rose quartz

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

Crystal Connections

November, 2016

Rose Quartz

crystal

 

Soft pink in color, Rose Quartz has a way of inviting you into its loving aura. It’s obviously a therapeutic stone for the heart chakra but really this crystal has the ability to harmonize with all of the chakras. Each chakra resonates with the loving energy that flows from Rose Quartz, gently drawing off any negative energy and replacing it with loving vibes.

Rose Quartz is undoubtedly a powerful crystal with the purist love energy. You’ve probably heard or have been told to add a piece of Rose Quartz to your bedroom nightstand to revitalize your relationship, this is great but can also be overwhelming. If the energy feels a bit overpowering just add a piece of Amethyst to bring the good loving vibes down a notch. Amethyst is also a loving crystal just not as intense as Rose Quartz, so they work well together and compliment each other nicely.

This crystal is my go to when I’m feeling low or down on myself. Meditate with it and allow its loving energy to envelope you. In my opinion this lovely stone is one of the first crystals that I would suggest when someone is just starting on their crystal healing journey. You just can’t go wrong with a crystal that emanates unconditional love, emotional healing, infinite peace and gentleness.

Stones Corner

January, 2016

Healing Crystals for Men

Amethyst

amethyst
A “Master Healing Crystal”. Also called “the Royal Stone”. Amethyst’s most noted healing quality is its ability to purify and transmute all forms of negativity. Get a large Amethyst Crystal cluster for your home or office to protect yourself from hostile energies around you. If anxiety causes shortness of breath, put the cluster on or near your chest and breath slowly for a few minutes to lessen the symptoms. Consider a large, well-set
amethyst gemstone ring to enhance your personal magnetism and to provide mental clarity. Amethyst is also helpful for migraines, arthritic pains, and connecting to one’s spirituality for guidance.

Diamond

diamond
“The King of Crystals”. Diamond intensifies and activates one’s internal energies through its purity of vibration. The better the quality of Diamond, the better one’s own personal qualities and actions. When freely given,
Diamond power becomes activated and can be used for manifesting abundance and increasing personal self-esteem. It is a token of one’s love to another, and both enhances and radiates the beauty of the wearer. The diamond is also known for invincibility, representing the life force (prana).

Garnet

garnet
The “Sex Stone”. Garnet strengthens and restores physical and emotional energy lost through constantly ensuring the protection and welfare of others. When you feel a bit lost or abandoned in the chaos of daily life,
Garnet helps to provide the needed grounding and empowering to become more decisive and committed to a direction. Garnet is well-known for enhancing and regenerating one’s sexuality (the physical aspects). For best
effects, tape a small half-inch piece at the Hara Centre – one and one-half inches below the navel – and wear it overnight.

Hematite

hematite
“The Stress Stone”. Hematite is a versatile metallic-like crystal used for enhancing one’s logic, mathematical abilities, rational thinking and depth of technical knowledge. It grounds creative energy to make one’s thoughts
more practical and focused. As a “Stress Stone”, Hematite reflects negativity back to the sender, so you don’t end up with someone else’s stress. For backache or leg cramps, use surgical tape to fix a few pieces onto painful areas. The crystal’s energy is like a magnet and effectively draws out pain related to muscular or joint alignment problems. Hematite is also used to reduce insomnia.

Jade

jade
A “Crystal of Tranquillity”. Also called “the Sport Stone”, promoting agility and swiftness. Many men from the Far East know the benefits of wearing Jade. Some will tell you that it is for their health, and how the color of the
Jade gets darker with good health and lighter with declining health. Jade soothes the emotions, and provides emotional detachment and restoration after various traumas such as minor surgery, divorce, funerals, or loss of job. Some say it is for good luck. Jade is a stone which is easily obtained in most city centers and can be openly worn as a pendant.

Lapis Lazuli

apis-lazuli
“The Stone of The Pharaohs”. Lapis Lazuli is well-known as a favorite stone used in the courts of the ancient Egyptian Kings. Lapis (stone) Lazuli (blue) is used for stimulating mental strength and intellectual precision.
Lapis is a consciousness elevator, raising one’s awareness to new heights and to greater expansion. It brings feelings of success and connected-ness and protection. For intuitive people, Lapis intensifies psychic power.

Malachite

malachite
“A Man’s Stone”. The deep forest green of Malachite is symbolic of the deep healing and cleansing this stone provides. It can aid in breaking down old patterns, whether emotional (stuck patterns of behavior) or physical
(tumors, swollen joints, muscular). Malachite promotes business relationships and the increase of wealth by removing obstacles to one’s growth. The most important aspect of this crystal’s healing ability however, is for the preventative health of the physical heart and liver. If you are attracted to this crystal, chances are you have a family history of heart-related problems and probably need a heart check-up.

Moonstone

moonstone
“The Feminine Balancing Crystal”. To soften and balance dominant male attributes with some feminine qualities, Moonstone provides for a depth of perception and feelings, discernment, creativity and self-expression.
Other properties of Moonstone include: increases awareness and focus, releases one’s intuition, rejuvenating qualities for the skin and hair (baldness?), reduces water retention, and protection for travelers. Moonstones increase their powers before and during the full moon, so leave them out at night to soak up the moon’s rays.

Rose Quartz

rosequartz
“The Love Stone”. Rose Quartz is another Master Healing Crystal that specializes in transmuting emotional negativity at all levels. It enhances one’s ability to give and receive love, by opening the Heart chakra and
stimulating greater flexibility in communications. It mellows out a reluctant Heart, and provides peace in relationships through harmony. Rose Quartz is used for meditation, as it stills one’s aggressive thoughts and provides mental tranquillity. It can heal a broken heart very quickly too.

Smokey Quartz

smokeyquartz
The “Emotional Balancer Crystal”. Smokey Quartz is a very specialized crystal for negative emotional energy. This crystal is excellent for mood swings, aggressive actions, ill temper, and generally nasty thoughts. It grounds all kinds of negative energy. This stone is helpful for burnout, fear of failure, reluctance to take risks, or wanting revenge, as well as for tendencies to over-eat, smoke or drink due to stress. It helps you accept
responsibility for yourself, and to broaden your capacity for effective communication by dissolving self-limiting perceptions.

Stones Corner

October, 2015

Ten “Stress Stones”

Amethyst

amethyst
Having a cluster of Amethyst at hand is good for keeping negative energy away. Amethyst helps you think and act at your clearest. Wear an Amethyst pendant continuously for migraine prevention, tension headaches, and alleviating arthritic pain.
Citrine

citrine2
Also known as the “Success Stone”. Citrine encourages a bright outlook and promotes happiness. It attracts wealth and joy. It can help stabilize emotions and soothe family problems. Citrine is also good for improving stress-related digestive problems.
Clear Quartz

clearquartz
Quartz is an excellent general physical system fortifier and protector. It increases mental clarity. Hold a clear crystal at your solar plexus and breath evenly for several minutes to calm your emotions, to relax the body, to clear the mind, and to refresh your energy. Stare into the crystal to clear writer’s block and to increase creativity.
Fluorite

fluorite
Fluorite is a stone to unblock stuck energies. For digestive systems problems use the yellow/green color combination. For pains in the skeletal and muscular system, use the blue/white color combination. For head area complaints, use the purple/clear combination. For asthma, wear the green colored Fluorite. To help congested mental thoughts, use a purple cluster in your work area, or position a cluster at your crown chakra while sleeping.
Garnet

garnet
Garnet is an energy revitalizer. Excellent for strengthening the base chakra. It promotes sexual energy (for your self and partner). It helps increase circulation to the legs and pelvic area. It reduces menstrual pain when held or taped over the ovaries and uterus. Garnet can increase sexual stimulation and fertility, too.

Hematite

hematite
Dubbed, “The Anti-Stress Stone”. Hematite reflects back negative energies to the sender (so you don’t end up taking them on yourself). Hematite dissolves the issues when one meets with confrontation. Tape a small piece over the leg and back areas to reduce pain and to increase electromagnetic circulation. Hematite helps balance the meridians.
Malachite

malachite2
Malachite is excellent for Type A personalities and for those prone to heart disease and stresses to internal organs. It helps to detoxify the liver and to increase blood circulation. Malachite is excellent for breaking up old energy patterns. Use it with Rose Quartz to soften the effects of a broken heart! Due to the possibly toxic copper content of this stone, keep Malachite away from pets and children, and do not wear it against the skin for long periods of time. This stone is for external use only.
Rose Quartz

rosequartz
“The Love Stone” – Rose Quartz is very protective and soothing for many issues. Place a large chunk of the stone at your Heart Center for 15 minutes to relax after a stressful day. Rose Quartz helps to unblock anxiety and to promote healing of private emotional issues. It allows one to become more receptive and open to challenges.
Smokey Quartz

Smoky_quartz_01
Smokey Quartz is an excellent stabilizer for mood swings. It helps ground feelings of depression, and both absorbs and transmutes negativity. This stone is best worn at the solar plexus, the seat of the emotions. Smokey Quartz is excellent for PMS and cranky persons; and good for persons imbalanced due to extreme stress and burn-out. It provides a protective field for recovery.
Turquoise

turquoise2
“A Stone of Protection” – Turquoise is an excellent toner for all systems of the body. It helps prevent organs from absorbing toxins and breaking down. Wear this stone at the throat to strengthen your will and to communicate effectively. It helps to sweeten the voice and speak your truth. Turquoise helps reduce premature aging.

Art and Mystery

June, 2013

Invitation to Explore art and Mystery

 

Cosmic Mother by Angela Raincatcher

 

“art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.”

– Rene Magritte

 

Hidden at the heart of our dealings with the spirits and our devotions to the gods lies Mystery — that ineffable quality that thrills through our blood and subtle bodies, that races and raises the hair on our skin and our blood. The Mystery of the core experience of the divinity of the universe, the riddle and the meaning behind life. The Mystery that is not an answer but is ever more questions — Why? How? What if?

 

No one can tell you what the Mystery is nor is it learned from a book. Mystery has to be directly experienced.** People who sincerely work with the gods, ancestors, fae, and nature spirits — the greater than human — for any length of time have tasted this Mystery. Those who have sat alone, silent, and listening have heard a faint whisper. Those who walk with intent on the surface of our Earth Mother have felt the heartbeat rhythms of Mystery thrumming through the trees and stones, accompanied by the cries of animals unseen.

 

As an artist, I take those tastes, whispers, rhythms, and the visions seen with the inner eye, and I use my hands to evoke Mystery into the concentrated form of a painting. Poets, sacred in many ancient cultures, do the same but with the written or spoken word. In fact, all artists who open themselves to the influence of Mystery serve that Mystery by creating invitations for others to more easily and fully experience the Mystery that lies hidden right in front of our face — so close we do not see or recognize it.

 

As someone who engages with art in its myriad forms, I seek those works that resonate with my soul. They hold up a vibrant, precious jewel that illuminates the Mystery of the universe we live in. These works explore the depths and heights of the human condition. artists, musicians, writers, poets, and dancers give form to the formless and unseen that transform and mould the physical and spiritual realms.

 

In this new monthly column, “art and Mystery,” I want to explore the crossroads where art meets spirit and becomes a sacred place or portal between the seen and unseen, the physical and spiritual, and the mundane and Mystery. I hope to introduce you to artists whose work evokes Mystery and serves as a conduit for the Divine’s call to humanity.

 

I invite you to join me on these explorations and to engage in dialogue. Let us invite the gods into this world through the artist’s hand. Let us touch Mystery together.

 

With a full and open heart,

Angela Raincatcher

 

**I want to thank Katrina Messenger for her teachings on how to be present and open to experience Mystery in my life every day.

Crystal Clear

December, 2008

Love and Warmth

During this time of year everything all around is decorated cheerfully in red and green.  This is to bring happiness to our  hearts during the dark winter season.  We find earthly reasons to celebrate, bringing good cheer to one another with the joy of fun winter activities, and gift giving.  Done properly giving is as wonderful as receiving.  A stone which teaches us about both sides of this coin is rose quartz.

With happiness and good cheer already in the air, rose quartz is a wonderful stone friend to share it with.  Its lovely soft pink color is warming and pleasant to the eye.  Its energy very much matches this color in that it is soft and cuddly.  It gives us a feeling of gentle love and soft well-being when we hold, carry, or wear this kind but powerful stone.  Among its many lessons are:
1.  Universal love.  In rose quartz’s expansive good will, it is easy to open our hearts to the greater love when we are in the presence of  this wise stone.  Its warm energy helps us to feel niceness and good will for the entire world.
2.  Self-love.  Rose quartz gives us its own loving energy.  In seeing that we are loved by this giving stone, we are strong enough to look into ourselves and find reasons to love the person we see there.  Having rose quartz about can soften self-judgments and assist them to be more constructive.
3.  Drawing love.  Rose quartz’s soft love is often felt as romantic by those seeking to find new romance or to strengthen an old one.  Therefore working with rose quartz and asking it for help in these matters can assist in drawing positive results.

With all this in mind, not only is rose quartz a fitting stone to have for the season of love and good cheer, it is also a very fitting gift.  Passing the love on to someone else is a wonderful gesture.  When gifting someone with a stone, it is always beneficial to tell that person about the stone so they  can better understand the new friend you’ve kindly gifted them with.

Another wonderful stone for sharing the joy of the season is carnelian.  This lovely orange or red stone is a very bright and cheerful soul.  It is another  to add to the good cheer of the season, and share it  with those in its presence.  As we’ve the winter solstice coming up, Carnelian is fitting for it is a fire stone, that can be found to come in shades similar to the sun when it appears orange.  Carnelian teaches us about the warmth of a bright cheerful fire that warms our cold hands from the winter chill.  It works with the second chakra, and thus with the freedom of expression of our creativity and sexuality.  As creativity and sexuality both stem from a passionate center, carnelian helps to  keep these in a healthy balance.  If anyone on your holiday gift list could use work in these areas, they’d likely love a new carnelian friend in  their stocking.

May you have much good cheer and love in this bright/dark season of winter festivities. Happy stoning!