Futura: A Novella by Jordan Phillips- REVIEW

Futura follows the story of Ruby- an ex-pat living in 2050 Paris. Paris is under a dome to preserve its Nouveau Nouveau architecture, Invisibles (AI) are the framework for society and are the “blue collar’ workers. Humans have a Universal Basic Income so work is no longer a priority but just a means to pay for indulgences, genetically engineered babies are the norm as are air taxis and virtual reality experiences.

We follow Ruby as she yearns to have a baby- to create a human life that is the stark contrast of Paris- imperfect and unpredictable.  We can use Ruby’s journey in wanting to conceive as a protest against the perfection and the obsession to be authentic. In 2050 Paris where everything is acceptable and AI is the pillar of society- human emotions become the determining factor between what is real and what is fantasy. Every emotion is accepted and people are free to express them in public without judgement. As one of the characters in the book proclaims “it’s as though every human emotion is rewarded.”

Throughout the book Ruby explores what it means to live in the present- to be mindful. Human life becomes meaningless as every emotion and act is accepted as a human liberty. For Ruby, conceiving a baby is a natural process-not from a virtual source but from the purest source, LOVE, which is something that can not be dehumanized.

Futura ponders some important existential questions. If in our current society we are encouraging the expression of emotions and authenticity, what will our future look like? Will everything become accepted to the point that no morals and values will be considered? If everything is created artificially, does creation even exist?

A short but powerful read that will leave you feeling both unnerved and mindful.

 

 

 

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Sigil Witchery by Laura Tempest Zakroff: REVIEW

Sigil Witchery explores sigil magick all the way from the past such as heiroglyphics, up to the modern day present with graffitti. This book is different in that it does not show you how to make a traditional sigil using a kabbalah numbers grid. It would have been helpful to show how to make a traditional sigil rather than simply mention it and move on. The instructions on how to make a sigil were based on modern magick and witchy sovereignty. A discussion on why certain symbols were sacred to certain peoples were mentioned in many chapters which was a prelude to finding one’s own symbolic significance.

Personally, I wished a more methodical approach to sigil witchery was the focus of this book, as opposed to just making your own sigil without any specific system. There was a recurring theme of playing around with shapes and designs that does require a certain level of artistry in my opinion. Not only does this turn away a large audience, but for those looking for a more ritualistic and traditional approach to sigil magick, this book would not be satisfactory.

My advice to the author would be to devote some time to explaining traditional sigil magick in order to lay the proper foundation for readers.

 

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.

Crazy Little Spring Called Love- REVIEW

This anthology contained eight short stories centered around spring time love. Each story was whimsical, quirky, and romantic. Some stories were weaker than others, and some were highly developed enough to become their own stand alone books. Spring time is always a time of magic as flora bloom and fauna procreate. This served as the backdrop for all of the short stories. Whether it was a pagan love story, or a mermaid tale, or Greek gods falling in love- spring romance was definitely in the air. I appreciate Seton Hill University for helping to put this anthology together which featured some great writers and helped to showcase their emerging talents. As a lover of fantasy fiction, this book was a light and easy read that satisfied my mystical book thirst. This is the perfect book to enjoy on a lovely Spring day in the garden amongst the flowers and bees. There was just enough romance to satisfy romantic novel lovers and plenty of magic for fantasy connoisseurs. The stories were not too long and not too short and had many cliffhangers which I hope means a second volume is in the works! The season of Spring always serves as a reminder that anything is possible…….especially when love and magic are involved!