Book Review: Elemental Power

Elemental Power; Celtic Faerie Craft & Druid Magic by Amber Wolfe

I first read this book back in 2000 and I recalled having fond memories of it so I decided to require it for nostalgia sake.

To start off it should be noted the author makes the assumption that the read has already read a wicca 101 book and design this as supplemental reading. The next thing is the introduction feels very dated. It is an over romanticized and not entirely accurate gloss over of celtic history. The rest of the book is celtic flavored wicca. Specifically it is collection guided meditations to give the reader a deeper understanding of the 5 elements: earth, air, fire,water, and spirit. The meditations while clearly inspired by medieval fantasy are helpful and focused. The philosophy presented while most likly not historically accurate is solid and decent advice.

It was a enjoyable read overall and I would recomend it to anyone looking to work with the elements from a different perspective.

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Book Review: Secrets of Gypsy Fortunetelling

Secrets of Gypsy Fortunetelling by Raymond Buckland 1990

As you can tell from the picture the copy I acquired is pretty beat up. The spine actually gave up and split in half in mid read.

I though after my trip to the Buckland Witchcraft Museum reviewing one of Buckland’s books was a great idea. A lot of people know about his famous big blue book ‘The Complete Book of Witchcraft’ so I thought it would be neat to do one of his lesser known books. It is a short read only 219 pages. Secrets of Gypsy Fortunetelling is a collection of divination techniques with explained around Buckland’s stories and personal accounts. He covers 13 techniques;

  1. Hand /palm reading. The art of looking for certain features in a person’s hand to tell there future. Smething poetic about the idea of our fates being literally in our hands.
  2. Tea leaves. Looking for shapes in the bottom of a tea cup to predict the future. Is that squishy bit a bunny or a grim? Looks like soggy leave to me, I see cup washing in my future. Lol
  3. Crystal gazing. What is more iconic imagery of Gypsy Fortuneteller than a woman clade in bright colored silks consulting the crystal ball to find out the future of her client. This section is on how to crystal scry.
  4. Card reading this includes both Tarot and Playing cards. He does not give the meaning behind the tarot cards but gives a varity of diffrent layouts one can use. He does provide the meanings for plaing cards.
  5. Dice this is the first time I have seen reference to using dice for divination. It makes sense though as a form of numerology.
  6. Dominoes. More numerology here. Just like with the dice, different number combinations hae different meanings.
  7. Moles. Yup the placement of moles on a person’s body can be used to determine that person’s demeanor and fate.
  8. Fire scrying similar to crystal scrying but with fire.
  9. Crystals and gemstones. This section is mostly about birthstones and each stone has a one line on its meaning in divination.
  10. Sticks and stones is very simplistic divination methods that I suspect to be very old. You got to read the book on this one. But if you have the big blue book look up Buckland said he described the technique under the name of “Saxon Wands”
  11. Knives and needles this is a short section over all, but the jist of it is is use the needle for pendulum divination and the knife is used like “spin the bottle” but with the possible outcomes written on paper around in a circle and which ever one the knife points to after a good spin is the answer.
  12. Omens and portents list of common omens and thier meaning.
  13. Cold reading, how to gain information based on first impressions .

Overall the book touched on some divination methods not often talked about. It could be better with some more details about Gypsy culture and their methods. I also wished it had better illustrations but overall a decent read. I would not say it is a must have for every witch but it is great supplemental reading for those in to divination or Buckland’s writings.

Up coming schedule

Hi everyone,

Just thought I’d check in and announce the scheduled post for the rest of September .

Book review: Secrets of Gypsy Fortunetelling by Ray Buckland on 9/9/2019

Book review: Elemental Power by Amber Wolfe on 9/16/2019

Mabon Again 9/23/2019

Book review: Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus on 9/30/2019

I am going to try to post once a week on Mondays from this point on.

Kayaking With The God of Thunder

I went Kayaking down the Big Darby Creek this Labor day weekend. The water level was low and we had to get out and portage the kayaks over some shallow sections. It was nice weather starting out at 10am. We saw a kestral, a blue heron, turkey vultures, a wood duck and lots of cute little turtles. As the trip progresses the sky darkened and we started to hear rumbles of thunder. At one point there was a rather loud crack of thunder and it startled a bald eagle out of the trees near us.

A thunder crack followed by an eagle flying over head….oh! well hello Zeus, you have my attention. So weird coincidence or an omen?

We reached the livery turned in the kayaks and got to the car. No sooner than I put the key in the ignition the rain let loose. Not 3 minute on the trip home all hail let loose literally grape sized ice pellets where beating down so hard I had to pull off the road and wait it out.

So it has been two days now and I am still mulling over the incident with thethunder clap and the eagle. Was Zeus trying to get my attention? Was he saying “hey don’t forget about me”.

I will be honest he does not feature in my practice much. His mythology makes it hard to relate to him. He is portrayed as an adulterer and violent. I don’t need that energy in my life.

The only myth that makes him slightly endearing to me is when he gives Artemis her silver bow and grants her wish to be the eternal tomboy. Here we see him as loving and indulgent father.

He is the father of the bulk of the Greek Pantheon so I can’t just ignor him. I could try to work with him in his aspect as a storm god. But that is not good enough solution for me. Here lately there has been some modern variations of the myths coming out, such as the fantastic Lore Olympus web comic. I think I need to dig a little deeper in to the internet and see if I can get a glimps of how other Hellenic pagans come to terms with the uglier side of ancient mythos.

So dear readers any thoughts on Zeus and reconciliation with the myths about him?

Friend Requesting Poseidon; Adventures In Social Networking With The Gods

The learning curve of Paganism varies from person to person. A lot of the books I read back in the late 90’s talked about just honoring the Wiccan model of the triple goddess and the horned god. That just didn’t feel quiet right. Then I noticed a cultural shift where authors talked about using the gods based on their archetype with out really getting to know them. That didn’t sit well with me so I sought out a pantheon to stick with I settled on the Greek pantheon. Over the years I have primarily stuck with the same small number of gods of that pantheon, ignoring the ones that did not feel relevant to my life. over the past week or so I have been meditating on this. I’ve decided I should make the effort to get to know these other gods a little better.

I’ve decided to start with Poseidon. Being right smack in the middle of Ohio the god of the oceans seems about as irrelevant to me as I could get. After brushing up on Ohio’s geological records I realized this was not necessarily so. Turns out for most of this areas’s existence has been underwater. That is why we have so much limestone, shale, and sandstone. So he helped create and shape the earth under my feet. Poseidon is also known as ‘earth-shaker’ and while rare we do get the occasional earthquake here in Ohio.

We also have a lot of marine fossils consisting of trilobites, shells, and fish. which makes me wonder about reaching out to such ancient nature spirits. It is probably just as likely to be magically do-able as getting a stegosaurus or a saber-tooth tiger as a spirit guide. Speaking of saber-toothed tigers there was also that time this area was under a couple of miles of ice. And now we got all these creeks, springs and rivers that all eventually make thier way to the ocean. So yeah Ohio has its own brand of oceanic energies.

Ok but how does all this aquatic energy help me deal with the daily grind and stress of life? How does a relationship the god Poseidon improve my life?

All I got to work with is so far is the suggestions I got from a friend of mine who happens to work closely with Poseidon. She said she works with him as a guide in trace work as he aids in “delving into the deep”. This makes sense to me as the subconscious and dreams are often connected with the element of water.

The second way is she said he is the steady rock to cling to in the maelstrom. A solid feeling of strength, stability and calm in the choas of life. I think we all need that feeling in our lifes from time to time.

So I guess all that is left is to light some candles and incense and send out that friend request. Here I go on a new side quest to enrich my spiritual life and connect more with my chosen Pantheon.

Book Review: 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed

1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline.

This book discusses the sudden end of the bronze age in the western world. It sifts through the archelogical evidence to try and figure out the how and why of this mystery in history. I enjoyed the author’s writting style. He takes the subject and makes it relatable. He uses first hand accounts such as personal letters, shipping invoices, and dimplomatic exchanges to bring these long gone cultures to life. It is still suprising how much ancient mail has been preserved, but when you write to your brother on a clay tablet versus paper it is going to be a bit more durable. It also helps if your brother is a king and keeps a record of all his mail. But anyway Cline trys to give equal time to all the cultures involved from the Aegean, Minoans, Hittites, Egyptians, Babylonians and many more. I first became aware of this book because it was recomende to me. I then stumbled upon a youtube interview with the author. After watching it I had to get my hands on a copy.

Hope you found this review helpful on your own reading adventures.

Buckland Witchcraft Museum

I recently made the 3 hour drive up to Cleveland, OH to visit the Buckland Witchcraft Museum. First off, it is currently located in a discreet storefront. If you’re not looking for it, it’s easy to drive past. The front has a small gift shop where you pay $7 to get in to the large room in the back where the friendly curator gives you a tour and explains the exhibit pieces and answers any questions you may have.  It is a small but fun collection containing artifacts from big named magicians like Gerald Gardner,  Issac Bonewits , Janet FarrarAnton LaVey and Aleister Crowely. 

The focus of the Museum was largely on Raymond Buckland. They had a collection of his art based on alchemy which tool up an entire wall and was well displayed. I did not know he was a talented artist. I also did not know that he performed a little ventriloquism and his dummy is constructed an adorable  style similar to those on the kids’ show Sesame Street. If you look closely in my photo you can see it hiding in the corner behind the glass display case.

It only took about half an hour to see everything in the room. My favorite part was all the vintage zodiac art from the 60’s and 70’s. They had one of the fortune-telling tea cups that were mass produced in the 70’s. You could probably find your own in an antique mall or ebay.

I highly recommend a visit to the museum. While you up in Cleveland visiting the Buckland Museum, you might as well pop in the Cleveland Natural History Museum too.