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Book Review – Working Conjure: A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic by Hoodoo Sen Moise

January 1st, 2019

Book
Review

Working
Conjure

A
Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic

By
Hoodoo Sen Moise

Due
to the fact that, in all honesty, I say I know absolutely nothing
about Hoodoo, I was pleased to see that the first chapter was
entitled, “What is Conjure/Hoodoo?”

The
author explains the when, where, how and proceeds to tell us of
Hoodoo’s principles in chapter 2.

I
love the explanation of how

“Conjure
was birthed out of a need to overcome the

oppression
of slavery. It was a way for the slaves

to
turn the tide against the slave masters and take back,

at
least in some way, what had been taken from them.”

He
speaks lovingly about the ancestors, those who came before and laid
the foundation for all that has followed.

There
are a few chapters that discuss roots, plants and animals and how
each have their own spirit. He discusses the “spirit of a
place”, with a whole chapter on conjuring in graveyards.

“Conjure
is not a religion, but a tradition of work that

holds
strong ties with the Spirits, of the Root, God

and
the Ancestors.”

There,
too, were many quotes from the Bible that fit with this work.

Included
are many recipes for oils, powders, workings, and mojo hands.

Hoodoo
Sen Moise has written an informative, warm, loving book. His respect
and devotion comes through in every word. If Conjure is something
you have always wanted to learn about, this is the book to get you
started.

Working Conjure: A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic on Amazon

***

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 [email protected]

My Name is Isis on Amazon

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.

 

 

Lucya Starza: The Bad Witch

lucy

 

Lucya is the author of the very popular Pagan Portals: Candle Magic, which has now spawned a series of workshops. Lucya also has a ‘bad witch’s blog’ which I hoped she would be able to tell me more about…

What inspired the name of your popular blog, badwitch.co.uk?

The name A Bad Witch’s Blog was inspired by the book How to be a Bad Birdwatcher, about birdwatching for people who only know how to identify normal garden birds. I wanted to get better at being a witch. I had been a witch for some time, but wanted an incentive to do more witchy things and learn more. Writing a regular blog forced me to read books that I’d meant to read for ages, to get to more pagan events and generally to be more active.

When did you first become drawn to witchcraft?

That’s a difficult question, because it depends how you define witchcraft. I came from a family that was into all things magical. My grandma was a Theosophist and had worked as an astrologer. My parents would probably best be described as New Age. My dad taught me palmistry and dowsing when I was a kid. Back in the 1960s, the word witch was still not a polite thing to call people. My school friends called my family witches – actually they also called my family The Addams Family – but that wouldn’t have been what anyone in my family called themselves.

When I was in my 20s I became interested in Celtic spirituality with a boyfriend. We would go into the countryside or onto the beach and spend time honouring the Celtic gods and goddesses in prayer or meditation. However, I didn’t technically become a witch until I was about 30. I trained with Shan at House of the Goddess, in London, and then later joined a Wiccan coven, where I was initiated.

Tell us a bit about Pagan Portals: Candle Magic. What prompted you to write this volume, and who is it aimed at?

Friends had been saying for a long time that I should write a book based on the type of things I write about in A Bad Witch’s Blog. Candle magic is my favourite type of magic, so it was the obvious choice of subject for me. The book is in Moon Books’ Pagan Portals series, aimed at beginners to the Craft.

Can anyone perform candle magic?

Yes – and pretty much everyone does. Who hasn’t made a wish over the candles on a birthday cake?

How was the launch party at Treadwell’s?

It was lovely. Treadwell’s is a wonderful venue for the launch of any esoteric book. As well as being one of London’s best occult bookshops, it has a great basement room that is ideal for book launches. The staff looked after me very well too. Christina, who owns the shop, told me to just let the staff organise everything so I could be the “belle of the ball”. I must admit I did get a little tiddly, so perhaps it was best that I wasn’t doing the organising!

Are you planning workshops or courses on candle magic or similar subjects?

Christina invited me to run workshops on candle magic at Treadwell’s. The first one was a couple of days after the launch and was fully sold out. The next one is on April 9, but I think that’s sold out too. I expect I will run another later in the year. Here are the details: https://www.treadwells-london.com/event/practical-candle-magic-2/.

Was it a shock to find Sainsbury’s selling your book in the Satanism and Demonology section? Do youthink this is indicative of a wider misunderstanding of esoteric topics? Or is it more reassuring thatSainsbury’s is quite happy to even have a Satanism and Demonology section?

I think it is quite funny, but it is a bit sad that there is such a misunderstanding and that some people still think that anything to do with spellcraft and magic must also be Satanism.

Are you planning more books? What other projects do you have on the horizon?

Yes – when I get time to start writing it! I still write A Bad Witch’s Blog and put new posts up every day.

You recently used Thunderclap to promote your book. How do you think social media has transformed the way we market our products, whether these be books, crafts, music or any other creation?

Social media has transformed marketing massively. I used to work on a local newspaper and before social media most marketing involved sending out press releases to journalists and trying to get reviews in magazines and papers. That’s all changed. Now you need to promote products online first and foremost.

What are you looking forward to most in 2016?

I’m going to the Druid Camp (http://www.druidcamp.org.uk/) in the summer. I’ve been invited along to give tarot readings, but I am likely to also give a talk or workshop on candle magic. I’m very much looking forward to that.

Do you have a favourite season or time of the year, and why?

I love all the seasons; the first flowers in springtime, the long hot days of summer, the golden leaves in autumn and the festivals of midwinter. However, if I had to pick one as my absolute favourite it would be spring, when blossom is on the trees and the woods are a carpet of bluebells.

And is there a particular place that you find more magical than any other?

Yes indeed. To quote Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Follow Lucya at her Bad Witch’s Blog and find her book on Amazon and all other good retailers.

I was delighted to receive a review copy of this book. David Carson and Jamie Sams co-authored the 1990s classic “Medicine Cards – The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals.” I spent many hours working with that deck, as the animal allies taught me about their gifts and powers and how to awake those in myself.

David Carson’s work in this book, first published in 2011, offers a brief introduction to how 4 different “medicine” traditions work with animal teachers. These overviews are drawn with a broad brush- mentioning a few North American traditions, then moving on to the Sami, the Australian First People, and finally, Mesoamerican cultures. Carson touches on animal myths and practices associated with each of these lineages and ends up with a short section on contemporary shamanism. This travel through cultures is truly an overview and not by any means an in-depth analysis. I believe it is written for those who have heard about shamanism and power animals and who are looking for a way in to see if a deeper relationship is worth further pursuit.

The book then moves in to a chapter on different ways to find and work with animal spirits. Again, this is a survey of different methods, not an in-depth discussion. Carson touches on vision questing, guided visualization, altar building, meditation and dreaming as ways to find a power spirit. I was surprised not to see “Medicine Card” work listed – I always found those cards to provide exactly the animal powers needed to address the questions I brought! He cautions against the trap of working with an animal simply because you like it and are drawn to it. This can be good advice, but is not always true. It’s quite possible that an animal has drawn your attention and affection towards it because it has teachings for you. It is always a good practice to work with a method you trust for finding “truth” and exploring what your relationship with this animal energy holds. Carson offers an excellent practice in relationship building in his advice to offer gratitude and thanks to your power animal when you find each other. As with any relationship, you and your spirit animal have much to offer to each other and can work at finding out how best to be of service and to honor your partnership.

(artwork: My Sovereign Self with my Power Animals by Susan Rossi)

 

Carson touches on healing by asking your helping totem for a song or dance (or both) to use. He recommends working with a medicine wheel to overcome obstacles by consulting animals in the four directions for guidance. And his best advice, walk through your daily life with the awareness that your totem animal is ever present, always with you.

Most of this book contains short chapters on the qualities, gifts and powers of 50 different animals, both real and mythic. He provides information on their habits and associated myths. Again, this is not a detailed discussion, but an overview to give the reader a scent to follow. And these chapters truly are only tastes to set a trail to be followed; each person who has a relationship with Bear energy will discover the many different guises in which that energy may appear! The healing and nurturing mother bear perhaps, or maybe the grandpa bear who teaches the young ones to scamper up trees by chasing them. Or maybe the bear who speaks to dreaming and inner vision. There are no limits to what a helping spirit can teach us, so there is no one way that it always appears to everyone.

There is a short list of reference materials at the end of the book. Carson also provides a partial list of organizations working to benefit animals and suggests that readers inspired by working with their spirit animals may wish to donate time or money – an excellent suggestion that reinforces the importance of gratitude and cooperation in this work. 

This book is not for those who already work with totem animals. But for a beginner, this is a good place to learn how to take your first steps onto this path of relationship with your power animal.

 

For Amazon information, click image below.

 

***

 

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

The Crystal Seer

by Judy Hall

 

Power Crystals for Magic, Meditation & Ritual

Hardback, 176 Pages

Publisher: Fair Winds Press

 

While the title of this new books sounds a fantasy series I’d like to read, I came to read Judy Hall’s new book with glee.

She is one of my favourite writers about crystals and “magic, meditation and ritual” sounded right up my alley! I was positively giddy to read this book.

I must firstly congratulate the author on her fine work, yet again. Yet this book would not be what it is (which is glorious) without Timothy Samara, and John Van Rees, Jr.

The layout and design in this book are pleasing and easy to access, thanks to Timothy. The photography of the crystals is nothing short of stunning. John Van Rees Jr seems to be able to capture the light and essence of the crystals while maintaining their distinct qualities.

This means that you can see the colours and shades of the stone, the refractions and texture exceptionally well.

The table of content is crisp and clear, and easy to follow.

The introduction speaks about connecting with the stones and crystals (I believe she called it empowering and dedicating) which is almost exactly how I was taught to “awaken” and program crystals back in the day. She is ever knowledgeable and respectful. In this section she has a diagram of a body and Chakras, including more than the usual standard seven, which I was pleased about as many writers use main Chakras to mean all Chakras.

As always, Judy Hall mixes what I know with what I don’t. She uses folklore and lovely ancient quotes to embellish her work without making it fussy. There are crystals you have heard of and even someone who is rather well read will not have seen. This is a running theme in Hall’s work being a rather amazing predictor of the trends that cycle within the crystal community. I can’t help but feel the focus for the crystal business, once focused on Afghanistan and Iraq for its wonderful stones is looking other places. Certainly India, Mediterranean, and the Americas seem to be more sharply brought in focus. This means exciting things for us rock loves with new, and new variations of crystal coming to light.

It was a quick read, that being my only grip. While each crystal gets its own meditation or placement on or around the body to meditate with, I did feel I could have had more. The folklore and spell idea suggestions were well and good but I would have loved more, perhaps with ritual context.

I’d have quite liked a part two. That said, I know I am going to buy this book to sit happily next to her other books, and I look forward to seeing the new crystal trends unfold.

For Amazon Information Click Image

 

Book Review

The Transformative Witchcraft: The Greater Mysteries

by Jason Mankey

Repetition is a good thing, especially when the author infuses it with their own ideas and experiences. I believe that everything that we can do to make this information relatable to the broadest of audiences is a positive step towards bring greater awareness to the practice of Witchcraft and the work and dedication that is required to follow such a path. Such is the case in this new offering by author and editor of blog spot, Patheos Pagan, Jason Mankey- The Transformative Power of Witchcraft. Jason has authored several books on the craft, this one feeling more of a synthesis of the basics from start to finish.

The book is complete with history, ritual, creating sacred space, the work of self and more. There are three chapters devoted to the history of the craft and given that we are a spirituality based on the history, but crafted into a neopagan approach, having the solid foundation of what was, goes a long way into crafting what can be.

Chapters Four through Six focus on the “Cone of Power”, its creation, uses and theory behind its success. This information is presented in a thoughtful manner, offering options and adaptations, which I believe many newcomers to the path, are hesitant to interject on their own. Knowing how, when and where to direct energy is even more important now in the wake of global and domestic events and the working of witchcraft is a tool of change that, if wisely used can achieve amazing results.

I particularly enjoyed reading Chapters Seven through Ten, under Part Three’s Header of “Dedications, Initiations and Elevations”. For many, this topic alone is veiled in mystery and there are as many interpretations of what those semantics mean as paths of practice. Indeed, no one size fits all and as the author discusses, much depends on solitary, Tradition based, hereditary or other as to what these terms mean to the individual. Additionally, rituals are provided to be used as starting points or intact for the reader. I appreciate the detail that went into this section, particularly in preparing the seeker for the work required to be done, the preparation of self and the commitment that is undertaken when receiving any of these deeper connections to your path.

No book on witchcraft would be complete without attention to lunar working and Drawing Down the Moon as ritual and self-generator. Jason also covers the other types of Divine assumption, interaction and possession that may be encountered or experienced in the greater work. Chapter Thirteen provides all of the basics and information for the Ritual of Drawing Down the Moon.

The book concludes with discussion of The Great Rite and its ethical use in truth and physicality as well as metaphorical and representative approach. Each has its own specific reasons for selection, and in particular, when enacting The Great Rite as an offering of sex magick and potency, I believe it is important to know exactly why and where that option would be suitable and when it is used unethically as a means of control over the uninformed.

A glossary and bibliography is provided and the index makes it easy to zero in on specific topics.

This book is available for pre-order on Amazon with a publishing date of January 2019.

Transformative Witchcraft: The Greater Mysteries 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.

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