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Friday, February 16, 2018

Icelandic Magic for Modern Living - Boff Konkerz

Are you tired of your wifi failing in the middle of streaming a movie? Do you need some more followers on your Instagram? Do you need to get rich? These and many other modern spells are available to you now with the combination of Icelandic magic staves and ritual words.

This amusing parody contains humorous and often convoluted spells to cure modern day problems. I giggled and often outright guffawed at what I found in these pages. A good addition for people who sometimes enjoy a little humor when it comes to spellwork and magic.

From the Publisher:
Sorceror's Screed

Monday, February 12, 2018

ChristoPaganism - River Higginbotham, Joyce Higginbotham

More and more people are combining the Christian tradition with Pagan beliefs. Why are they doing it? How do they integrate two systems that a seemingly at odds.

Part I titled The Outer Landscape explores what Paganism and Christianity are, how the "Mystery Religions" correspond with Christianity, and monotheism within the Old Testament.

Part II called The Inner Landscape Personal, Faith, and Concept developments from a psychological point of view.

Part III aptly named The Living Landscape interviews people who integrate faiths and explores the many and varied ways ChristoPagans practice.

I would caution readers to prepare to have their knowledge and beliefs challenged with this well-cited book, containing citations to well-established resources on the history and evolution of Christianity and faiths around the world. These citations are excellent for those who want to verify the authors statements or further research themselves. Many of them were works I had read previously on my own and worthwhile.

There was only one portion of the book I didn't care for was the portion on developmental colors and spiral. It seemed overly complicated compared to other systems I have seen, but I think others may find the use of colors and levels easier to identify where they are at with the visual assistance.

I like how this book compares and contrasts the faiths, explores them through a historical lens, a psychological lens, and through the personal experiences of people living their personal faith. It's an excellent resource for those who want to understand those of a different faith to a combined faith to find similarities to relate with each other.

Recommended Reads:
Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices by George Barna and Frank Viola
Shamanic Christianity: The Direct Experience of Mystical Communion by Bradford Keeney

Friday, February 9, 2018

Warrior Goddess Training Companion - HeatherAsh Amara

In the Warrior Goddess series, Amara hopes to challenge each individual woman's own views on the world and question where those ideas and ideals come from and whether or not they truly fit her as the unique woman she is.

This companion book to the first in the series provides extra exercises, both written and active, for readers to enhance their experience of the first book. It also works well as a stand-alone workbook, as well. Each chapter contains a summary of the chapter in the primary book, followed by exercises and space to record thoughts and experiences from these exercises, and Additional Gifts which provides insights to continue living the revelations from the exercises. At the end of the book is a Questions and Answers section containing commonly asked questions with Amara's answers.

The topics women will find themselves exploring are body, mind, sexuality, and heart. She addresses the person as a whole, recognizing that there are many parts that make up our whole. For those who enjoyed the original book I would recommend this and for those who want a more interactive and in-depth experience with this series.

Books in the Series:
Warrior Goddess Training
Warrior Goddess Meditations
Warrior Goddess Way

Monday, February 5, 2018

Warrior Goddess Training - HeatherAsh Amara

After going through her divorce, Amara found herself lost, unable to remember who she was without her partner. Through both introspection and action, she learned how to be herself both inside and out.

With this book containing 10 chapters, Amara hopes to help others who may be in a similar position or even those who just want to become more in tune with themselves. Each chapter contains personal experience from herself or from others she has encountered through life or in her workshops, written exercises, and active exercises.

Through reading and these exercises, the reader will challenge ideas and ideals she's learned from others, familial, cultural, religious, and societal, as well as her own. Learning where her thoughts and feelings originate can sometimes help people change those same things in their lives. The topics include attitudes about ones body,
sexuality, heart, and mind.

When I heard a book club nearby me was reading this book I jumped on the chance to experience it again, but this time in a group setting. Perhaps the most interesting part of reading this a second time was seeing how far I've come. I wished I could find my notes from the first time I read it to have a solid comparison. Going every other week to share my own experiences and listen with others gave me even more to consider. It helped me see myself more clearly in the past, present, and possibly in the future. I will continue to recommend this book for women to learn more about themselves.

Books in the Series:
Warrior Goddess Training Companion Book
Warrior Goddess Meditations
Warrior Goddess Way

Recommended Reads:
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron
Archetypes - Caroline Myss

Friday, February 2, 2018

Devoted to Death: Santa Muerte - R. Andrew Chesnut

Just like Chesnut, I've seen candles and scrolls with the mysterious 'Saint Death' with her bony figure and her long robes on shelves in the store. Knowing a little bit of Spanish, I was normally able to read the instructions and prayers on these objects, which only served to pique my interest further.

In this short book, Chesnut reveals what he learned through interviewing both leaders and practitioners who look to Santa Muerte for help, as well as his his additional experience of visiting shrines and prayer groups. The book is divided into 7 chapters that correlate to the seven colors of candles that practitioners use for invocations- Brown Candle (Knowledge): History and Origins of the Cult, White: Beliefs and Practices, Black: Protection and Harm, Red: Love and Passion, Gold: Prosperity and Abundance, Purple: Healing, and Green: Law and Justice.

I feel like I got a good understanding of Santa Muerte from many different angles with this piece. The author explains the Saint's folk history and her controversial status with the Catholic Church. He talks about how she has supplicants from both criminals and from law enforcement officers. He also explains the many ways every day people enlist her help with daily troubles, whether it's money, sickness, or an estranged family member. I would recommend this for anybody with a desire to learn more about this powerful folk saint.

Related Reads:
The Santa Muerte: The Origins, History, and Secrets of the Mexican Folk Saint - Gustavo Vázquez Lozano, Charles River Editors
Grimoire of Santa Muerte: Spells and Rituals of Most Holy Death - Sophia diGregorio

Friday, January 26, 2018

Healing with Herbs and Rituals: A Mexican Tradition - Eliseo Torres

This book contains revised versions of two of the authors earlier works: Folk Healer and Green Medicine.

Part One contains basic information on Curanderismo, how it works, what ailments it treats, and a brief look at the rituals involved. It also has a chapter on three of the most well-known practitioners in history: Don Pedrito Jaramillo, Niño Fidencio, and Teresita. Two following chapter explain how modern curanderos practice and how it is fused with modern medicine in some places. The final chapter contains references for further reading.

Part Two contains very basic information on how to actually use remedies found in curanderismo. It tells the reader where to find herbs, how to prepare them, precautions, and an index of herbs to use. It's good for reference, but without measurements and more detailed information, I'd advise against using anything without further research.

For basic information and understanding of curanderismo this is a good place to start, but not of use if a reader wants to practice.

Original Releases:
Folk Healer
Green Medicine

More works by the Author:
Curandero: A Life in Mexican Folk Healing

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Interior Castle; Mansions - Saint Teresa of Avila

As detailed in the preface, in an effort to assist her fellow Carmelite Sisters in reaching the same revelation in God as herself, Saint Teresa of Avila wrote of The Interior Castle of the soul and the Mansions found within it.

Of the First Mansion she explains in chapter one that each soul contains God if one is willing to seek Him, despite the marring of sin. Self-awareness is the key to finding Him.

In the Second Mansion speaks of the war between human souls and the devil on the path to unity with God.

For the Third Mansion she advises her sisters to always be aware of themselves and the mercy of God.

In the Fourth Mansion she advises that in prayers one should be mindful to love more than using the mind to think.

Being in union with God is explained in the Fifth Chapter and she advises that to best experience this one must only mind the gifts God has given oneself. She also advises that if one cannot stay in prayer and meditation that it is because God is working through ones person.

The Sixth Mansion is the longest chapter and speaks extensively of the various kinds of visionary experiences one will receive when in communion with God.

The Seventh Mansion, the final one, is her personal experience in being in the presence of God. She also speaks of the experiences of Martha and Mary in God's presence.

I had to take breaks between each Mansion to make sure I was digesting and comprehending what Saint Teresa was saying. Although short, the writing is heavy and requires a basic understanding of Catholic theology. The Mansions are beautiful and dense. As I read I recalled times where I felt myself in God's presence. Highly recommended for anybody who wants to experience God's presence personally!

Recommended Reads:
The Cloud of Unknowing - Anonymous
Revelations of Divine Love - Julian of Norwich