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Book Review – Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook

April 1st, 2019

Book Review
Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook
by Abbey Sy
191 pp. Rockport

“Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook” is a very accessible workbook aimed at beginners in hand-lettering who want to start with a good foundation and traditional letter form styles. The first few pages are spent on exploring the basics of typography, hand-lettering, and layout; there is not a lot of detail on any one topic here, but there’s no fat, either. The prose is very direct and to-the-point, and Abbey Sy includes recommendations for specific tools and methods. 

Sy offers a good variety of styles for the beginner, from simple handwriting and serif letter forms to cursive scripts and bounce-lettering. She walks through the basics of layout, especially for a single quote or short phrase, as well as process — from a rough penciled template to a fully inked and colored end-product. Along the way, she includes many examples of different sketches, scripts, and fully-rendered quotes, to fuel the artist’s imagination. She also offers different character types and variants, special characters, and embellishments.

The introductory material is fairly short, and the rest of the book is made up of practice pages, first for the different letter forms and styles, and then for full quotes. It’s important to note that this book does not delve into traditional calligraphy at all, but focuses on more accessible brush scripts and drawn letter forms. The book is also peppered with handy tips to help you avoid rookie mistakes — always check your spelling before you ink, for example! — and to help you accomplish a finished product. 

While this book may not be of much interest to an experienced hand-lettering artist, it’s a great place to start, especially for anyone who may want to hand-letter their own cards and gifts, or add a bit of pizzazz to their journaling and scrap-booking. Accessible and thorough, “Hand Lettering A to Z Workbook” is a great place to start your hand-lettering journey and build a solid foundation for an ongoing practice. By the time you’ve worked your way through, you should have a thorough understanding of the hand-lettering process, and the ability to create polished, professional-looking typography art and gifts.

Hand Lettering A to Z: A World of Creative Ideas for Drawing and Designing Alphabets on Amazon

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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

Jennifer Noel Taylor: Spiritual and Broke – How to Stop Struggling with Money and Live Your Purpose

I was really intrigued by the title of Jennifer’s latest book. I generally consider myself to be a spiritual person, and I’ve definitely been broke from time to time! Sometimes it certainly seems like a spiritual life is not one that lends itself towards wealth or riches, but maybe it can be? Is there a way to keep on the path that enriches your soul, without neglecting your bank balance? I was lucky enough to be granted a sneak peek at Jennifer’s upcoming book and discovered that she has a real insight into how to balance money, spirituality and living for your passion, not just your pocketbook. Jennifer was kind enough to answer a few questions for Pagan Pages about the book and her inspiration.

Mabh Savage: What inspired you to write about money and the connection to spirituality?

Jennifer Noel Taylor: During my 16 years of running a business in the field of energy medicine, I noticed that a lot of people in the healing arts as well other people with a genuine desire to help others, seem to be struggling with money. In my case, I was also struggling with money and had $135,000 of business and personal debt and no savings. As you can see, I was in financial trouble! Furthermore, I tried everything to get myself out of debt and nothing seemed to work. For example, when I forced myself to stick to a budget, I felt like I was on a starvation diet and hence my budget didn’t last very long! If I managed to increase my income, I would then have some unexpected expense that would match my new level of income. It seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn’t get ahead! I finally realized that I needed to shift my relationship with money –my thoughts, my emotions, the energy I was putting out into the world, and the stories I was telling myself. Once I made this deeper shift, then things started to turn around. I got out of debt, saved money and started investing in the stock market! I hope to help others do the same.

MS: Who would you say your book is primarily aimed at?

JNT: Spiritual and Broke is primarily aimed at people who are living their purpose and have a heartfelt desire to serve the world yet are having a hard time with money! Although I also feel like the issues I address in the book can be used by anyone who has an open mind and wants to turn their finances around.

MS: Do you think that generally, people are living outside their means more these days?

JNT: Yes, I read a statistic that over 75% of Americans are living pay check to pay check.

MS: Do you think it’s possible to become addicted to spending, just like a drug?

JNT: Absolutely! In my personal journey, I realized that I was doing a lot of “retail therapy.” As the old song goes, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I was trying to buy love rather that buying things that I love.

MS: Was it difficult to open up about your own financial and spiritual difficulties before your epiphany?

JNT: Yes, I felt like a hypocrite. In Quantum-Touch, our work is based on the Law of Attraction – that we create our reality. In other worlds, our external world is a reflection of the world within. Yet I couldn’t use this same philosophy to attract money or balance my finances! I berated myself my predicament and I refer to this in my book as my “secret shame.”

MS: What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?

JNT: I share a very personal story about an Aha! moment that I had in a back of a police car. It was during this epiphany that I realized the fundamental mistake that I was making around money and how my fundamental approach to life wasn’t serving me. This story is near and dear to my heart, very vulnerable, and initially I found it difficult to write about.

MS: In contrast, what did you enjoy most about the creative process?

JNT: I love receiving feedback from people who have listened to my shows or read excerpts from my book – saying how it really helped them. I also love crafting the perfect paragraph or sentence, like creating a work of art with words.

MS: I love that you focus on avoiding deprivation and achieving emotional abundance. Do you think there’s a tendency for some people to believe you have to suffer for spirituality?

JNT: Yes! I believe that the martyr complex is alive and well in the spiritual communities! I think we have been taught that it’s somehow more pure or more generous when we suffer to help others. However, I have found the opposite to be true. When we have more money, more support, more means, we are in a much better position to truly enact change in the world. When we are happy, that energy is very healing!

MS: Tell us a bit about Quantum-Touch.

JNT: Quantum-Touch is a form of energy healing that uses life force energy to accelerate the healing process. We believe that the body has an amazing capacity to heal itself and Quantum-Touch is very effective at amplifying our own healing power.

MS: When did you first discover energy healing?

JNT: I discovered energy healing in massage school. One day, I was doing massage and I felt the life force energy coming from my hands and my client. It was pretty trippy as well as it made me realize that we are much more than just physical bodies. I understood at that moment that we are primarily energetic beings.

MS: What’s the most intense spiritual experience you’ve ever had (that you can share)?

JNT: I have to admit that my Aha! moment in the back of the police car was my most intense experience with life-changing implications. Although it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, it changed my perspective on what it means to be a spiritual being in a human body.

MS: When can people expect to see ‘Spiritual and Broke’ in bookstores?

JNT: I just signed a publishing contact and we should see Spiritual and Broke on Amazon early next year and in bookstores soon after that!

MS: And are you working on any new projects? Any more books on the horizon?

JNT: I’m working on a few projects – one is an online system like Doctors on Demand where you can see a Quantum-Touch practitioner 24/7. Another project we are working on is a Quantum-Touch workshop for kids. Finally, after I launch the book, I am intending to turn it into a workshop!

MS: Finally, how do you relax and unwind away from writing and healing?

JNT: My favourite way to unwind is to snuggle with my boyfriend and watch a movie or go to the gym and do some cardio. Occasionally I like to fly through the air on the flying trapeze! (Yes, I have actually performed on the flying trapeze! ?)

Find out more about Jennifer and Quantum-Touch at http://jennifernoeltaylor.com/ and look out for Spiritual and Broke in the coming months!

***

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 and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors

 

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways

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.

Book Review

Shamanic Qabalah

A Mystical Path to Uniting The Tree of Life and the Great Work

by Daniel Moler

 

 

Author, Daniel Moler’s book brings together two subjects that have long held my interest; a shamanic perspective and Qabalistic studies. The latter is an area of study that has been my passion and work for many years now, the former one that I have long been acquainted with and know many well-respected practitioners.

With that being said, I was intrigued as to how the author would approach the Tree of Life and its application to shamanic work. The sheer weight and history of Qabalah, in this book used in its Hermetic form, has been a daunting study for many. This, largely because of the more traditional approaches used in its exploration. I am happy to see that there are now a variety of spiritual paths and practices that are using the overlay of the Tree’s knowledge and thus engaging more students and seekers of its mystery teachings.

Mr. Moler makes use of an impressive bibliography of trusted and reputable sources of Qabalistic studies and then weaves the Shamanic approach of delving more deeply in the work of the Soul and roots of transformative processes aligned with those practices.

Part One is aptly entitled “The Great Work”. This semantic evocative of something out of the ordinary and initiatory in experience. Daniel dives right into the work of the world enticing us towards materialism and chaos that is moving us further away from the path of the mystic and the explorations of what that actually means for modern seekers. This section covers “everything that is wrong with society today”, what the truth of initiation can reveal and heal and how illumination can awake even the deepest sleeper.

Part Two offers the basics of what Qabalah is, how its symbology as the Tree of Life affects all planes of existence and spiritual practice and how the components of the Tree are defined and work together to provide a universal Whole. Chapter Five within this section focuses on Malkuth, the sephira of the Earth and Greater Earth Plane and becomes the natural starting point of alignment with a very earth based Shamanic perspective.

Chapter Six diverges back into a more traditional Judaic approach to Qabalistic study in looking at the “Topography of the Inner Worlds” and the journey of Adam Kadmon, the Perfected Man that embodies all of the wisdom of the Tree. A reference to the Hebrew letters assigned to the paths and the descent of man via the emanation of Yahweh and the sacred Hebrew names of creation gives the reader another vision of the Tree.

Part Three ties everything together with plenty of practical experiential and a further breaking down of the Tree incorporating the Triangles, Four Worlds and specific paths. Having read the Qabalistic referenced based books of the bibliography and having first hand teachings from some of the authors, I would say this book made good use of the author’s expertise in Shamanic work and the information presented regarding the Tree of Life.

My only criticism would be in the amount of diverse ways of presenting the Tree that were incorporated-Judaic- Hermetic and a more modern approach of fusion. I would have appreciated a more consistent approach throughout and more of the overlays of the Shamanic application that I believe would have provided more focus. Overall, a very well written book and kudos to Mr. Moler for making more bite-size an enduring and often challenging course of study.

Shamanic Qabalah: A Mystical Path to Uniting the Tree of Life & the Great Work 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

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs

by Joseph Polansky

 

 

Having a large section on my bookshelf dedicated to Astrological studies and having decades of experience as an astrologer, I must admit that I had some preconceived notion of what I could expect in reading this book; also on a subject that I am very well versed.

By way of a little introduction for those whose primary experience with astrology has been in religiously purchasing those little scrolls of Sun Sign wisdom available at the retail counter here is a bit of information about the complexity and nature of this particular discipline. Astrology has both a mundane and esoteric approach. The former being what we traditionally come across by way of chart readings, daily predictions and guidelines and the basic and fundamental perspectives, and I would add psychological, attributes of the individual’s birth chart. The more mundane (not to be confused with astrological interpretation of geographic place) aspect of astrology is further sub-divided into a variety of interpretative styles, including Vedic/Sidereal astrology, Western/Tropical astrology, Babylonian Astrology and many more.

Esoteric Astrology perceives the zodiacal signs as attributes of archetypal spiritual energy; there is additionally the psycho-spiritual overlay applied. Each having a (sentient) nature that informs the spiritual bodies of the individual and by so doing, informs the spiritual progress of this and other lifetimes. Just as is the case with Western (traditional) astrology, each of the signs has a planet associated with its energy. However in esoteric astrology the assignations of those planets differs from the traditional, because what becomes the focus of this study is that of the spiritual (and sentient) nature of the planets as they act upon the more etheric nature of the signs. Either (Western or Esoteric) of these approaches requires quite a lot of study and understanding of the basic principles to make full use of their gifts.

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs starts off on the right foot, moving through each of the zodiacal signs and giving enough basic information on each that the dip into the more esoteric astrological approach is easily grasped. Additionally, throughout the book, Mr. Polansky has provided the reader with a copious and varietal amount of meditations and contemplative reflections that serve as another layer of experiencing the more spiritual, vs. astronomical nature of the signs.

The Table of Contents is thoughtfully organized to provide some basic information at the foreground and develop into a broader perspective inclusive of other ways of making use of astrological energies. Mr. Polansky folds in some additional uses of astrology, such as Medical astrology, aromatherapy using the construct of astrological energetics. Each of these sub-sections breaks out how that modality would present itself through each of the astrological signs, giving the reader an instant “grab on” and point of reference.

There is an interesting chapter, The Twelve Yogas, that weaves the philosophies of Yoga (not simply in its form of Hatha-or posture) into a meditative practice aligned with your astrological sign. In particular the overlay for this exploration is the alchemical element of the various signs and the particular form that will support that disposition. For example, those of Air signs are guided towards practices that incorporate mind (Jnana yoga) and breath (Pranayama yoga); Water signs align with the yogic focus of love and devotion (Bhakti); Fire with that of fire (Agni yoga) and action (Karmic yoga), and Earth signs benefit from postures and movement (Hatha yoga) and ritual work. I found this to be a nice touch in making connections and use of astrological principles beyond the traditional nature of prediction and identification.

This book is a smorgasbord of tastings and samplings for the student of astrology who wishes to stretch a little further. Theosophical, Eastern Philosophies, Western Hermetics, Ayurvedic practices, Metaphysics, Alchemy and Esotericism and more are all folded into the information of this book. Some reveal themselves only if you are aware of the disciplines from which they are derived, which is neither a comment of critique nor praise. This is often the case when pursuing any of the disciplines of esoteric knowledge.

All in all I believe A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs to be a lovely foray into expanding your understanding of astrology and being able to access relevant and enough recognizable traits to engage the reader and inspire them to seek out more.

A Spiritual Look at the 12 Signs: An Introduction To Spiritual Astrology 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.

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

by Cherry Gilchrist

 

 

publisher: Weiser books

© 2018

length: 252 pages

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

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

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

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

Street image.

Mythic image

Personal Image

Evolution of each archetype.

Youth

Maturity

Old Age.

Manifestations of that archetype.

Gifts

Trials

Rituals and Cults.

Visions of that archetype

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

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

 

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About the Author:

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

https://www.facebook.com/Readings-by-Dawn-1608860142735781/

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