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

May, 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!



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)


November, 2016

 I Rose (from a  Hekate Meditation): 

My rose was blue

I stepped beneath the arch

My rose was gold

Or peach

Softness incarnate

Never crimson

Never bold

Tentative like my


I rose beneath the arch

To meet four faces

Framed with snake

With sea

With sinister teeth

With chains

With all the keys I need

To break free.

I rose and took

The proffered seaweed

Tiny bladders ready

To pop with salty sweetness

A shoreline promise

Of things to come.

I rose, hands out

Filled with light;

Stepping into darkness

My rose was black

Ashen; withered

Suddenly alive again!

Gold and glowing

Snakebite antidote

Starlight flowing

I rose; I gasped; I smiled.

Copyright Mabh Savage 2015. Mabh is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft. Image credit Sumathi Sowmia via Wikimedia Commons.

Notes from the Apothecary

August, 2016

Notes from the Apothecary: The Rose



I’ve temporarily veered away from my series on trees as I was inspired to write about the rose. There are some beautiful rosa rubiginosa which have been flowering in the grounds of my son’s school for several weeks before I wrote this article, and they are so beautiful. (image left: rosa rubiginosa, source Wikipedia). My six-year-old boy has been enchanted with these gorgeous flowers, and I have had to plead with him not to pick them all as he decided ‘they are all for mummy’! Walking through Hamsterley forest we came across several varieties of wild rose, and again in woods local to where we live. So lovely, so sharp, potentially dangerous and full of mysticism and magic.

The Kitchen Garden

Growing roses can be done in a variety of ways. Bare root roses can be ordered and should be planted in the fall but ideally before the ground freezes. Roses can also be bought in containers and pots, and these plants will have foliage and maybe flowers on. These can be planted at any time of year apart from when the ground is frozen or too dry. Basically, avoid extremes and you should be ok. They like a good compost and manure is also ideal. Fertiliser can help.

Once you have your supply of roses, you can use the petals and hips (the red or orange seed pods) in a variety of ways. Dried, the petals are wonderful in potpourri or sachets to place in drawers for scenting. As well as being a wonderful natural perfume, roses petals also give a wonderful, unique flavour which can be used in desserts and sweets. Rose water is easily available at Asian food stores and is a simple way of imbuing your own food with the scent and favour of roses. A great example of this is Turkish Delight.

You mustn’t eat the hips raw as the seeds have fibres around them like little hairs, which are incredibly irritating to the throat. Cook and strain or press the hips to obtain the juices. Rose hips make amazing jellies, jams, syrups and tonics, and in Sweden are even made into a soup called nyponsoppa.

The Apothecary

Rose hips are very rich in vitamin C, however most recipes involve boiling the hips which, unfortunately, destroys some of the vitamin. Thankfully, they are so packed with vitamin C that even after preparing as syrup or jam, they still retain a reasonable amount, making them very useful as well as tasty.

Vitamin C is well indicated in boosting the immune system, so having some rosehip syrup in stock before the winter nights arrive is a great idea, to try and keep colds at bay. The vitamin is also thought to protect the cardiovascular system, the eyes and the skin. It is used by the body to help repair cells, so any rosehip product can be used when recovering or convalescing from any illness or injury.

Mrs Grieves tells us, in her Modern , that rose water (made from the petals) is used as an eye lotion (which makes sense with the vitamin C content), and that a cold cream is created by mixing oil of rose, wax and almond oil, and that this is very effective for chapped hands.

Culpeper believed rose petals were purgative and useful for fevers and jaundice. In fact, he seemed to have enormous faith in the healing power of the rose, citing its usefulness for joint ache, fainting and swooning, weak stomachs, infections, strengthening the heart, liver problems, sores in the throat and mouth, headaches and pimples, amongst other ailments.

In North American Indian medicine, the root of the plant has been used in a decoction as a cough remedy, particularly for children.

The Lab

Roses, the damask rose in particular, have been the subject of several pharmacological studies, in order to establish its usefulness in modern medicine. Interestingly, one of the effects it has is upon the central nervous system, including promoting sleepiness. It was found (in mice) to be possibly as powerful as diazepam. It may also have anti-depressant properties.

Some components of rose petals may even have analgesic effects, meaning they could potentially be employed as painkillers.

The Witch’s Kitchen

The rose hails originally from the Middle East, most likely from the area now known as Iran. In May, in the city of Ghamsar, there is an annual rose festival where the petals are collected and made into fragrant rose water. The damask rose is known as the Mohammadi rose or Mohammadi flower, and is sacred. Nothing is wasted during the process of making rose water. Even the left over petals are used as animal feed for livestock. The traditional process has been followed for thousands of years, although of course it is now also produced on an industrial scale, it is reassuring to know that the ancient traditions are kept alive in this way.

In western tradition, we view the rose as a symbol of love. The often red petals are symbolic of passion and the heart, although the thorns remind us of the perils of un-tempered lust. Cupid shot his arrows into a rose garden, trying to avenge himself upon a bee that stung him, and this is where the rose’s thorns came from. When Venus, his mother, walked through the garden, he pricked her foot upon the thorns, and her blood turned the roses red.

As a Celtic witch, red to me is the colour of magic and mysticism; a sign that something other worldly is happening. Red is a warning, an omen; the colour that makes us prick our ears up and pay attention. A sudden red rose in an otherwise green hedgerow is a clear sign that you should pause and look around, see what else you can see, or open up your mind and heart and see what you can feel; who is trying to contact you? Or it could simply be a reminder to connect to nature more often; to literally stop and smell the roses.

The scent of rose petals is particularly evocative and is useful in meditation, to help lull oneself into a state where the mind can wander unhindered.

As well as the associations with Venus and Cupid, roses are associated with Isis, and were also used in Egyptian funeral wreaths. In Hindu mythology, Vishnu and Brahma both eventually agreed that the rose was the most beautiful flower in existence, and the goddess Lakshmi was created from rose petals.

In Christianity, the rose represents the Virgin Mary, and the flower is referred to as the rosa mystica, or mystical rose.

The rose symbolises a yearning for perfection, but reminds us that nothing is perfect; even the most beautiful of living things has its thorns. It can represent balance, love, emotion, fire, passion, omens, prophecy and poetry.

Home and Hearth

Strew rose petals upon a freshly swept hearth to bring love and happiness into your home.

For positive magic, to draw something to you, use either very fresh flowers, glossy hips, or thoroughly dried petals. Wilting flowers represent something in flux or something dying; something coming to an end. This may not give you the intended result. In contrast, wilting flowers may be just what you need if you are looking to cut ties with something or someone, or to draw a line under a phase in your life. Let the rose wilt and die, then bury it away from your home or sacred space.

I Never Knew…

Rose bushes can live for a long time, and apparently the oldest living plant is in Germany, and is over 1000 years old.

Lavender’s Corner

January, 2013









Rose essential oil

[Rosa Centifolia]


Rose water can be used for conjunctivitis. The oil of love. You can use this oil and a carrier oil with Rose Quartz in love meditations.


of Rose;

Planet~ Venus

Element~ Water

Deity~ Aphrodite, Antheia, Cloris, Ceres, Cerridwen, Diana, Flora, Frigg, Hathor, Hulda, Isis, Lada, Maia, Pomona, Rhea, Sita, Themis, Venus, Zillah, Adonis, Baal, Bes, Cupid, Eros, Vishnu, and St. Francis of Assisi.

Archangel~ Haniel and Anael.

Colours~ pale yellow or reddish orange.

Other uses~ broken capillaries, dry skin, eczema, herpes, mature and sensitive skin types, wrinkles, palpitations, poor circulation, asthma, coughs, hay fever, cholecystitis, liver congestion, nausea, irregular periods, leucorrhoea, hemorrhagic, uterine disorders, depression, impotence, insomnia, frigidity, headache, nervous tension and stress related conditions.

Rituals~ Beauty,

    • Divination

  • , Love, Luck, Healing, Peace, Psychic protection, Sex magic.

    Other names~ Damask Rose.

    Blends with~ Benzoin, Bergamot, Cassie, Chamomile, Clary sage, Clove, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mimosa, Neroli, Orange blossom, Palmarosa, Patchouli and Sandalwood.

    Parts used~ Steam distillation of fresh petals.

    Any Precautions? Do NOT use in pregnancy.


    This month’s blends [extra things to do with Rose oil]


    Rose Water

    Take one or two [depends on the size of flask and how much you want it to smell] handfuls of fresh scented rose petals. 3-5 buds.

    Add them into a sterol flask, and pour boiling water over them. Gently shake, and leave for at least 24 hours before using. Use within the month, for optimum freshness.


    Rose petal circle ceremony of dedication

    Grab 3 or 4 handfuls of rose petals [scented or unscented], and place in a circle. You can be inside or outside for this! If you have extra petals, overlap them. Use this for rituals in conjunction with a deity from the above list.


    Rose ritual for beauty [Do this on a Waxing Moon]

    Respect a rose before this, and ask if it’s o.k. to take one. Cut a rose at stem length [same size as store brought]. Look into a mirror and smile at yourself. Look deeply into your eyes and see a pink glow there, smile again. Take a mixture of 3ml Olive oil and 3 drops rose essential oil; with your second finger on your power hand, circle the outside of the rose. Then after touching the rose, get more oil; place a circle upon your forehead. Look deeply into your eyes, smile again and say the words “Blessed Be”. Keep the rose until the full moon arrives and then bury it, close to you.



    Depression oil blend and revival evoking [when feeling low]

    Sweet Almond oil x 20ml

    Grapeseed oil x10ml

    Rose essential oil x 10 drops

    Bergamot essential oil x 5 drops

    Lavender essential oil x3 drops


    Blend and place upon your chest, lower back, temples, wrists and ankles. Say~


    “Goddess, Diana; where I stay,

    I am not myself today,

    I need the moon temple deep inside,

    For too long, I’ve had to hide.


    Please Sweet Diana, head my call,

    That love and happiness are honoured by all,

    Help me please, lift this depression;

    Somewhere there must be a lesson”.


    In the week following this, completely follow your intuition!


    Rose quartz meditation for love

    With any of the rose oil mixtures above, or your own tweaked version, add the oil to the wrists, sides of the neck, temples and hands. Place the hands inline with the chest in a prayer-like motion; feeling the heat awaken from you.

    Close your eyes. Having the rose quartz in front of you, think of it as a portal. Focus on your breathing and when ready visualise the crystal expand with your breathing. It offers you love, hope and happiness. If you want to let the crystal take you to a place you feel safe and loved.

    When your ready imagine the reverse [like in all meditation]… the crystal gets smaller and smaller as it’s in front of you, and your back to the exact same place you started at.


    Rose incantation for book of shadows blessing

    Place a circle of rose petals or rose quartz crystals around your Book of shadows. Take 1 cap full of carrier oil [your favourite one], use the lid of the bottle it came in. add this to a disposable cup or shot glass. Add 3 drops of rose essential oil. Blend this well and touch the oil down the right hand side of all the pages.

    Say~ “As these magical words descend the ages,

    Blessed may they be; the pages”.


    Ring a bell over the book and say~

    “May love stem; both within and without;

    Never to have another stifling doubt”.


    End with “Blessed be”, end the circle in your usual way and wash your hands. If the oil stings at any time, it is handy to have some hand gel next to you just in case it’s needed.


    Thanks for reading,

    Blessed be.

    WiseWoman Traditions

    June, 2011

    Wild as a Rose

    by ÓSusun S. Weed

    June is the month for brides. And roses are the flowers of love. So I think it fitting to focus on roses this month. Don’t you? Not only are roses beautiful, they are good medicine and fine food.

    Yes, all roses that haven’t been sprayed with poisons (more about that later) can be eaten, whether cultivated or wild, climbing or bushy, white, pink, yellow, or red. My favorite June breakfast is whole wheat toast with butter or cultured cream cheese and a double layer of fresh rose petals. That sure wakes me up! It’s a nice change, too, from my spring fancy breakfast, which is whole wheat toast with butter and violet flowers.

    Roses capture our imagination like few flowers, and that’s saying a lot, as any flower can trigger a wonderfully imaginative burst from even the least poetic of us. “How sweet to seize the blushing Prey, And snatch it from the Thorn away!” said Anacreon in the fifth century BCE (translated by Addison, 1735). In mythology, Flora, the goddess of flowers, asks the gods to help her revive a beloved, now dead, nymph. Apollo gives her the breath of life; Bacchus washes her in nectar; Vertummus gives her a lovely scent; Pomona makes her fruitful; and Flora herself gives her a crown of shimmering petals. Thus Rose, the “queen of flowers”, is created.

    Roses are painted on fine china, splashed across wallpaper, fashioned out of satin and silk and sewn onto clothes and hats, even dipped in gold and silver. Roses are the very image of innocence; roses are filled with sexual allure. Roses are chaste and pure; roses are wanton and wild. Roses bloom and fade in a day, like love, perfect but passing. Roses endure, blooming year after year, like love, eternal.

    Rose gardens are found all over the world. Notable rose gardens include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York, Kew Gardens in England, Westbroekpark in the Netherlands (with 20,000 plants), the Parc de la Grange in Geneva (with 12,000 plants), and the gardens of the Italian Rose Society in Milan. The largest garden in the world devoted entirely to roses is in Shreveport, Louisiana, where more than 70,000 plants are collected into 40 different rose gardens.

    There are at least two cities that claim to be “The City of Roses”. One is Portland, Oregon, where the 10,000 roses of the International Rose Test Gardens are terraced on five acres of hillside in the shadow of Mt. Hood. The other is Chandigarh, the capital of the Punjab in India, where 60,000 plants make up the 30-acre Zakir Rose Garden, including a Museum of Roses, a Moonlight Garden of pure white roses, and a scent garden where roses are bred to be especially high in rose oil, the mostly costly fragrance made.

    Roses are not especially easy to grow, for they are attractive to a number of insect and fungal pests. Sprays can keep pests at bay, but even organic pesticides and fungicides can be unwholesome if eaten. Instead, I use a strong brew of horsetail (Equisetum arvense) – one cup of dried herb brewed for four hours in a quart of boiling water – diluted, a cup at a time in a gallon of rain water, to spray against black spot and other molds. Seeding lawn areas with milky spore is the best control for Japanese beetles, which can eat through a rose bush in minutes it seems.

    If you enjoy an abundance of roses, as I do – through no effort on my part, I assure you, for the wild roses are rampant in my area – you may wish to make rose beads. Natural Rose Beads are sweetly-scented black lumps made by throwing wilted roses into a cast iron pot and allowing them to rot for several months. Before the rose paste dries out, gather it into balls by rolling between your palms, then thread carefully onto a thick string and hang to dry completely. Rose beads will last for decades if thoroughly fermented and carefully dried.

    Wild roses have five petals, each gently notched in the center and arranged in a pretty, open star with a cluster of stamen (the pollen-producing parts) in the center. Cultivated roses have petals in multiples of five. The five-pointed star is a pentagram, or pentacle, which is, of course, the symbol of magic. The rose, a blooming pentacle, is as magical as a flower can be.

    Eating the petals of roses will get you lots of healthy flavonoids and vitamin C, as well as coloring materials that contain polyphenols and other heart-healthy, cancer-fighting compounds. If you eat the whole rose, you’ll also get allergy-busting pollen to help get your body in tune with your environment.

    Besides sprinkling the petals lavishly in salads and across toast, try making Rose Honey*. Fill any jar to the top with roses and rose petals. Pour honey into the jar, stirring as needed to remove air bubbles, until the jar is full. Cap securely and label. Wait for at least a week before eating. The longer you wait, the better the taste. You can make Rose Hip Honey the same way; be sure to remove all the seeds and itchy hairs from the rose hips before putting them in a jar and adding honey.

    Rose petal or rose hip honey is splendid on toast, or taken by the spoonful to soothe a sore throat. To forestall a cold, put a tablespoon of rose honey in a cup, add the juice of half a lemon, then fill the cup with hot water.

    Roses are especially cherished as a remedy for “women’s problems”. The growing tips of the rose canes are rich in hormone-like substances that help women with menstrual difficulties get into an easy flow, those with libido problems to feel frisky, and those who want to conceive to be more receptive.

    Rose Hormone Remedy:

    Harvest leaf and flower buds just before they open, preserving with honey, or a mixture of one part glycerin and two parts water. The dose is a teaspoonful several times a day.

    Roses are part of a very large family of plants, many of which are medicinal and edible. Raspberry is part of the rose family, and raspberry leaf infusion is a fine uterine tonic. Hawthorn, the heart remedy, is also part of this family. As are most of the non-tropical fruits we enjoy: apples, pears, peaches, and plums, apricots, strawberries, cherries, and blackberries, raspberries, and even almonds.

    If an apple a day will keep the doctor away, what will a rose a day do for you? Try it and see!

    *Note: Do not give honey to babies under 12 months old.