review

Book Review – The Witchcraft Handbook by Midia Star

January, 2019

Book Review

The Witchcraft Handbook:

Unleash Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want

By Midia Star

This is a beginner’s book, someone who has some experience may use the spells in this book just as a jumping off point to create some new spells. At the very beginning of the book, the first thing the author writes is “Witchcraft is the practical side of the Wiccan religion.” I have to say that I disagree with that statement because not all witches are Wiccan.

I had a hard time on telling what demographic the writer was going after with this book. There are spells for home, sex, work, and love. While at the back of the book there is a section on Dreamboards. In this section, the writer states that the Dreamboard should be for your dreams and not those of your friends or parents.

While the author’s writing is well done, I do have to wonder about the information this book contains. As far as information on herbs, crystals, oils, and Moon phases the author is spot on. But there are other little small things that I feel are misinformation.

Page 79 of the book the author writes in the Did You Know? box: “Christians once used the pentagram as a religious symbol. Each point represented the five wounds of Christ. To pagans and to witches it represents Morrigan, the war goddess who fights for peace in good fortune for others. If you see the pentagram drawn with the top point of the star pointing to the bottom of the circle, this represents dark and sinister magic, so always draw your pentagram with the top point of the star pointing upwards.” The part about the Christian’s is correct. I honestly don’t know about the Morrigan part. But the inverted Pentacle I do know something about. This is misinformation because on specific paths the pentacle with the star pointing down is a sign of protection or even a sign of attaining another degree within that path.

On page 97 the author writes when talking about A Garden Space: that in the William Shakespeare’s witches’ famous incantation’ eye of newt and toe of frog’ actually refers to mustard seeds and a type of buttercup plant. I had never heard that myself, I would like to know what research the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

On page 123 Midia Star writes in the Did You Know? box: “The Druids where the first to believe and the power of the four-leaf clover.” Now whether this is true or not I don’t know, again I would like to know other resources the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

The book contains no bibliography, or other sources were the author may have gotten their information. The author does state that they have tried the spells and they have worked for them. Again, as I said at the beginning, the information on herbs, oils, candles, and the Moon phase are all spot on. But, I do take exception to the things I have listed, due to the lack of the bibliography.

The Witchcraft Handbook: Unleash Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want 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 at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

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

Book Review & Interview – Practical Magic, a Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics & Spells by Nikki Van De Car

January, 2019

Book Review & Interview

Practical Magic

A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics & Spells

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the beautiful book “Practical Magic”, written by Nikki Van De Car and illustrated by Katie Vernon. This book was published by Running Press Philadelphia, in 2017. It’s a beginner’s guide to all things magical. It’s 152 pages long and is a hard back book. There is an optional kit that accompanies this book, that comes with a mini-book, 2 crystal tumbles, temporary tattoos, and a fold out natal chart. Both the book and kit are available through many retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles. The book is also available for kindle. I was able to dig into both the book and the awesome kit, so read on to hear my opinions.

First off, both the book and kit are so beautiful! I love hardback books, and even more so if they have a gorgeous cover with an appealing title and artwork. The artwork throughout this book is very lovely.

This book is an amazing book for anyone new to magic or metaphysical topics, as it covers many, many topics and gives a nice overview of the subjects to get you started. In the introduction of the book, Nikki says it perfectly:

“Here’s the thing-you don’t have to believe in magic to enjoy this book. You just have to want to.”

I LOVE that!

This book has 3 parts, (1) Healing for Hedge Witches, (2) Magic for the Weekend Wiccan, and (3) Casual Clairvoyance.

There is information on so many topics, here are some (there are many more), auras, palm reading, tarot, crystals, sabbats, horoscopes/astrology, dream interpretation, herbs, chakras, and some recipes and spells too. It’s chock full of subjects I personally am very interested in, and I know most of my friends would be as well.

The book is geared toward beginners to magic, but as someone that’s been involved in magic for a long time, I still found the book educational and fun to read. Some topics I’m more familiar with than others, but each chapter I got something out of. I think anyone would enjoy this book very much.

Their is a very nice kit that you can get to accompany the book. In the kit you get an adorable mini book, a gemmy rose quartz tumble, a gorgeous tigers eye tumble, metallic & horoscope temporary tattoos and a fold out natal chart you can fill in with your birth info. There are sections in the book that will teach you about both the crystals and how to fill out the natal chart.

I love this kit, it ties in with the book perfectly and is such a fun addition! If you know me at all, you know I LOVE crystals, so I was thrilled two beautiful ones were included!

Including the natal chart was a great idea and very helpful for those new to astrology. And I’m also a big fan of metallic flash tattoos, so love that this fun element was included. The kit is also a great price for all that’s packed in.

I thoroughly enjoyed both this book and the kit. This would make a perfect gift for someone interested in all things magical. Its also available through many sites and at a fair cost. I highly recommend this book and kit!

Nikki was so kind… as to answer some questions I had for her. Here are my questions and her responses.

Retha: What inspired you to write this book?

Nikki: I just love magic. I always have- I was the kid that talked to trees, hoping a dryad would answer. As I got older, I let all of that go, but writing this book gave me the freedom to get close to that feeling again. It gave me permission to be open to that kind of wonder- and that’s what I wanted to share.

Retha: What is one thing you hope readers learn from your book?

Nikki: I want people to recognize the power of their own will. Over and over again in the book I say ‘magic is about intention’. And so it doesn’t matter how you want to channel your intention, your will, your magic- whether its through chakras or dreams or herbal remedies. What matters is how you live your life in that sense of personal power and possibility.

Retha: What made you decide to include a kit to go along with your book?

Nikki: This was my publishers idea! Its a fantastic addition, and I just love it.

Retha: Who is your target demographic with this book?

Nikki: It’s pretty feminine, so for sure women. I’m in my late 30s and I would 10/10 buy this book, so for sure I’m part of that target demographic! But I feel like there’s an insurgency of a younger generation of Wicca-curious millenials, and I hope this book can support them.

Retha: How long have you been interested in magical practices?

Nikki: After I grew up and got all adulty, I let go of magic for a long time. It was only within the past 5 years or so that I began to reconnect with my love of magic- when I sort of re-met that part of myself, and I found I still really like her! Once I gave myself permission to explore magic again, I started incorporating rituals, spells, herbal healing, and the like into my daily life.

Retha: What is your favorite section in the book?

Nikki: Personally, I turn to the herbal healing section ALL THE TIME. It’s the most practical. But I loved writing the section on pagan holidays, and those have become a large part of life. I love ritual and holidays, and having explored the meanings of these celebrations, I have found I really wanted to make them a part of my family’s life.

Retha: Are you planning on writing more books on magical/metaphysical content?

Nikki: Yes! In fact I have 2 more on the way! “Magical Places” is coming out in 2019 and “Wellness Witch” will follow shortly thereafter! “Magical Places” explores the haunted, healing and fairy-occupied places of the world, and “Wellness Witch” expands on some of the healing practices in “Practical Magic” with specific recipes and rituals.

You can reach Nikki Van De Car through –

Instagram: @nikkivandecar

Website: nikkivandecar.com

I hope you enjoyed both my review and my interview with the lovely Nikki, and hope you will check out her website and book!! A huge thank you to Nikki for answering my questions & sending me her book to review and enjoy!

Click HERE for Amazon Information
Click HERE for Amazon Information

***

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

Hedge Witch, Vedge Witch

January, 2019

Naked Nutrition

More and more folks are embracing a plant-based lifestyle, many of whom are pagans as being plant-based fits in with “do no harm”. Plant based is best for our animal companions and it is best for us. This new occasional column will review offerings within the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.

First up, is “Naked Nutrition“, who recently reached out to PaganPagesOrg. After a few back and forth emails, I was sent a couple of samples.

The first, and largest, is NAKED CHOC PB. I received a 5 lb. tub. I’m grateful that I make smoothies so often! This is really tasty vegan protein powder. I tend to buy vanilla protein powders, so this was quite a change for me. It was thick and creamy enough without my adding anything to it, but, to change it up, I added a banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Yummy!!

NAKED CHOC PB is made from slow-roasted peanuts grown on US farms and organic cacao. That’s it – two ingredients. It’s dairy free (vegan), soy free and gluten free. There are no GMO’s, no salt, no sugar and nothing artificial.

I also received two vegan protein powder samplers, one of which I gave to my daughter for another opinion. The sampler included: Contains Naked Pea, Chocolate Less Naked Pea, Vanilla Less Naked Pea, and Naked Rice in single serving pouches.

Naked Pea is made exclusively from raw yellow peas grown in the USA and Canada. It is vegan, gluten free, and soy free. Chocolate Pea is the Naked Pea, but with raw organic chocolate powder and organic coconut sugar. Naked Pea is the same but with vanilla. Naked Rice is made from organic sprouted whole grain brown rice. Once again, it is gluten free, soy free and vegan.

To those thinking this is a company that only makes vegan protein powders, be aware that they have many kinds available that are not plant-based; some for gaining weight, some made with whey and casein, and some made for those looking to gain weight, add creatine, amino acids, or collagen; they even have several made with goat milk, egg whites and sweet potatoes. Two that I have found are pre-workout supplements.

Their website has quite a few recipes for using the protein powders, some for smoothies and a few for protein bites and bars. There is also an abundance of articles on their blog for weight gain/loss, muscle building and fitness tips, among others. All of the reviews listed on their website are quite good.

Each of the protein powders comes in a 5 pound tub at the cost of

$54.99. You can also subscribe monthly and the price becomes a bit less.

So, if you like smoothies and use a protein powder, I suggest you give this one a try. I think you will like it.

You can find Naked Nutrition at: https://nkdnutrition.com/

***

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

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.

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

Witch & Popcorn

January, 2019

Bright Blessings Film Lovers!

This month, I am reviewing Fullmetal Alchemist, a Japanese live action film based on the Manga books, of the same title, written by Hiromu Arakawa.

Here is the trailer for this film.

The film is all about magic, and science, breaking the rules, and the consequences of doing so.

The film follows the lives of brothers Ed and Al, beginning when they were small, and learning Alchemy on their own. Their mother dies unexpectedly, and they try to bring their mom back to life using the little skills they have learned. This was forbidden, and both boys knew this. It could not end well, but these were kids, and they wanted their mother back, so they disregarded the rules, and did the operation to bring, or “transmute” a human anyways.

The operation fails, it costs them both dearly, and they both spend years tying to get back what they lost due to the consequences. Al is taken away to a place called The Gate of Truth. Ed finds a way to go there to try and get him back, and is only able to bring back Al’s soul, and loses body parts in the process. He is told not to come back for Al until he has the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. Ed figures out how to use Alchemy to put Ed’s soul into a metal robot, and vows to find the Philosopher’s Stone and get both Ed and his own body parts back. A metal arm and leg are fashioned for Al, and he later becomes known as The Fullmetal Alchemist.

Fast forward years later, Al and Ed are professional Alchemists, working with the government, and Ed gets a lead about where to find The Philosopher’s Stone, but unfortunately, people keep telling him it doesn’t exist. Undeterred, and determined, he continues his search, which leads him to meet the people with the knowledge.

He discovers, however, he and his brother were not the ONLY ones transmuting both human bodies, and human souls, and the horrors Al and Ed discover almost destroys them, and all the people they hold dear. They discover The Philosopher’s Stone is not what they expected, and using it would be more than breaking rules. It would mean something terrible.

The film ends with the brothers making an unexpected decision, and a sequel is due out sometime in the future.

As practitioners of magic, we can identify with some of the points made in the film.

There is a time to break the rules, and a time to keep them. Magic is a practice of harmonizing with Nature. If doing something goes against the Natural Order of things, or is otherwise unethical, it should not be done.

It is unwise to do magic when you are grieving. Strong emotions interfere with the ability to reason, and acting on your emotions might cause you to do something you later regret.

Things are not always as they seem. Brothers Al and Ed discover this over and over in the film. From who they can trust, to what an item truly is, things seem to constantly change, and the brothers have to keep their wits about them, and pay close attention constantly. Belief does not equal or create Reality. It creates perception, and perception can be false. Magicians and Witches are experts at enchantment, and illusion. Be aware.

Sometimes, we have to listen to what people say when they are trying to warn us. At one point, a character tells Al, “Play with the Devil, and you’ll end up in Hell!”, and Al replies, “I’ve already been to Hell.” He did not realize he was being told to avoid the very thing he was driven to acquire. Had he listened, things would have been better.

All in all, this was a good film. I always love to see Manga brought to live action. They managed to maintain the flavor of Manga with the dramatic costumes, character acting, and special effects. The action scenes did not fail to please, and the sets were gorgeous.

It’s a good work of fiction to read or watch, and I recommend the film.

Happy Viewing!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Review – 2 Beautiful Calendars for the New Year

January, 2019

We have two calendars to review for the New Year: The Day of the Dead 2019 calendar and A Magickal Year 2019 calendar, featuring beautiful artwork by visual artist Lilla Bolecz (https://lillabolecz.com). Both are 16-Month calendars going from September 2018 through to December 2019.

Day of the Dead 2019 Calendar

Day of the Dead 2019 calendar is a glossy calendar featuring Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skulls in various designs and colors. The colors are vivid and alive and patterns are varied enough throughout the calendar that no months look alike. I can get picky with sugar skulls and it often takes me a while to find one that doesn’t annoy me in some fashion, but just about all the sugar skulls in this calendar pass the grade. The color palettes are always well controlled and there are hardly any clashing colors combinations among them. The calendar is definitely a lively addition to any corner that lacks color.

The artwork is by illustrator Denys Martynenko (denmartystudio.com) and an example of sugar skulls of his design are at: https://creativemarket.com/DenMarty/645986-Sugar-skulls-Set-Vector-Illustration . These skulls are not the same as featured in the 2019 calendar but they give a very good example of what they are like.

Each month provides the date of the full moon, as well as the solstices, Western secular holidays (AUS/UK/USA/CA) as well as Christian, Jewish, and Islamic festivals. Obviously Cinco De Mayo and Dia De Los Moertos are also covered.

Day of the Dead 2019: 16-Month Calendar – September 2018 through December 2019 on Amazon

A Magickal Year 2019 Calendar

The second calendar on review is A Magickal Year 2019 calendar, featuring beautiful artwork by visual artist Lilla Bolecz (https://lillabolecz.com). The pictures are line and crayon drawings with a more matte finish. They are simultaneously simple, very rich, and chock full of symbolism. An example of the artwork used is at: https://lillabolecz.com/yule-rebirth-of-the-sun-prints-and-pattern

While the colors are subdued, often reserved to one color along with black, the combination of the crayons weight and the thin etchings and line drawings create a pattern-like texture of images that is easy to rest one’s eyes on at a distracted moment. As you soak up the larger image, your eyes start to pick out the details of pears, bees, berries, and scythes and your mind ties them together with the associations between them, enriching the picture. The symbolism does a great job with evoking the change of energy in the month. Each month also features a caption for that gives a description tying together the events of the month and the illustration that goes with it.

It also provides the date of the full moon for each month, as well as the solstices, Western secular and religious holidays (AUS/UK/USA/CA) as well as Christian, Jewish, and Islamic festivals.

My favorite feature of this calendar is the variety of traditions that the holidays marked in the calendar are drawn from. Pan-Traditional, Wiccan/Pagan, and even Gaelic sacred days are to expected in a magickal calendar, but I was impressed with the addition of Vodou and Romany. The Germanic days are a nice touch too. This means from Vasilica to Fete Ghede, I have something new to look forward to learning about each month.

A Magickal Year 2019: 16-Month Calendar – September 2018 through December 2019 on Amazon

Review of Ritual Bath Salt by Nuit Apothecary on Etsy

January, 2019

Ostara Ritual Bath Salts

by Nuit Apothecary on Etsy

I received Ostara Ritual Bath Salts by Nuit Apothecary. It came nicely packaged in a black bag, with a pretty label explaining what it was.

It’s made with Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt, prairie lily, red clover and essential oils.

As someone who adores taking hot baths, I was looking forward to trying this salt out. I ran the tub and sprinkled some in.

It had a nice scent and the salts dissolved well in the hot water. There were plenty of herbs floating around in the tub. The scent was not as strong as I would have liked and what was there, dissipated fairly quickly.

Also, as someone who owns a home with a septic tank, there was an over-abundance of herbs and I had to be very careful when letting the water out so that I could catch most of the herbs before they went down the drain.

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I emailed Nuit with some questions about herself, her practice and her process, why she decided to start making products for the public instead of just for her own use, and if she found the birch and driftwood she uses or if it were local sourced, as well as if she grew her own herbs. Her response is as follows:

I’m Nuit, the owner of Nuit Apothecary, a solitary, eclectic witch. I consider myself a very private, solitary person and Ive been practicing witchcraft my entire life. The opening of my online Etsy store in 2017 gave me the opportunity to help people and share my knowledge. I make all my products myself by using only high quality ingredients: organic herbs, essential oils, soy and beeswax. The readers can find me on Etsy: www.nuitapothecary.etsy.com or on instagram: lunaenchantress.”

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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

Book Review: Shamanic Qabalah – A Mystical Path to Uniting The Tree of Life and the Great Work by Daniel Moler

December, 2018

Book Review

Shamanic Qabalah

A Mystical Path to Uniting The Tree of Life and the Great Work

by Daniel Moler

 

 

Author, Daniel Moler’s book brings together two subjects that have long held my interest; a shamanic perspective and Qabalistic studies. The latter is an area of study that has been my passion and work for many years now, the former one that I have long been acquainted with and know many well-respected practitioners.

With that being said, I was intrigued as to how the author would approach the Tree of Life and its application to shamanic work. The sheer weight and history of Qabalah, in this book used in its Hermetic form, has been a daunting study for many. This, largely because of the more traditional approaches used in its exploration. I am happy to see that there are now a variety of spiritual paths and practices that are using the overlay of the Tree’s knowledge and thus engaging more students and seekers of its mystery teachings.

Mr. Moler makes use of an impressive bibliography of trusted and reputable sources of Qabalistic studies and then weaves the Shamanic approach of delving more deeply in the work of the Soul and roots of transformative processes aligned with those practices.

Part One is aptly entitled “The Great Work”. This semantic evocative of something out of the ordinary and initiatory in experience. Daniel dives right into the work of the world enticing us towards materialism and chaos that is moving us further away from the path of the mystic and the explorations of what that actually means for modern seekers. This section covers “everything that is wrong with society today”, what the truth of initiation can reveal and heal and how illumination can awake even the deepest sleeper.

Part Two offers the basics of what Qabalah is, how its symbology as the Tree of Life affects all planes of existence and spiritual practice and how the components of the Tree are defined and work together to provide a universal Whole. Chapter Five within this section focuses on Malkuth, the sephira of the Earth and Greater Earth Plane and becomes the natural starting point of alignment with a very earth based Shamanic perspective.

Chapter Six diverges back into a more traditional Judaic approach to Qabalistic study in looking at the “Topography of the Inner Worlds” and the journey of Adam Kadmon, the Perfected Man that embodies all of the wisdom of the Tree. A reference to the Hebrew letters assigned to the paths and the descent of man via the emanation of Yahweh and the sacred Hebrew names of creation gives the reader another vision of the Tree.

Part Three ties everything together with plenty of practical experiential and a further breaking down of the Tree incorporating the Triangles, Four Worlds and specific paths. Having read the Qabalistic referenced based books of the bibliography and having first hand teachings from some of the authors, I would say this book made good use of the author’s expertise in Shamanic work and the information presented regarding the Tree of Life.

My only criticism would be in the amount of diverse ways of presenting the Tree that were incorporated-Judaic- Hermetic and a more modern approach of fusion. I would have appreciated a more consistent approach throughout and more of the overlays of the Shamanic application that I believe would have provided more focus. Overall, a very well written book and kudos to Mr. Moler for making more bite-size an enduring and often challenging course of study.

Shamanic Qabalah: A Mystical Path to Uniting the Tree of Life & the Great Work 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 – 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.

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