Reviews

Book, film, tarot and oracle reviews.

Guru-Free Guide to Nada Yoga, by Bennett Z. Kobb

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Sattelite dish, photo by Michael Josh VillanuevaThe Guru-Free Guide to Nada Yoga, by Bennett Z. KobbThe 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

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Teen Spirit Guide to Working with Mediumship, by Ceryn Rowntree
Teen Spirit Guide to Working with Mediumship, by Ceryn RowntreeTeen 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, by Jason Miller

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Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit, by Jason MillerSex, Sorcery, and Spirit, by Jason MillerSex, 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, 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


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), 2015

My 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. Continue reading


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. 2015

Itzhak 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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