modern

Book Review – The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells Your Complete Guide to Attracting Passion, Love and Romance by Skye Alexander

April, 2019

Book Review
The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells
Your Complete Guide to Attracting Passion, Love and Romance
by Skye Alexander
Published by Adams Media
207 pages

Without realizing it, love spells are all around us. The hanging of mistletoe? A pagan love spell. A toast to a life of happiness between a bride and groom? Rooted in magic. According to the author, Skye Alexander “witches cast more love spells than any other kind”. It is in this pursuit that we are provided with this book of 150 spells focused on passion, love and romance.

This book is well organized. Different types of spells are divided into chapters. Each spell is clear and individually listed. This is an advantage for readers who love organization. The table of contents lists the names of spells for fast reference. Types of spells in this book are candle spells, crystal and gemstone spells, pendulum magic, plant spells, and visual spells.

One surprise this book features is recipes. There are recipes for teas and other drinks as well as salads, seafood dishes and desserts. By combining spices and other ingredients with some of the favorite foods of Venus, Fruit of the Goddess pie could be served at your next gathering. As you create this delectable dessert, be sure to recite the following “Sweeten our love, With blessings from above”. Nothing shares the love quite like a homemade pie.

With Ostara upon us, the new beginnings are in our thoughts. If you are a gardener or plant lover, be sure to look to the section on planting a romantic garden for inspiration. A few pages away you will learn how to make a garden charm to protect your love. Once you have created your charm, be sure to hang it outside near your beautiful garden. If you have a sacred tree to hang the charm on, all the better.

With so many various love spells, recipes and activities The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells is likely to spark ideas for you to spice up your current romance, keep a partner true to you or attract a new lover. It is a well written book that is easy to read and easy to refer to whenever love is the subject of your magic.

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells: Your Complete Guide to Attracting Passion, Love, and Romance on Amazon

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About the Author:

Tammy Andrews is a beginner in the area of all matters related to Wicca and witchcraft. She is interested in many areas of natural spiritual practice including the use of incense and oils, pendulum divination, oracle cards, and crystals. She is Reiki I certifieded with plans to obtain further Reiki levels. With her love of learning and reading, she is excited to join PaganPagesOrg as a book reviewer. Tammy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker employed in a community agency that provides counseling and case management services to clients who live with serious mental illnesses and addiction issues. The power of human survival and resilience never ceases to amaze her. She views social work as her passion and life calling.Tammy resides in CT with her husband, who is her greatest supporter, her cat and her dogs. She has enjoyed the opportunity to assist in the nurturing of her step-son to become a prospering young adult.

Tammy and her husband spend many Summer weekends at their cabin in VT where she loves the opportunity to renew her spirit in the peace and solitude of the trees. You can contact Tammy via email at tandrews192@comcast.net

Book Review – Pagan Portals: The Dagda by Morgan Daimler

April, 2019

Book Review
Pagan Portals
The Dagda
Meeting the Good God of Ireland
by Morgan Daimler

The Dagda, the Good God of Ireland, is the subject of the book written by Morgan Daimler. She has created a beginner’s book on a Deity that is multilayered and complex. As of 2017, the time of the writing of this book, the author, Ms. Daimler had not heard of a book that was written solely on the Dagda.

The author, Ms. Daimler, has broken the five different chapters up into sub-entries. Each entry deals with a different aspect of the Dagda. Even though there are only 77 pages in the e-book, I found myself taking a lot of notes.

The first chapter describes the Dagda, in name, physical description, and in his relationship with others. The second chapter is the mythology of the deity known as the Good God, the Dagda. There are several different myths that Ms. Daimler uses; most of which have Irish titles that I can’t pronounce. (My pronunciation of Irish words is terrible so that my program that does my typing would misspell all of them anyway.) All of the myths that Ms. Daimler used as references showed the Dagda, as a God of many skills, abundance, and healing.

In chapter 3 one of the possessions that belong to the Dagda, is a cauldron of abundance. In modern neopaganism, the cauldron is often associated with feminine or goddess energy. In Irish were more generally Celtic mythology the cauldron is associated with Gods.

Also in chapter 3, she talks about herbs, trees, and resins. She does point out that herbs are a bit more modern and vary from person to person. Oak has always had a strong connection with the Dagda. Also having an association with the Dagda are frankincense and myrrh, neither of which are native to Ireland.

On page 51 of Ms. Daimler’s book she talks about the Dagda has a strong modern reputation as a Druid or working druidic magic, but she points out that there is nothing explicit in the mythology the connecting to the Druids. She does think it’s redundant that the Dagda has his own Druid. She says it’s redundant, if he, himself was also a Druid. I don’t think it’s any more redundant, then a tarot reader going to another tarot reader for a reading.

There are a couple of different things that Ms. Daimler includes in the book that I find interesting. One of the sub-entries is the Dagda in my life; I like when an author includes their working with a Deity or part of their own spiritual growth experience. She also includes a look at the Dagda in the modern world.

I do see this book as a jumping off book for learning more about the Dagda. I think some of the sources that Ms. Daimler quotes, will lead others to search more about Celtic myth. I’m glad to have read this book because it gave me a deeper understanding of the Dagda, and the way Irish/Celtic myths look at their deities. I highly recommend this book.

Pagan Portals – the Dagda: Meeting the Good God of Ireland 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.

Finding Your Own Way

February, 2019

Chapter 9

Candle Meditation

Candle meditation and candle ‘magic’ have a wide application in modern paganism.

There are many variations on this method. One can use different colour candles to focus on different aspects of our life and our intention. There are many ‘tables of correspondences’ which link various coloured candles to different intentions. The most effective colour correspondences are to be found in any book on colour psychology.

For example, focusing on the colour red will raise our blood pressure, and perhaps, help to build our determination for a particular task.

Red is the colour of action and passion. Try wearing red if you feel a little fatigued or in need of a boost of energy. It works!

Again, we are building rapport with our subconscious minds through the effect of symbols.

White is the colour of purity, meditating on a white candles helps us to gain clarity, and to focus on higher ideals. Mix it with red and you get pink.

Pink is considered by many to be the colour of love. For those who wish to practise candle ‘magic’, I would simply say that I have never known a love spell that worked unless the person intended already had fond feelings, – except perhaps to focus the feelings and confidence of the person meditating on the candle!

Dark Blue is the colour of peace and calm, of night and rest. It is soothing to the mind and brings restfulness and sleep.

Yellowis the colour of the intellect, of enquiry and expansiveness. The researcher and the explorer are very much under the influence of vibrational yellow.

Violet is considered the colour of the spiritual minded the imaginative and the ethereal.

Turquoise (blue-green) is the colour of healing, acquisition and maintaining personal boundaries.

Magic is happening all the time. It is the flow of energy between our total selves and the universe.

Colour is the simplest way to effect beneficial changes by manipulating our moods and desires.

Meditating on the various colours has a marked effect on our moods. Surrounding ourselves with bright vibrant colours helps us become more cheerful and energetic. Cool, soft colours, such as blues and green help us become calmer. Many hospitals have changed their décor based on the discoveries of colour psychology. I believe that the tables of correspondences are most likely based on an intuitive understanding of these principles. As we tune into our own inner worlds, – this wisdom and knowledge become available to us in dreams, visions and sudden inspirations.

In the Kabbala, the candle is a symbol of the four worlds,- Aziluth (fire), Beriah (air), Yesirah (liquid, water), and Assiyah (the physical, the earth) The wick is considered to be the fifth element, Ether,- or the path that links all the worlds from the base of Assiyah to the crown of Aziluth.

For this exercise, use a white candle in a secure candle holder.

Sit at a comfortable distance from the candle.

As you begin the breathing exercise, take time to think about the candle as a gateway to the higher worlds.

Think about the wax, melting into a liquid and flowing up the wick.

The fire which melts the candle turns the liquid into a gas and ignites it, creating more flame.

Like the cycle of spiritual energy which flows into the matrix of the universe and flows back upwards to its source.

See the candle as a point of focus for divine energy.

See the energy flowing out and creating a circle of light which expands to surround you.

Allow your eyes to close and visualise your self-being drawn to travel through the flame back to its divine source.

Allow them to open slowly and focus on the candle again.

See the light open into a protective sphere all around you.

As they grow tired, allow your eyes to close, and repeat the exercise.

Imagine yourself drawn through the flame into the higher worlds.

Take note of any feelings, sensations, memories, images and write them down later.

When you are ready, return through the flame and open your eyes.

Thank any helpers or guides that you may have and absorb the circle, creating a fine mesh of golden light around you.

After practising the meditations for a while, you will begin to have full, detailed journeys.

Always remember that you can open your eyes at any time if they are making you uncomfortable.

Try to always have a drink and a small snack after journeying.

Candle Magic – Colour Magic

I have avoided the rather thorny subject of magic up to now, – mainly because there has been more waffle and downright lies written about it, than about almost any other subject.

Do I believe in magic? A better question would be, “Do I even know what it is?”

After 45 years of study, I do have some theories. However, this book is too short to cover more than a few basic questions. One neither needs to believe nor disbelieve, in the existence of other worlds for the exercises in this book to work well for them.

Let us start with my favourite quotation from Aleister Crowley, “Magick is the ability to make changes, in conformity with will”.

I would say that Magic is the ability to make to make changes in consciousness at will.”

How we see the world around us has a huge control over our feelings, actions, and inevitably, our future and our happiness.

We hallucinate all the time. We imagine attitudes and feelings in others that are in fact projections from our own unconscious self-images. Because we are unaware of the true source of our feelings, we live our lives in a random unbalanced way.

Sigmund Freud believed that the subconscious mind was a garbage bin for all the things we cannot face in our lives, and he was partially right.

Carl Jung opened up the possibility that beyond the personal images contained in the unconscious mind, there is a vast fund of helpful imagery to be discovered, which will help us make more sense of our lives and feelings. Our ancestors intuitively tapped into this reservoir and used it to help make useful decisions and live in a balanced harmonious way. Many believe that this gave them a deeper connection with nature and helped in finding food and timing planting and harvesting, but that is for the reader to decide for themselves.

I believe that by gaining rapport with our unconscious minds we can free ourselves from many unexamined beliefs that hold us back from happiness and success.

In a nutshell, meditation gives us a way to reach beyond our habitual way of thinking. We discover symbols during meditation which help us, on reflection, to gain rapport with our own inner worlds.

By reflecting on these symbols, we can begin to slowly unravel the threads of our unconscious impulses and beliefs. These beliefs have remained unexamined because of the non-literate form in which they exist. Our most important and far-reaching opinions about the world around us were formed before we had developed language. This mirrors our development as a species and gives us a link to our distant ancestors who lived in natural harmony with the world around them.

Language brought many advantages for our ancestors, – as it does for the individual. But it comes with the cost of division and disassociation. As we developed language, we learned to assign new meaning to the world around us, while, at the same time, our culture imposed its own particular set of standards upon us.

Magic and ritual attempt to communicate with this non-verbal part of consciousness and to understand the meaning of the communications which we receive in dreams visions and intuition. and art attempt to express the contents of these inspirations, as do dance, poetry and mime.

Magic offers us symbols to spur our unconscious minds to cooperate in our efforts to succeed in life. Unfortunately, with magic, we are usually asked to adopt someone else’s symbols and try to force them upon ourselves in a one size fits all approach. I would recommend that anyone who wishes to make immediate positive changes in their lives to use colour meditation/magic as a starting point. Refer to the basic colour associations above to begin. Wear the colours in your clothing, – or decorate a room in the colours that apply to the change you wish to obtain. Coloured cloths are an easy way to begin.

The effects are pretty much immediately evident. They will help to build confidence in the work that you are doing.

In my own Celtic culture, magic and mysticism were considered to be very much the province of the bard.

In the magical revival of the late 1800’s, it was again the poets and the artists who were the chief motivating forces. In the pages that follow, Bill and I will offer the reader a selection of emotive and mystical art and poetry based on various themes. We have found that the chosen works resonated with many people and helped them to get in touch with their own inner worlds and symbols. As blocked and hidden energies are released, you may well experience tears or laughter. This is nothing to worry about as it merely shows that your meditation has been effective.

Barefoot Angel

You are my light in this dark time,

My one true friend,

My hope of better things to come.

Your laughter is the sparkling bell,

That lifts my failing spirits with its chime,

Making heaven where there once was hell.

You are the sun that makes my shadow tall,

the rock on which I stand

without you, there is no one at all.

You are my life, my day, my night,

each hour, each minute aches for you,

You are the star that makes my evening bright.

You are the shining jewel in the flower.

the full bright moon that lights my darkest hour,

My Princess in her shining tower.

I never thought that I’d know joy again,

until I saw the love in your blue eyes,

and found myself reborn.

***

About the Author:

Patrick W Kavanagh, Featuring the inspirational art of Bill Oliver

Writer, poet, Patrick W Kavanagh was born in Dublin and now lives and works in Lincolnshire in a small rural town. Patrick became fascinated by the strange abilities of the human mind from watching his mother give psychic readings using tea-leaves and playing cards. With a lifelong interest in metaphysics and parapsychology, he has given tarot and spirit readings for over 40 years. He travels to many events with his wife Tina, exploring the power of shamanic drumming to heal, and induce therapeutic trance states. They also hold a regular drumming circle in the picturesque Lincolnshire Wolds.

By Patrick W Kavanagh available at most retailers:

Finding Your Own Way: Personal Meditations for Mastery and Self-knowledge on Amazon

Book Review – The Bardic Book of Becoming: An Introduction to Modern Druidry by Ivan McBeth with Fern Lickfield

February, 2019

Book Review

The Bardic Book of Becoming

An Introduction to Modern Druidry

by Ivan McBeth with Fern Lickfield

Ivan McBeth died peacefully at home on September 23.2016, and his name and work remains as that one of the penultimate Druids. Reading the introduction and the words of his partner, Fern Lickfield drew me into this book well before the actual meat of the book. And, the closing words of Orion Foxwood, completed a beautiful book of hope, teaching and wisdom in the way of the bard.

This is a book of beginnings that offers those new to the path of Druidry solid foundation in a style of mystery and magick that has survived and evolved into a modern practice that honors the earth that was, is and can be. This book is chockfull of visualizations, rituals and stories filled with the keys of understanding that will open the doors of personal experience.

A most endearing approach is that of Ivan offering his own stories of how he came to a path of Druidry, what it meant to him and how he wished to enchant the world with these teachings that emanate from a history that systemically wove the natural world and man into a dance of collaborative embrace and mutual support.

Ivan begins the teachings in Chapter One, entitled We Are One. A simple, yet profound statement that he continues to peel back the layers of in reminding us that we began inseparable from the Earth’s Mother and although we have recently lost our way, the choice is ours to return to that place of symbiotic union and relationship with everything.

We learn that there are three levels/grades of training that form the Druid Path, the Bard-the Ovate and finally the becoming of a Druid. This study and path is one of commitment, the early Druids training for at least twenty years and all of that training oral in its passing on. Nothing was recorded. That was the way of the ancient Druids. There have been revisions to this in keeping with the demands of modern society and the inability n most cases to devote all of one’s life and time to this training.

Part One moves smoothly and clearly through al that is required to begin the foundations of a Drudic practice. It is rich with visualizations, exercises, and opportunities to create your own experiences that will form the scaffolding of who and what you become as you evolve and grow in a natural and wholistic world. The mere telling of Ivan’s experiences is a mystical gateway filled with passkeys and inspired ways of practice. This style adds a personal approach and engages the reader into a palpable experience in the re-telling. This also exemplifies the ways of the Druids in past years and the power of their teachings handed down through storytelling and oral rendition. We are one and our stories all lead to the mysteries of who and what we are on this planet and in this time.

Part Two dedicates its chapters to the Elements and the role they play in the practice of Druidry. These are the cornerstones of the natural world and as such are held in the utmost sacredness to those on a Druid’s path. I particularly liked the way in which Ivan drew you in with experience and a very simple, yet rich in layers of meaning accounting of the energies.

In keeping with the tradition of experience that is so richly laden within a Druid’s path, I am purposefully keeping this review brief. The greater worth of its information is to be found by your diving into its pages and immersing yourself in an ancient practice of cultivating awareness of all that is of this natural world; most importantly ourselves. This book is a treasure of wisdom for anyone on a spiritual path that integrates our responsibility as stewards of our planet and our inter-connectedness. It is a read I would highly recommend, not as encouragement of taking this path as your own, although you may find that resonance, but simply as a book dedicated to living in accord with the mysteries and magic of the Cosmos and how we may empower that work within ourselves.

The Bardic Book of Becoming: An Introduction to Modern Druidry 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.

Tarot Deck & Journal Review – The Fountain Tarot Deck

January, 2019

Tarot Deck & Journal Review

The Fountain Tarot Deck

The Fountain Tarot is created by Jonathan Saiz, visual artist, written by Jason Gruhl, writer, and designed by Andi Todaro, graphic designer. The deck was originally self-published in 2013 via a Kickstarter project and is currently published by Roost , an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc., 4720 Walnut Street, Boulder CO 80301.

The deck itself consists of 79 cards, the typical 56 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana cards, along with a bonus 23rd Major. The 23rd Major Arcana card is named “The Fountain,” the signature card of the deck, and assigned the values of infinity, oneness, and being fully awake. The deck is printed on sturdy cardstock (similar to the Wild Unknown Tarot), with a matte finish, almost powdery to the touch. The stock is sturdy enough to make a “bridge” or “riffle” shuffle a bit challenging, but the cards are otherwise easy to handle and nicely-substantial to the hand. The cards are 2¾ by 4¾ inches with a narrow white border around the images and a startlingly reflective silver guild on the edges of the cards. The titles of the Minors are at the bottom of the card image and at the top for the Majors, both in an easy-to-read font.

The deck comes in a very sturdy and practical hard cardboard glossy box designed by Andi Todaro that has a magnetic closure and a ribbon that allows the deck to be lifted from the box, rather than dumped out. There is plenty of room in the high-quality box to securely store the deck and the companion book that comes with it.

The softcover companion book has 112 pages. After a brief note from the creators of the deck, there is a suggested daily practice, a description of The Fountain card, the Major and Minor Arcana, the suits of the Minors, a few suggested spreads, and a sample reading and interpretation. The rest of the book is devoted to the individual cards themselves, with a page for each card containing the name and number of the card, a keyword, a brief description of the card image and the symbolism and artistic choices made in the creation of the image, and an upright and reversed meaning.

The images are modern and somewhat minimalist, with a subdued palette and geometric lines and angles. The art has an abstract or contemporary feel similar to the slight distortions of expressionism and combined with the non-traditional images, could be challenging to those who are more confident working with the traditional images of the Tarot. However, the artwork is not simple or shallow by any means. Each card image originated as an original full-size oil painting by artist Jonathan Saiz, giving each card image depth, power and intensity. The back of the cards, designed by Andi Todaro, have a beautiful geometric kaleidoscope design containing the palette of the deck and easily reversed (for those who read reversals).

If you are an intuitive reader, this deck might interest you. Normally I would not recommend a deck with non-traditional card images for beginners. Yes, the images do deviate somewhat from the traditional R/W deck in part because of their fluid abstract interpretations of the more traditional Tarot symbolism, however these ethereal and dream-like images are strongly grounded within the known and established traditional meanings found in the companion book, so the images make sense even to someone who has just begun to work with the Tarot. The setup of the companion book is well-balanced, with equal consideration given to the Minor Arcana as to the Major Arcana (unlike many companion books, which often offer more information and suggested interpretations for the Majors).

The Fountain Tarot Journal

Also available as a companion to The Fountain Tarot is The Fountain Tarot Journal: A Year In 52 Readings, also published by Roost . The Journal has a matte finish color soft cover and 160 pages; it begins with a Note From the Creators followed with some useful information including How to Use This Book, Tarot Basics, Sample Spreads, among others. The rest of the 130 pages are for journaling, beginning with instructions for choosing a Card of the Year, space for a 3-card, 5-card and 10-card reading, and then space for the 52 readings (with 2 pages for each reading), including Quarterly Cards and summaries, and ending with a Year-End Summary and Reflection. Each reading section has space for the date and time, the question asked, traits and meanings, initial reaction, connections/relationships between the cards, patterns and themes, a summary of what the cards represent, personal reflections, action to be taken, and people to enlist. Although presented as a companion to The Fountain Tarot, this Journal could be used with any Tarot deck, and it offers a useful tool and process for nurturing a deep connection to the cards of Tarot.

The Fountain Tarot: Illustrated Deck and Guidebook on Amazon

The Fountain Tarot Journal: A Year in 52 Readings 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 – Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession by Mya Spalter

December, 2018

Book Review

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession

by Mya Spalter

 

 

Inspired by a New York Occult shop of the same name, Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the shop, its wares and the accompanying advice and conversation that might be had when looking to craft a beautiful and meaningful altar space, or create sacred space.

The author, Mya Spalter, uses a very warm approach, telling how she came to work at Enchantments store and then taking you on a journey through the highlights of her learning and experiences in working in a busy occult venue. Even the way in which the book has been arranged feels like a coffee break exchange of information of “what works, and what doesn’t?”, “how’d you do that?” and “can you teach me about that?”, that you would expect from most witchy stores and those who work there.

Part One is aptly entitled Witchy Implements and includes chapters dedicated to altars, correspondences, such as colors, plants, herbs and some of the disciplines that would be included in witchy practice such as astrology, the wheel of the year and more.

Part Two reinforces the necessity for Magical Intention(s) and begins the work of spell crafting, protection and divination, and concludes with a more in-depth approach to astrological uses and the cosmic connection found within what has traditionally been deemed an earth/nature-based practice.

The book is nicely illustrated with interspersed black and white drawings that are whimsical and informative. And, using a style near and dear to my heart, each chapter concludes with “Suggested Reading” and a list of well-respected titles relevant to that chapter’s offerings. I could go on in pointing out sections here and there, but, quite honestly, this is a book to be experienced first hand.

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession is the next best thing to having a good friend who will walk you through the magic, point out the highlights anh solid and usable information, this is the one for you!

Enchantments: A Modern Witch’s Guide to Self-Possession 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 – The Modern Witchcraft Guide to the Wheel of the Year: From Samhain to Yule, Your Guide to the Wiccan Holidays by Judy Ann Nock

February, 2018

The Modern Witchcraft Guide to the Wheel of the Year: From Samhain to Yule, Your Guide to the Wiccan Holidays”

by Judy Ann Nock

Publisher: Adams Media

Date: 2017

Pages: 238

Available at Barnes & Noble, Target and elsewhere in hardcover, NOOK Book, Kindle, etc.

This book from the Modern Witchcraft series is essentially a reprint of Judy Ann Nock’s “The Provenance Press Guide to the Wiccan Year: A Year Round Guide to Spells, Rituals, and Holiday Celebrations,” published in 2007. There is a new introduction and minor word changes, but then, the wheel of the year and the night sky have changed little from ancient times, and the book does provides quality information.

Each chapter focuses on a season that corresponds to a pagan holiday. Nock provides an introduction, an explanation of the sabbat, a description of the night sky for that period, the astrological influences and mythological references.

Searching for inspiration for an Imbolc ritual, that is the chapter I read most throughly. Noting that in arcane astrology, Imbolc fell under the sign of Aquarius, she connects the returning light of the sun and Brighid’s fire aspect, and the image of the water bearer with Brighid’s sacred wells.

There are spells, rituals, crafts and other suggestions for celebrating each season. For Imbolc is a meditation delving into the healing waters of Brighid’s sacred well, which is symbolic of the depths of the womb from which we all come. There is an eclectic initiatory rite suitable for a coven, and a scrying ritual that can be done as a solitary. The crafts are Brighid’s cross, Brighid’s eye (also known as God’s eye) and the bride’s bed.

The book begins with Samhain and moves through Mabon, providing a guide to celebrate every turn of the wheel. Reading it, it’s easy to see how the 360 degrees of a circle overlay easily on a 365-day calendar. While the majority of the book focuses on solar influences, there is a chapter on the estates with a lunar calendar, astrology and meditations with the moon goddess. The appendix has correspondences and a glossary of terms.

This book would be helpful to anyone wanting to learn about the Wheel of the Year, and serves as a reference to return to again and again.

Click Image For Amazon Information

Nock is a Wiccan high priestess and founder of a goddess spirituality group. She lives in New York City and has a degree in creative writing and theater. Another book by her will be coming out this year, “The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals, and Spells from the Natural World.” She also wrote “A Witch’s Grimoire: Create Your Own Book of Shadows.”

Click Images For Amazon Information

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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.

Interview with Julie, Spirit Heart, Dollman: A Modern Shaman

January, 2014

Julie, Spirit Heart, Dollman: A Modern Shaman

Julie Dollman, also known as Spirit Heart, is a graduate of the Four Winds Society, which trains others in the skills of Shamanism and Energy Healing. She is also the founder of one of the first ever high street Shamanic clinics, and the author of the book Living Shamanism, which sets about demystifying the role of the modern Shaman. Julie gave up some of her time to answer a few questions for me.

Mabh: What inspired the transition from Crime Analyst to Shamanic healer?

Julie: Initially, it was the work with The Four Winds Society… I became reconnected wholeheartedly to Great Spirit and the Divine Consciousness in the form of shamanism… and this changed me completely. Nearing the end of our training (three years), my husband and I underwent an initiation with two Qero Priests who had travelled over to Ireland.  The time spent with them, where none of us could understand the other due to language barriers, other than some sparse translation from the guide who had travelled with them; something magical happened to change everything that I had become used to, especially in the way I had been living my life. From that moment on, I distinctly knew that I was in the wrong job role. I had returned to work in late November 2005; attempting to pattern crime trends and profile the offenders and I immediately felt at odds with society; confusion reigned as all that I could see were victims of life… this applied to both those who were the victims of crime and those who had carried them out. From that point onwards, my heart and soul moved in mysterious ways and by the end of March 2006, I left my job and stepped fully into service as a shaman healer, a western medicine woman.

MS: Can you tell us a bit about your experience learning with The Four Winds Society? What were the biggest challenges, and the most rewarding moments?

JD: The time spent with the Four Winds was literally life-changing. Every time we turned up for our week long course we both felt excitement and anticipation deep within our stomachs. (My husband and I both completed the training at the same time). The experience of sitting in the presence of Alberto Villoldo was like being spirited away to a place between the veils. The personal work was incredibly challenging. It never failed to unearth that which needed healing and never failed to deliver the magic of core Peruvian shamanism.  The challenges were always connected to the challenges between the self and the self… and came in many guises. Sometimes they arrived in the form of the person that you were paired up to work with, as your shadow aspects were often mirrored back to you. Sometimes they came in the form of how one’s energy body was in chaos as it calibrated itself into a new form, usually this was experienced after the course had finished and you were catapulted back to the material world!  The rewards though were wonderful; as often as you were challenged, there was always the polarity offered in the form of gifts from Great Spirit. Moments like being fully present at fire ceremony alongside other course participants, all of us in communication with the Divine and the times spent in the presence of the Qero Elders, bringing with them the magic and mystery of the snow-capped mountains of Peru… to the times spent inbetween classes, laughing, singing, playing drums and relaxing with the other students, like-minded individuals who had travelled to Ireland from all over the world.

 

 

MS: Your book, Living Shamanism, sets about de-mystifying Shamanic practice in our modern world; do you believe anyone can tap the potential within them to become a Shaman?

JD: It isn’t purely about the potentiality of becoming a shaman that is wholly important. It is to tap into one’s own potential… full stop. As a western society we have become disconnected from having and experiencing faith, maybe in ourselves, others, The Divine and even the Planet. Anyone who has learned about connecting to faith will also know how to tap into their own potential; they go hand in hand. For some of us as human beings, we can be a somewhat fragmented being who, for whatever reason, seem to have forgotten that in order to be the best that we can possibly be, we need to harmonise the mind, the body and the spiritual. When we can do this, we have truly tapped into our potential. Shamanism, Druidism, Wicca and Christianity may be a few possible sources to rekindle the fire of our own potential once again.

MS: One of the aspects of healing you perform is dealing with ancestral wounds. Can you tell us a bit about this? How do ancestral wounds manifest themselves?

JD: Each and every one of us is a profusion of data… held in each cell, tissue and within our DNA… containing information of who we are, what we are and where we have come from. Being part of a genetic pool, the wounds, events and stories of our ancestors are held like an inactive computer file of data within our cells and DNA.  This watery gene pool of information becomes part of our make-up, behaviours and often our belief systems. This manifests into the way we do things, our characteristics, even the type of job role we choose; most importantly, however, it can manifest as a hereditary affinity to experiencing an inherited physical or mental illness. Putting it simply, the legacies from our ancestors, both good and negative, can resurface in us.

MS: What’s the most challenging healing you have ever been involved in, and what was the outcome?

JD: There have been several challenges and some that have been presented where humanly you could see no hope for… that is if you subscribe to the fact of impossibility. However, as a medicine woman I hold firmly on to the belief that anything is possible… and I have witnessed some wonderful, transformational and joyous outcomes with many of my clients. I have seen cases of extreme sexual abuse, cancer and possession; I have even had women come to me desperately wanting to have a baby… each and every client arrives with a challenge. One of my happiest moments was when a lady arrived who had been in and out of psychiatric care throughout her life. She had endured long bouts of depression and anxiety… following around eight appointments, her psychiatrist discharged her as she had literally been healed… I am blessed and grateful for every man and woman who comes through my door and they have been some of my greatest teachers.

MS: Your husband is also a Shaman; do you work together in your practices or do you each follow your own path?

JD: My husband and I love to bring two sides of possibility into the healing arena. Often when we work together we each bring in the qualities of the masculine and feminine aspects required to balance the whole. Paul is an expert tracker; he can track the route of a client’s problem and see the limiting stumbling block that is blocking the client’s potential. He also holds the shamanic name ‘TruthSayer’, allowing him to wade through any smokescreens. We often work together on family and couple healing sessions and in ceremony. He spends the rest of his time in the creative arena of wood-carving, where he produces beautiful tribal art in the form of healing and ceremonial staffs, talking sticks and altar pieces.  He has a talent to transmute the qualities contained in a piece of wood and turn it into healing aids for his customers.

MS: What kind of goods would we find in your Peruvian Shamanic Supplies Shop? And what’s the most in demand product at your store?

JD: We founded Ayni Shamans Shop eight years ago while we were training, as we had found it incredibly hard to get hold of the Peruvian items needed for our courses, these included Textiles, Rattles, Agua De Florida Water and Palo Santo Wood Incense. We wanted to purchase the items from the Peruvian artists, never haggling down a price as a way of reciprocal Ayni. As more and more people have jumped onto the bandwagon of offering Peruvian shamanic supplies, this year we decided to grow and change the shop to become more authentic to whom we are both as shamans and purveyors of living energy.  The Ayni Shamans Store still stocks some of the Peruvian favourites such as Agua De Florida water, Palo Santo and we have a direct link with Peru offering bags, Chumpi stones and other artistry items. For us now, we bring our own essence to it… offering Sacred Ceremonial Incenses, Shamanic Healing Oils, Ceremonial Tools and TruthSayers and Wood .

MS: Do all the Shamanic practices you perform have their roots in South America? How well do these translate into our British or European society? Do you think Shamanic practices are relevant anywhere in the world and why?

JD: When I first started healing, I used core Peruvian shamanism as my healing modality. Now many of the processes I use include a mixture of South American as well as some that have been gifted to me from my ethereal teachers. The processes I offer have been tailored and defined to deal with the many requirements of my clients’ healing needs. They translate extremely well, as I am a medicine woman living in western society, and know full well the pitfalls that befall us as a society. I also understand that thorough healing is achieved on four levels… the psychological, the energetic, the soul and the literal. My healing processes always start and end by consulting with the client and there is often homework given, in order that the experience in the healing room is brought into both the literal and psychological areas of a client’s life, the place of mind and body.  Shamanic healing practises are relevant as there is a need for a healer who can safely travel to any level or dimension in order to attain healing for a client. Clients’ wounds can reside anywhere from the underworld, soul and power loss, the ancestral gene pool and also their past lives. We also understand that heavy energy, manifesting in the form of behaviours and addictions, may be affiliated to energy that has formed almost its own entity; and of course, there are entities out there that will latch onto a living soul in order to try and experience life once more. A skilled shaman will know how to heal, clear and cleanse all of these facets.

MS: You were one of the first people to set up a Shamanic healing clinic on the high street. Can you tell us a bit about how this works? Can people literally walk in off the street to discuss their needs?

JD: When I left work in 2006, I had an inner voice that urged me to bring shamanism out of the closet and to be accessible for all. So we found appropriate premises and boldly offered shamanic healing as a modality that we felt was eminently effective within our modern society. People came… they started by peering in through the window and eventually their curiosity led them through the door. It was very accessible as we had a big sofa in the reception area and people could come in, sit down and ask questions or book healing appointments, whilst also exploring spirituality and shamanism. Today, as we live fast paced lives, disconnection to source and the way people establish their lives often after enduring many different negative experiences… a shaman offering them the sense of hope and shining a light for them was inspiring. Our clinic window also displayed the exact processes that we offered and the type of energy we dealt with; this resulted in people coming, experiencing the healing and leaving feeling lighter and brighter.

MS: When it first started, how was the clinic accepted by the other high street retailers? What sort of interactions did you have?

JD: It is quite funny, the other high street retailers continued going about their daily business, without interference or doubt… in fact, I welcomed a few of them as clients. The main reactions came from a surprising arena… that was the realm of other alternative practitioners. This included a mixture of those who were friendly and interested in what we were doing, to those who viewed us with suspicion; to some who were terrified that you would steal their clients…

MS: You’ve had some really positive feedback regarding your book and the way it has helped people find their path; what’s the most inspiring feedback you’ve had?

JD: There have been several that have blown me away and I am very grateful to its impact on people. There have been a couple that I have been delighted with; one came from a shamanic peer who said:

“WOW! WOW! WOW! Your book is absolutely fantastic. Well done, Medicine Woman, we are LOVING it since we retrieved our copies from the postman. Your writing voice is as strong and powerful and clear as your immense heart”

To one that simply said:

“I highly recommend this book. I learned so much to help me in my journey to become a shaman practitioner”.

MS: And what’s next? Any more books planned? Or are you planning to expand the clinic at all?

JD: I am writing a second book which continues on from Living Shamanism: Unveiling the Mystery. It delves much more deeply into some of the pitfalls of humanity on a grander scale, discussing subjects such as our human potential and the alchemy of living energy. Throughout the book I am establishing just why so many people are on the path of ‘constant healing’. The clinic is established and very busy, we do not wish for any more expansion as we have other facets to us, including the shop, writing and eventually the desire to take ourselves on the road across the world.

MS: As a Shaman and a healer, how do you continually stretch your abilities; where do you turn for your own spiritual progression?

JD: Ah yes, sometimes my abilities become stretched within the healing environment and I always ask for help from either my ethereal teachers or I seek counsel from my husband. When you are in the realms of healing living energy you are faced with a plethora of different energies in many forms… my husband is the ‘face of reason’, an excellent seer and also my sentinel. As far as my own spiritual progression is concerned that is always a matter for the aether; whether it comes in the form of visions, teachings and experiences, being in nature, or in the simpler form of the right book arriving at the right time. Most of all though, I must say that to progress we must ensure that we are always aware and open to the messages and opportunities that we are faced with; by keeping our feet firmly in the present, each and every day will teach us something about ourselves and our earth-walk in general.

MS: And who has been the most influential person on this journey?

JD: It would be hard to mention just one person as there have been several people along the way who have influenced my spiritual development in some profound ways. From my teachers Alberto Villoldo and Linda Fitch of the Four Winds, to several Qero Priests and even some teachers from the higher dimensions. But truly and constantly, it has been my family. My daughters and their incredible insights have often left me speechless; my husband and the information that he shares from his downloads have been great sources of wisdom and joy. I must mention a couple of authors who have literally opened up innate possibilities of transcendence on my current journey and they are: Jessie Ayani, author of The Codes of the Lineage of the Light and Brotherhood of the Magi; and Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret and The Magic.  These two ladies have filled in various gaps in my development and opened up my mind to the many incredible lessons of possibility.

Julie’s book, Living Shamanism is published through Moon and available through Amazon and all good book retailers. You can visit her Shamanic store online at aynishamansshop.co.uk and her healing website at www.aynishamanichealing.eu .