Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Sacred Feminine Anthology


Voices of the Sacred Feminine – Conversations to Re-Shape Our World, Edited by Rev Dr Karen Tate, Published by Changemakers Books. paperback £10.38 400 pages 


This is an anthology of specially chosen articles from keynote speakers, authors and activists who are supportive of the Divine Feminine, each article is between 400 – 1,000 words in length and a short autobiography of the contributor follows each article. All articles cover some aspect of the goddess and are derived from many cultures, for instance, sacred activism, social change, planetary welfare, healing, empowerment and mutual support, in addition to challenges to major patriarchal religions. Worship of the Divine Feminine fills many a gap in general religious thoughts and fail to promote women to positions of power and influence or to recognise the importance of the many benefits that are offered from honouring matriarchal spirituality. Amongst the articles are several interviews which have been aired on the radio broadcast by the presenter Karen Tate. Several of the articles are written from a US perspective but where-ever one is in the world, one can gain something from each and every contribution provided. I have not provided each of the article titles but just idea/s that caught my eye which I thought worthy to mention.  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Viking Oracle



Circle Network Card Deck Review: Viking Oracle - Wisdom of the Ancient Norse by Stacey Marco with artwork by Jimmy Manton. 45 cards (6.75" x 5") and booklet set, published by Blue Angel. 25 Nordic runes are profiled plus 20 Viking themed cards. Very enjoyable myths and symbolism for divination and guidance from the Norse tradition. Cards provide a portal through time from ancient Viking society. Each cards carries a title and number, and the booklet provides information on each card, keywords, and poems, plus the element. Reversed cards can be read!
Information on how to use the deck and dedicate the cards. Card spreads are one card reading, Sacred 3 Card Draw, 9 Worlds Draw, Thor's Hammer, The Pantheon Technique, Past, Present & Future. Scandinavian joy!
This is the gold standard for oracle cards, well researched with a demonstated love of the subject, well presented, a joy to work with! Review Wendy Stokes.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Tarot Botticelli

The Golden Botticelli Tarot is published by Lo Scarabeo with images from the Italian Early Renaissance artist, Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) with tarot artwork by A A Atanassov. The pack contains 78 individually gold embossed and decorated card images that will delight all who see them. Included in the pack is a little white booklet in English and other European languages. There is a 7 card suggested spread titled The Star of Solomon with a sample reading. The lwb contains a few words on both upright and reversed meanings. The backs do not reveal whether the cards fall upright or reversed.

This is an opulent and glamorous tarot deck. When handling these cards, I feel a sense of reverence and they carry power within their production. If this is your only deck, you will need no others! Review by Wendy Stokes www.wendystokes.co.uk

Monday, 6 March 2017

The Shaman's Oracle Cards

Circle Network Oracle card deck review: The Shaman's Oracle Cards for Ancient Wisdom and Guidance by John Matthews, illustrated by Wil Kinghan, Published by Watkins
Publishing in a good quality box with pull out drawer with excellent card stock. Pack contains hardback book, 52 cards and a template pictorial of a hand to aid reading. Pack price: £14.99, yes, brilliant value for money!

Information is provided about palaeolithic art which is found worldwide, in Australia, the Americas, Europe and China and has inspired the artwork for this deck. Each card carries a different image. Other information provided is about shamanism as an ancient spiritual practice. There is information on how to use the cards and how to frame questions. A sample layout helps with this process. Beautiful poems accompany each card. The images were excellent in transporting me into an inspirational space where the reading flowed quite naturally, sometimes without needing the book's

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Moon Magic

Moon Magic - Myth & Magic, Crafts & Recipes, Rituals & Spells by D J Conway, published by Llewelyn Worldwide, 308 pages with text and black and white sketches.
'How to Make the Moon Work for You!'

This book, written by one of the most knowledgeable persons within the pagan/Wiccan arena, explains how to use the Moon's influences in order to deepen our connection to its cycles. Our ancestors worked with planetary influences, to plant and harvest, to take action, to honour and respect the rhythms of nature, in dark, crescent and full aspects. The female author, DJ Conway, has an extensive catalogue of authored occult non fiction and occasional fictional tales.

Visconti Tarot

Visconti Tarot - An Extraordinary example of Renaissance Art, published by Lo Scarabeo. 

This is the perfect gift for a tarot enthusiast! Embossed with gold, these are the most beautiful images from the earliest known tarot decks (1300s), known as Visconti-Sforza, which are now in museums across the world or owned by private collectors. Tarot experts think that the tarot was probably designed for education purposes, not for divination: this was a development that occurred later, most likely in the 18th century. 

Wands for work, Pentacles for business, Chalices for love and Swords for legal and health matters. The little white booklet in the pack suggests the way the Visconti Tarot is designed to be read. Do not expect this deck to be an average tarot deck. It is very different in its use. The seeker asks a question, and the suit that pertains to their question is chosen to answer their question. A 5 layer spread is suggested in the lwb which provides instructions in English and 5 European languages. The backs do not reveal whether the cards fall upright or reversed.The tarot artwork for this deck is by the masterful hand of Atanas Alexander Atanassov, coupled with the high expertise of the tarot publisher, Lo Scarabeo. This is a tarot deck to cherish for a lifetime. I highly recommend these stunning cards! Review by Wendy Stokes www.wendystokes.co.uk


Saturday, 4 March 2017

The Goddess Pages

The Goddess Pages - A Divine Guide to Finding Love and Happiness by Laurie Sue Brockway, paperback 321 pages £14.76 published by Llewelyn Worldwide www.GoddessFriends.com

We are invited to 'Discover the Divine Within' with this interfaith minister who has written several books. The Goddess Pages details ways to work with a number of different aspects of the divine feminine with rituals, offerings, chants, affirmations and practices such as letter writing, for transformation, healing, guidance and direction. The contents are divided into 6 sections, beginning with a test of Goddess IQ. Then we have a section to reclaim our Goddess nature, work with Goddesses of self empowerment, strength, love and romance, family life and relationships, work and finance and play and lightheartedness. Each Goddess helps with reclaiming female power, confidence and happiness.

The following Goddesses are detailed: Hathor, Lilith, Artemis, Oshun, Nike, Mary, Sophia, Kuan Yin, Green Tara, White Buffalo Calf Woman. Venus, Freya, Persephone, Gauri, Radha, Isis, Pele, Kali, Lucina, The Muses, Mary Magdelene, Vesta, Aurora, Artemis, Brigid, Lakshmi, Nemesis, Durga, Theresa, Gt Goddess, Bast, Uzume, Iris, Butterfly Mainden, Fairy Godmother. Each with their specialities and suggested ways of working through information on the nature of each Goddess, how to invite each into your life and how to keep Her with you. The book has a resource guide and an index and is well presented and clearly written for a beginner to working with the Goddesses and I am recommending the book for this particular market. However, the experienced practitioner will also enjoy the book and find something new within its pages. 
Other books by Lauie Sue Brockway: 
Your Perfect Wedding Vows
A Goddess is a Girl's Best Friend 
How to Seduce a Man and Keep Him Seduced 
Wedding Goddess 
Release the Seductress Within 
Lakshmi Magic 
Alakshmi

Reviewed by Wendy Stokes

Cat's Eye Tarot

Circle Network Card Review: Cat's Eye Tarot by Debra M Givin DVM Published by US Games Systems, Inc Price: £16.99 ISBN: 978-1572816855 
The 78 cards of the major and minor arcana are represented in this novelty deck which has a white booklet within the pack that offers card titles and concept keywords, an explanation of the upright card symbolism and an interpretation for each card. Each of the cards is painted by Debra M Givin, the deck’s creator, who is a qualified veterinarian and cat specialist practising in Portland, Maine since 1982.
The card sizes are traditional and the meanings have a traditional flavour. The major arcana cards are emphasised by their purple colours, the minor arcana’s colours and symbols are: Wands, represented by orange (creative energy), reptiles and flashy reddish gingers; Cups by red (emotional energy), fish and sweet, black and white cats; Swords by blue (intellectual energy), birds and the talkative Siamese and Pentacles by brown (earth energy), mice and solid, practical tabbies. The art-work tells a story and is without mystifying esoteric symbolism. The card backs depict a long-haired tabby cat’s face with green eyes.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Cave and Cosmos

Circle Network Book Review: Cave and Cosmos - Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality by Michael Harner, paperback 301 pages £15.58, Kindle £10.50 published by North Atlantic Books. www.shamanism.org

Prof Harner, now in his 80s, is one of the earliest pioneers, advocates and investigators of indigenous shamanic cultures. He rediscovered shamanism and brought it to the west. He is know as the 'shamans' shaman' on account of his vast travelling and study of this subject matter as both an academic and a practitioner. The advantages of his sharing of personal experiences is that we can get a real insight into the nature of shamanism and of the indigenous shamans. Shamanism has been a life long passion and this book is the sequel to his classic book The Way of the Shaman, upon which he made his name as a dedicated researcher and practitioner.

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. 


Thursday, 2 March 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. 


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.

The English Magic Tarot


Circle Network card deck review: The English Magic Tarot, boxed set of guidebook (160 pages) plus 45 cards published by Red Wheel/Weiser £19.99. Written by Andy Letcher, with art by Rex Van Ryn and Stephen Dooley (Rex provided the pencil sketches and Steve the inking and colouring). Foreword by Philip Carr-Gomm. 
Card size: 15cm x 21cm.

"It is human nature to create self-serving beliefs!"

With this deck, we enter the time from Henry VIII to the Restoration. We have dealings with the great minds of that time, Dr John Dee, John Aubrey and Sir Isaac Newton. 


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Journey to the Dark Goddess



Circle Network Book Review:  Journey to the Dark Goddess – How to Return to Your Soul by Jane Meredith Published by Moon Books  Paperback: £12.99 Author website: http://www.janemeredith.com/

Jane Meredith provides a valuable method to relieve depression and grief by integrating a part of our life which is usually repressed to our detriment. The ancients provided a map in the form of myth, as they knew there is life wisdom in confronting death before it happens. The Goddess was the one who wove the thread of life, cast on and struck down, and She is the one to guide our journey to life review and wholeness.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Arc of the Goddess

Circle Network Book Review: Arc of the Goddess by Rachel Patterson and Tracey Roberts, published by Moon Books: www.kitchenwitchhearth.net

I really loved this book, written by two very experienced and knowledgeable women witchcraft practitioners, who consider themselves to be 'kitchen' witches! This book evolved from a year's online course, so is complete with marvellous ideas and practical exercises and is a journey of personal discovery, so it is suggested you keep a journal of your journey with the goddesses through the wheel of the year.  There is also an oracle card deck to accompany this book-style course. 

Friday, 24 February 2017

Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards

Circle Network Card Review: Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue PhD Published by Hay House £13.99 for box of 44 cards plus explanatory booklet.

The deck is designed for divinatory use for oneself or for others. The cards are of excellent quality, the artwork is detailed and can stand the scrutiny of a jeweler's eyeglass. 44 popular goddesses are profiled with their history and function and a channelled message from each.The book offers an alphabetical list of each of the goddesses, instructions on working with the cards, how to consecrate and store the cards, how to give a card reading (including the use of inverted cards), how to choose which goddess to work with and how to invoke the goddesses.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Celtic Tree Oracle



Circle Network Card Review: The Celtic Tree Oracle - A System of Divination by Liz and Colin Murray, illustrated by Vanessa Card. Pack includes a Hardback book with instructions and advice and divinatory meanings, plus cards, size 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size plus a writing pad to record information about your readings, in addition to a record sheet for 13 card readings and instructions about the Ogham alphabet, tree lore and Celtic traditions. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Gilded Tarot



The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti and Barbara Moore is a 78 card deck with a 64 page white instruction booklet in a front opening cardboard packet. It is published by Llewellyn Worldwide at £17.99 


Two very big names in the world of tarot, Marchetti and Moore, have combined their extensive skills in this very stylish deck. The setting is mediaeval; that sexy, candle lit era of wanton young ladies dressed in long silk gowns, and ravishing knights on chargers, dressed in equally beautiful brocades. This romantic styling is decorated with animals and birds, leafy bowers, Romanesque arches and twin pillars. Whilst working with the deck, the masquerade quality reminded me Cirque de Soleil performance titled ‘Kooza’ seen recently at the Royal Albert Hall. 


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hallowquest


Circle Network Book Review: Hallowquest - Tarot Magic and the Arthurian Mysteries by Caitlin and John Matthews 254 page book to accompany the Arthurian Tarot Cards by Caitlin and John Matthews. 

This book contains black and white scans of each of the tarot cards in this deck, each of the Greater Powers has an extensive explanation, with archetypal and divinatory meanings, and there are comprehensive write-ups on the Lesser. The template for this deck are the Celtic myths and early mediaeval stories of King Arthur and the Round Table. Spear, Grail, Sword and Stone are the 4 Hallow suits and each have traditions, correspondences, archetypes of Kings, Queens, Knights and Maiden of four castles all described in a good level of detail. 


Monday, 20 February 2017

Gaian Tarot

Circle Network Card Deck Review: Gaian Tarot - Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves text and artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert, published by Schiffer Books, quality boxed set of 78 cards and guidebook. 

I am immediately attracted to the title, as caring for the Earth Goddess is also caring for ourselves and for future generations. For me, the New Age is about Earth centred spirituality, and this deck has this important emphasis. This is Tarot for those who love the natural world. It has been 9 years in the making and is a spiritual weathervane to connect us to the Divine Feminine. It is presented as an eco course to raise planetary consciousness. The author is a teavpcher and workshop facilitator, the deck  highlights the importance of indigenous species and the dangers of imported species. She is a sage woman, one of the wisdom keepers of the Goddess spirituality movement and she presents the deck as a tool for inner awareness and guidance.