Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Christian Book Reviews

The Authority of the Intercessor by Rev. J. A. MacMillan review

The Authority of the Intercessor
Rev. J. A. MacMillan
ISBN: 9781612036007
Bottom of the Hill Publishing


Preface:     page 9

Chapter 1:  The Authority of the Intercessor     page 13

Chapter 2:  The Authority of the Believer's Countenance    page 31

Chapter 3:  The Authority of the Rod    page 47

This is a small book, containing 59 pages.  The three articles that make up the book were published in 'The Alliance Weekly' in the 1890's.  

You get the gist of the booklet when you read the Preface- page 10 "War has dosed many doors in foreign lands, and at the same time has cut off financial contributions in not a few countries which formerly took an active interest in missions.  More seriopus still is the attitude of large sections of the church towards the state of the heathen.  No longer are these concerned about the lost souls which wander in darkness, their thought is centered on raising their social status and meeting their intellectual and physical needs."

In the first chapter, the Rev. shows our place in Christ. He states firmly that we must believe what the Bible says about US.  
The rest of the book teaches who we are, what we have to fight with, and how to do it.
I LOVE this book.

Easy to understand, very very needful.

Misc. Book Reviews

Sacred Geometry by Francene Hart review

Sacred Geometry
Francene Hart
Inner Traditions
ISBN: 9781591432739
April 2017

List of Paintings vii
Introduction page 1
Formative Influences page 3
Unearthing the Source of Inspiration page 27
Sacred Geometry page 65
Expanding the Artistic Vision page 82
Pele's Summons page 174
Final Offering page 209

This is a decent sized book a tad bigger than a standard notebook paper.  It has beautiful pictures all through it. Some are of places she has been, some are of her artwork.  I have shared a few here.

Nut and the Cosmic Dream

Tornado Walking

This book is basically the journey she has made within herself regarding her art.  The book moves from mandalas to what is called sacred geometry.  She explains how she went from being influenced by what was around her in her 'growing up' days to following and listening to her heart to connect to nature.  

She shares experiences she has had in her travels in Central America, Egypt, Paris, Scotland, England, Cambodia, the Amazon and the Himalayas. 

This book is an encouragement to everyone to open your heart to receiving visions and to learn to integrate them into your life.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fiction book reviews

Review of Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

published by Algonquin
Written by Andrew McCarthy (yes THAT one)
A Spring 2017 Kid's Indie Next List Pick

I am a fan of his acting - I think I first saw him in St. Elmo's Fire.   A search came up with these
titles he has written!!

Today I am focused on Just Fly Away. 

Here is what Andrew says in the note that came with the book:
"Can secrets ever be good?  Can family ever not be a mess? And ultimately, how can we transform harm into healing?  Fifteen year old Lucy grapples with these questions when she learns of the existence of a brother she never knew she had. Her search for answers and the journey it leads her on fill the pages of Just Fly Away. What do we do when everything we thought we knew about those closest to us is called into question???"

The book is 258 pages long.  I really enjoyed the writing. The story grabbed me and kept me interested. I started reading, and read clear through.  It goes at a nice clip, there were no boring parts - no lagging just to fill in this or that.  Everything in the story had a purpose, there was only one section I really feel didn't need to be in the story.  It didn't add anything, it felt like it was put in there because somebody thought teens would be more interested if there was a hint of sex.  For that reason, I would not let my grand daughter read it until she is at least 15. That, by the way, is the age of the girl in the book.

Other than that, like I said, the story flows easily.  The characters are VERY believable.  
I am pleasantly surprised to discover Andrew's writing, and I hope he gives us more to read.
He is very talented.

Reviews of magickal books

Reviews of all things King Arthur

Deck Reviews

Merlin Tarot R J Stewart

The Maori Tattoo Tarot Review

The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus

Cathar Tarot Review

The Hobbit Tarot Deck

tarot apokalypsis review

Arthurian Deck Review

Fenestra Tarot Review

sharman caselli tarot deck review


Avalonian Oracle by Jhenah Telyndru

The Celtic Oracle by John Matthews

The Power Deck Cards of Wisdom

Celtic Book of the Dead by Caitlin Matthews

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Merlin and the Discovery of Avalon in the New World by Graham Phillips review

Merlin and the Discovery of Avalon in the New World 
by Graham Phillips

This is a GREAT book!  Very interesting, informative, educational and exciting.  I felt as if I was Phileas Fogg setting out on a great adventure by the time I was finished reading the first page. This book held my attention all the way through, while there were a few places where the information was a little overwhelming, none of it was boring or not needed.    

The book definitely gives the information it hints at in the title. I love that. I hate to buy a book which leaves me feeling as if the title was never really addressed.  This book does leave you wanting more, but in a good way.

So-  here are the contents:
1.  Two Merlins
2.  A Boy with no Father
3.  The Notable Storm
4.  Ambrosius Emrys
5.  The Lady of the Lake
6.  Excaliber
7.  The Shakespeare Enigma
8.  The Alchemical Wedding
9.  Intrigue
10.  Where was Avalon?
11.  The Voyage of Maelduin
12. Meonia
13.  Island of the Dead
14.  The Fifth Element

Notes 213
Chronology of Events
Bibliography   227

The Bibliography is well worth reading just for itself. Wow!  After all my years of reading (I am 59 now, taught myself to read. Had read the Bible through before I went to Kindergarten) I find that in this type of book, the Bibliography and Notes are going to tell you what you are 'in for'.  This book was a surprise, and lived up to the promise of both.  The notes are clear, informative and easy to find/keep up with. I didn't miss the Index.

Now, on with the story!
I assume if you are interested in this book that you are a fan of Merlin, King Arthur or both.  I love all things Merlin!   I was constantly feeling my jaw drop (seriously) as I read this book.  I did not know there were two Merlins!
I did not know there was a REAL Merlin, and a REAL King Arthur. I did not know Merlin had a daughter!  These are just a few of the astonishing facts I found out while reading.

Graham takes you on a whirlwind ride as he tracks down the real Merlin, and where Merlin was buried- Rosicrucians, windmills, Native American Indians, Pilgrims, such are the characters on the stage Graham portrays- and I say stage because Shakespeare himself is part of this story!

The book starts with Graham explaining a bit about the King Arthur legend, then goes on to dig out the root of the name Merlin. Where Merlin came from, the real Merlin, the living breathing man Merlin.  He also gets down to the years Merlin lived, and leads you right to the time when Merlin left Britain in a boat, headed off the the West, to Avalon.

Graham explains that Avalon means Island of Apples.  He uses old writings to follow the trip made across the sea by others, and by doing so he deciphers their writings.  Demons throwing fireballs turns into lava exploding from a volcanic island. Graham unfolds the entire saga step by step in an easy to follow manner that makes sense.  Total sense.

I never knew that Excalibur was Merlin's sword first. 
Here is a picture of Graham holding a replica of Excalibur that Wilkinson Sword made.  There is a closeup of the handle, showing the two serpents which were emblems of Merlin.

For those only familiar with the Disney version of Merlin, or the Classics Illustrated or such 'new' tellings of the old tales, it comes as a surprise that Merlin was a warrior and king in his own right before he ever advised King Arthur. 

This book is full of little known facts of history, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Can't say that enough.  

Above is a bust that just might be the image of the man we know as Merlin.
In the story, Merlin had no father, the mother said she had sex with a god.  Back in the day, Roman consuls were as the emperor, considered gods.  So Merlin's father was evidently a Roman consul.  

So now we get to the 'New World' section of the book.  The Rosicrucians claimed they had found Merlin's grave on an island off the coast of North America.  Graham actually followed the old written documents of voyages taken before, and ended up in Vermont. 

In the 'Voyage of Maelduin's boat', after sailing past various islands (which Graham deciphers which they are), they discover the islands of the Otherworld.  On one of these islands there is a hermit who tells the travelers that he too' had come there from Ireland many years before.  His companions are now dead and he lives alone, guarding a stone upon which is inscribed an ancient text.'

Back to the Rosicrucians and their claim to have found Merlin's tomb in 1604.  Graham finds that an Irish expedition had been to the Americas in 510, and an English ship had been sailing the coast in 1604!  AND the leader was a Rosicrucian!

There was a Rosicrucian document entitled 'The Confessio Fraternitatis' or 'Confession of the Fraternity' that was published in 1615.  It stated that in Merlin's Tomb was 'the secret Word of the Lord'.  So great was it that 'if all other knowledge were lost it would be possible to rebuild from it alone.'  

In the book, we find that there is a Star Child that comes from Merlin's bloodline that is a key figure in World History.  You'll have to read the book to find out!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Is America the New Nineveh??

If you are a Christian, you are called to fight this world, come out of the religious spirit of Jezebel, and walk according to the commandments of Jesus. You gotta be hard headed, stubborn and a wrestler! You have to be ready to be despised, persecuted and called names- you have to be a forgiver, also.

You'll have to forgive a zillion times a day. Never forget your reward. Have faith that the Lord your God is not weak, that He is well able to fulfill His promises to you when you overcome. Have faith!

Isaiah 60:12
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.

FB does those memories things, the above is what I was writing 3 years ago. After what this country has just gone through, pretty timely writing.

I was thinking about one way to look at perish and wasted. The way we were going under the Democrats was perishing and wasting us because all the things this country was founded on were being ripped away one by one, perishing for lack of support.

Wasted because..well, look at the minds of the people that are being out in front of the cameras, yelling, fighting, and they can't even make a coherent sentence of WHY. All they can do is repeat the same phrases over and over. It is like 1984's doublespeak. Listen to the difference between hillary and obama's speeches and President Trumps. He speaks plain English, and says what he intends to do. They spoke gobbledy gook.

My thoughts led me to the conclusion that God says in the Bible He lifts men up and puts men down, that He designates the leaders of nations. Maybe, just maybe this means that our prayers have been heard and He has given us a stay of execution just as He did Nineveh.

We better make the best of it.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

From the Cauldron Born by Kristoffer Hughes review

From the Cauldron Born 
by Kristoffer Hughes  
Llewellyn Publications (December 8, 2012)

Part One: The Cauldron Born
Part Two: One Tale of Old, Thrice Retold
Part 3:  Unravelling the Mystery
Part 4:  Stirring the Cauldron: Ritual and Practise
A guide to Welsh Pronunciation

The Bibliography is really impressive.  Lots of interesting things to look into there!
The guide to Welsh Pronunciation was fun!!!   I am glad that was there, I enjoyed trying to make this Kentucky tongue twist around and make new sounds LOL.   

This book is really empowering. I found myself wondering about my ancestors, and also looking at my life and talents in a different way.  With a view to how I can incorporate the teachings into my every day life.  Also how I can use my spiritual giftings to help others (and myself) even more.
It seems more and more the world (and me!) need wisdom along with guidance daily.

The author tells us in the introduction that the purpose of this book is to share his own personal connection and experience of the most mysterious, profound, and transformative tale to arise from Celtic Wales.  
The subjects of the tale are Cerridwen, Gwion Bach, and Taliesin.

On page 223 begins a year-long ritual meditation.  Ha.  You won't be sitting in one place meditating for a year~!
Each month has a contemplation and study, a practical section, and a work to do with water.  

All through the book there are exercises to do that are meant to connect you to the story.  We learn that every thing in the story has a meaning or it would not be there.  There is no padding to make the story longer.
"Every facet of this tale contains within it keys to access the mysteries of the universe in its entirety."

"Sometimes there is great magic in what is given little attention."

This book is really in 3 sections, a general telling of the tale, the second section has 3 versions of the tale, and the third section has a details explanation of the characters.

Make sure you read the introduction, it holds within it how to use the book, and hold the information you need to set up a sacred space.

I don't want to give away too much of the book, but let me say it is a book that draws you into another world, one where you discover yourself and ancient energies.  It will make you think, and help you to grow.  I recommend keeping a journal as you do the workings.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Psalm Cards by Rabbi Robert dos Santos Teixeira review

The Psalm Cards 
by Rabbi Robert dos Santos Teixeira
Schiffer Pubishing December 28, 2016
ISBN: 978-0764351914

The box the cards come in.
This box is really big! We are talking 9 inches by 6 inches!  It is a really pretty antique gold color.
I am a bit color blind, but I am sure that is the color it is!

The inside cover of the box tells about the author of the deck. For 8 years he worked as an intuitive in New Orleans.  He went on to become a psychotherapist and social worder - he specialized in the treatment of addictions.  He moved to New York because of Hurricane Katrina and became a rabbi.
He is the founder and spiritual director of Uri! Uri! Awaken! Awaken!

Here is a picture of the 'whole enchilada' after I opened the box.  See my little Gnome helper?

There is not a Contents page, nor is there an Index.

On page 5 you will find a note on how the psalms are numbered, and a note on the
Transliteration and Pronunciation of Hebrew.
On page 6 is the Preface
Page 7 'The World of Tarot'
Page 8 the World of Psalms
On Page 9 is the Collision of Two Worlds: Tarot and Psalms with examples of symbols merging.
Page 14 gives us How to Use the Psalm Cards and Messages from the Psalms
Page 16 holds information on the Seal of Solomon Spread and the Song of Ascents Spread.
page 17 has Endnotes, which holds 7 resources.

Page 18 begins the descriptions and meanings of the individual cards.
Page 168 has Appendix of Power Words

There are 150 hand painted cards, one for each Psalm in the Book of Psalms. There is a prayer of protection given and recommended before working with any cards.Some really good advice-- divide these cards into stacks, shuffle them then put them all back again and draw one. 

The Appendix of Power Words.  Whenever you resonate with a card you draw, the corresponding Power Word can become an affirmation or mantra to be chanted or sung to bring the transformative power into your life.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Botanical Inspirations by Lynn Araujo review

Botanical Inspirations
Lynn Araujo
Published by U S Games

When you get the package in the mail, this is the pretty little box the cards come in.

This is a picture of the goodies within!  The box opens long ways- see the little blue tab at the bottom of the first picture? Well, you lift up on that and you see the book, the foldout 'cheat' list, the pretty blue nylon bag, then the cards themselves.  The cards are sturdy, a good size, and easy to shuffle.

Here is a picture of the little 'cheat sheet' in the box.
It is a little guide to the secret  meaning of flowers.

Back in the day- Victorian days- Knowing what flower meant what was very important. Men would court a woman by sending her flowers, and the girls knew exactly what the bouquet meant!
Nothing worse than getting a tulip from a guy you were head over heels in love with!

I love yellow roses, so I headed right to the card- Each card tells the common name of the flower, the latin name of the flower and a vintage looking picture.  At the bottom is the meaning or symbolism of the flower.
Yellow Rose- Enthusiasm and Friendship.  "A single rose can be my garden,..  a single friend can be my world"  Leo Buscaglia
The book tells some of the history of the yellow rose.  I didn't know they were discovered in the Middle East!  Each flower has an inspirational message, the one for the yellow rose:
The garden of friendship is like any garden, the more you tend to it, the healthier it is and the more beautiful it becomes.....

In the back of the book is a 3 card Fleur De Lis Reading, with a 'how to' for the layout and a sample of a reading done for you.  

For fun, I did the above reading, asking if I will be well and able to perform my usual chores by the end of this week-

1. situation as it is-  Amaryllis - determination and creative achievement
2. course of action to take - Sacred Lotus - Enlightenment - honor all you have been through, let go of the things that no longer serve
3. improved outcome- Lily- Majesty and virtue - let your actions come from virtue.

For me, this means to use creative visualization to 'see' what I want, let go of all negativity, know that I can create my life when I come from a balanced place.

The Wonderland Tarot in a Tin review

The Wonderland Tarot in a Tin
 U.S. Games Systems Inc. (January 20, 2017)
Chris Abbey & Morgana Abbey
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572818798

The cards are a small size, almost 4 inches tall and almost 2 and half inches wide. They feel very nice- silky smooth.  I love the little tin, so happy they put the rabbit on the front of the tin!
The only thing I had a little trouble with was in getting the cards out, the rim of the box protrudes inwardly a tad, so I had to do some finangling.  After you unwrap them there is no more problem.

The two cards you see bottom left are a nice little surprise. One card explains about the deck, the other card is a mirror image of the first card!  The cards all have the regular playing card symbols in the opposing corners, just as a standard playing deck would have, so they can be used for regular games such as Rummy, Spades, etc.

There are different names for the suits-
Spades/Swords ----   Flamingos
Clubs/Wands -----   Peppermills
Hearts/Cups -----   Hats
Diamonds/Coins or Pentacles ----   Oysters

Pages are Jacks
Knights are Cavaliers

The only spread in the book is the Celtic Cross. The LWB is little in size, but it is 55 pages, and every card is given attention, with the upright and reversed meanings.

When you open the LWB, You are immediately given the suggestion to read (or re-read) Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - and make sure you get the copy that is illustrated by Tenniel because this deck is based on those drawings.

An example: 
 The Fool (in the 3rd picture down) -  Unnumbered - The Mad Hatter stands on the edge of a cliff.  He wears a hat he made himself ad holds a slice of bread.  His shoes are untied, A hedgehog watches him.
Divinatory meaning:  Everything foolish, in all its forms.  Lack of careful thinking.  Disregard of consequences.  Mania or excess.
Reverse meaning:  No decision at al.  Faltering in a quest.  Not caring if a decision is reached.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Christian Witch's Handbook by H. Fuller Hutchison review

The Christian Witch's Handbook
by H. Fuller Hutchison
  • Publisher: PublishAmerica (March 1, 2010)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1448951017

This book claims to be a book, pretty much a how-to book, for a Christian Witch.  She pretty much hits the ground running on page 9 of the preface-
"The Christian religion has often hi-jacked magic for its own use... they have take the living eternal magic of Jesus, which is the magic of God, and hidden it in liturgy, theology, prayer cloths, anointing oils, power of positive thinking, name it/claim it theology and Christian ritual" ... and called it church.
Funnily enough, that list includes a lot of things that Hoodoo, Voodoo, and both white and 'dark' witches use. but that's ok.

If you can handle the anti-church slant of the book, then you can glean some things that are helpful. From reading the book, I do believe she is meaning Catholic Church whenever she says church.  That happens a lot.

This book was annoying, aggravating, confusing and got me 'all riled up' a few times, which is a good thing- it does make you think. On page 11 there is a sort of quiz given to determine if you are a witch. 

Introduction to Christian Witchery
Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble
Charts - Elemental, Herbal, Color, Crystal, Casting Template
More Witchy ways
More Prayer/Spells
Working with Others

This bibliography is very interesting. A lot of "witchcraft 101" type titles, and some really engaging and interesting ones such as Many Hall's The Secret Teachings of All Ages - I just love Manly Hall.  
Here is a very interesting one - Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble contains information on casting a circle, cleansing and charging.  
Potions has recipes for  teas, tinctures and oils.

One of the gems in this little book is the Casting Template-
It will be great to help you get in the habit of writing your workings down, and it is very well thought out,
great to put in your Magickal Journal, BOS, BOL or whatever you want to call it.

More Witchy Ways gives information on Candle Magic, Knot Magic and Cauldron Magic, Stitching Magic and Touch Magic along with Drawing Down the Moon and Drinking in the Sun.  OK.

Working with others is basically a list of rules of how to act, such as don't touch another witch's tools.  It also has a complete outline for setting up your own Christian Witch Coven.

Purchase at Amazon

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Magical Destinations of the Northeast: Sacred Sites, Occult Oddities & Magical Monuments by Natalie Zaman review

Magical Destinations of the Northeast: Sacred Sites, Occult Oddities & Magical Monuments

by Natalie Zaman

  •  Llewellyn Publications (October 8, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738747903

  • I have to be honest, as always.  This book totally blew me away.  I didn't expect as much information packed into only 432 pages.  The author is Natalie Zaman, and she really does take you on a Magical Mystery Tour LOL.   She covers Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

There is a nice resources section in the back of the book, and a really nice Index.  You all know me, I love the resources section of a book, and I firmly believe every book should have an Index. This Resource section is one humdinger! Be prepared to lengthen your 'must have' booklist!  There are plenty of urls also!

This is the kind of book that not only makes you want to travel to these places, but it also is entertaining and absorbing just to read it! I got to looking through it, looked up and 2 hours had gone by.  The first thing I saw was on page  201 The New York City Tarot Tour.  Did you know there is a clock on the Schwarzbock Building (between 31st and 32nd Streets) that has Merlin the Magician who hourly waves his wand, causing a black smith to forge Excalibur, and the Lady of the Lake to rise up and bless those who are watching? I didn't know that either! And how cool!

There is a place in Connecticut called Gillette Castle that has a gallery dedicated to Pamela Colman Smith!
 The actor William Gillette   bought the castle, Pamela was his cousin on his mother's side. This is the only display of her art in the country.

I grew up in Kentucky, I am now living in Pennsylvania.  I was so surprised to find out all the cool stuff here!  There is a place where you can strike rocks that will chime! There is a Megalith Park with standing stones! I didn't know that eastern PA is said to be the most haunted region of the country!
There are all kinds of seasonal activities from Faerie Festivals, to a Burning BIRD (not man) festival to an Albatwitch (apple witch) festival in early Sept.

There are hex signs all over, showing evidence that Pow Wow magic is still running deep through the land. There is a war dog memorial and a wolf preserve.  There are places that are strongly connected to the old German and Norse spiritual belief systems. And to top it all off, there is:
The Mazar of Sheikh M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen -  This is a grave, with whitewashed walls and a domed top, the first of its kind in the United States, dedicated to the lifestyle of the Sufi teacher who lies there- the mystical branch of the Muslim faith.

I found out that Glinda the Good Witch was from Washington DC.  I didn't know that one can view the complete collection of the Library of Congress's magical material at their url! AND she provides the url! ( I checked and it works!)

This book is everything you expect from the title, and much, much more!
Highly recommended.