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Author Archives: Robin Fennelly

About Robin Fennelly

Robin Fennelly is an Elder within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition [www.sacredwheel.org]. She is a dancer, teacher, astrologer, author, ritualist and seeker of all things of a spiritual nature. Her writings and classes incorporate a deep understanding of Eastern practice and Western Hermetics and bring a unique perspective towards integration and synthesis of the Divine and Mundane natures of our being. She is a mother of five and lives in Eastern PA with her husband of 45+ years.

Pagan Portals – Sekhmet, by Olivia Church

Pagan Portals – Sekhmet: Lady of the Flame, Eye of RA, by Olivia Church
Moon Books, 978-1789047134, 120 pages, February 2022

“Sekhmet is a Goddess for today’s world.  She fiercely protects right order, returning balance to the world, and just as fiercely protects those who celebrate Her.  Her name means “Powerful Woman” and She symbolizes courage and strength as well as inspiration and comfort.”1

Pagan Portals – Sekhmet: Lady of the Flame, Eye of RA by Olivia Church is one of those titles that seems synchronistically to appear exactly when it is needed, much like the Goddess Sekhmet Herself.  And, I would even go so far as to say that in general, the rising interest in the ancient Egyptian deities aligns well with the societal need for a way of devotional that is powerful and terrifying all at once. Sekhmet, as Candace Kant so eloquently expresses in the quote above, is exactly that energy.

This book provides the reader with the tools of information and inspiration that allow for the cultivation of a connection to Sekhmet at multiple layers of experience. Much like the Goddess Sekhmet, the many paths that lead to Her wisdom hold multi-layers of meaning in and of themselves. And, as is the way with the Egyptian Deities–each has many epithets that only give the smallest hint of what lay hidden as you get to know them more deeply. To that end, Church has separated her book into seven chapters that take the reader from ancient knowledge of Sekhmet and the mythos surrounding her and concludes with a more modern approach of devotion and worship. 

Preceding the Introduction there a several pages containing abbreviations used throughout the book and a timeline of Ancient Egyptian history, as well as a geographical map of the more prominent Egyptian sites relevant to Sekhmet. The reader is given a very clear understanding of the the book’s intentions and what can be expected in delving into the Egyptian pantheon.

“Sekhmet is instantly recognizable today from her fierce appearance, bearing the proud head of a lioness, crowned by the sun disc and cobra, with the lower body of an Egyptian woman.  As with many Egyptian deities, Sekhmet is a complex character with a dramatic mythology and enduring influence, which continues to inspire people today…. Sekhmet is a challenging Goddess and this introductory volume will present her without airs and graces…. She is a Goddess of contradiction, sovereign over violence and sickness, as well as patron of healing and protection; she is truly the Mighty One.”2

These few sentences offered in the Introduction set the tone for what Church follows though in providing to the reader in the chapters to come. Each chapter offers the reader the ancient practices, as we know them, of devotion and interaction with Sekhmet and concludes with a section entitled “A Contemporary Pagan Perspective”. Within its writings are ways that the modern practitioner can meld together the inroads laid by the ancients and make them more relevant and accessible within a modern culture. 

As a fitting beginning of introduction to this Goddess, “Chapter 1: Mythology” tells of two myths that convey the origins of Sekhmet.  The subject of Sekhmet’s actual birth is one that exemplifies the mindset of the Ancient Egyptians and the adaptability of their Deities to evolve/spilt and become aspects of various states of being and temperaments rather than singular notions of anthropomorphic overlay.

She is one of several Egyptian Deities that have rather ambiguous beginnings, depending on who is telling the story and where the first stirrings of Sekhmet take place. In reading these myths, we see another layer typical to the Egyptian Deities, where one Deity morphs into another, not quite a hiving off into another half, but in keeping with the Ancient Egyptian psycho-spiritual perspectives, the second becomes an aspect of the first’s personality. This also speaks to the overlapping and true interconnectedness of the Egyptian Deities. 

The first myth presented is the Myth of the Eye of the Sun (The Wandering/Distant Goddess) and the second, which has come to be the more familiar regarding Sekhmet – The Book of the Heavenly Cow/The Destruction of Mankind. In the second myth, Hut-hor (Hathor) through her destructive actions against humanity at the request of RA, her father, Hathor sets out to wreak havoc on those who had turned away from the adoration of RA.  

“Send out your Eye that it may smite them for you, those who have conspired so wickedly. May it descend in the form of Hathor (B.H.C. 10-15; trans. Wente,2003) . . “I have overpowered mankind, and it was agreeable to my heart.” And so, Sekhmet came into being. (BHC.14015)”3

Hathor becomes Sekhmet as another form of being that is the perceived antithesis to the loving and regenerating nature of Hathor and drawing upon that rage and anger, Sekhmet, independent of Hathor comes into being.

“Egyptian mythology makes it clear that Sekhmet “came into being” when Hut-hor (Hathor) manifested true rage within herself.”4

As the reader progresses through Pagan Portals – Sekhmet, the chapters provide a very clear and concise image of the breadth of Sekhmet’s attributions and how important a Deity she was to the Ancient Egyptians. Chapters two to four speak to her designations as “The Devouring Flame” (chapter two), “The Great Healer” (chapter three) and as “The Eye(s) of RA” (chapter 4). And, chapters five to six provide the reader with the ways in which Sekhmet was revered in her “Temples & Cults” (chapter five), “Rituals and Festivals” (chapter six) and the “Magic and Prayers” (chapter seven) offered in adoration and supplication.  

The final chapter, “Worshiping Sekhmet Today”, speaks to some of the powers that were attributed to Sekhmet in ancient times and how these were directly affected by Egyptian culture, geographic location, and more. And, in recognition of those energies, Church encourages the reader to also see from an alternative perspective that worship is impacted by their own culture, geographic location, and worldview.

“I believe that Sekhmet’s ancient manifestations according to the Egyptian ancestors should be considered alongside the perspectives shared by their modern Egyptian descendants and contemporary Pagan experiences of her… As a contemporary polytheist I do not believe that deities remain static and frozen in their first appearances in human culture. I believe the Netjeru, like deities from other cultures, respond to their devotees and changing times…. that they travel with their devotees and are not limited to a single landscape, although they will always retain the memory and connection to their original land and culture.”5

“The Appendix: Key Egyptian Names and Words” is a welcome addition to the book and contains the Ancient Egyptian name/word and its Greek counterpart after assimilation into the Greek pantheon. The encouragement given by Church is for the reader to familiarize themselves with the original Egyptian name–a key factor in aligning with their energies. The Bibliography is a lovely blend of titles that are academic/historical in nature and those more recently written that give an expanded view of the gifts of Sekhmet and the Egyptian pantheon and cosmology in general. 

The test of a valuable title is one that can engage the reader and stimulate interest in the subject matter whether the individual has prior knowledge to build upon, is simply curious or just ordered the wrong book. Oh, and by the way about that last statement of a “wrong book” there are no coincidences! Pagan Portals – Sekhmet is definitely in the category of valuable and informative.

Regardless of what path or tradition you have your spiritual roots anchored within, it cannot be denied that most everything relates back to the Ancient civilizations. And, the Ancient Egyptian world view, their Gods and Goddesses hold a particularly vital place in that lineage. However it is that you come to this book there is a wealth of wisdom in the energies of Sekhmet. And, there is so much more to Her story than a single title could contain. Church has piqued the interest of her reader and what lay within the fires and ferocity of that interest could just be the Divine birthright that changes worlds for the better. 

The Witch at the Forest’s Edge, by Christine Grace

The Witch at the Forest’s Edge: Thirteen Keys to Modern Witchcraft, by Christine Grace
Weiser Books, 9781578637584, 224 pages, November 2021

“I stand in the meadow, at the forest’s edge. One step forward and I will straddle the boundary between fading light in the swaying grass and rich darkness in the woods. One more step and I will be immersed in the nighttime world of southern, hardwood forest. My home lay behind me, the wild magic ahead. I am the witch at the forest’s edge.”1

The Witch at the Forest’s Edge: Thirteen Keys to Modern Witchcraft by Christine Grace is an immersive and deep dive into the world of the modern witch. Grace’s theology studies shine through with informed practices and cross section references to other spiritual practices. The philosophies and method of study contained within this book provide the reader with a sampling of the tried and tested teachings that are foundational within The Forest’s Edge Tradition, co-founded by Grace in 2011. 

“The essence of the Forest’s Edge way is to honor the specificity of the individual, while holding that each witch is fully themselves only within the web of human and other relationships in which we live and have our being.”2

I appreciated the “How to Use This Book” and “Self-Assessment” sections of the Introduction. Knowing the “how” and the “why” align deeply with the overall intentions of this book. These emphasize the ultimate goal of the modern witch to develop as one who finds their way through deep reflection, deep practice and a slow and often self-guided approach to cultivating the individual’s personal growth in the practice of witchery. All of the tools required for that intention are found within the pages of The Witch at the Forest’s Edge: Thirteen Keys to Modern Witchcraft.

The book is separated into thirteen chapters. The formatting of these chapters allows the reader to flow easily through a methodical and well-designed approach towards cultivating their own practice of modern witchcraft. “Communing with Spirits” (chapter two), “Cultivating Spirit Senses” (chapter four), “Divination” (chapter eight) and “Spellcraft” (chapter twelve) are some of the topics included for deeper exploration.

Additionally, each chapter contains sections with related content for reflection and another for actual practice. The “Resources” that conclude the book are thoughtfully aligned by chapter and rich in specifically curated titles of depth and substance.

Grace offered some practical insight in chapter one, “Worldview and Spirituality”, which spoke as a lovely fusion of her spiritual practice and her training as a counselor:

“It is one thing to give an intellectual assent to the ideas and practices outlined in this book. But will you do the work? . . . In order to identify and develop perceptions of the sacred and the many influences at work in ourselves, and our environment, we need both study and practice.  Once a practitioner has actually experienced something that they learned or formed in study, it takes on new life and deeper meaning unique to that individual. Without study, we may not be inspired to practice with depth; without practice, we cannot fully understand our study.”3

This approach is clearly evident throughout the pages of The Witch at the Forest’s Edge; each chapter is complete with opportunities for study of the related skills and guidance for practice of these newfound concepts. As stated by Grace, the power lay in the interweaving of the two as the reader begins to build a strong foundation of witchery. 

I was particularly drawn to chapter seven, “Hedgeriding”.

“Hedgeriders follow in the ancient tradition of magical practitioners who live with one foot in this world and one foot in the Otherworld. The Otherworld is the multilayered realms of fae, ancestors, gods and innumerable other spirits. Hedgeriding is a means to release part of our consciousness from this world and travel, spiritually, into the Otherworld to engage with spirits, gather new knowledge, hone magical skills and create change.”4

There is an abundance of information about the use of the word “hedgeriding” in this chapter, both in general terms and as it applies to The Forest’s Edge tradition. And, with the primary focus being that of moving between the worlds and liminal space, this chapter is ripe with suggestions for the practice of hedgeriding through guided meditation and visualization and incorporates a step by step process to allow the reader to find their correct path of resonance into the astral:

“At its core, hedgeriding is a deeply altered state of consciousness and both mental and physical.”5

Another chapter of note was chapter thirteen, “Magical Ethics”. There is much debate in the pagan community about the ethics of baneful magic and the harm or healing it may do, if thought ethical to practice at all. This chapter speaks clearly to what the responsibilities and the allowing of free will, individual power and choice are for those who embrace a witchery that is rooted in traditional witchcraft as practiced by The Forest’s Edge tradition.

“Traditional witchcraft does not forbid any spellcraft or magical practices. We cultivate the skill to both hex and heal as needed, as all of existence contains this sort of ebb and flow.”6

There is a generous amount of thought provoking statements and the “Reflection” section of this chapter is one that should be given deep consideration in the formation of the individual’s personal ethics. This is preceded by Grace providing the reader with “An Ethical Structure”, that allows for a methodical approach to ethics within the craft and ways of organizing your thoughts.  

The closing section of the book feels like a loving gift of support and encouragement from Grace to the reader. She offers a bolster of confidence that is infused with the underpinnings of some of the philosophies presented throughout her book; there is no right or wrong way of practice, the work of the craft is demanding and difficult, and although at times progress may feel slowed, the path of the witch is always rewarding when you remain true to yourself. 

“Don’t fear the cycles of practice. The time and energy that you devote to your craft will wax and wane and shapeshift through the seasons of your life.  It doesn’t make you less of a witch. You are just living the cycles, like the rest of nature. The magic is yours, a witch unto yourself. You are beholden to no one but connected to many as you stand at the forest’s edge.”7

The Witch at the Forest’s Edge is a handbook into the world of modern witchcraft founded on the teachings of a practicing tradition. Regardless of what or if the reader claims as their own practices within the craft to explore and build upon, the take away from the reading of this title is one of greater clarity about the possibilities of taking the journey of the Witch.

As is true of the mysteries of weaving one’s magic, the content is layered between word and practice, between experience and integration; and, as such it should also be understood that a single reading of The Witch at the Forest’s Edge provides only one layer of understanding. This is a title that will become the reader’s reference guide. Much like fine wine, as the studies age, so does the deepening of the practice, becoming the way in which (Witch) the practitioner lives their magical and mundane life.

A Guide of Spirits, by Chris Allaun

A Guide of Spirits: A Psychopomp’s Manual For Transitioning The Dead To The Afterlife, by Chris Allaun
Moon Books, 9781789046601, 224 pages, October 2021

“Death is a final rite of passage of our physical life. As we know, death is not the end. There is a spiritual journey ahead for each person. Each of us must walk our own path of death and into the realm of the afterlife. Walking our spiritual path of death can be difficult and we may need the help of a guide. The psychopomp has the sacred duty of guiding the spirits of the dead back home to be with their beloved ancestors.”1 

It seemed fitting to begin this review of A Guide of Spirits: A Psychopomp’s Manual For Transitioning The Dead To The Afterlife by Chris Allaun with a quote from the first paragraph of the conclusion, as the quote beautifully states what appears to be an ending is actually a beginning in a new fashion and form. Allaun has done a marvelous job of honoring and explaining the role of those individuals who selflessly give of themselves to serve as guides for those transitioning beyond the veils of death: the psychopomp.

A Guide of Spirits is separated into nine chapters that provide the reader with an inside perspective of what being a psychopomp entails, the journeys of the spirits they guide, and practical recommendation for self-care and psychic defense. The bibliography is extensive in its diversity of source, ranging from Carl Jung to Bullfinch’s Mythology to Virgil and the work of occultist Israel Regardie to name just a few. These also included religious and spiritual texts such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead and Greek and Roman Necromancy, which are often referenced when speaking of cultural attitudes and customs regarding death. 

Allaun gives a beautiful introduction in chapter one, “The Psychopomp”, about what a psychopomp is and the service that one who takes up this calling provides:

“A psychopomp is a special type of healer. Not only do they escort the spirit of the dead to the realm of their ancestors, they also send the spirit healing energy to aid in letting go of earthly attachments that may keep them bound to the physical world. The word itself comes from the Greek language which roughly translates to “conductor” or “guide of the soul.”2

The reader is given the perspective of the psychopomp as a healer, not dissimilar to what the usual definitions of a healer may be, but in this case, one who assists the healing of release of corporeal existence so the real journey can begin.  We learn that the work of a psychopomp is not readily taken up because of its close association with death, something that many still fear. 

A Guide of Spirits is nicely balanced with theory, practical application, and exercises to develop both the reader’s psychic abilities and pathways towards communing with Spirits and the ancestors. I found these to be very useful in a variety of ways beyond whether one chooses to take up the work of becoming a psychopomp. There is a lot of general information that could serve to deepen the readers connection to their own ancestors and departed beloveds that would offer comfort and healing as death approaches or has occurred. 

Allaun provides the reader with many opportunities of encouragement in trusting and believing in the inherent skills he believes everyone possesses…

“As I said, I believe we all have the ability to see the spirits. Yes, some magical people are natural seers and do not have to try hard to see the spirits, while the rest of us have to practice daily in order to get just a little hint that the spirits are there. I want to make something very clear; just because it may be difficult for you to see spirits now, does not mean you will not grow into a powerful seer.”3

I truly found this running theme within the book to be truly empowering. Confidence builds as the reader moves through each of the chapters, practices the exercises, and deepens their awareness of perception “outside of the box”.

Chapter five, “Helping the Dying to Transition” takes the reader through the steps of death’s process and what may occur for both the individual preparing for transition and any who are assisting or witnessing that crossing. The importance of surrounding the individual with compassion and love is stressed throughout the book as a requisite for those acting as psychopomp. Through the tools of “Death Midwifery”, a term used to describe the work of the psychopomp, an energetic space of love is created for the dying to draw upon as manifest life recedes.

“The art of death midwifery is a profound and intuitive way of communing with the dying, of lending support and guidance to those making the greatest of transitions. Committing to deep spiritual work. The death midwife becomes a strong, clear conduit who directs the flow of divine love to the dying.”4

Overall, A Guide of Spirits provides a clear and thorough text of how we may become better supports for those who are in all stages of the process of death. Whether reading out of curiosity or for the purpose of serious consideration of how to assist those souls embarking on the next grand journey, the reader will come away from this reading with tools that may be applied to any spiritual pursuits. This title is rich with ritual, moments for reflection, exercises to strengthen greater self-awareness and much more. This is a book I am excited to continue working with and exploring the profound nature of death and those who support a loving transition. Perhaps it will provide you with a new perspective of death, as well.

Sacred Symbol Magic, by Sarah Bartlett

Sacred Symbol Magic: Harness Their Power for Mind, Body, and Soul, by Sarah Bartlett
Weiser Books, 9781578637386, 128 pages, April 2021

Working with any form of magic requires not only belief in what you are doing and why, but also harnessing the power of the corresponding energies to amplify and set out the pathway to the ultimate goal or intention. After all, if you just stick a photograph of a yin-yang symbol on the wall, it will not have any true meaning in the context of your need…unless you actually engage in the process of the magic itself.1

Sacred Symbol Magic: Harness Their Power for Mind, Body, and Soul, by Sarah Bartlett is a compact hardcover title that is dense with information and visual inspiration. As humans, a large aspect of our interaction with anything relies on the visual components provided: their artistry, color, line, shape, etc. This organically arises even before we begin to analyze their origins and meanings. And, no less so in magickal pursuits, we deepen our connections to our work and practice through the symbology that serves to create and decode the mysteries. 

Depending on our culture and beliefs, symbols not only give us meaning in life, but also connect us to the divine nature of the universe.2

Bartlett gives due diligence to the inclusion of a variety of fifty symbols that span diverse spiritual practices and cultures. This holds in keeping with the understanding that no one culture claims the “one” symbol that is the key to the universe. Instead, it presupposes that all symbols are inherently divine and connected in a universal way that may be tapped into regardless of religion or spiritual persuasion. I believe this is an important realization in cultivating a more unified approach to our magical and spiritual workings — inclusion, power, and strength in your beliefs that have been formed by many beliefs. 

Sacred Symbol Magic is separated into six sections, including the Introduction, with each section containing those symbols relating to a specific type of energy the practitioner wishes to work with. These include: Blessing the Home, Self-Empowerment, Spiritual Growth, Joyful Relating and Emotional Healing. The topics themselves leave an open-ended feel making them all the more flexible in the specificity of their use beyond the obvious suggestions. This makes the book very user-friendly from the get-go without having to wade through various symbols and then back track to find exactly what you are looking for. 

Each symbol is presented with information relevant to its cultural/spiritual origins, keywords, related symbols and a simple how to use. The image of the symbol is beautifully and carefully illustrated in a size that could easily be photocopied and pasted onto a flashcard or altar object and used as a contemplative focus or sigil. A suggestion for magical use/ritual is included with each symbol as well, giving the reader immediate application and trial.

Although the intention of Sacred Symbol Magic was not one of guiding the reader in the creation of sigils, there is enough inspiration contained between its covers to pique the interest in those who are so inclined. One of the basic premises of sigil creation is that of being familiar with the components of the sigil desired that its construction allows for energy to flow through it and the visual product stimulates within the practitioner growth. Incorporating and overlaying some of these symbols in a specific way, and having the benefits of the information provided by Bartlettt would definitely serve the purpose of creation of personal symbols, sigils or talisman. 

I was particularly interested in the section containing symbols for spiritual growth…

…. In times of uncertainty, loss, or a change in lifestyle, we all need a belief system or some form of spiritual guidance to know that we are not alone. To access the spiritual power deep within yourself, or to connect to the universe, use these symbols to set you on a positive pathway for your quest.3

Perhaps I was drawn to this chapter given the challenges we have all been facing these past years and months. Regardless, we could all use self-empowerment and a bolster to our goals of spiritual merit. Many of the symbols included in this section would be easily recognizable to most: the all-seeing eye, the pentagram, bee, labyrinth, lotus, om, and more. These affirm the power of symbols in mainstream society and the meanings that are derived in their use, mundane and magical alike. 

Sacred Symbol Magic concludes with its last symbol, that of a cat. Perhaps happenstance or intention, I thought it a wonderful symbol of selection as the closure for a journey through the myriad of visual magic. 

Cats have long been the harbingers of mystery, power, mischief and those of nine lives who could overcome untimely death. They are walkers between the worlds and familiars who guard, ward and teach. They have been worshipped, maligned, treasured, and feared. Much like the many interpretations for the symbols contained in this title. Each has had its fair share of glory and grief throughout history and all are subject to personal and collective interpretation. 

KEYWORDS: Self-esteem, independence, confidence…4

Sacred Symbol Magic brings to light and life the power of symbols and their application to a sustainable and growth-filled magical and spiritual practice. The subtle reminder is that magic is all around us in what we see and what we allow ourselves to explore more deeply in its hidden meanings. The overt intention of one of cultivating and integrating the many paths and the power held in their imagery to connect and unite us at a deeper level. I will be enjoying this book for years to come. 

Mediumship, by Kerrie Erwin

Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate and Heal Through the Spirit World, by Kerrie Erwin
Rockpool Publishing, 978- 1925924985, 160 pages, June 2021

“Mediumship is the practice of mediating communication between living humans and the spirits of the dead. It has been documented from early human history, gaining its popularity during the nineteenth century when Ouija boards were used by the upper classes as a source of entertainment. Natural mediums are born with the gift, although they may not become aware of it until later in life. Every person who walks this path has their own individual gift to offer. Once you embrace mediumship as your life purpose it becomes an enormous responsibility, as you are helping people to cope with their grief. Despite the highs and lows it is very rewarding.”1

Author Kerrie Erwin is an Internationally recognized medium whose work includes spirit rescue and connecting loved ones to those who have passed. There is often a distinct difference in being able to impart the body of what gifts the individual may have in a live setting versus being able to translate that information and teaching into book form. In the case of this title, Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate and Heal Through the Spirit World, I would say that Erwin has done a wonderful job of bridging that disparity.  

Although this may seem like an aside and irrelevant, I am going to comment on the visual appeal of the book. We, as humans, are very visually driven, storing memories and feelings from the catalogue of what we have seen and then experienced as a result. This book is a soft powder blue paperback with a lovely piece of cover art depicting a white outlined pseudo Ouija pointer centered between gold text for title and author.

Upon opening the book, the reader is greeted by blue line drawings of eyes in various states of gaze and opening and scattered throughout are assorted blue lined drawings representing certain aspects of the content included in a particular chapter or paragraph. The attention that went into the design of the book itself immediately engages the reader in a gentle “pulling in closer” manner to subject matter that may be frightening or fraught with skepticism.

Mediumship is separated into thirteen chapters, each providing the reader with multiple aspects of consideration when exploring the role of the medium and finding your own style of communication. The Introduction offers a look at Erwin’s life as a medium and how the work came to be. She describes being called by the spirits at a very young age and how a near-death experience in her twenties allowed her first hand experience of the spirit world. Her descriptions are comforting and are filled with hope and joy at reuniting with those within your “soul group” who have passed before you. 

As part of the Introduction, Erwin also speaks of love and its power to act as a point of connection between the living and the departed. This is the connection achieved, as the medium becomes the conduit of that eternal connection…

“Love is the most powerful emotion in the world as its energy in its higher form, can create healing, miracles and magic in our world. When a loved one dies there is no ending but rather a new beginning, a journey back to the spirit world as spirit lives on, connected to us eternally.”2

Chapters 1-3 provide the reader with the basics of what mediumship is and how it may be defined. It was very interesting to have a definition of the types of mediumship, ranging from channeling and transfiguration. Then there is a concluding section on working with the police. 

“Chapter 4: Suicide: A Difficult Subject” was a much needed inclusion in the book for understanding another aspect of the work of mediumship, albeit one that is shied away from publicly….

To lose someone from suicide is incredibly painful, as you never understand why they took their own life and wonder if there was anything you could have done to prevent it.3

Some very thought-filled questions Erwin poses and answers are:

  • If you kill yourself are you punished and sent to hell?
  • Is it harder to make contact with a spirit who has committed suicide?
  • Do people really mean to kill themselves?

Additionally, there is a checklist of signs others can look for in individuals who may be inclined towards suicide and a listing of Australian help lines and agencies that can be called upon for help. 

“Chapter 7: Protection From Negative Energy” provides a reminder of the need to learn protection techniques and the attention that should be given to exactly what and where the spirits you may encounter are coming from:

“One of the first things I learned when I was developing as a medium was the power of protection and how to utilize it, which is mandatory in my profession. There are many different spirits and energies or different vibrations out there that are not always from the light.”4. 

As Erwin states, not all spirits have the best interest of their living connections in mind. Some can be tricksters and others downright baneful in their intentions. Psychic attack is included as a topic and the author also provides exercises in awareness and protection that are useful for those living energetic predators as well as those from the spirit realms. 

“Chapters 9: Meditation” and “Chapter 10: The Chakra System of Mediumship: Your Guide to Connect, Communicate and Heal Through the Spirit World” provide techniques for opening psychic awareness and self reflection through contemplative practice as well as the energetic anatomy that works collaboratively within the individual as the skills of mediumship are developed. Erwin makes use of nine chakra centers, beginning with the Earth Chakra and moving through the Transpersonal Chakra above the crown chakra at the top of the head. Each chakra is defined by its purpose, color and etheric location and the chapter concludes with a visualization exercise for Empowering with the Middle Pillar (another name given to the line of chakras along the etheric central column):

“The nine chakras are the energy centres in your body through which energy flows; they ground and protect you. Blocked energy in your centres can often lead to illness or dis-ease and can be projected onto your clients, so it is important to understand what each chakra represents and what you can do to keep this energy flowing.”5

“Chapter 11: Psychic Links” explores the tools of mediumship used to hone the skills of inner sight and continually build upon your abilities. Topics include flower readings, jewelry readings, pendulums, and Ouija boards to name a few.  Specific exercises to try out these tools are included, as well and provide the reader with a variety of experiences. 

I really enjoyed “Chapter 12: My Spirit Team”. Erwin talks about those guides she has for her work and I found this to enable a point of resonance between the reader and the material presented in giving a very concrete example of how these guides out-picture and what aid they offer.

“Chapter 13: Ethics for the Professional Medium” offers a lengthy and very concise list of the ethical considerations in acting as a medium for another. There is also a listing of what the client can expect from the medium. Again, very useful to ensure that if you choose to work with a medium you are placing your vulnerability and emotions in their care and keeping.  

Erwin sees life as a contract of experiences to be learned from and resolved. And, the compelling reason to seek out the expertise of a medium or to develop your own skills in connecting with those who have been part of your contract is that of healing and being able to move on to the next lifetime. She sums it up nicely in “The Afterthought”:

“I have tried many types of healing, and the most powerful would have to be simple forgiveness on every level. You don’t have to actually like the person, but once you have forgiven them you release yourself from the contract, cutting the energy connection that is no longer needed, learning the lesson and mobbing on to a life of love without fear.”6

Mediumship is a very user-friendly read that demystifies what mediumship is and the healing that can occur from those gifts being used with integrity and loving intention. I also found it a timely read given how many souls have passed over from COVID-19 and other horrific events. As I stated previously, there is definitely a message of hope and the comfort of knowing that physical death is just another state of Being.

Exploring the Divine Library, by Richard Rowe

Exploring the Divine Library, by Richard Rowe
Ozark Mountain Publishing, 9781940265803, 240 pages, March 2021

Exploring the Divine Library by Richard Rowe is a continuation of the journey outlined in his first book, Imagining the Unimaginable: A System’s Engineer’s Journey into the Afterlife, detailing his personal spiritual journey after having a near-death experience as a result of a blood clot in 2004. This experience set Rowe on a quest to deeply analyze and question death, suffering, and how people’s lives often play out in unfair ways. Finding success in a very methodical and analytical style of questioning, the questions became bigger and deeper in their intention and Exploring the Divine Library was written.

Rowe uses a unique format based on personal experience, trial, and methodical reasoning, which sets it apart from the standard fare of books focused on this subject matter. This is not surprising given that his perspective comes from a strong scientific foundation as an inventor with degrees in Avionics Systems Technology and Computer Science, along with an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. The result is a purpose-filled fusion of spirituality, research, and science that informs the contents of Exploring the Divine Library.

This book is separated into twenty chapters, six appendices, a robust six pages of references, as well as an additional listing of references by chapter. The Introduction provides the reader with clarity of reference as to how Rowe defines the term “Divine Library” and the alternate nomenclature used:

“From ancient times to the present day, many names have been used to refer to information existing somewhere beyond our three-dimensional universe. These names include Akashic Field, Heavenly Library, the Book of Life, Hall of Two Truths, Library of Light, Cosmic Mind, the Matrix, Universal Library, Collective Subconscious, Holographic Library, and others.”1

The entirety of the book is founded upon questioning, researching, experimenting, experiencing, and finally drawing your own conclusions. Exploring the Divine Library reads much like a technical manual and may feel less mystical in its offerings. It is complete with sketches that also bring to mind lab experiment journals. The intention however is clearly one of analysis and organization that leaves room for both skepticism and belief.

“The focus of my exploration continues to be driven by questions that deeply resonate with me. I research a variety of first hand experiences and my own experiences to search for insights. This process is very similar to the approach I have used throughout my career as an inventor to invent, describe, and document systems systematically.”2

“Chapter 2: The Divine Library” lays the groundwork for deepening the readers understanding of what its purpose and nature is. Rowe uses his own findings as well as those who have used hypnotherapy and past-life regression with clients who have reported similar settings and attributes of a storage center (“a multidimensional spiritual data cloud”3) that records all human experience, words, thoughts, actions and the workings of consciousness.

Chapters 3 – 7 take the reader on a journey through the mechanics of the Divine Library. Rowe gives attention to structure, access and the effects of patterns and life cycles on the information stored not only for the personal, but on a collective webbing as well.

Chapters 8 – 13 explore the underpinnings of exploring the purpose and interconnections between the individual and the information contained within the Divine Library. Rowe takes the reader through the processes of formulating the questions, intention, problem solving, and connecting through meditation and prayer.

“Chapter 12: Life Purpose” explores the quintessential question of all humans at some point of their existence: what is my purpose? Rowe explains the importance of asking that and other “big questions” as part of the life experience. The reader learns the value of this movement through life by questioning, and its value when applying this same approach to accessing and co-creating within the Divine Library.

“A significant life event can be the perfect opportunity to ask big questions and evaluate life… Whatever the scenario, asking what is my purpose usually comes along with waves of emotion, confusion, and an off-balance feeling…”.4

Chapters 14-19 provide the reader with practical application of what has been revealed through personal research and analysis of the function of the Divine Library. How to access the records and the interconnectedness of all energetic beings is discussed, as well as ways to exercise manifesting the energy needed and expand the boundaries of individual consciousness to reach into the Divine Library’s resources.

Finally, “Chapter 20: Lessons Learned” is a summary of what Rowe (and perhaps the reader) experienced in his explorations of the Divine Library. I think this was a necessary way to conclude the book and doing so left no loose ends for the reader to try to interpret.

This book is not, by any means, an intuitive or easy read. It is user-friendly only if you have a curious and methodical mind that enjoys the minutia of dissecting whatever your focus is applied towards. That being said, I think it is a necessary and well-founded approach since the goal for the reader is one to know more about his/her/their self and the ultimate purpose of this particular lifetime. If you are willing to put in the work and pay attention to the details, you will find that the gifts of outcome are well worth the time spent in dissecting and analyzing. Exploring the Divine Library provides the access card to enter into the universal data of the Divine Library.

Through the Eyes of the Soul, by Cheryl Yambrach Rose

Through the Eyes of the Soul: 52 Prophecy Cards & Guidebook, by Cheryl Yambrach Rose
Blue Angel Publishing, 9780648746799, 52 cards, 68 pages, May 2021

We, as humans, are collectively engaged and catalyzed by imagery. The development of keen visualization skills is one of the most important trainings required in spiritual/magickal disciplines. We find our voices through imagery. We sense the emotions and intellect of intention through imagery. We see physically and with our subtle senses. We are continually processing and organizing information through imagery. So, when we are seeking answers to our most personal and profound questions, the imagery provided by whatever oracular tool we use is paramount in being able to completely pull us into that moment of intention and query.

Through the Eyes of the Soul: 52 Prophecy Cards & Guidebook by Cheryl Yambrach Rose checks off all of the boxes of what an oracle deck should accomplish. The imagery is beautiful and has a depth that speaks to Rose’s artistic talents and clearly demonstrates her knowledge of spiritual practice and deep teachings.

“Cheryl Yambrach Rose (Glastonbury, UK) is a visionary artist, portrait painter, and author. Her spiritual portraits are published and shown worldwide, appearing in the Nelson Rockefeller Collection, the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, and more.”1

The deck includes 52 cards and a guidebook of interpretations for the meanings of each. Upon opening the box, I noted the image selected for the back of the cards. This image is not simply decorative; rather, it powerfully sets the tone for what is contained on its other side and emanates a subtle energy of deep contemplative quiet. I was immediately drawn into this reflective state and readied for whatever wisdom I was to glean from this palpable visual stimulation.

Each of the cards evokes an emotional response, as any finely crafted piece of art should. The images easily resonate as human to human, rather than fantastical images that are more of deep imaginings. However, upon closer inspection the seeker will be able to sense that although human in representation, those beings depicted on the cards have stepped more fully into their Higher Self and Divine nature. I found this very encouraging of remembering my own Higher Self and what is possible when that transformative awareness comes out of the pictures.

I chose to test out the oracle cards with a simple three-card query: What has brought me to where I am now? Where do I stand in the present? What is my work in moving forward? The three cards selected were on point with my (and, yes I know, very open ended) questions. The gift in the answers was not so much about whether these were magickal cards that could somehow predict, but in the very succinct, yet deeply catalyzing interpretations I read in the accompanying booklet.

As the reader moves through the guidebook of Through the Eyes of the Soul, it becomes apparent that each of the cards contained within the deck hold special relevance to a particular God/dess, enlightened being or evolved individual from a variety of spiritual paths. The cards of my three-card draw reflected the trials a boy endured as he “climbs the ladder of enlightenment” to become a Shaman of his tribe in Suriname. The second card spoke to the wisdom of the Celtic Shaman and the “Dawning of the Green Man” and the third card introduced me to Libuse, the Prophetess of Prague, a Druid princess in the eighth century and the origins and greater meaning of the naming of Prague.

“This oracle deck is a vehicle for providing intuitive guidance from the mythic beings and divine entities who inhabit sacred sites and spaces. Deep insights and profound answers are hidden within the paintings. Meditating on a card image connects you to the energy of the location where the painting was conceived. You become the weaver of your fate by tuning into the higher self and allowing that spontaneous connection to answer questions or suggest advice.”2

One of my favorite cards from Through the Eyes of the Soul is Card 36, “Retreat into Nature. Solitude.”:

“Take time for yourself. Leave the daily routine and return refreshed and renewed…Inside the Redwood tree the (non-cultural) Shamanka/Shaman can retreat in silence and enter into the deeper realm of consciousness while feeling totally protected by animal allies.”3

This message, in particular, rang very true for me and I am quite sure it holds true for so many of us. We seek the paths of the old ways, and yet are continually pulled and battered about societal expectations, deadlines, and more. Just simply placing your awareness and intention in the painting of this card, immediately transports the user to otherworldly places, the redwood forests and a space of respite.

I have many oracle decks and have come to hold a good dose of skepticism for how deep they will take the reader and the overall appearance that many have. That is not to say that they do not have an audience that will resonate and gain much from them, but, having a daughter who is a fine artists and has produced some deeply profound and beautiful spiritual paintings has, I admit somewhat heightened my levels of preferring imagery that is magickal simply in its every line, nuance and shading. These are the paintings and images that at first glance “transport” you along a journey of wisdom as each of your senses is awakened in resonance with what you have “seen”.

Rose has succeeded precisely in the expectation that I hold. Through the Eyes of the Soul is a gift to your spiritual and mundane Self/self that will awaken within you doorways to unimagined beauty and wisdom. I’ll be enjoying this deck for quite some time.

Cell Level Meditation, by Barry Grundland and Patricia Kay

Cell Level Meditation: The Healing Power in the Smallest Unit of Life, by Barry Grundland, MD and Patricia Kay, MA
Findhorn Press, 9781644112243, 176 pages, March 2021

… Dr. Barry Grundland was a psychiatrist whose specialty area might have been called psychoneuroimmunology. This is a big word that basically means min-body healing.  The mind, including our thoughts, emotions and attitudes affects the body, and in turn the body affects our minds, thoughts, emotions and attitudes. For over 50 years, Barry worked with people as a true healer –one who helps others come to Wholeness, or a sense of being who they really are…1

Cell Level Meditation: The Healing Power in the Smallest Unit of Life by Barry Grundland, MD and Patricia Kay, MA provides the reader with a broad perspective of the wonders and amazing capabilities of the wisdom of our bodies to heal. The quote above may not be innovative in our current society that is flooded with self-help tools, self-awareness training and contemplative practices of all manner, but the quintessential intention held in this statement about the co-author Dr. Grundland speaks to the simplicity of the book itself and acknowledgment of our capacity to thrive, heal and remain in a state of well-being simply by engaging the healing nature of our bodies in the process. 

“Cell Level Meditation” is a term crafted by Dr. Grundland to describe the power-and simplicity of establishing dialogue with the body at the cellular level and programming those related cells to function in a specific way. Co-author Patricia Kay speaks to the inherent directive and energy of the cell….

… The Cell is a real thing in the material world., and it is a metaphor as well, since it carries a basic “pattern” of organization you can find in every level of Life. The cell has a nuclei for example, which is a central area where you can find very basic information, that is very precise instructions for how things work; this information is inscribed on strands of tightly coiled threads called DNA…2

Kay further sets the tone for what follows and how the reader will be using the cell as a tool for healing:

… For our purposes, at the “level of the cell” we engage the workings going on there at different levels and states of awareness, which we can find with concentration, focus and participation through breath…3

Cell Level Meditation is separated into twenty chapters and makes use of poetry and quotations throughout the book. In general, there is a very poetic tone running through the information provided, which serves to engage the reader at all levels of being and all levels of understanding of neurobiological studies. 

The Introduction lays the groundwork for what follows in the subsequent chapters:

Cell Level Meditation is a vehicle for finding our way “home”.  We take the breath to our cells, offering them our deepest desire to be happy and healthy and strong.  In some way, they hear us and respond…This meditative form is a gift that helps the mind and the body come into healing, which in turn, helps us be ourselves in fullness…4

One of the things I appreciated about Cell Level Meditation is the way in which the reader is enveloped in the intention, whether overtly or subtly in the writings, with a gift of opening to the experience of meditation as a healing soured, as well as greater knowledge of the physical aspects of our being that are co-creators in that healing. 

Chapters one to five act as a primer for the reader and offer tools, exercises and insight into the art of Meditation and its use at a cellular level (chapter one and two), mind (chapter three), body (chapter four) and breath (chapter six). This information in and of its self is valuable in delving deeper into the “whys” of the contemplative arts, whether directed towards cell level use or general mindfulness

There is a specific and supportive rhythm that flows through the teachings of Cell Level Meditation. Each of the remaining chapters expands on these basics and moves through the process of this meditation in a style that is user friendly and allows for time to process and digest what has come previously. Moving through the book, the information has a wonderful way of capturing the mystical in the scientific and the scientific in the mystical. 

Chapter 19, “Conditioned Habits”, is one that calls the reader to awareness of their body’s (cells) wisdom and inherent dialogue (if we train ourselves to listen); and, the acknowledgement that we are all “programmed” (conditioned) towards certain habitual behaviors.  The previous chapters have established the importance of breath as a vehicle of movement and enlivenment, and the practice of breath focused meditation to further awaken the cells and enable these changes and shifts towards a more balanced state. The reader is reminded that this desire and action towards change often brings about chaos, a term used widely in the scientific community denoting the precipice of change or shift from one state of being to another, a naturally occurring evolutionary process found throughout nature….

… Rather than being too worried about being at the edge of chaos”, you are now empowered to stay present with your experience… Even in chaos, you have the breath. You are going into Unknown Territory, but with your intention and hope and the breath. The rest … comes from a higher place. … By working with the edges of our conditioned habits with awareness, willingness to stay present for what is actually going on as sensations in the body, even stuck patterns are called to a higher level when there is a ripe moment…5

These are merely highlights of this book. It is difficult to capture an “experience” in the writing of a review. I believe, however, that the authors have done just that, and more. Additionally, the publisher Findhorn Press was aptly suited for this title. Having reviewed several of their titles now, there is most definitely a theme and level of quality in the work of their authors that provides representation from the scientific/academic community as well as the more esoterically inclined. The overall themes are those of wholeness and collaboration at the levels of the environment, the planet and most importantly those beings who remain as stewards of themselves and their surroundings.

Cell Level Meditation takes the reader into a journey of the microcosmic nature of our self and the profound power of healing and wholeness contained in the singular component of our physical make-up – the cell. And, from that place of the cell the potential for what can be brought back into the macrocosm is limitless. 

Self-Love Journal, by Akal Pritam

Self-Love Journal: A Journal to Inner Peace and Happiness, by Akal Pritam
Rockpool Publishing, 925924459, 208 pages, March 2021

“Dear Soul… May you surrender to self-love, the blooming of your joyful heart, as you journey towards more inner peace and happiness… May you love yourself through the process of transformation, not judge yourself and stop that inner blooming… I celebrate your beautiful creative rhythm. I bow down to you for all that you are. You are invaluable…”1

Self-Love Journal: A Journal to Inner Peace and Happiness by Akal Pritam is a feast for the eyes and a treasure for the heart. The pages of the journal are beautifully illustrated by the author and lovingly separated by color into sections moving through the energies of the chakras and their associated visualizations.

The quote above is part of the opening 2-page invitation from the author to step into the beauty of your divinity and ability to generate and be love. This small excerpt gives clue that this journal is not like any other you may already own and this invitation echoes within the spiritual nature and capacity for self-love and acceptance inherently within all of us.

Let me begin by saying that this is not a journal I would traditionally have selected for myself. I tend more towards the crisply lined unadorned pages and leather covers. But, as is true of many things, particularly those of a spiritual nature, first choices are necessarily what is needed, nor where you find the most self-growth.

These thoughts and more have been especially relevant in my case, and what I have learned of myself simply by going through the offerings for this review would, I believe, hold true for any reader. Pritam has skillfully produced a visually beautiful space to write your inner most feelings, judgments, and transformative moments, as self-acceptance and love begin to flower in response.

One of the reasons I chose this journal for review is because I have been feeling “raw” after the events of the past year and a half, as I am sure many of you are as well. Self-Love Journal is the perfect soothing balm to begin the healing. As you move through the pages, it feels much like a cocoon from which we can again find strength and joy within; embrace the metamorphosis and emerge with the beauty and lightness of spirit of the butterfly.

Images of beautiful women in soft-colored pastels grace the pages with ample space for journaling and inspiring words of encouragement accompany image or footer of a blank space to write. Each section that denotes the transition from one chakra into the next provides the reader with basic information about the energy they will be working with regardless of familiarity with the specific chakra. These include the English and Sanskrit names, the Bija sound, corresponding body parts, affirmations and more. The entire page is dedicated to the naming of opening this center within the reader’s etheric anatomy in preparation for the work to follow.

The page directly opposite is a beautiful illustration of a woman’s face adorned with the symbol of the chakra at the center of a geometrically patterned heart. The skill of Pritam’s artistic talent shines in these illustrations with the eyes of the women depicted looking back in loving gaze, determination, and support. These felt very much like gazing into the gentle strength of a dear friend hoping to share the reflection of beauty that she sees within you for you to claim as your own.

I especially enjoyed the writing inspirations, color, and visuals used for the journaling pages corresponding to the work of the Solar Plexus Charka (Manipura):

“… I am future ancient, born now. An infinite soul of love empowered by the cosmos. Activated from the core of my true self; and invaluable, radiant, incomparable individual. I know how to serve in loving truth…”2

Much of what the focus centered around was that of stepping into your own power and owning the truth that evolves from that space. Energetically, the Solar Plexus is the seat of the individual’s strength and fuels the forms that action and will take. It is depicted as yellow sun-filled energy.

The colorings used in Self-Love Journal were actually more of a honey-gold that immediately took me to thoughts of the honeycomb, bees, and the power of the queen to command and oversee the production of the sweet nectar of honey that will nourish and sustain. This gave a very warm feel to what is often an intensely heated engagement with this chakra. This, coupled with imagery, provides the reader with a truly organic calling into the heart of the sweetness of the hive, the intricate and beautiful patterning of the comb and preparation to take on the mantle of the “queen bee”.

Self-Love Journal is truly a journal to be experienced. There is something of connection to be made by anyone, whether it is the guidance of the chakras, the inspirational statements, the beautifully rich illustrations or the overall visual beauty. And, if you are interested in supplementing your journaling with oracle or mini cards of inspiration, Pritam also has available an oracle deck (Self Love Oracle: Find Peace and Happiness through the Chakras) and inspiration cards (Let Go: Mini Inspiration Cards). I’ve just ordered the oracle deck!

Answering the Call of the Elementals, by Thomas Mayer

Answering the Call of the Elementals: Practices for Connecting with Nature Spirits, by Thomas Mayer
Findhorn Press, 978- 16441122144, 160 pages, June 2021

Answering the Call of the Elementals: Practices for Connecting with Nature Spirits by Thomas Mayer is a timely book that incorporates the melding of environmental consciousness and the intuitive nature within humankind that desperately needs reawakening if we are to co-exist with those beings that inhabit the natural world.

It is no secret to those who live collaboratively with the ephemeral spirits, beings, and other sentient forces that we are at a crossroads. How we proceed, who (or what) we consider to be allies to form alliances with, will dramatically affect the outcome of this planet and all of the life that occupies it.

Mayer has brought this need to the foreground in a book filled with first hand experience and a prodding for the reader to seek out their own measure of experience that will give proof of the existence of nature spirits. 

Even if we are not consciously aware of it, we live in the realm of elemental beings. Everywhere, and all the time, they penetrate our souls and slip into our hearts. The whole world around us is ensouled with elemental beings. Elemental beings participate in everything that is happening in nature around us… 1

Answering the Call of the Elementals is separated into twenty chapters and is a narrative of the author’s recounting of his experiences in seeking those beings he identifies as elementals. One thing that struck me in reading this book was the lack of a definitive definition as to what “elementals” are. There is a movement between the semantics of “elementals” and “nature spirits” that is not always easy to follow in terms of whether they are interchangeable or something altogether different.

But, even in saying that, there is a purposeful wisdom in what appears to be lacking definition and by the end of the book the reader realizes that there is no generic definition of these beings. They are changeable. They move through many worlds and have many agendas to fulfill in both the physical and spiritual worlds. 

Beginning with the opening pages of “Chapter 1: The Plea”, the reader is immediately drawn into the experience of Mayer and his conversation and meeting with the four Elementals (beings) of nature. In simplistic form, these beings are the pure essence of their respective alchemical realms of earth, air, fire, or water, as they exist within the natural world. This meeting comes as a plea from their realms:

We are the beings of the nature elementals. We encompass and represent them. We come to you with a request. Humanity has forgotten the elemental beings. We live in your subconscious, we are a big part of your lives, but you know nothing of us…2

This plea is the driving force behind the authoring of this book. In Mayer’s writings, the reader can palpably and emotionally feel the imminent need to awaken and to rekindle the long forgotten relationships with those beings we still, albeit not acknowledged, live so intimately with. Mayer provides the reader with as much descriptive and ambient tone as possible to allow the information to wash over the reader at all levels of understanding and, perhaps, to also stimulate the urgency abiding in how far removed we have become from the natural world and these elemental beings. 

It is time. In this moment I decide. It is all perfectly clear in an instant. I will do their bidding. As a first step I will focus on teaching the meditation courses, and the following steps will develop from there…3

In Answering the Call of the Elementals, Mayer succeeds in providing a step-by-step plan of developing and awakening the sensorial tools necessary to “see”, feel and dialogue with nature spirits”.4 In particular, “Chapter 4: Experiencing Elemental Beings” provides some of the “how” to make contact and the “why” of its potential and necessary agenda. 

Experiencing elemental beings is generally prohibited by mental blocks. These mental blocks tend to come up particularly when you begin with practical exercises. You think your own perceptions are figments of the imagination, or fantasies, and you are so full of mistrust that nothing remains. So right away, you throw out the baby with the bathwater…5

As the reader moves deeper into this chapter, there is a slow building of confidence in abilities crafted by specific examples of the author’s experiences, interwoven with sound and practical contemplative endeavors that serve not only this purpose but many others relating to spiritual practice and growth. There is a lot of information in what appears to be not many pages, and the information is dense and rich.

Mayer is very methodical in the step-by-step approach of training the reader to be able to access the largely intuitive and feeling nature that aligns with that of the elemental beings. And, it is precisely this analytical methodology that allows the “mental blocks” that persist to be assuaged in their need to dominate and over analyze so that something more natural and organic can open in their place. This opening becomes the threshold of meeting and perceiving those inhabitants of the elemental worlds, and it is in this space of mutual recognition that the healing of the planet, self, and spirit may begin. 

There is a lot of information to ruminate over and to digest between the covers of Answering the Call of the Elementals. Mayer uses the teachings of Austrian philosopher and esotericist Rudolf Steiner as the underpinnings of this book giving a layer of Christian mysticism to a topic that is also part and parcel of pagan practices. This makes the content more globally based and underscores the intention of its writing; collaboration and co-creation between humanity and the realms of the more ephemeral beings.

It is important to note that Rudolf Steiner was the founder of a specific branch of philosophy known as anthroposophy, which supported the concepts of an objective and intellectually comprehensible spiritual world that could be accessed and experienced by humanity. This is a key understanding Mayer uses throughout the book as a given ability that all of humanity has.

Answering the Call of the Elementals is definitely a title I will return to for another read through. I have a sense that each reading will undoubtedly reveal another nuanced subtleties inherent in this re-connection to the spiritual world. The Epilogue of this title speaks to the author’s …vision for the future “includes elemental beings once again becoming a cultural public resource for our civilization”6

Mayer outlines a vision of the future that integrates elemental beings into the fabric of all of society’s daily workings. These include a school-level course of study focused on the elemental beings as part of the traditional educational studies, elemental research groups at universities, local governmental departments, and committees dedicated to the well-being and care of elementals, as well as farmers enlisting the strength and help of agricultural elementals and the direct connection of contractors and builders with those elementals of the mechanical and work equipment being used. These goals feel lofty in aspiration, but perhaps what is required is lofty ambitions and devotion to restoring our connections to the natural world. 

This vision is surely unfamiliar today and beyond the normal conceptual frame. To me, it is not only realistic, but necessary. The nature elementals are eagerly waiting for human beings to consciously grasp them, for their future existence is dependent upon it. We humans and the elemental beings have a common destiny – to rescue the elemental beings…7