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Bookviews Book Reviews


 9-11-2005
 

 

Love Is The Bond:  A Rowan Gant Investigation
by
M. R. Sellars

 

The story begins:  After two quiet years, our hero Rowan and his wife, Felicity, are called upon again (in a round about way) to consult with their dear friend and St. Louis Homicide Detective Ben Storm, who has finally gotten past the wrath of his superior "Bible Barb".  Ben has a dead judge, the FBI, his superiors and the press to deal with and it's not getting better.  The bodies are beginning to pile up and this time it's kinky sex and death and clues that are plainly leading them all into the "Twilight Zone".

That, kids, is the teaser.  I will not spoil it for anyone.  The only warning I am going to give you is that this is "grown up" reading, and this is part one of two.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Rowan Gant series of detective novels, this is the sixth installment.  Some of you may want tocheck out his other books and catch up before going on to this novel.

M. R. Sellars writing style is straight forward, reminiscent of the hardcore Detective Novels of the 30s and 40s.  Hard biting cops, murders who leave no doubt of their guilt and do not look to the reader to forgive them because of "circumstances".  These are serial killers and poor excuses for human beings.  And we love the heroes and hate the bad guys.  Witty dialogue, intense drama and suspense also mark this as typical of the genre.

Mix with this a touch of the macabre and add the element of magic; you get Rowan Gant.  He is, for those of you who do not know, a witch, a Wiccan and has talents that are far beyond that of the normal Joe.  He is the magical profiler extraordinaire, who has no training in police work but can tap the energy left behind by the perpetrator and give the police the leads they need to catch the killer before he has the chance to kill again.

He is also the consultant no one wants to admit to, because of his association with the magical circles.  He is the key that the higher ups in the police force want to sweep under the carpet and hide from the public, though the press always has ways of finding out.  He is not loved by those who call upon him for help, but they call on him just the same.

His wife, Felicity, is also gifted.  She plays an important part in this new novel, and we explore her character a bit more closely this time.  Well developed in this novel, she becomes the key this time, and through her we explore a side of the darker, sexier side of the night life of St. Louis as well as looking into a form of magic and spirituality many of us may not be familiar with.

As I said before, M. R. Sellars does his homework.  He has developed his characters well, giving them presence.  He makes them look like they know their jobs by doing the research.  Sellars has done excellent research on police procedures, medical practices, crime scene investigations, various life styles and spiritual beliefs that make each of these novels a treat for the reader who wants authenticity in their reading as well as something very different.  His style of writing leaves no clue unturned, no matter how grizzly.  And he works his clues in with the expertise of a brick layer building a foundation that will stand up to inspection and a bit of hard banging.  There are no "lose ends" or "surprise elements" to throw off the reader here.  The story is out in the open and expertly woven.  Images carve deep into your imagination as you follow the story and unravel the details.

The book holds your interest, it peaks your curiosity, and perches you on the edge of your chair as you flip each page eating up the story, the characters and the plots.  And you will have about a year (hopefully less) to muddle over the clues, wonder about how our heroes will work their way out of the messes they have gotten themselves into and to speculate on the murderer and what drives a person to that kind of sick, twisted . well, you get the idea.  No spoiler here, you have to read it for yourself.

This is an excellent offering by M. R. Sellars and if you are not already a Rowan Gant fan, this book will happily drive you over the darker side of town!  Boudica

 

The Well Worn Path
Book and Cards

by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor,
Art by Mickie Mueller

 

For those who do not know, Raven Grimassi has been providing the pagan community with books on hereditary witchcraft, Italian witchcraft and Wicca for many years.  Stephanie Taylor is a Third Degree Initiate in both the Italian Witchcraft Tradition and the Celtic Wiccan Tradition.

They have paired together to present us with a deck that reflects the mysteries specifically of witchcraft and Wicca.  To quote the authors, "The idea for this deck arose from a recognized need for a system that speaks to the Pagan culture of our European ancestors."

The deck is comprised of 40 cards that do use witchcraft and Wiccan symbols, derived mostly from the European traditions.  Images of cauldrons, wands, athame, pentagrams, the four elements, Summerland and more are, as I see them, derived from Wicca and witchcraft more than any other cultural or spiritual path.   There are elements that are specifically Wiccan in nature, such as the Rede and the Wheel of the Year.  But it does not detract from the nature of the deck.  It was designed specifically with this in mind, and the images fall right into the intended place.

The imagery is illuminated by the very talented artist Mickie Mueller.

Previous to this her work has graced the covers of such magazines as Raven's Call, Spirit Seeker, Witchcraft and Wicca, and some very well known pagan websites.  Her style is simple yet elegant, very colorful and tastefully designed.  The reverse deck image, which is a wooden cottage door decorated with a carved tree is very beautifully interpreted.

So are the topics of the cards.  Her figures are lifelike, and her impression of the Crescent-Crowned Goddess and Initiation (portraits of Grimassi and Taylor) are typical examples of her style.  Very stylishly executed, and a she is a good choice as illustrator for this deck.

This is not a tarot deck.  Its use would be similar to a tarot deck; to seek inner counsel regarding your own personal path or to be used to illuminate the personal path of someone you would read for.  The accompanying book gives you insights into the use of the deck and interpretations.

After the introduction of the book, a discussion on the theme of the deck and a general overview on the use of the deck, the authors go into Divination Spreads for use with this deck.  There is a cauldron spread, a pentagram spread and a crossroad spread.  Very original in design and use, very "crafty", but be advised that I also used this deck in my normal "three card" spreads and achieved good results as well.  Whatever spread you are accustomed to using will respond to this deck as well.

The cards are then examined one by one.  Each card has a Meaning, Teaching and an Alignment.  The cards are also illustrated in a black and white format.  The Meaning is obvious; it is an interpretation of the card by the authors explaining their idea and intent for the card.  The Teaching is a deeper examination of the card itself, going into symbols, design and background and other associations.  The Alignment is alternative meanings found via a meditation you do on the card to find the cards connection to yourself.

Some of these Alignments are quite interesting, and this is an approach to the cards that is practiced with the traditional tarot as well.  It is carried over here because it is an effective way of learning the cards connection to you.  A very good addition to the material and for someone who will use this deck extensively, I would recommend it.

The idea is original.  Rather than trying to find meaning in the Qabala associations of the tarot that could carry over to the practitioner of witchcraft or Wicca, the deck speaks directly to those practitioners.  If you have been frustrated with tarot cards as a practitioner of witchcraft or Wicca, you may find this deck much better suited to your path.  The artwork is clear and the teaching method is sound.  The path is kept pretty much open so any practitioner of witchcraft or Wicca will find the deck usable.

It does not focus on any specific tradition, but it is very Wiccan in flavor and addresses specifically those who take the traditional road of a witch who practices a Wiccan spirituality.  Practicing witches will find there is a definite Wiccan spirituality suggested in this deck, and may or may not find this fits their path.

But it does fill a niche here, and it does it well.  As I read through the meanings and teachings, I found the deck to be very positive, well developed and intriguing enough to actually work with it.  And I was pleased with the readings I had.  I would also consider using this deck for some of my clients, especially those who are new to the Wiccan path.  There is a learning curve here, but if you are a practicing Wiccan, the cards speak for themselves very clearly.  A little practice will yield some good results.

Overall, this is a lovely deck, original in content and purpose, well designed and the accompanying book clearly lays out the uses and meanings so anyone can pick up this deck and use it.  It is a nice addition to the fine art of divination that speaks to a particular spiritual path.  Boudica

 

The Element Encyclopedia of WitchCraft
by
Judika Illes

 

Judika Illes is probably best known for her huge work The Element Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells, a huge work containing references to anything to do with spell work.  She has now completed her second huge undertaking, an encyclopedia on witchcraft.  And it is just as huge as her first book.

As I see it, this is not a how to book.  It's more a collection of information that defines witchcraft in its many various forms.  From how the outside world still views us in some cases to how we see ourselves, there is no particular path, no one personal agenda here.  This gives the book a very even, open, very multi-dimensional appeal.  We do not have just a well known author pushing his or her personal path or a new author experimenting with theirs.

Rather, we have a book that combines the paths, combines the opinions and the points of view and blends it into a very readable and very useful tool.

Approach with an open mind and look at all the possibilities.

The bibliography reads like a "Who's Who" in the pagan community, combining well known material with very learned sources and including the little known/hardly referenced material to present very well rounded information that is gathered together in one place.

I spent a lot of time paging through the book, reading the information, exploring the comments and following the way Ms. Illes put it all together in this book.  Movie/TV reviews which are well thought out and discussed from both the Hollywood angle who's purpose is to draw an audience to how we on the other side tend to critique these same entertainment.  Looking at the notes included with her contents; "Hecate, Hekate [.] endnote: Further Reading: Jacob Rabinowitz's The Rotting Goddess (Autonomedia, 1998)."  This author has it together with her research.  She notates her references and gives you more places to search if the included information is not enough for you.

The topics covered connect directly to the practice of witchcraft.  From the opening Introduction which discusses the many, many attempts to define the word "witch" from large variety of sources, I fell the material is appropriate, works well in the context given, and is in an easy to read/reference format.  As I went over her basic research, she appears to have it very documented.

There are twenty-one topics.  Each topic is broken down into its elements, as it applies to witchcraft.  Take the first topic - Animals.  It contains a general overview of the connection between witches and animals, animals as allies, and then the various animals are covered.  A good discussion on the animal is included, not just a brief one paragraph, but some real study in many cases.

Take for example "chickens".  The section on chickens is not as large as other animals, but I found it fascinating as to what she does include about them.  There are some interesting aspects to chickens besides their eggs.

"Twice born" as in once the egg is laid and once the egg hatches, discussion on chickens and root workers, spells that include chicken feathers, black hens and fertility spells.  There is a respectable amount of information here.  I liked the bit about armies traveling with flocks of chickens not just to provide fresh eggs but also for grain divination.  Yes, chickens as oracles!  Very well researched, in my opinion.

Not every animal is covered, but you do have a good selection.  And this pretty much is how all the topics are covered.  While not everything is going to be included, you will find the selection deep.

This information can take the form of material that sometimes we do not want to approach.  We see both order and chaos here.  And this is appropriate, as we do practice both sides of the balance.  Some folks may not like this, but this is who we are.

As I said, there are movie reviews, information on witches books, famous witches, not so famous witches, glossary of terms, Gods and Goddesses, witches holidays around the world, food and drink, even a travel guide with places of importance to witches.  There is much more than I could possibly cover here in a reasonable amount of space.  I would recommend picking the book up and looking at it even before you buy it to see how much really is contained in this broad work.

The bibliography is extensive, and the index is huge to help you find exactly what you are looking for quickly and painlessly.

I see this book as a reference for those who do not have the resources but need them.  This book is not a replacement but a place to start.  Read through the topic you are researching, find the books referenced and work forward from there.  I see this as a general research book or for someone just starting on their path.   If you can not have a huge library, this book can be a handy orientation.

Well written, expertly reference, and easy to use.  That is just about all you could ask for in an encyclopedia.  And to have one that does covers many paths without bias, you have a book that is worth recommending.  Boudica

 

Llewellyn's 2006
Herbal Almanac

Each year Llewellyn produces a selection of themed Almanacs that spotlight both old and new authors.  Each year, the Herbal Almanac had treated us to some wonderful authors and some great articles dealing specifically with herbs, their magical and mundane uses and advices on growing and caring for them.

This year is no exception.  While I noticed some well known authors such as Ellen Dugan and Elizabeth Barrette there are also some gems by some new authors worth noting.

But first, the almanac.  The actual almanac information begins on page 316 through page 332.  It includes the quarters and signs of the moon and moon tables and is intended to guide the gardener in planting and growing seasons and aid in harvest.  It is very detailed and worth the price of the book alone for those who take growing and harvesting herbs seriously.

But the additional material is what draws attention.  The book is divided into topics and there are articles applying to each.  We have Growing and Gathering Herbs, Culinary Herbs, Herbs for Health, Herbs for Beauty, Herb Crafts and Herb History, Myth and Magic.  The introduction of the book contains the most sought after information I look for in any herbal reference book:  "The old-Fashioned remedies in this book are historical reference used for teaching purposes only. [.] The contents are not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe, or substitute consultation with a licensed health-care professional."   Words from the wise!

Continuing, there are many articles dealing with the topics chosen.  I highlight the following for their content and style.  A hard choice, believe me.

The article on Traditional English Gardens by Chandra Moira Beal is a well researched and put together article dealing with those quaint English style gardens we see in movies and garden magazines.  She goes into detail about the various plants you might want to add to your garden from various periods of English gardening.  If you ever considered adding this element to your garden, her choices of plants and the stories behind them are an interesting read.

Elizabeth Barrette's article on Herbal Pot Luck is a good look at container gardening and would make a good starting place for amateur gardeners or those who are confined to small backyards or apartments.

Chocolate by Sheri Richerson will set you drooling with the many recipes included.  She covers some history, qualities and, for those who are daring enough to try it, explains how to make your own chocolate.  There are some recipes for the daring, and for those who like their chocolate on the traditional side.  She also includes some chocolate beauty tips.

There is a fascinating article on Chinese medicine by Lynn Smythe, focusing on the Red Herbs of Chinese Medicine.   Excellent research and a woman who is obviously very knowledgeable in this area highlight this look at the fire element of herbs in Chinese medicine.

Another look at alternative healing and herbs is Rudruksha: India's Power Bead by S. Y. Zenigh.  The author provides good background, excellent explanations and some insights into the world of rudraksha in India and the Hindu community.  She examines its various uses and the article is outstanding in its content, ease of reading and topic chosen.  A good overview about a little known healing herb.

There is a unique article on fragrance and death in A Remembrance Potpourri by Laurel Reufner.   While we may associate some flowers to funerals, the included list of trees, flowers and herbs is an uncommon reference.  An interesting and original craft idea.

There are twenty-eight articles in all, each of them containing information or ideas that may spark your imagination, or in some cases, may not interest you at all.  However the variety of articles included does assure that there is something in this book for everyone, and will appeal to the new student, the advanced practitioner and even the curious.  A nice collection of articles again this year, very informative, well written and nicely presented.  Boudica

 

Ancient Triquetra
Spirit Board

by
Portals to the Beyond

Portals to the Beyond is a company which produces a variety of themed Spirit Boards.  I have found boards of this nature to be useful tools for speaking with spirits of various kinds.

The product presented is exciting.  This company returns to the kind of quality board that used to be around before folks got into the notion that spirit boards attract unwanted company.  Rather, these boards are quality products, and will withstand some heavy use at gatherings.

The product is packaged in a well constructed recyclable corrugated cardboard box.  The board shipped well, with no damage to the board at all.

The board is wood, 3/8th inch thick in a 16 inch by 12 inch size.  The board is well sanded, and then lacquered over once the cardboard stock design is attached to the top and bottom.  These boards have designs on both sides.

There is no chance of splinters coming from these boards.  The boards also have felt feet so the board will not scratch if placed on a table.

The designs vary according to the theme you choose.  I received an "Ancient Triquetra" board.  According to the site, this is a new design.  The "Triquetra" is in approximately the middle of the board, with the alphabet around the top of the board, Yes and No to either side with the numbers below.   Hello and Farewell are on the very top and very bottom of the board.  The background is a wood pattern, making the letters appear to be "woodburned".

The board's surface is slick.  I believe there is a wax like coating on the board, making the planchette slide very smoothly across the surface.  The planchette is a wood product, heart shapped, with a hole in the middle.  I found if you place your fingers on the rounded top, you can utilize the pointy bottom to point at the letters.  However, the size of the hole in the middle fits the size of the lettering and can surround the letters on the board.

I want to make a note here.  The reason we resorted to the point rather than using the hole is because the black letters on the dark background became hard to see in a dimly lit room when we used this board.  It would have been nicer if the background was a bit lighter, then the lettering would have stood out more.  In a well lit room, the background is not so bad, but if you are like me and prefer to blot out any distractions by using low lights and/or candles, the lettering on this board can be a bit difficult to see.

Having spoken to the producers, my understanding is that this issue has been corrected with the new run of product and will result in a lighter background for this particular graphic.  It should be easier to read in dimmer light.

However, using the board itself was very easy, the planchette glided well over the surface and two people can use the planchette comfortably, as well as being very comfortable for one.

The under part of the board also has a Triquetra lamented to it, with four symbols and "an excerpt from "Oration of the Vestments" evoking the highest degree of protection".  A nice addition to this piece.

There is also a booklet contained in the box, with some background on how "Spirit Boards" work, as well as directions and how to keep your board nice.

Overall I am pleased with this product.  The board is sturdy, thick, weighs well.  The planchette too is sturdy, glides well, and has its own bag to protect it.

I looked through their website and there are other designs of boards there that you may find just as interesting.  The price points are very reasonable for the product they are presenting, and as far as obtaining results I was very pleased with the results I achieved.

If you are a collector of Spirit Boards, there is a lot here to look at.  If you are looking for a quality tool, this product is very appealing and well put together.  I know I am pleased with the board.  This would also make an excellent gift for the collector or for someone you know who uses these boards. Boudica

 

Foundations of Magic  
by J
. F. O’Neill

For those of you who’re familiar with me and my approach to Sorcery, you know that I generally scoff at the Magic = Psychology approach for some very good reasons. However with that in mind, I want to say that I think this book CAN work to augment what one knows and practices even within the Sorcery + Spirit model.

When I saw that O’Neill was well grounded in both NLP and Gestalt Therapy, I was impressed that he found it necessary to write a book on how to cast spells. While I don’t ascribe to his theory about Magical Psychology, still there are some positive points that a working knowledge of NLP Psychology can help the modern practitioner learn especially his “Law of Pretending” and “Designing A Well Formed Intention”. Those two aspects alone will be quite valuable to the Sorcerous practitioner.

Another good part of the book is how the author goes about explaining what Hypnotic Trance is and how to achieve it. Trance states are extremely valuable and quite useful to the practitioner and by learning to access them and then setting an anchor to fire them off whenever you want to access them, you have a tremendous advantage against anyone else going thru the old stand by system of having to do long, drawn out rites.

The spell section is thorough but since it’s a Llewellyn offering, there are only the white-washed forms of spells offered. Nothing that would be considered “dark and blasphemous” since it’s “bad karma” (sic) to do so. Oy vay! Then you have that tired old worn out cliché about “Use all other means to resolve a situation before you cast a spell” as if every ritual or spell is going to affect the Macrocosmic universe in some catastrophic manner.

A couple of the spells seemed silly to me such as “Not Taking Yourself Or Your Situation So Seriously” & “Bringing Out The Sun”. I mean come on O’Neill, if someone is wound so tight as to need a spell to get themselves to not take their situation or themselves so seriously then maybe they shouldn’t be practicing Magic at all? And ‘Bringing Out the Sun’ is about creating a reserve of psychic energy for – I presume – later use. One should not need a spell to accomplish this because there are plenty of techniques in Occult literature that give detailed instructions on how to do just that.

The Appendices were very nice to have. The first one is an outline of the steps leading one to self-hypnosis. The second one is the outline for helping you design a well formed  intention for your spell. The others I found to be of little value. One other nice thing about the book is that IT HAS AN INDEX! I almost fell outta my chair when I saw this. Why? Well because the majority of Llewellyn books do not come with an index. However the author neglected to provide any Bibliography so we have to take his word on what he wrote and then go and hunt for some other supplemental reading material. Since he’s combining some basic NLP material it would have been nice for him to include his favorite NLP books and authors to help the student get some more in-depth background on the subject.

All in all, it’s a decent book and I rate it three out of five stars. Moloch

 

Pagan Anger Magic  
by
Tammy Sullivan

Well I have mixed emotions about this book. First off it’s a decent try at trying to get the Wiccan community to learn to redirect anger into something positive. The concept itself is nothing new because there have been previous Occult teachers who’ve laid out similar techniques for tapping into alternative emotions such as grief, sadness, depression, love, happiness, etc.

I had hoped the book would be without the token “ethics & karma” discussions but alas a total of fourteen pages is dedicated to these ‘dead horse’ issues. For some reason, Pagan authors seem to have this mistaken notion that their own take on this subject is going to be different than what has been previously been discussed in print.

The sections on meditations and deities is far better than the previous sections where she tries to give an outline on how to “properly” (sic) implement anger into your workings. I have to applaud her attempt at providing spells that are direct, to the point and use the anger emotion effectively.

Her Grimoire section left me scratching my head because some of the correspondences didn’t jive with me (but that’s because I’m a practitioner of Sorcery not Wicca) but I ask you, do you need an oil to help you build anger? On page 203 there’s a recipe called “For Aid in Building Anger” which I find silly simply because if one is studying her book, they should already have an issue that causes them enough anger to fuel a spell.

A spell on page 178, “Energy Booster” did not make sense to me. Going to the trouble of pouring anger into a crystal then boiling it in water? Why bother with that when an old rootwork spell of “pouring your anger into a common stone that you’d find anywhere and then throwing the stone into running water” seems much simpler and easier to perform. And barring a river, one could drop the stone into a sewer system!

But I have to continually remind myself that this is a Wiccan book, written by a Wiccan FOR Wiccans. Thus from a purely Wiccan perspective, it’s a decent attempt at covering a touchy subject. Too many fluff bunnies will miss the point because they’ll focus on the “dangers” of using the anger emotion in a Magical setting. That’s going to be to their own detriment.

All in all, I rate this book 3 out of 5 possible stars. The book does include a useful index but the bibliography is boring and draws upon the same old mainstream Wiccan books that you’ve read a thousand and one times.

Don’t go out of your way to get this book (unless you have serious anger issues) but if you have the extra money to afford it, then add it to your collection. Moloch

 

Purification  
by
Burning Sage

The first four songs on this CD left me flat. They’re well written songs and the lyrics have good meaning. So what was it that left me hanging? The over-production of the sound. Compression is something that audio engineers ought to keep their fingers off especially when it comes to electric distorted guitar and vocals. Bass and rhythm sections need the compression but to limit the peaks and valleys of guitar and vocals just makes the offering sound flat.

The last four songs, especially Pandora’s Box and No Place Like Home are the best tracks on the CD. They offer the best of what I considered to be a decent alternative rock approach. The last track, Holding On, is a very nice acoustic song that is reminiscent of something Alannis would put out - much like an anthem in the making.

This is an all girl’s band and they are professional to be sure but it’s just not as gritty sounding as I like. The guitar was held back from what could have been a nicely done series of songs. It had that over compressed sound to it that just seems to take away from the overall effectiveness of distortion - like the edges were all polished off. I want to hear it speak to me like a lover with all sorts of inflections and not just some polished monotone voice.

There were times when it sounded as if Lin Sanders (guitarist) wanted to let go and really rip but she was holding back. Personally every band ought to have on song in their repertoire that allows each musician a chance to show off – after all what’s the point if you can’t solo and show off some? I will say her solo on track five, “Pandora’s Box” was the best on the CD. It has that slow, bluesy and ethereal sound to it much like Robin Trower.

The vocals were well done. Lin’s voice is both strong and sweet and her range is fair.

The bass and rhythm section (Lucy Marquez & Sue Balaschak respectively) were professionally tight. They handled time changes well and their instruments were mixed in nicely to give a solid foundation to Lin’s voice.

All in all it is an okay offering. Had the music not been overly compressed and allowed to be a bit more raw, I think it would have come off a bit more edgy and thus give some of us folks who like a more edgy sound something to really chew on. I rate this two stars on a scale of one to five. Moloch

 

Advancing the
Witches’ Craft

 by
Lord Foxglove

Sick & tired of Wicca 101 crap being offered by mainstream publishers? Then order this book, read it, absorb it and DO THE WORK! I think you’ll like it as much as I did.

As a side note, I have to admit, I’m not one for fluffy Wiccan titles and “Lord” Foxglove smacks of a fluffy bunny title for the author’s name. While I realize it’s not easy to come up with a metaphysical name, let alone a cool sounding one, nevertheless using the title of “Lord” is both pretentious and pompous. If nothing else, it causes me to think of everyone in the Society for Creative Anachronism who run around calling each other “Lord” or “Lady”. To bring that sort of pretentious thinking into the mainstream Neo-Pagan movement is both silly and tarnishes the Neo-Pagan image. Aside from that, I’m quite impressed with Foxglove’s work.

First off, this is NOT your typical 101 Wiccan offering. Foxglove even says as much in the foreword where he eloquently points out what the book is not.

Thus if you’re a beginner, hold off on reading this (for a while at least) until you have the basics of meditation down pat.

One of the nice things about this book is that it doesn’t require the typical Wiccan tools or even a temple setting to work from. All you need is a strong set of empowered visualization skills & the desire to advance yourself.

Foxglove has taken the initiative to create some meditations for the Intermediate level Wiccan to practice and master. The whole of his system centers around the “Shadow Self” which at first glance would cause your average fluff bunny to freak out thinking this is a “dark, left hand path” book. In fact, Foxglove discusses this on page 26 where he says:

“So much emphasis has been placed upon the separation of these energies as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ that it has become second nature to view them as such. It is now up to you to erase the dogma that Hollywood, society, and the religions of jealous gods have forced down our throats where these energies are concerned. It is time to purge yourself of this deception once and for all. Lose their concept of these energies, realize your own concept, and the truth will stand naked before you.”

Well said! It’s about time that a Pagan author with some stones stand up and speak the obvious. Balance requires an integration of both sides of polarity NOT just the positive/light/good/happy side of life. To do that psychologically sets one up with a false sense of security that all one has to do is either ignore - or worse - repress their dark side natures when in fact doing just that will cause far more bizarre ways for your dark side nature to emerge.

Foxglove has done a fine job of creating guided meditations (included on the accompanying CD) to help the Intermediate level Wiccan to develop their inner world concept. The meditations are well written, concise and they lead one to the goal they’ve been written to accomplish.

I took an evening prior to retiring for the night and put the CD into my portable player, laid down in a darkened room and went thru them while visualizing and feeling the emotions that each meditation evoked. The production quality of the CD exceeded my expectations. Foxglove’s voice is both even and well tempered for the listener as it blends well with the background music and tones.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for all Metaphysical practitioners but it’s definitely a must-have for the Wiccan community especially when there are so many redundant Wicca 101 texts offered by the mainstream publishers. I give this book five out of five stars for completeness, production quality, information level and professionalism. Moloch