RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
- Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
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.
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
- Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
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
- Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food, A
another great book, just couldn't put it down, it cover everything from herbs, spices to meat eggs butter, things to make and what to do with egg shells and bones, this book is truly worth having in your book collection. ~ CosmicDancer, Amazon
- Pagan Portals - The Crane Bag
Joanna van der Hoeven
Joanna van der Hoeven is a practicing Druid and the cofounder of Druid College UK. In "Pagan Portals: The Crane Bag: A Druid's Guide to Ritual Tools and Practices" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to write a truly 'user friendly' introduction to the ritual tools and practices found in the Druid tradition. Held deeply within Celtic mythology, the crane bag is both a symbol of sovereignty, as well as an item containing the ritual tools of the Druid. With the proper use, it can further the Druid in working with the tides of nature, finding his or her own place in the environment, living in balance, harmony and peace. In ritual, these tools and practices can guide one to deeper levels of meaning and understanding within the tradition, helping the Druid on his or her journey through life and towards integration with the natural world. Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Pagan Portals: The Crane Bag" is especially recommended for the novice student of Druidic Lore and would prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to personal, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Druidic Lore that "Pagan Portals: The Crane Bag" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.61). ~ Midwest Book Reviews
- Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
Interesting book on Gwyn Ap Nudd. Part of the Pagan Portals series. I liked this. I'm not a pagan so a lot of the information in the book was new and interesting to learn. It's easy to follow especially if you're unfamiliar with the fables. I'll seek out more of these titles
~ Kirsty White, For The Love Of Books
- Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch
I love the authors style of writing. I could really relate to her. Great book ~ Noodle Top, Amazon
- Pagan Portals - The Cailleach
I absolutely love this book. A really fascinating read. Guiding us through the mythology and author's thoughts on this goddess. We travel with her through Scotland, Isle of Man, Ireland and England, as well as her reach around the world. The connection betwenn Callileach and Brighid is looked at. At the end there is guidance for those who wish to work with her.
This book is well written and gives idea, but it does not come across as my way is the only way. It simple encourages you to find your own path with this goddess. ~ Samantha, Amazon
- Pagan Portals - Pan
Melusine Draco’s Pan: Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches is a fantastic little introduction to one of the most beloved gods in paganism and witchcraft. Exploring Pan throughout history, mythology, literature, religion and the craft, Melusine traces Pan from classical era history to Christianity’s adoption of his image for that of their Devil. She showcases Pan in his role of the Horned God of the Witches in the writings and beliefs of Margaret Murray, Dion Fortune, Robert Cochrane, Nigel Jackson, Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner and more. Melusine also shares some of her personal gnosis and experiences with Pan in this book and she isn’t shy to delve into both Pan’s free-spirited and joyful side as well as his darker wild side.
The book touches on Pan’s myths, his home of Arcadia and his companions such as nymphs and satyrs. The book is full of a wide variety of classical prayers, paeans and hymns to Pan, including some that I’ve never came across. One of the things I found the most interesting was her comparison of traditional prayers to Pan versus certain Catholic prayers of the Church. Melusine does a great job of providing accurate historical information on Pan without the dry and boring writing style of academia scholars. Falling just barely under 100 pages long this book can easily be read in one sitting and is perfect for those of you out there with limited time to read or that might just have a short attention span.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/07/15/review-pan/#Q45yAGDc3FOZXfea.99 ~ Mat Auryn, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/07/15/review-pan/
- Deed Without a Name, A
The problem with a lot of books of this nature is that they’re either huge scholarly tomes or archaic secondary sources (such as witch-trial transcripts), they assume that you’ve read a ton of these armchair scholarly works or they’re overtly pretentious and full of fairly unpractical or unrealistic rituals and practices.
Lee Morgan’s A Deed Without A Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft is not a book like this. It lays out the fact that traditional witchcraft comes from folk magic and uses a poetic and gnostic reclamation of literature and history, with creative, ecstatic practices incorporated.
Tying together scholarship, folklore, the witch as ‘other’, witchcraft as a shamanic and ecstatic tradition of Europe and knowledge of historical and modern witchcraft mystery cults – this is a fantastic starting point for anyone who is interested in pre-Wiccan traditional witchcraft. In fact, I know a couple of friends who list this as required reading for their new witchcraft students. This book will give you a great starting point to jump into other books on the topic and fills in a lot of the blanks not addressed in other sabbatical witchcraft books. The book is full of beautiful wood-cut images that gives this book a very cool yet anachronistic vibe, which is very suiting for the topic of the book.
Despite the book touching upon so many traditional witchcraft themes such as the fetch-beast and familiars, the crossroads pact, demon lovers, hedge-riding, faery-doctoring, necromancy, exorcism and so much more – the author doesn’t puff themselves up as some mystical spooky expert on a super restrictive secret cult of darkness, but rather presents these topics in a very grounded and clear manner. It is also accessible to anyone who feels the call of those spirits and that work without a need for a folklore degree or a six-figure salary needed to buy a $300 goat-skin bound tome with a gold-leaf sigil on it limited to 100 copies.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/07/09/review-deed-without-name/#mr2wdPJuJxv8fblU.99 ~ Mar Auryn, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/07/09/review-deed-without-name/#mr2wdPJuJxv8fblU.99
- Journey to the Dark Goddess
Jane Meredith takes the reader down to the Underworld to confront and heal one’s inner darkness in Journey to the Dark Goddess: How To Return To Your Soul. Focusing on the goddesses that exemplify the archetype of the Dark Goddess, Jane Meredith does the Shadow Self justice by not condemning or neglecting it, but rather viewing it as a divine aspect of the self and finding the gifts of healing and integration through confronting and working with it. While the books seems focused on women as an audience, I think anyone willing to push themselves out of their comfort zone for the purpose of healing can gain something from this book, regardless of gender.
Drawing on myths of dark goddesses and their journey into the Underworld such as Inanna, Psyche and Persephone – Meredith illustrates the gifts that come with exploring one’s own darkness with honesty. The book is a mix of neo-paganism, Jungian theory and shamanistic journeying. Dark goddesses demand a lot of internal work, work that often feels like sacrifice – but it is here that we gain their greatest gifts and blessings – that of personal transformation and liberation. Full of fantastic exercises and wisdom, the book bravely tackles some very difficult subjects such as depression, fear, existential crises, and trauma. Best of all, the book is full of anecdotes from the author sharing her own journeys to the underworld and her own journey of healing.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/07/06/review-journey-dark-goddess/#Xt72yVUC8Sl5FQLB.99 ~ Mat Auryn, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/07/06/review-journey-dark-goddess/
- Goddess in America, The
This is a greatly needed book on the relationship between the Goddess and America and a fascinating read. The Goddess in America: The Divine Feminine in Cultural Context edited by Trevor Greenfield is an anthology of various writers. The book is divided into four main parts; The Native Goddess, The Migrant Goddess, The Relational Goddess, and the Contemporary Goddess. The Native Goddess touches upon the influence matriarchal focused native tribes have had on modern goddess spirituality and feminism. The following chapters discuss the Goddess within Cherokee, Hopi and Mayan cultures.
The second part of the book, The Migrant Goddess, begins with tackling the topic of cultural appropriation – a great segway from the first part of the book discussing Native traditions. Thought-provoking and difficult questions and issues regarding cultural appropriation by those in Goddess Movements is presented and left as an open question, without any concrete answer. This is followed up with chapters discussing “imported” or “migrant” Goddesses that came from other non-American cultures such as Ireland, Africa, Creole Voodoo, Minoan and Hebrew traditions and how this has influenced the diversity of Goddess worship in modern day America. The third part of the book, The Relational Goddess discusses the Goddess in relation to very diverse areas of modern American spiritual life; Feminism, Modern Shamanistic Practices, Christianity, Psychology and Witchcraft.
The final section of the book, The Contemporary Goddess discusses how the Goddess has influenced pop culture – often through veiled guises. Next how Goddesses have changed since coming to America is discussed, examining different retellings of myths, reimagining attributes and reinterpretations of the Goddess as she made her way to America. The Goddess in relation to the Reclaiming Tradition with its focus on activism is discussed by a Reclaiming Witch. After that the importance of modern day priestesses is explored. Next up the Dark Goddesses and their relation to the goth sub-culture is examined. The book finishes with my favourite entry by Vivienne Moss, which creatively explores and honours nine women in American History who are revered in this as embodiments of different types of Goddess-hood, being likened almost to modern day saints and includes ways to honor their legacies today.
~ Mat Auryn, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/matauryn/2017/06/07/review-goddess-america/#hk24QAi0HbxwRlG2.99
- Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food, A
So funny! But also informative, insightful, and, I hope, fun! My granddaughter watched the Amazon original series "Just Add Magic", so I was delighted to find this book! It gives information about the various foods, what their properties are, what they can be used for, and also some recipes. My granddaughter can't wait to cook with me! Measurements are British/European, but there is a handy conversion chapter in the back. And Rachel has a great sense of humor, which I enjoyed while reading. ~ Karen R Creveston, Amazon
- Pagan Portals - Australian Druidry
I’ll admit, when I saw this title I believed it was a contradiction in terms. Maybe not a direct contradiction, but when I hear “druid” I think of pre-Christian western Europeans, not Australia.
Some of the most cherished seasonal celebrations in Western/European culture don’t make a ton of sense in the southern hemisphere. With the natural seasons inverted, celebrating Christmas in mid-summer with all its northerly symbols of snow, reindeer, and sleighs seems a bit off. I was pleased to see this very confusion inspired Julie Brett’s work in this book.
I don’t follow a druidic path, but I enjoy reading and learning about belief systems centered in nature. The ideas presented aren’t new, but the fluidity of practice described here feels truer than clinging to what’s familiar for familiarity's sake. It feels brave, embracing a sparse map of belief to find individual meaning in the land you’re in.
There’s enough in the book for anyone with an interest in druidry. If you’re a fan of plant and animal symbolism, she includes some of that. If you’re in search of ritual structures flexible enough to follow you through your travels, there’s some of that too.
I particularly enjoyed Brett’s suggestions on searching for symbolism for yourself, though observing and recording the natural forces at work in your life. I live in a desert. Though December - February is still winter in the US, seasons in our climate mean the opposite of what they mean in most parts of the country. I look forward to using some of these tools to embrace where I live.
There’s little in this book that could cause offense. Respect is reinforced frequently, especially with regard to native peoples’ sacred spaces and symbols.
I’d happily recommend this to someone interested in learning about current druidic practice. Yes, it’s focused on Australia, but the author makes every natural location accessible by sharing how she worked to make Australia accessible. It is well-rounded instruction, useful anywhere.
I’d also give this book to anyone with a desire to connect more with nature and with history. There are wonderful suggestions about record keeping, setting aside time to meditate, and developing intuitive observation skills. ~ AR BECKERT, Expand Your Shelf http://www.arbeckert.com/20170913/australian-druidry-connecting-with-the-sacred-landscape-by-julie-brett/
- Pagan Portals - Kitchen Witchcraft
Witchcraft clearly set out for the home and kitchen ~ Linda Woodard, Amazon
- Pagan Portals - Animal Magic
Lots of new information. ~ CJ, Amazon
- Witchcraft...into the wilds
Whether you are experienced in the ways of the Craft, new, or somewhere in between, Rachel Patterson’s Witchcraft into the Wilds is for you! If you are a regular reader of Patterson’s works, you know that her style is very personable, presenting her ideas in a very conversational, approachable manner, and this volume is no exception. She does not take a prescriptive approach to sharing her knowledge, but instead presents her suggestions in a way that encourages the reader to trust in her or his own intuition. This book is packed full of wonderful, practical information, ideas, and suggestions that will help the reader make stronger connections to all that nature has to offer the practicing Pagan. Another feature of this book that I truly appreciate is that Patterson has made it interactive with the reader, offering journal prompts throughout the chapters that encourage the reader to explore her or his thoughts about information in the book while reading it, but also to continue the journaling throughout their personal journey with the Craft. If you are drawn to working more with nature, or you are interested in learning more about nature’s role in magic, this is a must-have book for your collection. ~ Paul Chamness Miller
- Pagan Portals - The Hedge Druid's Craft
Joanna van der Hoeven
This book is an absolute must for anyone seeking to deepen their magical nature or set out upon a path to connect with the world around them. Jo is incredibly inclusive and covers aspects of witchcraft, Wicca and druidism interspersed with an alamanac-style folklore juxtaposed against modern science and a common-sense realism about the modern world we find ourselves in.
As a witch on an eclectic path, and a trainee Bard, many of Jo’s words and experiences really resonated with me. Like Jo, I have always been a witch, but appreciate this can mean different things to different people, and I also have found that some Druidic paths can at first appear dry and academic, but with this volume you can sink your toes into the earth and reach high into the sky to touch the stars; to feel what being a Hedge-Druid can really mean; how it can change your world.
Jo works with herbs, plants and animals, examining all types of creature, from what we might consider the lowest, such as insects and invertebrates, to the magnificent mammals such as stags and horses. She reminds us that each has a vital place in the world, and in its eco-system, and even shows us how we might go about finding our own animal ally.
As well as the earthly beings we can connect to, Jo teaches us how to connect to the celestial beings; the sun, moon and stars, and the aspects of our earth that they control, such as the tides and the seasons.
Jo speaks to us of the inherent goodness in some people; how we can look past the horrors that some humans have brought upon the world and see the hard work of those (including many druids and those on similar paths) who are trying to fix the damage and repair the connection between humans and nature.
Jo reminds us that we can fill each day with 'the magical and the mystical', and gives us the tools and knowledge to create our own deeper understanding of this truly wondrous world we live in. ~ Mabh Savage
- Moon Books Gods & Goddesses Colouring Book
This book is fantastic,; if you have a interest in God's and goddesses you will probably know the ones in here but having an image to colour is so much fun. Every God and goddess has a brief description of then and a little poem or verse about them on the opposite page .
There are many possibilities with this book,; it would be fantastic for beginners to learn about them while they colour,; pages could be removed and added to personal journals, you could complete the whole book and once done it would be a beautiful reference book to use and refer to when needed,, it would be a fantastic tool for teaching children and grandchildren about the gods and goddesses too
The paper is lovley and thick too
The only downside I can see is the pages are not perforated and they are doubled sided but if care is taken with your mediums you can still easily create a wonderful book xxxx ~ Dark Moon, Amazon
- Pagan Portals - Gwyn ap Nudd
Danu Forest eloquently places the shadowy figure of Gwyn on the secure foundation
which he deserves – the ancient myths of Britain, Wales and Ireland – enabling
him to take his place as the psychopomp (soul guide) between the worlds. Nicholas
R. Mann, author of‘The Isle of Avalon’ and 'Druid Magic'. ~ Nicholas. R. Mann
- Reclaiming Civilization
Who would have thought a book about philosophy could be an utterly entrancing read? Actually, not just an entrancing read, but the perfect holiday reading for anyone who likes to think about stuff as well as be transported in the imagination to distant places and distant times
Reclaiming Civilization by Brendan Myers did all of that for me. It starts with Brendan sitting by a lake in the Canadian wilds, pondering about civilisation in general and about whether to return to the city or stay out there in nature, living a simple life.
His ponderings lead him to consider how our ancient ancestors lived when they were nomadic hunter-gatherers, and how civilisations have developed over the millennia to where we are today.
As publisher Moon Books says about the book on its website: "What is civilization, and is it a good thing? It’s a name for the most glorious of humanity’s monuments and cultural achievements; yet it also speaks of the conquests, oppressions, and empires which make their glory possible. This book explains the essence of civilisation, then asks what’s wrong with it, and considers what can be done about it."
It is a journey through time and through beliefs about social interaction and social structures. It is a journey of discovery that explains how civilisations break down and the problems they can have, but it also shows the benefits civilisation brings. It is not a nihilistic, depressing book.
And Reclaiming Civilization is also about Brendan's actual travels in the real world - first to the lakes, then to an isolated location in Eastern Europe, where he spends glorious summer weeks in unspoilt countryside with just two dogs for company.
Brendan shows there are many illusions about civilisation that need to be seen through, but he also shows that once those illusions are gone, we can work to create an environment that brings out the best in people and allows us to thrive in a society that works for the good of all.
If you are about to head out for an August break from the rat-race, take this book with you. Enjoy it, and mull over how to start reclaiming civilisation when you return. ~ Lucya Starza, A Bad Witch's blog