The Chaos Protocols Review

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The Chaos Protocols Review

Buy it here: Chaos Protocols: Magical Techniques for Navigating the New Economic Reality

There are some books that you know will change your life before you’ve even finished the first chapter.

I haven’t even begun the exercises or recommendations contained within yet, but the sheer mind fuck/mindset shift that has occurred since reading this book has already made tangible improvements in my life.

Since I finished it on the 27th of December, I’ve smashed goals I thought I wouldn’t hit until March.

So what is the Chaos Protocols?

The Chaos Protocols  is a success magic book. Detailing magical and practical ways to actually live the life of your dreams, rather than chasing money that is actually worthless.

The Apocalypse is coming, and the Chaos Protocols are your map.

Get the life you want, instead of the life you ‘should have’.

This is not a book. This is a date with Destiny, wherein you convince her to change yours.

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Favourites of 2016 – Books, Blogs and Podcasts

my-witchy-favourites-of-2016-1

My Witchy Favourites of 2016

As this is the time of year for giving, I thought I’d give you a list of my absolute favourites this year.

Blogs

Druid Life – Nimue has this wonderful way of looking at life, and her blog is packed full of wisdom.

ThisCrookedCrown – If you’re looking for witchcraft resources, there is no better place to look than here.

Tumblr

I recently restarted my Tumblr, and have found many super cool blogs.

DuskenPath – My go to resource on astrology magic, energy work and sheep photos.

SpiritsCraft – Sara is super good at making ancient stuff really easy to understand.

Podcasts

Gordon White/RuneSoup Sometimes, on my day off, I sit with my rag rug and just read/listen to everything on this site. So many fascinating topics.

New World Witchery – they normally talk about witchcraft, but recently they’ve done some ghost and horror stories for the Hallowe’en season which I LOVED. I mean, their other episode are awesome too, but ghost stories, man.

Books

Top 5 Pagan Books  I still stand by these books as being the best I’ve read in 2016.

The Encyclopedia of Crystals, New Edition – As far as a beginner or reference text for crystals goes, you can’t go wrong here.

Courses

Living by the Moon – Still only $7. Great course.

Products

Vitamin D Capsules – Apparently, something like 60% of the British public have lower Vitamin D than optimal. According to my GP anyway. I managed to finally absorb enough Vitamin D out of the prescription only ones I had to take, and now I only need over the counter ones. Have a word with your doctor before you start taking them, but they’ll probably do you the world of good.

Harry Potter Colouring Book  – This is really fun. It’s got a mix between large patterns and detailed pictures of the characters and scenes from the movies.

 

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Book Review – The Learn by Tony Halker

Today we’re doing something new – I’ve been very kindly asked to take part in a blog tour organised by Authoright. Please follow along the tour and visit the other great blogs taking part!

Buy it here: The Learn
the-learn

(I don’t usually do novel reviews here, so if you like this be sure to let me know in the comments below and I’ll dig up some similar novels.)

The problem with Druidic historical fiction is that so little is known about our Ancestors that one has to fill in the gaps much more than with other historical areas. This means that one Druid/Bronze Age book will be completely different from the next, so it’s hard to say ‘Oh, this one is like that one’.

Tony Halker has a lyrical voice that will appeal much more to lovers of poetry and visions than people who like a tight novel structure, which this book doesn’t have.

More About the Book:

The Learn by Tony Halker

Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.
A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior.  Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.
Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.
At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.
A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.

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Book Review Monday – A Legacy of Druids by Ellen Evert Hopman

A legacy of druids

A Legacy of Druids

If you’re interested in the history of religion and Druidry in particular, you’ll really like A Legacy of Druids.

This is a collection of interviews from roughly twenty years ago with Druids from all over the world and from different backgrounds.

In Druidry, and I think in religion in general, everyone looks towards the distant past and argues about precisely what the colour blue meant to someone living 2000 years ago.

This has some relevance, of course, but what happened twenty years ago is, in some lights, vastly more important.

We cannot understand where we are today without understanding where we were yesterday.

It is at once vastly comforting and vastly infuriating to read these interviews.

Comforting, in the way that so many of the fears back then never came to pass, which bodes well for some our fears today.

Infuriating, in that a lot of the problems that plague this community are still around. However, this does give me some hope, in that we do have proof that these are in fact, serious problems, and not some PC sensitivity that too many people insist is the truth.  We should be able to delight in our differences, not spurn them.

This is a fascinating glimpse into our history.

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Interview with a Druid – Nimue Brown

interview with a druid

Interview with a Druid – Nimue Brown

In today’s Interview with a Druid I’m talking to Nimue Brown, author, druid, and quiet activist, about doing the Pagan Business thing for the right reasons. This is one of my favourites Interview with a Druid (or Witch, etc) that I’ve ever done.

interview with a druid

Buy it here: Druidry and Meditation

On Knowing What to Write About

It depends on what I’m aiming to write – if it’s a blog post, it’s a case of what have I learned recently, or what’s annoying me! Some things come as a response to what’s needed – so I’m looking for radical ideas for my quiet revolution column at Pagan Dawn in an ongoing way, I’m thinking about alternative responses to the seasons for Sage Woman blogs, radical poetry might go to Gods and Radicals, miserable poetry goes to a local event.

interview with a druid

Buy it here: Druidry and the Ancestors: Finding our place in our own history

When it comes to books its a slower and less coherent process. I tend to have some long term interest in something before I get to the point of wanting to write a book about it. Usually there will be a combination of reading other people’s ideas on a subject, exploring a practice or an idea for myself, and it flows from there. At any given time I’m reading and exploring in a number of areas, some of which go into books, some don’t, and its not usually obvious when I start whether I’ll take it to fiction or non-fiction.

Sometimes both – Druidry and the Ancestors(non-fic) and Intelligent Designing for Amateurs (fic) both started life in my reactions to Ronald Hutton’s Blood and Mistletoe.

interview with a druid

Buy it here: Pagan Portals – Spirituality Without Structure: The Power of finding your own path

On Writing

I think the first thing to say is that being a writer does not pay my bills and probably never will – this is true of a good 95% of authors. Most of us have second jobs. Some of us manage to align those second jobs with the writing work, but that’s not always the case.

It’s certainly true that being an author in this day and age tends to mean spending more time tying to draw attention to your work than you spend creating the work. I give talks, now and then, I take books to events (easier for people who have cars, I suspect), interviews (!) I write articles and columns and blog posts and lurk around on social media trying to find ways to say ‘you could buy my book’ without boring people to death. I’m not a great self publicist, I’m much happier when I’m talking about other people’s books. I find it easier to be excited about other people’s work.

interview with a druid

Buy it here: Pagan Dreaming: The magic of altered consciousness

 On a Writing Career in the Pagan Field

My first advice would be to drop the ‘career’ notion. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the Pagans who earn enough as professional Pagans with writing as part of the mix, to be wholly self supporting. Even best selling Pagan authors tend to have a second job – it’s realistic to think you could be working part time and being professionally Pagan part time. So, don’t do it for the fame and riches! Do it because there is something you feel called to share, because you’re inspired, driven, passionate about something.

Then at least there’s the job satisfaction, even if you aren’t getting any money out of it. Most Pagan events can’t afford to pay most speakers more than their travel costs. I know there’s a widely held belief that authors all rake it in JK Rowling style, that people charging for teaching are exploiting the community and all that. The truth is that many of the Pagans you’ve heard of are either paupers, or have a day job. I won’t name drop, but as an author, reviewer and member of various things, I’ve talked to a lot of famous Pagans along the way and I know something of what it costs them to do the work. If you’re looking for a career, this isn’t going to provide.

interview with a druid

Buy it here: Pagan Planet: Being, Believing & Belonging in the 21Century

Stay tuned for more Interview with a Druid!

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Pop Culture Magic: 3 Non-Pagan Books That Changed My Practice

pop culture magic

Pop Culture Magic – 3 Non – Pagan Books That Changed My Spiritual Practice

Or, in the case of the first two, started it all.

Pop Culture Magic should not be such a dirty word. Magicians have been inspired by works of fiction, and vice versa, since the beginning of time.

Indeed, can we even separate one from the other?

Here are the three non-Pagan books that changed my world forever.

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

This is one of his YA novels, but don’t let that put you off. The best children’s novels have a power beyond that of the best adult ones. This book not only changed my practice, but my life. Tiffany Aching is a normal girl, with normal hair and normal eyes, who is allowed to be a normal girl. She makes catastrophic mistakes, and has flaws, flights of fancy, friends, fights and falls. Tiffany is that heroine that is denied so many little (and big) girls, someone real, someone flawed, someone good who isn’t always nice.

That has a power all of it’s own, but it’s the way magic works in Discworld that has always grabbed me, or rather the way witchcraft works. Tiffany’s main flaw is her selfishness, and she realises that it’s also her strength, and it’s where her magic comes from. For too long women have been discouraged from being self-centered, yet here is a book that applauds it, and gives it the power it deserves.

Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

Yes, another Discworld novel, but this time one of the adult ones. I picked this one out of all of the witches book he wrote, because of one scene in particular, but all of his witches books influenced my practice beyond measure. From the non-reliance on special tools because of the scene where they raise a demon in a washtub with a scrubbing board and a stick in (I think) Lords and Ladies, or the distinct difference between herbal witchcraft and doctoring, headology and psychology, witchcraft and actual magic. Pratchett taught me that the measure of a witch is knowing when to use magic, and when to use cunning.

I chose Carpe Jugulum in particular, because of a scene between Granny Weatherwax, who is a witch, and a priest. Granny remarks that there are no shades of grey, only black and white ‘that’s got a bit grubby’. She also says that all the sins of the world start with the worst sin, and that is thinking of people as things. In later books, he gives a railway train a soul, and reminds us that we should treat everything as a person first, and a thing second.

Harry Potter

 Harry Potter taught me many things, but it influenced my practice by teaching me that the greatest magic is love. That doing the right thing isn’t easy, but you can find it on the edge between selfishness and selflessness.

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Top 5 Best Pagan Books

top five Pagan booksTop Five Pagan Books

These are in no particular order, one, because they are all very good, and two, because they deal with such vastly different subjects it would be unfair to rank them.

(Also, the first link in each, the actual name of the book is a link direct to that book on Amazon where you can buy it. It is an affiliate link which means I earn a tiny commission from Amazon should you buy anything through that link.)

  1. Pagan Planet: Being, Believing & Belonging in the 21Century edited by Nimue Brown. Full review here. I’ve chosen this one, because it features so many varied  viewpoints on what it is to be Pagan, that there isn’t a person on the planet who won’t learn something new or be offered a new way of looking at the world when they read this book. This book has articles not just from writers, but from other prominent Pagans, activists and clergy and both. This is a must read for anyone who feels like they’ve lost their way – there are so many ways out there, you can find one to suit you or create your own.
  2.  A Druid’s Tale by Cat Treadwell. Full review here. Cat shares what it’s like to be a Druid as she sees it, and it’s a wonderful tale, full of inspiration and lessons. Useful not only for people on a druidic path, but for anyone considering a clergy or professional religious role in a great many religions, I think.
  3. A Deed Without a Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft by Lee Morgan. Full review here. Winning the award for longest title on my bookshelf, this book has really opened my eyes to folklore and folk magic, and allowed me to investigate historical material more thoroughly. This is a book I go back to, time and time again, for things even beyond witchcraft – I’m doing some research for some folklore articles I’m writing, and yet again this book turns out to be useful.
  4. Pagan Dreaming: The magic of altered consciousness by Nimue Brown. Full review here. It’s several months on from my first reading of this book , and I still can’t believe just how much it’s helped me. Following it has not only given me greater clarity and an actual relationship with my dreams, but has also given me my health back. Being able to to properly analyse not only my dreams but also my sleep has allowed a doctor to finally find out why I am tired, and now I have my life back. This is the only book I’ve ever read which emphasized and explained that to work with dreams you need to work with sleep, and how important sleeping actually is. I would recommend no other book on the subject.
  5.   The Book of English Magic by Richard Heygate. This book is not really designed for practioners, or for academics, which is why I love. It is a tour of English magic from as far back as we can reach, to the Chaos Magic of the 1980s, and contains just about every flavour of English magic I can think of. There are also interviews with all kinds of magic users, from witches to magicians to Wiccans, as well as simple tutorials to try out all kinds of magic. My copy is almost falling apart from overuse and it’s full of notes and scribblings too.

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Book Review Monday: Candle Magic

candle magic

Pagan Portals: Candle Magic

Buy it here: Pagan Portals – Candle Magic: A witch’s guide to spells and rituals

Pagan Portals: Candle Magic is an exemplary addition to any magician’s bookshelf. A detailed look at traditions and practices, without adhering to dogma.

The best sort of handbook, it builds literally from the ground up, containing spells and exercises suitable for any ability level. Useful for a beginner, or for someone going back and filling in gaps in their knowledge.

It shows you why and how each sort of candle is used, progressing onto creating your own spells, rituals and practices.

Candle Magic covers a lot of historical and cultural ground, so will be useful almost regardless of your own cultural background.

I’ve worked with candle magic for nearly eight years now, and there was plenty of new to me information in here, so I would certainly recommend it to you at any point of your journey with candle magic.

All of the Pagan Portals books are concise and well-written, and this is no exception. A useful primer that goes far beyond 101 lessons, this is a book that deserves a place on your shelf.

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Want more? You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me. If you’d like to help support me, please consider becoming a Patron! You get all kinds of cool things for doing so.

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Book Review Monday: Whispers from the Earth

whispers from the earth review

Whispers from the Earth Review

Buy the book here: Whispers from the Earth: Teaching stories from the ancestors, beautifully woven for today’s spiritual seekers

 

This is a book for Rudyard Kipling fans for sure.

I’ve spent about twelve hours since I’ve read it trying to think of who Taz Thorton’s style reminds me of, and it finally hit me at around midnight, waking me up. Like, bolt upright in bed, Game Grumps style.

This is a book that could easily have been read to me when the Vicar visited my school – even though these are pagan flavoured, they are traditional British teaching stories that have wisdom and benefits that transcends religion.

So while this Whispers from the Earth review started off on a comedic note, I wanna just talk for a minute about some important. Sorry for the soapbox.

Children’s literature are possibly some of the most important pieces of writing ever. Books can define a generation, and impart social values in a way that parents and teachers cannot. There needs to be children’s literature of all religions, no religions, and everything in between. Children experience the world through books (and electronic media), and they need the opportunity to explore stories from differing faiths and worldviews.

Whispers from the Earth is my vote for something in the Pagan/Nature Faith section.

Apologies for interrupting this Whispers from the Earth review with a bit of soapboxing. I’m off it now.

Buy the book. It’s good.

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Want more? You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me. If you’d like to help support me, please consider becoming a Patron! You get all kinds of cool things for doing so.)

 

Book Review: Pagan Planet

pagan planet

Pagan Planet Review

Buy the book here: Pagan Planet: Being, Believing & Belonging in the 21Century

Pagan Planet is an overlooked and underrated gem of a book that deserves an honoured place on your bookshelf.

A variety of authors, activists and Pagans of all walks of life contributed a short piece to this book. A grand and yet small perspective of the Pagan community as we wander further into this millennium.

This book is really enjoyable –  it is a frank and varied look at what it means to be Pagan in the modern age. I took something away from each piece in this book, and added new authors to my ‘To – Read’ list based on their pieces in this book.

I also really appreciated that activists and other members of the wider Pagan community had pieces included. It was really interesting to read from the perspectives of those that don’t usually share so deeply in their lives.

You’ll learn a lot from this, not just about other Pagan religions, but also about activism of various kinds.

Pagan Planet made me realize that we are only as strong as the values we choose to demonstrate.

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(Want more? You can subscribe to my email list here, and visit my Etsy shop here, or check my services pages for more from me. If you’d like to help support me, please consider becoming a Patron! You get all kinds of cool things for doing so.)

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