Nature’s Hidden Charms
Written by Liz Dean
Illustrations by Lizzie Harper
Publisher: Welbeck Balance
Publication date: November 2, 2021
Do You Wander in Nature?
Nature’s Hidden Charms by Liz Dean, and illustrated by Lizzie Harper, is the book for you if you answered “Yes” to the above question. The book starts with a foreword by Victoria Preston that’s an in-depth look at Nature worship in Europe with sacred wells and springs, “clooties” and coin tossing, and how those old ways of using small, natural objects found on walks can be used to make Charms.
Then we get Part One, Finding Your Way. This two chapter section covers the basics of using natural objects as natural charms, and why we all have the urge to gather them to remember special experiences. The Introduction goes into how to use the book, the terminology used, safety issues, and sustainability. Chapter One is a look at the charms made by our ancestors from wood, bone, animal skin, shell, stone, herbs and fathers; animal charms, rituals, corn dollies and onion dolls. Then Chapter Two goes into communing with nature, ways of doing so, and why we want to tune into the Natural World. It also gets into lessons on pendulum use, how to set up an altar, how to care for your Charms, and how to make a Charm Tree.
Chapter Two also introduces us to something found throughout the book: Techniques, Exercises and Rituals based on the topic being discussed — the real treasures of this book. This book is VERY hands on and uses a “learning by experience” type of approach, which this reviewer really appreciates.
Part Two consists of 7 chapters broken into specific Charm topics: Trees; Fruits, Nuts and Seeds; Herbs; Grasses and Vines; Stones; Shells and Seaweed; Eggshells and Feathers. Each chapter starts with some history and historical use of the objects being talked about, then gives a plethora of Techniques, Exercises, and Rituals based around said objects. Next we get a lists of objects with their traditional meanings, qualities and usage of each. This section is the real meat of the book, and even though it’s extensive, it’s very European-centered, so the lists feel a little short.
Part Three: Going Deeper is the last two chapters of the book, where we get a dive into sacred shapes and symbols as well as a list of magical number meanings. I love the Sacred Shapes Ritual (one of many) of making a freestyle mandala with natural objects during your nature walk, found in the 10th Chapter. As we become “symbol-aware” we might start noticing the connection between shapes and numbers, so Chapter 11 focuses on explaining Numbers as Living Energy. Connecting shape and number deepens our understanding of our Charms, so there’s a long list of “shape and associated number,” which is meant to be used to find your own Charm’s Number. Then an expo on the meanings of the numbers 1-9, and how to use the numbers in Ritual.
The book ends with a quick conclusion wishing you well on your own exploration of Nature. Next we get acknowledgements, followed by an Image List, Endnotes, and Bibliography.
This book brought back many memories of childhood intuitive use of natural objects to make magickal charms, and those amazing natural settings where such play happened. This book is a so much more than “50 signs, symbols & practices from the natural world to bring inner peace, protection & good fortune,” this book is a full on Nature Witch’s Grimoire packed full of juicy Techniques, Exercises, and Rituals to keep you busy for a lifetime!
The only negative is the shortness of the example lists, and how very Eurocentric they are. It shouldn’t be a problem for most people, but as someone who lives in the tropics the natural objects this reviewer wants to look up aren’t in the book.
Regardless, this book is a true treasure trove for anyone who considers themselves a Nature Lover and/or Nature Witch; the amount of hands-on work offered up by Liz Dean is awesome.
Happy Hiking my Witches!
About Liz Dean
I’m an author and an intuitive, writing about tarot, nature, creativity and manifesting. My latest book, Nature’s Hidden Charms, was published in October 2021 – it’s a guide to finding a spiritual connection with nature to deepen your sense of belonging: to become part of nature once again rather than an observer. Folklore and rituals inspire you to venture out and, if you choose, you can make your own charms for protection, healing or manifesting using natural materials from your walks.
Before writing books and reading tarot cards full time I worked in in illustrated book publishing, commissioning mind, body and spirt books; I also worked as a copywriter for the BBC and co-edited Kindred Spirit magazine. I spent seven years as a professional tarot reader and healer at Psychic Sisters within Selfridges, London, and now read privately for people all over the world. I give conference talks, teach divination, and swim in the sea – I live on the north-east coast and love finding natural charms on our local beach.
I hope you enjoy my books, and I look forward to hearing from you.
Jonathan has been reading Tarot for over 33+ years. He has had many teachers, and has experienced many Spiritual Truths. He even had the honor of teaching a Beginner’s Tarot Reading class!
He has swam with Manta Rays, Sea Turtles, and Whales in Hawaii; ran barefoot in the jungle with the Ticos of Costa Rica; danced the Naraya with the Shoshone; Prayed at Buddhist Temples in Thailand, China, and Japan; wandered the green hills of Ireland, studied Acupuncture in China; and has had many more adventures!
Jonathan’s love of the Tarot started when he was in Summer Camp (in New Jersey of all places) and was privileged to take a class with a Magus who taught the group not only the Tarot, but also crystals, Runes, pendulums, energy work, spell casting, Past Life Regressions, and many other “New Age” practices. That class was one of the catalysts for Jonathan’s own Spiritual Awakening to his many past lives, and his Higher Purpose.
Jonathan is an Acupuncturist who has created his own style of acupuncture aided past life regressions using gold needles. Jonathan is a Certified Health Coach. He has lost count of how many readings he’s given, and decks he’s collected, over the last 3 decades. Find more from Jonathan on YouTube.