tattoos

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

GoodGod!

June, 2018

Meet the Gods: Bes

 

 

Merry meet.

Bes was an Egyptian god who brought comfort and protection to mothers and children. The somewhat comical, somewhat sinister-looking bearded dwarf looks human but is often also portrayed as part animal – generally a lion with a mane and tail, or with wings. He has a plump body, bow legs, prominent genitals and is sticking out his tongue. He is always shown facing forwards, unlike most Egyptian Gods who are shown in profile. On occasion, Bes is wearing a plumed headdress or a crown, and carrying a rattle, drum, tambourine or knife.

 

 

Also known as Bisu and Aha, he was a deity and a demonic fighter. A god of war, “he was also a patron of childbirth and the home, and was associated with sexuality, humour, music and dancing,” according to ancientegyptonline.co.uk. “Although he began as a protector of the pharaoh, he became very popular with every day Egyptian people because he protected women and children above all others. He had no temples and there were no priests ordained in his name. However, he was one of the most popular gods of ancient Egypt and was often depicted on household items such as furniture, mirrors and cosmetics containers and applicators as well as magical wands and knives.”

Apparently, he got the name Aha, meaning fighter, because he could kill lions, bears and snakes with his hands. Although labeled a demon, there he was not considered evil, but rather, drove evil spirits away.

Laboring mothers would call on Bes for help. It is said he would stay on after birth to protect and entertain the child, and that when a baby smiled for no apparent reason, it was because Bes was making funny faces for them.

 

 

Using dance and music, he would also chase away bad spirits during sex and sleep. That’s why he could be found carved into the legs of beds – to protect people during the night when they were most vulnerable.

Egyptians would put a statue of him near the door to protect their home from evil spirits wanting to cause harm. He appeared on the walls of temples and homes, and was on thousands of amulets and charms, protecting people from the dangers of everyday life such as menacing animals and food going bad.

 

 

Bes is the first subject to be identified in early Egyptian tattoos, according to “Tattoo: Symbol and Meanings,” by Jack Watkins.

Performers often had tattoos of Bes because of his association with dancing and music. It is also thought that sacred prostitutes may have had a tattoo of Bes placed near their pubic area in order to prevent venereal diseases, but it is also possible that the tattoos related to fertility,” Watkins wrote.

Bes’ wife, Beset, was the female version of himself. Images of them naked were painted on walls.

Merry part. And merry meet again

***

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.

 

Featured Crafter Alexis Waite

June, 2009

alexis

PaganPages(PP): Tell us a bit about yourself
Alexis Waite (AW): I’m a SoCal native who has been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon.  My dad worked as a graphic artist, painter and photographer to support his family before the computer revolution turned the entire art industry on its ear in the early 90’s.  I think he was my main influence in why I drew as much as I did, given his own paintings adorned the walls of each house we lived in.  I still carry a sketchpad and draw in my spare time as a hobby.

PP: Have you always wanted to design Tattoos?
AW: That’s something I kinda fell into on accident back when I was in high school..  I always carried a drawing pad with me everywhere and I would frequently be asked by my friends if they could just take a look.
Around 2002, I was asked by different friends and a few family members if I could draw a tattoo for them and I’d oblige, thinking “No big deal, it made them happy.”  When it really started to catch on that I designed tattoos, it became clear that maybe there was something more to my talent beyond a way to pass the time.
That really came to fruition with the commission of my first full-back piece.

tat1

Outline of my first commissioned back piece

wolfie-pentacle



PP: Do you have tattoos of your own?
AW: Yep, I have one of my designs on my lower back.  I haven’t decided yet if I want to get more or not, as the one I have took me a year to design.

alexisback

My own personal back piece
PP: Where do your ideas for your artwork come from?
AW: My ideas come from all over the place, but my main influences are the Celtic and Irish illuminated manuscripts from the 6th-8th centuries, such as the Lindisfarne gospels and the Book of Kells.  The scribes of that time carefully drew out the knotwork as a means of meditation and I find that drawing knotwork does indeed help as a form of meditation.

PP: What mediums do you use?  Pen, Pencil, Computer Graphics?
AW: I use predominately soft B-lead pencils, a rubber gum eraser, paper smudgers and Prismacolor colored pencils.  Sometimes I’ll make something a little bolder by using colored markers and fine-tip colored pens.  Occasionally I will use Photoshop to change the effect on an earlier drawing, but I do everything by hand first.

PP: Do you take requests?  Do you charge for your art?
AW: Yes I do.  When I am requested for a commission, I go over the idea with the potential client and go through several thumbnail sketches until the client is happy.  Then I can go to town with my tools and come up with both a black-and-white drawing and a full color drawing.
I usually charge based on the size and complexity of the design and I typically ask for half up front and the balance on completion, to be fair for everyone involved.  The client is happy and that makes me happy too.

treeoflife

Commissioned back piece for a friend

irenecolor


Finished piece
PP: Where can people see more of your work or how can they get in contact with you?
AW: My work can be seen at [www.ladyalastrina.deviantart..com] as well as on Myspace.  [myspace.com/lady_alastrina]   I have folders of my work on both those sites and I can also be reached through Facebook.  Just drop me a line on either of those; I check them every day!