Llewellyn's Herbal Almanac Cookbook: A Collection of the Best Culinary Articles and Recipes Llewellyn Worldwide, 978-0-7387-4563-3, 358 pp., 2015For the first time this spring, I gave in to a long-held hankering to plant an herb garden. A gardening newbie, I was assisted by a knowledgeable neighbour who appeared out of nowhere bearing pots of young basil, sage, thyme, tarragon and parsley. They say parsley goes seven times to the devil before it germinates and grows; mine decided to stay with him. Oh, well. The other herbs are doing fabulously, with very little effort on my part.So when the Herbal Almanac Cookbook showed up on the review list, I had to have it. It's a compendium of the best cooking-with-herbs articles from Llewelyn's Herbal Almanac, and features writers Susun Weed, Dallas Jennifer Cobb, James Kambos, Magenta Griffith, Nancy Bennett and others. Their articles discuss such topics as edible weeds and flowers; cooking with magical intent; home beer brewing; making herbal wines, liqueurs and herbal syrups; using herbs with soy and tofu; and adding herbs to all courses of a meal to enhance flavour and nutritional content. Read More
Prisma Visions Tarot, illustrated by James R. Eads, written by Katherine Tombs James R. Eads, 79 cards, 96 pp. booklet, 2015There have been a number of gorgeous self-published decks coming out in recent years, and the Prisma Visions Tarot ranks high amongst them. It comes packaged in a sturdy flip-top box, with 79 silver gilt-edged cards, and a small booklet outlining the deck’s symbolism and use.This is James R. Eads’ second tarot deck, following the Light Visions Tarot, which was produced in a limited edition of 500 copies, and has since sold out. Unlike his previous deck, the Prisma Visions Tarot is full colour, and is slated to be available indefinitely.The trump cards of the Prisma Visions Tarot are bordered, but for the four suits, each card carries on from the next, creating a panoramic landscape for each suit. The cards have an impressionist feel, and the backgrounds are predominantly dark blue, and give the impression that the scenes take place at night, with the exception of the dusky oranges and yellows of the Pentacles. Read More
The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power: A Complete Course in Magick and Witchcraft, by Lady Sable Aradia Weiser Books, 978-1-57863-551-1, 275 pp., 2014Lady Sable Aradia has been a practicing witch for a quarter of a century. Being a third degree initiate in the Star Sapphire and Pagans for Peace traditions, she has a depth of experience and knowledge of Wiccan practices that are of value for initiates and veterans alike. Her aim in this book is to explore the concept of the Eightfold Way. This term refers to a Wiccan practice that was introduced by Gerald Gardner in the 1960s. It involves eight steps on the path to developing magical abilities. Lady Sable Arcadia provides a compelling and contemporary view of this Wiccan tradition.The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power is written in clear and concise language that is both informative while holding the readers’ attention. The book begins with an explanation of the very foundation of magick: intent. Aradia details the importance of forming an exact and precise intent in order for a practitioner to will it to happen. For beginners who are struggling with the concept or the practice, the chapter outlines several exercises that can help improve creative visualization, facilitate meditation, and raise conscious awareness. The next two paths deal with the trance -- developing a state of consciousness in which to gain insight, heal, seek knowledge, and the Craft -- the practice of ritual magick. Read More
Infinity Tarot Deck, artwork by Severino Baraldi, text by Perluca Zizzi Lo Scarabeo, 9780738746357, 78 cards, 36 pp. booklet, 2015The Infinity Tarot is an Italian-designed tarot deck, inspired by these words of mystic poet William Blake, who recognized that the spiritual essence of humankind is imagination.
To see a world in a grain of sand, And heaven in a wild flower, To hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour. -- William BlakeThe above quote is inscribed on the tarot box, and the deck itself encapsulates this concept of nature and the infinite. This deck is unique because of the unusual shape of the cards.The cards are rounded like the symbol for infinity, and about the same size as an average tarot deck, though the shape does make the cards a little unwieldy when shuffling, but you get used to it. The back of the cards has a colourful design of creatures and gemstones. They are presented in an elegant box of the same shape. Read More
The Guru-Free Guide to Nada Yoga: Sound Current Meditation for the Rest of Us, by Bennett Z. Kobb Bennett Z. Kobb, B00SSSZ49I, 36 pp., 2015If you already have an active meditative practice in place and are looking to branch out, The Guru-Free Guide to Nada Yoga: Sound Current Meditation for the Rest of Us is a great resource. What is nada yoga, or in common language, sound current meditation? Bennett Z. Kobb says, “The Sound Current has been called a signal from the Cosmos, the sound of silence, the Word, and the Audible Life Stream. It certainly seems to come from a distant power source, linked in some mysterious way to the energetic core of being.” In short, nada yoga is the act of learning to listen to those inner sounds. It’s just as simple as it sounds, but it has profound implications.Nada yoga divides sounds into two categories: ahata, or external music, and anahata, or internal music. Anahata is also the name for the heart chakra, which is said to receive the inner music. The perception of anahata, which is frequently heard as a ringing in the ears, similar to tinnitus, is a common side effect of rising kundalini, or the onset of enlightenment. Read More
Teen Spirit Guide to Working with Mediumship, by Ceryn Rowntree Soul Rocks Books, 978-1-78279-414-1, 147 pp., 2015Immediately 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. Read More