Book Review – Medicine Wheel Plain & Simple: An Introduction to Native American Astrology by Deborah Durbin

December, 2018

Book Review

Medicine Wheel Plain & Simple: An Introduction to Native American Astrology
by Deborah Durbin


I had a flashback to the 1980’s when I opened this book. I saw the system familiarized in Sun Bear and Wabun’s The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology, complete with correspondences to animal totems, plants, crystal and moon correspondences for each astrological sign. So, this book is “New Age;” don’t pick it up thinking that you will learn find a new (or rather, ancient) system of working with cosmic forces here. And you won’t gain any insight into the cultural astronomy or archeoastronomy of the indigenous people of the Americas – the mythic tales of the stars brought down to Earth and how those energies affect human affairs.

That said, you will have a fun tool for broad astrological divination by the equivalent of your sun sign to play with. Medicine Wheel Plain & Simple offers a different lens for examining personality types, strengths and weaknesses, than the zodiac wheel we are used to. Like Sun Bear and Wabun’s book before it, this book uses a Northern American perspective on a seasonal calendar: winter is cold, summer is hot. The calendar wheel is divided into seasonal quadrants with a “ruling” animal totem for each. The wheel is further divided into 12 signs, like the familiar astrological signs, but ruled by animal totems instead of constellations. So, if like me, you are born between April 20th and May 20th, I am a Beaver, member of the Turtle Clan, born under the Frogs Return moon in the Spring Season rule d by spirit-keeper Wabun – Eagle on the East of the Medicine Wheel. My sign is also associated with blue camas plant, the color blue and the mineral chrysocolla. There are many correspondences to investigate here! Interestingly, the description of a Beaver personality was reminiscent of my Taurus self: “slow, methodical, practical, reserved…easygoing and slow to anger, but once roused, they can have a fierce temper…” My compatibility with other signs is similar to my astrological compatibility – I am married to a Snake (Scorpio)!

Durbin has included a section on finding your personal animal totem. She discusses a shadow totem, one that terrifies you, that tests you and teaches you what you need to overcome. Interestingly, mine is Snake, the opposite of my Beaver totem, containing the qualities that Beaver most lacks. And being married to a Snake, I have learned a lot from our differences. She also includes a short section on working with predictive Medicine Wheel astrology by throwing pebbles or shells, noting where they land, and interpreting the energies and qualities of the quadrant and sign in that section of the wheel.

It’s unfortunate that the book purports to be “An Introduction to Native American Astrology.” There are so many beautiful star myths, tales and creation stories in the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. And the ancient Mayans had a complex astrological and seasonal calendar. And to imply that all Native American cultures used a homogenous system is stereotyping of the worst sort. Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology, the book on which this one appears to be based, sourced itself in earth-based cycles rather than representing a specific “Native American” system. Medicine Wheel Plain and Simple is a New Age overlay of North American animal, plant and seasonal symbolism on the common horoscope wheel. But it is fun to play with! If you didn’t come across Sun Bear and Wabun’s book in the 1980’s, this one’s worth a look!

Medicine Wheel Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need on Amazon


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

Open Channel Astrology:

30-Days of Samhain Offered by Robin Fennelly

October, 2018

30-Days of Samhain Offered by Robin Fennelly

A Witch’s Sacred Journey

The final harvest calls, the Ancestors await and the veils between the worlds have thinned offering the gifts of healing, transformation and deeper communion with the cycles of nature.

Last year I decided to explore the mysteries of Samhain using a daily format of postings and suggestions to deepen your awareness of this sacred time of the year. I am sharing this again for this year’s celebrations and will be adding some other material as we move through the 30-Days of Samhain. Let the journey begin…

The countdown ends with Astrological Samhain, so Day One begins on October 9th and Day Thirty ends on November 7th. Enjoy…

Day One begins here… Welcome and Introduction

For Quick Links visit: 30-Days of Samhain-Index


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

It’s Written in the Stars



The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2)



The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths



A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord


Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions


The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1)

A Collection of Esoteric Writings


The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF


The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World


Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion


A Weekly Reflection

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.


August, 2018


Cover art: Lughnasadh‘s Pentacle – Harvest Magic – Lugh’s Protection handcrafted by YabYum from the shop PaganOdana on Etsy.

About the artist:

My Name is Yabyum Rowanroot. My wish is to bring you positives & magical vibes through my creations & my artwork. That’s why I give each of my creations healing energy that inspires, guides, supports & uplifts the owner. I’m so grateful to be able to help Mother Nature & the Divine by awakening the little flame of light in your heart through what I create. Each element is handcrafted according to its sacred, magic or healing role. I Offer everyone a high quality product. I use recycled & organic materials for all my creations & I put a lot of care & love in each of them. You can find Yabyum Rowanroot on her Etsy site PaganOdana, on her Blog, or on Her Page.



A Happy First Harvest & Blessings of Abundance to You All! What Ever Way You Celebrate, We Are Sure to Have Plenty of Interesting Ideas, Stories, Reviews, and Much More For You!  What do we have this month?  Here’s a peek …



Mabh Savage tries to avoid spoilers as she reviews “The Bed,” a magical story full of occult surrealism.


The article “Goddess in the Flesh” discusses how In a world that deliberately shifts the “should’s” and shames that attacks and blames, loving yourself is an act of rebellion.


In her review of “Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation,” Dawn Borries decides to take us readers a step further as she uses the book as a workbook.


We begin a new Story Series “Hedge Wizard” this month, by Ian Elliot. Be sure to catch Chapter 1 this month!


In this issue’s Worth the Witch I review Goodbeing’s monthly subscription boxes and they surprise our readers with an exclusive coupon!!


This month we introduce a new review column titled Tea Time Reviews & Conversations with the Fair One and we premiere with an amazing conversation with Christina from Persephone’s and discuss their herbal learning box. A definite must read!


Be Sure to Keep Your Eyes Peeled On Our Social Media for Up Coming Give Aways!!!


Thank you to all our readers!! We appreciate this award!!


Join us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Google+ Community, Instagram, & YouTube.


Won’t you be our neighbor?





Merry Meet

May, 2016








In this Issue…



We are bringing you an amazing Interview with the one and only Singer/Writer Kellianna!!





A great Review of the book Meditation as a way of Life By Alan L. Pritz.





A New column on Crystals by our newest columnist Shiron Eddy, Crystal Connections.




Learn ways to meet the Fae in Spellcrafting: Spells & Rituals.


You will find those articles and tons more in this issue of PaganPages.  Enjoy!!!





Join us on Facebook, Twitter, & Etiary!



Merry Meet

February, 2016






In This Issue…

Mabh Savage features two great interviews this month.




The first is with Paul Davies, aka Oddie, is an independent Druid, a Norwich Quaker, a photographer and a pacifist. He’s also the editor of This Ancient Heart, a book that ‘reveals the connective pathways where beliefs, actions and metaphors lead to dynamic, practical and spiritual lives’.



The second is with The Bard of Ely; Steve Andrews. Dubbed as both a wizard and a bard, Steve Andrews is hardly your everyday herb expert, if there is indeed such a thing. Mabh, caught up with Steve to find out about his music, his love of plants and his writing.


elemental witch


Jazz has an interesting book review for us on Magick for the Elemental Witch by Deanna Anderson.




Having problems with irritability?  Learn about which Crystals for Irritability can help you in Stones Corner.




Learn how to survive Mercury Retrograde in Witches Soul Work.


and so much more!!!!




Join us on Facebook, Twitter, & Etiary!



Happy Reading!!




How I Came into Witchcraft

September, 2014

I became interested in Wicca and Neo-Pagan Witchcraft early in 1994, when my mother had just been diagnosed with unlocalizable cancer and given three months to live. When a loved one will shortly die, your feelings about the future are compromised. You want her to live as long as possible, without suffering, but at the same time you feel guilty for wishing the grey pall hanging over everything were lifted. Many will take up a new interest at such times, one which can be projected indefinitely into the future, lending it a little color. That was the immediate cause impelling me to investigate this new-old religion. But the choice of something new was uniquely mine. My brother Jim, for instance, simply resumed smoking. My half siblings began attending St. Matthias, our mother’s Episcopal church. I was attracted to Wicca because it appeared to combine my two main interests, pre-Christian cultures and their polytheistic religions, and exploration and change of awareness.

I came by these two interests at widely different times. As a boy my early enthusiasm for reading was encouraged with a series of “All About” books, as well as a subscription to the Children’s Digest. One book was called The Exploits of Xenophon, 1 a simplified and colorfully illustrated version of the Anabasis, describing the expedition into the interior of the Persian Empire undertaken by a Persian satrap, 2 his native troops, and, at the outset, about 13,000 Greek mercenaries. I loved the pictures in the Household edition, and was fascinated by the accounts of sacrifices and taking the auspices before battle, then the cries of “Zeus Savior!” and “Heracles Captain!” uttered by the Greeks as they charged. The swashbucklling freedom enjoyed by the mercenaries appealed to me in particular, opening horizons on my boyhood that were giddy and glorious. But above all, I was fascinated by the gods and wanted to know what it felt like to really believe in them.

After Xenophon I enjoyed the first ten books of Livy’s history of Rome, dealing with the legends of the regal period of the first seven kings. These were dual-face Loebs, with Latin on one side and English facing it. The fact that separate parts of each volume were designated ‘Book I,’ ‘Book II,’ etc., intrigued me no end. I had no idea at the time that these indicated separate scrolls; I was just charmed by their reddish gold beauty and neat appearance. Additionally, the fact that the library would not lend the Loebs to me personally (I was 11 at the time) but my mother had to check them out instead lent a special feeling of proprietorship to my handling of the little red volumes. I felt I had a secret right to them, unrecognized by society at large.

When I was sixteen, we had moved to West Hollywood and were not far from a branch of the municipal library, built next to a neighborhood plunge. My athletically-inclined and newly-acquired stepsister chalked up laps in the pool while I investigated the library. I had decided, at my ripe age, that I had exhausted all my intellectual interests up till then and felt my way along the shelves, eyes closed, choosing books at random. I only did this twice. The first time I put my hand on Habakari Hankin, by Lewis Bush, an American ex-patriot living in Japan early in the twentieth century. Habakari is Japanese for outhouse, and Hankin was an international connoisseur of outhouses, especially favoring the traditional Japanese design of a stream passing beneath one’s nether extremities. The book was a delightful collection of short stories and sketches which I have virtually forgotten.

For my second selection I worked my way around to the other side of the bookcase and put my hands on A Study of Gurdjieff’s Teaching, by Kenneth Walker. This introduced me to the notion of change of consciousness, something which had never occurred to me in my sixteen tender years. Gurdjieff taught people how to wake up. I had always assumed I was awake already, as most people do; now awareness acquired windows and doors, with the possibility of going through them into an entirely different world. Both interests which would eventually be satisfied by modern witchcraft were now awake in me.

However, these were still intellectual interests. It wasn’t until I turned 22 that a personal crisis led to my finding a way to open the window of awareness, a method which has been my companion ever since in life. It was really quite simple; I simply began attending to background sounds and looking at things usually ignored, especially things seen out of the corners of the eyes. I found these exercises promoted a quiet mind, and from a quiet mind one can proceed to explore the mind itself and whatever it can apprehend.

This was 1968, and Carlos Castaneda’s Teachings of Don Juan had just been published. I have no doubt that it had an influence on my exercises, but it wasn’t until the appearance of his second book, A Separate Reality, in 1972 that I became aware of a connection. The explorations of consciousness in his third book, Journey to Ixtlan, came closest to the trips I was taking with peripheral awareness. Thereafter his later books remained interesting but there was less overlap with my practice.

I had long since ceased to be a believing Christian, and my minor in college, Religious Studies, was leading me into non-mainstream religions. I had had a love affair with modern Vedantic Hinduism since leaving the church in 1963, but the monotheistic emphasis in their books, employed in part as an accommodation to western readers, was beginning to irk me. When I read Walter F. Otto’s The Homeric Gods; the Spiritual Significance of Greek Religion, the notion that polytheism inevitably ‘developed’ into monotheism was exploded for me, and I became intellectually converted to the gods. Thereafter, while I could hold with Brahman, the impersonal Absolute, I rejected his personal aspect, Ishwara. I no longer sought a personal relationship with a supreme being, regarding such, indeed, as a form of presumption. If all proceeded from one source, that source remained impersonal and unapproachable for me. I no longer bother with Brahman, but I still feel that way about Fate or dark matter/energy.

A few years later I made offerings, first to Aphrodite and later to Hermes, both of which were granted in a week’s time. The first led to a relationship with a married lady (it was an open marriage) which I found very liberating. The second was made in error; I needed another job and thought Hermes was the god to ask for employment. In a week’s time I received a windfall which I did not have to repay for ten years. Subsequently, I learned that Hermes governs luck!

By 1994, when I first looked into witchcraft classes and groups, I already had a way of changing consciousness, and I was thoroughly ‘converted’ to polytheistic paganism. All that remained was to find a group to interact with and a paradigm for expressing the energies I was experiencing.

To those who know the difference, however, it will be seen that my preference was for heathen rather than pagan gods. The gods of the ‘barbarians’ living outside the Roman Empire were not immortal; for many peoples (and for the heathen Udmurts who remain to this day), the gods sleep during the winter. They are natural, not supernatural. They simply surpass us in power, wisdom and greatness of soul, but they are not infinite in any sense. Odin will die at Ragnarøk.

I became aware of witchcraft classes and groups operating in my area, and dedicated myself to the Craft (having read some books by the Campanellis and Farrars) at Imbolc, which I celebrated on February 2nd, 1994. 3 My peripheral exercises had quietened my mind and liberated energies I could only characterize as magical. Among other things, I was able to recover viewpoints and flexibilities from early childhood, and even had inklings of far memory. I decided I wanted to make use of this energy in a structured context with others. For that reason I sought out a coven, followed by two or three others when I moved back down to San Diego County.

I found I was able to contribute energy to the raising of the cone of power. Because of my bookishness, ritual circles generally chose me to ward the East, which is associated with air and knowledge. In time I got together with my magical partner Wendy and we founded a coven of our own in Vista. A descendant of that coven is still going strong in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and while I live retired in Norway, I maintain close contacts with them, talk to them on Skype, and will be providing them with a student later this year.

That, briefly, is how I came into witchcraft.



1 The Exploits of Xenophon, by Geoffrey Household, Random House, 1955.

2  Provincial governor.

3  My mother passed away at the end of March of that year.

A Moment for Meditation

September, 2014


Merry Meet and welcome to my first column on meditation.  I am honored to be part of the writing family.

I am a Certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher; I have been practicing for 20 years and teaching for 16.

In this column, I will be discussing the different aspects of meditation, which will include, but not be limited to, mantra (vibratory sound), mudra (yoga positions for the hands), posture, visual focus, breathing techniques both simple and not-so-simple, and so on.    

I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that life is fairly stressful for most of  us.  Meditation and proper breathing technique can help to calm your nerves and slow down your heart rate, which will allow the body to calm itself naturally.  This, in turn, helps you to rationally deal with the situation at hand.

To meditate is to breathe.  Your breath is Prana; Prana is life, plain and simple. 

When you make the effort to tune into a daily meditation sadhana (spiritual practice), you become calmer, more centered, grounded and balanced.

It is my hope that you will take this journey with me, learning the basics of meditation and breathing your way to a happier, healthier you.  

Blessings and Namaste

ThriftCrafting: Witching on a Budget

March, 2014



Merry Meet.

In this first column about witching on a budget, I wanted to explain my belief that you don’t need any thing to practice the Craft except yourself.

You don’t need ritual garb. In fact, you don’t need garb at all; it’s not uncommon to practice rites skyclad (“clad only with the sky” or nude). Some old texts insist this is the only way to do ritual, based on the belief that only in this way are you truly free. While this is my preferred method in solitary practice, it has never been appropriate for the public or group rituals I have attended, and it’s not something my coven chooses to do. In fact, I find that few people are comfortable skyclad, and I believe it’s important to be comfortable.

Some witches turn to robes, long skirts, Renaissance dresses, kilts and other costumes not worn any time other than ritual as a way to differentiate the mundane world from the magical realm. But magic is not less powerful because you are wearing the jeans and shirt you wore all day. In the next column, we’ll talk more about ritual garb, but for now, know that it is not necessary.

There are so many tools of the Craft, but the only one that matters is you. You are the most magical tool of all. It’s your intentions and the energy you put into them that determines the results. Some witches never use a tool other than their own bodies, thoughts and will.

You don’t need an athame or a wand to cast a circle. You can do it with your finger.

You don’t need a bell, broom, cauldron, chalice, staff or sword. Magic does not require you to burn incense, light candles or place offerings before a statue.

There is a smudge fan I fell in love with on Etsy last year – an artist’s personal one that was not for sale. My guess is that if it had been, it would cost at least $70. I still sigh when I see the picture of it that I saved, with its variety of feathers, white deer skin and gemstones. There was another one incorporating feathers and an antler I saw at a pow wow that cost double that. If money were no object, I probably would own them both. They’re nice, but by no means necessary. I use the turkey feathers bound with leather and horse hair a fire witch friend gave me and I am blessed with her energy each time I hold them, but even they are not necessary to move smoke; using a hand or simply moving the smoking sage or incense also works in most situations.

Another tool often seen is an altar pentacle, typically as a focal point of concentration or to consecrate other tools. Back to the theme we need only ourselves, our body forms a pentagram when legs are apart and arms are outstretched, so that when you connect those four points plus your head, you have a pentacle. Staying centered keeps you focused.

When it comes to the elements used in witchcraft, our breath is all we need for air; passion serves as fire; tears, spit or other bodily fluids are water, and our body itself is the earth. If you think of your body as a vessel, it can be equated to a a chalice, which is the tool connected to the element of water.

So, now that I’ve explained that nothing is needed to practice the Craft, let me say I am by no means adverse to working with tools. There are so many beautiful and meaningful objects that are a pleasure to own and use. Over the years, I have amassed my fair share of them.

In the coming months, we’ll talk about about tools, garb, supplies, altars, decorations, holidays, methods of divination, and anything else you’d like to suggest – all with a budget in mind.

You’ll come to see you, too, can have these things without spending a lot of money.

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

Nelland Living

June, 2013

Hurrah all pagans!


The wheel-of-the-year has turned my life into a virtually continuous celebration! These days I live from Sabbat to Sabbat, enjoying the ride, always changing, always eagerly looking forward to the future.

This life I call Nelland. And I am called Nella.

So I am Nella from Nelland. I hope to make lots of smiley faces and uplifted spirits here, and in my life overall. For I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy!

What makes me happy, probably the most, is beauty. In nature and in life. Beauty is a powerful force, which in my opinion has only positive effects. It is my mission to add to the quantity of beauty in our world, and thus increase positive energy all over!

Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes – I am not only talking about a human being´s physical quality. Nature is filled with beauty, vast and small. It is often easily hidden from our eyes, but with a little concentration we can enjoy it. We just need to take a look.

Nature´s beauty is there for us readily served. How lovely! But we can contribute our own share to that by taking care of ourselves. When it comes to clothes and appearance, I say that since we have to wear something anyway, why not as well something pretty?

I come from a culture where comfort and practicality are put first, above all else. And I agree! But who said that equals ugliness?!

It has always been difficult for me to find fitting pants from the shops. If I can get a pair up and on, I look like a barn or a whale, although I am average sized. How depressing is that?! That is the reason I first ever bought a second-hand sewing machine, and started to learn how to sew. To be able to wear pants that really fit.

Many years have passed since that day, and today I have enough skills to make myself complete  outfits that fit me perfectly. Do you know how liberating that feels?! To know there is nothing wrong with the shape and size of me, but in the clothes hanging in stores.

These days I divide my year into eight sections, the Sabbats of course, and have a plan of five different outfits for work for each section. That´s fourty outfits per year. Sounds like a lot, but to those I hold and wear, year after year. For about six weeks at a time, and then it is time to change again. You know, when the wheel turns to the next Sabbat. That way I´m always dressed to the season/occasion, but on the other hand am helping reduce consumption by rotating my garderobe over and over again.
I have done this many years now, and am so pleased and happy about the whole plan that I want to share it with you too!

Nelland Living is also about eating healthy (mostly) vegan food. I have been happily vegetarian for twenty years now. I enjoy healthy food, but love unhealthy desserts! And I have them every day…

At home I decorate the house, inside and out, for each Sabbat. I usually leave the decoration up until the next one comes, so that the house is never empty and dull. I used to feel really sad after Christmas, when it was time to take the decoration down, because it felt like there was nothing left but bland and empty everyday life. But no more! Now I simply replace Yule with Imbolc, and feel refreshed and ready to move on. And I´m loving it!

The wheel-of-the-year has brought so much happiness into my life, that I want to express my deep and huge gratitude to all, past and present, pagans in the world for creating it, and keeping the tradition alive! Thank you all! And special thanks to for inviting me to be a part of the family!

   To find more about Nelland, go to my blog  Greetings from Nelland! . That´s where I post and work my magic of happiness.
Welcome friends! Let the magic of positivity spread like a disease!

Happy days!

Merry Meet!

May, 2013

A happy and healthy Beltane to everyone! 

In this issue:

Interview with Pagan Metal Band Hammer Horde

New Columns for you to fall in love with!

Spiritual Seeker

A Shamanic View

LionHeart’s Magickal herbal Guide

Dawn’s Constitute

Warrior Women

The Tree of Life

Girl Talk: Getting to Know the Goddesses

Tarot Talk

Plus all your old favorites and correspondences. 

Any ideas on how to make PaganPages eMagazine better in your opinion?  Drop us a line at

We are currently looking for a columnist to review blogs, sites, podcasts, etc…  If you are interested email

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