Crystal Connections

May, 2018

Book Review

The Ultimate Guide to Crystals & Stones – A Practical Path to Personal Power, Self-Development, and Healing by Uma Silbey



Published by Skyhorse Publishing, and written by Uma Silbey, this 314 page book is hands down my favorite crystal book to date. From the moment the author described how the “Stone People” spoke to her, I was hooked. I nearly leapt for joy when she tells her readers to “hear” how the crystals want to be used rather than strictly going by a written definition. This is something I often tell my readers to do and reading that simply validated my own practice.

This book isn’t the common encyclopedia style book but rather a book that teaches you how to connect, feel and listen to crystals, and not just crystals but also ordinary rocks and continuing that affinity to the earth. Packed full of information, techniques and methods, The Ultimate Guide to Crystals & Stones would be useful to any beginner and/or seasoned crystal worker. Uma Silbey’s approach encourages the reader to make these methods a practice rather than a one time or two time use. By using the author’s techniques not only will you never look at rocks or crystals the same way again, but I honestly feel it will give the reader a deeper connection and a new appreciation for them. I could go on and on about this book, as I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but simply put, the Earth is a rock and Uma Silbey is the facilitator of connectivity to it. So, if you have a love for crystals, including the matrix that surrounds them, if you want to heighten your crystal experience and build a profound connection to these earthy gems, then make sure to add this book to your library.

About Uma Silbey:

Uma Silbey has pioneered quartz crystal, gemstone and energy information to the world through her jewelry designs, books and music for more than thirty-five years. While running her successful quartz crystal jewelry company for the past twenty-five years, Uma also authored four books, including the international bestseller The Complete Crystal Guidebook. With a master’s in counseling psychology, she has trained with shamans, indigenous healers, and medicine people. She resides in Haiku, Hawaii.

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Shiron (Shi) Eddy hails from the Pacific Northwest and shares a home with her husband, a Great Dane and a cat. Her love for crystals and minerals came from her dad who was an avid rock hound in his younger years. Shi happily shares her knowledge of crystals with anyone who is drawn to them, but especially loves to help people connect with minerals that involves their metaphysical properties. When she’s not networking with other crystal and mineral lovers, Shi can be found making jewelry, painting, crocheting Goddess dolls, selling her wares at shows or spending time with family and friends. You can find her jewelry in her shop ShiJewels or follow her on Instagram.


Book Review: Encyclopedia of NORSE and GERMANIC FOLKLORE MYTHOLOGY and MAGIC By Claude Lecouteux

December, 2017

As a teacher of Norse Shamanism and Germanic mythology this is one book I was delighted to receive and hold in my hands! It is a beautiful hardback book with many illustrations.

As an encyclopedia it is not so much a book most people will read from A – Z (quite literally as it is organised alphabetically!) but it is a book to dip into when you are checking a reference. Maybe the name of an obscure god, or a symbol you cannot quite place … and so forth. Who were Hvedrungr or Eyrgfjava for instance?!

A few decades ago, in secondary school, I had a teacher of Latin and Greek who was an absolute stickler for accuracy and for using faithful reproductions and spellings of names or words from foreign languages. He taught in Dutch, in the Netherlands, where I grew up. His attitude ignited something in me that has stuck with me for life and today I suspect I sometimes bore my own students with authentic if inaccessible spellings of names taken from Old Norse or classical Greek!!

For that reason I was pleased to see that the publisher and editor have taken great care to honour original orthography (fancy word for spelling!) There is even a note on correct pronunciation of letters from Old Norse and contemporary Icelandic.

What I did next was leafing through the book to check entries on terminology and more obscure figures (in Germanic mythology and folklore) where I have been disappointed in other reference type books I have consulted. That was the “litmus test” for me and this book passed with flying colours. It is obvious that a lot of scholarship and research has gone into compiling this. The author has not just taken entries from other sources and reproduced them uncritically.

Before the actual encyclopedia part there is a lengthy introduction of Norse and Germanic Mythology and Folklore. The sources are explained, the gods are introduced, the historical context is provided, even the runic letters are introduced and reproduced.

The author takes great pains to explain that the various Germanic or Nordic countries did not all share the same course of historical development over time. This is very important because, as a teacher of this material, I know that many students arrive looking for a “correct spelling” or “historical accuracy” on various matters – and this simply does not exist. I always reply with a question, when people press me on this: what language are we in? What location are we talking about? What period are you referring to?! – This is material from a vast geographical area (with many local tribes and sub cultures) stretching across centuries (where material continued to evolve over time).

I have not yet read all entries from A – Z. (I am working on that!) but I am thrilled to say that I am very impressed by all I have read so far. This is a book I will keep at hand and make available to my students of Norse mythology, Germanic folklore and shamanism!


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Imelda Almqvist, 4 November 2017, London UK


About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally. 

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