Tag Archives: correspondences

Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook, by Karen Harrison

By Gesigewigu's | June 6, 2013 | 1 comment

The Herbal Alchemist's Handbook, by Karen HarrisonThe Herbal Alchemist’s Handbook: A Grimoire of Philtres, Elixirs, Oils, Incense, and Formulas for Ritual Use, by Karen Harrison
Weiser, 9781578634910, 239pp., 2011

In this book, we explore Herbal Alchemy as practiced in the West, through the uses of the plants and their Planetary signatures as developed by the 14th century philosopher and Alchemist Paracelsus.

A book on this topic couldn’t start with a more hopeful introduction. After a brief description of alchemy in different forms (lead to gold, internal alchemy, alchemy as a path to the divine), the author states this as her purpose for the book. While it sounds good, this is the beginning of my problems with the book: her use of the terms “alchemy” and “alchemist.” Continue reading


Review: The Wicca Handbook, by Eileen Holland

By Gesigewigu's | December 7, 2008 | Leave a comment

The Wicca Handbook, by Eileen Holland
Weiser Books, 9781578634385, 309 pp. (including index, and glossary), 2008

The introduction to this book describes it as “both a tutorial for new witches and a reference book for experienced practitioners”, and the foreword described it as an introduction, yet I feel I must disagree with idea that this book is meant for the absolute beginner. One of the first things I noticed about this supposedly introductory book is the lack of depth on many of the included topics, and the assumption on the reader’s knowledge. For example, Holland recommends meditation as one of the foundations required to perform successful magic as a witch, which I agree with, but to quote: Continue reading


Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack

By Psyche | September 5, 2004 | Leave a comment

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot, by Rachel Pollack
0722535724, 354 pp (incl. bibliography and index), 1980, 1983, 1997

Previously, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom was comprised of two volumes, one tackling the major arcana, and the second the minor; this revised edition helpfully combines them into one hefty tome.

After a brief history lesson, Pollack begins to explore the major arcana in depth, guiding the reader along the Fool’s Journey. She compares and contrasts cards from several decks for many of the cards, drawing on a rich mythological background from various sources, Christian, Hindu, the quabalah and occult significance. Brief histories of the cards are described, also giving a divinatory upright and reversed meaning for each.

With the minor arcana, Pollack focuses on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, as it was among the first to use pictures of people in the cards in addition to the weapons. She takes direction primarily from Waite’s description and interpretation of the cards, while giving upright and reversed meanings.

Pollack also describes how to give a reading, outlines several spreads, including the familiar Celtic Cross, giving sample readings with each. She goes into more depth than most other works previous to it as she describes how to use Tarot, psychological readings, in meditation, spreads as mandalas, etc.

With Pollack’s clear, concise manner and style, it’s not surprising her Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom is likely to be found among the books of any Tarot enthusiast – and rightly so. Whether using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck or one of it’s variations, this book is likely to be an invaluable tool to any student.


Eleggua

By rafh tzeenj | January 10, 2004 | Leave a comment

Portfolio: Gatekeeper, Fate, Messages, Justice, Divination, Luck, Opportunities.

Aspects: St. Anthony, Holy Infant of Prague, St. Benito, St. Martin, Holy Child of Atoshe.

Ileke: 3 red beads, 3 black beads, alternating one red and one black three times, repeat. Continue reading


Yemaya

By rafh tzeenj | December 30, 2003 | 2 comments

Portfolio: Great Mother, Lady of the Seas, Mistress of Sorcery and Ocean Storm, Sister or Oshun (raises Oshun’s kids), probably analogous to Mamiwater, doesn’t like Oya (Yemaya once ruled the cemetery and manipulated Oya in to changing areas of influence- never feed the two together), adoptive mother of Shango, allied with Eshu Aya, Queer Goddess, womanhood, fertility, maternity, children, lunar, very sensitive- wrathful if offended, stability, control over one’s life, gentle, kind, generous, dignified, lofty, graceful, “spicy” persona, gives and takes life, forgiving, protection, peace, benevolence, approach w. love, awe and honour, patroness of Brazil.  Continue reading


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