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., 2014
Lady 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. Continue reading
Infinity Tarot Deck, artwork by Severino Baraldi, text by Perluca Zizzi
Lo Scarabeo, 9780738746357, 78 cards, 36 pp. booklet, 2015
The 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 Blake
The 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. Continue reading
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., 2015
If 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. Continue reading
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
Good 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