energy

Book Review: The Book of Ceremony – Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life by Sandra Ingerman

November, 2018

Book Review:

The Book of Ceremony

Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life

by Sandra Ingerman

Although I do not follow a Shamanic path, I have long been a fan of Sandra Ingerman’s work and fold much of her teachings into the practice and teachings I offer to my coven mates and students. I particularly enjoyed this book as a reader friendly and generic template for incorporating ceremony into any practice.

The Book of Ceremony by Sandra Ingerman reminds us that our focus is often distracted as we attempt to recreate or analyze ancient teachings and wisdom and that the most important piece in ceremony is our intention and desire to affect change. The approach to ceremony that Sandra uses guides the reader towards healthy expressions of emotions that could otherwise become more negative energy feeding situations in which we feel helpless.

The book is divided into four parts beginning with the basics of what is considered a “ceremony”; moving to specific types of ceremony; work to create balance within ourselves and the energy that moves through us and concluding with practical application of ceremony and creating your own definition of what these actions enable within your practice.

One of the key points brought to light early in the book is the difference between the terms of “Ritual” and “Ceremony”. The author uses her perspective of ritual being more repetitive in nature, whereas a ceremony is designed for specific outcome and at a specific time. I don’t fully agree with this definition as I believe that the two overlap in a myriad of ways, however, I believe this to be a good starting point for those exploring the use of “sacred action” filled with intention and hoping to create something new from what is acted upon.

The sections throughout the book, cover all of the information anyone would need to begin crafting ceremony and weaving it into their specific practice. Altars, tools, music, preparation of yourself, seeking Spirit guides, ancestors and more are presented in a useable way and offer both background and reasoning behind the selection offered.

I especially liked reading the section, “Turning Points and Rites of Passage”. It is richly illustrated with actual ceremonies that have been created and executed that were powerful examples of what can be accomplished in sharing the gifts of ceremony as a working tool.

All in all, this is an excellent book to begin the process of aligning yourself more deeply with your inner wisdom and intention-filled practice in honoring the sacred in the work you undertake. To quote Sandra…

In shamanic teachings, every spiritual and sacred act we perform is a ceremony. When we recognize the sacredness of each moment, miracles happen.”

The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life 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.

Book Review – Ceri Norman: Faerie Stones, An Explanation of the Folklore and Faeries Associated with Stones and Crystals

October, 2018

Book Review

Ceri Norman: Faerie Stones, An Explanation of the Folklore and Faeries Associated with Stones and Crystals

Ceri is a prolific writer, with several books under her belt and numerous magazine articles. This book, Faerie Stones, was mentioned by a friend and I was intrigued by the title and the concept. Faerie Stones takes a wide variety of stones and crystals and gives a great deal of information about each one, including but not limited to the deities and beings or spirits associated with them.

It’s worth noting that in this book the term faerie is used to cover a wide variety of beings including deities and spirits. I understand why Ceri has done this, as it makes it simpler to use one term to cover all the otherworldly beings. Normally I would be quite particular about the use of the term fairy or faerie due to my Celtic heritage, in which the fairies are less than friendly much of the time! However, in this volume Ceri makes it clear who and what she is talking about each time she mentions a specific deity or spirit, so it remains very clear what type of being is being discussed.

I love how each stone is brought to life and given a very organic feel. It’s as if each stone is a living part of the world, which greatly appeals to my druidic leanings. I also loved all the references to different types of ‘little people’, a fascination for me for many years.

Ceri covers stones from the tiniest crystal to huge standing circles, and her introduction and the first part of the book really show her enthusiasm and passion for her subject. Just reading her descriptions of standing stones and other places of power made me want to go out into the world and find these places for myself. You can’t help but be pulled along by the energy within the book, joyful and full of experience and knowledge.

The encyclopaedia section covers 26 stones and their correspondences and uses, and particularly the beings that are drawn to them. There’s a separate section on the different formations of quartz which I found particularly enlightening as it had not occurred to me that the different formations of quartz could have different effects on the world. Ceri also touches on the chakras and stones associated with them, auras, meditating with stones and crystals and a chakra balancing meditation with Morgan Le Fay. I appreciated very much that Ceri notes that beings such as Morgan have both light and dark sides.

This is one of those great books that can be read from cover to cover for sheer joy, and also kept as a point of reference. It will certainly be near the top of my kindle library for the foreseeable future.

Faerie Stones: An Exploration of the Folklore and Faeries Associated with Stones & Crystals

***

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 and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

September, 2018

Balance

Merry meet.

Celebrations are often planned for the sabbats, but don’t overlook the power these times add to magical workings. As the world hangs in balance, day equal to the night, we can use its balanced energy to regain our own balance before heading into the dark half of the year.

Gather the materials you’ll use: a marker of any kind and a round disk. These can be the wooden ones found at craft stores, a jar or bottle lid, or the top of a deli container.

This spell can be done as part of a ritual in sacred space, or in any area in which you feel comfortable, perhaps adding incense and candles to set the stage.

Sitting in that space, let yourself relax and let go. Give yourself time to begin to feel the balance of this day and breathe it in, absorb it into every cell. If you cannot “feel” it, know that it is there and imagine its vibration. See a sign that, to you, represents this state. It might be the yin yang or an infinity symbol, a line, an equal sign, a representation of scales, or anything else that can trigger the balance you are experiencing. Othello pieces are white on one side and black on the other, and I have used them in the past.

Channel that vision and energy into the sigil as you draw it on your disk.

Sit with it as you think about where you and your life things are out of balance. Does it involve discipline? Nutrition? Boundaries? Is there something you are missing? Something for which you have an overabundance? A situation that lacks its polar opposite for stability? Take the time to visualize each of them balanced.


Feel yourself come into balance on all levels, filled with peace and harmony.

You can choose to add these words Mackenzie Sage Wright included in a Mabon spell she wrote that can be found on exemplore.com:

As yin is to yang, as dark is to light,

As male is to female, as day is to night,

Find Nature’s perfect balance within me

So I may live my life in harmony…
by the powers of three times three,

this is my will, so mote it be!”

Carry the sigil anytime balance is needed – be it spiritual, physical, emotional or mental – and tap into the powerful energy put into the spell it on the equinox.

Although most powerful when done on the equinox, there is no reason this spell can’t be done anytime of year.

Merry part. And merry meet again.

**

About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self-taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

Book Review & Contest- In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram

September, 2018

In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide

by Bernice Cockram

published in 2018 by Wellfleet Press

An imprint of the Quarto Group

**(Keep reading for a chance to win a Free copy of In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram this month in PaganPagesOrg.)**

Ms. Cockram has written a very informative book. There are 16 chapters spread out over 160 pages.

One of the first things that Ms. Cockram includes that I have not seen in a lot of other books that speak on Crystal energy is the Mohs scale. I like the fact that she added the Mohs scale because it allows you to see the hardness of specific crystals, and from there you can find out what the Mohs scale is for your crystals. Another graph Ms. Cockram includes in the first chapter is a Crystal colors and properties. You’ll find as you go through the book that this graph matches the crystals as she explains their energy.

From chapter 2 to chapter 12, there is a lot on Crystal healing, Crystal energy, Crystal grid work, and the chakras. In chapter 8, Ms. Cockram talks about the chakras systems in the crystals, I like all of the different crystal suggestion she gives for each chakra, and she even covers the minor chakras. I like the different crystal grids that she gives on pages 86, 87, 88, and 89. There are other grids that she talks about before that, but those are more well-recognized crystal grids.

In chapters 11 and 12, Ms. Cockram gives precise instructions on working on yourself with crystals and as well as others. One of the suggestions she offers that I think is neat and is excellent for larger groups, such as a yoga class. Have everyone write their name down on a piece of paper and take their place on the yoga mats. And then Ms. Cockram says to put all the names on the pile and surround the pile of names with crystals. I find this interesting because I often work in large groups doing healings, and this allows you to use crystals, without having to buy an exorbitant amount of crystals.

In chapter 13 Ms. Cockram starts covering divination with crystals. If you are beginning to study astrology or if you are looking for new ways to do divination this chapter holds some wonderful insights to help get you started. Not only does she give the astrology signs, but she also provides some crystals that would work well with the astrological signs, not just the birthstones.  Also, in chapter 13, Ms. Cockram covers using a magic square with crystals, from Feng Shui.

Ms. Cockram in later chapters covers meditating with crystals, working with intentions with crystals, correspondence of crystals, including numerology.

For only having 160 pages. Ms. Cockram packed a lot of information into this book. If you are starting on crystals, yourself, or you have a friend who’s just beginning their journey with crystals, this is a very informative book to own.

 

**Now… For your chance to win a Free copy of In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram this month through PaganPagesOrg, thanks to the Quarto Group, visit PaganPagesOrg Instagram hit follow, find the picture promoting the contest of In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide by Bernice Cockram posted and leave a comment! That’s all!! A winner will be randomly chosen on Monday September 17, 2018. USA & Canada Only.

 

In Focus Crystals: Your Personal Guide

***

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 at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

Mindful Meditations

August, 2018

Welcome to Mindful Meditations, a new column to help you connect to yourself.

Monthly the author will switch between two witches that are massage therapists that lead meditations and are in the same coven.

 

Fire Meditation

It’s Leo season and what better way to enjoy that excited, expansive energy than with a bit of fire scrying, either with your friends or alone. This fire meditation is crafted to work as a guided group meditation or an easy-to-follow solo journey. So light your fire, grab a journal and let’s drop in! If having a physical fire isn’t a possibility, you can use a candle or call the energy of fire into your mind’s eye and let your imagination create the flames for you.

 

 

 

-Cast a circle in whatever way fits your practice. Create intentional, sacred space so you feel comfortable opening to the messages you receive. I encourage you to call in the element of fire especially, an example would be “I call the element of fire into my/our circle tonight. I/we honor your passion and power, your transformation and transmuting, and your illumination and warmth. Guide me on this journey into your flames tonight. Hail and welcome!” Once in sacred space, set your intention for what you wish to receive from the fire. How am I holding myself back from my desires? What direction should I take? How can I manifest my dream? Or simply, what do I need to know right now? Feel free to do this silently or as a discussion with your group.

 

-Once you’re clear on your intention, find a comfortable seat where you can easily gaze into the fire. Feel where your body connects to the Earth and see roots sprouting down into the soil to anchor yourself to her. Notice your breath and feel yourself entering the present moment with each inhale and relaxing into the now with each exhale. Let everything but your breath and the fire melt away.

 

-Bring your intention into your mind. Begin to ask questions to yourself and the fire. Let possible answers drift through your awareness, staying mindful of not attaching to any one idea. Watch the fire, how does it respond to your thoughts? How do you feel as the fire shifts with a passing thought? Let it speak to you.

 

-As you get more comfortable asking and receiving, relax deeper into the fire and clear your wandering mind. Be open to receive any messages the fire has to give you. Notice images, colors, or changes in the flames. As messages come to you, feel free to write them down so you can release the idea and allow another into your awareness.

 

-Take a deep breath and let the inspirations float back to you and by the fire light, start sorting, shifting and integrating. Free write or daydream, pulling these messages into your awareness. Take a piece of paper and write the most important messages from the flames. Did you discover a block, a new direction, something that no longer serves, or an inspiring message? Write it down, being clear what you wish to change, bring in or release (remember words have power!), and bring it to your heart. Give gratitude to the flames for facilitating this insight. As you gift the paper to the fire, say “Thank you, thank you, thank you. As it is written, so mote it be.”

 

-Close your circle, sit back and enjoy the fire.

***

About the Author:

Becky Coates is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Tarot reader located in Manchester, CT. Visit beckycoatesmassage.com for more information. 

Gael Song

August, 2018

Lughnasa


Lughnasa is my very favorite spirit time of year. The solstice/equinox and cross-quarter days mark the cosmic openings of the eight basic aspects of spirit in all things, shifts that are quite powerful. If you are into feeling energy or spirit, these can easily be felt. The masculine openings occur at sunrise, the feminine at sunset on the eve of each holy day. Early in each year, at Imbolc, this spirit opening feels like a baby, a little Girl. Then comes the Boy of the Vernal Equinox, the Virgin Girl and Boy of Bealtaine and Midsummer, the mother and father of Lughnasa and the Autumnal Equinox, the Grandmother at Samhein, until finally, the Grandfather opens on Midwinter. And all these cosmic aspects of spirit are quite different, with very varied directives in life, plus they open the six-week phase of growth for that inner aspect of the self until the next solstice/equinox portal for everyone. All of us, men and women alike, the cosmos and the earth, too, have these eight parts of our spirits, for this sacred structure interfaces all things. We are not so different after all.

So, on the evening before Aug. 5th, the cosmic Mother spirit opens; within each person, across the globe, and in all the planes of existence. And it is a dramatic change from the world server, strong-willed, action oriented Virgin Male of the preceding six weeks. Everything suddenly slows down. There is a nurturing, comforting presence billowing through the wind and clouds. I often feel the impulse to lie down and rest on the earth’s body, a mother herself. This is Lughnasa. Divine Mother can be particularly felt in the first fruits of the harvest. For this holy day also marks the opening of the action ethers within, which means manifestation into the physical, the specialty of the harvest father, Lugh, for whom even this feminine festival is named. This cosmic mother loves to nourish all her children with foods that delight, manifesting the tastiest blueberries or corn or cucumbers from her soil. The fruits of all the inner work of the previous nine moons of walking one’s path begin to appear at this time as well (the Apple moon is the tenth of the druid year), not just the outer harvest of grains and fruits, for the cosmic Mother wants to manifest all our dreams as well! (Though I have the distinct feeling that foods and recipes that simply cannot be resisted might be her personal favorite.) In my meditations into past lives as a Celt in Scotland over 2,000 years ago, I recalled large tribal celebrations at Lughnasa in honor of the earth mother, with extravagant expressions of gratitude for all the natural resources the earth mother had provided over the passing year, each tribe trying to outdo the others. I saw all priestesses who were mothers circled inside the groves in my visions, too, priestesses in divination meditations, calling out anything they saw that might lay ahead for the tribes, blessings and challenges both. And there were always swans on the lochs, too, the mother totem.

But more than this, Lughnasa falls during the Apple Moon, moon of the Goddess, the White Tara, July 27th-Aug. 19th. And when I do my own Lughnasa ceremony at my altar, calling in my druid guides to facilitate the opening of the mother part of my spirit, I always feel the gentle Presence of the White Tara come in around me as well. “Let Me come very close”,” She says, “I miss you so much, child of My Heart!” And I can sense spirit arms around my shoulders or a gentle head laid, very lightly, on my own with that strong eternal Mother Love pouring into me. And I remember the same thing happening in those ancient lifetimes, too, a personal encounter with the Goddess around the time of Lughnasa in those great tribal crowds, a sweet message of mother love to each and every person there. For myself, I need a space of silence for this intimate interface, not the loud, talking on and on, ceremonies that many prefer. And it’s when I fall asleep later that evening when I often feel Her most closely, spirit fingertips brushing across my temples. Oh, She can become very insistent about learning distressing wisdom lesson of the mother aspect at times across the next six weeks, I’ll grant you that, but not on this one holy day. It brings mother comfort and sweet abiding love, stronger in ways than any other. And then on Aug. 8th, three days past Lughnasa, there is always another personal Goddess message, but this time not a visitation, no, a physical gift of some sort that signifies what else will soon be manifesting during the harvest season. Lughnasa, mother comfort, peace, sweet rest, delicious things to eat, and the hint of fulfillment soon to come. No wonder I love it more than all the rest!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment

Uranus Comes to Taurus

July, 2018

Uranus Comes to Taurus: Radical Change Meets Immovable Object


MAY 2018 – April 2026

Buckle up! Uranus, the Changemaker, the Awakener, the Great Liberator, arrived in Taurus right after the New Moon on May 15th. It will be in the Bull’s sign (with short forays into Aries and Gemini) for 7 years, until it enters Gemini in April 2026.

It brings with it the legacy of its transit through Aries, which began in 2011. Think back to the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, the removal of many barriers to same sex marriage, the sudden breakdown of the structures of silence around sexual abuse and harassment in the halls of corporate life, and public questioning of binary gender identity labels. Aries is the sign of the individual and self-identity, and is associated with the planet Mars, who can be an out of control warrior, or a force against injustice. And Uranus got our attention and began to move perceptions and ideas that seemed set in stone until its energy arrived on the scene.

Uranus’ transit into Taurus occurs 84 years after its last visit to this sign, from 1934 to 1942, and is the next spiral in humanity’s journey as filtered through the Taurean energy. The Sign of the Bull holds our values, our resources, and what comes from the Earth. It tends them so they can root and grow to full harvest. Taurus is Fixed Earth, stable, patient – changing over eons – an evolutionary being, not a revolutionary one. It keeps going in the face of formidable odds. In its shadow, it is intransigent, dug in, and unwilling to move, even when movement is necessary. Taurus also rules money, spending, finances; it is the symbol of Wall Street! Venus, Taurus’ ruling planet, speaks to abundance and fertility related to the gifts of Earth – all the beauty and bounty that occurs around us. She evokes the Goddess as Gaia. Uranus is the Tower card, the lightning bolt, immediate change for its own sake – creative chaos out of which something new coalesces. It loves revolution just because it shakes up the old order and forces us to confront what we don’t want to look at or are afraid to see. When Uranus visits Taurus, we expect seismic change in the Taurean areas of influence.

We can get an idea of what to expect from this Uranus transit by looking back at its last journey through Taurus. As a result of the 1929 stock market crash and the ensuing Great Depression, millions were jobless, homeless and starving. Social safety nets like Social Security were created and banking and investment regulations put into place to prevent a recurrence of conditions that led to the crash. Infrastructure jobs created by the government-established WPA resulted in new buildings, roads, power sources and parks. The WPA also employed visual artists and writers to create works for public consumption. The Dust Bowl, caused by drought and unsustainable land use practices, resulted in mass population movement and new approaches to farming and food security. Food rationing and Victory Gardens on the home front during World War II were other manifestations of Uranian energy in Taurus’ realm. Technology like telephones and radio began to be mass produced. Charga-plate, an early form of department store credit card, was developed and came into broad use.

One of the shadow sides of that transit involved the flourishing of economic and political conditions that led to World War II: economic penalties imposed after World War I, questions of boundaries, annexation of land, and people’s right to exist. Appeasement – the failure of people and nations to speak truth to power – also played a role. Uranus in Taurus during this time period was a singular clarion call for humanity to examine what it values and how to rightfully use and respect life and resources.

And we will hear that clarion call again during the current transit. We are seeing debate about the value of social safety nets like Social Security and Medicaid. Just last week there were news accounts of eminent funding issues with Medicare and Social Security and what changes will be necessary to preserve these programs. Medical care itself may undergo widespread change – think medical marijuana vs. heavy opioid prescribing and widespread use of the body’s own defenses and immunities to treat disease. Continued climate change may result in mass population movements and create greater lack of food security. Stronger storms, more “100-year events” and eruptions and tectonic shifts are on the Uranus in Taurus menu. We will see more issues surrounding natural resources and people’s rights, particularly around water, as we have seen recently in Flint, Michigan and Capetown, South Africa, where water is rationed and people are fined for exceeding quotas. We can expect radical changes in banking and currency – crypto or other digital currency! There will be changes in farming and land management technology; keep an eye on the Bayer-Monsanto mega merger, approved by the U.S. Department of Justice on May 29th. (And remember the 1970’s TV commercial “It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature!”) We will continue to see debate around gender identity. Rising pressure on social and cultural norms from women speaking out and running for office will shift ideas around privilege, ownership and hierarchy; remember that Aphrodite was born after Gaia was betrayed by Uranus! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranus_(mythology). All of us will be asked to examine what we value on a personal, societal, and spiritual level and to speak truth to power.

Uranus’s move through Taurus is terrifying and exciting at the same time. To synchronize with the energy of this transit, I am focused on sustainability, sourcing more of the food I eat locally, and growing and preserving fruits and vegetables from my garden and the farmers’ market. Know the source of your food and support local farmers where you can. Respect water as a limited resource; there are rainwater collection barrels in my garden. I am working with a lodestone to stabilize my tangible resources and to attract exactly what I need, no more and no less. I practice deep gratitude for Gaia’s gifts – sunlight, sky, stars, trees and all of the life forms here on the planet. I have an emergency kit with food and water to be ready should a natural or man-made disaster strike. I regularly donate resources to organizations that work with local and international disasters. To align with Uranus’ energy of liberation and let the Taurean energy be one of flow rather than stagnation, I am releasing “stuff” that I no longer use or need so that it may find value and purpose somewhere else. That includes expectations and old understandings and beliefs about how ownership, privilege, culture and the social order work. And I am carefully tending what is useful and beautiful, including my physical wellbeing. I am inviting in resilience, opportunity, cooperation and the trickster energy of playing with whatever shows up. When the Bull and Uranus work together, they create an unstoppable force, focused on what we hold dear and the resources that sustain life. Taurus teaches that we must prepare the ground and do the long term tending work needed to create change that will take root and flourish. We are being called to learn how to be resourceful, to share what we have, and to value Earth and each other. This transit will be a wild ride; roll with it but hold tight to your deepest values!

***

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 https://openchannelastrology.com/

Book Review: The Smudging and Blessing Book – Inspirational Rituals to Cleanse and Heal by Jane Alexander

July, 2018

Book Review

The Smudging and Blessing Book

Inspirational Rituals to Cleanse and Heal

by Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander has written a good introductory book for those interested in exploring the basics of working with Spirit on the physical plane. In this accessible little manual, she weaves the concepts of working with the energies of physical allies like planets, crystals and essential oils, meeting and working with spirit energies like the Guardians of the Directions, the elements and totem animals and cleansing and blessing your physical spaces, events and ceremonies.

Alexander starts with the basics: becoming aware of subtle energies in your body and in your physical environment. As she points out, smudging can clear away “spiritual garbage.” It is important to remember that it is not just the physical act of lighting the smudge, though, that creates the cleansing effect and invites in blessing. Intention and reverence are key aspects of all the ceremonies and rituals that she describes. When we light a flame to burn the smudge, we ask the spirit of Fire to transform and transmute that which does not serve us. By lighting the flame, we signal to Spirit that something important is happening here and we ask for assistance. There are many aspects to a “simple” smudging that we begin to sense the more we work with the rituals as Alexander describes them. Her book is a doorway in to this deeper sensing and partnership with plants, crystals and Spirit!

One of the true gifts of this book is the reminder of the many opportunities in our daily lives to work with Spirit to cleanse and bless. Focusing on our homes, Alexander invites us to bless our new homes and to speak to the spirit of your old home as you move into a new. She reminds us to cleanse sick rooms and spaces in which arguments have occurred. She describes one method for shielding your home and a ritual for consecrating your bedroom as a space for rest and retreat. I would add to her suggestions, remove the television or laptop!!

Alexander invites us to work energetically with family occasions: births, birthdays, deaths, divorce and even setting the subtle stage before a party! She reminds us to reclaim the turning points of the wheel of the year, as we release the lessons of the departing season and create intentions for the incoming seasonal energy. We can mark these turnings with our families, too, creating rituals that connect our children with their lineages and traditions! And most importantly, Alexander encourages us to remember our energetic connections to Spirit on a daily basis – on waking up and greeting the day, bathing, and at bedtime. We can invoke our energetic protections and boundaries when leaving the house, traveling and for most human activity.

Alexander provides suggestions for herbs, crystals and essential oils for specific cleansing and blessing uses. If you have ever wanted to learn to make your own smudge stick, she gives detailed instructions. This is a useful and practical book, especially for a child or teenager interested in starting to work with subtle energies in the physical realm.

The Smudging and Blessings Book: Inspirational Rituals to Cleanse and Heal

***

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

Gael Song

June, 2018

Tree Magic

I wrote about the druid moons and the trees of the druid year in my third article quite a while ago, but this time, I just want to tell the story of my love affair with trees and how powerful they truly are. As I playfully experimented with reading the energy of life forms around me over twenty years ago, I gradually came to understand that all trees have a very specific energy, each tree family with a definite focus of help or healing. For instance, heart shaped leaves indicate that tree helps heal issues of emotion, the heart. Palmate leaves, like maples, help to heal issues of action. Leaves with a single straight vein up the middle, like Oaks, help the spine. And the parallel, fountain-like veins of Gingko leaves mean it will open up the root flow of the Goddess. My druid inner guides taught me that trees soak up the watery lessons of the Goddess every season, which flow up from the inner earth into the water tables of the planet. Then each tree breathes these out, specific truths, to all passers by. And I realized over many years, too, that the trees in my own back yard had been chosen very carefully by the universe. Sometimes I wondered if I was led to buy or rent certain homes for the trees in the garden! When you step into a forested space, the world becomes instantly peaceful, calming to the soul, and so very beautiful. And I always feel sheltered from the storms of life during my time there, as if trees hold the peace of heaven in their embrace.

But more than anything else, trees have been my solace along the difficult phases of my spiritual path. When I was in the midst of scary financial times (paying for my three daughter’s college educations over ten years) twenty years ago, a big old oak grew up against the balcony of my second story bedroom. And on evenings after particularly challenging days then, I’d sit beside the trunk of that strongest of trees and feel the love of Oghama (the name I use for the high God) flood down around me, His great warmth giving me support, plumping me up from the inside and instantly calming my anxieties. There was a circle of aspens in the woods nearby then, too, and because they are the tree that helps us get beyond our final hurdles into some new expansion of spirit, I’d sometimes go and stand within their circle. And always, I felt a grove of aspen elders awaken within those trunks, enfold me as their leaves sang so joyfully in the wind, and remove whole sheaths of darkness from my being. As magical as can be! But my favorite tree during those years was a young birch I discovered in the meadow on my woodsy wandering one day. It called to me, and I felt a surge of love surround me as I moved through scratchy underbrush to get close to it. This was just after the last of my daughters left home, and I’d closed my therapy practice to begin writing books, instead. But I was often lonely, getting used to solitude, and missed my family. And this little birch became such a friend to me! I went out to see it and share a hug nearly every day, and our spirits grew closer than close over the passing moons. One afternoon towards the end of my time in that home, I heard that birch spirit say quite clearly into my mind that in the spirit world, love is for always, that he would be my friend forever, that he’d send me love even after I moved away (a thousand-mile move!). And this touched me so very deeply, that sweet offering in the midst of my sorrows. I think of him still and send blessings on the wind, even now, fourteen years later. In the tiny cottage I live in now, I have a Rose of Sharon tree, the only one small enough to fit in my little yard. Rose of Sharon is the tree of the virgin goddess, Sìth, and she is regent of peace on earth. And it has been quite peaceful here beside the sea during the four years I’ve lived in this spot. There is whole language of trees most of us are completely unaware of! Take a moment then, will you? As you’re walking, feel the trees you pass by, notice the one that is calling you to come closer, and DO that. Open your heart. LISTEN. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

I feel our tree friends waiting, always, in silent patience to be acknowledged, to connect with us, to speak into our minds and give wisdom or solace, especially during our tough times, to be our once and forever friends again. There is a longing in nature to hold us, guide us, and lead us all Home. Trees are living spirits whose consciousness is simple but profound, connected to angels, gods, goddesses, and guides in the Otherworld in every moment. They are FULL of gentle love, ancient wisdom, knowings that can assist and guide us all. Take their hands along the leaf strewn pathway of your life and let them befriend you.

But perhaps the most startling and life-changing tree moment of my life was when I first began to meditate about twenty-three years ago. I was working as a therapist then, in a marriage that was disappointing in the extreme, raising three girls largely by myself, and taking care of a big old house ever in need of repair. It took great effort to simply find ten minutes a day for my own thoughts! One extra busy morning, I was troubled by something or other and I decided to go outside for a bit of peace and quiet. And I sat under a large white pine beside that house and bent my head beneath it. And in one moment, I felt those branches above me turn into green feathers, the needles softening and wafting gently in the breeze. I could feel them brush my shoulders and greatly ease the burdens of the coming day. They are angels, I thought that morning in great surprise! Trees are angels in disguise! But it was the primordial LOVE that reached into my being in that soft moment which truly changed me, my sudden awareness of the immense and tender power of nature to nurture, hold, and guide, which shifted the very bedrock of my being. The white pine outside my bedroom window in that home was utterly ADORED from then on in return! And the tree sylphs I’d once recognized in childhood, and sadly forgotten in my growing years, opened instantly into my heart and mind again, the whole magical world of spirit ready to embrace me wherever I might need a bit of cheer. I bend the knee of my heart to the tree kingdom, always, a heart full of gratitude and the commitment to care for them tenderly wherever I find them.

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About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

 

Book Review: QUEEN UP! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down by Angela Kaufman

May, 2018

Book Review – QUEEN UP! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down: Unleash the Power of Your Inner Tarot Queen by Angela Kaufman

In our current atmosphere of #Time’sUp and #MeToo, this is the perfect book to come along. The Queens that are spoken of in this book are the Queens of the Tarot, but it also fits in with so many, adding the term “Queen” to the three-fold aspect of the Goddess.

The author uses the archetypal energies of the four Queens in the Tarot, each representing a different element, to help us to meet, and work with, our Inner Queen(s), using a tarot deck and our intuition.

Ms. Kaufman tells the “Legend of the 4 Queens”, leaving us with four divine decrees, being: “all things are energy”, “energy is changeable” energy contains elements of its opposite”, and “energy can be accessed at will through the power of intention, thus anything required to succeed can be found within”.

Each Queen has her own section with self-reflective questions, exercises, meditations, and ritual, complete with her own correspondences.

Ms. Kaufman describes how each of us can call on our own Queen(s), with a detailed ritual on how to “Queen Up!”, with tips on how to bring these energies into our daily lives.

The book concludes with a 52-week guide to Queening Up, which also comes with an Inner Queen Intuitive Log.

While the techniques mentioned may sound familiar to those who have done Goddess-oriented inner work, or intentional spellwork, they are presented here in a manner befitting a Queen.

This book is very encouraging and supportive to any woman who would follow it as an uplifting guide on their path to empowerment. I would definitely recommend this book, and I plan on returning to it as part of my own inner work!

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, “Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and “Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess”, as well as Mago Publications “She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Women’s Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

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