Sagittarius, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Taylor Trade Publishing, 9781589795617, 92pp., 2011
I was a bit surprised when I saw Joanna Martine Woolfolk, author of The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, had written a book entirely about Sagittarius. After all, she should know better than to pigeon hole people according to their sun signs, our astrological chart and personality is far more complex than that. She addresses that concern in the introduction, and holds to the fact that while there is a lot more to our charts, we are our sun sign first, so giving her that benefit of the doubt, I continued. Continue reading
Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, by Liz Greene
Weiser Books, 9781578635078, 196 pp., 1976, 2011
It’s hard to say 25 years later how good of a book Saturn really is. Some books it’s easy to tell how they’ve aged, but this isn’t one of them. My problem in discerning how good the book is stems from the fact that throughout the book, the foreword, the blurb on the back it talks about how revolutionary and ground breaking this book is, yet nothing in it is new to me, in fact every book I have on modern astrology agrees with it. So either this book really was prolific in that sense, or it was overly hyped up.
The basic premise of this work is two-fold: Saturn is this misunderstood force and can be beneficial, and astrology has to be taken out of the realm of dictatorial fate.
Tackling the first part, this “New look at an Old Devil” this is where I have trouble seeing what makes this book special. If it was the first book to engage with Saturn in a positive light, then it has done its job, because all my modern astrology books mention some of the good side of Saturn, and when I was apprenticing my astrology teacher showed me both sides. Continue reading
Planetary Spells & Rituals: Practicing Dark & Light Magick Aligned with the Cosmic Bodies, by Raven Digitalis.
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738719719, 317 pp. (incl. appendices), 2010
While modern Paganism often revolves the cycles of year and the lunar calendar, most of the sky is often ignored. Raven Digitalis brings this into focus: the planets, the luminaries, and their importance in magick. He takes things beyond the Sun and the Moon and including the other important figures in our solar system (like Pluto!) and cultural mythology. Continue reading
Everyday Sun Magic, by Dorothy Morrison
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738704687, 336 pp., 2005
He brings us joy and warms our hearts,
He promises a brand new start,
He doles out doses of Vitamin D,
To increase our Calcium absorbency,
-from “Embracing the Sun”
I will, for the sake of brevity, stick to the glarifng theoretical errors within the text. For instance, the author’s assertion Continue reading
The Angel Almanac: An Inspirational Guide to Healing & Harmony + cd, by Angela McGerr
Quadrille, 9781844006403, 255 pp., 2008
Unlike a standard almanac, this one doesn’t cover a specific year. There is information for each day of the week and for the eight “solar festivals” of the year, but there is nothing specifically for Tuesday October 21, 2008, for example. There is information on Tuesday, and correlations for each day of the year (from 1940 to 2013, with tables for each day of the week), but nothing which specifically ties the two together.
The author links angelology and Ascensionism. As these are both area which form only minor parts of my own experience and training I found myself learning more than I anticipated, although there were some parts I had trouble with. Continue reading
Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy, by Robert Allen Bartlett
Ibis Press, 9780892541508, 178 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2009
…alchemy is not a smooth monolithic system, but rather a journey full of contradictions, false turns and dazzling insights into the worlds of creation. At times it seems to defy a single definition. But, in its most general, all-encompassing form, we can say with some degree of confidence that alchemy is the art and science of bringing something to its final perfection.
— Brian Cotnoir, from the first Preface
To most people, alchemy might conjour images of ancient bearded men in dimly lit rooms hovering over various malodourous substances connected by an arcane network of tubes, beakers bubbling away, struggling in earnest to produce gold from lead. Those more familiar with Carl Jung‘s work might imagine that all this fancy is well and good, but, of course, it’s all allegorical, beneath which is philosophy deeply concerned with transforming the alchemist hirself. Bartlett argues that, for modern alchemists, there’s truth to both images. Continue reading