Teen Spirit Guide to Working with Mediumship, by Ceryn Rowntree
Soul Rocks Books, 978-1-78279-414-1, 147 pp., 2015
Immediately upon starting to read this book, I felt like a close friend was speaking to me. Rowntree has a reassuring, sympathetic, humourous and, above all, realistic voice that teens will find endearing. She never talks down to them, so important at a time when they may be questioning themselves about everything. Yet she validates their experiences, instructing them to trust their own inner wisdom telling them they really are communicating with departed loved ones.
She begins with a discussion of death — where else? — and continues to explain the spirit world, what mediumship is, how to safely open up and close down to spirit communication, how to be a responsible medium, and reactions one may encounter from people if they find out you’re a medium. I thank Rowntree for adding that latter chapter. It’s hard enough as an adult wondering if you should tell others what you do for fear of being laughed at; with the acute awkwardness sensitive teens might feel if their gift is revealed, Rowntree’s guide is invaluable. Continue reading
Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic, by Jason Miller
New Page Books, 9781601633323, 224 pp., 2014
Sex magick can seem like some dark taboo, especially for people who are new to their spirituality. Thanks to its portrayal in the media, it seems like something dangerous and forbidden. Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic by Jason Miller works to demystify this ancient practice and bring it to modern practitioners.
Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit is a book designed for beginners in the practice of sex magick, but not for people who are beginning their journey into spiritual practice as a whole. The book details many novice practices to get one started using sex magick, however, it does so with the expectation that one already has some basis in some sort of practice already. Continue reading
Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle, by Lucy Cavendish, artwork by Selina Fenech
Blue Angel Publishing, 978-1-922161-37-6, 47 cards with 176 pp. guidebook, 2015
This Faery Oracle started speaking to me the moment I opened it. Card number one was on top, of course, and it was The Three Graces: “Cooperative ventures with friends, joy, sharing, new partnerships that are fun.” Two nights before I had met with an old publisher friend of mine, who proposed being part of a new magazine she’s launching. And the week before, I had received word that my own oracle deck, Gaia’s Vision, which I worked on with another dear friend, is slated for publication in 2016. I have a ball with both of these lovely women, and I expect it will just get better. The card had answered a question I hadn’t even asked yet.
I should have known magick would be afoot as soon as I held the cards. This is a Lucy Cavendish deck. Continue reading
Marseille 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!: 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
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