The Bad Witch Reviews: The Magick of Master Lilly by Tobsha Learner

July, 2018

The Bad Witch Reviews:

The Magick of Master Lilly

by Tobsha Learner


This book feels timely. Set before and during the English civil war from the point of view of an astrologer and magician it might seem odd for me to say that but it is. There are, of course, more than two factions but you have really two opposing forces. One cultured, connected to Europe, artist, intellectually explorative and another towards nationalism, religious hatred, anti-intellectualism and paranoia.

No this book feels very relevant today. It also happens to be a cracking read. The story is well paced, the characters alive and vibrant. The “sides” are full of well-meaning people communicating badly and not getting what they want. The villains are ordinary people given the liberty to act in monstrous ways by the conflict around them.

The occult elements are interesting and a good blend of fanciful and real. The terminology doesn’t distract or bog down those whom might have no knowledge of Craft, astrology or
Cunning Folk ways. Yet it doesn’t become historical techno-babble.
The victims to the folly of war are many, and always the innocent are punished first. The farmers looted, the
Cunning Folks tortured and killed, the “traitors” real or imagined hung without rule of law, the women and children raped and left half mad: this was English violence unleashed.

The one we pretend isn’t there. The one we hide behind sports and stiff upper lips and so on. The one that simmers and you sometimes see in football hooliganism, drunken fights, blood sports and riots.

I feel like a learned a lot reading this book (the research is excellent) about how history repeats itself. Yet it wasn’t a sour book it is full of hope, love and good intentions. I devoured it wholly, reading it near constantly from the moment I got it until I was done. I can see this would be a great holiday read, especially if you were
traveling in the UK.

I can imagine this would be a great read if you had the opportunity to read it in London. There is a great affection for London in this book and visiting landmarks from the book from pubs to palaces would be both entertaining and interesting. Maybe you could watch Mother Thames and dream how different our lives would all be if the stars had aligned differently and great and terrible men had listened to angels instead of stubborn hate.


The Magick of Master Lilly

The Tarot

January, 2012

I know I’ve spoken about the Magician’s card in the past but I wanted to talk about him yet again as we begin the new year. Why? Well the Magician is the first card of the deck symbolized by the number one.  The Magician is a representation of a higher power or as some would call him “God” when he is present during a reading the Magician reminds you that you have all the tools you need to forge ahead as in the story of his meeting with the fool the Magician forces you to look at your life and reminds you of how lucky you truly are.  He holds on his table the pent symbolizing financial stability, the sword symbolizing the driving forces that propel us forward, the staff which symbolizing our relationships and the cup a symbol of our spiritual well being. Above his head he wears the infinity symbol around his waste a snake also symbolizing the infinite and his hands point towards heaven and earth being attention to the all.

As we begin the new year we need to bring our attention to the Magician’s message a simple reminder that all we are searching for is easily found within each item in his table  are tools we already have in our possession all we need to do is use them to our best abilities and begin living a fruitful and positive life.

So as the new year begins please take this time to begin using the tools that are rightfully yours. Your God given gifts that will move your towards your life journey.

Happy New Year!

Tarot Talk

January, 2010

The Magician (1)


“Action is the product of the qualities inherent in Nature.” ~Bhagavad Gita

Image Description:

The Rider-Waite deck portrays a magus dressed in flowing robes. Belted around his waist is a serpent swallowing its own tail; floating above his head is the symbol of infinity. On a table before him lie the tools of his trade — a chalice, pentacle, staff, and sword (the four suits of the Tarot). One arm is lifted to the heavens and the other is lowered, finger pointing toward the earth.  In his raised hand he holds a wand.


One Arm Raised & One Arm Lowered : Drawing energy into yourself and turning energy into matter

Chalice: The element of water representing emotions

Sword: The element of air representing intellect and reason

Wand: The element of fire representing inspiration and action

Pentacle: The element of earth representing the body or senses

Lemniscate (infinity symbol): Infinity, endless possibility

Key Words:

Action, Conscious Awareness, Will, Concentration, Forces of Creativity.

The Fool’s Journey:

In his travels, the Fool first encounters the Magician, a skillful, confident magus capable of employing the power of concentration to turn will into action. Raising his wand to the heavens, the Magician calls upon the forces of creativity to provide the Fool with all the tools he will need for his journey: the cool Sword of intellect and thought, the fiery Staff of inspiration and action, the overflowing Chalice of love and emotions, the solid Pentacle of the earth, body, and senses. Now consciously aware of the resources available to him, the Fool is better equipped to continue his journey.


To learn how to use our will and resources to create results through action.


As card number one, the Magician represents the male powers of creation through willpower and action. He symbolizes the ability to tap universal forces and to use this power for innovative purposes. The four tools of the Magician remind us of the four suits of the Tarot, and represents their raw, undeveloped, undirected energy ready for use.

In readings, the Magician can imply that the primal forces of creativity are available to us.  If we simply convert our awareness, concentration, and willpower into action, we can change our world. The Magician sometimes serves as a signal to act, providing we understand exactly what we want and we are committed to acquiring it. By directing our energy on the task / goal at hand, we can use the tools of the Magician to turn our hopes and dreams into solid reality.

The Magician card can encourage us to identify our strengths and existing resources. When we are aware of the tools available to us, we can take the necessary actions to use them to their best advantage.

Next issue, we will examine ‘The High Priestess.’ Until then, may the Tarot be with you!