Friday, 22 December 2017

Elen of the Ways


Shaman Pathways -Elen of the Ways - Following the Deer Trods by Elen Sentier
Published by Moon Books - 89 pages Author website: www.elensentier.co.uk



Painting by Jocelyn Chaplin
In the Boreal woods that covered northern Europe and the Americas thousands of years ago, there seemed to have been an honouring of the deer family as having great spiritual power and this has continued to this day in many parts of the world, for instance, with the Reindeer still play a central practical and spiritual role for the Sami peoples of Northern Scandinavia. Reindeer are the only female deer with antlers and, as such, may have been, and could still be, especially sacred. The author argues that hunter gatherers would not have seen animals as good or bad as later people did. They would have been deeply respectful and attuned to all of them. Elen Sentier describes an extraordinary encounter with a female deer which was giving birth and she is able to tune in to the energies of the land and of animals and weaves her own personal experience with stories, myths, facts and theories. 


Ancient Feminine Wisdom of Goddesses & Heroines

Circle Network Card Deck Review: Ancient Feminine Wisdom of Goddesses and Heroines Divination Deck by Kay Steventon and Brian Clark, published by US Games Inc. Pack contains 52 cards size 2.75" x 4.75" with 52 cards, an information booklet and a spread sheet. £23.40

"The heroines task is to become herself in the world"

 
I have chosen as a sample Demeter, an Olympian Goddess, who carries the energy of ‘letting go’. She stands amidst her fields of grain watching over the harvest. As earth mother, she presides over fertility, birth, harvest, decay and rebirth. Her myth focuses on the loss of her daughter, Persephone, to the underworld. This poignant narrative of closeness, separation, grief, and reunion echoes the timeless theme of attachment and loss. On a divinatory level, Demeter suggests a breaking of the mother-daughter bond in order to develop independence. The card heralds a more mature phase of a relationship. Energy previously with-held, imprisoned 
feelings, or an aspect of the self that has felt violated can be released so that a new course of life may unfold. Attachment, separation, and loss are intricately woven into the tapestry of life. Mourning allows the process to be complete so that we may let fo and life can be renewed.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Depression as a Spiritual Journey


Circle Network Book Review: Depression as a Spiritual Journey by Stephanie Sorrell is in Paperback £11.99 262 pages Published by O Books Author Website: www.stephaniesorrell.com/

There are a wide variety of depressive illnesses, all of which are incapacitating for the sufferer and immensely difficult to understand for family, friends and work colleagues. Stephanie Sorrell, herself a long term sufferer, has searched the world for methods that can provide insight and aid recovery. She describes her own ordeal and how it led her to achieve a Masters in Applied Psychosynthesis Psychology. Psychosynthesis was formulated by Roberto Assagioli over a hundred years ago and is described as ‘psychology with a soul’. This therapeutic approach emphasises the importance of the spiritual dimension which is usually denied by the Western medical model of mental illnesses. Because of the profound nature of depression, many sufferers will be drawn to the symbolic and metaphorical languages of the spiritual quest for meaning and enlightenment.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Mantegna Tarot



'Let the virtues direct you, the Liberal Arts guide you and the Muses inspire you'. 

Mantegna Tarot – Medieval Cosmology prepared the World for Human Understanding. This pack contains 50 illuminated cards, highly embossed with silver, and 25 additional cards which support them for the purpose of a card game. Published by Lo Scarabeo with tarot influenced artwork by the esteemed Bulgarian artist, A.A Atanassov. A little white booklet contains instructions for ‘The Chessboard Game’ and card interpretations in English and 5 European languages.  

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Nature-Speak Oracle

Circle Network Oracle Card Review: The Nature-Speak Oracle by Ted Andrews, published by Dragonhawk Publishing in a good quality box which contains 60 cards plus explanation booklet. Card size: 11.9 x 9.4 x 4cm
The cards are related to the ‘Green Kingdom’ and bear photos of nature within an oval frame. Cards bear titles and subtitles and are divided into 4 suits - ‘Landscape Oracles, such as beach, borderland, desert, forest, garden, hot spring, lake and pond; Flower Oracles, such as iris, gardenia, orchid, tulip; Seasons and Climate Oracles, such as fog and mist, summer, snow, blue moon, clouds and Tree Oracles, such as maple, walnut, palm, redwood and rowan.
Some of the titles and subtitles are: Rainbow – Hidden Gift, Rain – Time to replenish, Dandelion- Persist in pursuits, Ferns – New Wonders  The deck has been crated to offer a divination tool to help uncover possibilities, choices and expectations and to help solve problems and accomplish tasks. Information contained in the booklet covers how to use the cards and care for them. The cards are all positive in their meaning, upturned cards do not have the opposite of upright meaning but are a variation of the positive. The back of the cards are a heart shaped leaf symbol with perimeter decoration.   


Monday, 18 December 2017

The Second Messiah Review

Circle Network Book Review: The Second Messiah - Templars, the Turin Shroud and the Great Secret of Freemasony by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, published by Fair Winds Press, paperback 260 pages $18.95

This book is well researched by the authors of The Hiram Key and ties up some gaps in time. From the early times following the death of Jesus, the Jewish members of the royal House of David, a hereditary priesthood, have largely been forgotten, or perhaps intentionally hidden by the early leaders of the emerging Christian sect. These would have been the real Popes in true apostolic succession. Was there a bloodline that was protected until the time of the creation of the Knights Templar Order, when 11 selected French knights under Hughes de Payen, went to search under the Jerusalem Temple for what might have been scrolls, valuables, relics or other valuables, hidden for safety and left to them by their ancestors when Jerusalem fell in AD 70? The enormous building programme of cathedrals throughout France and 

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Secret Language of Animals

Circle Network Card Deck Review: the Secret Language of Animals Oracle Cards by Chip Richards, published by Blue Angel Publishing £15.99 46 cards with explanatory booklet.

The booklet provides information about how to use the deck, with each card numbered and titled and provided with keywords, a spiritual perspective and a message and affirmation. There is a section about the importance of understanding current planetary concerns and some recommendations of charitable institutions who are involved in protecting endangered wildlife, many of which are teetering on the edge of extinction

There is a dedication to the 'loving, living pulse of Mother Earth and all her sacred children' and that God speaks through nature and how our evolution is bound up with our awareness. The whale, bee, snake, eagle, all so different, all so unique. The author was influenced by nature as a child in Colorado and now living on the coast of Australia where he feels in communion with the natural world.


Saturday, 16 December 2017

Motherpiece Tarot Deck

Tarot Card Deck Review: Motherpiece Tarot by Karen Vogel and Vicki Nobel published by U S Games Inc. Three products in this range: The original Motherpiece Round Deck, the Mini Deck, and the Guidebook and Card Set.

This deck is a revolutionary modern deck (circa 1980) which features matriarchal cultures with an earth based spirituality. The creators searched the world for early Goddess philosophy, myths, history and folklore whilst they were room-mates at Berkeley in California together. Both are life long feminists and interested in intuition, healing and the Divine Feminine. They produced these cards in the round - to be read not just as upright and reversed but with the four positions, so with innumerable potential for creative readings. 

Friday, 15 December 2017

The Gospel of Aradia

Circle Network card deck review: The Gospel of Aradia by Stacey Demarco, artwork by Jimmy Manton. Boxed set with 36 cards and a 112 page guidebook. Published by Blue Angel Publishing £15.99


"The angels of one religion are the devils of another!"

Cards carry a title in Latin, an affirmation, a poem and a message. 

The story of Aradia is the story of the 'strega' the weaver of magic, mystery and enchantment, empowerment and creativity that can assist the self or others. 


Aradia was lost and wandering through the countryside, hungry and cold. An old woman finds her and invites her to share her meagre meal. The woman has an injured leg and Aradia prepares a poultice and shows the old lady how to make it and use it and she sings a song of healing. In the morning, Aradia is gone, but the woman finds her leg has healed. As she touches her shawl, three gold coins fall to the floor. She looks out the window and her old cow is young again and her old horse is strong again. Vegetables, herbs and berries have been planted in her garden.   


Book excerpt by Caroline Brazier





In Buddhist psychology we are interested in understanding the processes of conditioning which limit our ability to see the world clearly. The mind is conditioned by many factors and these affect our perception, creating subtle biases and colouring our experience in various ways. All of these colourations are in some way reflections of the sense of identity. At an unconscious level, we tend to seek out the familiar because it makes us feel comfortable, and safe, so when we look at things, we interpret them in the light of our pre-existing ‘blue-prints’ and fit them into stories which we already identify with.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Secret Language of Colour

Circle Network Card Deck Review: The Secret Language of Colour Cards by Inna Segal, 45 cards plus guidebook in a quality box £12.99 published by Atria Books. Author website: http://innasegal.com/
Each card has a number, a title, a subtitle and an image. The booklet has information about colour and how it can be used for healing, how the cards can be used to answer a question, you can place them on your body to clear your energy centre's (chakras), use them to work with other people, to meditate, to eat and drink colour, wear colour, paint, be creative, spend time in nature!  The booklet provides a section on frequently asked questions, and each card has a page of explanation about the meaning of colour and how to connect with it. 
Also available by Inna Segal are audio programmes and courses and the book The Secret Language of your Body and The Secret of Life Wellness.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Mythic Oracle

Circle Network Card Deck Review: Mythic Oracle - Wisdom of the Ancient Greek Pantheon by Carisa Mellado with artwork by Michele-lee Phelan. Boxed 45 card and information booklet set.

Greek gods and goddesses reflect our own human lives and the cards are designed to guide us through life cycles. They reflect the archetypal hero, Odysseus and his epic journey, from departure to initiation and eventual return home. We use this to assist us in our journey through life. We begin with an awakening, experience challenges, overcome difficulties. We must go down into our deepest level to discover new perspectives, our illusions need to be broken, our convictions clarified. We will integrate this new self into the world of the future, mastering both, our inner life and our outer world.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Numerology Guidance Cards


Circle Network Oracle Card Review: Numerology Cards by Michelle Buchanan with artwork by Jonathan Quintin. 44 cards in box with instruction booklet published by Hay House. Card size 3.8 x 9.5 x 14cm. £14.99 www.michellebuchanan.co.nz

These are high quality cards and the instruction booklet explains how to bless and connect to the cards by talking to them, placing them over your heart and affirming your intentions. Then perform a 5 minute visualisation. There is also information on how to use the cards and how to perform a reading, such as being clear about asking a question and selecting your card. In addition to a one card reading example, a 3 card reading is shown which offers ‘situation’, ‘action’, ‘outcome’ or a ‘3 points of view’ card. There is also a multiple deck reading where you use ‘Numerology Guidance Cards’ with another deck, such as an angel or tarot deck. Every card in the deck has a different colour for recognition, a number and a title. In the booklet, there is an explanation for every card and number and an affirmation. The design is the same on the front (it is described as a ‘Merkaba star tetrahedron’ and the backs of the cards are a blue/purple colour with a circle described as a ‘Flower of Life’.   

Monday, 11 December 2017

Runes Oracle Cards

Circle Network Card Review: Runes Oracle Cards by Bianca Luna with artwork by Cosimo Musio. The box contains an instruction book (in English, Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portugese and Russian languages) and 24 cards.


This deck was commissioned by Lo Scarabeo and I enjoyed the excellent paintings. Runes are the ancient alphabet of the Nordic people and each image is a symbol which has meaning. There is information about the author, and instuctions on how to read and divine with the cards and how to prepare yourself for a reading. Each card is detailed with information about its ancient meaning, a key word for quick reference, the image portrayed on the card, what kind of energy the card has, and a suggested meditatation on each card. 

There are several spreads offered, The Milestone is a very simple one card reading. The Celtic Cross uses four cards, The Spread of the Three Wise Men has three cards, Spread of the Psychic has four cards. There is useful information about meditation, such as a Classic and a Focused Meditation style, and how to use the cards as a talisman. You can charge a card with power so that you can leave it by your bedside while you sleep and it will give you the power you require. 


Sunday, 10 December 2017

Dreams of the Goddess

Circle Network Book Review: Dreams of the Goddess - Discovering the Divine While You Sleep by Scarlett Ross, published by New Page Books 222 pages paperback 

By the author of Nostradamus for Dummies, this is a 'discovery journal' style workbook with exercises, rituals, meditations and with space at the end of each chapter to record thoughts and experiences. The USP for this book is not just for understanding dreamwork but for focussing on dreamwork that is devoted to the feminine aspect of deity, and to listen to what they say to us while we sleep at night. Scarlett Ross is a teacher and workshop facilitator with 18 years of working in the field of metaphysics. She has something new to contribute to dreamwork in this unusual and interesting method of dream therapy. A brilliant topic for goddess lovers and also for dream enthusiasts. Review by Wendy Stokes


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Goddess in America

MBS Circle Network Book Review: Goddess in America - The Divine Feminine in Cultural Context Edited by Trevor Greenfield with an introduction by Jhenah Telyndru, published by Moon Books. Paperback 204 pages: £10.99 Kindle: £3.59

This is an anthology of specialist essays by 19 Goddess experts. 
Included are Native American (such as the Cherokee, Hopi and Maya), Irish, African, Creole, Hebrew and female deities from other cultures, along with modern influences, such as feminist, shaman, Christian, psychologist, Goth, witch, and other perspectives.

Friday, 8 December 2017

What are the Benefits of Meditation?

 
Meditation has been used by most of the world's major religious movements, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Christiamity. It is a form of quiet introspection with proven benefits to increase serenity, improve mood, reduce pain and it has a beneficial effect on blood pressure and cognitive function. Anyone can do it with mantra, visualisation, standing or sitting and it can cost nothing and be conducted anywhere.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

December Oracle Card Reading

Circle Network random choice for December is firstly from Shining Woman Tarot by Rachel Pollack, titled 5 of Birds. The image is inspired by a huge fresco near the 9,000 year old site of Catal Huyuk in Turkey, and shows vultures with wings like red brooms, implying death. We can see life from above, from an eternal perspective. It asks us to look at death in a way that enables us to appreciate life, our family and friends, all possessions we have, and that we are given the gift of life each day. Nature is ecological, it uses everything and there is no waste. Look how nature deals with the greatest of life's hardships and difficulties. The card does not deny that death will happen to everyone regardless of their wealth or status, and I include it to remember death at this time of festivity, where for many, feelings of bereavement, loss and loneliness are mixed alongside seeing the happiness of others. Knowing this is how we make death sacred and rich with love and healing. From this foundation comes learning, appreciation, making the most of each day, and the knowledge of life and death, so precious, yet so taboo in our society, especially at times of celebration. 

Medicine Cards

From Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson I have chosen Owl, the Sacred Medicine Bird associated with magic and observation of truth. 
The poem on the card is: 'Owl, Magic, Omens, Time and space. Does the truth emerge? Casting out deception, silent flight, Sacred Medicine Bird'. 
We are instructed to steer away from anything harmful and use the capacity of the owl to be aware, to see through deceptions and look behind us. We must be vigilant, see what others cannot see and move swiftly when we need to do so. Athena is the Goddess of Wisdom and her symbol is the owl, her familiar, which reveals unseen things to her so she can speak the truth to power with confidence. Originally a War Goddess, through wisdom she became the Goddess of Civilisation. I enjoy working with this deck which gave me the basics and I have gone on to develop each card as the subject of these magnificent creatures lends itself to greater and greater learning. 
Review: Wendy Stokes

Spiritsong Tarot

Circle Network Card Deck Review: Spiritsong Tarot by Paulina Cassidy, published by US Games Inc. Boxed set of 78 cards plus information booklet. Cards size: 3" x 5" Price Point: UK £15.34 US S17.99  website: www.paulina.ws


All 78 cards (Major and Minor Arcana) are individual artworks where animals rest in a fairyland bower of swirls, flowers. leaves and dots, like sand on a dreamlike seashore. The deck unites the traditional wisdom of tarot cards with the shamanic tradition, where animals provide spirit guidance and learning. The intention of this combination is to provide empowerment and insight, and connection to our higher self through the traditional wisdom of animals.

The four suits are: Acorns for wands, Feathers for swords, Shells for cups, and Crystals for pentacles. Each card carries an image, title and a few keywords. Some cards have had a creative name change: The Fool is now The Traveller; the Hierophant is Shaman; The Lovers is Love; Death is Transformation; The Devil is The Shadow, and others, always erring on the side of a positive and uplifting meaning. The booklet provides greater information on how to use the cards, their more advanced meaning, and suggested spreads, such as: One Card Oracle Reading, Three Card Oracle Reading, The Spiritsong Star (6 cards); The Spiritsong Healing (6 cards) and the Spiritsong Tree of Life (10 cards). Reversed meanings are included and the card backs do not expose which way the cards are laid.

Paulina Cassidy has produced several very popular card decks, The Paulina Tarot, Jodie de Vivre Tarot, Witchlings Deck and Book Set. She is an energy practitioner and a songwriter with music available for download.

I was impressed with this deck that features animals from around the world, many of which are endangered. It is a delight to work magically, reading tarot, with these fine and sensitive images, whose energy pervades the reading and adds wisdom and honouring to our world, so appropriate for our modern age! An excellent and very suitable Christmas gift! I am highly recommending this tarot deck! Reviewer: Wendy Stokes www.wendystokes.co.uk

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Cherub Angel Cards for Children

Circle Network Card Review: Cherub Angel Cards for Children by Doreen Virtue with paintings by Donna Brooks is published by Hay House. The Magnetic closing box is sturdy and good quality and contains an explanatory booklet and 44 child size cards. Each card is titled with a picture of a cherub, many have a multicultural emphasis. Wings, halos, pets and flowers in natural settings are featured on the cards. Children have an affinity for angels and this card deck is suitable for young school aged children and will make a charming gift to stimulate interest and enjoyment.

The information explains how to prepare the cards, clear them with a prayer, fan them and hold them to your heart and ask a question, shuffle and say another prayer (to God, Holy Spirit, Jesus and Mother Mary and Archangel Michael), choose a card and read from the booklet. Explanations are in alphabetic order of the card titles. The easiest method is to choose a card for each day but there is a three card, past, present and future spread. Each card has a 30 - 50 word explanation.


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Ancient Egyptian Magic


Circle Network Book Review: Ancient Egyptian Magic Classic Healing and Ritual for Modern Times By Cassandra Eason Published by Vega Books Paperback 192 pages Author website: http://www.cassandraeason.com/

Cassandra Eason is the author of over 30 books on New Age spirituality and she is an international speaker and workshop facilitator. 

This is a book written for those who wish to practice Egyptian ritual, so I must start by acknowledging that I am reading for academic interest and have not tried the suggested rituals. However, this book is full of history, myth and magic. I was fascinated by the perspective. While I am tied to my English roots now, there was a time when I would have enjoyed practicing these rituals. In my teens, this was the book I longed for and craved.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Feminist Spirituality - The Goddess

Circle Network Book Review - Jailbreaking the Goddess - A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality by Lasara Firefox Allen, http://lasarafirefoxallen.com/ Published by Llewellyn Books, $22.99 US

This is a fascinating and new 5 fold model to replace the traditional 'maiden, mother and crone' 3 fold aspects of the goddess.

The five new aspects introduced in this book are:

Femella - The Child
Potens - Woman of Power
Creatrix - She Who Creates
Sapientia - Woman of Art and Wisdom
Antiqua - The Ancient One


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Reiki Card Deck - B & F Stiene +

Circle Network Card Deck Review: Reiki Techniques Card Deck - Heal Yourself Intuitively by Bronwen & Frans Stiene Boxed set of 45 cards and 18 page booklet £15.99 Published by O-Books Authors' website: www.reiki.net.au


The card deck is designed for experienced and non-experienced Reiki practitioners who are interested in self-healing, which we are all capable of doing. The cards use traditional and non-traditional methods of Reiki and are simple and easy to use. Each of the 45 cards carries a self healing method, most of which can be used anytime and anywhere. The card backs bear a different simple sketch and a title and overleaf the instruction for a self healing method. Some titles are: Courage; knowledge; grounding; listening; clarity; compassion; gratitude; surrender; illumination; remembering; tranquility; flexibility.