Planets for Pagans: Sacred Sites, Ancient Lore, and Magical Stargazing, by Renna Shesso Weiser Books, 9781578635733, 261 pp. (incl. bibliography and index), 2014One of my strongest childhood memories is of a night in Mahopac, in upstate New York, lying on a chaise lounge on a family friend’s deck, mesmerized by a sky filled with stars! Where did they come from? To a city kid who saw a mostly dark sky every night, who was enamoured of astronomy at the time, the brightness and number of stars was incredible. This was proof that they really were there for me, too, and not only for some astronomer sitting behind a telescope in a desert or on a mountaintop.One of the first things Renna Shesso writes – in fact, insists on – is going outside and looking at the sky, even if all you can see are a few of the brightest stars and planets. There is no substitute for direct witnessing, she tells us, and she’s so right. She explains how to identify the constellations and the space between their constituent stars using our hands – no fancy instruments required. This is the way our ancestors did it – who saw quite a bit more in the night sky than we do -- and it still works. Read More
Sun Sign Secrets: The Complete Astrology Guide to Love, Work, and Your Future, by Amy Zerner & Monte Farber Weiser Books, 9781578635610, 260 pp., 2014Sun Sign Secrets is packed with detailed information describing each of the signs. The 12 sun signs are determined by the sun's placement in the zodiac calendar at the time of a person’s birth. The dates for each zodiac sign are included in the descriptions helping the reader to decide which sign corresponds. Using this information the reader can then learn how to improve their relations with others by better understanding the behaviours and attitudes that drive themselves and those around them.Zerner and Farber designed the book in an easy to understand format. The artwork by Zerner is in a simple, monochromatic style that helps the reader to understand the symbols and representations of the constellations that correspond with the different signs.Each chapter is written in the same style for each sign, starting with the details, including the dates for the sign, correspondences, personal qualities, and keywords. The authors then break down the meanings more thoroughly by going into detail on the symbolic meanings, including the positive and negative traits. Read More
In the past we've answered questions about being ready for spellwork and building self-discipline.This question came in via our newsletter, where we ask, what’s the one thing you’re struggling with in your practice?
I have a keen mind for occult studies and my biggest hang up is lack of a teacher. I have read many books in numerology, astrology and yoga, and I very much desire a teacher in these areas.In ancient times, yoga was disseminated person to person, this was the study of yoga. I have had many wonderful teachers, especially during kundalini teacher training, but I long for the intimate interaction of a teacher.When it comes to numerology and astrology, I have basic tenets but I long for the next step in learning. I've asked the universe for a teacher and guide both in my writing and my meditations.Finding a teacher can be tough, especially finding the right teacher. You've taken the first step and put your intention out there, and now it's time to take action.You can always Google for books, blogs, and people, but personal recommendations tried and tested from people who have already walked the path are always strongest. Read More
video of the Carl Jung and John Constantine ritual performed by Ian Cat Vincent & co in Liverpool last year, in honour of the stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger.Lupa's most recent book is Plant and Fungus Totems, and in this article for Llewellyn, she explains why she looks beyond the animal kingdom and what lessons these totems can teach us.Want to get rich? Here are three ways, and, oh, do these things too. Read More
Pisces, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk Taylor Trade Publishing, 9781589795648, 90 pp., 2011This book takes an in-depth look at the sign of Pisces and what it means. Woolfolk stresses early in that sun sign descriptions are often too perfect and too cookie-cutter, and she wants to show the range of Pisces expressions. She does this by looking at Pisces in several ways, starting with how people perceive the Pisces, and how the Pisces person feels about themselves. Simple, but this is an important distinction, because it is easy to dismiss a sun sign description because it isn’t how you (want to) view yourself, so Woolfolk gives both sides.Getting more involved, she looks at the decanates, cusps, and individual days, giving a more precise view of Pisces. Read More
The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk Taylor Trade, 9781589796539, 2008The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need is an updated and revised edition of the 1982 text, now including more depth in the meaning of the signs, relationships, and includes “the latest information about new discoveries in astronomy.”Let’s tackle this book based on the title, is it really the only astrology book you’ll ever need? It is a fairly comprehensive text. It covers all of the basics of modern astrology that you’d be looking for: sun signs, decanates, moon signs, ascendants, the planets, the houses, and how to read a chart. All of these sections are well written and informative, though I feel a bit of expansion would be helpful for those with less of a background in astrology, especially near the end of the book when everything was being drawn together in chart interpretation. That being said I found the descriptions of the different concepts fairly reliable and more precise in wording than a lot of current astrology books. Usually the language is a bit more cloudy and vague in an astrology book, here the language is more exact and specific, which is refreshing to see an astrological author willing to put their money where their words are because it’s a lot easier to be wrong when you’re specific rather than hedging with vague language. Read More