teaches you how to use her book. This book may be big, but you’ll be grateful how detailed the information is on the many diverse topics. She has over 23,500 entries in this book alone!

Here is an example I can relate from a topic I had in my dream:

LOVE: For the next 3 days any love situation will be very lucky for you. This is a chance to make things work for you and to go for what you want. During this cycle, all relationships will renew themselves and friendships can become love relationships. Celebrate your love relationship on a grand scale and make the effort to love yourself by bringing things into your life that will bring you joy. You will also enjoy a love affair if this something you desire. This is the correct time to circulate and make yourself available. You will have many admirers to choose from. Any person you pick will be a good choice. Good luck is with you. You will also gain new assistant who will be very eager to support you with the work load. They will help you to complete your project and you will be very pleased with the results.

I’m excited about this! I’ve been writing down my nightly dreams for almost year now. I want to look back and see what other information I can gather from this book & keep checking on my nightly dreams.

This book would definitely be welcome addition to anyone who wants a deeper knowledge of the meaning of dreams and have them on hand. This book is a great buy & I highly recommend it for new or seasoned dream interpreters.

My thoughts:

Like with any thing new to learn about, with your dreams write out about them. Emotions, colors, images, numbers, especially anything that repeats, then you can look in Ms. Ryan’s book and find many of the meanings in there. Don’t be afraid to look beyond as well

The Ultimate Dictionary of Dream Language on Amazon

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About the Author:

Norma Clark I’m Wiccan, My style follows my spiritual path and what comes to mind.. I live in a small rural town, Paris, Idaho. I share my life With my Wiccan husband, 2 hyper Children & gang of critters. I love to create new designs by looking at nature & cultural ideas for my Jewelry and create unique Metaphysical items. Shop, sit a spell or two & Come see the Magick of Forevrgoddessboutique Link to my shop: forevrgoddessboutique

Book Review – The Hidden Worlds by Sandra Ingerman & Katherine Wood

June, 2019

Book Review
The Hidden Worlds
by Sandra Ingerman and Katherine Wood

The Hidden Worlds is a gift to “juvenile fiction”. The authors, Sandra Ingerman and Katherine Wood bring the wealth of their experience as Shamans and in the case of Katherine, as an educator, and present a story of fiction that holds a wealth of keys and nuances to be used for any young practitioner.

Sandra Ingerman, a world renowned Shaman, shares that The Hidden Worlds is based upon her own spiritual experiences as she entered the world of study and understanding the principles of Shamanic practice. Katherine, Sandra’s student, became the collaborator for a story that brings to life the natural wisdom of our youth and the power that they hold in affecting change for their future and the future of our plant.

The main character, Isaiah, is a dreamer. And, in those dreams he finds those companions that will become the cohort that takes down a power plant that is polluting and dumping waste into the local stream. All are connected by shared dreams and are drawn together as they meet at the pond in their dreams and find that the dead fish and birds, each saw in their dreams are more than portents of upcoming disaster from toxic waste.

The chapters are short, appropriately paced for many of today’s youth taste for getting directly to the point and quickly. Each building upon the foundations of basic shamanic practice and learning to engage power animals and journeying to the three worlds.

All in all I enjoyed reading The Hidden Worlds, especially as a departure from the traditional works of Ms. Ingerman that instruct and inform the Shamanic practice from the direction of theory and experience. That being said, this is an excellent introduction to be accessed by young adults. Environmental issues, spiritual growth and the power of community and collaboration are themes throughout, with the addition of a bit of romance as well. It s a reminder that we coexist with these “Hidden Worlds” and as humans we are not powerless when faced with the future of our planet, its eco system and those with whom we share this home.

The Hidden Worlds on Amazon

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review – Paganism in Depth: A Polytheistic Approach by John Beckett

June, 2019

Book Review
Paganism in Depth
A Polytheistic Approach
by John Beckett

Let me begin this review by saying that John Beckett is a down-to-earth and genuinely unassuming and likable man. And, he also is committed to his path of Druidry, but not at the expense of also being very thoughtful and receptive to many of the other paths that fall under the umbrella of polytheism. These statements alone, in my opinion, make his writing all that more interesting because you can distinguish the underpinnings of a sound personal practice that allows for exploration of “what could be”.

Paganism in Depth is separated into three Parts: Part 1-Foundations; Part 2-Practice; and Part 3-Challenges. Each offers a very thorough and as the title suggests comprehensive discourse on the nature of paganism in its multitude of expressions. The Introduction contained as a section of Part 1 provides the reader with John’s experiences as he moved through the hunger that many new pagans feel upon finding out that there is a different type of spirituality that asks much of its seekers and integrates the natural, mundane and spiritual worlds. We are reminded from the beginning that going deeper into the path we are exploring or have committed to requires much from us, but that the rewards are well worth the efforts.

Reading through Paganism In Depth is much like having a conversation with an old friend. You may think you know lots about the individual and then they surprise you with something new and unexpected. This alone changes the dynamics between you and the dialogue opens, your mind begins to process and questions arise that set you on a path of wanting to know more. And, all the while this interaction is being done in a very gentle way that feels neither threatening nor invasive of what you already believe to be true.

By and far my reading was Chapter 5: I like It Here-Why Do I Have to Leave? This chapter spoke to the nature of settling in and at times simply “just settling” when the experience could be so much more had we just reached a little further beyond our comfort zone. John asks the reader to learn to trust their experiences, and use this as an opening for deeper connection to Deity, the magick and all that comprises your chosen path…

…. Learning to trust your senses is an act of will. And like so many other parts of ourselves, the will is strengthened by exercise.”….

Supporting this concept of will as needing exercise, Chapter 6: Devotional Practice is the first statement of devotional practice beginning with a choice (will): a Deity to worship. How we proceed from that choice is integral to how deeply we will ultimately connect with deity at all levels. Choice of which deity (ies) we select to offer our practice to is another step that although it may feel or seem very simple, the angst that surrounds this often holds us back from simply making the choice to “experience”.

Meditation, magick, leadership and all of those pieces that construct a whole in what we choose to call our spiritual practice are given the care of first hand experience and suggestion of how to improve upon and make it your own. This style is prominent throughout the book with each topic being made that much more relevant through the sharing of John’s personal experiences. This creates a space of community through common ground and even if the reader disagrees with or has never had any similar experience, it makes the book readable and engaging.

This closing statement in the Epilogue: An Invitation to a Journey, beautifully sums up the entirety of the book and in this case, perfectly aligns with what John Beckett has accomplished in its writing…

…. the mission of Paganism in Depth. It’s a guidebook to going deeper into the forest, higher up the mountain, and further out to sea. It’s an invitation to join this sacred work, to go where there are no maps and find your way through careful practice and intuition,,, and then draw a map for those who come after you.”

Visit the author’s blog: Under the Ancient Oaks

Paganism In Depth: A Polytheist Approach on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Interview with Annwyn Avalon: Water Witch

June, 2019

Dancer, artist, author, witch, priestess; with this many titles and roles, it’s clear that Annwyn Avalon is kept busy. Fresh from a workshop at Pantheacon, Annwyn was kind enough to talk to Mabh here at PaganPagesOrg about her new book, Water Witchcraft, and other aspects of her work.

Mabh Savage: How would you describe the concept of water witchcraft to a complete novice?

Annwyn Avalon: Water Witchcraft, simply put, is Witchcraft that uses water as the main modality for their magic and/or they may use water related items, work with water spirits and deities and perform many of their spells or rituals with, on, or near water. A Sea Witch is a very popular example, but it goes beyond just the ocean. It is a draw to the natural watery world, the subaqueous realms and all the water on the surface of the planet. Many of us have our own favourite body of water and they range from small springs and creeks to lakes, rivers and oceans. A Water Witch will often choose to cleanse with water rather than smoke, and may choose a cauldron, cup or bowl over a candle or ritual knife. They may work with gem elixirs, teas, sacred baths and many, many other types of watery magic!

MS: What first inspired you to write the book, Water Witchcraft?

AA: This is a long and complicated answer so I will try to keep it short. It was a combination of being drawn to the water, loving water, an obsession with folklore surrounding water and the major lack of information there is out there. There are so very few books that focus on Water Magic and some of them are very well done while others feel very rushed, but there remains only a small number of books on the subject. They also seemed to only focus on one body of water, the ocean or sacred wells. Water is so diverse and there are so many types that I wanted to put something together that would not only cover all types of water, but that was full of information that would be useful to everyone. This actually ended up starting as a 9-month course on water magic and by the time the book was in full swing it was being narrowed down to focus specifically on Brythonic magic.

MS: And what initially drew you to the magic of water and watery beings?

AA: I have always been a very watery person. I was born under Cancer with a Pisces moon, I grew up in Florida and spent many days in the fresh water springs, swamps and along the sea shore. Water has always been a strong presence in my life. Later, I was intensely drawn to Pre-Raphaelite paintings and literature many of which feature watery women and faery women. I realized later that it was the strong draw to the water, the water nymphs, mermaids and other watery creatures that was part of the draw. The other was the feminine form, a call to remember the Goddess.

MS: Is there a water spirit, being or deity you feel closest to?

AA: Yes, I think the most prominent spirit in my life at the moment is Sulis, the Thermal Springs Solar Goddess whose temple is found in Bath, UK. However, I work with other Goddesses and Watery Faery Women such as the Gwragedd Annwn, Morganna, Melsine, and Aphrodite. I also honor the masculine in the forms often found near sacred springs such as Belenos, and Gwyn ap Nudd, who is honoured at the White Spring in Glastonbury. Sulis and the Gwragedd Annwn have been with me since I was a child. I have always been deeply connected with Springs and the spirits that dwell within.

MS: What are the benefits of deepening our connection to water?

AA: Right now, our waters are in so much danger. Each day it is polluted and contaminated, and more atrocities are done by oil companies, over-farming, and the dolphin slaughter. When we deepen our connection, we wake up to these horrible things that are happening, and we are called to take action; to help form a better, cleaner, more awake world that understands how precious these natural wonders are. We are 70% water, which means that we must protect the water of this planet or we ourselves will become endangered and poisoned, much of which we are already beginning to see. Beyond that, water is the element of emotion and it urges us to connect deeply with our emotions and often works as a mirror showing us how to refine and conquer our shadow. It also lends wisdom, and the power of immense change.

MS: Who is the book aimed at? Who will get the most out of it?

AA: There are many people that are watery natured, drawn to the water or are called by water spirits, mer-folk and deity to connect with the water. This book is for them, but also any witch or magical practitioner that may wish to connect with water, wish to use water in their practice or has a mission to protect and get closer to the natural world. If your practice involves activism, and a deep connection to the Genius Loci, then there will be much value in this book for you!

MS: You do several courses as well as mentoring. What’s your favourite course that you teach and why?

AA: I offer several classes on my Water Witchcraft website, as well as through my tradition Triskele Rose and I am currently working on 2 more that will release in 2019-2020 on the Water Witchcraft website. However, if I had to choose a favourite it would be the 9-month Water Magic course. I think this course offers a good introduction to my own personal practice and really offers so much to the student that everyone regardless of path, location or ability gets a really good heaping handful of information. Everyone walks away from the course with so much knowledge and experience; it really bursts my heart open to see people work so hard and become so passionate about water and the magical practices that surround it.

MS: When did you discover that you had a passion for teaching? How did this come about?

AA: I think I have always been a natural teacher. As a teen, I was always teaching younger children. I spent several years in my late teens and early twenties learning to belly dance, and after I became proficient I had an opportunity to start teaching it to others. This is where I truly began to blossom as being able to provide a space for my students to explore and learn was so fulfilling for me. In my own experience I have learned that when I teach something, I become so familiar with it that while I significantly deepen my own connection with the material. I have also discovered that working with students one on one provides me with options and experiences from other perspectives that I learn to deepen my own knowledge, experience and mental reach on the subject. Not only that, not everything works for everyone and so I am able to work with students to adapt things to help make it work for them and future students. There is so much joy in this for me, making these practices accessible to those that may have never had the experiences before, watching the insecure witchling blossom into a powerful, confident witch; there is nothing better than that!

MS: You’re also an oracle- tell us a little bit about what this means.

AA: I was given my first tarot deck when I was 19, it didn’t take me long to learn how to read them and to find out I was quite good at it. Over the years I practiced and read for friends, then I began to branch out and read for everyone I could. While living in Arizona, I worked for a party planner and was able to do large gigs for corporate events. They were quite fun actually and I read for many, many people in one night. I don’t do this anymore, but I still love to read. Currently I run a monthly special, and have several types of readings available on my website. I also do Live Stream Water Witch Wednesday which happens every Wednesday 11:00 am PST on Instagram Live (@annwynavalon). I am on for about an hour, we talk about Water Magic, have Q and A time and then I take small prayer/spell requests as well as pull oracle or tarot cards to deliver messages from the water spirits to those that tune in and ask. I really enjoy this because I get to interact with many people and offer free readings for those that usually couldn’t afford to have a private appointment or take classes. While my time is important to me, I really value getting the messages that the water spirits want out into the world for those that need it regardless of transaction.

MS: Where is your most sacred place, or the place that means the most to you in terms of your magic?

AA: This is hard. If I am speaking locally then it would be the little space in my yard that I have set aside for a water temple. I am lucky enough to have a creek that runs through my property and there is a little waterfall, hawthorn and hazel trees, and a little secluded place where I have my outdoor altar. However, if you are asking about worldwide then it would be Scotland or England especially around Glastonbury, Cornwall, and Sulis’s temple at Bath as they have all had profound impacts on me and where I feel most connected to the land, spirits and the cultural practices. England has always held a piece of my heart and soul and I try to make it back as much as I can to visit.

MS: You’re also an accomplished artist. What is your favourite piece that you’ve created to date?

AA: Oh, this is hard because I really like all the art I release to the world! However, there are two paintings, one of my best friends and one of Sulis that I made for her, she owns both the original pieces, but they are my favourite because they were done with love and passion. Of the paintings I still have in my inventory I recently did a painting of Thalassa that I really like as well as a painting of a Water Priestess that I believe was channelled from an ancient past life. While it is not the most technically correct piece, there is something about it that makes my heart sing.

MS: And what’s your favourite piece of art by another artist, and why?

AA: The Lady of Shalott by J.W. Waterhouse remains by far my favourite painting of all time. Though there are many more by him and other Pre-Raphaelites that also capture my heart. The Lady of Shalott has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a very young girl, through the various paintings by Waterhouse and others to the poem by Tennyson as well as sung by Loreena McKennitt. La Bell de Sans Merci is a close second as well, in both painting by Waterhouse and poem by Keats.

MS: Do you have a favourite season or festival?

AA: Yes! The fall by far is my favourite, especially that period right between Samhain and Yule when it’s getting darker and colder. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spring as well, but if I had to pick between the two, the cooler darker days, the fall leaves and all the festivals and celebrations really make me happy, especially after all the heat of the summer. This dark mysterious time is most welcome. I am obsessed with flowers though and so spring time comes in so very, very close; it is hard to choose!

MS: How was Pantheacon this year? What did you enjoy most about it?

AA: Pantheacon this year was great! I love this event and look forward to it each year. I think my favourite part was reading in the Weiser Suite. It was a bit surreal to be there next to people whose work I have admired for such a long time. I was also blessed to have presented several times this year and was able to share information I am very passionate about as well as promote the call to action to pay attention and to sacredly attend our waters. I am looking forward to next year!

MS: And finally, what are you looking forward to most in 2019?

AA: There are several things I am looking forward to in 2019. I will be lecturing at Mystic South followed by a trip back to North Carolina to dance, teach and make magic! I am also working on a few secret watery projects that I am really looking forward to spending in creation mode getting them ready for release. I also find myself in a place of having more time on my hands and so I am looking forward to having time to spend painting and playing in my garden.

You can find out more about Annwyn and her work on her YouTube channel, her website, and via FaceBook. Her book, Water Witchcraft, is available now.

Water Witchcraft: Magic and Lore from the Celtic Tradition on Amazon

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book Review – Primal Awareness: Reconnecting with the Spirits of Nature By Rob Wildwood

June, 2019

Book Review
Primal Awareness
Reconnecting with the Spirits of Nature
By Rob Wildwood

Rob Wildwood gives us a perspective on the evolution of First World cultures in this thought-provoking book. The “primal awareness” of the title is humankind’s awareness of the immanence of spirit, consciousness and generative life force alive in every aspect of creation on Earth. Wildwood gives us an overview of how humanity in First World cultures has lost its sense of connection to the natural world and as a result, is now destroying it. The book takes us through the impact of cultural development from the evolution of language into cultural belief and identity, then maturation of religious structures which separate individuals from their own connection to divinity. Wildwood delineates shifts in civilizations as people moved into permanent settlements and homes, began to value possessions over social connection and started wars over territories and resources with colonization of all that was “primitive” as the end result. He describes the effects of mechanistic thinking – only humans have souls – with the rest of the universe broken into component parts for analysis, categorization and ultimately, domination for economic profit. Each incremental step took humans farther away from an understanding that they are part of the natural world. Now we think of “Nature” as something we go somewhere to “be in;” it is something separate from who we are. Wildwood would like us to understand how this happened and help us find our way to a different perception of humanity’s role on Earth.

I found the Wildwood’s selection of the milestones of cultural evolution interesting and thoughtful. Each milestone is a chapter heading; the ensuing discussions are brief but enlightening and certainly timely. The very recent Global Assessment from The Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, prepared by scientists from 130 countries, confirmed Wildwood’s assertions that humankind’s activities, especially large scale “industrial” farming and fishing will result in the extinction of over one million plant and animal species unless radical changes in humanity’s approach to use of natural resources are made now.

The thread of redemption that runs through the book is the narrative voice of the “shaman.” Wildwood asks the shaman to provide a remedy to help reverse the loss of connection to the natural world that individuals experience as a result of each of the culture changes described. The practices provided are simple and effective; they can be used anywhere to return us to mindful awareness that we are a part of the web of life.

I agree with Wildwood that we humans have to find a post-growth economics that is loyal to life instead of to profits. However, I take issue with his premise that all cultural development is necessarily problematic. Primal Awareness idealizes humanity in its “natural” state, and tends to demonize all social institutions and development. Certainly, we must find a way to stop being the human “cancer” on the natural world that Wildwood describes, and we must do it by finding our place in the order of the cosmos, rather than dominating it at the expense of all other life forms. But humanity has a genius and beauty of its own and a part in that cosmic order that Wildwood does not acknowledge.

I recommended Primal Awareness: Reconnecting with the Spirits of Nature for the overview of the steps of First World cultural evolution; although quite general, it is, again, a thought-provoking analysis. And the shaman’s remedies are excellent prescriptions for returning us to awareness and appreciation of the beauty and life force in all of the beings with whom we share Earth.

Primal Awareness: Reconnecting With The Spirits Of Nature on Amazon

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About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

Excerpt from The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals by Lori Morrison

June, 2019

The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals
by Lori Morrison

Excerpted from The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals. Published by Four Jaguars Press. Copyright © by Lori Morrison. https://lorimorrison.com

It was a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest. I lifted my five-year-old body into my father’s delivery van. Our cargo was buttermilk pancake mix, maple syrup, bacon, potatoes, carrots, and canned goods. We were heading to my family’s logging camp on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State in the early 1960s. The road narrowed after we got to the Quinault Indian Reservation. Because over one hundred inches of rain fall there each year, the fir trees towered above us like a cathedral as we drove between them. Moss hung like lace from their branches. My father slowed the vehicle to allow a family of Elk to cross the road.

This trip is my first memory of being out in the woods far away from the bustle of civilization. Although dedicated to logging, my father’s heart was so grateful for the forests that he was always proud of his efforts to ensure they were replenished after clearing the land. Many of the trees he planted on the Olympic Peninsula are mature and thriving fifty years later. His heart walked a tightrope between human development and preservation, a complicated balancing act in those early years of logging.

Continuing down the logging road with its rain-cut crevices, we soon arrived at the camp. Young and old loggers smiled as we pulled up to the makeshift kitchen ready to provide them the ingredients for their next meals. My father jumped out the driver’s side and called for some help to unload the van. After greeting us, the cooks checked items off the list of things they had ordered by radio a couple days before. Invited to sit down to a lumberjack breakfast, seven plate-size pancakes appeared on the table in front of me. I did my best to dig into them, but my stomach was swiftly overwhelmed. For his part, my father chowed down heartily. We’d been driving for several hours.

After breakfast my father took me by the hand and we walked along the banks of the Quinault River, me more successfully than him, as my weight was perfect to prevent me from sinking deeply into the clay and mud of the shoreline. Arriving at the edge, I was awestruck. Thousands of bright coral Salmon were in the water flip-flopping and struggling to make their way upstream to their spawning grounds. My father pointed upstream to a community of Bear engaged in a feeding frenzy. They had no interest in us as their focus was on the mass migration of Fish that was taking place.

This was the first moment in which I realized that something greater and wiser than me existed beyond the walls of my colorful nursery full of stuffed animals. There was a natural power ready to be discovered out in the world.

On the way back home, we bounced down the same dirt road and this time we saw a Duckling that was alone on the side of the road. I remember my mind wondering if this fluffy creature was a sign from nature intended for us. My father stopped the van and got out and, after much searching for Duck’s mother, realized it had been abandoned. He picked up the tiny Duck, put it in an empty carton and handed it to me. I felt so blessed by this gift from the forest as I held the box with the Duckling on my lap all the way home.

During my childhood I often spent time in nature alone. In those days, a young girl could venture about the bustling logging town of Aberdeen, Washington, on Grays Harbor in safety. Our neighbor had a large Koi pond where I would sit for hours watching pairs of Dragonfly dart about as several Koi peeked out from under the lotuses. Frogs would sit waiting for the next insect to land on their lily pads. The pond was a microcosmic world of its own, the world of the water spirits.

Life changed as I grew older. My connection to nature diminished as I embraced a more materialistic view of the world. Other than an occasional zoo visit, or a Sunday evening spent watching Wild Kingdom on television, the animal world was a distant thought or interest.

Moving to El Salvador in my late twenties changed that, as I became the keeper of eighty acres of land on the slopes of a dormant volcanic crater that held Lake Ilopango. I was handed my first machete and bought myself a good pair of sturdy boots, and with my civil engineer husband, Tino, started to open a road through the peninsula that we owned. Months of adventure ensued as we darted to avoid Snake, peeked at Panther and Fox, helped Armadillos make their way, discovered an audience of Iguanas watching us from the trees, and enjoyed the curiosity of a multitude of tropical birds. In the late afternoon, Vultures would prepare for the hunt and Opossums would climb up the palm trees for the night. Agoutis would feed on the tender vegetation and Duck, Egret, Kingfisher, Owl, and other creatures abounded on and around the lake.

Every night, Tino and I would drive our boat to a cliff where trees hung over the water to see the arrival of hundreds of birds who would sleep in its branches overnight. I was steeped in the circle of life; the animal kingdom was my neighborhood. Our dedication to the protection of this property evolved into maintaining a private sanctuary for many animals that were brought to us after being rescued from being offered for sale as pets in the central market.

Our love of wildlife took us on many other adventures. We traveled to Yellowstone National Park in the United States—another volcano! —and had thrilling experiences there with Bear and Buffalo. In Alaska, we flew by helicopter to the top of glaciers and spent time with Brown Bears that we discovered on Dog sleds as we ventured into the snowy banks near Juneau. We watched Whales in Prince Rupert Sound and enjoyed Seals floating on chunks of ice. More travels took us to Antarctica where we saw pods of Killer Whale and Leopard Seal, and I spent a day sitting on the beach in the Falkland Islands with a colony of Penguin.

Shortly after that, my husband and I took a trip that truly captivated me and deepened even more my perception of the animal world. We went to Africa. With local trackers for our guides, we went off the beaten path to find a male Leopard. Giraffe galloped alongside our jeep and Rhinoceros and Water Buffalo often stood only a few feet away. One day I sat for hours watching a female Leopard and her two cubs playing in the sunshine. During an outdoor lunch, my meal was stolen by a Baboon.

The moment that was most profound was when seven Lionesses joined us, moving stealthily alongside our open jeep as we moved along slowly. I could have reached out and touched them, although that would not have been a good idea. As the Lions were in stalking mode, I sat insanely still. Suddenly a Lioness took off perpendicularly to us, while the others stopped in front of the jeep and waited. Moments later, a herd of Gazelle came running in front of us, right into the trap that had been set. One Gazelle couldn’t escape the ambush and became the victim of a feeding frenzy that I reluctantly watched. When finished, the seven Lionesses all lifted their bloody faces from the carcass and walked off.

Our next stop was Botswana, where I enjoyed watching Elephant swimming across the river from us with their trunks like snorkels peeking out of the surface of the water. Staying in a tent, a Hippopotamus decided to sleep next to us all evening, which made for a very nervous slumber party. We floated in a boat on the Okavango River for hours, watching the arrival of Zebra and observing how the massive Alligator in the river protected their babies, which would swim happily by our craft. The morning we arrived in Johannesburg for the return flight home, I got teary about leaving. I had just had three weeks of a major hakuna matata (no problems) moment and I would never be the same again. That trip was the ultimate immersion into another world, and I had the realization that there was so much more to the animal kingdom than I understood with my relative oblivion to the natural world beyond my garden walls.

I took home with me from Africa to El Salvador the sacred wisdom that when something dies it gives a new life to another and that, from the smallest insect to the largest mammal, each of us is participating in the balance of nature. We are all connected. The animals understood this, while we humans are the least aware of our role in this dynamic existence. The insight that everything is connected including the minerals, trees, and plants shook my human foundation. My ego shrunk, becoming small and insignificant. This was the first of many steps toward a spiritual awakening.

After a major shamanic initiation by ancestral spirits in 2010, I was able to see, hear, and experience animal spirits. At my home on the edge of Lake Ilopango my ordinary reality and perceptions cracked open and the spirits of four Jaguar became my teachers through a challenging shamanic initiation. After that, a Haitian shaman performed a power animal ceremony with me and blew a Lion spirit into my heart chakra, which, to this day, is my constant companion. This spiritual event was the accumulation of a journey into the Lower World, the place where the spirits of animals reside.

My experience with Lion has been more than remarkable. Its guidance and teachings have been beyond what any shaman or earthly being could have ever taught me. Lion is constantly teaching; I never leave her school. We have learned to merge, and I have come to accept her powers so that I may help people heal. This partnership continues to amaze me. Lion’s eyes are like x-rays into the body of the sick. Lion’s powerful spine supports me to take on negative energy, chewing it up and spitting it out of me and those who seek our healing powers. Lion completely wipes away fear, as if with the flip of a switch. I am never alone. Our relationship is one of great honor and respect for both of us. Lion has learned my hardiness and my weaknesses and uses everything she finds to our advantage.

At times, I have called in other animal spirits to help me, such as Condor to give me a wider view of the world, Snake to transform energy, Beetle to fine tune my psychic powers, and numerous Birds that continue to arrive with messages from the deceased for their loved ones. I have had Hawk land on branches above my head, Fox appear after leaving a drumming circle, and Deer peer into my office window during a healing session. The spirit world is alive and well through the generosity and concern that the animals show for us as humans, even if we do not yet see our role in the natural order as they see theirs. By opening our hearts to Power Animals, we will come to know ourselves and our place in the dynamic circle of life.

The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals on Amazon

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About the Author:

Lori Morrison is the author of The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals. She is a best-selling author, inspirationalist and mystic. She is part of a rare breed of lightning shamans who have received a spontaneous awakening of shamanic knowledge. Lori first journeyed into the shamanic underworld in 2010 where she found the spiritual realm of Power Animals. Her teachers were Mayan Ancestors who took her through a two year initiation with the spirits of four Jaguar. Her later intimate connection with Lion, given to her by a Haitian shaman has been an extraordinary experience and has enhanced greatly her healing powers. By merging and forming a sacred relationship with animal spirits she is able to support her clients with insight and change through her cutting edge shamanic counseling practice in Sedona, Arizona where she resides. For more information, please visit https://lorimorrison.com and follow Lori on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Review – The Mirror of Magic: A History of Magic in the Western World by Kurt Seligman

June, 2019

Book Review
The Mirror of Magic
A History of Magic in the Western World
Author Kurt Seligman
Original Copyright date 1948

Mirror of Magic is a comparative religion book. It starts with Mesopotamia and goes all the way to the 18th century.

I’m one of those people that I make lots of notes whenever I’m reading a book. So, with this book, I’ve made seven pages of notes. In one of the notes that I made on Mesopotamia, it talks about how the Gods were always reminded of the misfortune of mortals. I did find it interesting that back in Mesopotamia, there is no moral distinction between good or bad, or light and dark, spiteful forces could live side by side with charitable ones. It was believed that man would have been prayed to chaos had he not employed the magical arts to protect him against evil influences. In this dualistic world, both evil and good, or light and dark are worshiped alike.

I had always known in the back of my head that the Jewish faith had more than one Deity at one point in their history. This book explores that all of that some of the names of those duties. For me one of the most telling sentences is in the part of this book, on the Hebrew faith, is “they were preoccupied with the life to come after death — unknown to the old religion of Moses. They longed for the establishment of a heavenly Kingdom that would mark the end of their hopeless struggle.”

I also found the chapter on Alchemy interesting, starting with the very first quote by Basil Valentine: “This operation, like the ancients, is the truth convenient for women.” Zosimus declared that knowledge of metals, precious stones incense dated back to the epic mentioned furtively in the book of Genesis—”The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair.” According to Mr. Seligmann, the ancients (whoever those people maybe) believed that this was the beginning of alchemy, these were fallen Angels teaching mortal women the art of alchemy in exchange for mundane pleasures. The chapter on alchemy even goes on to explore the philosopher’s stone and Nicholas Flamel. Now with this book being written in 1948, there is a lot of stuff in it both the old stuff and about Nicholas Flamel that have now changed, with archaeology and other Sciences teaching us more about the past. But this is still an exciting part of the book.

The chapter in witchcraft I found interesting. There are different parts of transcripts from trials; there are various things written in court papers that are presented in this book; I don’t remember seeing or reading anyplace else. It’s one of the longer chapters in the book, but it’s informative about history.

There’s so much more exciting stuff in this book that I couldn’t possibly cover it all in this review. But this is a book I’m glad to have in my library. The Mirror of Magic is a book that I will go back and reread, and I’ll write more notes. It is also a book that has led me to research more of the history of magic, paganism, witchcraft, and even Judeo Christian beliefs.

The Mirror of Magic: A History of Magic in the Western World on Amazon

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About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Tarot Deck Review – The Neo Tarot Written by Jerico Mandybur

May, 2019

The Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-care, Healing & Empowerment

The Neo Tarot is written by Jerico Mandybur, the editorial director and co-founder of Girlboss, and host of the hit podcast, Self Service. Mandybur is a writer, self-care advocate and queer leader known for tarot readings and trauma-informed healing. The deck is illustrated by Daiana Ruiz, a visual artist, illustrator and designer whose illustrations and animations have been exhibited around the world and featured in both print and digital media. The Neo Tarot deck and guidebook/boxset is published by Hardie Grant , Building 1, 658 Church Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Australia, with offices in Sydney, London, and San Francisco.

The deck itself consists of 78 cards, and it comes in an inner box that fits snugly into a pocket in the very sturdy boxset along with a beautiful color fully illustrated 144-page hardcover guide book. The boxset is designed so that the book’s back cover is actually a part of the box, which offers a sturdy receptacle for both the deck and the guidebook, but makes working with the book itself a bit challenging.

The deck is printed on sturdy cardstock with a matte finish, almost powdery to the touch. The stock is sturdy enough that my first shuffle was a bit difficult, but the cards quickly adjusted and shuffling became a breeze. The cards are 2¾ by 4¾ inches, very nicely substantial to the hand, with a narrow white border around the images; the name of the card in an easy-to-read black print is found in a white banner at the bottom of each card.

The images on the cards themselves are lush and attractive, with vibrant jewel colors and easy-to-decipher artwork. The style is RWS, but the figures and their surroundings are without ornamentation, presented in a gentle and timeless style yet with a vibrant palette and flowing curves. The clean lines, blocks of color, and animated figures invite the viewer into each image, where symbolism abounds. The artwork of Ruiz is brilliant, and I could randomly choose a card and frame a full-sized image and hang it in my home with pride and joy. The backs of the cards are dark blue with white line drawings that hint at ancient sigils found carved into standing stones or painted on cave walls, a homage to divination methods that predate the Tarot.

The guidebook is beautiful, with a dark blue matt finish, soft front cover with white lettering and a bit of the beautiful line drawings found on the backs of the cards themselves. The back cover, which is substantial as it is part of the boxset, is also dark blue with white lettering, and contains images of five of the cards along with a description of the deck. The pages of the guidebook are substantial and durable, with the paper colors alternating between white and cream. The print is black and easy to read, but a bit small. However, because of the denseness of the card information, the small type is worth the minor inconvenience.

The hardcover guidebook/boxset begins on the very first page with the words “Know Thyself,” a very appropriate beginning for the Neo Tarot. Personally, I have always seen the Tarot as a counseling and healing tool, either for self or for others, more than a tool to see and understand the future. Mandybur took this concept and created an entire deck based on not only self-understanding, but self-help and self-nurturing. In this day and age with its stresses and lack of moments to pause and reset, the Neo Tarot could be a useful tool for finding balance and contentment.

The first chapter begins with a few pages describing why Mandybur has combined the Tarot and self-care, and then continues with a “Manifesto” that affirms that Tarot is real, it never tells us what to do but rather offers self-reflection and options, and that Neo Tarot is for everyone, exactly as they are. Next is a very brief history of the Tarot, followed by a breakdown of the structure of a Tarot deck. In keeping with the theme of self-care, the next chapter connects this concept with the deck, and then offers some sample self-care spreads.

Then we get to the card descriptions. The Minor Arcana cards each get a page that contains a full color image of the card, upright, reversed, and self-care card meanings, astrological signs/planets, themes, and an affirmation. The Major Arcana card descriptions take up two pages, with one page containing a large color image of the card and the name of the card in large print, with the facing page containing upright, reversed, and self-care meanings, a number, an astrological sign/planet, themes, and an affirmation. The book finishes with an Acknowledgements page, and a bio of Mandybur and Daiana Ruiz.

The Neo Tarot is literally for everyone, and it joyously celebrates the beautiful uniqueness of each of us. The images are pleasing, fluid and easy to personalize in a deep and transformative way, and the guidebook offers options for healing and understanding the whole self, physically, emotionally and intellectually. Even a new Tarot enthusiast could enjoy working with this deck and its new interpretations of traditional symbolism. The deck and the guidebook are way more than a divination tool, and someone who is not interested in “reading Tarot” would find the Neo Tarot a useful part of daily self-care routines. The Neo Tarot is worth holding in your hands and incorporating into your daily life.

Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing & Empowerment on Amazon

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About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Book Review – The Fire Rose: The Elemental Masters Series by Mercedes Lackey

May, 2019

Book Review
The Fire Rose
The Elemental Masters Series
by Mercedes Lackey

This is the classic story of a young woman, a man and the trials of living with magic. The concept might be a norm with fantasy fiction, but with this addition from Mercedes Lackey, we find magic in the rawest form. Elemental magic.

I have personally read this book over a 100 times, no joke. It is one of my earliest exposures to the actual ‘possibility’ of magic existing in our world.

When I stepped into the world of Jason and Rose, two totally different personalities and walks of life, I felt a kinship with Rose. She is a learned scholar and in the time period of the book that is practically unheard of.

Now, picture this:

A university-taught young woman, raised in Chicago, after losing her father, has found out the full depth of his debt. He made some rather shady monetary choices and lost it to a charlatan who had managed to do the same with all of his other backers.

After watching all of her worldly possessions being carted off by the bank, she was taken under the wing of a fellow professor of her father’s.

Enter Jason. Besides being a very well known rail baron and millionaire, living on Nob Hill in California-he is also a Fire Master.

He made a very foolish choice, after thinking that he had enough magical power, to attempt a werewolf-loupe Garou (1) spell that would allow him to change between werewolf form and human form at will; while still retaining his human mind. This failed in a way he never expected. It left him unable to read, write or practice magic fully due to the changes he created.

Enter Paul du Mond, a selfish and perverse man who is also Jason’s protegee – working to become a Fire Master himself. He is quite prolific in his various diversions to acquire power. He feels like the elemental powers should be his without the regular work and patience involved to rise in power to a Master of Fire as well. He is also Jason’s secretary who handles the business that Jason cannot due to his hubris (2).

There is another Fire Master, Simon Beltaire, who believes as Paul does that magical power can be derived from sex magic and pain. He lives in San Francisco. After enticing Paul with offers of teaching his way of magic, he turns Paul against Jason, while turning Paul into a spy.

After Rose’s father passed away, a letter was sent to her “knight of shining armor” from Jason outlining his need a scholar to help read for him, under the pretext of needing a governess for children he didn’t have. Feeling like all she was able to do was to teach, this offer felt too good to be true, she accepted the offer with some concern.

Off to California, she goes!

I could simply say that I love this book, however it’s more than that. This book fueled my teenage years with joy and happiness. A world that I could travel to and escape my reality.

In addition to this, I was also just beginning to learn about magic and things of the occult. This also happened to be the only way I could “learn” about the Craft in a way that wouldn’t upset my parents.(I’m not advocating hiding anything from parents at all!)

All in all, this is a good read and a lovely way to spend an afternoon curled up with a cuppa, and a snack! Read with an open mind and you’ll find magic everywhere!

(1)https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loup-garou

(2) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hubris

The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters Book) on Amazon

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About the Author:

My name is Krys, I’ve been living the Pagan life for 19 years. I am a wife and stay at home mom to one teen. I am an ordained minister/ Priestess, and head of the Cyber Moon Coven of Changes. After many years as a practicing Christian, I found paganism to be a more suitable path, personally. A few years and covens later, I found that being open to the online community was becoming more important to me.

After struggling to find a coven that was not just “rules” and “roles”. A few attempts later, I began the Cyber Moon Coven. An online and real life coven, with a ‘no strings attached policy’. You can find my group on Facebook. (Cyber Moon Coven of Changes)

Book Review – Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen by Nigel Pennick

May, 2019

Book Review
Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England
The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen
by Nigel Pennick

Bright Blessings, Readers!

If you are like me, you nab every book you can that explores magic on a historic level, as opposed to just flipping through modern spellbooks.

Pennick doesn’t disappoint in this 216 page book that was first published in 2011, and was sent to us to review, having been printed again this year.

A bit about the author- Pennick has published extensively on topics ranging from history of the occult, folk traditions, biology, and art. A UK native, he has been teaching, writing, and lecturing for decades. He drew knowledge from research, and involvement with groups, being a Mummer, himself, when he compiled material for this book.

The chapters delve into topics from Ritual Disguise and Resistance, Tools of the Craft, and Markets and Fairs. I will share from one particular chapter, Magic, Farming, and the Land.

He begins on page 163, “Straw, the by-product of grain farming, has many uses. Straw roping, or netting was used all along the western seaboard of Europe to tie down roof thatch.” Writing of more mundane use, he continues to the sacred, “ Straw is an important material symbolically. The Cambridgeshire courting custom uses a ‘true lover’s knot’ plaited from straw. The suitor gives his potential wife a straw plait, and if she wears it later pinned to her dress on the right side, it is a sign of rejection. If to the left, by the heart, with the ears of corn pointing right, it is a sign of acceptance.” He further lists a Norfolk harvest tradition dating from at least as far back as the 1800’s where the last sheath of the harvest is taken in, decorated, and venerated. He then goes into detail about various uses of corn dollies, shows photos, lists dates and accounts he drew from, and further writes about what he calls “Men of Straw”. This practice goes back to at least the 1500’s, as evidenced by a painting The Battle of Carnival and Lent by Breughel. Some straw men were made to be burned, and some were costumes men wore for celebrations.

I love learning about what folk traditions influenced modern neo Paganism. This book reminds us that one need look no further than modern day secular cultural celebrations that survived because they are so sacred, they transcend religion. Pennick lists example after example of these traditions, where they came from, and shows some modern folk who continue those traditions today.

It is a reminder that magic and witchcraft need not be fraternal, hidden, or done in circle, although it certainly can be. It does not necessarily entail candles, incense, or even religion at all. Sometimes, it’s just the living communing with the dead by doing what they did, and remembering events past, as the Wheel of the Year turns. It’s not necessarily mysterious at all, and can be as simple as what celebrates earth, people, and nature. It can be just for fun, and fellowship, as there are times when bonding with community and family, celebrating who we are, where we have come from, and teaching the children, is the most magical practice of them all.

Pennick has written not only this fascinating masterpiece, but various others (Nigel Pennick ) you can use to learn of the true Old Ways, and how modern people keep them alive. Highly recommended reading!

Happy Reading, and Blessed Be!

Witchcraft and Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen on Amazon

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About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

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