strengths

Book Review – Pagan Portals: Animal Magic – Working with Animal Spirit Guides by Rachel Patterson

April, 2019

Book Review
Pagan Portals: Animal Magic
Working with Animal Spirit Guides
by Rachel Patterson

Rachel Patterson is a witch, wife, mother, and author. She is high
priestess of the Kitchen Witch Coven and an elder at the Kitchen Witch
School of Natural Witchcraft. She combines hedge witchery, religious
witchcraft, kitchen witchery, and folk magick into her own version of the
Craft.

Her main animal guide is the boar. Other animals have chosen to be her
guides as well; magpie, pigeon, seagull, frog, and others that pop up on
occasion. Each has it’s own reason and brings it’s own strengths and
wisdom.

She encourages us to trust our intuition in all aspects of life, including
our magick, that there is no ‘right’ way of doing things. She flat out
states that what works for her might not work for you or me.

There seems to be interchangeability between the many words used; totem,
power animal, medicine, and ally to just name a few. Their use depends on
the tradition, pathway or personal preference. Personally, I use either
spirit or guide.

Our ancestors had a deeper stronger connection to nature in all it’s forms.
They understood the animal world in ways that we are just starting to
relearn. That understanding included being able to learn from the other
creatures around them. With that understanding came understanding on a
spiritual level besides the physical.

Each creature has things that they can teach us, qualities that we can
adapt and adopt ourselves. Many of our sayings are animal related; busy as
a bee, quiet as a mouse, loose as a goose, what’s good for the goose is
good for the gander. Animal guides can teach us wisdom, guide us away from
danger, and act as power sources for our magickal endeavors.

We often have dreams or visions of animals. For instance, I used to dream
about lions protecting the wheelchair ramps of a school that I used to go
to. They were there to help me until I was ready to face whatever it was
that I was afraid of, deeply, at that time. So lions represent strength,
courage, and loyalty to me.

This book has lots of great information. The author describes her own
version of a medicine wheel meditation that is designed to help you meet
some of your various animal guides. There’s information about the
elemental, various astrological, deity, etc. connections. This book is
great for learning about spirit guides, animals and otherwise. It gave me
lots of good information and confirmed many things that I had already
learned previously on my own. I do highly recommend this book for those
interested in spirit animal guides and how to contact and work with them.

Pagan Portals – Animal Magic: Working With Spirit Animal Guides on Amazon

Review – Council of Light: How to Develop Your Psychic Abilities Online Workshop

July, 2018

https://lifeshare.thinkific.com/courses/increase-your-psychic-ability

I was intrigued by the title of this course. What, exactly, did it mean by developing psychic abilities? We all think of different things when people say ‘psychic’. Some of us might think of ‘readers’; those who do tarot and other divination methods to help read a person’s needs and desires and so help them sort out what they need to do in their lives. Others may think of telepathy and mind reading. The term ‘Psychic’ is even conflated with mediums and those who connect with our beloved dead. I wondered which, if any, of these definitions this course would focus on, so decided to dive right in and find out!

The introductory video outlines 10 simple ways to increase psychic awareness. These include meditation, finding what our psychic strengths are and exercising them, just as we would physical muscles that we want to keep strong. I’m intrigued to know that there are many different types of psychic awareness, so already I am learning something! The instructor then introduces herself, and the difficult journey she has been on which has been aided by developing her mind and reinforcing positive beliefs. This intro is really invigorating and motivating.

Climb mountains of emotions and claw through fields of memories so you can find what is stopping you and blocking you in your life right now.

There follows a short video about meditation, which I am particularly fond of because it tells us that there’s no one, single prescribed way to meditate. It’s all about relaxing the mind, body and spirit. To further assist those who may not have experience of meditation, there’s a document with seven steps to help ease you in to good meditation practice. So far, I’m finding this course very accessible, and even though I’m experienced at meditating, I can see that these sections would be really easy to understand even for a complete novice. For me, I find them reassuring, helpful and a great reminder of the positive benefits of meditation. The physical exercises for neck and head it suggests are also really useful.

The optional prayers given in this section do veer towards the Christian, however, the course makes it clear that meditation is not religion specific, so you could easily replace these with your own Pagan prayers or affirmations. There are some notes on diet which I would take with a pinch of salt (pun intended!) because of course, we all have our own individual nutritional requirements and it may not be good for you to change your diet at this time. I do agree with the overall ethos though: plenty of fresh fruit and veg and water! However, it also suggests all fried foods are bad which I find a bit of an oversimplification.

There follows a guided meditation to help you discover and develop your psychic gifts. Her voice is incredibly relaxing, and I feel the ‘liquid relaxation’ flowing gently through my body, rejuvenating and refreshing me. Indeed, as I relax my shoulders and arms, I let go of tension I didn’t even know I was holding.

The next unit is all about the different ‘clairs’; clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and claircognizance. The audio lesson gives a fantastic description of not just what these all mean, but how each gift may manifest itself in your life. Each of them held some familiarity for me, but I most resonated with the claircognizant; the person who just knows things without knowing how they know.

After this section we explored chakras, something I have only just begun to explore in any detail, so this was of particular interest to me.

The layout of the course is simple and easy to follow. The combination of videos and written texts works well, and though there’s no guidance to do this, I found that making notes as I went along and referring back to them was the best way for the knowledge to sink in, as well as taking time to do the practical tasks such as the guided meditations.

I know some Pagans came to their path after being disappointed by Christianity, and as such they may be dismayed with the references to the bible and to ‘God’, however I didn’t find this distracting at all, as I took ‘God’ to mean divinity or the universe, and the biblical references were relevant and useful, rather than being ‘preachy’ in any way. The introductory video clearly states that there is no religion specifically connected to psychic development, so as long as you bear that in mind, you should gain a great deal from the content in this course. Recommended.

*Disclaimer: I was provided this course free of charge in return for an honest review.

 

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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 and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.