The Earth Deck

The Earth Deck
by Gaiamore
2003

 

Nature divination, according to The Earth Deck creator Gail Morrison (also known as Gaiamore), is “the art of listening, seeing, feeling, sensing, understanding, and opening to the wisdom of the Earth.”

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Llewellyn’s 2006 Annuals

 

Llewellyn’s 2006 Annuals
by Llewellyn
St. Paul, 2005

 

The Llewellyn almanacs form the literary heart of this publisher’s annual titles. These are the ones that offer the meatiest articles and the most magic, sorted by theme.

They all make excellent desk references, well worth keeping for use in later years. I happen to have articles in all of these, but I’ll only be highlighting the work of other authors here.

The Magical Almanac subdivides into articles for winter, spring, summer, and fall. Some of this year’s more interesting ones include “Pagan Rosaries and Prayer Beads” by Olivia O’Meir, “The Origin of Anubis” by Denise Dumars, “Star Power” by James Kambos, and “Wizard Marks” by Elizabeth Hazel. The almanac section falls between the spring and summer sections. It features a calendar, time changes, lunar phases and moon signs, sabbats, world holidays, incense and color of the day. The calendar is laid out with one week per page, and a little bit of space to jot notes amidst the cluster of data included. The Magical Almanac is the best all-around choice for Pagans in general, particularly novice-intermediate level.

The Herbal Almanac has a much narrower focus; it covers the magical, medicinal, and culinary uses of plants. It does not have a calendar section, but does include detailed tables of the moon, along with info on the quarters and signs — a must for lunar gardening. Articles subdivide into the categories of Growing and Gathering Herbs, Culinary

Herbs, Herbs for Health, Herbs for Beauty, Herb Crafts, and Herb History, Myth, and Magic. They are longer and more in-depth than those in other annuals. My favorites include “Traditional English Gardens” by Chandra Moira Beal, “Chocolate” by Sheri Richarson, “Bug Off” by Dallas Jennifer Cobb, “Henna Beauty Treatments” by Stephanie Rose Bird, “A Remembrance Potpourri” by Laurel Reufner, and “The Magic of the Morning Glory” by Tammy Sullivan. The Herbal Almanac best suits intermediate to advanced practitioners, such as a hedgewitch or herbalist — or a city Pagan hungry for vicarious gardening.

The Spell-a-Day Almanac explores everyday magic through spells and recipes, rituals and meditations, holidays and lore. Each month begins with an essay on its seasonal qualities. Individual days note the lunar phases, other astrological phenomena, and any holidays. Incense and color of the day also appear. The main body is devoted to a brief spell, meditation, or other magical activity. Finally there is a generous space for notes. Full and New Moons get special attention, with slightly longer entries. The Spell-a-Day Almanac offers timely, easy-to-do magic related to everyday concerns. This makes it ideal for novice or intermediate practitioners who want to develop their spellcasting and other magical skills.

Elizabeth Barrette.


» Originally appeared in PanGaia #43

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Animals Divine Tarot

Animals Divine Tarot
by Linda Hunt
Llewellyn, 2005

 

Long ago all humans had totemic connections to wild animals.

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Taking Up the Runes

Taking Up the Runes  
by Diana Paxson Weiser
2004

 

I have been awaiting the release of this book for over a year with great anticipation and for once, I was not disappointed. Paxson’s “Taking Up the Runes” is a thorough, ingenious, and most of all refreshingly practical guide to exploring and understanding this key element of Northern magico-religious practice. I would place this book at the forefront of modern runic literature. Not only does it hold its own in the company of such well-respected works such as Aswynn’s “Northern Magic and Mysteries” and Thorsson’s “Futhark” but in many ways, it surpasses them.

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Teenage Witch’s Book of Shadows

Teenage Witch’s Book of Shadows
by Anna de Benzelle and Mary Neasham
Green Magic

 

Teenage Witch’s Book of Shadows was much easier to read than it was to review.

I am usually a person of strong opinions — about everything.

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I-Ching Holitzka Deck

I-Ching Holitzka Deck
by Marlies and Klaus Holitzka
United States Games Systems

 

My copy of Wilhelm’s I-Ching, Book of Changes is stored securely wrapped in red silk; the cloth is said to inhibit any impact from external influences. I haven’t touched the book in years. But, one of the last times I did, my husband and I followed the instruction: “The Superior Man will seek his fortune in the south and west.” At the time, we were in the midst deciding whether or not to accept a job offer that would move our family from Boston to a land-locked city in Ohio. We took the advice. In retrospect, it was a good decision.

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