Carl Llewellyn Weschcke By Melanie Marquis: REVIEW

I was super excited to have the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book because I heard about it a few months ago and knew that I had to read it. As a long time reader and fan of Llewellyn, I desperately wanted to learn about their origins and marvelous history. I was also curious to learn more about the person behind the name and this book definitely did not disappoint. I was amazed at the depths of this book. It’s truly a biography of a publishing house and the wizard behind the curtain.

Weschcke was such an interesting character with an incredible back story. I could see bits of myself in him as I’m sure most Llewellyn fans could as well. We magical book-worms share many things in common, one of the main ones being the love of spiritual books!

Marquis does a brilliant job at delving deep into the life of Weschcke from his childhood, pharmaceutical background, his NAACP years, and his acquisition of the Llewellyn publishing house. It was interesting to read about the New Age in the 1960s and 1970s at its height and all of Weschcke’s other magical ventures. Marquis discusses his failures and shortcomings equally as she does his successes.

The passion for sharing occult information with the world is evident in this biography and brings a human element to what has become the number one publishing house of the mind, body, spirit genre. The family like feel of this company was evident from the very beginning as was its mission to educate and celebrate the New Age. The attributes I associate with Llewellyn today such as quality and expertise have their origins with Weschcke and all of the trailblazers who have been apart of the Llewellyn family from the start.

Each chapter takes a close look at the many different incarnations of Llewellyn that often responded to and inspired the need and desire for occult information over the decades. This was helmed by Carl Weschcke whose intuition and passion for education was the North Star of this company.

Readers will appreciate the quotes from many Llewellyn authors and staff, as well as the intimate look at Carl Weschcke the grandson, son, husband, father, and boss.

Llewellyn is so much more than a publishing house. It is a relic with a history as constellated as the starry skies, and a founder as magical as its books.

 

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You Are Magical by Tess Whitehurst: REVIEW

Tess Whitehurst has become quite the celebrated author in the New Age world. I mean who hasn’t read her first book Magical Housekeeping, or turned to Magic of Flowers come gardening season? I know I have, and when I heard that Tess was publishing a new book, I knew had to get my hands on it.

You Are Magical takes all of the new agey information out there and brings it back down to the basics……you. It’s a Me, Myself, & Magic book where you come to understand that YOU are the source of magic. It doesn’t always have to be about tarot cards and crystals (although these are both discussed in this book) but we have reached a point in the spiritual communities where WE don’t really seem to matter anymore. It’s become about the latest pretty deck and Mercury Retrograde cycle more than it is about our own role to play in it.

You Are Magical reminds you that your magical power lies within. The book begins with a heartfelt preface that sets the mood for the entire book. Tess describes magic as an inherent feeling, that special something that we all possess, but have been conditioned to forget. The following chapters delve deeper into this, teaching you how to reconnect with that sacred part of yourself. Reconnecting allows you to live a life of wonder and purpose creating an incredible self awareness that empowers you to live life on your own terms.

Each chapter contains assignments to help you develop this self- awareness. Some are as simple as sitting in nature and noticing how it makes you feel, while others are more complex such as pondering why you are drawn to certain objects. The assignments in this book might seem easy at first but these are important first steps that everyone, no matter where they are on their spiritual journey, should do. This book will help you to take responsibility for your spiritual practice as opposed to partaking in quick fix witchy schemes. You will learn about ego desires versus authentic desires, societal conditioning, and how to personalize your craft. The end of the book contains a series of spells that will put to the test all of your previous assignments in this book. The quality and success of your spell work is largely dependent on the health of your magic-are you disconnected from the universe, or are you anchored in your own power? This book will help you answer those questions and more.

You Are Magical weaves luminous threads of authenticity, inspiration, and self empowerment throughout leaving you with a deeper sense of who you are…and I couldn’t think of anything more magical than that.

365 Days of Blessings to Heal Myself & the World by Pierre Pradervand: REVIEW

365 Days of Blessings to Heal Myself & the World by Pierre Pradervand is all about how blessing everything can transform your life and the world. This idea takes the concept of gratitude and flips it on its side. Blessing things goes a step further than simply being grateful. Blessings give thanks and appreciation for the existence of everything- it’s about simply recognizing them for what they are and not necessarily what they can give you in return. Blessings allow you to see the divinity in all creations which can bestow happiness and goodness upon everything. To bless people and situations that are challenging is the ultimate form of giving because you remove your ego from the act, making blessings the highest octave of selflessness.

At first I was a little skeptical, but I experimented for a couple of days- waking up first thing in the morning and blessing my day and my family, and everything I experienced during the day. I have to admit that it lightened my mood and dramatically shifted my perspective. When you bless everything that crosses your path you suddenly have no reason to be upset at anything. It helps you to accept things the way they are which brings a sense of peace. The days I experimented with this technique were pretty easy so I would be curious to see how this would work on more challenging days. Blessing your enemies and struggles is easier said than done, so I do think you have to train yourself in order for this to become routine. Is Pierre Pradervand being a little naive suggesting that every person can do this? I’m not sure, but I do think for the average person, wishing good for your opponents and challenges first requires a lot of inner work and self reflection.

The part that really drove home this practice was when Pierre discussed how blessings honour the unfolding of fate. When we bless things we acknowledge their presence in our life allowing us to fully surrender- which puts us in a receiving state. Blessings aren’t meant to be a material cure-all, but they do help to align us to our path, because we remove the greatest obstacle from this path which is usually ourselves.

The book then lists many blessings we can use in our everyday lives- from blessing ourselves, to our mail carriers, to the world, to our enemies, and so forth. Blessings from different cultures are also included. There does seem to be some memorization of these blessings that is required because how else would you be able to remember what to say?

I would have liked some more practical examples from others who have used these techniques to see how their lives have been transformed using them.

Overall a beautifully written book on a practice that I believe will bring peace to many people around the world.

*A special thanks to Ben Craib from John Hunt Publishing for sending me the widget.

Womb Awakening by Azra Bertrand & Seren Bertrand- REVIEW

An exploration of the divine feminine, an intricate look at the hidden feminine/womb symbology throughout cultures, times, and places, and the explanation of the womb as a spiritual gateway- this book was groundbreaking on a number of levels. As someone who has recently become very interested in the divine feminine, I have been on the hunt for a book like Womb Awakening for quite some time. This book will shock you, awaken you, and inspire you to open yourself up to feminine consciousness. Feminine consciousness is described in the book as a metaphor for cosmic creation. When we begin to honour the feminine and all that is encompasses such as mothering, nurturing, creativity, intimacy, and intuition, we can not only heal ourselves- but we have the opportunity to the heal humanity because the feminine boils down to LOVE. Since we all came from the Great Mother of the universe, we are all starseeds encoded with the feminine- we each have the power to create and to destroy.

The book went in a few different directions and proposed that the ills of the world can be attributed to the disconnection to the feminine- a soul loss. It’s not about being a woman or a man- feminine goes beyond that as we each have both within us. This book explores why there is a need to embrace the feminine cosmology again after thousands of years of patriarchy.

Rather than chapters, this book contains Spirals- which are sections of the book that explore the mysteries of the feminine deeper than what a chapter could. The spirals themselves will be explained later in the book as the original chakra system- a feminine spiral path that energy flows mirroring a cosmic portal. This supports one of the main tenets of womb consciousness which is that flow with life is the feminine mystery. There is a deep discussion of the Womb of God which explains womb consciousness. I would have preferred if that was at the beginning of the book prior to the long discussion of womb symbology. Throughout the book Womb Oracles were a creative way to eloquently express and digest the chapter it followed, and were channeled by the authors who journeyed deep into the feminine. This gave a great visual. A plethora of tips on how to connect to womb consciousness such as breathing techniques and posture poses were extremely helpful and reader friendly.

This book went places other books on the divine feminine did not. There were discussions on the cerebellum, the spiritual meanings of conception, gestation, and how the four elements are connected to birth, which was ingenious. The lunar consciousness discussion was unique, and I would have loved more information on that because there aren’t any books that have explored that from the angle of Womb Consciousness. The trickster archetype to explain the loss of the feminine was original along with the sacred feminine medicine wheel.

If I could sum up what Womb Consciousness is, this is what I would say:

-Womb is a place of sacred union- where we lose the “I’ and become one with source

-Womb as a stargate, a resevoir of cosmic knowledge

-Alchemical abilities of the womb- becoming a sacred form of chemistry

-Womb is an archive of trauma and deep emotions

I have never read a book that had so much passion and love poured into its pages. You can really tell the authors have been affected greatly by womb consciousness and have evolved and opened up to the feminine. This is an encyclopedic source while at the same time a love letter and sensory exploration of the feminine that is compelling and inspiring. Womb Awakening is and will be a sacred encyclopedia for generations to come! The book itself is a womb that the reader will journey into, and every page will become a source of light.