Using this deck feels like taking a path into the deepwood, the cards bearing images that invoke tangled, green mystery. If you collect Tarot decks, then you will surely want to add this one to your collection. If you are a serious student of Tarot and want to explore new realms, then this deck is also most definitely for you.]]>
There are a lot of worthless Sun-sign astrology books on the market. This isn’t one of them.]]>
My copy of Wilhelm’s I-Ching, Book of Changes is stored securely wrapped in red silk; the cloth is said to inhibit any impact from external influences. I haven’t touched the book in years. But, one of the last times I did, my husband and I followed the instruction: “The Superior Man will seek his fortune in the south and west.” At the time, we were in the midst deciding whether or not to accept a job offer that would move our family from Boston to a land-locked city in Ohio. We took the advice. In retrospect, it was a good decision.]]>
Nature divination, according to The Earth Deck creator Gail Morrison (also known as Gaiamore), is “the art of listening, seeing, feeling, sensing, understanding, and opening to the wisdom of the Earth.”]]>
The Llewellyn almanacs form the literary heart of this publisher’s annual titles. These are the ones that offer the meatiest articles and the most magic, sorted by theme.
They all make excellent desk references, well worth keeping for use in later years. I happen to have articles in all of these, but I’ll only be highlighting the work of other authors here.
The Magical Almanac subdivides into articles for winter, spring, summer, and fall. Some of this year’s more interesting ones include “Pagan Rosaries and Prayer Beads” by Olivia O’Meir, “The Origin of Anubis” by Denise Dumars, “Star Power” by James Kambos, and “Wizard Marks” by Elizabeth Hazel. The almanac section falls between the spring and summer sections. It features a calendar, time changes, lunar phases and moon signs, sabbats, world holidays, incense and color of the day. The calendar is laid out with one week per page, and a little bit of space to jot notes amidst the cluster of data included. The Magical Almanac is the best all-around choice for Pagans in general, particularly novice-intermediate level.
The Herbal Almanac has a much narrower focus; it covers the magical, medicinal, and culinary uses of plants. It does not have a calendar section, but does include detailed tables of the moon, along with info on the quarters and signs — a must for lunar gardening. Articles subdivide into the categories of Growing and Gathering Herbs, Culinary
Herbs, Herbs for Health, Herbs for Beauty, Herb Crafts, and Herb History, Myth, and Magic. They are longer and more in-depth than those in other annuals. My favorites include “Traditional English Gardens” by Chandra Moira Beal, “Chocolate” by Sheri Richarson, “Bug Off” by Dallas Jennifer Cobb, “Henna Beauty Treatments” by Stephanie Rose Bird, “A Remembrance Potpourri” by Laurel Reufner, and “The Magic of the Morning Glory” by Tammy Sullivan. The Herbal Almanac best suits intermediate to advanced practitioners, such as a hedgewitch or herbalist — or a city Pagan hungry for vicarious gardening.
The Spell-a-Day Almanac explores everyday magic through spells and recipes, rituals and meditations, holidays and lore. Each month begins with an essay on its seasonal qualities. Individual days note the lunar phases, other astrological phenomena, and any holidays. Incense and color of the day also appear. The main body is devoted to a brief spell, meditation, or other magical activity. Finally there is a generous space for notes. Full and New Moons get special attention, with slightly longer entries. The Spell-a-Day Almanac offers timely, easy-to-do magic related to everyday concerns. This makes it ideal for novice or intermediate practitioners who want to develop their spellcasting and other magical skills.
Long ago all humans had totemic connections to wild animals.]]>
I have been awaiting the release of this book for over a year with great anticipation and for once, I was not disappointed. Paxson’s “Taking Up the Runes” is a thorough, ingenious, and most of all refreshingly practical guide to exploring and understanding this key element of Northern magico-religious practice. I would place this book at the forefront of modern runic literature. Not only does it hold its own in the company of such well-respected works such as Aswynn’s “Northern Magic and Mysteries” and Thorsson’s “Futhark” but in many ways, it surpasses them.]]>
Teenage Witch’s Book of Shadows was much easier to read than it was to review.
I am usually a person of strong opinions — about everything.]]>
When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who you gonna call?]]>
I read Tarot cards. Too often I can draw nothing useful from the image before me. When that happens I have to rely on a book to learn what the author meant that image to mean. That is inconvenient, inefficient and intrusive, and when it happens I have wished for a simple way to remind myself what a Two of Pentacles or a Page of Wands might mean.]]>
I jumped at this book as soon as I saw the title. I’ve been seriously studying and practicing herbalism since 1994 and a large portion of my library is dedicated to this subject. My approach has always been one that has dealt more with the medicinal properties of herbs and leans heavily toward a scientific approach, but I wanted to expand my knowledge on the magickal uses. So, when the book finally arrived in the mail, I eagerly opened the package and began to read it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.]]>
Natural Magic can best be described as a beginner’s guide to folklore, magic, and alternative healing. Pretty much all of the basics are covered, but if you’re looking for information beyond that you’re going to have to look elsewhere. For example, the herbal section contains a disappointing reference section; quite frankly, I’ve seen more interesting and in-depth lore and usage suggestions in New Age catalogs. Ditto for the astrology section, which repeats everything that you’ve already seen between the pages of your average fashion magazine.]]>