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Author Archives: Alanna Kali

About Alanna Kali

Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.

Sacred Bones, Magic Bones, by Ness Bosch

Sacred Bones, Magic Bones: Stories from the Path of the Bones, by Ness Bosch
Moon Books, 1803412127, 208 pages, June 2024

Sacred Bones, Magic Bones: Stories from the Path of the Bones by Ness Bosch is a captivating journey into the world of bone magic, a topic that often remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Bosch, an experienced shamaness and priestess, skillfully bridges the gap between ancient traditions and contemporary practice. The book is not just a guide; it’s an immersive experience that invites readers to explore the spiritual and magical significance of bones, offering a fresh perspective on a practice that dates back to prehistoric times.

Bosch has done a great job of making this book both education and engaging. She’s clearly done thorough research into the topic, while the inclusion of personal anecdotes and real-life experiences of her own spiritual path adds an authentic touch. The content is multicultural, sharing stories from around the world, and this broad perspective invites readers to go beyond the normal divisions that keep us separated and to discover the holistic Path of the Bones.

“In a world full of barriers, ones we have to jump to relate one another, bones speak a universal language that connect us.”1

The book is nicely organized into two parts. Part I focuses on stories of the bones. Bosch begins with stories of some of the oldest bones found to date and the stories archeologists have gathered based on their remains, such as the cave Atapuerca in Iberia and the bones of Neve’s, a baby who lived about 10,000 years ago.

She then moves onto bones in folklore, teaching how certain bones are considered lucky or can be used to make ceremonial musical instruments. The wide-range of bone usages is bolstered by the folk stories that have upheld their significance throughout time. Hence why people will travel to see someone’s grave or religious relics and the Hand of Glory spell continues to captivate people’s imagination.

The next chapter focuses on ancient deities with a connection to bones, often through ritual sacrifices. The goddess and goddesses mentioned are Kali, Triton, Bau, Hel, Chamunda, Baba Yaga, and more. It’s very interesting to see how bones are an intersection between all these various deities from different cultures and pantheons.

Bosch then turns her attention to currently practiced, also known as living, traditions. She teaches how necromancy goes back to prehistoric times, writing:

“At some point in the line, the need arose to communicate with the dead and establish a communication bridge with the underworld or the other side of the veil.”2

And through time, bones have always had an important role in necromancy, linking them from past to present in on-going traditions. This chapter also includes stories from people currently working with bones in their spiritual path, ranging from Druidry to witchcraft to Hoodoo to Inuit, which is insightful to read about firsthand.

In Part II, Bosch really delves into the Path of the Bones, which she describes “belongs to all of us, is not something strange or foreign to us.”3 She shares the visions and initiations that called her towards the Path of the Bones and introduces readers to La Huesera, The Bone Mother. Bosch shares stories and songs of The Bone Mother, offering readers a doorway into establishing their own relationship with Her.

Within this section, Bosch also shares how to incorporate bones into one’s spiritual practice. Bosch covers everything from the ethical sourcing of bones to the various rituals and spells that can be performed using them. Her directions for cleaning bones, both physically and energetically, is very helpful guidance. The deep respect for the subject matter is evident throughout the text, as Bosch emphasizes the importance of intention, respect, and ethical considerations when working with bones. This thoughtful approach ensures that readers understand the gravity and sanctity of the practice, rather than treating it as a mere novelty.

This section also really gets into the heart of working with ancestors. Bosch assures readers it’s easier than one thing to establish a connection with our ancestors and suggests ideas like building an ancestor altar and shamaic journey to start or deepen one’s relationship with them. There’s also plenty of spells offered for a variety of desires: binding, protection, abundance, achievement. What I enjoyed most about reading through the spells is that each one uses different types of bones–seagull bones for achieving a goal, badger bones for protection. There’s also guidance for creating amulets and incense with bones too.

Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or a curious novice, Sacred Bones, Magic Bones serves as a comprehensive and enlightening guide to the world of bone magic, encouraging readers to explore their own spiritual paths with reverence and confidence. I would especially recommend this book for those interested in ancestor work, as Bosch really delves into the connection bones establish between ourselves and our predecessors. One of my favorite parts of the book is the ancestor songs included at the end.

And for those looking to expand their bone magic practice further, absolutely check out Bosch’s website. She offers services such as training and consultations for shamanic tattooing, a wide range of spiritual retreats, and remote shamanic healing services. She also is a pagan celebrant–the first Spanish-speaking one ever registered in Scotland!

In addition to these services, Bosch also has her own priestess schools and spiritual training programs, including Goddess Temple Alba (a Pagan Temple in Scotland), The Covenant of the Waters (Sea Priestess training), Priesthood of Astarte, and Fellowship of Isis trainings. There’s also a website dedicated specifically to the Path of the Bones.

Overall, in Sacred Bones, Magic Bones, Bosch does a wonderful job blending historical context with practical advice. She provides readers with a rich tapestry of folklore, mythology, and practices for them to cultivate their own connection with bones and the deities associated with them, in particular The Bone Mother. The exploration of bone magic offers a unique pathway to connect with the profound mysteries of life, death, and the ever-present spirit world, reminding us of the intricate web of connections that bind all living beings.

Alive with Spirits, by Althaea Sebastiani

Alive with Spirits: The Path and Practice of Animistic Witchcraft, by Althaea Sebastiani
Weiser Books, 1578638259, 240 pages, May 2024

Many pursue the path of witchcraft hoping to influence the world around them, yet it’s important to also honor the energy exchanges consistently taking place and defining our relationships with the world we inhabit. How else can we manifest our desires, heal our wounds, and cultivate a practice without a connection to the Land, spirits, and energetics surrounding us?

Alive with Spirits: The Path and Practice of Animistic Witchcraft by Althaea Sebastiani is a profound exploration into the world of animistic witchcraft, offering readers a comprehensive guide to understanding and practicing this ancient spiritual path from the scope of modern witchcraft.

“Within the context of contemporary witchcraft, animism is the definitive influence behind a land-based approach. It provides structure for practice that is rooted in deep relationship with physicality, both of the land and of ourselves. It affords us a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves that is gained through understanding of community that includes the individual spirits as much as it includes other humans.”1

The most prominent standout feature of this book is its emphasis on direct experience and personal connection with the natural world. Sebastiani encourages readers to cultivate relationships with the spirits of the land, animals, and plants around them, fostering a sense of reverence and intimacy with the environment.

This approach to witchcraft is refreshing in a world often disconnected from nature, and it serves as a reminder of the sacredness in everyday life. The practical exercises provided are thoughtful and varied, allowing readers to experiment and find what resonates most with their unique spiritual journey.  For every chapter, there are new exercises related to the information just shared, along with on-going exercises to keep practicing what was already spoken about previously in the book, yielding a steady build up of skills.

Most of these exercises are focused on energy work, and readers who engage with Sebastiani’s exercises will find themselves learning to fine-tune their psychic sensitivities. There’s layers and layers of energy to be explored through this animistic approach, and she ensures that readers are grounded, knowledgeable, and prepared to take the next step in their journey.

Towards the beginning of the book, Sebastiani explains, “As witches, our work with energy takes two forms: sensing energy and manipulating energy.”2 She goes on to explain the general forms of manipulating energy are pushing (projecting), pulling (attracting), and holding (containing).3 This foundation understanding of energy is then expanded to assist readers in connecting with the Land, their body, and other living and non-living beings.

My greatest takeaway from this book was the new awareness of the more subtle, overlooked energies both within myself and in the Land surrounding me. The section titled “Layered: Together and One” was particularly eye-opening for me. Sebastiani describes:

“When we think of the land and nature, we have a tendency to think of the things that fill nature. We think of plants, trees, animals. Rarely do we consider the “empty spaces”–the dirt, the rocks, the wind–except in relation to those other living, animated things. . .Being able to be within a location and to hold the awareness of it as unique–appreciating the differences that are an intrinsic part of its beauty, personality, identity, and basic nature–is essential in order to grow your awareness of the spiritual qualities of that place.”4

These animistic teachings have greatly expanded my perception of place, and recently, I’ve been focusing on creating a connection with the empty space in the same way I do with the living things around me to be more rooted in my local landscape.

Another defining aspect of Alive with Spirits is how Sebastiani delves into the ethical considerations of animistic witchcraft, addressing the importance of respect, consent, and reciprocity in interactions with the spirit world. Her insights into the interconnectedness of all beings and the responsibility that comes with spiritual work are particularly poignant, offering a grounded and conscientious perspective. She writes:

“If a relationship is the inherent connection that exists between us and all other beings within the world, right relationship is the actions we take that are congruent with the awareness of that relationship and the awareness of inarguable autonomy of each being. It is acting in such a way so as to minimize negative impact upon the beings closest to us, and to encourage and work towards mutual benefit for all, as much as is possible.”5

Overall, in Alive with Spirit, Sebastiani skillfully intertwines personal anecdotes, practical exercises, and theoretical knowledge, creating a holistic approach to animism that is both engaging and educational. Her writing is both accessible and deeply insightful, making complex concepts digestible for both beginners and seasoned practitioners alike.

This book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in deepening their understanding of animism and integrating its practices into their magical practice. This book is also testament to Sebastiani’s expertise and passion for the subject, making it a must-read for those drawn to the path of animistic witchcraft.

For those interested in learning more about Sebastiani’s work, you can follow her on Instagram or check out her website. She offers community events and custom courses to strengthen one’s witchcraft foundation, such as Feral Witchcraft, Spiritual Self-Care, A Witch’s Guide to Necromancy, and more. She’s by far one of the most real-deal witches I follow!

The Secret Life of Mother Mary, by Marguerite Mary Rigoglioso, Ph.D.

The Secret Life of Mother Mary: Divine Feminine Power for Personal Healing and Planetary Awakening, by Marguerite Mary Rigoglioso, Ph.D.
Bear & Company, 1591435242, 176 pages, July 2024

Mother Mary, whose divine conception led to the birth of Jesus Christ, is one of the most revered women to have ever lived. However, her real identity has been buried under years of patriarchal narratives that have hidden her true essence. In The Secret Life of Mother Mary: Divine Feminine Power for Personal Healing and Planetary Awakening, Marguerite Mary Rigoglioso, Ph.D. brings new insight about the role Mary played in not only Jesus’s birth, but also his resurrection, introducing to readers the truth of her divinity.

In this book, Rigoglioso teaches readers how Mother Mary was more than a docile, subservient woman chosen by God to birth the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She was actually highly skilled priestesses who had been trained since her own parthenogenetic conception in the spiritual arts. Not only did she achieve this feat, but at the end of her life, Mother Mary was able to fully ascend into divinity using a specific ritual “to help her complete her spiritual ascension and apotheosize–that is, fully merge with the Universal Divine Mother.”1

The humility of Mother Mary along with the level of her spiritual advancement make her a powerful spiritual healing force for us to call upon today in order to restore our connection to the Divine Mother, heal mother wounds, and usher in the wisdom of Mother Mary to our world through our own spiritual growth and revelation.

Drawing on the work of Sri Kaleshwar, in particular his book The Real Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ, which is based on Palm Leaf Manuscripts, Rigoglioso teaches readers about the Holy Womb Chakra. Rigoglioso identifies the womb chakra as physically “extending from the navel to the vulva and including all aspects of the uterus in between.”2 However, she also notes that men too have a womb chakra that can be activated.

“Kaleshwar teaches us that the energy he calls “Mother Divine” is the supreme Creator, though she does not create through what I call the “erector set” model of creation that has been handed down to us through the Hebrew Bible. Rather she has created her own womb chaka, or energy center.”3

Another interesting facet of the book is the exploration of the nature of relationships between Jesus and Mother Mary, Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene. Rigoglioso also explores the role Mother Mary had in Jesus’s ministry, as demonstrated by the high reverence the apostles showed her, and Mother Mary’s relationship with Joseph and his family. All of this combines to paint a new picture of who these people were, showing their personal and spiritual lives that differs from the roles they’ve been cast in by Christianity.

The book is not merely a historical analysis; it is a spiritual journey that invites readers to connect with their own inner strength and healing potential. Rigoglioso shares plenty of her own experiences. And her writing is both scholarly and accessible, making complex ideas about spirituality and the divine feminine understandable to a broad audience. She blends thorough research with personal insights, creating a narrative that is both factually informative and deeply emotionally moving.

Readers are encouraged to embrace the divine feminine within themselves, which Rigoglioso asserts is essential for personal and planetary healing. At the end of each chapter, there are questions for reflection to help readers tap into their own perceptions, feelings, and beliefs about Mother Mary. Taking the time to journal one’s thoughts helps to initiate the process of opening to this information. Additionally, Rigoglioso provides free meditation on her website that can be used to further connect with Mother Mary.

Reading this book was a HUGE shift in perception for me. Admittedly, I was already a fan of Marguerite Mary Rigoglioso after reading her book The Mystery Tradition of Miraculous Conception. Prior to that book, I had taken a while to warm up to Mother Mary. She felt very virginal; her chastity and meekness was not something I was seeking in my teens and twenties. My spiritual growth came through working with Mary Magdalene, rewriting the historical narratives of who she was and the role she played in Jesus’s ministry and early Christianity.

However, once I understood the concept of parthenogenesis and the role that highly skilled priestesses had in the process through years of training, I saw a much fuller picture emerge. I was eager to see what new information Rigoglioso had to reveal in this book, which supplements her previous work beautifully. I might even suggest starting with this book if you’re new to Rigoglioso’s work as an introduction to the concept of parthenogenesis, or divine conception.

Rigoglioso challenges conventional religious narratives and encourages a more inclusive understanding of spirituality. Her work is a call to awaken to the interconnectedness of all beings and the importance of nurturing the feminine aspects of divinity. She urges us to remember the importance of these sacred lineages and that Mother Mary is always present for us, writing:

“Because what I have come to understand is that Mary is available. Due to her own tremendous spiritual achievements, she has become a resource on the inner planes that anyone (whatever your identity, religious affiliation, or level of spiritual interest) may draw upon to re-conceive, re-gestate, re-mother, and heal themselves.”4

Overall, The Secret Life of Mother Mary is a profound exploration into the life of one of history’s most enigmatic figures. Rigoglioso delves deeply into the hidden aspects of Mother Mary’s existence, painting a picture of a woman whose influence extends far beyond her traditional portrayal, which in turn offers new ways for people to understand and connect with her on a spiritual level. By examining ancient texts, spiritual teachings, and contemporary interpretations, Rigoglioso presents Mary as a goddess whose influence today is vital to healing the world, elevating her status beyond the confines of Christian narratives.

I absolutely loved this book, and I truly recommend it to everyone, as it offers a much-needed perspective about the sacred birth priestesses and their role in awakening planetary consciousness through their service of divine birth. Her book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in spirituality, personal growth, and the transformative power of the divine feminine. It serves as a compelling reminder that healing and awakening begin within, and that figures like Mother Mary can inspire us to reach our highest potential.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot, by Latisha Guthrie

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot, by Latisha Guthrie with artwork by Joanna Powell Colbert
U.S. Games System Inc., 1572819723, 124 pages, 78 cards, May 2019

The traditional tarot images often grow stale for me. In delving into why this happens, I reached the conclusion it was because they aren’t always relatable. Symbolic? Sure. But sometimes I just want to see images from daily life; I want to see scenes of my day to day. It was my quest for this domestic, homey feeling I was seeking in my readings that led me to The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by Latisha Guthrie.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by Latisha Guthrie is a beautifully crafted deck that intertwines the wisdom of the natural world with the mystical art of tarot reading. This 78-card deck, created in collaboration with illustrator Joanna Powell Colbert, is a celebration of the healing power of herbs and plants. Each card is thoughtfully designed to depict a specific plant, along with its symbolic meanings and practical applications, making it a unique blend of botanical knowledge and spiritual insight. And the imagery was spot-on for what I was seeking!

The cards are from the point of view of the reader. The Major Arcana cards depict a natural altar to the herb and its corresponding energy. They represent the gratitude the herbcrafter feels “for the gifts and insights the plants give her.”1 Some of the altars looked planned out, such as the ones in the shape of the mandala, while others are simply the altars that arise during herbcrafting as one is actively engaged in their process.

The Court Cards, which in this deck are called People Cards, all feature hands of the herbcrafter. They show hands doing all sorts of mundane tasks: picking plants, drawing a bath, pouring a tea kettle. She writes:

“Our intention is to highlight the plant as well as to celebrate the slow intentional ritual of handcrafting. With every berry gathered and tincture mixed we enflesh the sacred, making prayer visible.”2

In this deck, the Court Cards are Hijas (Daughters, traditionally Pages), Adelitas (Warriors, Traditionally Knights), Madres (Mothers, traditionally Queens), and Curanderas (Healers, traditionally Kings). Characterizing the Court Cards in this way made me feel extra connected to this deck too because these are the types of people that show up in my life; it’s easier for me to identify a motherly figure than it is a queen.

Other cards in the deck depict momentary scenes of what it looks like in the midst of gardening, having a cup of tea in bed with the moon shining above, or simply gazing at nature scenes of gardens, rivers, and trees exuding their beauty. As I browse the cards, I instantly feel at peace, grounded, and connected to the natural world. Yet the imagery takes on a whole additional layer of meaning after reading the guidebook.

Guthrie explains how instead of traditional tarot suits (swords, wands, cups, and pentacles), their corresponding elements are used for the Minor Arcana (air, fire, water, and earth). And the cards for each element have a theme: air shows the observation of nature, fire the transformation of the herbs, water focuses on baths and teas, and earth showcases “baskets and fiber arts”, which are considered “legacy tools.”3

Furthermore, the herbs were chosen for each number within the elemental Minor Arcana based on “how they contribute to an ecosystem”.4 Guthrie provides a list for numbers 1-10 to explain the roles of one. The guidebook also groups the cards by number, so rather than looking through a section on a specific element, one looks to section on that number and then finds their element within.

One of my favorite cards in the deck visually is Strength, which is the Garlic card. This is a Major Arcana card, so I knew it was depicting an altar of sorts, but it is certainly one of those altars that arises naturally from being in the moment. While I could describe it for you myself, a real bonus of the guidebook for this deck is that each entry features a description of the card. This is what the guidebook says about this card:

“A braided cluster of purple garlic rests on a cloth made of natural fibers. Roses from a nearby vase begin to dry, and petals have fallen on the table. Golden liquid seeps from a heart-shaped honeycomb onto a wooden board. Green scrapes fold into their lemniscate shape surrounding a pot of garlic cloves submerged in honey.”5

Guthrie perfectly captures the scene in each card with her vivid descriptions of the imagery. Even though I’m gazing at the card, her words bring the setting to life; I can feel it with my senses, further opening my intuitive understanding of the card.

The guidebook also features the Latin name, three imperative sentences for insight, a paragraph of wise words that speak to the spiritual meaning of the card, and three ways to craft with the energy of the card using the plant. For instance, the Strength card offers wearing a garlic amulet over the heart as a reminder to be bold, cook with garlic to fortify the body, and make “immune-boosting garlic honey”6 to soften intensity or conflict.

One of the standout features of this deck is its ability to connect the reader with the herbs, forming relationships “for medicine, creativity, ritual, and spiritual guidance.”7 The cards are not just tools for divination; they serve as a bridge to deepen one’s understanding and relationship with plants too. Guthrie’s guidebook provides detailed descriptions of each herb, including its traditional uses, folklore, and ways to integrate it into daily life. This makes the deck an educational resource as well as a spiritual tool, ideal for those who have an interest in herbalism or wish to incorporate nature into their spiritual practice.

In terms of usability, this deck is accessible for both beginners and experienced tarot readers. The imagery is rich and cozy, allowing for intuitive readings based on the set scene, while the guidebook is comprehensive yet easy to follow. The deck encourages a hands-on approach, inviting users to engage with the herbs mentioned, whether through gardening, cooking, or crafting.

Overall, The Herbcrafter’s Tarot is a harmonious blend of art, nature, and spirituality, offering a unique and enriching experience for anyone interested in tarot and herbal wisdom. It has become my go-to tarot deck recently. I absolutely love getting to learn more about the plants themselves, from the practical uses to the spiritual messages they have to share. Guthrie and Colbert have done a wonderful job distilling the essence of each plant into the cards both in the imagery and guidebook for readers to truly connect with their natural powers.

Little Book of Neville Goddard Quotes, compiled by Jen McCarty

Little Book of Neville Goddard Quotes – The Pocket Guide to Mysticism, Manifestation and Imagination, compiled by Jen McCarty
Muse Oracle Press, 9780645885019, 290 pages, August 2024

Neville Goddard, a profoundly influential figure in the realm of metaphysical thought and spiritual teachings, left his mark on the world with his unique perspective on the power of the mind and imagination. Born on February 19, 1905 (Pisces!), in Barbados, Goddard grew up in a large family before moving to the United States to pursue his ambitions. It was in America that Neville embarked on a journey of spiritual and philosophical exploration, ultimately leading to the development of his central thesis: that the human imagination is God, and that individuals can manifest their desires into reality through the power of thought and belief.

Goddard’s teachings, which spanned over three decades from the 1930s to his death in 1972, emphasized the scriptural interpretation not as literal historical accounts, but as metaphors for inner psychological and spiritual truths. He urged his followers to practice the art of assuming the feeling of their wish fulfilled, positing that such a practice could lead to the manifestation of their desires. His lectures, books, and lessons, many of which he generously offered for free, centered around the practical applications of this philosophy, aiming to empower individuals to shape their reality through directed thought and imagination.

Neville Goddard’s legacy is a rich tapestry of spiritual insights and practical wisdom. His work continues to inspire and influence countless individuals seeking to unlock the power of their minds and achieve greater control over their lives. Despite the passage of time, Goddard’s teachings on the creative power of imagination and the interconnectedness of the human psyche and the divine remain as relevant and compelling today as they were during his lifetime.

Little Book of Neville Goddard Quotes – The Pocket Guide to Mysticism, Manifestation and Imagination compiled by Jen McCarty is a concise and thought-provoking collection that distills the essence of Neville Goddard’s teachings into bite-sized, easily digestible passages. This book captures the core of his philosophy through a carefully curated selection of quotes, making it an ideal introduction for newcomers as well as a handy reference for long-time followers.

In the introduction, in which McCarty describes the impact of Goddard on her spiritual path, she writes:

“When you realise that you are the sole operative power in the universe, you fully awaken to God consciousness. As God consciousness, you are never a victim of circumstances; you are always in creator mode.”1

Jen McCarty has done an admirable job in selecting quotes that encapsulate the transformative power of Goddard’s ideas. Each page offers a nugget of wisdom that encourages deep reflection and personal growth. She’s managed to search through a vast amount of material put forth by Goddard, gather the most meaningful quotes, and then organize them into chapters that make it easy to either read through sequentially or jump to passages that resonate with their current state of mind. This flexibility makes the book not just a one-time read, but a timeless companion for those on a journey of self-discovery and manifestation. There’s twenty-eight chapters of different quote types, ranging from “Inner Speech” to “Mental Diet”. The more religious chapters include “The Bible”, “The Father”, “Christ”, and “Shepard”.

Admittedly, some of the content might seem a little dated to the modern spiritual seeker, as Goddard’s thoughts are a bit at odds with current trends (all the quotes refer to man rather than woman, so I can’t help but notice the gender bias). The antiquated quotes on bride and groom especially made my husband and me chuckle. I also struggled a bit to connect with all the biblical language, often referring to Christ and God. Yet there’s still so much to be gained from learning this philosophy, even if it’s outside the normal realm of one’s spiritual studies.

What sets this book apart is its accessibility. Goddard’s teachings, while profound, can sometimes be dense and complex. McCarty’s selection simplifies these concepts without losing their depth, making it easier for readers to grasp and apply them in their daily lives. Whether you are seeking inspiration, affirmation, or a deeper understanding of the power within you, Little Book of Neville Goddard Quotes serves as a compact yet powerful guide to transforming your thoughts and, consequently, your reality.

My favorite quotes is in the chapter “Imagination”:

“It is a marvelous thing to discover that you can imagine yourself into the state of your fulfilled desire and escape from the taps the ignorance has built. The real man is a magnificent imagination, and it is this self that must be awakened.”2

And for those who consider themselves reality manifestors, there’s so much guidance on how to perfect your process. Here’s another quote that really resonated with me and gave me the confidence to live as though my wishes have already been fulfilled:

“Put yourself in the proper mood, and your own consciousness will embody it. If I could define prayer for anyone and put it as clearly as I could, I would simply say it is the feeling of the wish fulfilled. If you asked, “What do you mean by that?” I would say I would feel myself into the situation of the answered prayer, and then I would live and act upon the conviction. I will try to sustain it without effort. That is, I would live and act as though it was already a fact, knowing that as I walk into this fixed attitude, my vision will harden into reality.”3

Overall, Little Book of Neville Goddard Quotes is well suited for readers who are interested in the New Thought movement, which emphasizes the power of positive thinking and the idea that one’s thoughts and beliefs can shape their experience. This is a great read from a historical context to better understand the roots of manifestation mindset. Whether or not you resonate with the Christian terminology, the potency of Goddard’s inner knowledge shines through. It might take a little bit of time for the quotes to sink in, but reading through makes one feel empowered and in control of their potential. This book is a wonderful reminder that we are sacred creators, and when we align ourselves with a higher power, all we desire can be ours.

Food for Thought, by Rachel Bartholomew and Mandy Pearson

Food for Thought: Mindful Eating to Nourish Body and Soul, by Rachel Bartholomew and Mandy Pearson
CICO Books, 978-1800653221, 160 pages, April 2024

Recently, I’ve been seeking to change my relationship with food. Instead of jumping into a new food trend or committing to a diet that doesn’t feel maintainable, my focus has been on cultivating new habits by making one little change at a time. Food for Thought: Mindful Eating to Nourish Body and Soul by Rachel Bartholomew and Mandy Pearson has a motivating source of supportive on my journey to changing my eating patterns.

“You may be ready to give your eating habits a complete overhaul straight away, or you may decide to just change one thing to start with. Do tell yourself that whatever you can do right now is right for you in this time and place, and is absolutely worth it.”1

Food for Thought serves as a comprehensive guide to transforming one’s relationship with food through the practice of mindful eating, delving into the philosophy that eating is not just a physical act of nourishment but also an emotional and spiritual experience that can lead to improved health and well-being when done mindfully. The authors, Bartholomew and Pearson, combine their expertise in nutrition and mindfulness to present a harmonious approach to eating. They teach readers that by being fully present during meals, we can achieve a deeper appreciation for the flavors, textures, and overall experience of eating, which can lead to better digestion, reduced overeating, and a more satisfying relationship with food.

This book is filled with practical exercises, thoughtful insights, and easy-to-follow advice aimed at helping readers slow down, savor each bite, and reconnect with their food in a more meaningful way. There’s also plenty of delicious recipes throughout the book, such as a carrot and lentil dip, spiced oatmeal cake with cinnamon and chocolate frosting, falafel with minted yogurt, and slow-cooked lamb salad.

Plus, the colorful pages and easy-to-understand content, enriched with little graphics, make this book not just a resource but an experience as you move through it. There’s plenty of moments to pause, as the authors have included “Mindful Practices”, encouraging readers to stop and savor not only their meals but also the moment and the sensations that come from integrating this information as they read. These practices are perfect for reflection and create the space to truly deepen your connection with the information being presented.

What I like most about the authors’ approach to eating is how they believe we can intuitively know what our body needs. Instead of going to extremes in our eating or obsessively seeking out new information, we can instead learn to listen to our inner voice, and honor what our body is telling us. They write, “Your instinct will often point you in the right direction if you slow down and make space to connect with this inner wisdom.”2 And I’ve found that taking time in the morning and before bed to read a chapter of Food for Thought or taking time to reflect on what I’ve learned–the important of having a direction, staying organized with my meals, affirming new beliefs–helps me to stay on track with my goals.

The well-rounded content brings a level of mindfulness to food triggers, cravings, and lifestyle factors that influence one’s health and eating habits in a way that feels gentle. These topics can feel very painful to acknowledge, especially if they’ve been unconscious while we eat on autopilot mode. But change requires doing a bit of deeper questioning about the way we are fueling ourselves in order to pick more nourishing options. The authors’ approach is compassionate, caring, and very helpful in a practical way, paving the way for this inner work becomes a practice of self-love.

Bartholomew and Pearson also have taught me that making changes to my eating habits is not just about the act of eating–it’s about reshaping one’s entire approach to food. They emphasize the importance of choosing foods that are nourishing to both the body and the soul, advocating for a diet that is as good for the planet as it is for the individual, helps me be more conscious of where I am sourcing my food from, the time (or lack thereof) that I take to prepare it, and the impact of the speed I consume my food and my attention while doing so.

With its blend of nutritional science and mindful living practices, Food for Thought is a valuable resource for anyone looking to foster a healthier, more conscious approach to eating. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner of mindfulness or new to the concept, Bartholomew and Pearson’s insights offer a refreshing perspective on how to enrich your life through the simple act of eating. I recommend this book both for those looking to create more conscious eating habits to enhance their overall well-being and those who are seeking to expand their mindfulness practice to include meal time.

Tarot Meditations, by Heliodor Press

Tarot Meditations: Draw a Card and Take the Next Step on Your Spiritual Journey, by Heliodor Press
Heliodor Press, 979-8990089808, 178 pages, March 2024

The past few months, I had lost my tarot spark. The cards felt repetitive, or perhaps it was my reading style that had grown stale. I could intuitively grasp the reading and I knew the meanings of each card, but I wasn’t feeling any deeper immersion. It wasn’t until I read Tarot Meditations: Draw a Card and Take the Next Step on Your Spiritual Journey by Heliodor Press that my tarot practice was revived. This book makes me excited to do tarot readings again, and I’ve been enjoying the meditative perspective it frames each card in.

Tarot Meditations offers a unique and enriching approach to understanding and connecting with the tarot. Rather than focusing solely on traditional interpretations and fortune-telling, this book takes readers on a journey through meditative practices that deepen their relationship with the cards. This method encourages readers to move beyond rote memorization of card meanings and instead cultivate a more intuitive and experiential approach to the tarot.

The book is thoughtfully structured with each chapter dedicated to a different card from the deck, starting with the major arcana and moving through each suit in the order of cups, wands, swords, then pentacles. There’s a short description of the card, a table with information about the color, crystal, and astrological symbol associated with the card, and then a guided meditation designed to help readers internalize and personalize their understanding.

This meditative method of getting to know the card you’ve pulled encourages readers to move beyond rote memorization of card meanings and instead cultivate a more intuitive and experiential approach to the tarot. Additionally, within each meditation there are affirmations readers are encouraged to announce aloud to the universe, further integrating the card’s energy with one’s spiritual journey.

For instance, part of the guided meditation for the King of Cups reads:

“With each breath, feel the soothing energy of the aquamarine crystal washing over you, bringing a sense of calmness, clarity, and communication to your emotional state… As you continue to breathe deeply, imagine the King of Cups guiding you through the turbulent waters of your emotions with grace and poise.”1

The readers are then encouraged to repeat affirmations, including:

“I lead with empathy, nurturing understanding, and healing in myself and others.”2

“My presence is a sanctuary of peace, where love and compassion reign supreme.”3

What I love about this approach is that it instantly taps you into the energy of the card, revealing insights from within the card’s perspective that awaken inner knowledge in yourself too. The meaning of each card isn’t just “out there” or in my mind; rather, the card and I become one, and its energy infuses my spirit with the affirmations needed in that moment. The introspection helps to reveal what’s going on inside of me, guiding me forward with more understanding and awareness.

Another thing I appreciate about the meditations is how they often include the contents of the table within the meditation. The table states rose quartz is the crystal associated with the Four of Wands, the astrology symbol is Venus, and the color is gold. The meditation includes all these symbolic aspects, asking one to envision a golden hue and bask in it, then later the meditation moves to imagining a rose quartz crystal’s energy radiating outward and the Venus symbol above one’s head, “infusing every cell of your being, reminding you of the support system that surrounds you and the bonds that sustain you.”4

The inclusion of the table contents in the meditation helps me to understand these symbolic associations of the card, yielding insight that goes beyond just the traditional meaning of each card. Not only am I reading the table and learning, the meditation is then opening my mind’s eye to these energies too, further connecting me to their energies and blending them with my aura.

Now, I will acknowledge that it might be hard for some to simultaneously get into the meditative state and also read the guided meditation at the same time. As an avid reader, I have no problem reading the words and letting my mind drift into that deeper state to be fully immersed at the same time. But for those who want a more concentrated meditative experience, I would suggest either recording yourself reading it before and playing it back or having someone read the guided meditation to you.

Overall, Tarot Meditations is a wonderful resource for those looking to connect with the cards from within. The emphasis on using the tarot as a tool for self-reflection and spiritual growth makes it accessible to both beginners and seasoned practitioners. The affirmations and incorporation of symbolic associations are sure to deepen readers’ understanding of the cards’ meanings and foster a new relationship with their deck. I’m so grateful for this book bringing back the introspective aspect that my readings had been lacking, infusing my spirit with fresh energy as I connect with the cards in a new way.

The Hedge Witch’s Hearth, by Heliodor Press

The Hedge Witch’s Hearth: Crafting and Nourishing Your Magickal Home, by Heliodor Press
Heliodor Press, 979-8987571279, 144 pages, March 2024

The Hedge Witch’s Hearth: Crafting and Nourishing Your Magickal Home by Heliodor Press is a captivating guide for blending the mundane and magical aspects of tending to one’s home with devotion and care. Drawing on the perspective of an experienced hedge witch, this book offers readers an enriching journey through the art of creating a home environment that nurtures both the body and the spirit.

“Your home can be magickal. It is meant to support you on your journeys. If you care for it and fill it with the right intentions, you will be able to feel it caring for you back.”1

The book is thoughtfully divided into areas of the home, taking readers room by room to magically spruce up their living quarters. It’s encouraged to “pay attention to the spirit of the room, not just the physical walls”2 and to adapt when needed. While the chapters are organized starting with the entryway and ending with the outdoor space, there’s no need to go in order; if a certain area of your home is calling for your attention, it’s easy to use the table of contents to find the chapter best suited for your current needs.

It’s also worth noting that not all homes will have every room provided in the book (I wish I had the extra room for a home office!), while some homes might have additional rooms not specifically focused (ex. playroom, library). With flexibility and the general how-to provided, readers will be able to mix and match information from the book to figure out what the room energetically requires for magical enhancement.

The flow of each section is the same, which I really enjoy because it made going through each room feel like a bit of a ritual where I knew all the steps to complete. First, there’s an overview of the room/space and why it’s important to the home overall. For instance, the living room is a place of relationships, while the kitchen is an area of nourishment. I realized in tending energetically to each area that understanding the purpose of each room assisted me with creating the right atmosphere.

Next, the room “essentials” are discussed, offering insight into what might be missing in your area. I never thought about some of these small details, such as having all the elements present in the living room or reminders of how much I’m loved in the bedroom, but at the suggestion of this book, incorporating them has made all the difference in the feel of the rooms.

Also included in each section is a two-page list of journal questions that help readers to tap into their feelings about the space: how it feels currently, how they’d ideally like it to feel, and questions to ignite inspiration for going forward. The questions are great for tuning into the energy of the room, opening the reader’s perspective why the room is valuable.

A journal question for the how-it-is-now aspect of the bedroom reads, “How do you feel about your clothes?”3. My answer would be old and outdated; they don’t fit, are stained, and I am embarrassed to be out in them often. Honestly acknowledging this points out that I’ve been neglectful in the self-care of myself, and my home space and attire is reflecting this too.

Meanwhile, the steps-forward question for the kitchen, “How can you incorporate the symbols that are meaningful to you in your kitchen?” aided me in remembering I bought a lovely wood-carved sign that said Kitchen Witch that I never hung up. I plan on doing that soon and also looking into other artwork I can find that reflects the magic I want brewing in my kitchen for the nourishment of myself and my family.

The more magical aspects of each section include a profile of a goddess who can inspire the energy in the space, a crystal whose energy will enhance the space, and practical spells and recipes. There’s a Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub recipe for scrubbing away negative energy in the bathroom, directions to create a Confidence Charm for hosting in one’s dining room, and a Business Blessing to enhance one’s office space, plus many more customized spells! One idea from the book that I found especially endearing is creating an Ancestor Garden in one’s outdoor space.

The book culminates with a list of further readings and listenings and a lengthy index. While the reading might feel quick, taking the time to feel into the energy of your home, journaling, and do the spellwork could last months! It’s certainly something that can be done again and again over the years, particularly if you move residences.

If you are seeking to deepen your magical practice or simply want to bring more intentionality into your home life, The Hedge Witch’s Hearth is a wonderful resource. Whether you’re seeking to learn more about hearth goddesses, gain insight from meaningful journal prompts, or simply seek to have many spells and recipes ready for whenever you need them, this book has you covered. It is a celebration of the home as a sacred space and a testament to the power of everyday magic to enhance the energy of one’s domicile.

Ocean Spirit Oracle, by Kristine Pidkameny

Ocean Spirit Oracle: Harness the Power and Wisdom of the Sea, by Kristine Pidkameny
CICO Books, ​​978-1800653054, 64 pages, 52 cards, April 2024

Intuition and the ocean share a remarkable and seemingly mystical connection, both opening us to awareness that expands our perception of the world. The ocean, with its vastness and depth, mirrors the nature of intuition. Just as the ocean’s surface can be calm or turbulent, it hides a complex world beneath. Our intuition operates beneath the surface of our everyday awareness, influencing our decisions and perceptions in subtle yet powerful ways.

Ocean Spirit Oracle by Kristine Pidkameny is a captivating tool for those seeking insight and guidance from the depths of the ocean’s wisdom and their inner knowing. With mesmerizing artwork that draws upon the vast beauty of the marine world, each card is a gateway into the profound and healing energies of the ocean, offering a unique blend of spiritual guidance and personal reflection.

“The ocean accepts you as you are and offers many life lessons.”1

Pidkameny’s gorgeous deck invites readers to embrace the ebb and flow of life by calling upon the wisdom of the ocean. This 52-card oracle deck is infused with a beautiful, serene, and calming energy.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Ocean Spirit Oracle is its ability to blend the sublime with the tangible through natural beauty. The stunning images on the cards look like one’s ideal vacation photographs, transporting the reader to destinations of the heart and mind. The realistic quality of the images brings the wisdom of the ocean, inviting the healing power of the natural world right into the room with you.

This exploration of nature  is supported by a comprehensive guidebook, which provides detailed interpretations and thoughtful reflections, making the oracle accessible to beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. For each card in the guidebook there is a thoughtful message that offers guidance and reassurance. Sometimes these messages ask you questions to reflect upon, other times they detail the scene for you, prompting the reader to meditate on the scene and how they feel immersed in the imagery. The gentle optimism of the guidebook is sure to leave readers uplifted and centered: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually transported to a  realm of serenity.

Additionally, for each guidebook entry, there’s a mantra for reflection. I’ve found repeating the reflection mantra a few times helps me to integrate the message and further invite the ocean’s energy into the present moment. As I go about my day, I will often come back to the mantra, and instantly, I am reminded of the ocean’s calming energy.

Working with this deck feels less like using a divinatory tool and more like drawing from a source of comfort and inspiration. It prompts readers to connect with their spirit through the natural world, fostering a sense of peace and understanding. Whether used for daily inspiration, meditation, or as part of a more extensive spiritual practice, this oracle deck is a treasure trove of wisdom. Readers can use this deck to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth, guided by the ancient and enduring spirit of the ocean.

The card I pulled most recently is Wonder. The image has crystal clear sparkling water reflecting the blue skies above. On the calm waters, a boat calmly floats, completely present in the moment with no sense of urgency or rush. The guidebook reads, “The bright, blue horizon beckons the seafarer within on a fascinating journey of discovery and delight. Brimming with countless moments of awe and awareness, the seaside offers a universal experience of enchantment.”2 The reflection mantra reads:

“Right now is my favorite moment.”3

Pulling this card definitely pulled me back into the present moment, reminding me that this is where magic is found–not in the past or the future. After a day of organizing my schedule for the next month and making/confirming plans, it was a pleasant and much-needed message to bring me back to the here and now. Moments after pulling it, I looked up at my toddler son, realizing I hadn’t given him my full attention in a while. Noticing my gaze resting on him, my son turned to me with a big smile–what a wonder indeed!

Overall, Oracle Spirit Oracle is a lovely addition to one’s collection. While it might seem like a more summery deck (it would certainly be a beautiful addition to summer decor), it’s also a cure for the winter-blues to remember the sunny days spent lounging near the mystic ocean. Readers of all levels can enjoy this deck, as Pidkameny’s words open the heart and center the soul. I highly recommend it for those seeking to deepen their connection with the ocean and embrace the mystical wisdom of the marine world.

Pagan Portals – Artemis, by Irisanya Moon

Pagan Portals – Artemis: Goddess of the Wild Hunt & Sovereign Heart, by Irisanya Moon
Moon Books, 1803413212, 112 pages, March 2024

I have been lacking a clear direction lately. Seeking clarity, I did a meditation for guidance, during which I felt a call to get to know the goddess Artemis. Intrigued by her lore and the promise of empowerment she symbolizes, I turned to Pagan Portals – Artemis: Goddess of the Wild Hunt & Sovereign Heart by Irisanya Moon in hopes of learning more about how to connect with Artemis in order to discern where to point my own bow and arrow. This book promised not just background knowledge, but an introduction to a path that could potentially align me with the strength and independence epitomized by Artemis herself.

“I believe Artemis is being called into these times, like a friend and trusted ally. She can call us back to the wild hunt and claim our sovereignty (the ability to self-govern and be self-possessed). Artemis is not one of just play and delight, though She is that too, She is a being of action and alignment. She knows Her values and acts on them.”1

Moon is a seasoned Pagan Portals author whose previous titles covered Aphrodite, Iris, The Norns, Gaia, and the Reclaiming witchcraft tradition. In this book, she turns her attention towards the goddess Artemis, teaching readers Her family lineage, stories, myths, symbols, and offerings, as well as guidance on how to create and sustain a relationship with Her.

What I appreciate about Moon’s approach to Artemis is that she leaves a lot of room open for readers to cultivate their own relationship. She does not present herself as the end-all-be-all authority on Her; rather she comes across as someone who sincerely wishes to share what she has learned through her own journey alongside historical sources to reveal the many facets of this goddess. She shares references, quotes other sources, and provides a detailed bibliography at the end for readers to use as a springboard for their own research.

What Moon does do that aids readers, especially those new to working with Artemis, is call upon her experience as a witch, priestess, and teacher to guide readers in opening the pathway to cultivate a relationship with Artemis and embark on a journey of self-empowerment along the way. For instance, Moon begins the book by assuring readers there’s no right or wrong way to proceed, and that the most important thing is to cultivate self-trust. She writes:

“When you trust yourself, you build a relationship that can face all that the wild has to teach you. There is no time in the hunt to go back and forth about every decision. Claim yourself as the wise one you need when it is time to aim.”2

This was just the advice I needed to hear to get me in the right frame of mind to more deeply connect with Artemis, as well as understand on a more personal level what I had been lacking recently–determination, focus, and confidence in my vision. Moon then offers a meditation to meet Artemis in the forest to begin the journey. This is the first of many “magickal practices” that are offered at the end of each chapter for the readers to perform.

Moon’s coverage of Artemis’s birth and family helped me to situate her within my knowledge of Greek mythology. It also introduced me to new goddesses, such as Diktyanna and Eileithya, who Artemis has been linked with at times. Reading direct translation of her mythology (Hymn 3 to Artemis by Callimachus) gave me insight into her personality as someone who knows what they want from life and has the courage to ask for it directly, once again a trait that could use some cultivation in myself.

The many ways Aretmis shows up are described by Moon–nature, the moon, protection, hunting and wild beasts, maidens, sacrifice, and Amazons–painted a well-round picture. Artemis is simultaneously a provider of life and death, birthing and killing, healing and sacrificing all simultaneously. The mythological stories of Artemis further illuminate the wrath of her punishment when transgressed alongside the blessings bestowed to those devoted to her.

Chapters covering Artemis’s symbols and offerings, devotional practices, and cultivating a relationship with the wild and Artemis are perfect for beginners to become acquainted. Moon encourages readers to reflect on what they can give to Artemis beyond the traditional offerings too, suggesting readers provide service and action towards what is important to Her (nature, protecting women) to facilitate a relationship. As Goddess of the Hunt, action is important to building the trust of Artemis for those who wish to be devoted to Her for any length of time.

The chapter on devotional practices goes into detail about cults of Artemis and festivals held in Her honor. Moon also offers chants and epithets too. I particularly liked the magickal practice for this chapter where Moon leads readers through envisioning Artemis in the hunt and then moving their own bodies in the same way, infusing the wild energy in one’s own limbs.

“She knows what it takes to come back into your being. To come back to the wild from which you have been born and created and made. To come back to the sacred hunt that needs you and knows you.”3

For those ready to formalize their relationship with Artemis, Moon shares a full dedication ritual. Meanwhile, she also gives plenty of practical advice for working with a deity, Artemis in particular, for those who are new to it in their spiritual practice. Moon explains how having patience, sitting with one’s fears, and embracing the unknown, are important for readers as they cultivate their connection to Artemis. Once again, Moon’s comforting wisdom comes across as caring and friendly, lacking any hint of pretension or judgment. It’s clear Moon’s aim is to guide readers towards trusting their own instincts as a pathway to better relate to Artemis.

Overall, Pagan Portals – Artemis: Goddess of the Wild Hunt & Sovereign Heart takes readers on  a journey toward fostering a spiritual connection with the goddess Artemis by traversing ancient myths, embracing the wilderness within and without, and seeking the empowerment that comes from aligning with her fierce independence and nurturing care. Moon guides readers to not only discover Artemis in the world around us but also find pieces of Her within themselves too, recognizing our strength, our capacity for growth, and our intrinsic value as protectors of the natural world and each other.

Readers who are ready to step into the role of the hunter, listen to the wisdom of the forest, attune to the cyclic rhythm of the moon, and turn their hearts to the wild will highly enjoy getting to know the untamed spirit of Artemis through Moon’s thoughtful writing. Since finishing this book, I’ve noticed my self-trust has grown, and I am feeling more confident stating my own needs. I do feel like Artemis’s energy comes through quite well in this book, and I hope other readers find it as empowering too! In Artemis, we find not just a deity to admire, but a reflection of our deepest, most powerful selves, calling us to live with authenticity, courage, and compassion in every aspect of our lives.