Magickware\’s Pagan Book Reviews

September 24, 2006

The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 4:41 pm

The Red BookThe Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark by Sera J. Beak; Jossey-Bass (Wiley)

Ms. Beak has an unusual take on finding your spiritual path. She takes bits and pieces from all the big religions as well as from some lesser-known ones. She throws all this together into a most original but deeply held belief system. She claims her approach is not new but echoes the experiences and insights from those who came before her on many different spiritual paths. Her voice is light hearted and serious at the same time. The reader will find the light bulb going off in their head while at the same time engaged in a belly laugh at Ms. Beak turn of phrase. She is seriously irreverent but makes her point in a lasting manner.

The book is broken down into sections that have such humorous names as “Are you really gonna eat that?” and “Catapulting your inner waitress.” Each chapter focuses on one aspect of figuring out and maintaining a spiritual path. The seeker (or reader) is guided to fix her intent and in finding a Divine Power that resonates personally, to deepening her connection with the Divine Aspect in her life through meditation and gratitude. Delicious tidbits from all kinds of world belief systems are used to illustrate the author’s points. Jesus and Kali are mentioned with equal reverence and respect. Ancient text and modern interpretation are both offered up to the reader to use or discard as needed.

At the very end of the book is a resources guide. Divide by the book’s chapters it lists recommended books to further investigate the points covered in that chapter.

The book is very tongue-in-cheek, but especially accessible to those who are just starting to search for their own spiritual pathway. Since the author doesn’t focus on any one religion but talks about many the reader is left to choose which way resonates best for her self. The book is written for a female audience, but an open-minded male would get just as much out of it. This book is definitely for the brand new seeker who is unsure what she believes and wants the freedom to decide for her self what to do.

I found the filigree design elements on the pages distracting and in some places they were too dark, making the text difficult to read. But I have old lady eyes and I think I need to get my eyeglasses updated again. The book is aimed at a younger audience, so perhaps they wouldn’t have as much trouble with the legibility as I did.

September 23, 2006

The Pocket Guide to Rituals

Filed under: Book Reviews — magickware @ 5:39 pm

The Pocket Guide to RitualsThe Pocket Guide to Rituals: Magickal References at Your Fingertips by Kerri Connor; New Page Books (Career Press)
Kerri Connor believes that celebrating life’s little moments are as important as celebrating the 8 Sabbats. In her brief introduction she lists her four distinct reasons to create ritual. 1. Focused attention and energy; 2. Spiritual expression; 3. Show of thankfulness; and 4. Communion with others. Following the explanations for these four reasons, she has a section entitled “How to Use This Book.”

Part One of this short volume is for rituals of life, for such life passages as familiar as birth, handfasting and croning, but also some surprisingly interesting events such as getting a new car, new job or new home. Part Two has rituals of nature featuring such things as sunrise and sunset, the seasons, the elements and astrological occurrences such as a meteor shower or eclipse. Each event has listings of herbs, oils, correspondences, suggested themes and colors that can be used to create a ritual. Also included is a sample ritual for each written by the author.

Appendix A explains how to write the words to your own rituals and appendix B is a simple worksheet template to help focus a beginner on the what, why and how when planning a ritual. There is also a useful index for quick location of specific information listed by event.

This book is a good reference source for someone who is just learning to write rituals. It is very basic volume and would be of little use to someone who has been creating rituals for a while. With any volume claiming correspondences for colors, stones or herbs, it is best to double check against other sources.

I am currently searching for menarche rituals to share with my soon-to-be-a-woman 12 year old, so I was hopeful of finding something of interest here. Personally, I found the sample rituals to be rather bland and generic. I would hope that someone using this book would create something much more personal and meaningful for their own specific needs.

Kerri Connor is also the author of The Pocket Spell Creator, another reference guide for creating your own spells that is similar in structure to this book.

September 20, 2006

Book Of Doom (Diadem Worlds of Magic – Book 10)

Filed under: Book Reviews,Children's Book,Fiction — magickware @ 4:44 pm

Book of DoomBook Of Doom by John Peel; Llewellyn Worldwide

Book Ten of Diadem Worlds of Magic got off to a slow and rocky start. Since this was the first time I had read a book from this series, I was at a bit of a loss as to who the good guys and who the bad guys were. I guess the proceeding book left off at a cliffhanger or something, but I’d have to say honestly, if I hadn’t been reviewing this volume, I would have stopped at chapter one. Even the prologue did little to bring me up-to-date on the main characters.

I stuck with it though and by chapter four or five, the action started to pick up. Fans of this series will probably be very happy with the continuation of the storyline, but newcomers most likely will give up in frustration as personalities trade places in the past and present without warning.

In this installment, our heroes are fighting for their lives, against an evil machine-mind and their Arch Enemy, Nantor, who has escaped his prison from a jewel on the Diadem and taken over the body of Pixel. The other heroes are left to defeat the evil machine mind, capture Nantor and restore him into the jewel before the shredding of Magic destroys the universe.

Once the reader gets past the first few chapters, things start picking up in pace and interest. Fans of The Diadem Worlds of Magic series won’t be disappointed, but if you are new to them, get the previous books first or you’ll be lost as to who is who.

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