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Interview with Cyndi Brannen: Keeper of Keys

April, 2019

Cyndi Brannen has many hats: witch, teacher, psychic, healer, and herbalist, to name just a few. Devotee of Hekate and author of the popular Patheos blog, Keeping her Keys, Cyndi has now written a book all about Hekatean witchcraft: Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction To Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft. Cyndi was kind enough to take some time out to speak to us here at PaganPagesOrg. Here’s what she had to say.

Mabh Savage (MS): When did you start writing your blog, Keeping her Keys, and what prompted you to start?

Cyndi Brannen (CB): Keeping Her Keys launched on Patheos Pagan around Samhain in 2018. I started KHK because I felt compelled by Hekate to share my understanding of her and witchcraft with others. Honestly, I had to make a choice to close the door on my career in psychology because there was no way to go public as a witch and maintain it. This wasn’t an easy decision. It took years to get to the place where I was finally able to do it. Hekate waited. I persisted. Here we are today.

MS: What inspired you to write a course on Hekatean Witchcraft?

CB: From my perspective at the crossroads of personal development, spirituality and witchcraft, there really were no courses that focused on Hekatean Witchcraft. I created the course I wished I could take. Also, Hekate said to do it.

MS: How did you design the course? Did you have students who tried out the material before you wrote the book?

CB: Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft consists of three levels guiding students through the process of becoming a full priestess. In The First Key, students focus on their own development, the second is for mentoring peers and the third for priestessing of others. Each of the three levels is different based on these goals. In The First Key, each lesson consists of pharmakeia (plant spirits), goetia (working with spirits), and kleis (personal development concepts) all with Hekatean flair. Students create their own project and complete initiation. The central focus is on the development of the Inner Temple. Yes, everything I write or teach is trialed on others and myself. My process for developing content usually works something like this: receiving inspiration or a vision and then doing my best to honor this by creating quality content. Once the ritual, spell, monograph, etc. is ready to share, it’s tested by myself and others.

MS: Your description of being called by Hekate resonates with my own experience, and I imagine that of many others. Why do you think Hekate often appears to potential devotees at their darkest hour?

CB: This is such a great question that I’ve been asked many times. I don’t believe that any human can fully comprehend a deity, let alone know why they do anything. However, my theory is that Hekate resides in the darkest places, as a goddess and a force. I also believe that when we are broken, we become more open to all forms of truth, if we so choose. These two factors combined are what I feel is at work when Hekate calls us during our weakest moments. True initiation is found in these times.

MS: I love your attitude that practitioners should do their own thing, or as you say in the book, ‘you do you.’ But, do you think there are certain key points that all devotees of Hekate should note, or certain actions they should all be doing?

CB: The only rule that matters in witchcraft is “know thyself.” The only requirement I’ve encountered for Hekatean Witches is sincerity. This comes from a deep commitment to living our truths. In my experience, Hekatean Witchcraft is not for the casual practitioner. The three core values I teach are kindness, integrity and passion. Kindness refers to the fierce love of living your truth and allowing others to do the same. Integrity is about being that truth, and passion is the will to live it. Many Hekatean Witches regularly perform rituals and acts of veneration, especially on the Dark Moon. While it’s important to perform these rites, they naturally flow out of the core values.

MS: Is there a particular epithet of Hekate that you are drawn to more than others?

CB: Keeper of the Keys (Kleidoukhos) is the obvious choice, but there are so many other aspects of Hekate that are especially important to me. I see her as our Guardian, Guide and the Gatekeeper. All these have ancient names as well. She is Lampadios – Torch Bearer – of our Underworld journey, she is Enodia – literally of the road – who guides our material experience, and she is Hegemonen – Gatekeeper – of the mysteries. Perhaps beyond these specific traits, I understand her best as Anima Mundi – Soul of the World – the very fire that fuels all of creation. As Anima Mundi, her role as Witch Mother is a natural extension since witches work with the natural energies.

MS: At one point in the book, you note that Hekatean witches can be ‘misfits, rebels and weirdos.’ Do you think Hekate specifically calls to those outside ‘mainstream’ groups or those who love what is considered an alternative lifestyle, and why? 

CB: Hekate is of the shadows, the liminal, the in-between. Her home is the darkness and she was borne of the stars. This is not the description of a goddess who calls to those who walk a more mainstream path. We burn bright as her torches. We live on the fringe and the frontier. Rebels, misfits and weirdos to some, but we are the ones who change the world. I love the diversity of Hekatean Witches, I have students in my course from all over the planet, from diverse paths and representing various groups often considered marginalized. Like Hekate’s ancient horde of the unwanted and outcast spirits, we are her chosen. Her companions, especially her ancient witches, are very much of the Underworld and shadows as well. Circe, Medea and the lesser known ones. We are their kin.

MS: What’s the significance of the course taking a calendar year plus a day? 

CB: I can’t take much credit for the length of the course since it was downloaded to me from Hekate and her ancient witches. Thirteen moon cycles with initiation was their message, so I followed their advice. Of course, this structure is popular in many modern witchcraft courses.

MS: How do you keep coming up with new ideas for the blog?

CB: I honestly only write articles about subjects that interest me. My blog is about speaking my truth which happens to often be quite different than popular voices. At times, I feel inspired by the spirits and even Hekate herself. Others result from conversations and questions I get asked. When my creativity is low, I unplug from the external world until I find it again. For me, the feedback I’ve received from those who found comfort or a shared perspective in my words is the greatest source of inspiration.

MS: Are there any other books on the horizon? What other projects are you working on?

CB: True Magic: Unleashing Your Inner Witch will be available on Samhain this year. In late 2020, the second Keeping Her Keys book, Deeper into Hekate’s Witchcraft, will be released. The True Magic of Fierce Love is in the early stages. This is a book about standing in our power. The next class of The Sacred Seven and Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft: The First Key both start October 1, 2019. There’s also a secret project in the works that I can’t discuss just yet.

MS: Do you have a favourite season or festival, and why?

CB: Autumn is my favorite season, especially November. There’s something so Hekatean about this time of the year. It’s no surprise that there are two modern celebrations during this month. Night of Hekate of the Underworld is November 16 and Night of Hekate of the Underworld is November 30. Within Keeping Her Keys, these two days lead up to the Longest Night on the Winter Solstice. Combined they are referred to as the Holy Darkness.

MS: How do you relax and wind down?

CB: Living here on the coast, I am fortunate to be able to wander the woods or along the shore. Nothing restores my soul better than the ocean that surrounds me. Witch-crafting, especially my new interest in sculpting, is another way that I unplug from the writing life.

MS: And finally, what are you most excited about for the coming year?

CB: Having Keeping Her Keys and True Magic both published within six months of each other is very exciting. There’s so much going on in addition to these books coming out. Teaching the courses is so meaningful to me. I’m also very much looking forward to finishing the writing projects I’m working on. There’s much to be excited about and grateful for.

Connect with Cyndi on Facebook or at keepingherkeys.com to learn more about her teaching and writing. Pre-order her books, Keeping Her Keys and True Magic, at Amazon now.

Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction To Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book Review – Dictionary of Gypsy Mythology by Claude Lecouteux

February, 2019

Book Review
Dictionary of Gypsy Mythology
By Claude Lecouteux
Publisher Inner Traditions
Length 183 pages

I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t know anything at all about the Roma, so I found the book interesting. There are several sources that Mr. Lecouteux quotes. His primary source is Heinrich Albert von Wlislocki (1856-1907).

The author states that there are 15 different gypsy languages, he has tried to remain faithful to everything as it appears in the source text. He also tells whether the words are feminine, masculine, plural, or singular. And he is very faithful in the way he listed the source text from which he gathers his information.

One of the first entries is for Adam and Eve pg. 16 (Damo and Yehwah is the way he has it listed in the book), I did not realize that in both the Rama and Jewish traditions that Adams first wife was Lilith. (But Eve’s name should not be confused with the Yahweh the name of God, spelled differently but pronounced the same way.) Each entry into this book is interesting; there are pictures, sigils, and in some entries little hand drawings.

There are four texts at the end of the book, one is on The Great Flood, the next is The White Hind, next is The Mountain of Cats, and the last one is the Bride of Phuvuš. I had never heard the stories before, so reading them for the first time was interesting.

Reading this book, I have gained a lot of insight into the mythology of the Roma. I feel that this book is written with a lot of respect for the tradition, and the people of the Roma society. I learned a lot that I didn’t know; it also sparked my interest into more of the mythology of the Roma.

I’m also inspired to start checking out more of Claude Lecouteux’s books. This being the second book of his I have read, he writes like a professor. At times a little dry, but always interested. If you want to know more about the Roma mythology, I would suggest this book, the Dictionary Of Gypsy Mythology.

Dictionary of Gypsy Mythology: Charms, Rites, and Magical Traditions of the Roma on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

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

Book Review – The Witches’ Almanac, Issue 38, Spring 2019 to Spring 2020 – Animals: Friends and Familiars

February, 2019

Book Review
The Witches’ Almanac
Issue 38
Spring 2019 to Spring 2020
Animals: Friends and Familiars

Brightest Blessings


This issue contains a wealth of knowledge. You want to take your time reading this issue, snuggle next to the fire with a cup of tea or hot cocoa. You can tell that each article or story they chose was thought out. Some of the articles make you ponder your thoughts on subjects, while others just entertain you, they are so adorable.


You can learn a lot of lore, history and gain new insight on many topics. Some of the articles are shortened for the book, but they include links for further reading on those articles. The authors applied a lot of time and research to create each of their contributions, it inspired me to do further research on the various topics on my own.

The articles I found most interesting are…


Why & How Animal Omens Work – This article gives ideas and signs on how animals work with spirit and deities, share their knowledge and share insight when we are in deep thought or need help during moments of our life.

The Jade Emperor Race’s, How the Zodiac Signs Came to Be – This story I found entertaining and adorable. I didn’t know this story even existed. I think it is the perfect way to explain them. The book gave information on this year’s Chinese zodiac sign and a table listing this year’s preview and coming future date’s of animal signs in following years.

NikolaTesla – Was a very interesting read, very well thought out using his birth chart for astrology. This information I found uniquely designed to add intrigue to the story.

Merry Meeting of Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki – I loved this article. Having her spend author interview time sharing her experiences and her knowledge about the society of the inner light. The article felt perfect just like you were in room with her. Even though they shorten her interview for the book, they provide a link to an audio file to further listen.

Corvids – This article was about using knowledge of certain beautiful birds, lore, and how to divine knowledge from birds of choice and messages associated with certain deities.

There are many more articles within this issue I found so inspiring I wish I could list them all! This book contains information on zodiac influences for coming spring 2019-2020, weather, mooncycles, explanations for gardening by Moonphases, astrological key information, eclipses, retrogrades for this spring 2019-2020, book reviews, and question about the craft you can send in to be answered From a Witches Mailbox!

In ending this book is worth having in your collection of almanacs, you can even order past issues to add to your collection. I was honored to read this book.

The Witches’ Almanac, Issue 38, Spring 2019 to Spring 2020: Animals: Friends and Familiars on Amazon

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About the Author:


Norma Clark I’m Wiccan, My style follows my spiritual path, and what comes to mind.. I live in a small rural town, Paris, Idaho. I share my life With my Wiccan husband, 2 hyper Children, and gang of critters. I love to create new designs by looking at nature, cultural ideas for my Jewelry and create unique Metaphysical items. COME Sit For A  Spell or Two , And See the Magick of Forevrgoddessboutique

Review – Animal Totems And The Gemstone Kingdom- Spiritual Connections of Crystal Vibrations and Animal Medicine Book & The Animal Allies and Gemstone Guardians Cards by Margaret Ann Lembo

February, 2019

This is a book and oracle deck that go together. The book is titled “Animal Totems and the Gemstone Kingdom” and the cards are titled “The Animal Allies and Gemstone Oracle Cards”. Both by Margaret Ann Lembo. The book is 222 pages and the deck has 44 cards with images and written information on both sides of cards. work by Richard Crookes, crystal photos by Andy Frame Photography and Ines Blersch Fotografie. Published by Findhorn Press, 2018. The book retails for $19.99 U.S. and the cards retail for $15.99 U.S. They are available at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The oracle deck has 44 animals on one side of the card, and 44 crystals on the other side. Each side has a small image of the respective animal or crystal, and a paragraph with prompts, guidance and food for thought. You could simply pick a card and receive both an animal spirit message and a crystal message. If you just got the deck this would function nicely on its own. I like the variety of animals and crystals, there are some different ones you don’t see often included.

This is a book and oracle card deck that are meant to work together, but honestly both are also great on their own. Both have a ton of information and different content.

The book is a tool in and of itself as you could just randomly flip to any page you feel called to to do your reading like that. 

Or you can use the book to gain further insight on each card. There are two full pages on each corresponding oracle card in the book. After you read the card, go to the matching card in the book (they are in alphabetical order by the animal). It has many correspondences and interesting information to make your experience richer. Another thing that’s included in this book are multiple great appendixes at the back as well as a fabulous glossary. You can use the appendix to look up other crystals that correspond to a given animal, or to look up animals that correspond to archangels and angels. It even has an appendix for wheel of life locations for animal totems. How cool is that? Whether you want this book as a resource or as a tool to receive messages, either is covered with this book. I’m very impressed by the amount of content here.

In conclusion I have really thoroughly enjoyed both this book & the oracle cards. I have used them for myself and for friends and family and everyone loved them. Crystals and animals are two of my very favorite things and this combines them both in a cohesive and unique way that I haven’t seen before. I recommend them both completely. I will use these forever and thank you so much to Findhorn Press for allowing me to review them. 

Crystal blessings

Animal Totems and the Gemstone Kingdom: Spiritual Connections of Crystal Vibrations and Animal Medicine on Amazon

The Animal Allies and Gemstone Guardians Cards on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Retha N. Lent has been married for 17 years to her husband Mark & they have four cats that are their life. She lives in Norristown, Pa. Retha has her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Behavioral Counseling Sciences from Drexel University. She is the owner of “Retha’s Crystals” & sells sterling silver unique crystal jewelry & specimens on her FB business page. She has a FB group for her customers and those interested in learning more about crystals & all things magical called “Retha’s Crystal Circle“. She is also an advisor in the Sage Goddess Affiliate Program. She has her Holistic Healing Certificate and Pillars of Priestessing certificates from Sage Goddess. She is also an Ordained Pagan Minister from the Universal Life Church. Retha has a passion for crystals, nature, astrology, working with moon cycles, ritual practices, tarot and oracle cards, runes, essential oils, herbs, manifestation work, ancient cultures, magic & music. Her favorite place is New Orleans, La. Retha has an extensive personal crystal collection and loves sharing her love of crystals with the world. She has been a practicing pagan since she was 16 years old. 

You can reach her at rethalent@hotmail.com or on her business page on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Rethas-Crystals-197411227666484/

Or in her FB group:

https://m.facebook.com/groups/1960619300929876

Her Sage Goddess affiliate link is:

www.sagegoddess.com/ref/84/

Or follow her on Instagram at @spookygirl16

Book Review – Italian Folk Magic: Rue’s Kitchen Witchery by Mary- Grace Fahrun

February, 2019

Book Review
Italian Folk Magic: Rue’s Kitchen Witchery”
by Mary-Grace Fahrun
Publisher: Weiser
Published: Paperback, 2018
Pages: 122
Published: Paperback, 2018

I am of Sicilian descent, as well as German, so I was drawn to this book to learn more about the practices of the country from which my mother’s parents came.

By recording oral history, Mary-Grace Fahrun shares what she learned about customs and traditions from the matriarchs of her family. It started by collecting recipes and folk remedies. They came with stories, superstitions, incantations and prayers. She began Rue’s Kitchen to preserve these customs and practices as well as those of Italians of all faiths all over the world.

Religious rituals, magical spells, blessings, folk medicine and cooking are all “inextricably woven into the fabric of Italian culture – no matter where Italians are geographically located,” and Fahrun, who presents them woven together like a tapestry and a way of living.

“I was taught everything in Italian,” wrote Fahrun, who is fluent in Italian and about a half dozen of its dialects. The book is her guided tour through her magical life, presenting the principles so the reader can create their own magical life. Italian witchcraft “is not a religion. It is a practice anyone can incorporate into their spirituality regardless of religious belief,” she states, but adds, “There will be strong themes of devotions to saints and earth-based spirituality because they are both important to the fabric.”

The first chapter focuses on the kitchen, the most important and sacred room of the house. Here, every element is present. Herbs are magical, and magical tools are the same utensils, dishes and cookware used to prepare meals. You’ll learn how to clean, set up and treat your kitchen like the temple it is.

Other chapters deal with sacred spaces and home altars, and the magic in food. When addressing magic or medicine, there are a variety approaches for conditions that range from mental and spiritual intervention to the red ribbon and incantation used to relieve headaches and the ointment made of garlic paste and olive oil to apply to skin infections.

A page explains what she calls the most powerful incantation: “non è niente” or “it is nothing.” I remember my grandmother telling me that and thinking, “Well of course it’s something. I’m hurt.” But Fahrun, who is a nurse, found those three magic words healed even chronic wounds when said with “a detached, almost dismissive, attitude.”

There are recipes for days of the week and months of the year, explanations of proverbs and superstitions, and chapters that delve into amulets, divination, spells and charms, rituals and curses.

I came to better understand the meaning of things my grandmother and “the Italian aunts from Hartford” did. It’s inspired me to learn more about my grandparents’ hometowns – legends, patron saints, customs, history, etc. – from research and from two relatives who have visited.

The book’s cover design by Jim Warner also deserves a mention. It honors the book’s contents with the hand from the cimaruta, the cornicello (the red horn amulet or talisman worn to protect against the evil eye) and the hand gesture to ward off evil on ribbons wound through a garlic braid studded with blooming rue.

If you are Italian, or drawn to the culture, this book makes a wonderful entry point.

Italian Folk Magic: Rue’s Kitchen Witchery on Amazon

***

About the Author:

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

Book Review – Chakra Animals: Discover Your Connection to Wisdom of the Natural World by Angelica Stuart

January, 2019

Book Review

Chakra Animals

Discover Your Connection to Wisdom of the Natural World

by Angelica Stuart

Chakra Animals by Angelica Stuart provides an opportunity to weave the fundamentals of Chakra work and the wisdom of the animals into a new journey of exploration. Each of these subjects stands on its own with volumes of text and information, so the ability to use as resource an easily readable book that leaves room for an open interpretation based on your prior knowledge is a wonderful addition.

The book begins with a brief overview of each of the seven traditional Chakras. The standard associations are given for each including, color-element and sense. The descriptions are condensed, but given a subject of this weight and expanse, enough is given to stimulate the organic brainstorming of your own connections and interpretations.

Practical Uses for coordinating Chakra application and working with the animals follows. As the author states…. “there are endless parallels that I could make, but my hope is that you find many on your own.” This is a gentle reminder that the work that is done should always be guided by your own intuitive nature, in particular when seeking the assistance of other beings and energies.

And, the remainder of the book focuses on the energies and attributes of fifty (50) Animals that are commonly considered as animal guides and totems. Each animal is described for its overall traditional use, key attributes and how that animals energies may be used to enhance each of the seven chakras. This break-down provides the integrative piece of aligning your chakra work of development with the animal totems/guides that present to you.

The final offering is an index-styled listing of intentions, or Connections that identify the specific animals associated and are supportive of that specific work. Intentions include: Abundance, Community, Communication, Intelligence and more.

A lovely addition at the back of the book making use of the author’s credentials as a graduate of the prestigious MICA school of , are several pages of graphic illustrations of the animals discussed that are scored into a grid such that they can be cut out and pasted onto an index card for reference and individual work. A deck of specially illustrated cards – Chakra Animals Oracle Cards – may also be ordered via the author’s Etsy site.

Visit the author’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/chakraanimals/

Visit the author’s Etsy store: www.etsy.com/chakraanimals/

Click HERE or on Book Cover for Amazon Info

***

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 – Stones of the Goddess: Crystals for the Divine Feminine by Nicholas Pearson

January, 2019

Book Review

Stones of the Goddess

Crystals for the Divine Feminine

by Nicholas Pearson

Author, Nicholas Pearson’s book offers a jam-packed volume of wisdom about crystal lore and usage through the lens of Goddess study and devotion. Looking at the Notes (Bibliography) section at the back of the book confirms the extensive research and credible resources used in compiling this book and providing relevant and cohesive information.

Mr. Pearson states in the Introduction…

“ The inspiration behind Stones of the Goddess began with my desire to deepen my connection to the tides of life, magick, and mystery that keep the cosmos in order.”

I would echo that by saying that this book will most definitely achieve that and inform about the crystal kingdom as well. The interweaving of the sacred Feminine and the Sacred Earth domain are beautifully represented in a way that is both user friendly and clear in its intention.

Part One begins with the basics of crystals, their use and the more commonly selected ones. Everything is covered from soup to nuts; cleansing, storing, selecting and attuning and programming to name a few. This serves as an excellent primer for anyone who wishes to use crystals in a more specific way. This section is filled with photos, which is a great way of use for identification of crystals and building your own visual crystal encyclopedia.

Part Two, entitled Meeting the Goddess, moves into the stories and energies of the Goddess and application of Goddess energy. The myths and worship within a matriarchal society are brought to life and the resurgence of the Divine Feminine in all of Her forms completes the first stirrings of connection to what is ancient and organic in nature.

Part Three, Crystals for the Divine Feminine, brings the information of crystal use and the Herstory of the Goddess together seamlessly as a variety of stones are presented. From the start, the Compendium of Crystals takes a look at crystals bringing multiple correspondences into play; magickal uses, the astrological signature, element, Goddess archetype and formation process. The description of each crystal is complete and diverse in its presentation.

Completing the book, the Table of provides even more info for a quick selection list broken down into Goddess-Elemental-Planetary and Zodiacal.All of your favorites are there, as well as some less common crystals that deserve a closer look.

My only negative note about this title is that it won’t be released until February 19.2019. Have mine on pre-order and can’t wait!

Click HERE or Book Cover for Amazon Info

***

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 Little Book of Saturn by Aliza Einhorn

January, 2019

Book Review

The Little Book of Saturn

Astrological Gifts, Challenges, and Returns

by Aliza Einhorn

Even those who don’t know a lot about astrology cringe when Saturn is mentioned. Often thought of as bringing bad luck, challenges, loss and constriction, it has been called the Greater Malefic. What Aliza Einhorn does for us in her wonderful book is to show us Saturn as an ally and a teacher, the cosmic alarm clock that tells you to “wake up! Get up…don’t be late.” Don’t miss this opportunity to find out what you need to do to become true to yourself! Saturn will point out where we have strayed from the cosmic blueprint in our natal charts and point us back toward our prenatal vows of who we are striving to become in this lifetime.

This book is a handy manual for those unfamiliar with astrology. In the first two chapters, Einhorn discusses astrology in general, the inner and outer planets and even introduces the ideas of generational planets and timing in the chart. She gives an overview of the houses and explains how the planets “dress” depending on their sign and house placement. So a Taurus Sun in the 12th house is quite different than a Taurus Sun in the 5th. As she says, “you are more than your sun sign.”

Einhorn then takes an in-depth look at Saturn, useful for astrology neophytes as well as those who are more experienced. She kicks off with the comment, “Saturn is your fear.” I had not thought of Saturn that way – but had blamed all my fear on my spooky 12th house Pluto! Where we freeze, where we are blocked, where we are afraid is described by our Saturn sign. As Einhorn says, if we get to know our fear inside and out, Saturn will push us to get through it, to get over it, but creating situations where we can confront it and put it behind us. Thank you, Saturn! Rather than being our worst enemy, Saturn can be our greatest friend if we accept that it will prompt us to keep evolving. And as she says, we can then dismantle that wall of fear brick by brick. Einhorn goes through several other Saturn facets: responsibility, showing up, work and career, mastery, obligation and duty, patience, our teachers, leadership, fathers, growing up. Her examples are well explained and excellent for the astrological lay person who is looking for deeper insight into how to understand a natal chart.

The next sections showcase Saturn in each house and sign with gifts, challenges, ambitions and advice for each. I got good insight into my Libran Saturn from Einhorn’s discussion and found much truth in an interpretation I had not considered before.

The book finishes with a section on the Saturn Return. Einhorn covers the first, second and third returns at ages 28, 56 and 84 (give or take) with real poignance. She shows us how we die to the self we have been, at the losses we have sustained, at choices we must make to move forward. There may be grief and morning thrown in. The Saturn Return is inescapable whether we are aware that the transit is happening – we will feel the pressure as we shift into adulthood, midlife and our elder years. We look forward and backward and assess where we are now and we move into the next phase of our lives – whether we want to or not! Einhorn describes this point as a rite of passage and a crossroads, and suggests working with an actual crossroads at these initiatory times. Her recommendation is to slow down, pause in the center, and then take a stand, make a decision, make a choice about which way to go.

This Little Book of Saturn is of big import and well worth having in your astrological library!

The Little Book of Saturn: Astrological Gifts, Challenges, and Returns 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 www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

Book Review – A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs by Joseph Polansky

December, 2018

Book Review

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs

by Joseph Polansky

 

 

Having a large section on my bookshelf dedicated to Astrological studies and having decades of experience as an astrologer, I must admit that I had some preconceived notion of what I could expect in reading this book; also on a subject that I am very well versed.

By way of a little introduction for those whose primary experience with astrology has been in religiously purchasing those little scrolls of Sun Sign wisdom available at the retail counter here is a bit of information about the complexity and nature of this particular discipline. Astrology has both a mundane and esoteric approach. The former being what we traditionally come across by way of chart readings, daily predictions and guidelines and the basic and fundamental perspectives, and I would add psychological, attributes of the individual’s birth chart. The more mundane (not to be confused with astrological interpretation of geographic place) aspect of astrology is further sub-divided into a variety of interpretative styles, including Vedic/Sidereal astrology, Western/Tropical astrology, Babylonian Astrology and many more.

Esoteric Astrology perceives the zodiacal signs as attributes of archetypal spiritual energy; there is additionally the psycho-spiritual overlay applied. Each having a (sentient) nature that informs the spiritual bodies of the individual and by so doing, informs the spiritual progress of this and other lifetimes. Just as is the case with Western (traditional) astrology, each of the signs has a planet associated with its energy. However in esoteric astrology the assignations of those planets differs from the traditional, because what becomes the focus of this study is that of the spiritual (and sentient) nature of the planets as they act upon the more etheric nature of the signs. Either (Western or Esoteric) of these approaches requires quite a lot of study and understanding of the basic principles to make full use of their gifts.

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs starts off on the right foot, moving through each of the zodiacal signs and giving enough basic information on each that the dip into the more esoteric astrological approach is easily grasped. Additionally, throughout the book, Mr. Polansky has provided the reader with a copious and varietal amount of meditations and contemplative reflections that serve as another layer of experiencing the more spiritual, vs. astronomical nature of the signs.

The Table of Contents is thoughtfully organized to provide some basic information at the foreground and develop into a broader perspective inclusive of other ways of making use of astrological energies. Mr. Polansky folds in some additional uses of astrology, such as Medical astrology, aromatherapy using the construct of astrological energetics. Each of these sub-sections breaks out how that modality would present itself through each of the astrological signs, giving the reader an instant “grab on” and point of reference.

There is an interesting chapter, The Twelve Yogas, that weaves the philosophies of Yoga (not simply in its form of Hatha-or posture) into a meditative practice aligned with your astrological sign. In particular the overlay for this exploration is the alchemical element of the various signs and the particular form that will support that disposition. For example, those of Air signs are guided towards practices that incorporate mind (Jnana yoga) and breath (Pranayama yoga); Water signs align with the yogic focus of love and devotion (Bhakti); Fire with that of fire (Agni yoga) and action (Karmic yoga), and Earth signs benefit from postures and movement (Hatha yoga) and ritual work. I found this to be a nice touch in making connections and use of astrological principles beyond the traditional nature of prediction and identification.

This book is a smorgasbord of tastings and samplings for the student of astrology who wishes to stretch a little further. Theosophical, Eastern Philosophies, Western Hermetics, Ayurvedic practices, Metaphysics, Alchemy and Esotericism and more are all folded into the information of this book. Some reveal themselves only if you are aware of the disciplines from which they are derived, which is neither a comment of critique nor praise. This is often the case when pursuing any of the disciplines of esoteric knowledge.

All in all I believe A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs to be a lovely foray into expanding your understanding of astrology and being able to access relevant and enough recognizable traits to engage the reader and inspire them to seek out more.

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs: An Introduction To Spiritual Astrology on Amazon

 

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review – 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 www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

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