Book, film, tarot and oracle reviews.

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, 2015Written 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." Read More

The Case for Polytheism, by Steven Dillon

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The Case for Polytheism, by Steven DillonThe Case for Polytheism, by Steven DillonThe Case for Polytheism, by Steven Dillon Iff Books, 978 1 78279 735 7, 96 pp. (incl. endnotes and bibliography), 2015My first impression of Steven Dillon’s The Case for Polytheism was of scattered musings on the concept of divinity. It was through a second reading that I found Dillon’s intention, and what a wonderful surprise.The Case for Polytheism “seeks to prove...the existence of God or gods, and to acquire knowledge about them,” so non-polytheists may entertain the idea, at least as an exercise in cognitive dissonance. This is real discussion on the nut and bolts of what polytheists believe, and some of the why. Read More

The Gift of Shamanism, by Itzhak Beery

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The Gift of Shamanism, by Itzhak BeeryThe Gift of Shamanism, by Itzhak BeeryThe Gift of Shamanism: Visionary Power, Ayahuasca Dreams, and Journeys to Other Realms, by Itzhak Beery Destiny Books 9781620553725, 237 pp. 2015Itzhak Beery is an internationally renowned shamanic healer and teacher. He had trained with many shaman elders throughout South and North America. Surprisingly, Beery became a shaman by “coincidence,” when he was in his late thirties and was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by a Quechua teacher in Ecuador. This book is a collection of his and his clients’ intimate experiences with the healings and initiations of shamanism.
I initially recorded them in an effort first to convince myself, and maybe others, that there are some universal phenomena whose origins we do not completely understand at this time, but nonetheless can have incredibly useful and practical value in our daily lives.
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Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle, by Lucy Cavendish

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Wild Wisdom Faery Oracle, by Lucy CavendishWild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle, by Lucy CavendishWild 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, 2015This 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. Read More

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), 2015It 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. Read More

Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, by Stephen Skinner

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Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, by Stephen SkinnerTechniques of Graeco-Egpytian Magic, by Stephen SkinnerTechniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, by Stephen Skinner Golden Hoard Press, 9780738746326, 388 pp. 2014

Techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic exhibits a soft spot I have for magick: the academic approach. This Ph.D. paper by Stephen Skinner is the latest of the his many works on the Western esoteric tradition, in addition to many books on feng shui. His clear grasp on the historical data and his academic lens make this paper-turned-book a highly educational though sometimes mundane read. There is no fluff here -- just facts, charts, and the occasional historical backtracking. Yet, Skinner’s painstaking translation, organization, and interpretation bring to light many long-standing traditions’ origins in the magick of Late Antiquity. Skinner describes a snapshot in time when magick held reverence as part of a tradition tied to the mystery cults and religions of the day.  Read More

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