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

May 1st, 2019

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

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

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

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

Now,
picture this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Off to
California, she goes!

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

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

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

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

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

The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters Book) on Amazon

***

About
the Author:

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

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

Protection and Reversal Magick

A Witch’s Defense Manual

by Jason Miller

224 pages

In the last chapter Mr. Miller writes something interesting about magickal, psychic and spiritual attacks: he states that attacks are happening every day to everyone. They are being launched not only by offended spirits and malicious magicians, but major corporations and political parties. He asks: “Where does a magical seal, a binding, end and a corporate logo start? Where does the use of neuro-linguistics programming in sales and in the use of sorceress bindings begin?” Mr. Miller says that if you haven’t thought about this as magic, then think again.

Mr. Miller dedicates this book more to Hecate than he does any other deity. He wrote this book as an attempt to step beyond the “101’s” that seem to fill the shelves these days. This book is on defensive witchcraft, not Wicca.

There are chapters in this book on daily practices, personal protection and protection of the home. Chapter 6 of this book covers spirit guardians and servitors, this is an interesting chapter. I’m going to quote the author here, because I happen to agree with what he says about spirit guardians and servitors. Mr. Miller wrote: “It follows that if you treat the spirit as a separate entity that you are summoning, you will be able to get more worked up over the process delete than if you go into it as some psychological trick, and thus achieve greater success, no matter what the spirits true nature.”

I would recommend this book for someone who is wondering if they are under spiritual attack, wanting to delve deeper into reversal encounter magic, or who is looking for protection for their home. The rituals that Mr. Miller includes in this book are complete and easy to follow along with. It is also easy to come by a lot of the ingredients that are included in the rituals and the spells. I do feel that this is a book above the beginner level that are on the shelves today. But, even if this is your first book into Protective and Reversal Magick, Mr. Miller has made it easy to understand.

Protection and Reversal Magick 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 at: Readings by Dawn on Facebook at

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

Review:

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary (Northern Hemisphere) by Stacey DeMarco

Rockpool Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-925682-13-7

List Price: $21.95 USD / £16.99 GBP

The 2019 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is a beautiful, spiral-bound calendar, richly illustrated with pleasing sepia color pages. As one would expect, it tracks the waxing and waning of the moon and the lunar eclipses of the coming year. It also provides the astrological house of each new and full moon and features the eight annual festivals of the wheel of the year.

I reviewed the Northern Hemisphere edition of the Seasonal Diary. Both Stacey DeMarco and Rockpool Publishing are based in Australia, which is why special care is made to tie the festivals to the seasons themselves instead of calendar dates. After all, our calendars follow the reality of the Earth and her seasons, not the other way around.

Especially well fitted to the new pagan, the diary has a well written introduction the hows and whys of spellcraft and the basics of working with crystals. The moon phases are introduced, as well as the elements, directions and the wheel of the year – not enough to complicate things, but enough guidance to use the daily and monthly prompts that follow. Each month features a specific deity, as well as an appropriate ritual or spell, drawing inspiration from traditions as varied as Slavic, Celtic, Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, and Shinto. I think the selection is broad enough to be interesting for almost any pagan.

I found the Lunar & Seasonal Diary a beautiful resource to keep me connected to the monthly rhythms of the earth. Each month begins with a page questioning “What am I devoted to?” – asking us to simultaneously reflect on what we have been wrapped up in the month just past as well as what we would aspire towards in the month ahead. Prompts are given for important dates and goals to focus on and manifest in the month ahead.

This monthly return to focus seems a positively recharging reset to our frame of reference, especially during those stressful times when we’re just happy to it through one calendar page to the next. It reminds us to recall what we are working for in the first place, reminding us that the daily grind is a process and not an end in itself. This monthly taking-stock can allow you to stay open to the living world around you, to stay fast with what is truly important to you, or to shift your focus and goals each month, working on different aspects of your life just as the energy of the earth changes through different phases around you.

With the space for taking notes, prompts for both reflective and aspirational record keeping, I think this is a great notebook for any pagan who sees the value of the occasional ritual to keep one in tune with the seasons, and it especially shines for those new to the pagan path.

2019 Lunar & Seasonal Diary: Northern Hemisphere on Amazon

Book
Review

The
Witchcraft Handbook:

Unleash
Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want

By
Midia Star

This
is a beginner’s book, someone who has some experience may use the
spells in this book just as a jumping off point to create some new
spells. At the very beginning of the book, the first thing the
author writes is “Witchcraft is the practical side of the Wiccan
religion.” I have to say that I disagree with that statement
because not all witches are Wiccan.

I
had a hard time on telling what demographic the writer was going
after with this book. There are spells for home, sex, work, and love.
While at the back of the book there is a section on Dreamboards. In
this section, the writer states that the Dreamboard should be for
your dreams and not those of your friends or parents.

While
the author’s writing is well done, I do have to wonder about the
information this book contains. As far as information on herbs,
crystals, oils, and Moon phases the author is spot on. But there are
other little small things that I feel are misinformation.

Page
79 of the book the author writes in the Did You Know? box:
“Christians once used the pentagram as a religious symbol. Each
point represented the five wounds of Christ. To pagans and to
witches it represents Morrigan, the war goddess who fights for peace
in good fortune for others. If you see the pentagram drawn with the
top point of the star pointing to the bottom of the circle, this
represents dark and sinister magic, so always draw your pentagram
with the top point of the star pointing upwards.” The part about
the Christian’s is correct. I honestly don’t know about the
Morrigan part. But the inverted Pentacle I do know something about.
This is misinformation because on specific paths the pentacle with
the star pointing down is a sign of protection or even a sign of
attaining another degree within that path.

On
page 97 the author writes when talking about A Garden Space: that in
the William Shakespeare’s witches’ famous incantation’ eye of
newt and toe of frog’ actually refers to mustard seeds and a type
of buttercup plant. I had never heard that myself, I would like to
know what research the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

On
page 123 Midia Star writes in the Did You Know? box: “The Druids
where the first to believe and the power of the four-leaf clover.”
Now whether this is true or not I don’t know, again I would like to
know other resources the author used to arrive at that conclusion.

The
book contains no bibliography, or other sources were the author may
have gotten their information. The author does state that they have
tried the spells and they have worked for them. Again, as I said at
the beginning, the information on herbs, oils, candles, and the Moon
phase are all spot on. But, I do take exception to the things I have
listed, due to the lack of the bibliography.

The Witchcraft Handbook: Unleash Your Magical Powers to Create the Life You Want 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 at: Readings
by Dawn
on Facebook at

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.

A Book Review

Sigil Witchery

(An
interview with Tempest follows this review.)

It
was very serendipitous that as this book was coming up for review, I
had just registered to take a workshop with Tempest based on this
very book.

The
word “sigil” means “seal” or an action/word of a
spiritual nature. I would hazard a guess that most of us have seen
sigils that mean specific things, written and drawn by others.

Tempest
brings sigils to us in a more personal way, with the sigils drawn by
us, to have meaning to us, specifically. She simplifies it for us,
while never detracting from their power.

Before
doing this, she gives us a brief history of what she calls “making
marks”, discussing the paintings, symbolism and markings of
previous civilizations, which are still so important to us today.
Tempest does on to explain the differences between sigils and signs,
seals, designs, etc.

There
are sections on the basic shapes used in sigils and their meanings,
adding directions, letters and numbers, how to use the elements in
our sigils and how they work.

There
is space for us to create our own symbols for specific words that Ms.
Zakroff has listed for us, thus building our own library to make our
own custom sigils. She gives guidance on designing our own, what
tools we can use, why we should craft our own sigils. She offers us
suggestion sigils and a gallery of her own custom sigils.

We
don’t have to be “high magicians” to utilize the power of
sigils and the how-to’s are all right here, in an informative,
friendly, easy-to-read-and-relate-to manner.

As
one who has never given much thought to sigils, on their own, this
book has tempted me to not only think about it, but do it.

Interview
With Laura Tempest Zakroff

Susan
Morgaine (SM):
Hi Tempest – it was so nice to see you while you were on tour.

So,
belly dancer/performer, event producer, artist, witch, author and
teacher. That is quite impressive. I knew you primarily as a dancer
and performer when we met many years ago, and it wasn’t until I saw
the logo for Waking Persephone that I realized you were an artist, as
well

SM:
How did you start and what did you start with, realizing it was most
probably a circuitous journey? Please only respond with what you
are comfortable with sharing.

Tempest:
I definitely started with art, going back as early as age 3. By
first grade I was taking formal art classes on a regular basis – all
the way through high school. Then for college, I graduated from the
Rhode Island School of Design. I discovered modern Witchcraft and
Paganism in my teens, and got into dance in my college years. When I
moved to California in 2001, dance and Pagan stuff pretty much took
over my life. I didn’t have much room or resources to make the kind
of art I had been doing in school, so art took a bit of a backseat.
It manifested through my costume designs and creations, graphic
design, and some small drawings and paintings. When I moved back to
the East Coast in 2007, I started working as a fashion jewelry
designer. I did that until mid-2012, when it was time for drastic
life shift. In that process I moved to Seattle and began working for
myself full-time in all the things I do (dance, design, art).
Sometimes I feel frustrated that I didn’t just keep going with the
fine art out of school, but I realize I wouldn’t be where I am now,
on this path – if I had.

SM:
What was the impetus behind the idea of Waking Persephone. I know
there were several years here on the East Coast; are you continuing
it on the West Coast?

Tempest:
I co-produced Gothla US from 2008-2010 – which took place in
California. It was supposed to switch coasts, but that didn’t
happen. Which was frustrating because most of my east coast,
home-base students couldn’t afford to attend it. So much work and
the people I worked the closest with couldn’t participate. I also
had a vision for something that encompassed more, without stylistic
labels – to bring in more ritual/sacred dance, more artistry, more
diversity. That became a reality first in Tapestry Dance Retreat
(2011) and then Waking Persephone the following Spring. We did 2
years in Providence, and 3 more years in Seattle. At this time, I’m
not producing any events, because I needed to focus on my art and
writing, but when the time comes, something will probably emerge
again. Producing events takes up so much time and energy. I
transformed that time and focus into something else. Since the last
WP in 2016, I’ve written 4 books, published an anthology, and pushed
my art deeper.

SM:
When did you realize your were a Witch? It’s so interesting to hear
about other’s spiritual journeys.

Tempest:
I was at odds with the Catholic Church since my youngest days. I
got sent to the principal’s office at age 6 because during a field
trip to the church, I insisted on sitting where the priests and altar
boys did (like my brothers!), and couldn’t understand while girls
weren’t allowed. So much doctrine that made no sense – I felt that
God was more present in nature and everywhere around us. I
discovered that there were other options to the Abrahamic religions
in my mid-teens – that Witchcraft and Paganism was a thing. The
realization that there were names for what I believed and felt, and
that other people saw the world similarly was a huge revelation.

SM:
What made you decide to start to write, and then to follow that with
teaching?

Tempest:
I’ve been writing for a long time – in high school I was the editor
of the literary magazine. At RISD in 1997, I got involved with
Crescent Magazine – where I became an associate editor and had
regular columns. I started up a website on Modern Traditional
Witchcraft around then as well. Around 2000, I started offering
Witchcraft classes – and kept that up until around 2005 or so. Then
I burned out on being a public Witch, and retreated to a solitary
path for almost a decade. After getting my life reset in 2012, I
ventured out of my cave a bit with renewed focus and purpose. I
started up a blog (which moved to Patheos in early 2016 I think),
began teaching again and toyed with the idea of finally writing a
book. In the Fall of 2015, I was offered the contract to write “The
Witch’s Cauldron” for Llewellyn. It was a wonderful way to just
dive right in, and was really well received. So from there, I wrote
“Sigil Witchery” – after folks taking my workshops asked
why I hadn’t written a book yet on it. And well, it’s just kept
going from then.

SM:
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to take your Sigil
Witchery workshop (which is reviewed somewhere else this month in
Pagan Pages). What did you learn from your travels and sitting
with/teaching so many Witches and Pagans around the country? I found
it fascinating to see, on Instagram, the sigils you created with
each workshop.

Tempest:
No matter where folks are located or what path/label they use –
Witches/Paganfolks have so much more in common than not. The
community (or whatever we wish to call it) is incredibly diverse, but
we share many beliefs and loves, as well as fears and concerns.
There is so much potential in recognizing our collective power and
connections.

SM:
So what is next on the agenda for you, Tempest? Any sneak peeks?

Tempest:
A. I’m finally working on an oracle deck! The tentative title is
“The Liminal Spirits Oracle” and it will be out via
Llewellyn I believe some point next year :)

You
can reach/follow Tempest at the following:

Owlkeyme arts – Design & Fine art by Laura Tempest Zakroff | Seattle, WA

www.owlkeyme.com

Mago
Djinn – Modern Folk Wear

www.magodjinn.com

Author Site – www.lauratempestzakroff.com

Sigil Witchery: A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Magick Symbols 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 (Volume 4) on Amazon

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