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review 2020-08-22 14:12
Elemental Magick
Elemental Magic - Nigel Pennick

by Nigel Pennick


Nigel Pennick is well known and respected for his books on magic and folklore. This is a good book on Earth-based spirituality. It is not, as the title might suggest, about Elemental Spirits.


The book is about natural magic, in his own words, "It is the power of everyday objects and human actions." I think it's a good starting place for someone interested in nature magic, but not drawn to a specific path or the Pagan religions like Wicca.


Some of the correspondences were different than I've read elsewhere in older sources, like Friday has always been green but Pennick assigns in blue and the purposes of Opal really threw me, but most of them are familiar with just the occasional anomaly.


Pennick gives us an over view of working with minerals and stones, animals and birds, and of connecting to the magic of the Earth in general. It isn't in depth information, but a decent starting point. He covers making magical tools and offers some food and drink suggestions as well as simple rituals throughout.


The one thing I would caution someone new to the subject is that some of the 'rules' like making your own magical knife are not hard and fast. I would look at the information as folkloric and likely to be a little different than another person's path might take them.

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review 2020-08-19 14:24
Dragons & Mythical Creatures
Dragons & Mythical Creatures - Gerrie McCall,Chris McNab

by Gerrie McCall, Chris McNab


This is a beautiful book! Full of amazing full colour illustrations of various kinds of dragons and related creatures and other mythical beasties. Most I had heard of but there were some new to me too!


Snippets of information and 'Did you know' sections inform the reader of accepted legend or any actual creatures that might have inspired the myths. A hard copy of this would make a great coffee table book.

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review 2020-06-08 15:44
Voices in Crystal
Children of Stone: Voices in Crystal - Mary R. Woldering

by Mary Woldering


Despite the dull cover, this is an interesting story set in Ancient Egypt. It starts out with a village that needs to move, but one member of the tribe who lost his wife has turned to madness and his sister is unsure whether he will go with them.


It's a slow boiler that reads a lot like mythology, so not a fast action read, especially in the beginning. I've taken my time reading it to absorb the beautiful imagery as well as assimilating the story and getting to know the characters. These are all well drawn and distinctive.


There's a supernatural-scifi element layered over a well-researched historical background which I found rather unique. Also uncommon is the story involves common village dwellers rather than the grandeur of the king and queens of Egypt.


A little slow in places, but will appeal to those who like to read old folktales.

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review 2020-06-06 14:32
The Show-Off Monkey and Other Taoist Tales
The Show-Off Monkey and Other Taoist Tales - Mark W. McGinnis

by Mark W. McGinnis


This is a book of retold Chinese fables, based on the writings of the ancient philosopher Chang Tzu but written in modern language that any child could follow.


The tales are very short and each has a morale at the end to teach the reader something about the foibles of human nature.


The pictures are beautifully done and in full color in what looks like an oriental style. Overall the books is beautifully presented and would make a nice gift to a child, though adults would enjoy it too!

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review 2020-06-02 13:54
The Illustrated Bestiary
The Illustrated Bestiary: Guidance and Rituals from 36 Inspiring Animals - Maia Toll

by Maia Toll


There's an immediate connection with spirituality in this book, even before the Introduction. It's very much a modern shamanism perspective and featuring popular animal totems or endangered species. The book is a companion for a deck of cards for animal spirit meditations.


The full color illustrations are very well done and probably translate well to the cards, which I don't have and couldn't actually find for sale anywhere, even the author's site.


Each animal has a section with general information about the animal followed by a ritual and reflection. The emphasis is on spirituality rather than science and gives the reader a reference for animal symbolism and possible meanings.


Quite honestly there isn't a great deal of substance, but despite that, I can see the cards working well as a meditation device and really the pictures in the book would do if the cards can't be found.

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