RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Shaman Pathways - Elen of the Ways
    Elen Sentier
    I love sitting and listening to elders talk about what they know about life and the teachers that have taught them all they know. And this is one of those authors that writes in a style that makes you feel that you are having a cup of tea with.

    Ms. Sentier is a true story teller in that she relays all she has learned and been guided to know with such ease. The writing flows and it does take you to the times and the places she describes. She talks about being an awenydd, a spirit keeper, and taleweaver and she comes from a long line of awenydd.

    In Shaman Pathways: Elen of the Deer Trods, the author talks about the history of the nomadic peoples and explains how becoming farmers lead to a harder life with less enjoyment and a true separation from a spiritual side of life. As we drifted from that, we became greedier and lost our true selves and our health to disease.

    Ms. Sentier also speaks of true sovereignty of the Goddess and the test she set up for the God so that he could prove his worth as a guardian for Her and her land. I loved the way she told the stories she heard from the awenydd of her village and the wise ones who shared their wisdom with her and the younger generations.

    The author talks about elders and ancestors of the place where you live. She tells how to go about getting to know the nous of the land. How they are there waiting to tell you about the life that lives there and how you can connect and interact with that energy. She has a wonderful way to really describe what she sees and knows. It is an easy and relaxing read. This is one of those books, that gives you the desire to listen to the spirits of the land whether it be in a park near you or your own farmstead, and then go back and reread the book.

    I know I will be going out to the park and spending time with the nous of the area. And I will be rereading Ms. Sentier’s book after I have learned more about the ancestors of the town that I call home. ~ PaganPages.org, http://paganpages.org/content/2017/12/book-review-elen-of-the-ways-shaman-pathways/

  • Spiritual Runes, The
    Harmonia Saille
    I can't recall a time when the runes were not a part of my life. My mother has carried a little bag of clay bits engraved with runes on walks with her ever since I can remember. She'll stop at a bench overlooking an immense view of the Grande Ronde Valley and pull a rune out of the bag to contemplate.

    Never content with things as they have "always been done," I've read several books on runes to try to understand them at greater depth. Most of these books discuss making rune scripts or bind-runes for the purposes of focusing intentions and bringing needed energies to a place or a specific issue. But mostly these books make only a token stab at substantial analysis of the spiritual basis for or history of the runes.

    Now here is a book that claims to occupy the middle ground between the pocket how-to books that are accessible to all but seem to fall short on substance and the dense academic and primary source material. And it makes good on that claim.

    The Spiritual Runes is the first book I have encountered which provides solid historical information--including facts about the modern use and abuse of the runes--as well as rune interpretations for divination and very specific instructions for the use of runes in ritual and intention-based magic. Each section is complete and of suitable length and depth. No corners are cut and the tone is friendly and accessible at all points.

    The book goes into somewhat greater historical depth and provides more credible background for historical claims than most of my previous reading in commercial rune books. Still, the part where I found the book truly shines is the final section on rune rituals. This is mostly personal taste. I love the rituals suggested in this book. They are beautiful, simple enough to be practical and yet well-aligned for focusing intentions. I am sure to try several of them. ~ Arie Farnam, Amazon

  • Pagan Portals - Australian Druidry
    Julie Brett
    This books gives a great glance into an ancient and often misunderstood practice, this time set in Austrailia. When most people think druids, they think of Europe. Rooted deeply in nature, Druidry is close to other practices that are nature-based, and this book provides a great overview for the curious. ~ Lily, The Faerie Review

  • Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
    Danu Forest
    This addition to the Pagan Portals series of Pagan novels brings so much value to the table! Gwyn ap Nudd is a somewhat dark and intriguing God that isn't well-mentioned or researched in most books about Welsh mythology or magick. This brings together research, practice, and educated hypotheses to fill in the blank areas with precision and logic.

    Structured beautifully, we hear history, thoughts, direct mentions of Gwyn, as well as practice points for meditation and spiritual connection. The author's voice is thorough and somewhat repetitive in points, but carefully formatted with well-chosen words and passages to supplement. This is a great introduction with detail-oriented information for those who are wanting to learn more about Gwyn, Welsh Gods and Mythology, or Meditation pertaining to this particular subject.

    This was a fascinating, educational, and spiritual read that anyone can enjoy. ~ Ashley Miller, Reader Nature

  • Pagan Portals - By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root
    Melusine Draco
    I was browsing NetGalley looking for books that would expand my knowledge base on magick and the craft. The title of this book immediately peaked my interested, and when I read the description, I knew I had to request it. I have only recently started to learn about herbology and plants. I have also recently read Llewelyn’s Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan. While Dugan’s book gives a lot of information on a variety of herbs and their magical uses she barely touches on poisonous plants.

    By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root focuses solely on plants that are poisonous. I have to admit there is something intriguing about plants and poisons. I would very much like to visit the poison gardens in Alnwick. The author, Melusine Draco, starts us off with a bit of historical information and intersperses more historical details throughout. There have been some reviewers that didn’t care for this, but I for one, found the historical information fascinating and felt it added to the factual information about the various plants – including what type of poison they contained and what would happen to the person who came into contact with or ingested these plants. Melusine also adds a bit of magickal use information to each plant – not as much as contained in Dugan’s book – but a good beginner’s amount of knowledge.

    I enjoyed reading this book and it took little time, weighing in at only 96 pages. I feel that this book is great for someone who is interested in the basics of poison plants. Those that have more advanced knowledge may find it too elementary for their tastes. Reading this book has inspired me to seek out more books on historical poisons, as I found that information intriguing. I would like to visit an actual poison garden and perhaps read Wicked Plants. I am not sure that I will use the Magickal and factual information on these plants at this point in my life other than to stay away from them – as it’s definitely outside of my comfort level. ~ Jennifer Cunning, GoodReads

  • Fairies
    Morgan Daimler
    I really found this interesting to read. I have family members who love fairies, and while I've never been a huge fan, I knew something about them. This book is a serious look at the mythology of fairies, and where they appear in culture. There are poems and definitions, and serious discussions of folklore. Reading this gave me more to talk about with my family members, and I could easily justify using it as a source for a paper on folklore. The prose is easy to follow, and more grounded than I was expecting. Very interesting, and informative read that I could see getting for family or friends with an interest in fairies or folklore. ~ Alexis Adams, GoodREads/NetGalley

  • Pagan Portals - The Crane Bag
    Joanna van der Hoeven
    This book is part of a series called Pagan Portals, created by the publishers, Moon Books, where leading authors and practitioners share their knowledge across the complete Pagan spectrum.

    Joanna van der Hoeven is a Druid and a writer, amongst other creative pursuits, who trained with Emma Restall Orr and the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. She lives in Suffolk where she works as a Druid priestess for her community. She is also a co-founder of Druid College UK where she tutors.

    This short book (under 100 pages) initially seems pretty specific but actually presents an easy to grasp overview of Druidic life, especially concerning rituals. It is written in a practical, straightforward style which quickly demystifies not only what ritualistic tools can be used by Druids, but also why and how they are used.

    After a brief introduction there is a short, mythical story, which explains how the crane bag came to be and how it got its name. The bag itself is a container for the Druid’s ritualistic tools, but is also an expression of the soul of the Druid and, when used in ritual, connects the physical with the spiritual.

    Then, after a section on the importance of ritual, the author presents the two main chapters which make up the bulk of the book: The Druid’s Tools (covering items such as the staff, cauldron and drum, but also robes, altars, candles and more) and Druid Ritual Elements (covering the main parts of many rituals such as the call for peace, casting the circle and closing the ritual). It is a highly practical book in that it describes how to obtain or make the crane bag itself as well as all the tools it can contain. The section on ritual elements contains many phrases and sayings that can be used in practice, altogether presenting a do-it-yourself ritual kit which will be especially useful for those who wish to follow these practices solo rather than as part of a group. Finally there is a chapter on how altered states can be achieved using techniques such as meditation, drumming or chanting.

    Although this guide would prove an excellent introduction for those starting to explore the Druid Way, it will also be of interest to anyone following a path in green spirituality or any form of paganism. The author’s deep connection with the land comes across in the way she describes the rituals and how they can be performed outdoors (ideally in a wild place though this is not at all necessary). In fact there is much in common with the way we worship and respect Nature within GreenSpirit, and it is clear how many of our own rituals and practices have Druidic roots. ~ Green Spirit magazine, November 2017

  • Pagan Portals - Divination: By Rod, Birds and Fingers
    Melusine Draco
    Praise for Melusine Draco's title Pagan Portals: By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root: 'Draco’s book is a very good introduction to the ancient arte and history of poisons which goes back certainly beyond 4,500 years and probably throughout human history. I like Draco’s writing style which is both authoritative and accessible; I feel as if she’s talking with me over a cup of tea and I really like that.' ~ Elen Sentier, author and Shaman

  • Pagan Portals - The Crane Bag
    Joanna van der Hoeven
    Just finished this compact tome today.I can thoroughly reccommend it! "Small,but perfectly formed" springs to mind.
    This is a great primer for any newcomer to a Pagan practice from the British Isles,you don't need to be a Druid to find it relevant.Whilst we don't have a definitive system followed by all here historically this is a good insight into Druidic/Celtic practice that I think works.The "Crane Bag" of the title,as is indicated in the text,is very similar to the "medicine bag/pouch" that occurs in First Nation American shamanistic practice,which is what many would recognise,but the idea was common to many early practices as a connection to place,deity & spirits of place.
    I especially liked chapter five, the "Altered States" section.
    All in all the book gives a nice,simple way to honour the deities that is sympathetic to these Isles & doesn't get bogged down with too much ceremony & comes across as honest & heartfelt.
    If you want to perform ritual in a simple,holistic & approachable manner this is the book for you! ~ Gothmother, Amazon

  • Pagan Portals - The Crane Bag
    Joanna van der Hoeven
    A great introduction to the tools and rituals often used by those not only following a druid or pagan path but by spiritual traditions worldwide. Although based around the Celtic myth of The Crane bag it touches on a vast number of subjects and is full of tips and tricks that can be applied to help deepen ones connection to the natural world.

    Written in simple clear language, I found it to be an easy read. It flows nicely from page to page, from chapter to chapter. Although containing lots of information it doesn’t weigh the reader down with too many details but encourages one to develop their own path. A great starter book to enliven and enrich any spiritual practice whilst also containing that extra bit of information to inspire the more advanced practitioner into trying new ideas. ~ Julia H, Amazon

  • Pagan Portals - The Crane Bag
    Joanna van der Hoeven
    A new book by Ms van der Hoeven is always something to look forward to, and The Crane Bag does not disappoint. Part of the Moon Books Pagan Portals series of short introductory texts, the Crane Bag is a guide to use of ritual tools within Druid practice. I wont give too much away, but the Crane Bag is a significant symbol within Celtic Mythology, created used by the sea god Manannan to hold all the great treasures of the land - similarly a Druid could create a special bag to hold ritual tools.
    Joanna's clear and concise writing style makes the book both engaging and informative. Her suggestions of both the rituals elements and suggestions of specific tools are both sensible and wise. I particularly liked the meditation examples and guidance on altered states.The illustrations are also worth a mention.
    I highly recommend this book, as it will appeal to both novice and seasoned practitioner. ~ Vate Pathfollower, Amazon

  • Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
    Danu Forest
    I knew very little about Gwyn ap Nudd. This book is a good introduction to this specific gods and the lore, mythology and what is to be known about him. A very well researched starting point with interesting exercises. ~ Anna Maria Giacomasso, NetGalley

  • Travelling the Fairy Path
    Morgan Daimler
    Morgan's book is a bit of a departure from others in her series dealing with Fairy Witchcraft, in that this work is more personal, and written in a slightly different style, presenting the material in a more conversational manner. It's hugely informative, as are all of her books, and touches upon issues that are rarely mentioned in other books in the Neopagan world. Discussing the difference between spirits and fairies, how to work with verified or unverified personal gnosis, looking at the lore from the perspective of poetry and music as well as practical information on glamour, shape shifting and more, this book is a great addition and complement to her other works. There is even an entire compendium of ogham knowledge in the appendices, which is extremely useful. I always look forward to more works from this author, and highly recommend her to everyone in the Pagan community, as well as those interested in all things Celtic. ~ Joanna van der Hoeven, author of the best-selling The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid and The Hedge Druid's Craft

  • Shaman Pathways - What is Shamanism?
    Trevor Greenfield
    The collection of articles in What Is Shamanism? come from a variety of contributors with different experiences, backgrounds and opinions. It is an interesting read with a tease for further exploration about the books they've written. ~ Katherine Wood, MA,  co-author of The Hidden Worlds

  • Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
    Danu Forest
    Gwyn ap Nudd by Danu Forest from John Hunt publishing is part of the Pagan Portals series. It's a practical well researched history and magical meditation guide. It's written in a clear and understandable manner, well laid out in an easy to follow, logical format.

    Each of the chapters conclude with two or more practical exercises to increase the reader's awareness and spiritual growth. These are short practical guides which the reader can apply to his/her own life.

    The book begins with an introduction and background. The second - fifth chapters retell and expand on Gwyn ap Nudd in story and song down through the ages, including the Mabinogion and the wild hunt. Each of the chapters includes exercises for further exploration.

    The author's voice is soothing and easy to follow.

    A quote:

    Seek him in the reflections of starlight upon deep still water, and when you hear an owl screech in the night, or see the geese fly overhead on winter evenings … know that he is close. Close your eyes and feel the air on your skin, the promise of things unseen just a breath away.

    The author is also a poetess and it shows in her careful gentle use of language. The book is very soothing and enjoyable to read, whatever the reader's belief system and motivation in choosing to read it.

    The book is well researched enough to be appropriate support material for readers interested in the early pagan beliefs and oral traditions of the early British Isles as well as those interested in meditation and self exploration and internal spiritual growth.

    An interesting and unusual read.

    Four stars for the moving and lovely prose. ~ Annie Buchanan , Nonstop reader https://nonstopreaderbooks.blogspot.no/2017/10/gwyn-ap-nudd.html

  • Shaman Pathways - What is Shamanism?
    Trevor Greenfield
    Eleven authentic, insightful essays by established authors and practitioners in the field which discuss a variety of the questions and issues that are frequently raised about shamanism and animism. Another useful, delightful book from Moon Books ‘Shaman Pathways’ series, What is Shamanism is a compact treasure trove of material providing an excellent source of information and much food for thought for both practitioners and readers new to shamanism. ~ June Kent, Editor of Indie Shaman

  • Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
    Danu Forest
    The "Pagan Portals" series are just what you want in an introduction to a specific topic - clear, concise and chock full of useful information and exercises to put to good use. This book is no exception. The exercises are well-written and the information presented leaves the reader wanting to find out more about this rather dark deity,
    ~ Andrew McAuliffe-Shave, NetGalley

  • Travelling the Fairy Path
    Morgan Daimler
    If you really want to know the truth about fairies, Morgan Daimler’s books are the ones to turn to. She is renowned for her impeccable research as well as having years of genuine experience travelling the fairy path, which is exactly the subject of her latest book. While Fairies: A Guide to the Celtic Fair Folk demonstrated her historic and folkloric knowledge and Fairycraft: Following the Path of Fairy Witchcraft offered a practical way of combining traditional fairy lore with modern witchcraft, Traveling the Fairy Path offers the insights from a life of interacting with the Good Neighbours, including personal breakthroughs, mistakes and gnosis. Having had some encounters with the Fair Folk myself, this book absolutely resonated with me. Read it and heed Morgan’s advice, if you yourself feel drawn to the fairy road. ~ Lucya Starza is the author of Pagan Portals – Candle Magic and Pagan Portals – Poppets and Magical Dolls and writer at A Bad Witch’s Blog

  • Shaman Pathways - What is Shamanism?
    Trevor Greenfield
    Shamanism has often been seen as a complicated practise. This council of experts in the shamanic field point the reader towards a clear understanding of this beloved earth centred tradition, whilst sharing their wisdom, experiences and wealth of knowledge. A must-read for anyone who is serious about enriching their lives on many levels. ~ Barbara Meiklejohn-Free, The Highland Seer

  • Shaman Pathways - What is Shamanism?
    Trevor Greenfield
    A wide-ranging collection of essays that will be of interest to core shamans and others who want an overview of this new psychological approach to healing which, as some of the authors note, has made a huge impact on the western imagination in just the last 30 years or so of its existence. ~ Ross Heaven, author of Medicine for the Soul and Hummingbird's Journey to God

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