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Book Review- Gifts of the Crysnix by Lisa G. Shore

June 1st, 2018

Book Review

Gifts of the Crysnix

Author: Lisa G. Shore

209 pages

 

(Author Lisa G. Shore courtesy https://lisagshore.com/)

 

This book brought me back to my younger years when my imagination was at its best. The author’s magical world includes fairies, kings/queens, princes, ogres, underworld creatures, laws of light, crystals, and much more.

The story is set in a small town called Galvin Colve. In the woods called Castle Forest lies a majestic Crystal Kingdom that is hidden from human kind. Inside the Crystal Kingdom are advanced beings who have unfastened the truths of the universe. They are crystal fairies who call themselves Crysnix. The Crysnix grant wishes for humans in trouble and try to guide them in the right direction while the dark side tries to create chaos. This story has celebration, love, tragedy, and war. Everything that makes a great story.

I felt young and happy while reading this book. It has “teachable” moments interlaced with the story which I thought was a great aspect. It’s about love, working together and helping one another mixed with magic and emotion. This book actually helped me realize how caught up I have been in my adult life that I had forgotten my whimsical creative side of me and I miss that.

I believe this book is good for children and adults. It was an easy read. I loved the fact that the author used quotes in the beginning of the book as well as in front of each chapter. The quote that hit home most for me was:

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations.

For if you do, you may still exist but you have cease to live.”

-Henry David Thoreau

At times, I wish there was more detailed explanation involved, but not enough for me not to enjoy the adventure this book brought me on.

 

Gifts of the Crysnix

 

***

About the Author:

Amy Sweryda is a Legal Assistant for a Workers Compensation Attorney.  She works at PSRB.  Amy loves the products that she sells on the side, Safe, Natural and Essential products from health to beauty.  Her website is https://www.amysweryda.arbonne.comAmy, also, enjoys reading, animals & being outdoors.

 

 

Book Review
Mindful Tarot
Bring a Peace-Filled Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards
by Lisa Frienkel Tishman, Ph.D

The
preface gives the reader a very specific view into the interpretative
style and way in which Dr. Tishman is going to incorporate a Mindful
approach to using the 78 Keys as tools of integration and awareness.
This is a different ideology than is the norm in treating the cards
of the Tarot as tools for accessing predictive information or having
a specific spiritual practice in mind that these interpretations may
be fused into. Dr. Tishman is, after all, a Zen Buddhist minister, so
the underpinnings of this book’s methodology are grounded in a more
eastern, vs. Western Hermetic dialogue.

Mindful
Tarot
is separated into two
Parts, the first giving a very thorough set-up for the reader who is
more acclimated to the traditional hermetic approach in using the
Tarot. Part One: From Mantic to Mindful Tarot begins with the
author’s experience as she sat on the meditation cushion during a
break in the seven-day silent retreat. The author tells us of the
epiphany she had surrounding the simple phrase, ”This
is ALL there is”…
and the clarity
of meaning she derived from that phrase when looking through a
different perspective.

Chapter
Two: Cartomancy and Mindfulness
-gives
even more insight to the interweaving of the tried and true Tarot
expectations and how these may be used in a more mindful way. She
sites the words of Tarot icon, Mary Greer as having been instrumental
is pushing her to seek deeper meaning for the individual…

Many people come to tarot in hopes of “fixing” their lives-obtaining information and guidance that will help them make the “right” decisions and no mistakes-guaranteeing perfection. I ask you, as a Tarot reader, how can we help the querent “embrace brokenness”? 1. Tarot for Your Self, 2nd Edition: A Workbook for Personal Transformation by Mary Greer

I
especially liked Chapter 7: The Daily
Pull
– Dr. Tishman using the acronym
of PULL
for Pausing, Unknowing, Looking, and Leaning In. Many of us are
familiar with the concept of pulling a card daily, not only as a way
of learning the deck but also as guidance for the day’s energies.
The author encourages us to cultivate the (zen) “beginner’s mind”
of absolute aliveness and openness to “what’s that”. We then
move on to the practice of patience, an excellent reminder that
things unfold as they unfold, regardless of the amount of coercion we
attempt to place on the desired (immediate) outcome. Each of the
steps of PULL have an experiential exercise following the descriptive
of how to, which is very helpful In training the individual towards
being present and fully engaged in the action.

Part
Two: Reading the Cards
is separated
into the usual format beginning with the Trumps (Major Arcana), the
Pips (Minor Arcana), the Court Cards. Each of the cards is given a
key word of focus and much like the books contained with a Tarot
deck, information is provided regarding that key word and its
application to a mindful Tarot practice.

Mindful
Tarot is filled with references and quotes that those who have a
solid background in Buddhist or mystic practices will easily
recognize and be able to make use of, which may leave those who are
coming from a hermetic mantic approach may not readily embrace. I
think this is an excellent book directed towards an audience that is
both versed in the nuances of a “real” Mindfulness practice-not
the buzz word version so popular nowadays and has a firm grasp of
understanding of the Tarot Keys using the more traditional predictive
interpretations. The Works Cited section completing the book, gives
validation to Dr. Tishman’s research and exploration used in
penning Mindful Tarot. Many of these, again, are not your staple
tomes for Tarot studies, which makes it all the more fascinating to
read.

Having
such a background to draw from, I found Mindful Tarot to be a very
interesting read that gave me enough thought-provoking information to
easily direct my focus for the Keys use in the way most revealing for
what I was hoping to receive.

About
Lisa:

Lisa
Freinkel Tishman, PhD
, began
studying the Tarot as a grad student at Berkeley in the late 1980s.
She has published extensively on Petrarch, the Renaissance poet
sometimes thought to have influenced the tarot trumps. An
award-winning teacher, Zen Buddhist minister, and certified
mindfulness educator, she is a former humanities professor and dean
at the University of Oregon (UO) and founding director of UO’s
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. Lisa is now an interfaith
chaplain at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon, and
continues to offer mindfulness classes, trainings, and Tarot readings
through her business, Calyx Contemplative Care. She can be found on
YouTube and Instagram as “Mindful Tarot.”

Mindful Tarot: Bring a Peace-Filled, Compassionate Practice to the 78 Cards 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 at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.

Pagan Portals- Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches

 

 

Author: Melusine Draco

Publisher Moon Books

Length:96 Pages

 

I found this book to be a fascinating read. The author opens with The Orphic Hymn to Pan. She talks about the Coven of the Scales, of which she is the Principal Tutor, they worship Aegocerus “the Goat-God” and not Cernunnos. Ms. Draco puts forth the question, “How did the pre-Olympian Deity find his way into traditional witchcraft of Britain?” No other foreign Deity has been added to Traditional British Old Craft, so why Pan?

Ms. Draco goes into some great depth on the history of Pan. She does this in a way that is very smooth and never a dry read. It is interesting to think that because in early times art was a way of teaching, the early church was able to pick Pan as a stand-in for their Devil. People didn’t know how to read, so the church used art to teach them what to fear and what to love. So, they had to change the landscape. You can’t fear a scruffy looking being playing the pipes surrounded by half-naked beauties in a lush green valley. The church changed his surroundings.

Ms. Draco writes about the resurgence of interest that lasted into the early 1920’s. Here she talks about some of the writings that many pagans grew up reading or having read to them by their parents. One of these stories is that of “The Wind in the Willows” By Kenneth Grahame. “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” is very much the story of Pan appearing to the characters of the story. He looks like a protector of the wild places. The way this piece reads you feel a closeness to Pan that is calm and beautiful.

I also learned all the different names of the different types of nymphs from this book about Pan. I find that the history of Pan, in all the different ways he was seen, to be fascinating. It becomes an attractive subject, in such a way that if you would let it, it could quickly become a rabbit hole for you to fall down.

Ms. Draco’s book “Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches” is both entertaining and educational for those Pagan’s seeking more knowledge of an old God, that seems older than even the Olympian Gods.

I look forward to reading more of Ms. Draco’s books and in learning more about the “Goat-God.”

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become an E-Book reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at: https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

The cover states that the book is plain and simple and, also, the only book you’ll ever need. The forward of the book was written by Judika Illes, who is, also, an author and I quite liked it. The first chapter informs the reader about Witches and magic. She touches on the different types of Witches like Hedge, Traditional, Gardnerian, etc. It’s nice because she just does a quick little description of each, but it’s enough to give the reader a good idea of the differences between them. After that, she mentions Covens and how they were formed when Wiccans were persecuted so they had to worship in secret. Then she gets into Angelic Wicca right at the end and how she has personally chosen to follow the Angelic Wiccan path. It’s a great first chapter considering all that she mentions, but it doesn’t seem overwhelming at any point.

Chapter two breaks down Wicca and positive thoughts. “Life is like a big classroom. With each day, we learn and encounter new experience, and although at times the problems we face are hard, by going through the processes, we climb that spiritual ladder and evolve to a higher plane.” Has got to be my favourite quote from the book. It resonated to me as someone who has survived a lot of abuse and it made me feel like maybe my next life may be better due to the struggles I’ve already endured. She ends the chapter after going over some “Wiccan Ground Rules”

As with almost all Wiccan books, there is a chapter about Tools. That’s chapter 3 here. She gives a good list of typical items, touches on colour significance in the candle section and briefly talks about all the things you should have on your altar. This book lives up to its claim of being plain and simple, but in a good way. The way she just touches the tip of everything would make it a great book for a beginner.

Lunar magic is next. I think lunar magic should also be a pretty standard topic in Wicca, as a lot of what we do is based on the moon cycle. “The gravitational field of a full moon changes energy particles that reach the earth, influencing the way that we think and feel by changing the functions of our brain”. She informs the reader about the various cycles and the importance of each.

Chapter 5 is a very short chapter about initiation, specifically self-dedication and initiation, with just a few steps. The following chapter is about growing your own garden, the benefits of that and some ideas on which plants to grow and why. It’s one of the longer chapters of the book, and for good reason. She writes about what would be good for teas, tonics and superstitions, but again, in a user-friendly way with nothing being too complicated.

Chapter seven delves into animal magic. It’s another very short chapter that doesn’t get into much. I would have liked this section to be a bit better as half of the chapter is a personal story that is nice, but considering how much space if takes up, there isn’t a lot on animal magic itself. The tarot magic chapter is next, and that one is much better, with a lot of good information in a short amount of space and she writes about how “all tarot cards hold a magic of their own, and they can all help to bring about a positive result to your spells.”

I really liked chapters nine and ten. Chapter nine is about magnetic magic and chapter 10 is about the power of the pendulum. I, personally, use a pendulum all the time to help me with tough decisions and she suggested a great way to use a dictionary to help with divination, and the way she talks about the healing powers of magnets, I think a lot of readers would like it. She touches on some basic spells as well, which they are plain and simple again, so beginners can feel like these are spells they can do easily.

The rest of the book is spells specifically. There are spells for love, health, wealth, prosperity, happy families, career and willpower. All of the spells are user-friendly, and don’t need much for supplies. I am a fan of casting a circle before doing certain types of magic, but the author suggests just sitting and asking for protection. I personally wouldn’t feel safe enough to perform some of these spells without a proper circle, but I’m sure a lot of people would be fine with it. I think once a person has had experience with darkness, they are a bit more cautious.

The book overall is only 127 pages, and so it really is “plain and simple”, but she touches on a lot of different topics in those few pages. I would recommend this book to anyone starting out, but not really to anyone that has been practicing Wicca for a while. I still took some information out of it, as I do every book and I was really happy with it. The book is a quick and easy read, and I know if I meet anyone who is interested in Wicca I would for sure tell them about this book. I, also, think I will be looking into more of Greenaways’ books as it seems like she knows what she is talking about, and I love that she doesn’t over-complicate anything. I am happy I had the opportunity to read this book and write a review for it.

Click Image for Amazon Information

Book
Review

The
Bardic Book of Becoming

An
Introduction to Modern Druidry

by
Ivan McBeth with Fern Lickfield

Ivan
McBeth died peacefully at home on September 23.2016, and his name and
work remains as that one of the penultimate Druids. Reading the
introduction and the words of his partner, Fern Lickfield drew me
into this book well before the actual meat of the book. And, the
closing words of Orion Foxwood, completed a beautiful book of hope,
teaching and wisdom in the way of the bard.

This
is a book of beginnings that offers those new to the path of Druidry
solid foundation in a style of mystery and magick that has survived
and evolved into a modern practice that honors the earth that was, is
and can be. This book is chockfull of visualizations, rituals and
stories filled with the keys of understanding that will open the
doors of personal experience.

A
most endearing approach is that of Ivan offering his own stories of
how he came to a path of Druidry, what it meant to him and how he
wished to enchant the world with these teachings that emanate from a
history that systemically wove the natural world and man into a dance
of collaborative embrace and mutual support.

Ivan
begins the teachings in Chapter One, entitled We
Are One
. A simple, yet profound
statement that he continues to peel back the layers of in reminding
us that we began inseparable from the Earth’s Mother and although
we have recently lost our way, the choice is ours to return to that
place of symbiotic union and relationship with everything.

We
learn that there are three levels/grades of training that form the
Druid Path, the Bard-the Ovate and finally the becoming of a Druid.
This study and path is one of commitment, the early Druids training
for at least twenty years and all of that training oral in its
passing on. Nothing was recorded. That was the way of the ancient
Druids. There have been revisions to this in keeping with the demands
of modern society and the inability n most cases to devote all of
one’s life and time to this training.

Part
One
moves smoothly and clearly
through al that is required to begin the foundations of a Drudic
practice. It is rich with visualizations, exercises, and
opportunities to create your own experiences that will form the
scaffolding of who and what you become as you evolve and grow in a
natural and wholistic world. The mere telling of Ivan’s experiences
is a mystical gateway filled with passkeys and inspired ways of
practice. This style adds a personal approach and engages the reader
into a palpable experience in the re-telling. This also exemplifies
the ways of the Druids in past years and the power of their teachings
handed down through storytelling and oral rendition. We are one and
our stories all lead to the mysteries of who and what we are on this
planet and in this time.

Part
Two
dedicates its chapters to the
Elements and the role they play in the practice of Druidry. These are
the cornerstones of the natural world and as such are held in the
utmost sacredness to those on a Druid’s path. I particularly liked
the way in which Ivan drew you in with experience and a very simple,
yet rich in layers of meaning accounting of the energies.

In
keeping with the tradition of experience that is so richly laden
within a Druid’s path, I am purposefully keeping this review brief.
The greater worth of its information is to be found by your diving
into its pages and immersing yourself in an ancient practice of
cultivating awareness of all
that is of this natural world; most importantly ourselves. This book
is a treasure of wisdom for anyone on a spiritual path that
integrates our responsibility as stewards of our planet and our
inter-connectedness. It is a read I would highly recommend, not as
encouragement of taking this path as your own, although you may find
that resonance, but simply as a book dedicated to living in accord
with the mysteries and magic of the Cosmos and how we may empower
that work within ourselves.

The Bardic Book of Becoming: An Introduction to Modern Druidry 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 at
Robin
Fennelly
 

Follow
Robin
 on
Instagram & Facebook.

Book Review

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals & Spells from the Natural World”

by Judy Ann Nock

Published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

Copyright June 2018

Pages: 240

This book is not intended to be another Wicca 101 book; rather think of it more along the lines of Witchcraft 3.0,” Wiccan High Priestess Judy Ann Nock wrote in her introduction.

Each of Its eleven chapters delves into a realm of nature magick including seed, air, sun and fire, the moon, Gaia, time and the cosmos.

The Realm of Water covers Wells of Emotion, Rivers and Oceans. Its 15 pages offer an introduction to water, a meditation, instructions for a ritual bath, a blessing spell and a spell for prosperity, along with directions for making herbal tinctures and an aromatherapy spray. All involve water in some way.

In Magic Takes Root: The Woodland Realm, Nock writes about nature being a powerful healer and the importance of staying connected to it, saying, “A simple ritual of walking in the woods, meditating outside of a building, or taking part in the currently popular trend of ‘forest bathing’ can calm the mind and bring about a state of peace.”

She offers a centering meditation done sitting at the base of a tree, and a ritual for creating a personal tree oracle – not to tell fortunes, but as a tool to “communicate with the elements of natural magic.” The ritual, the lore and the charm all work with the sacredness of trees, with reminders of our connectedness to the seasons and rhythms of the Mother, and our responsibility to be stewards of the earth.

Readers will be inspired to draw on the powers found in nature when doing magick, thanks to the variety of meditations, rituals, spells and charms. There’s a recipe for consecrated crescent cakes to have for the ritual of calling down the moon, a solar charm for strength, and instructions for preparing a candle for magick.

Some tables are scattered throughout the book with such information as healing herbs, planetary correspondences and spirit animals.

As promised, this book can help deepen a connection to natural magick and offer inspiration beyond the basics. While it wouldn’t be in my top 10 list of favorite magic books, it would make a useful addition the collection of an intermediate practitioner.

Nock is the founder of a goddess spirituality group and the author of “A Witch’s Grimoire.” She lives in New York City.

The Modern Witchcraft Book of Natural Magick: Your Guide to Crafting Charms, Rituals, and Spells from the Natural World

 

***

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.

 

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