All posts by Psyche

About Psyche

Psyche is the editor of Spiral Nature, and has been published in numerous journals, including The Cauldron, PanGaia, and Witches & Pagans. Psyche is on Twitter as @plutopsyche, and on Tumblr as plutopsyche.

Good Night Yoga, by Mariam Gates

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Good Night Yoga, by Mariam GatesGood Night Yoga, by Mariam GatesGood Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story, by Mariam Gates, illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder
Sounds True, 9781622034666, unpaginated, 2015

Written for kids between the ages of 4-8, Good Night Yoga has sturdy pages that look like they can survive pawing from younger siblings as well.

Gorgeously illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder, the colours run from bright and sunshiney at the beginning of the book, and move into twilight and night colours by the end. The young yoginis and yogis that people the book are ethnically diverse, and the animals that accompany them look open and friendly.

Mariam Gates gives a description of each of the poses illustrated, and short lyrics to focus on as each pose is enacted: “As I breath in, I bend my knees and scoop the clouds around me. As I breath out, I stand tall and release the clouds over my head.” Continue reading


Letters: Are magical initiations necessary?

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Spiral Nature Letters, Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD - Il Penguino, with additional work by Psyche

This query came in via email, and it’s one I receive quite a bit, in vary forms, so I was glad when the person who sent it said I could share it, and my response, on the site:

I have recently read your article entitled “Why I left OTO” and in the beginning of the post you described yourself as being already a magic practitioner for 15 years. Now, the paragraph made me infer that you have undergone some form of “self-initiation,” learning the topics, theories, rituals, insights on your own and only later attempted to join a community, and this process of self-initiation is something I have been striving for for a few months now.
Continue reading


Marseille Tarot, by Camelia Elias

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Marseille Tarot, by Camelia EliasMarseille Tarot, by Camelia EliasMarseille Tarot: Towards the Art of Reading, by Camelia Elias
EyeCorner Press, 9788792633422, 197 pp. (incl. references), 2015

It was Camelia Elias’ tarot blog, Tarotflexions, which first drew me to her work. Her observations there are smart and incisive, and her approach to tarot is quite different from mine, which means I’m always learning something new. Her essay in The Magiculum was one of the strongest in that collection, and I was excited to see a more focused effort on tarot, and this book certainly delivers.

Marseille Tarot focuses on Elias’ preferred deck, Carolus Zoya’s Tarot de Marseille, a deck created in Turin at the end of the 18th century. The book includes numerous full colour images, and the deck is based on a common Marseille pattern, so while this particular deck is unavailable for purchase, the insights provided here can easily be applied to any Marseille deck, or even other tarot patterns. Continue reading


Toastar!, by Francis Breakspear

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Toastar!, by Francis H BreakspearToastar!, by Francis H BreakspearToastar!: Further Adventures in Chaos Magick, by Francis H Breakspear
Hidden Publishing, 9780955523748, 122 pp., 2009

Francis H Breakspear was the pseudonym of the academic chaote Dave Evans, who passed in 2013. This was his third book in under this name, following Kaostar! and If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It! (As Breakspear, Evans seemed inordinately fond of exclamation points.)

Both a scholar and a practitioner of the occult, Evans was a founding editor of The Journal for the Academic Study of Magic, and co-editor of Ten Years of Triumph of the Moon (with Dave Green). He was also the author of The History of British Magick After Crowley and Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick. Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, he was also an occasional contributor to both Spiral Nature and Plutonica.net, and a good friend. Continue reading


The Gorgon’s Tarot, by Dolores Fitchie

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The Gorgon's Tarot, by Dolores FitchieThe Gorgon's Tarot, by Dolores FitchieThe Gorgon’s Tarot, by Dolores Fitchie
Schiffer Publishing, 9780764345906, 79 cards, instruction booklet, 2014

The Gorgon’s Tarot is an unusual deck: the cards are round, and the images are predominantly black and white. “Gorgon” appears to be a nickname for Dolores Fitchie herself, and also serves as the patron creature presiding over this deck, in particular, Euryale, the gorgon who defied the gods, seeking knowledge and truth.

The cards began life as a graphic project, not a divinatory tool, and The Gorgon’s Tarot was more than 10 years in the making. The black and white design is deliberate and is intended to remove colour symbolism, which Fitchie finds distracting, and has no interest in. There are two cards that contain splashes of red: The Blind Gorgon and the Devil. When they appear, the bright flashes of red make these cards seem all the more startling. Continue reading


A chat with Lupa about bones

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Lupa

Lupa is an author, artist and nature-lover living in Portland, Oregon. Her most recent books are New Paths to Animal Totems: Three Alternative Approaches to Creating Your Own Totemism, and Plant and Fungus Totems: Connect with Spirits of Field, Forest, and Garden.

Lupa has been making art out of hide and bone for nearly 20 years, and her latest project is The Tarot of Bones: A Natural History Divination Set, currently being funded through Indiegogo through to May 19, 2015.

Psyche: First of all, congratulations on having your Indigogo campaign funded within your first 100 hours, that’s wonderful! It’s an unusual deck, and I wanted to know why tarot, why bones?

Lupa: Back in October [2014] I had a piece in a local gallery that had a group show with a tarot theme. It was my usual assemblage style, it had a coyote skull and some other things, basically pointing toward the Five of Coins. Putting the piece together, enjoying the show and being able to see everyone else’s interpretation of the tarot and their works, by the end of the evening I felt really inspired. Continue reading


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