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|Friday, March 28th, 2008|
Earth Spirit Living
Earth Spirit Living: Bringing Heaven And Nature Into Your Home
by Ann Marie Holmes.
Atria Books through Simon and Schuster
ISBN 1-58270-150-4 (10 digit) / 978-1-58270-150-9 (13 digit)
As soon as I saw it listed on Amazon, during one of my many browse-throughs, I knew I had to give this one a read. I have not been disappointed. Ms. Holmes discusses how to use one's intuition to work with nature and place to create a harmonious environment. She gives examples of how to work with nature spirits, describes the different kinds of energy one may encounter (such as ley lines and vortexes), and incorporates elements of feng shui in a very easy to understand manner. Her tone is straight forward but kind, with an emphasis on working with the earth and your own natural energies.
Definately a book every witch should have on her shelf.
|Tuesday, August 21st, 2007|
Two Books on Space Clearing
I own a copy of both Sacred Space
by Denise Linn and Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui
by Karen Kingston. Both books are very good primers for clearing, cleansing and consecrating the space in your home. Both books explain about energy and how different energies affect your home. Both books also discuss the utilization of the elements, sound, and feng shui in space clearing.
Denise Linn's book has a gentler tone to it than Karen Kingston's book. Linn is more flexible in what she considers appropriate for clearing space. She emphasizes that it's more important that you be comfortable with your tools, than that the tools be made specifically for space clearing. Kingston differs from Linn's approach in that she is more particular about the tools used. This may be explained by her more limited background in such work, whereas Linn has had a wider education in such arts.
Kingston's work is very influenced by the Balinese, whose culture she is immersed in for a time each year. From what Kingston describes, the Balinese have a beautiful culture, with time honored traditions that are tied directly in to the energy of the land upon which they live. Kingston has taken inspiration from this culture, and uses what she has learned from the Balinese in her space clearing work.
Linn's work appears to be a more eclectic mix, with influences from diverse ethnic groups that include the Native Americans, the Aborigines of Australia, the New Zealand Maoris, and the Zulu People in Africa. Linn also gives credit to her past spiritual teachers, including a Hawaiin Kahuna.
Both books are very useful, and have a lot of very good information in them. I prefer Linn's, but I have also found that Kingston's book has merit. I utilize techniques from both with success. Linn's book is essential reading for me, with Kingston's being good for added emphasis.
|Saturday, March 24th, 2007|
I maintain 6 LJ Communities
diabetes_nat A Natural Approach to Diabetes
pagandrumcircle For those pagans who like to drum or listen to drums, etc.
celtic_fiddle For those interested in celtic music and fiddles
kitchwitchbooks Reviews of books that are of interest to Kitchen/Green/Hedge/Cottage Witches
witchy_recipes Recipes of interest to pagans
crafts_n_pagans Crafts for pagans
Please feel free to join any or all of them. I look forward to talking with you. :)
x-posted to all of the above communities
|Monday, December 18th, 2006|
I wanted to apologize to everyone in this community for not keeping it going like I planned to. Real life has gotten much busier and I just haven't had the time to keep writing reviews. But, after the first of the year, I hope to get back into it and keep this community going. I have several more books to review. Thanks, Myfanwy
|Tuesday, December 5th, 2006|
|Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006|
Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington
Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects
by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington
Published 1993 by Llewellyn Publications
$10.00 US $15.50 CAN
This book has instructions to help create physical objects for specific magical purposes. This includes potpourris, mandalas, pentacles,plaques, candles, spell brooms, banners, witch bottles, etc.
Ok,we all know I love Scott Cunningham. And even if this book is 13 years old, I think there is a lot of good info in it. I also enjoy Cunningham's writing style. Some of the crafts may seem simple or childish, but even so, they can be a starting point used for inspiration to go on to other, similar, crafts. There is a list of suppliers in the back of the book that is probably very out of date,but most of us know enough about the internet to be able to find the supplies we want and/or need. There are also many spells in which to use the items you have crafted.
In my opinion, this book is a wonderful beginner book for the pagan who wishes to begin to make their own magical tools and objects instead of using items crafted by others.It can also be an inspiration for more experienced practitioners.
There does not seem to be a specific religious slant to this book. It is for the Wiccan and non-Wiccan pagan. And again, we all know that is what I prefer in a book.
Scott Cunningham wrote more than thirty books, both fiction and non-fiction. He practiced elemental magic for 20 years.
David Harrington has a long time interest in the mysteries of magic. Spell Crafts is the second book on which he collaborated with Scott Cunningham.
|Tuesday, July 25th, 2006|
Gardening with the Goddess: Creating Gardens of Spirit and Magick by Patricia Telesco
Gardening with the Goddess: Creating Gardens of Spirit and Magick
By Patricia Telesco
Published in 2001 by New Page Books
This book contains sections on how to become more Goddess-Centered in your thinking, what Goddess Gardens consist of, and gives detailed instructions on what to plant for over 40 gardens to honor individual Goddesses. The appendix contains information on theme gardening. These gardens can be very small in size or as large as you have the room for.
This is another book that I love. The type of information included is just what I needed to know to start planting and cultivating gardens dedicated to specific Goddesses. I greatly enjoy growing things and this book will help give a focus to my gardening that I didn’t have before I read it.
For each Goddess garden you will learn what plants, colors, stones, patterns, and decorative touches you can use to honor the Goddess of your choice. There is also a section on the history of each Goddess.
In my opinion, this book is wonderful. The author’s writing style draws you into the book. It doesn’t feel like you are reading something technical. It feels like you are in the gardens already.
Patricia Telesco has written more than 30 metaphysical books.
|Tuesday, June 27th, 2006|
The Magical Household: Spells & Rituals for the Home by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington
The Magical Household: Spells & Rituals for the Home by Scott Cunningham & David Harrington
Published 1983 by Llewellyn Worldwide
Price $9.95 US, $15.50 CAN
Synopsis: Pretty much what the title says. This book is full of spells and rituals for the home. It includes spells of protection, for luck, for good health, and many more.
Opinion: I adore this book. If you want to have magic in every aspect of your life, this is the book for you. It even has protection talismans/spells for your car. There are sections on housework, gardens, cooking, dreaming, bathing, pets, garages, moving, household purification, omens and portents, and household altars. All this is written in Scott Cunningham’s usual style, which I think is wonderful. I love reading his work. His are the only books, on this subject, that I have ever read cover to cover. There are others that I use as much, but, in my opinion, his is such a warm and welcoming style it always draws me in. This book is not as Wicca-y as some of his others, which I also like. And it’s full of information on how to live a magical life and historical information pertaining to customs we see in our everyday life.
Scott Cunningham wrote more than thirty books, both fiction and nonfiction.
David Harrington is a folklorist and student of the magical arts.
|Friday, June 2nd, 2006|
|Tuesday, May 30th, 2006|
The Wiccan Rede Couplets of the Law, Teachings, and Enchantments’
Title: ‘The Wiccan Rede Couplets of the Law, Teachings, and Enchantments’
Author: Mark Ventimiglia.
Publisher: Citadel Press Kensington
Cost: USA: 7.95/ CAN 11.95
This book is sold as being about the Wiccan Rede. An important poem that has been used for at least 32 years to help teach the ideals of ethical behavior within the Craft. ‘The Wiccan Rede’ does offer some interesting insights regarding the nature of the Rede, if not its history and origins. It also goes into a diatribe as to why Witches should be vegetarian. It has numerous flaws that can detract from the information the author is attempting to provide about the Rede itself. What detracts from the book is the complete lack of supporting information as to where the author gathered their information and therefore calls into doubt their research. The fact that the author stresses their connection to Raymond Buckland as a friend and student. Also leaves one to feel that the author is using the connection rather then doing their research to ensure that the information they are providing is valid and has merit for the modern and educated witch of today.
For all the interesting information in this little tome, I would sadly have to give it a C- for its ability to provide useful and helpful information. While the book has some interesting sections that have some small merit for helping the reader to come to an understand of the Wiccan Rede and there by the underlying ethics of the craft, it offer little else that will satisfy the educated. I would rather recommend to the reader the well written and researched work of Robin Wood in regard ethics and behavior. ‘When, Why…If.’ The book was published by Robin Wood Enterprises (January 1, 1997), ISBN: 096529840X.
In all The Wiccan Rede, is a nice little book with flaws in its text and research. So if you were thinking about picking it up for an addition to your magickal reference library. I humbly suggest you borrow it from your public library (assuming they have an occult section.) and enjoy it in that manner.
Silence Who is Wolf Current Mood: thoughtful
|Saturday, April 22nd, 2006|
Practical Guide to the Runes by Lisa Peschel
A Practical Guide to the Runes: Their uses in Divination and Magick
by Lisa Peschel
Published 1989 by Llewellyn Publications
Tools of the Trade, The Runes in Divination, Principles of Divination and Rune Layouts, The Runes in Magick, Principles of Rune Magick, Talismans, Ritual Carving and Consecration, and Appendices.
I got this book over 10 years ago when it only cost $3.95. I have no idea what it costs now. I use it primarily for symbols to put on ritual items, talismans, etc. For this, I think this book is great. It is easy to read and easy to use.
In the appendices it shows how to combine runic symbols to get more specific results, it shows what colors correspond to what you desire as an outcome, it shows what runes correspond to the days of the week, it lists the magical properties of certain trees.
I don't know that I would use it as a primary source. But, as an additional or secondary it has proven to be invaluable to me, especially for the price.
Lisa Peschel is an artist, educator, and writer. She works to educate the public about the natural way of life in addition to divinatory practices and herbalism.
|Friday, April 7th, 2006|
The Herbalist by Joseph E. Meyer
The Herbalist by Joseph E. Meyer
Published in 1918 by Meyerbooks, revised and updated by Clarence Meyer in 1960, this edition printed in 1993
This book includes sections on medicinal plants, plant vitamins and minerals, beverage teas, spices and flavoring herbs, colors for food and cosmetics, plant dyes for fabrics, botanicals for potpourri and sachets, dentifrices, gargles, cosmetics, smoke flavoring botanicals, botanical curios, and over 500 illustrations.
The outstanding aspect of this book, in my opinion, is the illustrations. It is the reason I bought the book. There are line drawings with some of the herb listings, there is a section which is totally color drawings and color photographs. To me, this part is invaluable.
The information is organized well. I like the way the sections are divided. This book is very easy to use.
The only thing that really bothers me is that there is no information on the author(s) and their background and/or training. However, on the back cover is a list of other books they have written. So, as with most other works of this sort, it probably wouldn't hurt to look in other books and see if other authors are in agreement.
Overall, an excellent resource.
|Thursday, March 30th, 2006|
Llewellyn's 2006 Herbal Almanac
Llewellyn's 2006 Herbal Almanac
Published 2005 by Llewellyn Worldwide
This contains articles on growing and gathering herbs, culinary herbs, herbs for health, herbs for beauty, herb crafts and herb history, myth and magic. It has a moon chart for the year 2006 and a short article on the quarters and signs of the moon.
I have enjoyed this book immensely. Under each heading there are 3-6 artlcles. This is one of those books I have read from cover to cover. The articles I especially enjoyed were Traditional English Gardens and Cooking with Southwestern Herbs both by Chandra Moira Beal. There is also a section at the end of the book giving a bit of information about each writer.
What I did not like about to book is that no sources are listed. For all I know, the authors could have made this up off the top of their respective heads.
As a whole I like this book. I just know that the information should be verified in other sources before being used. If you are interested in herbs and gardening, this book is a good light read.
|Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006|
New Choices in Natural Healing, edited by Bill Gottlieb
New Choices in Natural Healing
Edited by Bill Gottlieb
Published 1995 by Rodale Press
Synopisis: Self-Help remedies for many common ailments. These remedies include acupressure, aromatherapy, ayurveda, flower therapy, food therapy, herbal therapy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, imagery, juice therapy, massage, reflexology, relaxation and meditation, sound therapy, vitamin and mineral therapy, and yoga. Ailments from acne to yeast infections are listed in alphabetical order. In each section, the types of remedies that apply are listed. There is also a paragraph on when to know it is serious enough to warrant a trip to a your doctor. Also included are detailed instructions for each type of remedy.
I like this book simply for the abundant information it includes. The editor does has a tendency to “talk down” in the entries he authored. But, I have found that a lot with other books and authors as well.
This is a good book if you want information on several types of natural healing. Something else I have found useful in this book is the glossary of Common Degrees in Alternative Medicine. This explains just what each degree stands for. This could be helpful when researching Alternative Medicine Practitioners in your area.
At the time this book was published, Bill Gottlieb was the Editor-in-Chief of Prevention Magazine Health Books.
|Thursday, March 16th, 2006|
Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions by Francis Brinker, N.D.
Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions
By Francis Brinker, N.D.
Published 1997 by Eclectic Institute, Inc.
Synopsis: Provides contraindications and drug interactions for 184 common therapeutic herbs. Also identifies in the appendices additional herbs relevant to: potential allergic responses, increased sensitivity to sunlight, urinary tract inflammation, intestinal absorption of medicines, sedative medicines, heart medicines, blood sugar levels, and pregnant and breastfeeding women (identifies herbs best avoided to protect their children.
In my opinion, this book is a must for anyone who uses or plans to use herbs for medicinal purposes. I have never seen this information in another book or when I buy herbs. I would think that not many people would know where to find this information. But, since the goal of herbal medicine is to feel and be healthy, this is information that needs to be known before a regimen is begun. This book is very useful to anyone who wants to avoid complicating their current condition and/or treatment.
Francis Brinker, N.D. is a 1981 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he completed the two year Postgraduate Studies Program in Botanical Medicine and taught Botanical Medicine until 1985.
|Thursday, March 9th, 2006|
A Compendium of Herbal Magick, by Paul Beyerl
A Compendium of Herbal Magick
By Paul Beyerl
Published 1998 by Phoenix Publishing
Synopsis: 330 herbs covered in detail with over 100 illustrations. Sections include magickal classification of herbs, guide to the usage of magickal herbs, deities and magickal herbalism, and herbal correspondences with astrological associations for all herbs by planet and sign.
I personally love this book. It is straightforward and very informative. The information included comes from 20 years experience as a Master Herbalist.
In the listing of individual herbs there are two parts to the information. The first one is the lore of the herb. This includes historical uses of and beliefs about the herb. The next is modern magickal usage of the herb. This section makes up most of the book.
There is also a section which lists common names of plants as they correspond to the names used in the book.
Personally I find this book very useful. It is a great companion to a book that has the medicinal properties of herbs.
Paul Beyerl is the founder and also a priest in the Lothlorien branch of Wicca. In addition, he is a Master Herbalist, a Master Astrologer, and an educator in the fields of tarot, gem, and mineral lore.
|Saturday, February 25th, 2006|
Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic by Scott Cunningham
Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic
By Scott Cunningham
Published 1983 by Llewellyn Publications
Synopsis: A collection of folk magic with sections on the basics, elemental magic, and natural magic. Appendices of information on color, herbs, and runes.
The section on natural magic includes stone, tree, image, knot, candle, wax, mirror, rain, fog, storm, and sea magic. This is pretty much a book of spells. In my opinion, this book would be good for a beginner and intermediate practitioner. The advanced witch would probably be disappointed with this book, though. Then again, there might be something here you haven’t seen, since there are so many spells included. Or you might get an idea on how to incorporate even parts of spells into your own.
This book was written for Wiccans. But, nonWiccans, like myself, can also get a lot of information from this book.
|Sunday, February 12th, 2006|
Herbal Medicine by Dian Dincin Buchman
Herbal Medicine: The natural way to get well and stay well
By Dian Dincin Buchman
Published 1979 by Random House
Synopsis: Sections in this book are: My Favorite Herbs, Other Favorite Herbs in Brief, A Herbal Selector, How to Make the Herbal Medicine, and Resources.
This book is mediocre, in my opinion. There is a lot of info, but it is mostly in the form of “this herb was used by someone for “X” ailment”. I dislike that kind of information because it doesn’t tell if it worked or not. I could use sugar for everything that happens to me, doesn’t mean it would work. The section “A Herbal Selector” is more informative, with more solid details as to the use of herbs for specific ailments. My favorite section of this book is “How to Make the Herbal Medicine”. In this section there is an abundance of information on growing and harvesting herbs and how to prepare herbal remedies. In my opinion, this section is what makes this book valuable.
There is no religious slant to this book. It is purely informational.
|Monday, February 6th, 2006|
Wheel of the Year by Pauline Campanelli
Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life
By Pauline Campanelli
Published 1989 by Llewellyn Publications
Synopsis: Month by month information on living the magical life.
I like this book because it is a bit like a diary of everyday life as a witch. It is written mostly in first person, which gives it a personal touch. Makes you feel as if you are "in" the life of a witch. As with so many of this type of book, there is a lot of opinion and personal preference. But, that will be found in most books.
For each month, the magical events are described. There are recipes and rituals for each occasion. There is also lots of information such as when to plant, when to harvest, what types of wood to use for certain magical goals, how to make magical tools. It is really a warm, fuzzy type of book, in my opinion.
The only real negative aspect of this book is, again, the authors assume everyone is Wiccan. But, I believe this book is worth getting around that assumption for the info included.
|Wednesday, February 1st, 2006|
The Real Witches' Kitchen by Kate West
The Real Witches’ Kitchen: Spells, recipes, oils, lotions and potions from the Witches’ Hearth
By Kate West
Published 2002 by Element an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing
Synopsis: As the long title says, this book contains spells, recipes, oils, lotions and potions. There is also a short section in the beginning explaining Wicca. There is a section of terms and definitions.
This book is excellent for beginners. It explains in great detail how to perform rituals. It also explains the religion of Wicca. There are lots of recipes that seem easy enough for anyone to try. There are recipes for teas, herbal baths, soaps, foods, oils, lotions, etc.
I do, however, have several small problems with this book. I am not Wiccan, so the constant assumption that anyone reading this is Wiccan gets a bit annoying. Also, the measurements are in ounces. My measuring cups don’t do ounces. That makes for a bit of confusion. In addition, the recipes for soaps, oils, and lotions begin with “go to the store and buy unscented soap/lotion/oil bases and add “X” for your chosen fragrance. I was hoping for recipes for these items from scratch. The section on bathing is a bit condescending. But, then again, maybe some people do need to be told to bathe regularly.
While it sounds as if there was more bad than good with this book, that is not truly the case. It really depends on what you are looking for. As stated earlier, it is an excellent book for beginners. It’s also very good if you are looking for an idea of the realm of the Kitchen Witch. When I bought this book I was looking for some kind of more detailed description of what a Kitchen Witch does than I could find on the internet. There is a lot of basic info included. But, if you are looking for something advanced, beyond beginner, you will probably want to look elsewhere.