Reviews & Interviews

Book Review – Sacred Smoke: Clear Away Negative Energies and Purify Body, Mind and Spirit by Amy Blackthorn

Book Review

Sacred Smoke

Clear Away Negative Energies and Purify Body, Mind and Spirit by Amy Blackthorn

176 Pages



Throughout time people have embraced their sense of smell in new and

exciting ways, using delicate flowers, plants and resins to uplift them

and open their eyes to the world and the universe.1

Sacred Smoke: Clear Away Negative Energies and Purify Body, Mind and Spirit is a book that you will return to over and over again for sharing, learning and crafting powerful natural magick. Don’t let the size of the book fool you into thinking that there is not enough material. The best magick is accomplished with the simplest actions and ingredients.

Amy invites us to develop a new respect and relationship with resins, herbs and incense taking these beyond simply being an alternative to air freshener or ephemeral ambiance for your workings and imbuing them with reverence and intention filled purpose. All of our senses carry us into the “other” realms in their own way and the olfactory sense is one of the most profound in its ability to carry us through time and space in recreating and forming memory and cyclical reciprocity. Sacred Smoke: Clear Away Negative Energies and Purify Body, Mind and Spirit allows the reader to do just that.

What we’re doing here is not just burning plants. We are forming a connection to

the earth under our feet. We are connecting to the people around us, in our homes

and in our lives. We are using these plants to remind us that we are alive…2.

Amy offers a four-fold approach to enrich your experience and developing acumen. These are:

Brass Tacks-sections including practical ways and practice to begin building your own foundations of use for sacred smoke;

Changing Seasons: Rites for the Passage of Time-applying what you’ve crafted in the setting of ritual and working;

Well-Being: Checking on Energetic Health-much needed techniques for maintaining the health of yourself and home to troubleshoot and repel the build up of disruptive negative energies;

And, Featured Herbs and Resins-chapter focused selections of what to use and why.

Everything you need to know is covered in an impressive arrangement of chapters and focus that starts with “What Everyone Needs to Know Before Starting a Cleansing Practice” (Chapter 1) to the concluding body of information ad developing the discernment to know “When Not to Reach for the Sacred Smoke” (Chapter 9). I found this last chapter to be the most engaging and appreciate the sensibilities of Amy to include the reminder that more is not always better and that despite how accomplished we may feel in any given area there are times when restraint is the better caution and seeking outside help is an even better choice.

Another favorite was Chapter 6 -“Rock and Roll Lifestyle: Adding Crystals to Up Your Game.” I love to incorporate crystals for all of my workings and the additional support of bathing them in sacred smoke …

By adding stones to your workings, you ground your intention in the long term.

Once the smoke dissipates, it is easy to forget that anything was done at all,

but by carrying a stone with you, especially one that has been bathed in the smoke

of a blend you created yourself… it becomes a literal touchstone that can

anchor the magic you have created. 3.

Would I recommend?

There is so much more I could write about this book, but it deserves an individual look to reveal what speaks to you personally. The information is written in a user friendly and very engaging way that speaks to the novice as well as the advanced practitioner of herbs and magical practice. I found it to be a timely addition to my library and practice and the need for a deeper connection to earth’s bounty and my personal energetic well-being. Another well written book by Amy Blackthorn!

Bonus Excerpt from the Publisher’s Page:

Cosmic Correction

Magical correction fluid for the universe, a do-over.

  • 3 parts benzoin (hex-breaking, inspiration, knowledge, memory, peace of mind)
  • 2 parts clove (dispel negativity, hex-breaking, protection, purification)
  • 1 part patchouli (dispel aggression, hex-breaking, banish addiction, centering, protection)
  • 3 parts pine resin (divine assistance, purification of the aura, new beginnings, courage)

Everyone deserves a second chance if they are willing to admit their mistake and make it right. Sometimes you need your own ritual to mark the occasion. Patchouli loses its earthy aroma when burning, so don’t worry, it won’t smell like burning dirt.


  1. p. XV, “Introduction”
  2. p. XVII, “Introduction”
  3. p. 81




About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Third Degree Initiate within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition and serves as High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path, the 12th Coven within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition. She teaches and facilitates classes for the Pagan Experience Study Group that serves as foundation for membership within Coven of the Mystic Path.  

Her spiritual journey is strongly rooted in both Eastern philosophy and the Western Magickal systems from which she has formed a core foundation that is diverse in knowledge and rich in spiritual practice.  A life-long learner, her practice has evolved from the classical and philosophical teachings of books, practical experience and enrichment of this knowledge base by attending workshops of various spiritual traditions presented by master teachers.

Robin formally came to the Wiccan path in 1994. Following practice as a solitary for 2 years, she dedicated to Oak and Willow Coven of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition in November of 1996. She received her 1st, 2nd and finally 3rd degrees within the Assembly Tradition and has served as High Priestess of Oak and Willow since Samhain of 2001.

As a teacher of esoteric and magickal studies she has used Energetic Anatomy, Tarot, Astrology, Hermetic Qabala, Eastern Philosophy, and Numerology as the foundations of her diverse selection of workshops and writings for more than 25 years. Exploration of varied energetic protocol has been the focus of her work for some time now and the information gained through direct experience informs all of her magickal and spiritual work.

Robin’s writings have been featured online, and in print Internationally.  She has authored several books incorporating her unique style of writing making use of poetry, prose and pathworking to enhance the concepts presented.  She has taught extensively throughout the Pagan community, including Sacred Space Conference, Spring Magick, Between the Worlds Interfaith Conference and Free Spirit Gathering Festival this Summer. Her most recent project is hosting an online blogging community entitled The Pagan Experience.

Robin is the owner of Holistic Embrace providing services for mind, body and spirit such as Tarot readings, Astrology reports, Spiritual Guidance and other related offerings.  She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania and her life is blessed by a 40+- year marriage, five children and the opportunity to work in the field of public education.

Robin’s Books

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 1 It’s Written in the Stars-Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 2 Poetry of the Spheres-Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. 3 Awakening the Paths-Qabalah

The Light of SELF: Consciousness, Spiritual Practice and Learning to Breathe

Magickal Verse: A Collection of Poetry and Prose

A Year of Gaia: The Eternal Cord

The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of SELF

Temple of the Sun and Moon: Luminous Devotions

Sleeping with the Goddess: Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection: Musings for the Year

The Magickal Pen: A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Enchanted Gate: Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

For more info:

Robin’s Website:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW: