illustrated

Review: 2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

December, 2018

Review:

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

Rockpool Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-925682-13-7

List Price: $21.95 USD / £16.99 GBP

The 2019 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is a beautiful, spiral-bound calendar, richly illustrated with pleasing sepia color pages. As one would expect, it tracks the waxing and waning of the moon and the lunar eclipses of the coming year. It also provides the astrological house of each new and full moon and features the eight annual festivals of the wheel of the year.

I reviewed the Northern Hemisphere edition of the Seasonal Diary. Both Stacey DeMarco and Rockpool Publishing are based in Australia, which is why special care is made to tie the festivals to the seasons themselves instead of calendar dates. After all, our calendars follow the reality of the Earth and her seasons, not the other way around.

Especially well fitted to the new pagan, the diary has a well written introduction the hows and whys of spellcraft and the basics of working with crystals. The moon phases are introduced, as well as the elements, directions and the wheel of the year – not enough to complicate things, but enough guidance to use the daily and monthly prompts that follow. Each month features a specific deity, as well as an appropriate ritual or spell, drawing inspiration from traditions as varied as Slavic, Celtic, Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, and Shinto. I think the selection is broad enough to be interesting for almost any pagan.

I found the Lunar & Seasonal Diary a beautiful resource to keep me connected to the monthly rhythms of the earth. Each month begins with a page questioning “What am I devoted to?” – asking us to simultaneously reflect on what we have been wrapped up in the month just past as well as what we would aspire towards in the month ahead. Prompts are given for important dates and goals to focus on and manifest in the month ahead.

This monthly return to focus seems a positively recharging reset to our frame of reference, especially during those stressful times when we’re just happy to it through one calendar page to the next. It reminds us to recall what we are working for in the first place, reminding us that the daily grind is a process and not an end in itself. This monthly taking-stock can allow you to stay open to the living world around you, to stay fast with what is truly important to you, or to shift your focus and goals each month, working on different aspects of your life just as the energy of the earth changes through different phases around you.

With the space for taking notes, prompts for both reflective and aspirational record keeping, I think this is a great notebook for any pagan who sees the value of the occasional ritual to keep one in tune with the seasons, and it especially shines for those new to the pagan path.

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary: Northern Hemisphere on Amazon

Book Review: The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

November, 2018

Book Review

The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

 

The Giggles and Joy Children’s books are a series of three books that focus on spiritual life lessons for kids. Each book consists of 8 poems that cover a variety of different topics. The books are written by Ariane de Bonvoisin with Carlie Sutcliffe. They are beautifully and creatively illustrated by Ellie Cross.

These books are amazing and now a personal favorite in my home. They teach kids that positivity, joy and happiness are something to experience every day.

 

 

Giggles and Joy

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the first book in the Giggles and Joy series. It features 8 poems on topics of “kindness, gratitude, having a bad day, home, prayer, planet Earth, self-belief and the physical body”.

One of my favorite features is that even though Giggles and Joy talks about prayer, it is in a universal way, that does not align prayer with a certain religion. For a home like mine, where I’m Pagan, my mother is Christian, and my son is undecided, this is a perfect fit.

Planet Earth is one of my son’s favorites. He loves saying “thank you” to our planet Earth. He also enjoys the illustrations that accompany not only planet Earth but all of the poems in Giggles and Joy.

 

You Are Loved

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the second book in the Giggles and Joy series. It also features 8 poems. These poems cover “love, navigating change, this beautiful life, courage, grown-ups, self-confidence, and adventure”.

Picking a favorite from this series is difficult. The poems are beautifully written in terms that are easy for children of all ages to understand. I will say that “The Moon Loves You” and “Change” are two of our most read poems. My son has always had a special attachment to the moon so this one gets read almost nightly.

Change quickly became one of our other most read poems when we had a situation shake up the home. It was nice to have a poem that could be read to my son to help him. It taught him that change can be scary, but change can also be fun and exciting.

 

Being You

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the final book in the Giggles and Joy series. The topics for these last 8 poems are “what many kids are facing in the world today, what is true self-worth and how to nurture it, the importance of telling the truth, how to feel safe inside oneself, the magical effect of deep breathing and the adventure of being free to really be yourself”.

Take a Deep Breath” is one of my son’s favorite poems from Being You. It incorporated the deep breathing technique that he learned in school. It also has illustrations of dragons, which is his favorite beast.

 

All in all, I give the Giggles and Joy series a double thumbs up. By far, one of my favorite poem series for children. If you are looking for a positive series full of lessons, look no further. These poems are fun to read and listen to no matter the age.

 

Amazon Links to :

The Giggles and Joy Gift Set on Amazon

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

 

 

 

Book Review: One Year Wiser-An Illustrated Guide to Mindfulness by Mike Medaglia

May, 2018

Book Review

One Year Wiser-An Illustrated Guide to Mindfulness by Mike Medaglia

Mindfulness has been the buzz word for meditation in recent years and getting people on board with slowing down and living fully present in any given moment has been the challenge of many an author and teacher. One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia has captured the essence of what a mindfulness practice is and morphed it into an illustrated journey that resonates with the graphic novel approach. He invokes the art of visual stimuli to engage readers in well-founded content.

Mike uses his skills as an illustrator to bring the practice of mindfulness into a mindscape filled with color and easily relate-able images that any reader can identify with. Another interesting layer within this book is the outline used of working the practice through the gift of the seasons.

Appropriately, Part One is dedicated to Spring…

Spring is about blossoming and letting yourself change and become.

Taking steps with confidence towards a brighter future

and a more sincere self.”

This opening statement sets the tone in preparing oneself for something transformative that is about to happen. Each section focuses on various aspects of the journey towards becoming more mindful in your daily activities and key words that bring your attention to how that presence interacts with technology, smiling, values, forgiveness, and more.

Mike takes us on a journey through the seasons that resonates at multiple levels of understanding about what those seasons are both in the physical expression, as well as the spiritual. There is humor and there are suggestions for practice, all beautifully illustrated and offered in step-by-step increments. And, as is true with all cycles, the final page states…

But, of course the snows of Winter melt, moistening the

earth in preparation for Spring.”

A simple statement that heralds a new journey to begin, now healthier, happier and more present because of the foundations laid in the previous year.

All in all, this is a great book for anyone who has yearned to begin a mindfulness practice, but has hesitated because of a perception of austerity and overly structured practices. And, if you are looking for more supports, check out Mike’s other books:

One Year Wiser: A Gratitude Journal

Previously reviewed in PaganPagesOrg HERE.

and 

One Year Wiser: The Colouring Book: Unwind With Weekly Illustrated Meditations

For Amazon information Click Image

 

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Third Degree Initiate and High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. Her path is the fusion of Western Hermetics and Eastern Practices, including meditation and energetic protocol. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org and has authored several books and been published locally and Internationally.

Robin maintains a rigorous teaching schedule presenting locally and at festivals throughout the North East. She writes several blogs, The Magickal Pen being her first foray into blogging and is a writer for Sage Woman blogs.

Her primary blog is The Magickal Pen

www.themagickalpen.com

Her blog at Pagan Square, The Womb of Light, can be found at:

http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/womb-of-light.html

For more information about Robin, her blogs and books, please visit her website:

www.robinfennelly.com

Or, Amazon Author’s Page:

Robin’s Author Page