witch

Book Review – Here, There, Everywhere: A Clarification of Reality by Just Plain Bill

May, 2019

Book Review
Here, There, Everywhere
A Clarification of Reality
by Just Plain Bill

Here, There, Everywhere is a book written by Bill Holtry a.k.a. Just Plain Bill. Just Plain Bill grew up in Central Pennsylvania on an Amish farm. His Pap mentored him throughout his life and taught Just Plain Bill the values that are passed down to us inside Here, There, and Everywhere. These values are family, love, honor, trust and peace. If you enjoy this review, make sure to check out my interview with Just Plain Bill in this issue of PaganPagesOrg. In the interview, Just Plain Bill shares his website where you can purchase Here, There, and Everywhere, and you can learn more about Just Plain Bill!

Here, There, and Everywhere is written in the form of automatic writing. Just Plain Bill touches on that subject within the first chapter or two. He also answers my questions about it in his interview. This is a neat way to write a book and I was impressed by all the lessons that he has learned over the years. It is a blessing that he took the time to compile all these lessons to share the values of family, love, honor, trust and peace with the readers of Here, There, and Everywhere.

This book is comprised of more than 50 chapters. Chapters isn’t the best way to describe it. Stories, lessons, values, lives. Those would be better ways to describe these “chapters”. Each chapter is teaching us something new. It is teaching us about someone who walked on this planet. It is about their life, their story, the lessons they learned, and the values that we should all know: family, love, honor, trust, and peace.

Each chapter/story starts the same way. Just Plain Bill steps through the “door” and into the Everywhere. From there each chapter/story is different. Sometimes the scene is two stumps in a forest, high in a tree, a stream, or a cliff. Other times there is no scene at all. Just Plain Bill is just relaying the message/story to us.

I spent time going over and over this book. Normally I can pick out a favorite part, a favorite scene, or a paragraph that I want to read over and over again. With Here, There, and Everywhere that was difficult to do. I loved this book so much.

I’ve read this book more than once and I am always learning something new or a new fact is jumping out at me. I’ve also been able to see the stories differently depending on how my mood is for that day.

One of the spirits that stick with me from the book is Pap. He only appears a few times throughout the book, but with each visit you can feel his love that he has for Just Plain Bill. Along with the love and admiration that Just Plain Bill has for Pap.

While reading this book, I could not help but wonder if I knew some of these Spirits in a past life. Was I in any of these stories that are being shared?

Here, There, and Everywhere is on my list as a must read. It’s more than just a fun read. Here, There and Everywhere challenges you to think and see the world differently. It also encourages you to use those values of family, love, honor, trust and peace.

Here, There, and Everywhere: A Clarification of Reality on Amazon

Review of Morrigu’s Nest on Etsy & Interview with Owner Anne Corrigan

May, 2019

Review of Morrigu’s Nest Etsy Shop Products

Morrigu’s Nest is a wonderful shop on Etsy that sells a variety of products to cover your magickal demands. Owner, Anne Corrigan, hand makes all her items from talismans & jewelry to candles & oils, there is guaranteed to be something you need or can use! Her recipes are her own secrets and she carries, in Morrigu’s Nest, many ways for you to celebrate the holidays.

This past Spring Equinox we celebrated using item’s from Morrigu’s Nest. (We only took before pictures, as our rituals are private.)

Ostara/Spring Scented Equinox Candle

Packed to the brim with all you need for an Ostara/Spring Equinox ritual this easy to travel with tin held candle is very convenient. Either for the witch on the go, or the witch in the closet who needs to hide her magick in her bag till she can find a place to do it, this all in one kit is a go to all inclusive ritual package! It is filled with corresponding herbs like honeysuckle & orange daylilies; and crystals like amethyst and rose quartz to name a few. The candle itself smells like jasmine and spring blossoms. The pure freshness of it brings thoughts of spring.

Instructions come with the candle explaining that you are to remove the herbs and gems from the candle before lighting. Then giving ideas on what you can use your gemstones for. You are to imbue them with your energy, you can arrange them around the candle, you can use them in a spell, a bottle, a sachet, a poppet, there are so many ways. There is a generous amount of herbs and stones given with the candle. So you can use them in a few ways.

The candle is 4 oz hand poured into a tin with a cover. Smooth looking. It burns very well. Nice scent. Clean burn. We loved using it during our ritual. Plan to use the herbs in many ways. Plan to use the tin, too. Right now I’m saving the herbs in them.

Ostara Anoninting Oil

100% natural, essential oil, body potion. Loaded with herbs, flowers, oils & crystals. You can see them filling the bottle. The smell is of a sunny spring day in a meadow. The oil is light on your skin and blends in well without leaving any residue. The scent is nice and strong and will stay on you for a long period of time. It has calming scent. You can use this beautiful oil to anoint yourself for ritual and magick work, or just to wear on a beautiful spring day to remind yourself you are the magick.

Morrigu’s Nest, also, has ways to help you celebrate other sabbats, let’s take a look!

Yule Scented ritual candle

Their Yule Candle smells like Yule. The herbal & crystal topping is spectacular. You can see the juniper berries, orange peel, cloves, and so much more. The crystals shimmer. The aroma is warming and of spiced fruits and wood.

In the instructions Morrigu’s Nest is clear to state, many times, to remove the herbs and crystals before burning your candle. I wanted to show you how the candle looks without the herbs. Here is the herbs in a bowl. You can see there is a good amount of herbs and stones to work with in spells and a nice 4oz full candle in the tin. It is 100% natural wax.

Yule herb blend

Another wonderful product to help celebrate Yule is their Yule herbal blend. It is a potent blend of corresponding herbs, botanicals, spices, barks, & roots. Morrigu’s Nest has used over a dozen ingredients in her special Yule Winter Recipe. Some ingredients include: bay laurel, cinnamon bark, yew leaves, coriander, and much more.

This is intended for magickal use only, NOT culinary. You man NOT eat this. There are warnings that come with the package. The ingredients were chosen for their magickal correspondences only. It is suggested to burn it in small amounts as the scent may be over powering in large quantities and may not smell the same when burned.

You get 4oz in a resealable pouch, which is great. You can keep it fresh! It smells wonderful, woodsy. You pick up the cinnamon and juniper right away. It is good to use simply as a magickal Yule potpourri filled with your wishes & intent for everyone! Give a little sachet maybe to everyone with a gift? To keep in their homes. A little goes a long way with the scent & the blessing.

Samhain Set

This set comes in a Gold Gauze bag, a peek-a-boo presentation of witchie delights. All of it’s contents are addressed on explanation documents that arrive with your set. It’s a long bag & sticking my hand in I just grab for the firs thing I feel. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the bag…

An herbal Samhain blend

An herbal blend for Samhain, much like the one for Yule. It is meant to be used for magick or an incense. However, this one includes such herbs as rosemary, wormwood, mugwort, and others. You receive 1oz of 100% natural herbal blend. The smell is lovely, but I must admit, it is not as strong as the Yule blend. I like the Yule blend a bit more, but that is just MY taste.

Dressed Scented Samhain

Black Tin Candle & Orange Tin Candle

These two candles are beautiful. They shine with glitter and smell glorious! Each a different aroma & color. If I have to guess and say what they smell like I would say the orange one has a more fall smell to it. They typical fall smelling candle. The ones you just love to get when it’s that time of year! The black candle smells more, I can not explain why, but like night to me. Like a sweet night. On the breeze. Oh so dreamy! Plus you have all the Samhain corresponding herbs on top to work with.

Bottle of Witches Black Salt

Morrigu’s Nest has included an important tool in this Samhain kit…Black Salt. For those how have never used Black Salt before it is used in workings for protection, banishing, curses, hex breaking, uncrossings, etc… It is a great item witches should have in their cupboards for defending themselves.

Morrigu’s Nest recipe is NOT just colored salt. She uses all natural ingredients and NO DYES. She has her own recipe she has formulated of a powerful blend of protective and banishing herbs, roots, seeds, & combined them with ashes from her Samhain ritual fire and sea salt. Then using energy and intense visualization she imbued the intention of protection and fiery defense as she pulverized these ingredients into almost a powder. It is a very fine powder and not the usual chunks of black salt you will find at shops. I like this because a little goes a long way.

After explaining more of her method of making her Black Salt at Morrigu’s Nest, she goes on to explain safe ways to use it, including a spell. I found that very handy. I like knowing how it was made. Her secret recipe. Suggestions are always helpful.

4 Thieves Vinegar

Four Thieves Vinegar is an ingredient found in Hoodoo & folk magic spells. The recipe has evolved from Western Europe, around the fifteenth century. Their are many legends about it. The common string among them is that there was a horrible plague in a village, and the only people who survived were four thieves. Each of them contributed one ingredient to a jar of vinegar and garlic, they drank it, and somehow survived the plague uninjured. Since they were healthy and everyone else was dying, the four thieves went around the town and robbed the empty houses. Eventually they were caught, and sentenced to hanging, but they were able to escape the gallows by sharing their secret formula. Whether this is true or not is anyone’s guess. Four Thieves Vinegar is a useful item to keep on hand because it can be used in a wide variety of spells, from healing to protection to banishing. I have never worked with this stuff before, but I look forward to it.

Morrigu’s Nest version is made with herbs that correspond to protection & banishing. It claims to be very potent. It warns you to NOT INGEST on the bottle boldly. The papers that come with it suggest how you are to use it and state it is toxic!

Samhain ritual oil

Samhain essential oil, 100% natural, body oil. Comes in a .33 oz glass roller ball applicator bottle. It’s a unisex scent of autumn mostly cinnamon & orange. Very fragrant. Lovely smell. Definitely unisex. Morrigu’s Nest says they oils were chosen based on folklore magickal correspondences as well as their aroma therapeutic traits. It also has notes of patchouli, cedarwood, and other scents. It lasts a long time on the skin and blends in well.

Samhain Gemstone Clip-On Charm

Genuine gemstones frame a pretty, bronze, large triquetra charm on a sturdy clip. I actually pulled on it, cause I can be a jerk like that, to see if it would fall apart easily. It didn’t! I thought it would. I am glad it didn’t because it is so lovely. The suggestion is to wear it on your backpack, bag, purse, handbag, planner, key ring or belt loop. You can use this in your ritual wear, or keep it as your everyday spiritual reminder. The paper it comes with tells you exactly what stones are on the keychain. It does not tell you what they mean, but it tells you they were selected intentionally to correspond with Samhain. It’s easy to look up stones, however, if you do not know the meanings off hand.

How about when it’s not a sabbat & you just need supplies?? Well Morrigu’s Nest has them for you!

Prosperity Candle spell kit

Just like all their sabbat candles, this tin is all you need for a wonderful spell. The prosperity candle spell kit comes with all you need to cast your spell. Filled to the top with all the herbs & crystals you will need to cast and a 4oz candle in a tin that you can travel with.

You can see from the picture you are given plenty of herbal & crystal supplies with your candle for your spell. Plus you get a sheet with your kit explaining exactly what is in your candle, what it’s scent it, how it was made, precautions, and ideas on how to use it! Burn time is approx 25 hours. The smell is springtime greenery, woodsy, & lightly floral. I love the sparkles on the candle. It adds some flare.

Rosemary Mint herbal bath soak

I would like to lick this it smells sooo good! You can see the herbs in the salt. The salt is unlike the usual bath salts you find, it is a fine texture and I love it!!! Instead of rocks in the tub its a fine grain that blends in and just rolls over your body and purifies you as the scent cleanses your mind. I can not recommend this soak more!!!! The relaxation is blissful!

Protect & Purify herbal ritual salt

For use during your sacred circle casting or for purification rituals. This herbal salt was ground with intention to form a powder-like blend & Morrigu’s Nest used traditional protective and cleansing herbs. She pulverized these ingredients into almost a powder.
Even though it is salt it is not edible and comes with a big DO NOT EAT warning. The salt is so fine and a little goes a long way. The container is packed to the tippy top so you have tons in the packed 4oz bottle.

Bring the Green

This bottle of green powder is for use in prosperity, abundance & money spells and rituals. You can burn it, keep it in your wallet, make poppets, and sooo much more with it. Morrigu’s Nest has so many suggestions for its use. It has ingredients like allspice, vervain, basil, marjoram, and so much more in it! Its 2oz and finely ground, so a little bit goes a long way. The bottle is filled to the top. No space for anything. The smell is minty to me. I can’t wait to use it! Maybe carry some in my pocket.

Faery Sight ritual Oil

A 2oz, 100% natural anointing oil, essential blend, inundated with beautiful herbs and flowers! Not so much that there is no oil, but you see them floating beautifully like a garden. Lovely lavender! Rose! To me it has a slight lemony scent to it. A freshness. It’s suggested you anoint your crystals, and thirdeye, & candles with it. Anything to attract fae to you. I can definitely see fae being attracted to this oils ingredients & scent. I would definitely invest in the larger bottles so you can see the herbs and flowers in the bottle. Worth it!

Love & Romance herbal blend

This powder is for use in love, romance, & lust magick. It was pulverized with intention and a blend of herbs & botanicals was used for love and romance magick. The bottle is 2oz and finely ground and filled to the top. A little with this goes a long way! It has ingredients like rose petals, hibiscus, dill, & so much more! The smell is so pretty.

She sends information with all her packages explaining the ingredients of the items, direction on how they are supposed to be used, and ideas on how to use them. I love the glitter, the flare to the candles. Everything has such gorgeous, strong smells, that are not overwhelming and blend nicely. The oils scents stay on your skin and do not fade quickly. Everything is made of great quality & care. The warnings are in bold and mentioned over and over for safety.

Vervain Protection Amulet

This is one of my favorite items in the Morrigu’s Nest catalog. It is gorgeous way to wear something we can all use a little something extra of everyday…protection. I think putting the half crescent moon, antique brass finish, moon charm on a simple silky, black cord allows the pendant to stand out more as the art piece it is. Giving the corked, spell bottle that square on the side eye-hook is just the perfect touch! The spell bottle is filled, packed tightly & permanently sealed with hand ground vervain that is imbued with intent of protection of wearer. The moon worn sideways & in this phase was chosen to represent The Crone, The Wise One, the Grandmother Moon. It is meant …”to represent the energy of the wise greandmother that loves and protects you and gives you her wisdom as she guides you on your path.”

Whatever you think it means to you it does. I kinda got an Egyptian vibe from it. Soon as I saw it, and Isis wings. May it be who it will for you & protect you always!

Another set of items I found to be wonderful and helpful at Morrigu’s Nest were their Intention Bottles…

Intuition & divination

You can see this is a really decent size bottle here. We are not talking tiny little bottle to wear. It is almost 2 inches long. So it really has room in there! It comes with a label that tells you all the ingredients like: mugwort, wormwood, flaxseeds, labradorite, amethyst, and more. You can see and make out many of the ingredients. It is securely sealed. It is filled enough to give you just a touch of room to shake it to revitalize it. It arrives in its own gauze baggie. It comes with an explanation note from Morrigu’s Nest stating that it is …”ritually crafted with the intention of evoking and aiding.”

I am about to take on learning tarot. Runes were my thing, or so I thought. The tarot is calling… So this is what I chose to be my aid in the process. I have felt protected by my other pendant, I believe this will aid me.

Self-Confidence

This bottle is the same size as the other Intention Bottle. Made, ritually, in the same way. However, its contents are different, for its purpose. Inside it holds ingredients, such as; dill, turmeric, citrine, fennel seeds, basil, & more. All for boosting your self-confidence.

It’s lively right? I found that interesting. Like a punch of color…a punch to your system, that boost you need. Well, I have been carrying this bottle on me all day. I would shake it now and then for extra bursts, hold on to it when I felt I was struggling a little more. Today was one of those days! It would help me focus. Remind myself to breathe. Everything inside is bonus to my self-confidence help. Plus the magic of the intention that was lent to it & mine because I pray over my things.

Courage & protection

Just like the previous bottles this, almost 2 inch glass, filled and securely sealed bottle is filled with its own goodies, like: thyme, black pepper, black tourmaline, red jasper, & more. All of which you can clearly read on a removable label that comes attached to its cord.

I used this bottle on my journey of change. I took it to battle really. We all have fears we need to overcome. I have plenty. We went on a hike. I do not like traveling into the forest for too long or too deeply. It is a personal fear. I know we are on a path. I know we can turn around. But I still have my fears. I decided to start making changes in life and facing some fears is one of them. This bottle and I hiked over 3.5 miles today in the forest. We weathered panic. We embraced joy. We overcame… with each other. Every bit helps.

My Overall Thoughts…

I am so amazed by the workmanship, quality, inspiration, detail, and love put into every item I have reviewed from Morrigu’s Nest. Not one item has disappointed me. Every bottle is packed to the brim with quality ingredients. You can smell the herbs. The candles, well, they are brilliant spell kits in themselves. They come with the herbs and gems you will need, and you get the tin after. The amount you get for your money is fantastic. I love that it is their own recipes & handmade, not something I am going to find in every witch shop. My favorite piece, that I have not taken off is the Vervain Protection Amulet. I may feel a little too protected by it, thinking I’m supergirl!

We were lucky enough to get a chance to speak with the proprietress of Morrigu’s Nest & creatrix of all things wonderful within, Anne Corrigan.

Jennifer Wright (JW): Hello Anne, It is such a pleasure to meet you!

 I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me and our readers about yourself, your company, and your process…speaking of your process, where do your ideas come from?  Like your gorgeous Protection Pendant!  I think its trendy enough to wear and get away with magick.  LOL!

Anne Corrigan (AC): Hi Jenn! Thank you so much for reaching out to me, I truly feel honored to have my shop reviewed by you. And thank you and your husband Benjamin for all the work you’ve done to birth PaganPages.org. Your site is a wonderful resource and nourishes the pagan community; thank you!

My inspiration comes from communing with my deities, spirit guides, scrying, shamanic journeying and trance, magickal folklore, connecting with nature, and hanging with my witchy friends. All these muses revisit me during my daydreams and thunderstorms in my head which I credit to my Attention Deficit Disorder, LOL! Sometimes it’s like popcorn popping in my brain. The downside to that is that it’s hard for me to focus on developing one product at a time and it’s a challenge to bring everything to fruition.

 I do make some products that could be considered staples of a magickal path that are similar to other companies’ products. The difference is that I really strive to make my offerings unique by putting my own twist on the traditional standbys. At the moment I am working on my own Florida Water recipe. I am also preparing DIY witchcraft project kits for witch ladders, spell bottles, and spirit dolls. I love crafting and making things with my hands. I also want to empower others to create their own sacred objects by providing the raw materials and instructions (coming soon). That way they can really imbue them with more of their magickal energy. I’m glad you like the Protection Pendant! Thank you for the compliment! I like the idea of magick incognito under the guise of fashion, LOL!

JW: Thank you so much for your kind words about PaganPagesOrg, it really touches our heart!

You mention that you use your own secret recipes, are they family recipes?  Will you be passing your recipes down?

AC: Well, my recipes are not completely secret, I do disclose the ingredients in my listings, especially anything that is applied to the skin, such as essential oil blends and ritual bath salts. As for other items, such as, herbal blends, ritual salts, potions, and vinegars, I don’t list every little detail. Even when using traditional recipes for inspiration, I always tweak them based on my intuition, research, and communicating with the spirits of the plants. My recipes are mine alone, I was raised Catholic, and I have no idea if there were any pagans or witches in my ancestral line. I am planning on passing a grimoire down to my daughter. I may also publish a spell recipe book in the future.

JW: I really love how your Black Salt is a finer grain then you usually find with black salts.  Why did you decide to go with this grain?

AC:  I wanted to create a versatile and energy packed black salt. It’s versatile because you can take a pinch in your hand and blow it at your target, discreetly sprinkle some around your workplace, home car, anywhere really. Also, the main reason that I pulverized my black salt is that the process of grinding it allows me to raise energy while I enchant it with my intent and I believe that when I use my mortar and pestle to grind and blend the herbs, salts, roots, seeds, and ashes (I use ashes from our Samhain fires), that the spirits of the plants are evoked and combine their energies with mine. We work together to create magick.

In order to attain such a fine grain, I grind the ingredients first by hand and then again with a motorized grinder. However, because the grain is like a powder, sometimes it clumps together and you have to stick a skewer in the bottle to break it up. Everything in the recipe is natural. I don’t add black dye; the color comes from the ashes. My black salt is also a little different because of its unique scent which I attribute to the ground fennel seeds and ginger root. Every year after Samhain, I create a new batch and change the recipe a little bit.

JW: When you are working/creating, do you have your own special sacred space?

AC: Wherever I am creating is sacred space, because I create sacred space by connecting with my spiritual allies and focusing my intentions. I imbue my products with my energy and intention for the highest good of the owner. I do have a working altar that I perform rituals and spells on and a devotional altar dedicated to The Morrigan where I pray and give offerings as well as charge products that are specifically dedicated to The Morrigan. Much of my product crafting takes place in my kitchen for practical reasons. I do have special magickal wooden spoons and wands that I have dedicated each one for specific tasks such as candle making, potion stirring, and mixing herbal blends and salts.

J): Are there other workers in your company or do you work alone?  Do you hand package & ship your products yourself?

AC: For the most part it is just me. I have a friend who is a Druid that creates some of the ritual bath products for my shop. Her brand is called Blue Moon Sundries. I make my own labels and hand package everything myself. I would like to hire a graphic designer in the future to create some nice labels for my products. For now, I do it myself because I rather invest money in quality raw materials. It’s more important to me to have what’s inside the packaging to be of the highest quality than looking pretty. I really admire other people’s labels though, some are so beautiful, and I get a bit envious, LOL! Morrigu’s Nest is a micro-business, but who knows, one day I might have a crew. I would love that!

(W: How did you start your company, what brought about the idea, did you feel the pagan community was missing something?

AC: In 2014 I opened my Etsy shop and named it Phoenix Serendipity. At that time I didn’t have a plan other than to have an outlet for my creativity and to make a little money to support my crafting habit. When I would make myself a witchcraft tool or altar decor item I would make one for my shop as well. In the beginning my shop was only a hobby.

When I was claimed by The Morrigan I renamed my shop
Morrigu’s Nest. I do feel the need to make it clear that my shop is for everyone regardless of their spiritual tradition and not only devotees of The Morrigan. By naming my shop after The Morrigan it is my public declaration of my devotion to her, a reminder to myself of my commitment. My motivation for my shop now is to empower others in their craft by offering a convenient way to access quality supplies, tools, and sacred objects.

The one aspect of my shop that has remained consistent is my commitment to serving my customers the best I can! I realize that there are many other shops to choose from, especially on Etsy, and I feel honored when people buy my creations.

I am in the process of developing new items and one of my goals is to create DIY kits such as witch ladders, spirit dolls, and spell bottles. These kits will contain all the parts needed along with instructions. I want to serve our community by giving people a way to craft their own tools/sacred objects. That way they have an opportunity to add more of their personal energy into them. I feel these new products can encourage personal sovereignty and self-empowerment.

JW: Do you mind if I ask, what type of path you follow?

AC: I am a daughter of The Morrigan. I also am dedicated to Cernunnos. My path is very eclectic though and I combine aspects of multiple pagan paths and practices that resonate with me. My spirituality is always evolving, growing, and I am continuously learning. I practice solitarily as well as with a group. I consider myself a neo-pagan witch.

JW: What are some of your other hobbies & interests?

AC: Anything creative! I just love experimenting with all types of craft supplies. My group of pagan friends get together about monthly to work on “witchy-crafts.” Just yesterday they came over and we each made a set of clay moon phases. I also love learning about herbs, both magickally and medicinally. I also have become interested in foraging and wild crafting. I feel nourished when I just sit among the trees, or visit the river, or stroll through the woods. I also like drumming, although I struggle with rhythm, I just love the energy of it. Chanting and raising energy with my friends around the fire pit brings me joy. I also enjoy shamanic journeying while listening to live drumming. I am drawn to all modes of divination, especially fire and black mirror scrying. I want to start studying tarot too. I also am interested in developing my ability to communicate with spirits, mediumship, and assisting those in need of crossing over.

When not doing these things, I’m hanging out with my hubby listening to him practice bass and guitar, watching movies, or hanging with family and friends.

Jennifer, thank you so much for interviewing me. This was my first interview ever, and I feel very honored and grateful. May your path be abundantly blessed!

JW: Anne, THANK YOU for taking the time to answer my questions for our readers & sharing about, not only your shop, but yourself. I loved learning about both!

If you are interested in any of the items I’ve reviewed you can find them on Morrigu’s Nest page, plus many other wonderful items. You can contact Morrigu’s Nest through any of the links below:

Etsy shop

Shop FB page

Anne Corrigan personal FB page

Instagram

EmailMorrigusNest@gmail.com

Anne Corrigan of Morrigu’s Nest is offering our readers only a special 30% off coupon, good through the month of May. Use Coupon Code: PAGANPAGES to receive 30% off your purchase!!!

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About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving Pagans a platform to share and learn without judgment.

She loves to create in her spare time and you can find her Creations, Jewelry, & Magickal Witch Bottles at: www.facebook.com/TwistedWitchesShoppe/

When not creating she can be found strolling around FB, Twitter, & Instagram looking for an interesting conversation. She’s the moderator of a FB Group called Cyber Moon Coven Of Changes and enjoys spending time with it’s members.

Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

May, 2019

May 2019 for Celebrating the Old Ways in New Times

Bright Blessings

I write this with a sore back from beginning the garden. I have planted seeds for snow peas, radishes, milkweed, and sunflowers so far, and a few packs of annuals as well. I nabbed more seeds, ordered three more seed catalogs, and got a couple of hot pink pots!

Not bad for the first week of gardening.

This year, I am doing the unthinkable! I am killing a mint plant!

I’m doing it so I can pull a shrub behind it and use the space for more, well…PLANTS! The roots of the mint would take over the space the second the shrub is pulled, so the mint goes first!

I planted it, against proper advice in the ground, instead of in a pot, way back in 2006! It’s a 13 year old plant, and it’s not happy with me, as I pour pan full after pan full of boiling water on it. I am determined to do this with no chemicals, and with my bad back, digging is not an option.

I also got a start on my fork plantings. You read that right. Forks. I have a schnauzer mix, and a little cat who like to LAY right on top of my plants, but they can’t if I have forks in the garden around the plants, can they? Although the seeds have yet to sprout, I placed 48 brand new, shiny white plastic forks in the radish bed today. I’ll gather more later this week and finish.

Then, I have more soil to buy, more pots, and some soil to lay around a shady area where I will put more seeds.

A garden witch never stops gardening!

Beltane

In years past, I have written about historical observances not only in Ireland, but also Wales. I’ve written about doing group, and solitary ritual.

What I have not written about, however, is to do a smaller-scale group ritual for it utilizing some traditional practices, but not all of them.

Much focus in groups is on the May Queen and King, and the Maypole Dance.

This time, I’ll write the ritual I am going to use when my small group of friends arrives.

Beltane is a lot of things to a lot of different people. For me, it’s a very big deal, and sometimes, the only Sabbat I actually prepare for.

Here is an article from past years outlining a more complex ritual we used, and some more historical information as well.

This year, instead of focusing on historic meaning, I will talk about the things Spring does to our bodies that makes us feel good

Feel So Good

What is it about warmer days, and growing things that make us feel so much better, and that make us look forward to it anyhow? Why do we feel more energy, get sick less often, get out and do more, and just overall, feel happier in warmer days?

Science!

Before I list all of this, I will note I know people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder in the warm months. Their bodies do not handle the heat or strong sun well, and they crave Winter. I validate their struggles, and understand they have these issues. This is called Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder.

This article breaks it down nicely, and explains it well.

What my friends who have Reverse SAD have told me is they cannot physically endure heat, strong light, and humidity in the humid regions. Some have issues with insects eating them alive, and others just can’t sleep when it is warm or hot. Allergies from growing plants can also absolutely destroy people.

For the people who do not have issues with warmer days, and the things that come along, several things happen that make us feel better!

  1. More birdsong- It somehow promotes well-being. Further reinforcing the interconnectedness of all life us Witches and Pagans have known all about all along. Hearing that when you first wake up is amazing.
  2. Longer days- Especially folk who struggle with vitamin D deficiency, these days are most welcome. Many of us get enough Vitamin D from food or supplements, but in warmer seasons, the sun gives us even more. Some have issues absorbing vitamins from food, and LIVE for days when they can soak up some sun. According to an awesome article, fair skinned folk can catch a few minutes of sun in the afternoon. People who are a darker tan, 15-20 minutes, and people who are dark need up to six times more sun exposure than fair skinned people. Here is the article I found that information in if you want to read more about the sun and its help with Vitamin D.
  3. We get out and about more- Even though we have paved streets and walks, going out when the weather is yucky is just something we don’t do as much of because it’s a pain in the butt. There are nice events to attend, including festivals, outdoor concerts, and parties. Sabbats are held outdoors more often in warmer months, and a lot of people enjoy life more when they are going more places, and participating in more things.
  4. Flowers and animals abound- Now, some of us love the look of nature no matter what the season, but you have to admit, unless pollen or allergies are killing you, getting out with flowers, trees, and seeing the animals out and about too creates a sense of well-being. The earth is teeming with life and activity, and as Pagans and Witches, we are sensitive to the life-forces of other beings, and it strengthens us. We are all connected.
  5. Cold triggers pain- If you have injuries, joint issues, arthritis, back problems, etc, cold flares up that pain oftentimes, and warmer weather is easier on your body. Some of you know this all too well, and I wish complete healing, and no more pain for you!
  6. Less illness- Being closed in to avoid cold keeps us in more close quarters with one another, and contagious viruses and bacteria enjoy jumping from person to person. As we are less cooped up when it starts getting warmer, we share less germs.

Basically, for many of us, nature is easier on our bodies come Springtime than it was in Winter, and thus we feel better, can do more things, and enjoy ourselves more.

That’s a big reason to celebrate!

Before I share my simple Beltane rite, I would like to share an interview I was fortunate enough to have with a distinguished Pagan, and review of an amazing Pagan ran establishment.

International Pagan Radio and Onyx

International Pagan Radio

International Pagan Radio, or IPR is something I’d heard about because one of my elders, Lady Brigid, has her own show, called Ask A Witch, on the Radio. I knew it was a great organization, but I don’t listen to radio shows, because of my hearing loss.

Here is the online link to find IPR.

I did go and listen to it to review it, and the show I caught was our beloved Raven Grimassi and his loved one talking to listeners not too long before he crossed the veil. They were sharing their love and appreciation for all the support they have gotten from the community. It’s like they knew he was about to cross over.

If that is not enough to make you want to go listen right now, I can tell you they have good music as well. Today is April 9, 2019, and the agenda for today is Druidcast, The Magick Jukebox, and The Rift and others. The available song is Black Swan Blues by SJ Tucker. Honestly, this is something that every Pagan ought to know about, and listen to. They have not only educational broadcasts, and music, but messages from Pagans to Pagans. All for us by us! The best part is the sound was crisp and clear, and I had no trouble hearing almost everything, which is very good for me. You must go check out IPR right away, and tell everybody about it!

Onyx

The way I did this interview, as I do all my interviews is online. I send questions, and the people either e-mail, or text me back. It’s worked out well, as I am hard of hearing, and they can send me answers when they have time. Sometimes, we do a whole interview in an hour or less, and sometimes, we send messages back and forth over a course of days. I also get 100% accuracy, as I am not worried about mishearing what they say! I can be lazy, and copy and paste as opposed to typing it all out when it is time to submit the interview to my editor also!

Some people, most especially film makers, have flat out refused to do e-mail or text interviewing, and I have found people who write are so used to writing, that an online interview is right up their alley! Onyx granted the online interview, and instead of answering one question at a time, wrote a beautiful statement I am proud to share with you here. It speaks for itself!

“I was working as the station manager for another Pagan network that operated on Blog Talk Radio in 2015. I was approached by a guy to manage a streaming station as well. This streaming station was to be launched under my supervision and management as International Pagan Radio. I agreed to take the job if I could also bring along William Brigley. William and I had met at another network, and we had been working together for some time. We had also become very good friends.

The agreement was that I would manage the station with total autonomy and our benefactor would pay the bills. William and I set out to create a website and build the station. The station originally operated with only donated music. We would approach artists and ask them if they would allow us to play their music without royalties. The benefactor wanted us to keep the cost minimal.

About six months after launch, our benefactor informed us that he could no longer afford the station. William and I proposed that we take over ownership to keep the station online. Our benefactor agreed to release all rights to the station to us.

William and I changed a few things about the station. We decided that it was not fair to the artists to only play donated music. We created an account with Sound Exchange for them to manage the distribution of royalties. We pay them for this service, and they ensure that the royalties are distributed properly.

I am the station manager for IPR. My responsibilities include managing the Sound Exchange account, the bank account, station schedule, shows, and any advertisers we may encounter. I also manage the back end of the website and domain. We do not actively seek advertisers but do have a rate card available if asked.

William is the media manager. His responsibilities include more of the technical aspects, such as website design and implementation, ensuring that all the songs have the correct metadata embedded so the reporting system will pick them up properly (for royalty reporting to Sound Exchange), contacting and maintaining relationships with artists, image design, and training videos for hosts and artists.

William and I are co-owners of the station and share the financial responsibility for all expenses. We pay for the streaming service, the domain, the website, and all royalties out of pocket. We have entertained soliciting advertisers, but have not actively done so.

International Pagan Radio reaches out to all parts of the world, and anyone with an internet connection can listen to us. Most of the artists whose music we play are from the United States. However, we have artists from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, and Spain as well. In addition to streaming music we also have several shows that can be heard as well. Our shows are assigned a day of the week and are streamed three times during that day to help ensure that fans in differing time zones can catch the shows.

In addition to our website, we also maintain a large Facebook presence. We have both a public group and a page. In addition to our public Facebook entities, we maintain private groups as well. We have one group that is dedicated to the artists so they can interact with us and each other. There is also a private group for the IPR team that consists of the staff and the show hosts.

Neo-paganism found me over three decades ago. I was raised primarily Southern Baptist, but could never really internalize the teachings and doctrine. When I encountered Neo-paganism it was like coming home (yes, so cliché’).

In the past, I have been among the High Priesthood of a few different traditions. I have established and ran several temples and covens over the years. I have trained, initiated and elevated many others along the way as well. Have officiated handfastings, legal marriages, funerals, memorials, birthing, and naming ceremonies, and coming of age rituals.

Currently, I consider myself more of an Omniest than a Pagan. As an “Omniest” I feel that wisdom is not limited to one religious form. I find wisdom in all forms of religious expression. I tell folks that I am an Omniest that chooses to express his spirituality through Neo-pagan traditions and ritual.

I am the father to three (two daughters and a son) and the grandfather to one (a baby boy). I have lived in the Winston Salem, North Carolina, area for just over ten years. Most of my childhood was spent in the upstate area of South Carolina. The first twelve years of my adult life was spent serving in the United States Army. Since leaving the Army, I have worn many hats. I owned a metaphysical shop for a few years until it was destroyed by fire. I have worked in big box retail management, and also in executive sales.

I hold both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in conflict resolution. I am enrolled in a doctoral course. However, I am currently taking a break from school work. Hopefully, I will return to school shortly and complete the Doctor of Psychology degree.

I am not actively involved in the local Pagan community, so the station is my ministry. I very much like the fact that we have listeners all over the world and have heard from many of them. Many tell me that this station is nearly their only contact with the Pagan community.”

Many thanks to Onyx for sharing his beautiful story with us, and for all his good work for IPR!

The Working

As promised, I am sharing the working I will use when my soul kin come to gather with me for our Beltane. I will have a team effort to bless food and drink, and ask the powers that be for some good magic, healing, and goodness all around at this time of life, beginnings, and great strength.

Here is the working.

Have two volunteers stand at either side of the entryway of where you have your rite. For me, it will be my front door. You can do male and female to keep with Wiccan practice, representing Mother Goddess and Father God, but for me, it is going to depend on who is there and who wants to volunteer.

These two people will each hold something to bless with. It could be a stick of incense for one person, and a candle held by the other. Instead of having a Priest and Priestess bless these things, we will all join hands and say a prayer, each of us, for the blessings we wish for one another. Saying something as simple as “Blessed Be” as people pass through the fires, or something more like a chant or song you like can also be used, but as the people have blessed the things, no words have to be said unless you want to.

After this, people will form a line and pass between the two people with their blessed things, emulating the scared practice of passing between the blessed fires ancient British Pagans used to use.

Once everybody has passed between the blessing fires, everybody will go to two others, whoever has volunteered. This will be a blessing of “cakes and ale”. Again, we will all take turns saying the prayer, over them, blessing them. I am probably not going to have wine or soda or sweets for this. Let’s face it, none of us is getting younger. There are people coming with dietary restrictions, allergies, and digestive issues. Plus, we don’t need to be drinking after each other- germs, you know! As we are potlucking it, we will take food to make a plate from the offerings, maybe even a variety, so people can hand pick the food THEY choose to eat. Instead of a communal cup for us all to drink from, individual tiny cups filled with probably water, will be used. It really does not matter WHAT the food and liquid is- it’s the blessings we will take into us.

Once all is blessed, each person will approach who is giving the blessed food, and the person doing this will say “May you never hunger,” and each person in turn will take their blessed bite of food and eat it. I’ve seen people use whole apples for ritual blessing, and I don’t recommend it, as that takes forever. Also, cut the food up into small pieces, so people can take just a tiny bite. They will then go to the person who has the water, who will give them a water, and say “May you never thirst.” Again, this should be a tiny bit of water, enough for one sip. This is not the meal, but just a sip and a nibble.

A third blessing can also be given if so desired, by an individual or individuals. Play it by ear, and see how your soul kin feel. This can be perhaps the moving party of the rite, most especially when beloved Priest and Priestess do the blessings. A simple way would be for everybody to hug one another. You can also break off in twos and go bless each other for a few minutes, walking away from the group, and returning to a spot when everybody is finished.

After each person has passed between the blessed fires, had their blessed food and drink, and been further blessed if it is wished, the rite is ended, and the feasting and fellowship begins.

This rite can be customized as you see fit, as it is simple, and you can tweak it any way that is meaningful for you. I have had to change how I do ritual in the past few years. The biggest change is my condo association has made it clear no fires are allowed on patios. There went our blessed firepit! I also do rituals at the house as opposed to at the campgrounds we used to use, so we moved into a smaller space than before. We manage. Ritual can be meaningful even if you have to make accommodations and substitute something like two candles for two bonfires.

May you and yours have a very Blessed Beltaine.

Blessed Be!

***

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.

Book Review – The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague

May, 2019

Book Review
The Witch’s Guide to Wands
A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand by Gypsey Elaine Teague
Published by Weiser
Pages: 243

“The Witch’s Guide to Wands” is the reference book Gypsey Elaine Teague had been trying to find – one that explained the properties of the woods and metals from which wands are made.

“You would not use a holly wand for a new moon ritual any more than you would use an ebony one for a full moon. If you want strength, then you would use oak and reserve the willow for resilience and survival spells,” Teague writes, explaining one tool is not used for every purpose.

“As witches, we are very specific about our spells and our rituals,” Teague states. “We demand the finest tinctures and oils, the purest herbs, and if possible, we grow everything ourselves. We fill our bookshelves with tomes that explain in detail each and every ingredient that will go into our brazier, but when it comes to wands, the books usually say, ‘walk among the trees and find a piece of wood that suits you.’ Really? ‘Suits you?’ Would you dress for ritual in whatever suits you without some research or discussion?”

A woodworker, she describes how she turns or fashions wands, sandpaper grit and the oil she uses. Nowhere are there instructions to do the same. Rather, readers are told, “not just anyone can make a wand. A wand is a sacred tool and should created in a sacred way. … In conclusion, find a wand maker you trust. Then allow your wand to find you. Both you and the wand will be happier and more successful for the experience.”

Based on her knowledge of plant science and ethnobotany plus years of magical practice, Teague gives the common name, order, family genus, species and hardness rating for each wood. Its energy (masculine or feminine), history, metaphysical properties, its element (earth, air, fire, water), and the deities associated with it are presented for acacia to zelkova. There is also a discussion of the general characteristics of each such as reasons for use, areas it can be found, myths, spells and cautions.

She makes no attempt to standardize the length, width or shape of a wand – other than it be thicker at the base than at the tip – explaining “the wood will call out its own ultimate shape.”

Part three of the book is comprised of six pages dedicated to the wands used in Harry Potter’s world.

The appendixes contain lists of woods organized by use and deity. There are also lists of woods noting sexual energy and elements.

The subtitle states, “A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing and Using the Right Wand.” I think of it as more of a reference for materials that comprise a wand. Considering the first line of the introduction is “The wand chooses the witch, the witch does not choose the wand,” I can’t help but wonder why I would need to know what’s in the book when I need just run my hand over wands in protective bags.

The book gets a 4.1 out of 5 by 27 customer reviews on Amazon.

About the author Gypsey Elaine Teague

Gypsey Elaine Teague is the Branch Head of the Gunnin Architecture Library at Clemson University as well as a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors, an Elder and High Priestess in the Georgian tradition, a High Priestess in the Icelandic Norse tradition, and a High Priestess and originator of Steampunk Magic. Teague is published in a number of areas and presents nationally on Steampunk history, literature, and popular culture.

The Witch’s Guide to Wands: A Complete Botanical, Magical, and Elemental Guide to Making, Choosing, and Using the Right Wand on Amazon

***

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.

Book Review – The Old Stones: A Field Guide to the Megalithic Sites of Britain and Ireland by the Megalithic Portal, Edited by Andy Burnham

May, 2019

Book Review
The Old Stones
A Field Guide to the Megalithic Sites
of Britain and Ireland
by the Megalithic Portal
Edited by Andy Burnham

Who can look at a circle of stones, standing stones, without feeling a sense of awe and amazement, without wondering who made this, why is it here?

Megalithic Portal is an independent website run by prehistoric site enthusiasts. This book was collaboratively put together from people across the globe. For more information, please visit their website.

This is a good sized book, limited to stones within Britain and Ireland. It is chock-full of articles, photos, maps, appropriate quotes.

I love that it describes the different types of standing stones from circles, to dolmen to chambered tombs and beyond.

The chapters are broken down by location, West of England, South, North, Midlands and East, as well as Wales, Scotland and Ireland, covering over 1,000 sites. Each individual site includes a photo and pertinent information.

For Outlander fans, it does include “Craigh Na Dun”, which I was saddened to hear is completely fictional, but is listed as the site of the circle used in filming.

I cannot begin to describe the amount of information included in this book, or the amount of work and love that has gone into it. Thumbing through the pages, looking at the beauty of these stones brings a sense of belong and connection, at least for me.

If one has an interest in Neolithic rock and stone formations within the United Kingdom, this is the book you have been waiting for.

The Old Stones: A Field Guide to the Megalithic Sites of Britain and Ireland on Amazon

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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

Tarot Deck Review – The Neo Tarot Written by Jerico Mandybur

May, 2019

The Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-care, Healing & Empowerment

The Neo Tarot is written by Jerico Mandybur, the editorial director and co-founder of Girlboss, and host of the hit podcast, Self Service. Mandybur is a writer, self-care advocate and queer leader known for tarot readings and trauma-informed healing. The deck is illustrated by Daiana Ruiz, a visual artist, illustrator and designer whose illustrations and animations have been exhibited around the world and featured in both print and digital media. The Neo Tarot deck and guidebook/boxset is published by Hardie Grant , Building 1, 658 Church Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Australia, with offices in Sydney, London, and San Francisco.

The deck itself consists of 78 cards, and it comes in an inner box that fits snugly into a pocket in the very sturdy boxset along with a beautiful color fully illustrated 144-page hardcover guide book. The boxset is designed so that the book’s back cover is actually a part of the box, which offers a sturdy receptacle for both the deck and the guidebook, but makes working with the book itself a bit challenging.

The deck is printed on sturdy cardstock with a matte finish, almost powdery to the touch. The stock is sturdy enough that my first shuffle was a bit difficult, but the cards quickly adjusted and shuffling became a breeze. The cards are 2¾ by 4¾ inches, very nicely substantial to the hand, with a narrow white border around the images; the name of the card in an easy-to-read black print is found in a white banner at the bottom of each card.

The images on the cards themselves are lush and attractive, with vibrant jewel colors and easy-to-decipher artwork. The style is RWS, but the figures and their surroundings are without ornamentation, presented in a gentle and timeless style yet with a vibrant palette and flowing curves. The clean lines, blocks of color, and animated figures invite the viewer into each image, where symbolism abounds. The artwork of Ruiz is brilliant, and I could randomly choose a card and frame a full-sized image and hang it in my home with pride and joy. The backs of the cards are dark blue with white line drawings that hint at ancient sigils found carved into standing stones or painted on cave walls, a homage to divination methods that predate the Tarot.

The guidebook is beautiful, with a dark blue matt finish, soft front cover with white lettering and a bit of the beautiful line drawings found on the backs of the cards themselves. The back cover, which is substantial as it is part of the boxset, is also dark blue with white lettering, and contains images of five of the cards along with a description of the deck. The pages of the guidebook are substantial and durable, with the paper colors alternating between white and cream. The print is black and easy to read, but a bit small. However, because of the denseness of the card information, the small type is worth the minor inconvenience.

The hardcover guidebook/boxset begins on the very first page with the words “Know Thyself,” a very appropriate beginning for the Neo Tarot. Personally, I have always seen the Tarot as a counseling and healing tool, either for self or for others, more than a tool to see and understand the future. Mandybur took this concept and created an entire deck based on not only self-understanding, but self-help and self-nurturing. In this day and age with its stresses and lack of moments to pause and reset, the Neo Tarot could be a useful tool for finding balance and contentment.

The first chapter begins with a few pages describing why Mandybur has combined the Tarot and self-care, and then continues with a “Manifesto” that affirms that Tarot is real, it never tells us what to do but rather offers self-reflection and options, and that Neo Tarot is for everyone, exactly as they are. Next is a very brief history of the Tarot, followed by a breakdown of the structure of a Tarot deck. In keeping with the theme of self-care, the next chapter connects this concept with the deck, and then offers some sample self-care spreads.

Then we get to the card descriptions. The Minor Arcana cards each get a page that contains a full color image of the card, upright, reversed, and self-care card meanings, astrological signs/planets, themes, and an affirmation. The Major Arcana card descriptions take up two pages, with one page containing a large color image of the card and the name of the card in large print, with the facing page containing upright, reversed, and self-care meanings, a number, an astrological sign/planet, themes, and an affirmation. The book finishes with an Acknowledgements page, and a bio of Mandybur and Daiana Ruiz.

The Neo Tarot is literally for everyone, and it joyously celebrates the beautiful uniqueness of each of us. The images are pleasing, fluid and easy to personalize in a deep and transformative way, and the guidebook offers options for healing and understanding the whole self, physically, emotionally and intellectually. Even a new Tarot enthusiast could enjoy working with this deck and its new interpretations of traditional symbolism. The deck and the guidebook are way more than a divination tool, and someone who is not interested in “reading Tarot” would find the Neo Tarot a useful part of daily self-care routines. The Neo Tarot is worth holding in your hands and incorporating into your daily life.

Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing & Empowerment on Amazon

***

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

Book Review – The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals by Lori Morrison

May, 2019

Book Review
The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals
by Lori Morrison

Lori Morrison’s The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals is an encyclopedic guide to the lore and symbolism of nearly 200 animals, birds, reptiles, with a few mythological beings included. It is a visually lovely book – gorgeously illustrated with black and white drawings in an oversized format – a “coffee table” volume that also works quite well as a reference book. I found myself dipping into the book at random to read the well-researched descriptions of animals in their natural environments as well the information and messages channeled by Ms. Morrison in her discussions with these animals.

Ms. Morrison’s perspectives on working with power animals have been filtered by her own experiences living in El Salvador and traveling in wild places all over the world. She describes a life-changing initiation in 2010 which opened her awareness and ability to work with power animals for herself and for others. Her belief in the value of this work is well-evidenced in the research she did for the book. The lore and traditions provided in the discussion of each animal come from many cultures and traditions; the bibliography, organized by animal, is extensive and allows the reader to dig further.

The book is organized into three sections. In the first, Ms. Morrison gives brief overviews of principles traditionally associated with shamanic practice: cosmology, which she sources in the Tree of Life and three worlds of “core” shamanism; shamanic journeying; and working with the elements and power animals, including shapeshifting, dreaming and tuning the resonance between yourself and a power animal by using a crystal or stone. Ms. Morrison, who has a practice dedicated to healing with vibrational medicine, states, “Each Power Animal embodies energy that is congruent with one of the seven primary energy centers in the human body. The characteristics of the animal mirror those of the center.” She then describes the ways in which a stone resonant with a Power Animal’s energy can be used. Ms. Morrison also describes several types of power animals, including the Shadow Power Animal. This being may represent an aspect of ourselves that we are ignoring, so it is certainly one to pay attention to.

The second section, the largest and most informative, contains illustrated discussions of each power animal. The lore and history provided is extensive and again, from many cultures. The channeled messages and symbolism are helpful for working with Power Animals in non-ordinary reality. In addition, Ms. Morrison places each animal in “ordinary reality,” providing descriptions of real-world behavior, habitat, prey and predators. We are better able to understand an animal sighting in our daily lives as a message noteworthy of our attention if we understand its routine behaviors.

The final section consists several great resources: a list of endangered animals; the research references and bibliography mentioned above; a source for each of the illustrations in the book and a useful table of correspondences for animals, their qualities and related minerals.

The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals is a resource for animal symbolism and lore. I consider it a great addition to my library.

The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

Book Review – The Fire Rose: The Elemental Masters Series by Mercedes Lackey

May, 2019

Book Review
The Fire Rose
The Elemental Masters Series
by Mercedes Lackey

This is the classic story of a young woman, a man and the trials of living with magic. The concept might be a norm with fantasy fiction, but with this addition from Mercedes Lackey, we find magic in the rawest form. Elemental magic.

I have personally read this book over a 100 times, no joke. It is one of my earliest exposures to the actual ‘possibility’ of magic existing in our world.

When I stepped into the world of Jason and Rose, two totally different personalities and walks of life, I felt a kinship with Rose. She is a learned scholar and in the time period of the book that is practically unheard of.

Now, picture this:

A university-taught young woman, raised in Chicago, after losing her father, has found out the full depth of his debt. He made some rather shady monetary choices and lost it to a charlatan who had managed to do the same with all of his other backers.

After watching all of her worldly possessions being carted off by the bank, she was taken under the wing of a fellow professor of her father’s.

Enter Jason. Besides being a very well known rail baron and millionaire, living on Nob Hill in California-he is also a Fire Master.

He made a very foolish choice, after thinking that he had enough magical power, to attempt a werewolf-loupe Garou (1) spell that would allow him to change between werewolf form and human form at will; while still retaining his human mind. This failed in a way he never expected. It left him unable to read, write or practice magic fully due to the changes he created.

Enter Paul du Mond, a selfish and perverse man who is also Jason’s protegee – working to become a Fire Master himself. He is quite prolific in his various diversions to acquire power. He feels like the elemental powers should be his without the regular work and patience involved to rise in power to a Master of Fire as well. He is also Jason’s secretary who handles the business that Jason cannot due to his hubris (2).

There is another Fire Master, Simon Beltaire, who believes as Paul does that magical power can be derived from sex magic and pain. He lives in San Francisco. After enticing Paul with offers of teaching his way of magic, he turns Paul against Jason, while turning Paul into a spy.

After Rose’s father passed away, a letter was sent to her “knight of shining armor” from Jason outlining his need a scholar to help read for him, under the pretext of needing a governess for children he didn’t have. Feeling like all she was able to do was to teach, this offer felt too good to be true, she accepted the offer with some concern.

Off to California, she goes!

I could simply say that I love this book, however it’s more than that. This book fueled my teenage years with joy and happiness. A world that I could travel to and escape my reality.

In addition to this, I was also just beginning to learn about magic and things of the occult. This also happened to be the only way I could “learn” about the Craft in a way that wouldn’t upset my parents.(I’m not advocating hiding anything from parents at all!)

All in all, this is a good read and a lovely way to spend an afternoon curled up with a cuppa, and a snack! Read with an open mind and you’ll find magic everywhere!

(1)https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loup-garou

(2) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hubris

The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters Book) on Amazon

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About the Author:

My name is Krys, I’ve been living the Pagan life for 19 years. I am a wife and stay at home mom to one teen. I am an ordained minister/ Priestess, and head of the Cyber Moon Coven of Changes. After many years as a practicing Christian, I found paganism to be a more suitable path, personally. A few years and covens later, I found that being open to the online community was becoming more important to me.

After struggling to find a coven that was not just “rules” and “roles”. A few attempts later, I began the Cyber Moon Coven. An online and real life coven, with a ‘no strings attached policy’. You can find my group on Facebook. (Cyber Moon Coven of Changes)

She Who Is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

May, 2019

Lalita, the Red Goddess

(Image Credit: The Divine Feminine Oracle Deck by Meggan Watterson)

Lalita Tripura Sundari, also known as Lalita, is an Hindu Goddess, connected to playfulness and desire.

Lalita is “She Who Plays”. Her name in Sanskrit is comprised of Lila, meaning “divine play”, Tripura, meaning three worlds, and Sundari, meaning beautiful; hence, Tripura Sundari is “She who is beautiful in three worlds”. She is known for Her spontaneity and joy.

Lalita is part of a group of ten Goddesses called the Mahavidyas, or Great Wisdom. She is seen to be an aspect of manifestation of Parvati, as well as “Adi Parashakti”, a Goddess considered a Supreme Being in the Shaktism sect of Hinduism.

(Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Lalita is sometimes seen sitting upon a lotus of 16 petals and is known as the Fulfiller of all Desires. Her devotional text, the Lalita Sahasranamam, is a list of her 1,000 names that fulfills the desires of those reciting it.

She holds a golden bow, which represents the wind and five golden arrows to represent the five senses. Her forehead is sometimes shown with a crescent moon.

Her yantra (mystical diagram/sacred geometry) is a red flower, symbolizing Her as the Red Goddess.

(Image Credit: yes2spirituality.wordpress.com)

According to Meggan Watterson of The Divine Feminine Oracle, Lalita represents the waking, dreaming, deep sleep states of our consciousness. She helps us to find joy in our own consciousness and within the world.

(Image Credit: journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com)

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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

Witch & Popcorn

May, 2019

I’d heard a filmmaker named Penny Lane was releasing a documentary about The Satanic Temple, and I was stoked. Then, I heard it did well! Imagine how thrilled I then was when our beloved editor told me we had been offered the opportunity to review it!

Here is the Trailer:

I know. I know.

Some of you are balking at the nerve- Satanists! Some, not just Xtians, believe what the media and mainstream Evangelicals tell us the Church of Satan and The Satanic Temple is all about- devil worship. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as this intimate portrait of some of the chapters of The Satanic Temple reveals.

The film follows the idea to place a Satanic monument in the State Capital of Arkansas- not to proselytize or convert people to Satanism- but to promote religious equality. They have a lawsuit going to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the State government grounds, and stated if the Xtain monument goes up- ALL religious monuments ought to go up. And those of us who watch the news know that was turned down. The lawsuit continues.

The process of creating the statue was shown, and the way the Satanic Temple (TST) raised funds to pay for it. Namingly, through donations, and what they earn at a shop.

Not only co-founder and spokesperson of TST, Lucien Greaves, but many members, some of whom opted to remain anonymous, grant interviews for this film, but they gave a unified message. TST is looking for government to be secular, and for the government not to preach religion, or give religious preference, as it currently does. TST members embrace personal liberty, justice, and rebellion against oppressive practices and arbitrary authority. Satanism is about embracing independence, and not being controlled by other people.

In the documentary, many news stories about what various TST chapters are doing for their greater communities is shown, including not only lawsuits, but after school Satan clubs, highway adoption, beach cleanup, menstrual product gathering and donation, sock gathering and donation to the homeless, as well as blood drives.

This is a stark contrast from the “Satanic Panic’s” claims of the 1980’s and 1990’s! Remember when Dungeons and Dragons games supposedly opened a portal to suck kids souls to hell? One thing you might not know is this era saw innocent people jailed for things they did not do, and multiple lives ruined in the process. TST members who spoke of it compared the 20th Century’s “Satanic Panic” to the witch hunts of Medieval times.

So, it’s well-established you won’t see a Satanist do the things spooky movies and uninformed “god hates fags” sign- wielding Evangelicals claim. Aside from doing the above-mentioned community service work, you will see them embracing seven tenets outlined in the film, which are:

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forego your own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it, and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

This organization, of course stemmed out of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, founded on April 30, 1966. He may be the most famous, if not the most notorious leader the organization has had, and most certainly the most colorful. In his Satanic Bible, which, no doubt ruffled more than a few feathers, he stated he saw men go to drink, see strippers, and whatnot- all the things Xtianity forbade in those days- and then sit up in church Sunday with wives and kids as if they were model Xtians. It left quite an impression on LaVey, who chose Satan as the archetype for his new religion- not to WORSHIP the devil- but he said Satan kept the church in business, and most honestly embodied the true nature of humanity. Thus instead of deprivation, as the churches taught, LaVey sought to embrace our passions, desires, intellect, and animal side, as we were born to do.

Perhaps The original Church of Satan was an occult response of sorts to the “Free Love” movement, but it’s one that speaks to people still, today. TST and The Church of Satan are two completely different entities, but they have some similarities, and I respect them both.

In Hail Satan?, you will see various legal battles multiple TST chapters have waged in the name of justice, and you will hear personal stories from devoted members. You will also witness a very impassioned chapter administrator violate policies of TST, and be fired.

Despite some beliefs TST is a small cult, it has a National Council, and dozens of chapters nationwide, as well as international chapters, and a well-organized system.

The big question many ask- if TST is not evil and all about destruction, WHY call it by the name Satan, who many believe is the greatest evil ever?

Remember what Anton LaVey said about Satan being a fitting archetype for man’s true nature for one thing. For another thing, members are deliberately trying to jolt people’s awareness, and they do not mind offending people. They have been called the Antichrist, and one member says that IS half true. They protest the atrocities the church has imposed upon humanity for so long. Beyond that, they protest, and reject the mind control and oppression the church has enforced. Catholic groups seem especially fond of protesting TST chapters, and one member says they have a lot of gall calling Satanics sinful after all the abuse and rapes of children. Satan was known as the adversary- so the church and the oppression she enforces HAS an adversary in The Satanic Temple- which is quite pro-human.

TST is among many things, pro-individual, against blind faith, pro-gay, pro-choice, anti-rape, pro-trans, and all for questioning that which is forbidden.

Some ask why TST does not just call themselves atheists if they do not worship the devil? One member states atheism just states what you are NOT. There is no ritual or definition. TST defines everything and gives ritual and structure.

Some don’t know this, but I have read more than one Satanic publication over the years, and while I’m not a member, I am in agreement with their beliefs and practices. I have friends who are also, one of whom agreed to a short interview.

Interview with Jodi @ Satanism

SaoirseWhat first drew you to The Church of Satan, or The Satanic Temple’s teachings?

Jodi- Curiosity as a child in contrast to what I was being brainwashed with by fundamentalists. I first picked up LaVey in middle school or so. A mixture of curiosity and rebellion. I met other kids who were interested in high school. That’s what those thumpers get.

Saoirse- Did the adults raising you find out perchance?

Jodi- Yes. My mother was absolutely mortified when she discovered my copy of The Satanic Bible, hidden with my cigarettes in my dresser. Naturally, she ordered me to stop and go to church but…fail. Only made my quest that much more enticing. Mother had many books that warned against Satanic & occult teachings. In the beginning, I used these as cross-references to find the knowledge I was seeking. Those books of hers were so funny to me….the titles and all.

Saoirse- People who were ignorant raised me also. I did not wake up until I was in my 20’s. Late!

Jodi- I think that’s pretty normal.

No matter what path you choose…to not start to really branch out of the family illusion

Until the mid-twenties or so.

I was teaching Catholicism to school kids during my twenties even though I was a practicing witch. It was sort of a marital obligation thing, I though and the director or religion was DESPERATE.

He called me an Angel… lmao. He regretted that…especially when he learned I was encouraging children to wait til adulthood to get confirmed.

Saoirse- Catholicism and witchcraft go very well together.

Jodi- I agree.

Saoirse- I agree. You cannot GIVE anybody to a god or goddess. All baptisms and confirmations belong in adulthood.

Jodi- Amen. The church puts too much pressure on kids. Not to mention, indoctrination is bullshit.

Saoirse- Exactly.

Jodi- The way is to choose for the self. One of many reasons I embrace the teachings.

Saoirse- What is a favorite Satanic teaching of yours?

Jodi- I like the contrast of putting those who move to harm you in their place over the xtian turning the other cheek. There is much to be said for compassion and forgiveness, yes but also standing up for one’s self, remorselessly.

Our culture has been conditioned to take too much shit…which is part of the reason we are all suffering in this age. We are used to being walked on and told what to do.

Living in fear isn’t living

Saoirse- Exactly.

Jodi- Satanism encourages a healthy lifestyle and self-esteem.

Some of this depends on what variety of Satanism we’re talking about, but you understand.

Saoirse- What has embracing these tenets and teachings done for your life?

Jodi- They have made a way for me to learn of and about myself and others in a respectful manner. They’ve crushed the early indoctrination I was force-fed as a child and allowed me to rebuild my own opinions and Will. It made a way for what I want for my life versus what others expect or condone.

The verdict on this is it is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, and it did my heart good to see the beautiful people of TST, and all the wonderfulness they are spreading within their organization, and in their communities in general.

This film is a must see.

Here is the link to the films page, and how you can see this for yourself!

Happy viewing, and Blessed Be!

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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.

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