Magickware\’s Pagan Book Reviews

August 18, 2008

Sea Magic: Connecting with the Ocean’s Energy by Sandra Kynes

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — magickware @ 11:40 am

Sea Magic: Connecting with the Ocean’s Energy $15.95 US ISBN13 978-0738713533 197 pages Llewellyn Worldwide

seamagicI grew up on the East Coast spitting distance from the Long Island Sound. Until my move to Missouri in 2000, I had always lived within the reach, sound and smell of the ocean. So when I saw this book I got very excited. One of the things about living in the Mid West I have never been able to get used to was not having the sea close by.

Ms. Kynes has penned a thorough guide to connect with the mystical magic of the deep salt waters of the world. With chapters titled such things as “The Call of the Ocean” and “The Moon, Meditations and Everyday Life,” she has shifted the shore inland to any one who hears the siren’s song.

The chapters are broken down into manageable bits that include journaling exercises, meditations and facts and fiction about all things oceanic. Deities, mythological creatures, seashells and sea animals are all in this small but fact-filled book. And for those of us – like me – who are days away from the nearest seashore, she has included instructions for bringing the coast to our daily existences.

My only complaint about this book is the endless lists of correspondences or items without any break. It really is a personal preference, because I am sure some people find these things very useful, but for reading purposes, they can become tedious and dull. I’d love to see more anecdotal passages included in these sections to liven them up. In the back matter are a couple of appendices (one for ‘mind mapping’ and one for runes and ogham) and a bibliography for further study.

Recommended.

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August 15, 2008

New Book News

Filed under: Children's Book,Uncategorized — magickware @ 11:08 am
Tags: ,

Hi everybody. I know I’ve been scarce around here. I have a good reason, though!

I’m working on the art for my 4th picture book! The publisher has placed it on the web site for pre-orders. Check it out!

Rabbit’s Song by SJ Tucker & Trudy Herring

Magical Child Books – Rabbit’s Song

I am super excited! Well…back to the drafting table.

Blessings,
Lyon

March 30, 2008

Nine Designs for Inner Peace: The Ultimate Guide to Meditating with Color, Shape, and Sound by Sarah Tomlinson

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 11:44 am

ninedesigns.jpg Nine Designs for Inner Peace: The Ultimate Guide to Meditating with Color, Shape, and Sound
$24.95 US
ISBN13 978-1594771941 192 pages
Destiny Books (Inner Traditions)

Nine Designs for Inner Peace is a wonderful introduction to Yantra drawing, painting, chanting and meditation. Everything is clearly described with instructions that are easy to follow for even a non-artist.

Part 1 of the book explains the why and how of creation of Yantra art and meditation. The nine Yantra designs each have their own chapter in the mid section of the section. Color plates through out the book clarify the instructions on drafting and painting each design. And for those who don’t feel up to the challenge of starting the designs from scratch, line art templates are provided in the appendix.

Part 2 delves into the background of Yantra practice. History and personal practice are both touched upon briefly. There is also a chapter on where and how to bring the Yantra colors into your daily life, such as the best day to wear red and where to hang the finished art in your home for best effect.

As an artist, I am very visual and think mostly in pictures and colors. Meditation has always been a bit of a struggle for me. Until this book came along. What was once a mystery has moved into the realm of possibility. Creating and coloring a Yantra design for a specific meditation has been a spiritual awakening. Daily meditation is no longer a chore but an anticipated retreat from the cares of daily life.

My only complaint is the discrepancy between the written word and the color plates in some of the color descriptions. Perhaps as an artist, I am being too fussy, but I found it confusing when the suggested color materials didn’t always match up with the sample pictured. In the long run, I suppose it doesn’t matter. The practice of drawing and painting with the prescribed chants more than makes up for such slight errors in color matching.

If traditional meditation has always left you with a feeling of frustration this book may open up new avenues for quality time with your Higher Beings.

February 19, 2008

Priestess of the Forest by Ellen Evert Hopman

Filed under: Book Reviews,Fiction — magickware @ 6:07 am

priestessforest.jpgPriestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey by Ellen Evert Hopman
$18.95 US $21.95 CAN
ISBN13 978-0-7387-1262-8 360 pages
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. http://www.llewellyn.com

A masterful written, fictional, love story based in third-century Ireland, this book animates the basic life style of the ancient Celts. Penned along the same lines as The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Priestess of the Forest examines historical class systems, symbols and life passages as seen through the eyes of the Druid class.

The author, Ellen Evert Hopman, currently the co-chief of the Order of the Whiteoak (Ord na Darach Gile) masterfully moves from writing non-fiction to this historical fantasy. Her aim was to engage the reader while teaching the ways of Druidic practice, ancient Celtic daily life, rites and rituals.

The story begins with the main character, Ethne, alone in her woodland hut. Her peace is shattered when a seriously wounded Fennid warrior is brought to her for healing. As she battles to keep him from death, she falls in love with him and he for her as he regains his strength. Unfortunately for them, the world they know is being invaded by a new religion, one that demands they leave behind their own beliefs and practices.

As with all good narratives, there are good guys and bad guys. Ethne is asked by the high Priest and Priestess to become the King’s bride. As Queen, they hope she will keep the Druidic ways strong in the land. Since we know the book is a historical fiction, the new religion of Christianity will win out in the end, but I kept hoping for a different conclusion. In the end the bad guys win, but Ethne’s personal story has a happy, if bittersweet, finale.

I was fascinated by the brief author interview, which followed the story. Ms. Hopman goes into detail about historical Druids as well as their modern day counter parts. She hopes that this book will be used to further teachings of the rites and passages she included as samples throughout the story line. Also included in the book’s back matter is a very useful recommended reading list of books divided by various categories.

If you are looking for some light reading, but want more than a bit of fluff, this is the book for you. This is a masterfully crafted tale that teaches as well as entertains.

February 4, 2008

The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals by Florence Mégemont

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 10:38 am
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metagemscryst1.jpg The Metaphysical Book of Gems and Crystals
$24.95
ISBN 159477214-2 (ISBN13 978-159477214-6) 312 pages
Healing Arts Press (Inner Traditions) http://www.healingartspress.com

This book is beautifully presented with full color images of each crystal or gem on its own description page. The book is divided into three sections. Part one lists chemical composition, color, principle deposits, hardness and density immediately under the image. Following that are brief paragraphs with bold headings of ‘Etymology and General Description,’ ‘Therapeutic Uses,’ and lastly, ‘Zodiac Correspondences.’ These listings are generally between two and three pages. Some include additional images of the rock being discussed. This section makes up the bulk of the book. Also in this section are chapters on the use of, and care of crystals.

Part Two is devoted to correspondences of the charkas, colors or zodiac. Part three is devoted to the treatment of specific conditions be they physical, emotional or spiritual.

For the most part I found the images, although beautifully presented, useless. Some show raw crystal, some show finished stones and others are very tight shots of the striations of the stones, more like modern art than useful in identifying that particular specimen.

Some entries contained contradictory information. For example in alabaster under therapeutic uses one paragraph says “The calcium contained in alabaster would be as effective as talcum, but because it’s often impure and can contain other, more toxic substances, it’s better not to use it.” In the paragraph immediately following, powdered alabaster, diluted in water, is recommend as a daily dosage for a week to relieve mood swings.

I found the book difficult to use unless one is already familiar with each stone or gem. Part three lists each entry by condition rather than by stone, so if you have a stone but don’t know what its particular uses are, you need to read each entry to see if your stone shows up under a particular condition.

The portion of the book devoted to charkas was interesting, as were the color language and zodiac entries but at almost $25 for this book, aren’t enough to justify the expense of a purchase.

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