Cosmic Karma: Understanding your Contract with the Universe

Cosmic Karma:
Understanding your Contract with the Universe  
by Marguerite Manning
Llewellyn, 2007

 

I’ve read a ton of astrology books in my life, some good, many mediocre. Marguerite Manning’s Cosmic Karma is one of this year’s best. As the title suggests, Cosmic Karma concentrates on karmic astrology. It is a guide for one’s soul to live better in this life than it did in the last, and pay off the karmic debt that it owes to the universe. You’re going to need your birth chart for Cosmic Karma; as Manning states, “a birth chart shows what cosmic influences were present at precise moment of your birth.” (The book helpfully lists websites where you can plug in your exact date of birth and get your birth chart for free.)

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Kamasutra Tarot

Kamasutra Tarot  
by A.R. Madan, Vijai & Ram
Llewellyn, 2007

 

“Sex sells! Tarot sells! A Kama Sutra Tarot will sell, too!” You can hear this pitch echo from the halls of the publisher’s offices, and the set’s notes confirm it. “When the deck was originally designed,” the editor admits, “the first impulse was to associate one card with each of the Kama Sutra positions. Ultimately, though, this approach proved fruitless.” The publisher’s response? Commission two Indian artists “to create a series of authentic images in the style and character frequently found in illustrated versions of the Kama Sutra. Twenty-two of these images were selected, adapted, and related to the twenty-two Major Arcana of the Tarot. Fifty-six were organized into four suits, and then related to the divinatory meanings popularly assigned to the Minor Arcana.” In short: “These systems weren’t compatible, so we just made stuff up.” Yeah.

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The Mystic Faerie Tarot

The Mystic Faerie Tarot
by Barbara Moore, art by Linda Ravenscroft
Llewellyn, 2007

 

It’s not every day that a Tarot deck as beautiful as this one crosses your path. This will be no surprise to fans of fantasy illustrator Linda Ravenscroft. Her sensuous watercolors of the Fey are wildly popular, and the Mystic Faerie Tarot is bound to become a well-loved deck. Linda’s gorgeous art makes it an absolute joy to use for divination and meditation.

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Composing Magic: How to Create Magical Spells, Rituals, Blessings, Chants and Prayers

Composing Magic:  
How to Create Magical Spells, Rituals, Blessings, Chants and Prayers  
by Elizabeth Barrette
New Page, 2007

 

Whether you’ve just begun to write rituals, or have lots of experience, Composing Magic is a must-read that will provide you with a wealth of insight about the writing process and how connected it is to the magical practices you pursue. Even better, this book is a good primer on how to improve your writing skills in general.

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Magic and Meditation with Pagan Rosaries and Prayer Beads

Magic and Meditation  
with Pagan Rosaries and Prayer Beads  
by John Michael Greer and Clare Vaughn Red Wheel
Weiser, 2007

 

Rosaries are used in many religions, and today’s Pagans have adopted this practice as well. Pagan rosaries have multitudes of uses; they’re not only used for prayer, but also for spellwork, chants, meditation, various Pagan rituals, and even for pathworking (my favorite).

Pagan Prayer Beads, by John Michael Greer and Clare Vaughn, is a handy guide on how to plan, make, and use your own handmade Pagan rosaries. What a fabulous magical craft!

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The Study of Healing Prayer

The Study of Healing Prayer
Ethical and Practical Questions
by Elizabeth Barrette 

While most matters of healing lie outside my area of expertise, I have a perennial interest in prayer and liturgy. Healing prayers appear in most if not all religions. Some are specific, others general; some come from human inspiration, while others are attributed to the Divine. My most recent exploration of healing prayer began with the November-December 2001 issue of The Religious Language Newsletter.1

This issue mentioned a double-blind study about the effects of healing prayer in reproductive medicine, in which 50% of the women prayed for conceived, compared with 26% of the control group. Neither the women nor any of the medical staff involved in their care even knew that a study was being conducted. That reference launched a discussion which has continued for months as various readers submitted references to additional studies, personal arguments, and other relevant tidbits. About the same time, I got my hands on a couple of review copies that covered similar ground.2 With the "Healing Paths" issue of PanGaia coming up, I decided to explore the matter in more detail.

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