world

Book Review – The Hidden Worlds by Sandra Ingerman & Katherine Wood

June, 2019

Book Review
The Hidden Worlds
by Sandra Ingerman and Katherine Wood

The Hidden Worlds is a gift to “juvenile fiction”. The authors, Sandra Ingerman and Katherine Wood bring the wealth of their experience as Shamans and in the case of Katherine, as an educator, and present a story of fiction that holds a wealth of keys and nuances to be used for any young practitioner.

Sandra Ingerman, a world renowned Shaman, shares that The Hidden Worlds is based upon her own spiritual experiences as she entered the world of study and understanding the principles of Shamanic practice. Katherine, Sandra’s student, became the collaborator for a story that brings to life the natural wisdom of our youth and the power that they hold in affecting change for their future and the future of our plant.

The main character, Isaiah, is a dreamer. And, in those dreams he finds those companions that will become the cohort that takes down a power plant that is polluting and dumping waste into the local stream. All are connected by shared dreams and are drawn together as they meet at the pond in their dreams and find that the dead fish and birds, each saw in their dreams are more than portents of upcoming disaster from toxic waste.

The chapters are short, appropriately paced for many of today’s youth taste for getting directly to the point and quickly. Each building upon the foundations of basic shamanic practice and learning to engage power animals and journeying to the three worlds.

All in all I enjoyed reading The Hidden Worlds, especially as a departure from the traditional works of Ms. Ingerman that instruct and inform the Shamanic practice from the direction of theory and experience. That being said, this is an excellent introduction to be accessed by young adults. Environmental issues, spiritual growth and the power of community and collaboration are themes throughout, with the addition of a bit of romance as well. It s a reminder that we coexist with these “Hidden Worlds” and as humans we are not powerless when faced with the future of our planet, its eco system and those with whom we share this home.

The Hidden Worlds on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

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

Notes from the Apothecary

April, 2019

Notes from the Apothecary: Chilli

Chili is a useful medicinal and magical plant. This spicy fruit is delicious in a variety of cuisines, from Mexican to Indian and many in between. Modern research has found many health benefits, and the modern witch can use chili for a range of spells and magics. Chili is a beautiful plant, with striking foliage and stunning, glossy fruits ranging from scarlet to shades so deep they’re nearly black- perfect for the inner goth! Read on to find out why chili is such a useful ingredient for mundane and magical use.

The Kitchen Garden

Not everyone likes spicy food, but chili pepper adds flavour as well as heat. It’s all about choosing the right chili and getting the quantities right. As this isn’t a cookery blog, I won’t go into too much detail- I could wax lyrical for days about the tastes of different chilies! But it’s worth noting that you can vastly remove the heat of any chili you want to cook with by removing the seeds.

We use scotch bonnets for when we want a deep, savoury flavour- often in dishes that are slow cooked as these chilies handle this really well. We use jalapenos to throw in to pasta or fajitas, or tiny birds eye chilies to add bite to Thai or Chinese food. I’m a total chili addict, and even when we don’t have fresh chilies in the house, I always have some dry habaneros for emergencies, plus a frankly ridiculous range of pepper sauces.

Currently, I even have some dried scorpion chili- not for the faint hearted!

Growing chilies is pretty easy if you have a hot, sunny garden, or a greenhouse, or a decent sized window-sill that catches the sun. I grow mine indoors as I live in a cool climate. I plant a few seeds in moist soil in a pot, cover them with a clear plastic bag or upside-down soda bottle, and wait for them to germinate. Once they have several leaves, I put them into individual pots. Then, it’s all about making sure they’re watered- but not too much- and have access to light. I also manually pollinate the flowers, in the absence of pollinators!

The Apothecary

Mrs Grieve refers to cayenne pepper in her Modern herbal, but also uses the synonyms bird pepper and African pepper, so it’s clear she’s talking about hot chilies in general. She states it is a powerful stimulant, and aids in digestion although it can also cause problems due to chili being an irritant. Indeed, one of the reasons hot chilies are added to food is to increase the stomach acid in order to kill more bacteria- useful in hot climes where it is hard to keep food cool and fresh.

She states that in the West Indies, a concoction called Mandram is made with chili, citrus, cucumber and onion as a remedy for weak digestion. Gargling with a tiny amount of chili in rose water was a remedy for sore throats or a relaxed uvula- not recommended without expert experience!

The Witch’s Kitchen

Cunningham tells us that chili is a masculine herb, rule over by Mars- no surprise, considering the fiery connotations! He also states it is one of the plants associated with fidelity and can be used to break hexes or reveal hidden things. One of the spells he shares is for when you fear your lover is straying. Cross two dried chili peppers then tie them with red or pink ribbon. Sleep with the peppers beneath your pillow to ensure your partner’s loyalty to you. Adding chili powder to love spells will ensure the love is passionate or ‘hot’.

Pueblo and Hopi tribes have used chili pepper in rituals, and Maya tribes believed the chili had healing and protective powers. Columbus was attacked with flaming chili bombs full of habaneros when he arrived in the ‘New World’- an appropriate response, really. There is a Zuni legend which tells the strange story of the origins of the chili plant. Thunder and lightning were stolen from the gods, and two youths played with them until the accidentally killed their grandmother. Where they buried her, the chili plant grew, its fruits imbued with the fiery power of her scolding tongue.

Chili flakes are used in Hoodoo to jinx an enemy, in various powders and dusts. Sprinkling chili around a rival’s home brings them bad luck and difficulties in life. Chili can cause break ups or make an unwanted guest leave. However, it’s also used for cleansing.

I Never Knew…

The Latin name capsicum is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘to bite’, referring to the spiciness when eaten.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Book Review – Pagan Portals: The Dagda by Morgan Daimler

April, 2019

Book Review
Pagan Portals
The Dagda
Meeting the Good God of Ireland
by Morgan Daimler

The Dagda, the Good God of Ireland, is the subject of the book written by Morgan Daimler. She has created a beginner’s book on a Deity that is multilayered and complex. As of 2017, the time of the writing of this book, the author, Ms. Daimler had not heard of a book that was written solely on the Dagda.

The author, Ms. Daimler, has broken the five different chapters up into sub-entries. Each entry deals with a different aspect of the Dagda. Even though there are only 77 pages in the e-book, I found myself taking a lot of notes.

The first chapter describes the Dagda, in name, physical description, and in his relationship with others. The second chapter is the mythology of the deity known as the Good God, the Dagda. There are several different myths that Ms. Daimler uses; most of which have Irish titles that I can’t pronounce. (My pronunciation of Irish words is terrible so that my program that does my typing would misspell all of them anyway.) All of the myths that Ms. Daimler used as references showed the Dagda, as a God of many skills, abundance, and healing.

In chapter 3 one of the possessions that belong to the Dagda, is a cauldron of abundance. In modern neopaganism, the cauldron is often associated with feminine or goddess energy. In Irish were more generally Celtic mythology the cauldron is associated with Gods.

Also in chapter 3, she talks about herbs, trees, and resins. She does point out that herbs are a bit more modern and vary from person to person. Oak has always had a strong connection with the Dagda. Also having an association with the Dagda are frankincense and myrrh, neither of which are native to Ireland.

On page 51 of Ms. Daimler’s book she talks about the Dagda has a strong modern reputation as a Druid or working druidic magic, but she points out that there is nothing explicit in the mythology the connecting to the Druids. She does think it’s redundant that the Dagda has his own Druid. She says it’s redundant, if he, himself was also a Druid. I don’t think it’s any more redundant, then a tarot reader going to another tarot reader for a reading.

There are a couple of different things that Ms. Daimler includes in the book that I find interesting. One of the sub-entries is the Dagda in my life; I like when an author includes their working with a Deity or part of their own spiritual growth experience. She also includes a look at the Dagda in the modern world.

I do see this book as a jumping off book for learning more about the Dagda. I think some of the sources that Ms. Daimler quotes, will lead others to search more about Celtic myth. I’m glad to have read this book because it gave me a deeper understanding of the Dagda, and the way Irish/Celtic myths look at their deities. I highly recommend this book.

Pagan Portals – the Dagda: Meeting the Good God of Ireland 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 on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Healing Through Sacred Music

April, 2019

(Our Lady Sings A Lullaby To The Endangered Species by Shiloh Sophia McCloud)

You are the universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while.

-Eckhart Tolle

When I was a kid nature was my friend, my therapist and my inspiration. I looked forward to the summer months when darkness fell later in the day so that I could stay outside as long as possible. One of my favourite places to go when I was troubled was to climb up to the top of the cedar tree in front of my house. After a while of swaying along with the wind at the top in silence, I inevitably felt calmer and would often start hearing music. As a kid, I was always humming or singing–to the extent that my godmother often joked that I sang more than I spoke! I experienced more inner peace when I was singing and during that time, the world made sense to me and was a less scary place. I felt like I was embraced in those moments by a unifying and loving force in the universe. I love this quote from J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” because I sometimes wondered if I was crazy for hearing things other folks didn’t seem to be noticing: “Of course it is happening in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

As a kid, I thought I was making up these songs I was humming. It wasn’t until I began my shamanic training in earnest that I started to realize that these songs were not coming from me at all. People ask me where these songs originate from and all I can say with any sort of definitiveness is that they do not come from my own creative “genius.” These songs are in the ether around us: They come from Spirit and they belong to Spirit. They are lent to us for healing purposes. Some of the songs feel like they come from the land and they have the “feel” of the ancestral territory that I find myself on when I hear them. I’ve traveled all over the world and the songs I hear in each of those places tend to be distinct to them. I would love to learn more about the songlines that indigenous Australians follow in their tradition. Perhaps someday, I will receive the honour of this teaching.

I don’t know why these songs come to me–perhaps simply because I am listening. However, I do feel that this gift is not exclusive to me. I remember asking an elder I worked with about this and he said that everyone has a personal song and they can go into nature to ask for this song. If this is done with ego, it will backfire so it’s important to have a clear intent around why this personal song is needed (i.e. for healing, to help with a life transition, or to strengthen our sense of self-worth). It is a listening process that might take a lot of attempts to hear so patience and perseverance is required. We cannot demand these things from Spirit; we can only open ourselves up to receive with gratitude and humility. When I sing my personal song, it helps me connect with my Sacred Dream (my spiritual mission and the reason I am here). In the hubbub of life, this is an indispensable tool for me–especially when I need perspective because I’ve forgotten who I am and what I am about in a given situation.

I sang with the Universal Gospel Choir in Vancouver for almost a decade. It is a glorious experience singing in unison with sixty other people, creating a wall of sound that bounces off the walls of the church and into each person in it. We sang sacred music from traditions all around the world. Though I often found myself on stage, I was never singing for entertainment, but to increase my connection to Spirit. It was not uncommon for me to be so moved by the spirit of the song that I would cry or move my way through a piece. The audience members often told me that they came to our concerts for healing and hope. These folks wanted to align with their spiritual aspect through these songs and it worked for them.

What is the process of catching a song? This differs from tradition to tradition around the world. And I qualify what I am about to share by saying that this is my experience, which is not linked to a particular tradition but has been happening spontaneously “through” me since I was young. In Barbara Tedlock’s book “The Woman in the Shaman’s Body,” she makes a distinction between hereditary shamans who would pass on songs from their traditions throughout generations and what she calls “inspirational” shamans:

In the mid-80s hereditary shamans in the Soviet Union were almost wiped out by government persecution (put in gulags or then killed).  An alternative inspirational shamanic path practiced for generations by Turkic and Khakass peoples enabled shamanism to survive. Shamans traveling this path received healing knowledge directly from the spirits of the earth, water and sky.”

Although I don’t call myself a shaman, I do see similarities between what happens to me and what the inspirational shamans of Asia are doing. I don’t always go looking for these songs. They have often come to me in my sleeping dreamtime. This is my favourite way of catching songs from Spirit because I know my ego is not involved in that. I kept a recorder by bed for many years to remember them when I awoke. I would then do ceremony to see what the song was to be used for and how to share it in a good way. So far, I’ve been instructed to share all of these songs so the people could use them for their own healing. I have honoured that. If Spirit ever told me to keep a song to myself, I would respect that too. In fact, I highly recommend learning as much about the history of scared songs and the protocols around their use before singing them or sharing them in any way. I’ve included a link to the Going Shamanic podcast I did on this topic at the foot of this article in case readers want more in depth information on how to take care with and of these songs.

When I travel, the first thing I do when I place my feet on the soil of this new country is to introduce myself to the ancestors of the place and I give gratitude to them for allowing me to be there for a while. One thing I’ve learned is that these songs wouldn’t come through me at all if I didn’t seek to have a relationship with the spirit of each song and with the land they come from. It’s a bit like dating to me where every time I sing a song, I learn a bit more about it as it touches me in a different way at various junctures in my life. These songs open the heart and touch a place inside of us that we don’t always allow ourselves to visit in everyday life. Sacred songs are designed to shine a light on these spaces. When I am feeling “off,” singing while playing my frame drum brings me back to balance quicker than anything else, besides maybe dancing as a close second.

I want to point out here that sacred songs are different than popular songs credited to musicians. These songs are designed for healing and they often have a very specific intent. For example, some sacred songs are sung only during funerals, life transitions, or during full moon ceremonies. It’s good to respect this and to keep the songs as close to their original version as possible to preserve the “medicine” that Spirit sent with them. It’s not for us to understand the ins and outs of this mystery; I love engaging with it. And I hope that we never unpack the secrets of this magical process while we are still in human form. Albert Ayler said that “music is the healing force of the universe.” I am just happy to participate in that creation while I am in human form.

Resources:

Going Shamanic: Medicine Songs with Jennifer Engracio

Universal Gospel Choir

Featured art by: Shiloh Sophia McCloud “Our Lady Sings a Lullaby to The Endangered Species”

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Book Review – Witchbody: A Graphic Novel by Sabrina Scott

March, 2019

Book Review
Witchbody
A Graphic Novel
By Sabrina Scott
74 pp.

“Can magic teach us how to love?” asks Sabrina Scott partway through their graphic essay, “Witchbody: A Graphic Novel.” As Scott builds up layers of radical environmentalism and transformative animism through the book, the answer crystallizes: yes, magic can teach us how to love, because empathy and experience are the way forward, and magic gives us the tools to learn and practice both. While it is difficult to pin down a single thesis for this essay — perhaps only because the scope of Scott’s topic is so broad — one clear theme is that through the intentional sharing of spaces and bodies, and the experience of other bodies in relationship to our own, we come to know, understand, and love each other. By experiencing pain, grief, loss, and transformation, we learn to recognize and honor these experiences in others, and in the world around us. By seeing ourselves as we truly are, what we share and where we differ with others, we come to be one.

More a poetic essay than a narrative, “Witchbody” is a book which muses about ontology, experience, physicality, and spirituality — and what these things all have to do with each other. Scott’s beautiful ink and watercolor illustrations enrich their words, lending reinforcement to their message through the depiction of interactions between humans and the liminal spaces that guide us between and within our urban and natural environments. 

Scott’s magical attitude takes flight as everyday activities are transformed into moments of transcendent beauty, during which awareness and empathy inflame a daily sense of unity with the surrounding world. Man, earth, and animal engage with each other on a daily basis. In these watery, organic panels, bones, phones, ferrets, and flowers all float down the same stream as the self; all inhabit one sphere and collide with each other in the same space, as one body. And in these bodies, and in our shared body, we can suffer pain, illness, and death — and when we deny the truth of our shared body, we truly do damage to each other. At the same time, our sensuality is a gateway to ontological understanding; by having a body and engaging with our own bodies, we can come to understand what it means to have a body, to be a being in the physical, natural world.

But Scott does not praise only sameness or the recognition of shared traits by different bodies; while this is an attractive shortcut, it can also invalidate more experiences than it validates, and ignores a lot. Instead, Scott delves into how the self-as-same and self-as-different juxtaposition propels animistic empathy forward, causing true transformation and understanding through primary experience and communication, rather than analysis, reflection, or judgment. It is in the active compassion for the other that we build the bridge between our own experience as human individuals, and the experience of the others, by extending our own capacity for feeling and our borders past our own skin.

Sabrina Scott’s “Witchbody” is a beautiful book which will appeal to animistic and environmentally-minded witches, artistic witches, and anyone who believes that we are all one. While there is more text here than in a regular graphic novel of the same length due to the dense and complex nature of the content, it’s still an easy afternoon read that will leave you eager to experience how engaging with the natural other can strengthen and sustain our collaborative, shared world.

Witchbody: A Graphic Novel on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Book Review – Divining With Animal Guides: Answers from the World at Hand by Hearth Moon Rising

March, 2019

Book Review
Divining With Animal Guides
Answers from the World at Hand
by Hearth Moon Rising

I was delighted to discover that Divining with Animal Guides is not a cookbook dictionary, concretizing the “meanings” of animal encounters. Author Hearth Moon Rising has created a manual for learning to observe and discern and ultimately, to shift our strictly human viewpoint. Only when we look at the context in which the animals offer us their messages are we able to fully understand their invitations and gifts.

Rising weaves science, mythology, mathematics and storytelling into each of the chapters. There are 9 in total, covering the cat family big and small, alligators and crocodiles, horses, bees, scorpions, ravens, woodpeckers, deer and the antlered ones, and cranes. This is not a purely “magical” discussion of these beings, although she provides a short review for each animal guide, briefly listing magical qualities and applications and other associations. She focuses instead on laying the groundwork for an understanding of the animal’s place and workings in nature through its evolution and biology, and then delves into its mythology and historical associations. So, in the chapter on Cat, Rising brings the cat forward from its origins in Egypt to its association with witches in Europe right up to its appearance in quantum physics as Schrodinger’s Cat. She also provides a story or poem to place the animal in a particular cultural context so we can begin to sense how its powers interact with its world. I was fascinated at how well Rising created this weaving of science and mythology and found it difficult to put the book down at points. She evokes the energetic field of the animal’s entire biological and historical existence so we can connect to it and make our own associations.

Rising’s instructions for using math and geometry in observing and interpreting signs and messages are wonderful. For example, she asks us to consider that bees construct hexagonal honeycombs and launches into an analysis of the hexagon and the significance of the number 8 that is guaranteed to deepen your understanding of any messages you have ever received from Bee. And if you find a lone animal that usually travels in pairs or groups, reflect on why only one appears now.

Rising emphasizes scientific observation of the animal and an appreciation of the context – environmental, biological and metaphoric – in which it appears or communicates with you. Observing it closely where and how it appears rather than jumping to a conclusion about what it “means” makes the difference between a superficial understanding of its message and truly receiving it and allowing it to unfold over time. Rising uses each animal to demonstrate a different aspect of observation – ravens for sight and seeing, woodpeckers for hearing and listening, deer (rarely seen nor heard) – tracking through confusing signals until you find your way. In other words, discerning the root what is meant and which clues in the message to follow. As she points out, “A paradigm shift cannot occur with the disintegration of beliefs and the subsequent disorientation…The most profound animal signs are not the ones that tell you where to go next or what to expect in the year ahead. They are the signs that open the world, allowing you to see something new, even to realize a deeper lever of truth.” She pushes us to cultivate observation skills beyond our “usual” boundaries so we can feel the energy of the deer we hadn’t seen standing next to us in the bushes. She asks us to lose our limited human viewpoint and remove our ego-centric blinders so we can receive the fresh information that the natural world continually offers to us – “divination in nature is not for those who have no room for questioning their beliefs.” In order to help us loosen the grip of our firm convictions, Rising offers provocative questions for reflection in each chapter, too. I found them to be koan-like; I had to stop and really consider what those questions were asking of me.

This book is a jewel. It is much more than a book about the animal powers. It is a guide for how to open our perception to the world around us and broaden our ability to communicate with our co-inhabitants. It is so much more than a dictionary of totem animals. It will challenge you, make you laugh and invite you to step into “the moment of power, the instant when a door opens and one thing changes into another…” as Rising says in her Final Words to us. Divining with Animal Guides: Answers from the World at Hand is well-worth adding to your library.

Divining with Animal Guides: Answers from the World at Hand 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 – Chakra Animals: Discover Your Connection to Wisdom of the Natural World by Angelica Stuart

January, 2019

Book Review

Chakra Animals

Discover Your Connection to Wisdom of the Natural World

by Angelica Stuart

Chakra Animals by Angelica Stuart provides an opportunity to weave the fundamentals of Chakra work and the wisdom of the animals into a new journey of exploration. Each of these subjects stands on its own with volumes of text and information, so the ability to use as resource an easily readable book that leaves room for an open interpretation based on your prior knowledge is a wonderful addition.

The book begins with a brief overview of each of the seven traditional Chakras. The standard associations are given for each including, color-element and sense. The descriptions are condensed, but given a subject of this weight and expanse, enough is given to stimulate the organic brainstorming of your own connections and interpretations.

Practical Uses for coordinating Chakra application and working with the animals follows. As the author states…. “there are endless parallels that I could make, but my hope is that you find many on your own.” This is a gentle reminder that the work that is done should always be guided by your own intuitive nature, in particular when seeking the assistance of other beings and energies.

And, the remainder of the book focuses on the energies and attributes of fifty (50) Animals that are commonly considered as animal guides and totems. Each animal is described for its overall traditional use, key attributes and how that animals energies may be used to enhance each of the seven chakras. This break-down provides the integrative piece of aligning your chakra work of development with the animal totems/guides that present to you.

The final offering is an index-styled listing of intentions, or Connections that identify the specific animals associated and are supportive of that specific work. Intentions include: Abundance, Community, Communication, Intelligence and more.

A lovely addition at the back of the book making use of the author’s credentials as a graduate of the prestigious MICA school of , are several pages of graphic illustrations of the animals discussed that are scored into a grid such that they can be cut out and pasted onto an index card for reference and individual work. A deck of specially illustrated cards – Chakra Animals Oracle Cards – may also be ordered via the author’s Etsy site.

Visit the author’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/chakraanimals/

Visit the author’s Etsy store: www.etsy.com/chakraanimals/

Click HERE or on Book Cover for Amazon Info

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Gael Song

December, 2018

Midwinter and Christmas Spirit Magic

 

(Image from http://visitstonehenge.com/)

As nearly everyone knows, light seeds of what will manifest during the coming year, are sent by the spirit world down hur’s sword of light to the base of everyone’s spine on Midwinter dawn. I can usually feel a sizzling at the base of my spine that day, when I first step out of my little cottage into the daylight. But there’s much more that follows after, which no one at all seems to recognize. As a light healer, reading energies, it’s easy for me to see these. And so, this month, I want to write about what I’ve observed over many years. Those hurian light seeds of the year ahead settle down into the energetic soil of everyone’s womb (both men and women have inner female and male structures inside in light), where they remain for three days, while the Goddess decides the exact form and timing the new impulses of light will take over the year to come. The dark cosmic sea, keeper of all things unborn, floods every person’s abdomen as well. One could call it the unconscious, for it is.

Always, there’s one central thrust of growth for each person over the year to come, growth that will involve facing specific fears or outer challenges meant to build a brand new part of the self within. This new gift or talent is always divine, a small piece of each person’s self-of-light or highest destiny that will eventually emerge during everyone’s final lifetime on earth. This divine self was seeded into us at the very moment of our creation into light, long, long, ago, on the Creator Sun, the highest light structure in the seventh heaven, so say my druid guides. You could think of this new self-of-light that grows into fulness each year as each person’s own divine child of that cycle, too. That’s how my guides speak of it, anyway. Our own divine qualities always reflect the Creators, too, the White Tara and Oghama, Goddess and God.

So, after three days in the cosmic sea, the first structures of the year’s divine child emerge from everyone’s abdominal unconscious and move into each person’s high heart or thymus. The thymus is the inner child heart, where our divine children anchor in most strongly. This happens on Christmas dawn. This child within looks like an infant-of-light, and I find this time most magical, for I can always feel the soft loving-kindness essence of the divine children filling my spirit on that morning. Even amid the bustle of cooking for visiting relatives, I try to find a few moments of quiet to sense what this impulse of growth for the year ahead may bring for me. And this divine infant is one of twelve parts of our inner spirits that everyone has, all twelve with specific vibrations, regencies of the spirit, and directives in life. You could call these twelve parts of everyone’s spirit their personality, too. These twelve parts of our inner spirits exactly match the twelve gods and goddesses of the Creator Sun as well.

And always this emergence of the divine child inside everyone releases a bright beam of hope, a ray of clear diamond light. It will see that, during this first druid moon of the year, the Birch moon, some memory or long-cherished desire will be brought to each person’s attention. This is the first hint of what will manifest for each of us at the end of the coming year, something we’ve long wished for. And this promise of fulfillment stirs up desire from our depths to face and heal whatever fears may be in its way, so this dream will definitely come to be at the end of the year.

Over the year ahead then, this impulse get fleshed out as we push against the thorns and briars in our paths. On Imbolc, the little girl part of each person’s spirit emerges from this abdominal sea. On the Vernal Equinox, the toddler boy emerges. Then the feminine virgin on Bealtaine, the masculine virgin at Midsummer. The inner god and goddess are active during the Oak (May/June) and Apple (July/August) moons, not the solstice/equinox/cross-quarter-day festivals. The inner mother part of our spirits arises at Lughnasa, the inner father at the Autumnal Equinox, the feminine grandmother at Samhein, and finally, the inner grandfather at Midwinter. This is when our new divine part of self is finally complete, fully born into all twelve parts of our inner selves-of-light. It’s the realization of our sweet dream of the year before.

May your own divine child for the year to come be utterly miraculous, bringing an end to want, perhaps, a special destiny, a love like no other. I always hope for the beginning of real peace, unity between peoples, an end to war and privation in the places of most intense global suffering. But these are dreams that will take us all to achieve. For now, it’s enough to feel that sword of light and let it lead you all year long. Let’s walk this road together into the awakening of everyone’s divinity, all of us a shining star in our own personal areas of endeavor. May this season of magic be the very best you’ve ever had!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment on Amazon

Tarot Talk

November, 2018

Four of Coins

(The Four of Coins card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

We haven’t spoken about the Fours of the Minor Arcana in a while. This month we will talk about the Four of Pentacles, and remind ourselves of what happens when we have begun to find success within the physical world.

The Four of Pentacles is a Minor Arcana card, so as we know, the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. The easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 4, and the suit of Pentacles. As we have already discovered, these two ingredients alone could actually give us enough information about this one card to offer a useful interpretation. We have other useful things to consider, too, such as symbolism, astrology, and more.

The traditional image of the Four of Pentacles is of a well-dressed person wearing a crown and sitting on a throne, with a pentacle under each foot, a pentacle above the crown, and a pentacle held firmly with both arms. Behind the seated person is the skyline of what appears to be a well-organized and prosperous city; above is a blue and cloud-free sky. Most versions of the Four of Pentacles are similar: four Pentacles being guarded, although there is no indication exactly what they are being guarded from.

The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, and wealth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins or disks on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards as well as trees, flowers and green, verdant growth, all of which will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security (and even wealth), and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about security and stillness, and knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying the fruits of our labors. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see just by examining the paragraph above just how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers and our finances, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, our Four of Pentacles.

The number 4 is about solidification, discipline, balance, authority figures, a foundation being created, calmness, caution, being steady or difficult to shake up. There are four points to a compass, so the number 4 can represent everything around us as it is right now. If we remember that the number 3 usually represents the creation of something new, or the making real of concepts or understandings presented by the number 2, then we can see that the number 4 brings depth or solidity to that creation. On the negative side, the number 4 can represent energies that are slow and plodding, too conservative, or suspicious of or averse to change.

Within the Tarot, the Fours represent the concept of the cube, very stable and hard to tip over; here we have the pause that allows us to take a breath after activating the potential of the Ace through the partnership of the Two in order to manifest the creation of the Three. Briefly, we have the potential to experience abundance, good luck and comfort (the Ace of Pentacles), the power to deal with change in a balanced and beneficial manner (the Two of Pentacles), and the ability to practice our skills with talent, dedication and a focus on details (the Three of Pentacles). The Four of Pentacles offers a glimpse of the success that comes with a long-term application of luck, skill and dedication, and an awareness of just how much we have to lose once that success begins to manifest.

The astrological correspondence for the Four of Pentacles offers us a bit more depth of understanding; the Four of Pentacles represents our Sun when it is in the astrological sign of Capricorn.

In astrology, The Sun corresponds with our sun, the star at the center of our solar system around which the planets revolve. The sun provides our Earth with the heat and light necessary for life as we know it. The arc that the sun travels in every year, rising and setting in a slightly different place each day, is a reflection of the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which is particularly applicable with our Four of Pentacles and the astrological sign of Capricorn (an Earth sign). The sun is thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities and the principles of creativity, spontaneity, health and vitality, or simply the “life force.” In Chinese astrology, the sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle. In Indian astrology, the sun is called Surya and represents the soul, ego, vitality kingship, highly placed persons, government and the archetype of The Father.

Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, is a Cardinal Earth sign ruled by Saturn. Capricorn people are stable, hard-working, practical, methodical, and ambitious, never losing sight of goals regardless of how many obstacles or distractions are in the way. They are a bit stoic and rigid, and they will stick to their beliefs despite convincing evidence to the contrary. More than anything else they enjoy power, respect, and authority, and they are willing to toe the line for as long as it takes to achieve those goals. The Capricorn personality is one that is firmly grounded in reality, the voice of reason in a chaotic world. A Capricorn person may seem unfriendly, but remember the image of this astrological sign has a fish’s tail. The emotions are there, just hidden within that inhibited exterior. As far as material wealth is concerned, Capricorn approaches finances with prudence, planning, and discipline, and thus, there are not many Capricorns who are lacking in physical-world resources.

If the Sun is about the Self, and Capricorn, an Earth sign ruled by Saturn, is about resources and reality, then when our Sun is in Capricorn, there can be a strong focus to deal with and master the more tangible aspects of life and living. We are talking about ambition here, but also responsibility. These energies are not about going forth into the unknown, but rather they are about working hard and making the most out of the resources at hand, solving challenges through focus and endurance. The Sun in Capricorn is about being admired for accomplishments, as well as dependability, creativity, discipline and a sense of humor.

The Fours have a place on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; they are found in the sephira of Chesed in the middle of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. This sephira is seen as the place of both expansion and stability. Chesed represents Mercy and tells us that love cannot happen without understanding. Chesed also represents the concept of authority, which brings the danger of self-righteousness and at the same time offers us the opportunity to learn humility.

In The Naked Tarot (the awesome book I reviewed this month; check it out!), the Four of Coins is described as someone who is poor-minded rather than someone who is actually deprived, a perfect description of the personality of this card. Janet Boyer’s description of the Four of Coins as actually about withholding and stockpiling to the point of being paralyzed by what we have accumulated, is spot-on. The personifications of King Midas and Ebenezer Scrooge fit well with the message of the Four of Coins, as does the health issue of constipation.

The Wild Unknown Four of Pentacles shows four Pentacles, each connected to the others by belts or straps. We can almost hear the hum of those belts as they turn, creating lots of energy but only allowing each Pentacle to turn in one direction, in only certain ways. The image shows the benefits of the energy of this card, as well as the restrictive nature of the devices which not allow things to grow or evolve in new ways. This card is about valuing the things we have right now and protecting them to the point that they are stifled. Keeping things as they are, holding tightly to those possessions we value, prevents us from using them to create new things. But the support offered by structure and a strong foundation can just as easily grow into a prison.

The image on the Thoth Tarot Four of Disks, called “Power,” looks like a fortress with four square watchtowers, surrounded by a moat that can only be crossed at one place. The Four of Disks represents assured material gain in the form of dominion, rank, and earthly power that have been obtained but are leading to no further growth. After all, a fortress offers useful protection but if our enemies surround us with strength and focus of their own, a siege becomes a long and painful process.

The Llewllyn Welsh Four of Pentacles shows the traditional image for this card, and tells of a need to focus on growth opportunities closer to home, and of acquiring new possessions and guarding them, maybe to the point of over identifying with them. The card hints at a tendency to parade our wealth in front of others and warns of the danger of ostentation.

The Legacy of the Divine Four of Coins shows a man dressed in a manner that indicates material wealth and success achieved through effort. Despite his outward appearance of power and security, the man grasps four golden coins to his chest in a very insecure way, and looks at us out of the side of his eyes as if saying “these are not the Coins you are looking for; move on!” Saving for a rainy day is a prudent thing to do, however the fear of losing our physical possessions can easily overcome our ability to enjoy them.

The message here is pretty clear: yes, managing our resources in order to make certain that our physical-world needs are seen to is smart. The ability to provide for oneself takes training, effort and perseverance, but constantly questioning ourselves as to whether or not we have enough ends up blinding us to the true pleasure of personal satisfaction and comfort, and the joy of sharing our own bounty with our loved-ones. These kinds of connections are valuable too, and they are also necessary for our sense of worth and our joy of living.

This process of holding tightly is well and good for a little bit; it allows us to gather ourselves in order to take the next leap. However, realizing that eventually the process of holding tightly will begin to prevent the very leap for which we are preparing is a necessary realization for that leap to actually happen.

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot Deck 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

Next »