weiser books

The Circle of Nine: An Archetypal Journey to Awaken the Divine Feminine Within by Cherry Gilchrist

December, 2018

The Circle of Nine: An Archetypal Journey to Awaken the Divine Feminine Within

by Cherry Gilchrist



publisher: Weiser books

© 2018

length: 252 pages

This book is a rewrite of an earlier work the author wrote in the 1980s; the author talks about what it was like trying to write this book, the first time when the Internet was not yet available to her. When I went looking for the original text, the publication date on Amazon was 1750. I instantly had the thought of “She’s on to something. If she still here using the same name in 2018, and she wrote this book that long ago.”

She writes about nine different archetypes that comprise the circle of nine. Ms. Gilchrist does point out that it is three sets of three. There are three Queens, three Mothers, and three Lady’s, that work to comprise the circle of nine. On page 224 of the book, Ms. Gilchrest states “plan your journey around the circle of nine; there are 362,880 ways (99) of doing this.”

The examples that appear in the book regarded as devotees, healers, spirited dancers, and gifted seeresses. The first chapter is dedicated to the nature of the nine, and how the number nine figures into women’s groups and women’s spirituality.

She wraps up each chapter of each archetype with images of that archetype,

Street image.

Mythic image

Personal Image

Evolution of each archetype.



Old Age.

Manifestations of that archetype.



Rituals and Cults.

Visions of that archetype

The Circle of Nine is a well-written book by Ms. Gilchrest that with today’s world I see a lot of women utilizing to find their archetype energy. The archetype energy described in this book for each of the nine archetypes is present in each woman. I can honestly say though, that there were two that I didn’t feel a connection with, until after I read them thoroughly. They were the Queen of Beauty, and The Lady of Light, it was only after reading the images of the archetype energy that I was able to see both in myself. If you run a women’s group, this is one of the books I would suggest you use to help women strengthen their spirits and honestly see themselves.

The Circle of Nine: An Archetypal Journey to Awaken the Divine Feminine Within on Amazon



About the Author:

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


Crystal Connections

March, 2018

Book Review – Crystal Skulls: Ancient Tools for Peace, Knowledge and Enlightenment



Published by Weiser , and written by Judy Hall, this 194 page book explores the origin, lore and metaphysical properties of crystal skulls in two parts. In the first part of the book the author covers the controversy pertaining to the authenticity (or lack there of) of when these crystalline structures were created, carved or machined. She says it best when she states, “But, as has been said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Then she continues by saying, “In talking about crystal skulls, departures from “truth” inevitably occur. But what is truth? Just because the origins of a skull are dubious does not invalidate people’s subsequent experiences.” Judy Hall goes on to talk about her own experiences with crystal skulls, as well as details of famous or rather infamous skulls, the mythology and the people who collect them, also known as Skull keepers, and the people who carve them.

Part II is all about how to work with your crystal skulls. Hall begins with a chapter on how to choose your crystal skull and even contains a “buyer beware” section. As a newbie to crystal skulls I appreciate the author including this little part in her book. The second half of the book continues on with chapters on how to cleanse, activate, communicate, heal with and care for your crystal skulls. The author rounds off the book by including a crystal directory and an invaluable resource of reputable crystal skull suppliers.

I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book, as I’ve always viewed crystal skulls as kind of macabre. Not that I thought any different of people who had them, they just weren’t for me. But I can now say my interest has been peaked. I’ve consciously put it out to the Universe that I’m interested in working with crystal skulls, so now I will wait patiently until the right one finds me. That aside, I felt this book was well written and I loved that the author included her own personal experiences. Though it’s a short 194 pages, this book packs a wealth of information in it, enough to get a newbie started and maybe some unknown lore for the experienced skull keeper to find interesting as well.


About Judy Hall:



An internationally known author, astrologer, psychic, healer, broadcaster and workshop leader, Judy Hall has been a karmic counselor for over thirty years.

Her books have been translated into fifteen languages. Her specialties are past life readings and regression; reincarnation, astrology, psychology and natural forms of healing.

She has clients from all walks of life: the House of Lords, the European Parliament, pop singers, university professors, scientists and mystics, and people on social security.

She has conducted workshops around the world. A trained healer and counselor, she has been psychic all her life and has a wide experience of many systems of divination and natural healing methods.

Judy has a B.Ed. in Religious Studies and an extensive knowledge of world religions and mythology. Her mentor was Christine Hartley (Dion Fortune’s metaphysical colleague and literary agent). She completed her Masters Degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University. 


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About the Author:

Shiron (Shi) Eddy hails from the Pacific Northwest and shares a home with her husband, a Great Dane and a cat. Her love for crystals and minerals came from her dad who was an avid rock hound in his younger years. Shi happily shares her knowledge of crystals with anyone who is drawn to them, but especially loves to help people connect with minerals that involves their metaphysical properties. When she’s not networking with other crystal and mineral lovers, Shi can be found making jewelry, painting, crocheting Goddess dolls, selling her wares at shows or spending time with family and friends. You can find her jewelry in her shop ShiJewels or follow her on Instagram.

Book Review – Instant Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Reading the Cards by Monte Farber and Amy Zerner

November, 2017


Instant Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Reading the Cards by Monte Farber and Amy Zerner, published in 2017 by Weiser , Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, Newburyport, MA 01950, soft cover, 259 pages. Instant Tarot is published as a paperback, with a color cover printed on typical soft-cover stock, measuring 8 ½ by 5 ½ inches. The interior pages consist of black and white card images and nicely-sized typeface printed on white paper.

Instant Tarot is different from most of the how-to-read-the-Tarot books available to students and enthusiasts of the Tarot. This book uses a system for understanding and interpreting the cards in a traditional Tarot deck that is based on the card positions of the Celtic Cross spread. This system is generally described in the Introduction and the Frequently Asked Questions About Tarot Readings sections at the beginning of this book, written by the authors, and in more detail in the Three Step Process following the Introduction. The Celtic Cross spread is also explained, and each card position of the Celtic Cross spread is given a keyword or key phrase and a description. A sample reading is offered showing actual card images in the eleven positions of the spread, along with the seeker’s question and interpretations of each card in the spread.

Like other books that focus on understanding and exploring the cards of the Tarot, the main part of this book showcases the individual Major and Minor Arcana cards, beginning with an image of the card (based on a traditional Rider Waite deck), the name and number of the card, and a keyword. But the similarities end here. Instead of upright and reversed meanings, explanations of symbolism, and lists of correspondences, the reader is given eleven interpretations of each card based on the meanings of the eleven card positions of the Celtic Cross spread as explained in the beginning of the book.

Instant Tarot provides interpretations for every card in a traditional Tarot deck in every position of a Celtic Cross spread. If you would like to become comfortable with the Celtic Cross spread, this book is for you. Each of the card positions in this spread are explained via each of the cards in the deck, offering an in-depth tutorial for what for some Tarot readers is an intimidating spread. If you feel frustrated by card descriptions that seem difficult to adjust to the focus or style of your readings, the multiple focuses offered in Instant Tarot could allow you to see each card in a fresh new way. If you understand the cards themselves but are having trouble telling the story of a spread, the multiple interpretations could help lace together the meanings of the cards. The book is easy to use, the cards in the sample spreads are all cross-referenced with their individual descriptive sections, and the instructions for use of the system are clear and easy to understand.

Also included in Instant Tarot are some suggestions for performing one-card and three-card readings using this Celtic Cross system, as well as some suggested questions for one-card and three-card readings that are easily personalized or adjusted by the reader.

This book is well-named for it does provide a system that allows a novice to provide an instant reading. Instant Tarot does not offer a detailed history of the Tarot, or detailed description of the meanings of the individual cards, and it does not make reference to the multiple disciplines, such as astrology, numerology, or suits and the elements, that are some of the foundations of those card meanings. If you are looking for that kind of background information, you will not find it here.

What the system found within the pages of Instant Tarot does provide, however, is a method for creating smoothly flowing interpretations of the multiple card positions within a classic Celtic Cross spread. For many aspiring readers, it is the combining of the cards and their meanings into a coherent story that is the true challenge of a Tarot reading. If this is your challenge, Instant Tarot could be the answer you are looking for.


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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 Journey 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.

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Tarot Deck Review: The English Magic Tarot

January, 2017




The English Magic Tarot is a Tarot deck created through the combined efforts of Rex Van Ryn, the creator of the thinking behind the deck and the original artwork, and Steve Dooley, the talented artist who provided the vibrant palate of colors found in this deck, and Andy Letcher, the author of the companion book, with plenty of cross-pollination of talents between them all. This 78 card deck and the soft-cover companion book are published by Weiser , and they come in a sturdy and brilliantly colored box, the cover of which pictures The Fool of the Major Arcana, a fitting first look at this exciting deck for more reasons than the obvious.

The theme of the deck is set in the 100 years or so beginning with the Reformation Period and the reign of King Henry VIII and running through the end of the reign of Elizabeth I. The Elizabethan era in particular was the golden age of English Renaissance and English Magic, and makes a wonderful setting for this deck. The images of the English Magic Tarot take us through this rich and volatile period, to the time of writer William Shakespeare, explorers Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh, and occultist John Dee, and surround us with hints of lay lines and stone circles, ogham and runes, evocations and charms, and magical objects and mirror script.

The images are compelling and alive, and occasionally seem to be in motion. They are created in a comic book style, making the deck a vibrantly illustrated graphic novel that takes the imagery of a Smith/Waite Tarot, mixes in the unexpected, and brings everything to life. The keywords for The Chariot are “flow” and “movement,” and indeed the image seems ready to explode from the surface of the card. The Star shows Sir Isaac Newton using a prism to split starlight into a rainbow. The Emperor shows King Henry VIII in his later years, sitting with some discomfort on his throne as he deals with the responsibilities of his realm, with William Somer in full fool regalia peeking out from behind a curtain. The Fool, the first card of the Major Arcana, is setting out on his magical quest accompanied not by a dog, but by a hare, traditionally both wise and mad, and wearing the face of Andy Letcher!

The cards are 3 by 4¾, easy to shuffle even if you have small hands, the stock is sturdy enough to encourage regular use of the deck, and the finish is not too shiny. The Major Arcana images cover the entire surface of each card, while the Minor Arcana cards are bordered by a solid (and perhaps too wide) frame with a different color assigned to each suit: red for Wands, yellow for Swords, blue for Cups and Green for Coins. The image on the back of the cards, in keeping with the comic book/graphic novel feel of the entire deck, shows two hands hovering over two cards from the deck as if casting a spread.

The soft cover companion book has 149 pages, and is sturdy and easy to use. The cover is in color, and shows the image from The Moon of the Majors on the front (and here again is the hare, companion of The Fool), and four cards from the deck on the back, two are face down, and two, the Knight of Wands and Three of Cups, are face up, giving us an opportunity to work with the images of the deck before we even open the book. Beside the forward by Philip Carr-Gomm, the book begins with an Introduction containing a brief description of the period in which the deck is based, a definition of English Magic, and a bit of a background of the deck itself and its creation, along with some intriguing hints of surprises that might be hidden within some of the images of the cards.

The card descriptions are broken down to several parts: an image of the card, a few keywords, a Description of the image, an Interpretation of the card, and a possible Reading presented by the card. It is the Interpretation that drew my attention. Each Interpretation is worded in such a way as to draw us into the card itself and the story the image is presenting. Here is where Andy Letcher shines; he includes personal stories and bits of legend or fact regarding people and events connected to the period represented by the deck and the individual card, all meant to open our subconscious to the symbolism to be found in the image and to the story being told by the card. Some sample spreads and interpretations are included at the end of the book, along with suggestions for becoming familiar with the cards and their meanings, and instructions for using the art of memory to create a memory “theater” to assist with interpretation. There is also a resource list of books about the Tarot and high, low, Renaissance or English magic and Druidism, when something about this deck whets your appetite for more.

The English Magic Tarot is way more than what it appears to be at first glance. The structure of the deck and the interpretations of the cards are sturdy enough to offer a good foundation to a beginner, yet soft and flowing enough to encourage improvisation when interpreting the messages of the cards. If you love graphic novels or English Magic, this is the Tarot deck for you. But you don’t need to be a history buff or a Tarot expert or a practitioner of high magic to enjoy this deck. The English Magic Tarot is a bit eccentric, a bit unpredictable, and it connects the Tarot, history and graphic novel art into a sturdy and enjoyable package.