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. 

Crystal Prescriptions Volume 6 by Judy Hall- REVIEW

This book explored the use of crystals for karmic healing, soul reintegration, and ancestral clearing. Reading about alternative uses for crystals as opposed to the standard applications was a breath of fresh air. Each chapter contained an overview of what the crystals should be used for ie; karmic healing. This was helpful as it was explained in very straightforward ways that makes it easy for the reader to comprehend. Each chapter contained a list of items needed to perform the rituals and step-by-step instructions on how to use the crystals was provided. I would have liked a description of the crystals used as opposed to simply naming them. There was not enough information about the crystal properties and why certain crystals were preferred over others. This may be due to the fact that this book is not for beginners and those who are new to crystals, but it still would have been helpful to at least list the properties of the crystals- as I do believe some of them are harder to find. I also think there should have been more warnings and precautions mentioned throughout the book as anytime you delve deep within yourself for healing, there is always the risk of fracturing your psyche or shattering your emotional body.

Overall I do think this book was groundbreaking as there is not enough discussion on how crystals can aid very deep spiritual work.

The Oracles of Apollo by John Opsopaus- REVIEW

This book explores  Ancient Greek methods of divination- the Alphabet Oracle, and the Oracle of the Seven Sages. The author spends a considerable amount of time discussing the origins of divination and the underlying philosophical and mythological meanings behind these two systems. Both divinatory systems were engraved on ancient stone tablets which adds some historical proof to what is otherwise considered “magic.” The author does a wonderful job of differentiating the two systems as the Alphabet Oracle should be used for more practical everyday questions, while the Oracle of the Seven Sages is suited towards more spiritual questions. The author provides plenty of instructions on how to use both systems and the tools and or talismans that can be used, such as dice, dominoes, or stones. The Oracles of Apollo are not unique in that there is much hidden symbolism throughout much like the Tarot or Runes, but is unique in that the oracles are written with classical ambiguity- challenging the diviner to rely on their intuition more than the common meanings. Additional information such as the planetary correspondences and other symbology was provided to assist with understanding the basic meanings of the oracles. Rituals to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare the user for the divination was also included, which I found added an additional mystical and ancient element to this way of fortunetelling. I in fact am in the process of creating my own Alphabet Oracle using the tips that were included in this book. The author highly encourages the reader to create their own system using these oracles as a foundation. There are not any Greek Oracle divination systems on the market as far as I know, which is why this book is quite user-friendly.

The Oracles of Apollo will not only change the way you view divination, but it will also add a hermetic layer to understanding the Ancient Greek culture. While we know that the Ancient gods and goddesses have become archetypal symbols- we often forget that the Ancients did not view them as simply symbols. They were real- and divination was real, as everyday life was filled with magic- and every question asked could be answered through mystical means. This is why I feel The Oracles of Apollo will help you to reconnect to your mystical roots and help you to tap into divine wisdom.

Instant Presence by Enza Vita- REVIEW

Instant Presence was equivalent to a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Its main message of practicing mindfulness was shrouded in heavy metaphysical language that read as if it was a long forgotten scripture hidden away in the Tibetan mountainside. For those who are new to mindfulness and spirituality, this book would be very hard to grasp. The essence of being present is basically non attachment to everything. Explaining how one can achieve this state was just as confusing as the explanation of the state itself. I personally do not feel this book is for the everyday person trying to achieve a calm state of peace. This book is for those who have experienced a spiritual awakening similar to the one the author experienced. Functioning from a place of neutrality is nearly impossible for the average person, and trying to achieve that state would be extremely frustrating as most of us do not have the self control that is needed to “turn off” our over-thinking, analytical programming . The heavy metaphysical descriptions of presence detracted from the message of why presence is important. The benefits of instant presence were lost throughout the entire book.

I would have appreciated a lighter approach to presence alongside the deep exploration of mindfulness. For instance, can we be present when we are observing our breath? When we are doing something we love? When we listen without judgement? More practical advice would have been helpful and would have turned this book from an incomprehensible manual to a more grounded approach at living. I appreciated the long discussion of the “I” and how when we become neutral observers of our thoughts and actions, we can achieve presence. This was profound but more step-by-step advice on how to accomplish this would have been great. The ‘Presence Pause’ at the end of each chapter was a clever idea but did not do a good job at breaking down the chapter it followed. I was hoping it would offer easier steps to achieve presence, but it was shrouded in just as much confusion as the chapter itself.

Overall this was a fantastic read that will transform the way you view yourself and life. Ironically Instant Presence is not something any of us will achieve instantly when we first read this book, it is more like Delayed Presence. This is a book we will have to read over and over again, in order to unlayer all of its messages and to decode its rich spiritual language.
If a real life guru accompanied this book, then I think instant presence would literally manifest.

Healing from Within by Ryuho Okawa- REVIEW

Healing from Within was a bland attempt at explaining the mind body connection. It’s a difficult topic to tackle considering the forerunner of this topic is none other than Louise Hay whose underlying metaphysical causes of disease has captured the hearts and minds of many. My biggest contention with this book was the discussions of the mind body connection in general. Nothing new was introduced here, nothing that the readers of this book wouldn’t already know, for instance we all know stress causes disease. But Mr. Okawa’s advice of spending money to manage one’s health is contradictory to his other messages of not allowing work and our busy lives to consume us. How can one spend money on managing their health if that requires slaving away at work to earn that very money that is one answer to combating their stress? The book took a turn when evil spirits were introduced as a culprit to disease. I appreciate Mr.Okawa’s religious and cultural background, but to imply that evil spirits seek out those with eating disorders is a little ridiculous, even for those of us who are more metaphysically inclined. If an analogy was made between evil spirits and state of mind, then perhaps this book could have gone in a different direction, where a comparison of different socio-cultural viewpoints of disease could have been introduced. Unlike Louise Hay who looked to our actual state of minds and feelings as the harbingers of disease, I was disappointed that Mr. Okawa did not focus more on the mind itself. His explanation is that the when the mind is suffering from depression or other ailments, this draws negative spirits to the individual, inciting disease. There seems to be a disconnect with his thesis of the mind body connection and what his book actually discussed. I am sure many people will appreciate this perspective, but I just wish he took everything a little further. I enjoyed his brief sections on Death and the Disabled, but it did not go anywhere. Infusing this book with more focus on the mind and our emotions as opposed to demons would save this work from turning into a weak, boring, and at times ridiculous exploration of healing.

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco- REVIEW

This book captured me from the very first sentence. As an Astrologer myself, I applaud Ms. di Marco for coming up with the ingenious idea of an astrologer who uses the stars as clues for solving mysteries. The story was fast paced and kept me guessing who the murderer was throughout the book and left enough red herrings to make me invested in solving the crime. I would have loved this book even more, if more Astrology was incorporated into the story, because as at times it felt as if the stars and planets were an afterthought because there was not enough focus on the main character being an Astrologer. The murder plot was predictable and I just wish there was a bad planetary alignment or challenging natal chart that was to blame instead. Due to the rapidity of the storyline and all the twists and turns, I am excited to read more books in this series, and I hope Connie di Marco infuses her storylines with even more Astrology as I felt she was holding back in incorporating more cosmic clues.