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    Book Review: Spells for Self Improvement by Lauren White

    By Lauren White © 2000 by MQ Publications Ltd. ISBN: 0-7407-0552-0 112 pages   This is a fun little book and I mean “little” literally. The book is roughly five by five inches. However, this little book contains a considerable amount of information despite the small size   I really liked the first part of the book which is a discussion on how to use the book. Each spell has a key included with it. This key list difficulty which ranges from easy or the author puts it, “a piece of cake”, to requires concentration. The second aspect on the key is for the amount of time it takes to…

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    From the Shadowlands

    “So You Want to be a Bad Apple”   Most people are familiar with the expression that one bad apple can ruin the barrel. This same principle can be applied to people. It’s seen all the time in work situations, or social situations. All it takes is one person to turn a decent job into a nightmare or a fun social occasion into an ordeal. While I have seen situations in these areas, this article is about the bad apple at Festival and how to be one. First, a pompous name is good. Try for something like Lady Fluffyfairy Twinkletoes Extraordinaire or Lord Mighty Thor’s Son on Earth. You get…

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    Interview with Author Tom Swiss

    Tom Swiss: Why Buddha Touched the Earth     Tom Swiss has been a practicing Pagan since 1990, and a student of Asian culture through the lens of traditional martial and healing arts since 1985. He is a karate student and instructor He holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and has a keen interest in how technological changes affect societies.   Shadowdancer:  How challenging was the research for Why Buddha Touched the Earth? Tom:  I hadn’t had to do this sort of research since my college days, so it was a challenge to pull out some of those old skills. But the Web made…

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    Book Review: Why Buddha Touched the Earth

        Why Buddha Touched the Earth by Tom Swiss © 2013 by Tom Swiss ISBN: 978-1-905713-90-5 306 pages Paperback $19.05 (U.S.) I found Why Buddha Touched the Earth to be insightful as well as entertaining. In the preface to the book the author describes this work as an “essay” in the sense that it is his attempt to present his spiritual path in a form that others can understand. The subtitle for this book is Zen Paganism for the 21st Century. Zen is simply meditation. Defining Paganism takes a little more work. The author takes the reader on a journey through history exploring the development and impact of Buddhism and…

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    From the Shadowlands: Up the Mountain, Musing by Shadowdancer

    I just finished reading and reviewing a book by Tom Swiss called Why Buddha Touched the Earth. It is a book on Zen Paganism.  As I was reading the book a lot of what I read seemed to correspond to what I believe to the point where I thought that maybe I too and a Zen Pagan. But not all of what he had to share resonated with me. There were points I flat out disagree with him. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the book and learning a great deal from it. As he was talking about the Zen monks he met in Japan I reflected on the one I met while living…

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    Book Review: Spells: New and Selected Poems by Annie Finch

      Spells: New and Selected Poems by Annie Finch © 2013 Annie Finch ISBN: 978-0-8195-7269-1 232 pages Hardcover $30.00 (U.S.)   Although this is not Annie Finch first book of poetry it is my first experience with her work. From the first few poems in this book I was captivated. This book is a collection of poems both new and ones collected over forty years. The poems have a cadence that reads as speech but with a musical cadence that are experienced with both body and mind. This is not a book to be read quickly. With each poem I read I found myself stopping to absorb the full effect…

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    Book Review: The Hunter Diaries Anthology

    The Hunter Diaries Anthology By Serena Zane © 2013 by Serena Zane ISBN: 978-1482093940 223 pages Paperback $8.54 (U.S.)   The Hunter Diaries is different from the other books I have reviewed as this one was fiction. I found this to be a very enjoyable book and one I had a hard time putting down from the time I started reading it. This book is a collection of four stories that are inner connected through some of the characters. The first story, “The Christmas Present” introduces the reader to a world populated in part by vampires and those who hunt them. The hunters in this case are the Willis family…

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    Book Review: The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians

    The Qabala Workbook for Magicians By Anita Kraft © 2013 Weiser Books ISBN: 978-1-57863-535-1 167 pages Paperback $19.95 (U.S.)  I found The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians to be very imforative and not just for magicians but for anyone in the CraftWitchy. In the chapter on how to use the book the author discusses such things as altar cloths, tarot cards, perfumes, candles and more. While these are geared to setting up an altar for the different Sephiroth, the information could be expanded for use on just about any alter. For one not overly familiar with Qabalah I found the information to be very thorough and easy to follow.   After…

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    Book Review: Stones of the Seven Rays by Michel Coquet

    Stones of the Seven Rays By Michel Coquet © 2012 by Inner Traditions International ISBN: 978-1-59477-433-1 339 pages Paperback $24.95 (U.S.) This book holds an amazing amount of information. It is divided into two parts, the first an esoteric discussion of the history of the seven stones and the second part is detailed information on each of the seven stones. Most are aware that stones have been used since man first picked one up to use as a tool or weapon. The author also shows how stones have been used throughout history for a variety of purposes including defending self, eating, healing, mortuary rites, fertility and more. The discussion starts…

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    Book Review: City Magick by Christopher Penczak

      City Magick By Christopher Penczak © 2012 by Christopher Penczak ISBN: 978-1-57863-521-4 283 pages Paperback $19.95 (U.S.)   I was not sure how much I would find of use in this book as I do not live in a city. It was a very pleasant surprise to find information that can be easy adapted to suburban or country living. I have found myself looking at my surroundings in a new way. The author starts with the basics or what he calls the three R’s of magick – reality, rapture and ritual. Each of these concepts is described in detail and exercises to the help each are listed. Some of…