Tag: weiser books

The Wicca Deck, by Sally Morningstar

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The Wicca Deck, by Sally MorningstarThe Wicca Deck, by Sally MornignstarThe Wicca Deck, by Sally Morningstar, illustrated by Danuta Mayer Connections Book Publishing, 978-1-85906-380-4, 42 cards plus instruction booklet, 2014 When The Wicca Deck came up for review I was excited to put in my bid for it. I’ve worked with tarot and oracle decks for about a decade, but never one based on my own spiritual path. The Wicca Deck is a 42-card oracle deck originally published by Godsfield Press in Great Britain in 2001 and republished this year by Connections, also from Great Britain. Some key elements account for its staying power.First, the illustrations are simple, cleanly drawn and easily relate to their titles and keywords, reminiscent of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. There is some abstract art in the cards, but card themes are always easy to detect; this is perhaps because the artist, Danuta Mayer, illustrates children’s books, which usually depict real, basic objects. The clarity works well in this deck. The nature of the Wiccan path is diverse; every practitioner has a slightly different vision, and by keeping visuals straightforward one is invited to see the cards in her own way.As you’d expect, the artistic interpretations are clearly Wiccan: The Green Man is depicted as the classic face on a tree, Spiral is depicted as the spiral goddess, Black Cat (my favourite) depicts a cat in an Egyptian temple, taking her rightful place as the goddess Bast. Read More

Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, by John Michael Greer

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Haunted tree, by Ian SaneMystery Teachings from the Living Earth, by John Michael GreerMystery Teachings from the Living Earth: An Introduction to Spiritual Ecology, by John Michael Greer Weiser Books, 9781578634897, 140 pp., 2012Reading Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth was a curious experience. I felt like I was reading two books at once: the first describing spiritual teachings we can derive from ecological laws; the second, how the mystery teachings are being misinterpreted and distorted by more modern spiritual movements.Greer devotes much time to discussing why the belief that one can create one's own reality is a partial truth and how popular spiritual movements promulgate that belief. He points out that this has been a corruption of the mystery school teaching that we are created by the reality that was here before us and that we always co-create with that reality. He nails it when he says: Read More

Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch, by Raven Grimassi

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Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch, by Raven GrimassiGrimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch, by Raven GrimassiGrimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch: Mastering the Five Arts of Old World Witchery, by Raven Grimassi Weiser Books, 9781578635504, 240 pp. (incl. appendices and bibliography), 2014
Plant spirits appear in the most ancient practices of Witchcraft. These primal entities possess power and knowledge that aids the Witches’ Craft.
Grimoire of the Thorn-Blooded Witch offers the magickal keys to accessing the spirits of the plant kingdom. Decidedly gothic, with many allusions to roses, thorns and shadows, the book’s formal, atmospheric tone is sure to stir magickal memories in the blood of those called to read it.From the ancient practices of old world witchery springs the Rose and Thorn Path, a system Grimassi manifested after he "fell back into the brewing cauldron from which all things emerge." He continues, "When I surfaced my self-identity as a witch of any specific cultural expression of witchcraft had dissolved away’. As a grimoire (a traditional book of spells) this book does not disappoint. It presents a usable system of witchcraft based on instantly recognisable archetypes. I have read a few of Grimassi's books and feel this is his best to date.The "mastering the five arts" subtitle suggests the book is aimed primarily at serious witches with some level of magical experience. As such I would have appreciated a deeper exploration of the origins of Grimassi's chosen symbols and plants, but he writes with such authentic wisdom this hardly seems to matter. Central themes are natural divinity and spiritualism -- the book deals not so much with plants themselves but the spirits inherent in and attached to them. By showing respect for "Shadow" (the collective wisdom of the earth and ancestors) the green mysteries can be entered. Read More

Sun Sign Secrets, by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber

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Sun Sign Secrets, by Amy Zerner and Monte FarberSun Sign Secrets, by Amy Zerner and Monte FarberSun 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

Old World Witchcraft, by Raven Grimassi

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Old World Witchcraft, by Raven GrimassiOld World Witchcraft, by Raven GrimassiOld World Witchcraft: Ancient Ways for Modern Days, by Raven Grimassi Weiser Books, 9781578635054, 272 pp. 2011Raven Grimassi is a name familiar to those of us who have been reading books on Wicca and witchcraft for a number of years as to date he has authored 14 of them. His background is varied and extensive, running the gamut from Rosicrucian studies and kabbalah and various forms of “traditional” witchcraft. This background allows him to approach the subject from a variety of perspectives.In Old World Witchcraft Grimassi is presenting his take on the argument that witchcraft is a survival of an ancient pre-Christian religion. One thing I am sure of is that this book has the potential to polarize the community because of Grimassi's emphasis on the Goddess as the primary deity of early witches, with the God perceived as an invisible presence. This is not the only sacred cow he goes after, although I must emphasize that this is not a malicious attack, but merely an attempt to show how the Christian concept of witches and witchcraft coloured the perceptions of everyone -- including both medieval and modern-day witches. Read More

The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Nyanaponika Thera

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The Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Nyanaponika TheraThe Heart of Buddhist Meditation, by Nyanaponika TheraThe Heart of Buddhist Meditation: The Buddha's Way of Mindfulness, by Nyanaponika Thera Weiser Books, 9781578635580, 257 pp., 1954, 2014
This book is issued in the deep conviction that the systematic cultivation of Right Mindfulness, as taught by the Buddha in his Discourse on Satipatthana, still provides the most simple and direct, the most thorough and effective, method for training and developing the mind for its daily tasks and problems as well as for its highest aim: mind’s own unshakable deliverance from Greed, Hatred and Delusion.
The Heart of Buddhist Meditation is a classic of Western Buddhism from the '50s, which Weiser has just republished on its 50th anniversary. It’s one of the first serious books on Vipassana meditation written for a Western audience. “This is the book that started it all -- the book that, with great clarity and ardour, introduced Vipassana and mindfulness to the West.," says Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness for Beginners. Read More

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