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Book Review – Feng Shui Plain and Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need by Sarah Bartlett

April, 2019

Book Review
Feng Shui Plain and Simple
The Only Book You’ll Ever Need
by Sarah Bartlett

I love little books that present the subject matter in clear and concise form and engage the reader in a practical way so that you can use the information immediately. Feng Shui, pronounced “foong shway”, is one of those topics that has hoards of books available that often contain either too much or too little information. As the title of this little treasure suggests, this book holds the basics of Feng Shui and provides the “just right” amount of information to get you excited to start the transformation.

In these discordant times, we all are seeking ways to improve our lives and create sanctuary. The practice of Feng Shui has long been the panacea to stress, disharmonious environments and general chaotic energies in our surroundings. Ms. Bartlett provides in her Introduction a clear definition of what Feng Shui is and how it can be used depending on what your goal may be to bring healing and peace to any space…

….There are several different schools of Feng Shui thought. One, is based on a scientific and classical approach that uses astronomy, astrology and a powerful Chinese compass called a “Lo Pan”. Another concentrates solely on cures and enhancements, and a third is a blend of intuition and spiritual awareness. This book shows you how to try out some of the simpler principles of this highly organized system…..

Each chapter takes the reader through the why’s behind selecting to use Feng Shui in your space and the how’s to get started without needing to move doors, walls, sell or totally rearrange all of your belongs. The intention of Feng Shui is to tap into the flow of energy in a positive and supportive way in a proactive way that requires awareness of yourself, and your impact energetically on your surroundings. The additional component is that everything is created from energy, so those things we have as possessions also contribute to how we engage and interact with our surroundings.

The First Chapter takes you through the processes of Decluttering, Space-Clearing techniques and the principles of Yin Yang. Chi (energy) flows in accord with what contains and expresses its qualities and we are reminded that at its origins the Chi of the natural world was more important than that of the home. Of course, at the origins of this ancient practice, what was defined as “home” was organically more integrated into the natural world than what we live in today.

Chapter Two speaks to the origins and use of the Baqua, a prominent tool used in Feng Shui for assessing and mapping your space. The next chapters expand on the information you obtain in using the Baqua to assess and incorporate the Five elements. The Five Elements of Chinese use are slightly different than the traditional alchemical elements used in magickal workings. These are Fire-Earth-Metal-Water and Wood; each having their own particular attributes. There are quick lists and suggested cures and supports for each of the elements.

Chapter Seven brings it all together with information relating to each area of the home and simple fixes to bring a more harmonious flow of Chi into these areas. I particularly liked Chapter Eight and the charts to establish your elemental energy type based on your birthday. This may seem like a tangential piece, but the synthesis of all of the energies that permeate the home, inclusive of those who reside in that space is demonstrated to be an important piece of a (w)holistic puzzle.

I’ve long had an interest in Feng Shui and tried several applications based on books, online and more. But, this book truly lives up to its tile of being plain and simple, which is the perfect recipe for someone who doesn’t have a lot of extra time to spend in learning an Ancient discipline that is complex, nor the money to hire a professional. Kudos to Ms. Bartlett!

Feng Shui Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need (Plain & Simple Series) 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 Reviews – The Only Books You Will Ever Need: 3 Titles From the Plain & Simple Series

March, 2019

There is a series of books titled, “Plain & Simple, The Only Book You will Ever Need”. I have three of these that I would like to review together, in that they are part of a growing series.

The first one I will review is “Chakras, Plain & Simple” by Sasha Fenton.

The book begins with an introduction to the chakras, what they are, and how they work. From there, there is a chapter on each chakra with description, purpose, benefits of each when healthy and each includes an exercise for the specific chakra.

How to heal your chakra is next discussed, bringing them into balance using colors, crystals, oils, altars. The last two sections go beyond the 7 major chakras to the minor ones and a very short discussion on kundalini energy.

The next book is “Flower Essences, Plain & Simple,” by Linda Perry.

It follows the same formula, starting with what they are, how to choose them, feel their energies and how to make them. It describes how to use them with the chakras and the subtle bodies.

There is a small section referencing Dr. Edward Bach, found of Bach Flower Remedies, and then moves into a discussion of different essences including, but not limited to, rose, lavender, eucalyptus, and red geranium.

It ends with a glossary of essences and their uses, including how and when to use them.

We finish with “Herbs, Plain & Simple,” by Marlene Houghton.

Ms. Houghton starts us off with a history of herbalism, how it is used in healing and the use of a “green pharmacy”.

This is followed by a section on herbs for individual body systems, including, the immune system, digestive system, nervous system and more. It discusses what you would put in an herbal first aid kit, medicinal honeys, different herbal elixirs, including herbs for anti-aging, herbal teas and the comfort of herbal baths.

While I would not quite agree that these are the only books you will ever need on these subjects, I do agree that they are “Plain & Simple”, giving you the basic information you would need to know before deciding whether or not to delve further into any particular area of interest.

Chakras, Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need on Amazon

Flower Essences Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need on Amazon

Herbs Plain & Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need (Plain & Simple Series) on Amazon

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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

My Name is Isis on Amazon

Gael Song

January, 2018

The Goddess we need more than anything else on Earth!

I write this during the ancient Celtic new year, Nov. 24th through 28th, the intercessory days the Celts called Samhain (pronounced sahven). These were days of celebration to thank the Goddess for the living of the year and to remember all who crossed over to the Otherworld during the passing skyturn. They called Her the White Tara then, and Her Beloved, the high God, Oghama. And the veil does thin greatly during this time, for She draws very near to remove projects or efforts no longer needed and break them down into that pregnant primordial sea of Hers, awaiting Oghama’s light seeds of Midwinter. Many things are moving through the veils at this time of year.

I do a simple ceremony of gratitude to the Goddess on Nov. 24th for the life She gives us all, the music She creates that always comforts and often gets me up doing jigs and reels (jig music gets me through my vacuuming in half the time!), the path of experience She rules that leads us all through our lives, the wisdom She helps us all embody through our hard lessons of life, and the water that cleanses in the bath and comforts in the sea outside my little cottage, all Tara’s regencies. When I do healings, it’s Tara Who comes in to draw off the shadows before Oghama arrives to put new light structures into the spaces the healing left within. And Tara’s sexual union with the long-term partners She creates for all of us is pure bliss. Her fingers on my temples, when I have trouble falling asleep, and the deep renewal She gives through restful sleep every night is pure heaven as well. Manifestation into the physical realm is Tara’s regency as well, for Oghama only puts the light seeds of possibility into everyone’s heart during the Oak moon for Her to choose from.

I never hear the Goddess spoken of in polite conversation. It’s as if She doesn’t exist. And more often than not, if I mention Her, I get one variety or another of negativity for quite a while, active insults or cold shouldering mostly. And there’s a pool of sadness in my heart over this utter refusal of the world to acknowledge Her. For without Her, we are lost. The White Tara rules the flow of emotion through all worlds, identical to the druid year, 15 24-day moons with 5 intercessory days (described in detail in my last article). So, lessons of restraint in anger and sexuality, endurance and patience in difficulty, determination to reach the end of one’s path and birth that inner divine child/highest destiny, working together in long term partnerships for the good of the world all stream from Her as well. And Tara rules the global/cosmic feminine, decidedly in difficulty here on earth! This means wise women within and their powers of intuition, prophecy, and especially calm and gentle wisdom in caring for their tribes and families. The Goddess is regent of intimacy, too, especially in partnership, and these are the major lessons She teaches in life, the preparation She puts into place for that final happy ending and true love relationship decreed for everyone on earth. If no one relates to Her here, no wonder there is rampant rage, oversexualized everything, ubiquitous fears of closeness, and marriages falling apart all over the place! If you have needs in any of these areas of life, call Her in! She is a veritable powerhouse of understanding and tenderness. But it’s Tara’s Love I value most.

When I say my prayer of gratitude during these special days, the part that brings tears to my eyes and fullness into my heart is when I thank Her for Her amazing love, the times She comes in around me even when I’ve failed at what I wanted to do, failed utterly. For me, this usually means not holding my center well enough, sliding into anger or despair when another darkness shows up for healing in my life. And if I think I’ve hurt someone, I have great difficulty forgiving myself. But not Her! She always comes in to hold me at these times, Her love and comfort pouring into every cell to lift and cherish me. Once a few years ago, a friend was instantly forgiving after I’d been unhappy with her over some trivial thing. And I thought, this is the Goddess. For the Goddess loves me, no matter what I do, no matter how long it takes me to get something right, even with these 15 extra pounds I never seem to lose. I believe in my bones that Tara truly loves murderers, criminals, rapists, everyone, for Her love is rock solid and unwavering, Her understanding of my own and everyone’s inner darkness deep and complete. Oghama understands us all, too, but His love is sunny, light-filled, not so familiar with the dark places in my soul. How do we reach the outcasts of the world, those who are living in the dark side of life without Her? We don’t, plain and simple. Only Her breadth and depth of love can bring them Home. That’s what I believe. For Her love is like nothing else I’ve ever felt, even God’s wonderful Beloved romantic closeness. Her love is bedrock, utterly unmovable by any darkness in any realm!

I used to say a daily prayer for God to make me just like Jesus (in my former Christian days). And I hoped for some leadership role to bring light into the world. Now, to tell you the truth, my deepest prayer is simply to bring real loving comfort to whoever I come in contact with every day, to be as forgiving as She is, to cherish the divine in everyone everywhere and try to understand them, especially their imperfections. Honestly, now, I just want to be like Her.

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About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

 

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MagickalArts

March, 2015

The Calling: The Magick of Experience

This morning I felt the need to be outside at lunch. This had nothing to do with the beautiful sunny weather. Instead, it was a deep yearning to hear and feel what I sensed needed my time and attention. I work in an office, sitting at the computer for most of my workday. Although we have a window that looks out to a tree-lined neighborhood there is nothing natural about this environment. So, at lunch I walked to my favorite space that is nestled within a bustling suburban community. As I sat quietly on the porch of the historic colonial home that was once farmland. I felt my body relax and allowed my mind to open to receiving whatever wished to present itself.

Streams of energy came pouring in related to recent studies of alchemy, qabalah, tarot, astrology and more. Esoteric writings flashed through my mind’s eye and ownership of my spiritual and mundane practices and the many paths I have taken all came flooding in.

As I sat quietly allowing these things to move in and through me, all seemed to come to a point or place of convergence.  I was aware that my physical self, acting as a receptacle was held within the support and greater container of the space of nature around me. The thought and feelings of inter-connectedness resonated somewhere deep within me and my physical self, subtle bodies, physical space and nature’s subtle bodies flowed together, each feeding and taking spiritual nourishment from the other. I don’t know how long I sat in this way because at that point time seemed to pause and there was nothing but combined energy, seamlessly and effortlessly moving. As the feeling subsided there was at once greater clarity and more detail in what I was looking at.

There are a few hawks that inhabit the physical place in which I sat. And as I looked out I saw a hawk hovering just above, circling the trees and casting shadow on the porch where I was sitting.  HE passed several times and then moved on. I am reminded of Hors and the alchemy of transformation and the lesson of union with the Divine nature. The aspiration of humanity to become part of the fabric and webbing of the unified whole at all levels of existence.  The ability to soar high above and still see with clarity and depth the tiny details beneath.

In a place of gratitude I am thankful that I answered the call to be held within the space of the natural world. I am thankful for the reminder that connection begins with sitting quietly and being open to what may be received- without the exerted will of preconceived expectation. As I got up to return to work, I was humbled by the beauty, strength and splendor of this place that offered deep wisdom.

I will carry this wisdom with me as I go through my day and pause more often to see this energy that surrounds us as the catalyst for stirring and awakening an inner sense of connection and continuum. Continuum, that provides a place of anchor- the physical and manifest Earth- from which we too, as the Heru Hawk may soar towards our birthright of oneness with the Cosmos. Where will you find yourself when the “need” arises?