Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore- REVIEW

This quirky books tell the story of one soul- Milo and his nearly 10 000 incarnations. Each chapter tells the story of a different incarnation and the strange experiences and characters he encounters- everything from being eaten alive by a shark, to travelling the cosmos. Milo is in love with Death herself- Suzie, who he meets after he dies and the short stints he spends with her before moving on to his next life. He encounters her in each of his incarnations, although he does not remember her. They are madly in love with each other, but it is their complicated relationship of her being Death and him almost finishing his incarnational cycle that they devise a plan in order for them to be together. The plan is for Milo to achieve Perfection- meaning he can surpass becoming part of the Oneness of the universe and can therefore be with his true love. We accompany Milo during his different soul experiences, sometimes laughing, sometimes relishing in the simple beauty of life, and sometimes grieving alongside him. As someone who has always been fascinated with the concept of reincarnation, I thought this book while appearing to be yet another mystical fiction read, turned out to be a much deeper metaphysical exploration of the human experience. Appreciating the fragility of life while living up to your soul’s contract is a delicate balance we are all hoping to achieve.

It is easy when reading this book to jump to conclusions and cringe when we see Milo making a mistake and smiling when he’s done good……if only life were that easy. In the beginning of the book Milo does not want to stop reincarnating as he tells Death and some other elusive cosmic characters that “who doesn’t want to live?” What becomes apparent, is that Milo truly wasn’t living, he didn’t treasure every single moment of his lives because somewhere deep down inside he knew he would be back for another turn again. I believe the whole concept of reincarnation comes with a massive responsibility- we all like the idea of being recycled when we die, but somehow, that can become a cop out and excuse for not living a full life. Perfection- the state Milo is so desperately trying to achieve is not something we strive for, it’s something we must become.

The Sacred Power in Your Name by Ted Andrews: REVIEW * A Must Read!!

If you are interested in learning the metaphysical meaning of your name, then this book is must read! Traditional name meaning resources stick to historical and cultural meanings, while this book includes the spiritual essence behind your name. Our names are like magical words that carry vibrations and codes which determines the path of our life. The power and sounds of words are like spells which weave our destiny and purpose here on earth. Each vowel and sound carries power that enables us to awaken to our energetic patterns revealing secret information about our soul and essence. By learning the esoteric meaning of your name, this allows you to use your name as a talisman, spell, magical tool for enlightenment, expansion, and evolution. A great portion of the book focused on the history of magical and sacred naming practices, and also spent a great deal of time on sacred vowels. In ancient times, vowels were considered the most sacred as consonants cannot be discerned without vowels. The primary vowel sounds in your name- especially your first name tells you which elemental kingdom you have come to work with, and they can assist you in expressing your own creativity. Each vowel is linked to an element and combining this with your astrology is helpful and insightful. For example; I have a lot of water in my Astrology, but my primary vowels are Ether- so I have come to link the Ether with all 4 elements- bringing everything into balance.

There was a great discussion on the esoteric meanings of the letters themselves which was both unique and incredibly eye opening along with both the positive and negative traits of each vowel.  The sound meanings of the vowels were also included along with the musicality of names. The best part of the book was the Metaphysical Dictionary of Names. Common names were included alphabetically and provided a page long analysis of the spiritual meaning. This was profound and enlightening. Looking at my own name, I could see just how accurate and eye opening it was for me. I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like to learn more about their name, who is thinking about changing their name, or is in the process of choosing a name for a baby. A remarkable read! And as the famous saying goes “know thyself.”

 

The Voynich Manuscript- REVIEW

This is the most comprehensive book I have read about the Voynich Manuscript which is a manuscript written in an undecipherable language featuring sketchings of herbs, and cosmic imagery. The theories, researchers, and facts about this strange ambiguous book are featured throughout this quick read. Detailing the book’s personal and academic history allows the reader to come to their own conclusions, as the book was written with a scholarly objective perspective. I loved that the book included pictures of the Voynich Manuscript which is a nice added bonus and allows the reader to conduct their own research. I was hoping for a more concrete theory and or more succinct answers, however, as an introductory book- it was both informative and concise. Overall, this was an easy read that provided a nice over-view about this mysterious manuscript. I would highly recommend this for anyone who has ever been curious about its origins and full history.

The Magickal Family by Monica Crosson- REVIEW

The Magickal Family by Monica Crosson is THE manual to use if you want to raise magickal children and imbue your life with a bit of practical magick. The author told the story of how she raised her own magical family successfully while providing many tips and advice on how to incorporate modern day witchery and paganism into your life. Her approach was not forceful and did not come across as preachy or intimidating, rather, her tips on how to add magic into children’s lives were more covert and disguised as fun little games or child friendly crafts. While many people will not feel comfortable going to the extreme the author did by making every single aspect of their child’s lives paganistic, tips such as following the Wheel of the Year, or honouring Mother Nature, or grounding exercises accompanied by cutesy songs were much more realistic ,as opposed to running naked under the full moon. What I especially loved about this book was the underlying message- that honouring your child’s individuality and uniqueness is what magic is all about. I appreciated the author’s encouragement throughout the book to nurture your inner child, as it is the innocence and joy of believing in magic that truly makes any life extra ordinary.  I would highly recommend this book for anybody who wants to fill their family’s lives with wonder and appreciation of the simple things in life such as the changing of the seasons, the lunar cycle, and handmade soaps among other things. It is these simple practices offered in this book that gets back to the basics on what magic truly is. The appreciation of the time, and beauty of all the little things in life……much like raising a family is all about treasuring those little moments that whizz by in the blink of an eye……and that is what the magic of life is all about.

The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman- REVIEW ***A Must Read!!

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of The Stargazer’s Embassy by Eleanor Lerman from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Stargazer’s Embassy is unlike any alien novel written before. Thought provoking and addictive, this is a must read and should be on everyone’s e-reader and book shelf. Judging by the title, what appears to be a quirky cosmic sci-fi novel is actually a rich metaphysical novel that ponders some important existential questions. What really happens after death? What are aliens’ intentions? Can we ever truly escape our past?

The story follows a woman named Julia who finds herself part of an alien conspiracy and wants no part of it. She’s a house-cleaner who is trying to move on from her new-agey childhood and mommy issues. All she has is a tattoo, and a place called The Stargazer’s Embassy, where people come and go, like life itself. We find her at various points in her life struggling with this issue, and trying to make a life for herself. Along the way we are introduced to some interesting characters who find themselves implicated in the very same alien problems she’s trying to escape from.

Julia’s defiance of involving herself in this haunting issue is what makes this a stand out novel. We don’t see Julia enthusiastically throwing herself into the unknown. We see a truly scared, annoyed, and assertive character who becomes the anti-hero. There is a will she or won’t she anticipation that hooks the reader and offers a certain emotional and psychological realism. There are plenty of alien encounters in the novel to satisfy traditional science fiction lovers, but it takes it a step further by offering a multitude of spiritual questions. It is because of this, that The Stargazer’s Embassy becomes an exploration of the meaning of life.

Suffering from emotional abandonment issues, the aliens become a metaphor for Julia’s strange childhood. In essence, she herself is an alien- trying to create a life for herself that she’s never known. Losing her mother with many unanswered questions, Julia hopes her encounters with the aliens, or “things” as she likes to call them, will provide her with the answers she needs. The aliens themselves are not exactly sure what they’re looking for and this in turn becomes a mirror for Julia and other “experiencers” encounters. If we all had the chance to travel throughout the cosmos like the aliens- would any of our questions be answered, or would we be even more confused? Julia spends most of her life searching for answers, but it is the very place she is running away from that provides her with the comfort she seeks- The Stargazer’s Embassy. The aliens have just as many questions as Julia and her friends do, but appreciating life for the journey it is, is all that counts in the end. Everything has a beginning and an end, so rather than spend lifetimes dissecting what it all means, it is important to treasure every waking moment, because it is those moments that stitch the fabric of our lives. There are two things we must do in our lifetime, be born and die. Everything in between is alien compared to the certainty of those two things.

I appreciated the humour associated with the aliens and their un-friendly demeanors. Once again they did not come across as stereotypical menacing superior beings, but relatable drifters who seemed genuinely lost. The story was perfectly paced and the first person narrative was a great way to keep the reader invested in Julia’s journey.

In essence, each of us have our own Stargazer’s Embassy- a place, either imagined or real where we are able to go to find comfort and peace- knowing that the answers we seek, are in fact seeking us. The Stargazer’s Embassy is a place where people- human and inhuman come and go, like life itself.

*A big thank you to Sarah Miniaci at Smith Publicity Inc. for being kind enough to send me a paperback copy to review. You’re friendly correspondence and enthusiasm for this book has me looking forward to reviewing other Smith Publicity Inc. books!

The Witching Hour by Silver RavenWolf- REVIEW

A compendium for the modern day witch which includes spells, powders, and formulas for a variety of needs, wants, and wishes. What is unique about this book compared to other grimoires is that it contains plenty of information on how to prepare yourself for magic. This is the most important part of spellwork which Ms. RavenWolf makes obvious in this book as she spends a great deal of time providing tips on how to do this. Many tips on how to energetically prepare yourself are included such as breathing, posture, and visualization techniques. All of these methods will greatly enhance your magical practices along with choosing the right ingredients and tools which comprises most of the book. Step by step instructions on how much powder, oil, and herbs should be used makes this book extremely useful whether you are a beginner or more advanced witch. Where and when to perform magic, how and where to store your items is also included making this book a magical textbook. Incorporating the elements and planets into spells is also discussed along with fluid condensers which was unique and compelling and should be incorporated into magical practices more often. There is a plethora of information contained within this book that is a must read for anyone who uses magic. No review can do this book justice as you need to pick it up right now and watch your magical practices greatly improve. The Witching Hour begins when you get your hands on this handy dandy grimoire.

Crystal Magic by Sandra Kynes- REVIEW

A must read for anyone who uses and or is interested in crystals- whether you are a lapidary or witch- you will find this book to be both grimoire and text book. Crystal Magic is one of the best books I have read about crystals. Most books on this topic simply name crystals and their properties but this book took it a step further. The first part of the book is about the History and Science of crystals which is absolutely needed if you are going to be working with them. It is fascinating learning about crystals and gemstones in antiquity whether it was in astrology, divination, or medicinal uses. Learning about crystals from a scientific perspective such as their mineral compositions, their crystalline structures, and their formations provides a wealth of information about crystals that help you understand their magical properties even more. This section was not overly scientific, so if you are not a sciencey person, you have nothing to fear about this part of this book. This was extremely useful as we can sometimes forget that at the end of the day, crystals come from the earth. Tips on how to spot fake stones was also very helpful as we want to ensure that we are not simply relying on the placebo effect and that we aren’t supporting fraudulent distributors. I thought the chapter on crystals grids that are based on the crystalline structures of the crystals to be ingenious as I have never come across information about that before. The Compendium of Stones was one of the best I have seen as it also included the history of stones as many books opt not to include that in their descriptions. Two reference guides are also included at the back of the book that list the magical correspondences for the crystals such as ruling deities and planets. Once again this was very helpful. Whether you are a beginner or more advanced crystal practitioner, this book creates a solid foundation in understanding crystals from their historical and geological perspectives. Understanding crystals, gems, and minerals history and compositions creates a deeper and richer appreciation for these marvelous rocks.