✨ A Gathering Place for Magical Readers and Writers ✨

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.

From Elder to Ancestor, by S. Kelley Harrell

From Elder to Ancestor: Nature Kinship for All Seasons of Life, by S. Kelley Harrell
Destiny Books, 978-644116623, 192 pages, June 2024

“Animism is the experience that everything has consciousness, that the world is made up of persons, some human, and some not. In that awareness that everything is in relationship, communicating, impacting, and interacting on various levels of agency. There is no individual; thus the emphasis is on right relationship, community. Within that interaction lies the responsibility for how we affect where we literally stand and the greater relationship to All Things.”1

The extract above is fittingly the first paragraph of the Introduction from From Elder to Ancestor: Nature Kinship for All Seasons of Life, by S. Kelley Harrell sets the tone for the energy of this title and the call for a way of engaging with our surroundings in a holistic and inclusive way that affirms life as a collective journey. As the readers continues through the writings of the introduction, very specific ideologies about animism, our interconnectedness, the semantics of elderhood, and our history as a culture of colonization and disregard  for those already inhabiting the land are laid out for consideration to enhance the concepts to be explored in following chapters. 

From Elder to Ancestor is organized into eight sections, each building upon the other and bringing into the space of awareness the work required in remaining part of the whole. This is the work of those who want to proactively grow into becoming the elders for whom wisdom, experience, and knowledge of our deeper connections to all things is how they go about their life’s journey.

“When we speak of elders and elderhood, it isn’t a matter of age. Rather, we are referring to those people in our communities who are trusted and respected for the knowledge and wisdom they have gained through their lived experience and their ability to apply that understanding to educate, support and sustain the community. Once upon a time that understanding included animistic wisdom. Sadly, it is in short supply today.2

The reader is guided in a weaving of personal work to community, back to work of the higher self and out again to a broader and now more understandably inclusive community. It is a lovely reminder of the ebb and flow of how relationships, if allowed to grow and connect more deeply, will offer the reciprocity of give and receipt. 

Additionally, each section has its concluding pages devoted to an opportunity for introspection. These provide the reader with a summary of what was discussed and deep questions to journal and contemplate around that specific topic as it relates to you. These are followed by practical action and recommendations of ways to take the information, emotions, and newly formed intellect gained out into the world and explore. 

The introduction covers all that is needed to move through the subsequent chapters familiar with the semantics used and the author’s reason for using some words in a specific way. The use of the word “Broken Path” is one such semantic and Harrell uses this as what historically and culturally we have done to divorce ourselves from our natural kinship to all life and, most specifically, Nature. This style immediately draws the reader in to feeling comfortable with the complexity and deep dive of topic and practice that lay ahead. The Introspection content of the introduction prepares the reader for the challenges of the journey ahead and emphasizes the need for community that becomes your “Dream Team”:

“The topics covered in this book will bring up big feelings. To give them the healthy expression they require, it will be helpful to identify and engage your support community-those human persons you can call on for help in all areas of your life.”3

Harrell then asks the reader to “consider which spirit or earthly beings you would go to for support” in a broad selection of categories that will be covered in future chapters such as emotional, medical, identity, accountability, reparation and several more. Now, the reader is ready to apply more scrutiny to their relationship with societal and communal distortions of connection and their impact in creating an environment that fosters separatism from Nature as well as others.

This book asks the hard questions of its reader and encourages a practice of responsible action and consideration of all the actions taken and their broader impacts beyond self. “Section 1: Our Cultural Relationship to Animistic Elderhood-Owning Our Personal Role in the Broken Path” calls out the semantics of “adulting” and the privilege that carries:

“A word I see coming up often in social contexts is adulting, as in “I washed laundry and voted today. I adulted.” As if the step from child to adult and all it entails is extra.  As if only certain people are expected to mature. . .Instead of furthering those projections, I go with a verb I feel encompasses the experience better – humaning – as it reflects the range of responsibility, growth, and maturity demanded by life through all stages of development.”4

I love this concept that Harrell offers and its deeper meaning is reflected throughout the book. After all, we are only as useful as support to creating a new system of interaction and understanding of our place in the bigger picture, as we are willing to take responsibility for in a way that is meaningful and truly reflects change.

The next step in the process is discussed in “Section 2: Repairing the Human-Nature Relationship-Engaging the Resources to Reconcile Our Separation From Nature”. The concepts of the individual as a lone survivor, achiever, and actor in the cycles of the world and nature are sorted through and then removed, teaching that we are inherently not alone in any of our actions. Harrell reminds us that the denigration of community and the need to draw on those resources as being a flaw of character is one that has been unnaturally ingrained in our mental/emotional states. 

Harrell takes the reader through the various ways in which we are able to frame our connections to community using the concept of the old Norse concept of frith:

“Frith, meaning community balance, safety, peace and protection. Frith entailed working together as a community, at the level each member was able. . .Frithgard was a designated Nature space devoted to tranquility and peaceful resolution of conflict.”5

She expands this out to encompass our inner cosmology and planetary frithgard as every action and relationship established on this planet is interconnected to the greater cosmos. 

“Sections 3: Allowing the Emergence of Sacred Self-Processing the Shadow and Allowing the Rite of Heartbreak”  and “Section 4: Prioritizing Embodiment and Grounding-Learning to Embody and Ground Our Sacredness” require the reader to be fully open to the experience of recognizing self, its shadow, and cultivating the Sacred Self as an ally in the process of claiming an authentic purpose of being that readily connects to all it encounters. 

“Section 5: Engaging Rituals for Caring and Accountability-Tracing and Reconciling Our Life Patterns” provides the reader with a process of returning to a path of reconnecting with Nature through ritual:

“In the early chapters of this book we talked about how the loss of access to ancient sacred lands also meant the loss of traditional rituals. That threading of Naturekin into the human person’s day-to-day not only kept humanity in close awareness of the health of their region and gave them instruction on how to tend to it, it also kept them in reciprocity with those Naturekin. Their own health and well-being was reflected in those relationships.”6

Harrell provides the reader with ways to hold space so that our intentions and awareness return to a place of honoring and ritualizing to maintain a state of being with and in Nature. And, having come this far in the process this book has reawakened within you, the introspection portion of this section returns with a “Reassessing Your Place-Space Kin and Dream Team”. The further work is exploring how you prepare for ritual using a series of prompting questions to encourage deeper thought.

“Sections 6: Honoring Our Calling to Tend Community-Discovering Our Personal Relationship to All Things” and “Section 7: Passing On Our Lore with Compassion-Valuing Our Unique Gift Enough to Give It”  bring the reader to the space of being an “active” participant in their individual, yet collective journey. If the work of the previous sections has been given adequate time and thought to integrate and effectively create a different dynamic of being in the world, the wealth of information in these sections is the point of resonance and tipping point for a new paradigm. The quote below aptly summarizes the intention of From Elder to Ancestor:

“ A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in .” – Greek Proverb

The final part, “Section 8: Standing in Harm’s Danger-Engaging the Relationship Between Agency and Impact” returns full circle to the space of questioning the meaning of living in relationship to all things. Readers have now gained the wisdom of experiences knowing when the action taken is encroaching upon and supporting a path of disconnect or when the impact is appropriately directed. The reader is reminded that this is the space in which how we have chosen our path as elders will directly affect the ancestor we will become and the legacy left behind.

Would I Recommend?

From Elder to Ancestor is a complex and thought provoking read. And, the choice of title is one that is subtly deceptive in what information  and wisdom lay between its pages, as it truly appeals to a wide audience of varying beliefs and histories–and I LOVE that about this book.  

I always appreciate an Index to quickly return to things of interest or to cross reference, and there are also Suggested Resources which include online spaces and Podcasts as well as books. The Notes section provides additional book choices that were used as Harrell’s resource materials.  

From Elder to Ancestor is an important read if we wish to enter into the years ahead knowing who we are and how each of us is an important piece of a much larger puzzle. This is a book that can easily be used by those  seeking self-improvement, those who are environmentalists, those who are scientists, those of all faith and spiritual practice, and any who wish to  be more informed in their choices  in the entirety of this lifetime’s experience. In short, this book should be a required manual for every human who has made an agreement to come into this realm of existence. 

About the Author: S. Kelley Harrell

S. Kelley Harrell is an animist, deathwalker, and death doula. Through her Nature-based soul-tending practice and Soul Intent Arts, she helps others ethically build thriving spiritual paths. Her special areas of knowledge are runes, animism, ancestral tending, and deathwork. Prior publications include Runic Book of Days, iPagan, Real Wyrd, and Teen Spirit Guide to Modern Shamanism. Harrell currently lives in North Carolina.

Energy Magick, by Mark NeCamp Jr.

Energy Magick: A Basic and Advanced Guide for Witches & Pagans, by Mark NeCamp Jr.
Moon Books, 978- 1803414546, 264 pages, April 2024

“Energy magick is a way of practicing magick without physical tools by directly manipulating the energy that connects all things, and it is the basis for reality. The aim of this book is to work directly with the sources of magickal and psychic energy with our hands, minds, and will to affect reality directly.”1

Energy Magick: A Basic and Advanced Guide for Witches & Pagans, by Mark NeCamp Jr.  is a book that lives up to its title of being both a primer for the novice as well as having enough meat for the more advanced practitioner. It is also specific to witches and pagan semantics and fundamental uses without having to interpret and adapt the more traditional uses in an Eastern practice. The book  is organized into three parts and thirteen chapters, plus a “Final Note” and who’s who in the bibliography. 

The introduction gives an overview of sourcing used for the contents and the fusion and adapting of Western, New Age, Tibetan, and Mexican Folk Sorcery to name a few. Additionally, NeCamp advises the reader that the only tool of use for these practices is you. The intention is one of the reader recognizing the innate magickal power contained within self. Description of the contents of the organizational style used and a note to the reader of the way in which NeCamp is hoping to connect with readers, making the book feel more like a conversation than lecture. 

“Part 1 – Chapter 1: Basic Energy Work” is replete with the core practices that every magickal worker should be familiar with or have mastered. These begin appropriately with grounding, centering, and cycling practices. Each topic has a specific exercise related to its mastery and a variety of cross references and connecting pieces to make it usable at first try. I especially enjoyed the pages in this chapter about cycling your energy:

“Most writings on centering and rounding end there and only refer to the relationship between the practitioner and the Earth. My training in energy healing has taught me that  cycling your personal energy is just as important…. When we cycle energy, we are merely paying attention to the dynamic process that is happening all the time. The only difference is that we do it consciously.2

“Chapter 2: Aura and Energetic Bodies” takes the reader through the “tools” of the energetic self that support energetic workings. This chapter gives a thorough overview of the energetic anatomy, common connections, and uses  and the traditional as well as hermetic assignments of chakras, subtle bodies, and more. “Chapter 3: Fundamentals of Energy Work” incorporate the basics of the five alchemical elements and their relationship to energy magick. A nice addition to this chapter was an explanation of the four stages of alchemy and their application to manipulating and creating from your energetic magick. 

“Chapter 4: Meditation and Trance States” reminds the reader that control over one’s self begins with a calm and well-disciplined space of mind and capacity to focus and pay attention. The contemplative nature of energy work is easily grasped as the reader progresses through exercises of breath, hand positions (mudras) and more. This awakening of a new point of focus flows nicely into the work of “Chapters 5: Sigils” and “Chapter 6: Sacred and Ceremonial Space”. Each of these chapters draws the reader into a space of the visual and its impact as we create sacred symbols and do the work of celebrating our magick. Exercises to practice Banishment by Word or Tone (#41), Energetic Waste Disposal (#44), and energetically Creating the Zodiac Wheel (#46) provide the reader with active tools of self-creation to bolster and enhance the potency of the desired energetic outcome. 

“Part 2- Chapter 7: Advanced Energy Healing” provides the reader with lots of food for thought around the practice of energy healing, the ethics of energy work, and the amount of self-knowledge and expertise is required. 

“I view energy healing very seriously. Manipulating your own energy is one thing but working with someone else’s energy is a different matter. I think the best metaphor for energy work on another person is to think of it like going into an operating room. Everything needs to be sterile energetically-everything from the space you are in, to your personal energy, to the energy of any tools you may use.”3

I appreciated that NeCamp begins with this admonition that serves as a reminder that although the energy work may be well-intended, care, caution, and ethics are foremost in the equation of energy healing. He offers examples of the steps/protocols he engages to prepare his personal energy and the why’s behind:

“1. Meditation
2. Purification
3. Condense  aura
4. Put on an energetic suit of armor to protect”4

All sound and necessary strategies and none of which should be skipped. Several energetic healing modalities are addressed in this chapter including chakra healing, sound healing, psychic surgery, distance healing, boosting the energetic immune system, and physical healing. 

“Chapters 8: Cord Cutting” and “Chapter 9: Advanced Protection Magick” expand on the foundations of energy healing and offer the specifics of some of the more challenging forms of energetic dis-ease. This emphasizes the need for regular maintenance of self and energetic streams and what can encroach upon them and cause damage throughout the subtle as well as physical bodies. “Chapter 9: Advanced Protection Magick” builds on previous practices offered in creating shields and expands the basics to more complex constructs of shielding practice. Advanced warding constructs, portals, banishings, and thoughtforms are woven into the pages of training, their uses, and the how-to.

I particularly enjoyed “Chapter 10: Trance Journeying”. This section was filled with practical ways to move beyond meditation/contemplation and arrive in a more active state of engagement of time, place, and intention. A discussion of consciousness and its development and the application of awareness of where the journeying is intended to have a destination serves as fertile ground for experimentation and exploration. 

“One should have a purpose to their journeying, even if that purpose is exploration.”5

A caveat being the reminder given that even if journeying for the purpose of exploring, safety measures should be set in place such as purification and protection, and having set in place a “map”, which NeCamp describes as “a means to travel and a purpose”6. Exercise #71 is focused on finding “guides” to aid as protectors as you journey and perhaps open doorways that you would not otherwise have access to. Having been appropriately prepared, the remainder of this chapter offers exercises and explanation of journeying to the underworld, the astral realm, using the root chakra as destination and an interesting end practice of shape shifting. 

“Chapters 11: Evocation  and Invocation”  and “Chapter 12: Spellwork and Ritual” bring all that has been considered previously into practical application and enhancements that may be used to deepen the energetic experience. Methods of attracting and bringing the energetic signatures of Deity and other magickal forms are suggested as well as the purposes and uses of each. Differentiation between how much of that Deity may be called or embodies are shown in examples, along with the energetic requirements of the individual serving as a conduit. Then NeCamp breaks down how power-filled spellwork can become when infused with the equation of energetic magick that is applied and directed appropriately and effectively. Additionally, the Anatomy of a Ritual drives home the need for intention and planning as well as skill and adeptness in energetic flow.

NeCamp integrates everything provided from the basics to the more advanced uses in “Part III: The Energy Magick Grimoire”. Although it may seem to occupy only a small portion of the book, readers will take from it the degree of understanding that has been carefully tried and tested that is only accomplished in the disciplined approach of allowing new (or old) information to settle in with an approach of patience. This may not have been the intent of NeCamp, but I feel it is a key take-away from this title, and something that is often overlooked in our “hurry to get there” approach to the study of magick.

These pages are filled with ways to use your new found skills. Healing, love, self-empowerment, shadow work, and spiritual evolution are just a few of the topics with accompanying exercises and magickal workings to employ. Each of these draw from some specific component within the book–sigils, cord cutting, warding, and more–and in many cases represent a layered approach since no action/energy is enacted alone. 

Would I Recommend?

Energy Magick: A Basic and Advanced Guide for Witches & Pagans is a timely read in providing information that is relevant to every magickal practitioner as we expose ourselves more and more to the chaos of the world. Relying on our innate tools to manage our energetic state of being as well as being able to effectively harness and direct that flow towards the desired goal, is paramount to maintaining healthy boundaries, protection and awareness of our impact on our surroundings, and its impact on us. To this end, there are several very user-friendly styles employed throughout the book. One of these is a summary header for each chapter and its contents. This is a very nice touch in organizing the flow and mental patterns created in doing energy work. Additionally there are 81+ exercises and multiple suggestions of experimentation throughout the chapters, allowing for an active participation in the teachings and opportunities to experience firsthand.

Although the tendency for those readers more familiar with the basics of energy may be to skip ahead to “Part 2: Advanced Energy Work”, I would advise not to. Going back to and strengthening your foundational knowledge is never wasted. Moreover, what often comes to light is that you may not know everything there is to know, or your general understanding of that topic has evolved and changed in scope. I heeded this wisdom long ago, when as a professional ballet dancer, I was eager to go to the more basic classes and refine what I was already adept at. This paid off so that when I stepped onto the stage, heard the first notes of music, and took a breath, movement, energy, and time flowed into one seamless expression  of what those notes were expressing. I will be keeping this on my bookshelf as both a resource and reminder that we have all that we need to work powerful magick and change the course of our evolution.

About the Author: Mark NeCamp, Jr.

Mark NeCamp, Jr. is a tarot reader, healer, writer, teacher, spiritual alchemist, modern day practitioner, and forever student of the Art. He teaches classes using magic as a tool for personal growth. He is passionate about how, through the alchemical process, we can turn our spiritual lead into gold as individuals and as a global tribe. He has led many community groups in the Midwest and taught at major Pagan events and festivals around the US and Canada. He lives in Muskegon, MI. Soul School, an online educational community offering classes in personal empowerment, ancestral connection, self-initiation, and ritual practice.

Yoga and the Five Elements, by Nicole Goott

Yoga and the Five Elements: Spiritual Wisdom for Everyday Living, by Nicole Goott
Mantra Books, 978-1803412672, 208 pages, December 2023

“The five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space are easily recognizable as forces existing around us all the time. As with the axion, we are a microcosm of a larger macrocosm, this is true of the five elements existing not only around us in the Natural world but also within us, in both physical and metaphysical terms.1

Yoga and the Five Elements: Spiritual Wisdom for Everyday Living by Nicole Goott is an interesting read that focuses on Eastern practices but can be seamlessly woven into any spiritual practice to make a deeper connection to a fivefold-structure of being. The book is separated into twelve chapters and covers from start to finish a well-structured plan of approach to the subject matter. 

This thoughtful manner of disseminating information is carried out from the start with the addition of a few pages of note regarding Sanskrit and transliteration.This little addition offers accessibility to all regardless of your familiarity with the terminology commonly found in Eastern studies and practices. 

Goott provides the reader background in the Introduction for her seeking of the origins of the five elements as applied to Indian philosophy. I appreciated her story of searching in Martial  Arts practices, Ayurvedic disciplines, Hatha Yoga, as well as Tantric and Vedic literature. This demonstrates a well-intentioned approach rather than the cursory attempts at finding overlays and connections that may not truly be found.

The concluding sections (of more than 20+ pages) are supportive of those readers wishing to explore further and are inclusive of References, Further Reading, a robust Bibliography, Glossary and Index; something not always included as a source of quick reference for a title such as this. 

Chapters 1-3, covering subtle bodies, cosmic principles, and the five elements,  are invaluable resources and lay a dense and comprehensible foundation before moving out into deeper exploration of each of the five elements separately. Chapters dedicated to related concepts and knowledge can be found in “Chapter 7: Mind”, “Chapter 9: Karma”, and “Chapter 10: Space”. Finally, all that has been learned in previous chapters is integrated and put into practical application with “Chapter 11: Balancing the Elements” and “Chapter 12: Heart Consciousness”. 

I especially enjoyed “Chapter 9: Karma” and the way in which Goott has interwoven a concept that has many interpretations and levels of understanding. She dispels the common thoughts around karma and proposes that it is not something over which we have no control because of the “bad “ or “good “ stuff we did. Instead she gives a very hopeful definition:

“Using the analogy of an apple tree… the causal chain begins with a seed (thought) like the seed of an apple (form). This seed is full of potential , holding within itself the possibility to create a new tree (manifested form). It may or may not germinate if the conditions required are not present….when a seed does take root, all the potential that was dormant now begins to ripen. A tree is born (results).”2

She then aligns karma with the element of fire in its aspect as the “light of illumination, wisdom and higher knowledge or insight”3. This reminds the reader of our nature as creator of our own realities and consequential scenarios.

Goott provides charts of comparison of the elements and approach throughout the book, supporting a broader perspective of mind that is not simply limited to the Vedic practices. There are exercises, questions, journaling suggestions and more to allow the reader true experiential moments of the five elements and how their dynamics change depending on the context. And, adequate reference is given to writers such as Annie Besant and the Theosophical spin on the elements, and their use. 

Would I Recommend?

Yoga and the Five Elements is an important read intended to be digested, integrated, put into action and then returned to frequently. Regardless of spiritual practice, the broad approach to the fundamental organic make-up of humanity, the world we inhabit and the Cosmos of which we are a part, provide the tools for stepping more fully into who we are meant to be, especially now as we stand at a crossroads as a species that has increasingly become disconnected from ourselves and others. The quote below beautifully sums up the reasons why this book and its studies are so important, particularly now:

“We can embrace the lessons we are given or resist them. The degree to which we embrace each step along our path determines the level of satisfaction and joy we experience…the more that each of us wakes up to the realization that we are so much more than the brain’s chemical processes and imperfect body, the greater the possibility for the collective consciousness to rise to its fullest potential.”4

About the Author: Nicole Goott

Goott is a teacher, author, advisor, and spiritual healer motivated to guide others in their journey of self-discovery and how to live a joy-filled life. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nicole moved to the United States when she was twenty-four years old. For two decades she has studied Yoga, Ayurveda, and related healing arts practices, as well as mindfulness-based approaches to self-healing. Learn more about Nicole’s work at her website.

The Ancient Traditions of Angels, by Normandi Ellis

The Ancient Tradition of Angels: The Power and Influence of Sacred Messengers, by Normandi Ellis
Bear & Company, 978-1591434399, 280 pages, March 2023

“Angels appear in all cultures and religions. One group identifies such a being as deity, another as a deva, another as angel. Are they real or imagined? Ah, now that is one of the questions we will be drawn to examine more closely toward the end of this book!”1

I am a big fan of Normandi Ellis’s books, having cut my teeth on her Egyptian classics. The Ancient Tradition of Angels: The Power and Influence of Sacred Messengers is yet another of her well-researched and thoughtfully crafted offerings that provides the reader, regardless of spiritual practice or tradition,  with enough information to make the connections desired with the angelic realms.

This book is organized into five sections with forwards by world renowned scholar, philosopher and futurist, Dr. Jean Houston and author of the Medicine Woman series, Lynn Andrews. Additionally, there are twenty-five beautiful color plates mid-book that enrich the visual aspect.

The introduction prepares the reader to be open to the concept of angels as not only divine messengers, but beings of light consciousness, part of the universal life force that connects all beings, and as such take on the many forms that an individual or culture may need to see a deeper truth and reality. These first steps into the core of The Ancient Tradition of Angels are ripe with Ellis’s personal experiences with angels and the messages shared with her about the nature of their being and functions at a cosmic and terrestrial level. 

“Angels can take on any form they wish. When the occasion warrants, they may appear as human.2.

“Answering the Call” provides the reader with a personal account of Ellis’s experience with angels and continues to lay the foundations of the function, guidance and nature of the angelic realms and their correlation to religion. These are just a few of the stories she recounts throughout the book and create a solid foundation for the reader of the depth of communication with these beings that the author has established.

The subsequent three sections discuss how angels are perceived within the Western Traditions, Eastern Traditions,  and Silk Road Traditions. There is a lot of Judeo-Christian referencing as would be expected given the heavy emphasis that has been placed on angels, but these serve more as points of correlation to the lesser known angels and related beings such as the Devas of India, the spirit beings of Buddhist traditions, the Islamic angel of death, the Zoroastrian angels of protection and many more.

“Section 4: Dark Angels” covers the concepts of those that are Fallen angels, including Lucifer Morningstar, the Angel of the Day of Judgement, and the Angel of Death, who often serves as psychopomp into the otherworld. From these, Ellis speaks to the arising of demons, the devil, and Satan and their relationship to the angelic realms and need for the polarity of good and evil that humans have the need for. 

By the time the reader arrives at “Section 5: Human and Angelic Interactions”, a robust study of the origins, roles, and multi-layered perspectives of angels and their hierarchies within hierarchies has been provided. This is a natural bridge into the bigger question of the reality of angels–how do we communicate and engage? This is also the place where human “free will” comes into play and discussion of invocation -or not- of angels is put to the test through the historical knowledge of traditional practices. This discourse is derived from the ideology that “God asked the angels to help him make humans, which they did not especially want to do.”3

This falls into the belief that angels were favored above man, and with the appearance of humans and the complexities of spiritual form held in a corporeal state, the angels thus became guides and aids, taking on many other tasks in the assistance of humanity. With these considerations Ellis points out that the interaction with angels becomes more complex than a simple call and ask.

I was especially drawn to “Conclusion: I Am That I Am”. This section zeros in on the concept of angels as aspects of light consciousness. A scientific approach of light, physics, and quantum ideology weaves the components that flow within and from these angelic beings. This removes any religious bias the reader may have and places the reality of these beings (and others) in a modern context that although still unable to concretely prove the existence of angelic beings, there is also nothing that definitively says otherwise.

For those readers who wish to create a practice of connection with the Archangels, “Addendum: An Invocation of Archangels” provides a step-by-step ritual calling that is both simple and powerful. And, for the bibliophile, the bibliography boasts eleven pages of curated listings, including some more obscure titles as well as those that would capture the attention of a wide selection of an individual’s cultural and religious/spiritual practice.I always appreciate when an index for quick search is included in a dense and rich title too, which this book has.

Would I Recommend?

The Ancient Tradition of Angels fulfills the Ellis’s intention of deepening the understanding and perceptions of the angelic beings and their impact on the individual, culturally, and cosmically:

“It has been my intention to prove that angels exist, only to prove that whether we learn about angels from personal experience , from the pulpit, from stories told by travelers along the way, the messages and interventions of angels have shaped the cultures in which we exist. And through whichever door those angels have arrived, they have become a part of us. The true message of the angels lies within.4.

Within these 280 pages, Ellis has managed to provide a wealth of resources spanning a diverse inclusion of spiritual and religious practice, practical application for opening the lens of perception to the possibilities offered by the angelic beings and supportive footnotes for more clarity of content. The Ancient Tradition of Angels is a literal textbook of study that leads the way to all manner of angel-related academia and shared personal encounters. 

Explorations of sacred texts, the seven great angels, the energetic streams that are the light of angelic consciousness, Kabbalistic principles, the natural universal laws and the interwoven streams of angelic and divine light we carry within are just a few of the paths that carry the reader to a space of the Divine. Regardless of your personal spiritual/religious practice, this is an important read to broaden one’s understanding of the natural and unnatural worlds of which we are a purposeful part. 

About the Author: Normandi Ellis

Normandi Ellis is an award-winning writer, workshop facilitator, and archpriestess of the Fellowship of Isis. The author and coauthor of several books, including Awakening Osiris and Hieroglyphic Words of Power, she leads tours to Egypt. She lives in Chesterfield, Indiana.

The Medicine Wheel, by Barry Goddard

The Medicine Wheel: Maps of Transformation, Wholeness and Balance, by Barry Goddard
Moon Books, 1785359673, 320 pages, October 2022

“This book is not just another ‘self-help’ guide, but rather an exploration of an ancient map that shows how human beings and the world work..”1

The quote above expresses the intention of The Medicine Wheel: Maps of Transformation, Wholeness and Balance by Barry Goddard and is a reminder for humanity of the intimate connection we have with nature and the cosmos. I had the privilege of reviewing Goddard’s other title, Surfing the Galactic Highways: Adventures in Divinatory Astrology, and as a result, I had a deep interest in seeing the approach he would take to this topic. I was not disappointed.

The Medicine Wheel is divided into eight chapters and provides the reader with information that is readily accessible and usable. The acknowledgments in the beginning of the book hold a special meaning in the sincerity and care given to how this topic is presented:

“I would like to express my gratitude to the indigenous peoples everywhere for hanging on to their ancient ways and teachings, despite our modern attempts to eradicate them.2

“Chapter 1: Introducing the Wheel” provides a bit of background around how Goddard encountered the Medicine Wheel and shares his transition from the perspective of Buddhist practice and the new pathways opened in his studies of Shamanism. He writes:

“Shamanism with its foundation in the sense of being part of a world that is alive and to be cherished, provided the remedy for myself, and I believe can do so for the same imbalance in the culture at large.3

Additionally, Goddard also addresses the concerns around “cultural appropriation” that have evolved around many wisdom practices. He offers the reminder that everything of value has a point of origin that may not be of the individual’s heritage but how that content is represented and shared is the more important way of approach and enables the wisdom contained within to be brought into the world more broadly.

As you move through each of the chapters, there is a sense of being part of a grand exploration of revealing the nature of the worlds surrounding as well as the inner landscape that holds the Medicine Wheel organically within. And, although there are many ways in which the Medicine Wheel may be used and inclusive of additional components, Goddard offers use of the Wheel in its four simplified aspects aligning with the elements and cardinal directions of East, South, West and North.

“It is somewhat artificial to talk about each direction on its own, because they are inter-related, and no direction can be grasped without the light shed on it by the other directions. At the same time, the Wheel does have a movement  that gathers momentum and wisdom as it rotates on its path from East through South and West to North, and back to East again. This turning describes the whole arc of our life, as well as the many turnings on different levels within the course of our lives.4

Each of the subsequent chapters devotes its entirety to one of these elements. One can find the subtle references to his knowledge of astrological concepts in these chapters which are robust with varying correlates and fresh perspectives on what the composition of each of the elements may be beyond any tradition’s approach. “Chapter 2: The East-Initiation” provides discussion of this place of the rising sun and new beginnings as also a place of the magical child, courage and a space of major transformative change; “Chapter 3: The South-Emotional Awakening” deepens down into innocence, trust and the shadow nature; “Chapter 4: The West-Incarnation” opens the reader to relationships, gender and transgender and relationships; and “Chapter 5: The North-Perspective” carries the reader to the place of their own legacy and how that is affected by concepts of ageism, becoming the teacher and community.

For those readers who wish to add more of the complexity of the Medicine Wheel, “Chapter 6: The Non-Cardinal Directions” fills that desire. We now find a Wheel of eight directions corresponding to those directional spaces between the established E – S – W – N.  These tell more of the chronology associated with the Wheel moving from the East of the Child and coming finally to the North of the Elder and soon to be Ancestor. Although one of the shorter chapters, it is rich with enhancements.

“Chapter 7: Using the Wheel” brings the reader now to the point of actualizing all that gained of knowledge from the previous chapters. If not skipped ahead to, this very brief few pages provides the final integration to begin effective and meaningful personal work with the Wheel.

The concluding “Chapter 8: Correlations-Jung’s Typology, Archetypes, Astrology and the Mandorla” is the finishing touch meant to further whet the appetite of those wishing to extract more from working with the Medicine Wheel. 

The Bibliography includes some great recommendations, as well as relevant films and documentaries. Overall, The Medicine Wheel hits multiple checkboxes well beyond the traditional writings about the Medicine Wheel and its applications in spiritual practice.

Would I Recommend?

One of the many things I love about Goddard’s writing style is the vastness of interwoven disciplines that are evident in his works. The Medicine Wheel is another title that offers the reader multiple paths of established resonance, as well as new avenues to claim and explore.

There is a wonderfully integrated underpinning of psychological basis for this work with the Medicine Wheel and in this way, this book becomes a deep dive into revealing the nuances and complexities of the individual’s psyche and aligning it with spiritual growth and personal practice. And, most importantly, the clear message is that of our interconnectedness to each other and the world we have chosen for this incarnation’s lessons.

About the Author: Barry Goddard

In his twenties and thirties Barry was engaged in Buddhist practice, but for the last 25 years the main currents have been astrology and shamanism. He regularly writes blogs and Facebook posts about both shamanism and astrology, to which he brings a fresh and sometimes controversial perspective. He also does astrology readings and runs courses on Shamanism. He has recently written a book about astrology, Surfing The Galactic Highways Adventures in Divinatory Astrology. Barry lives on Dartmoor in Devon, UK.

2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary, by Stacey Demarco

2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary – Northern Hemisphere, by Stacey Demarco
Rockpool Publishing, 978-1925946666, 216 pages, June 2023

I am really looking forward to using my 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary – Northern Hemisphere by Stacey Demarco. This diary is beautifully illustrated and the contents on lunar and seasonal energies make it much more than a simple day planner. Each page is an invitation to reflect, plan, and take away some new bit of wisdom that would have otherwise gone unfound. A diary is of no use if it is something more than just a place to count off the days; this diary is so much more than that and then some!

Due diligence has been given by Demarco in creating not only a functional planner but also a source of teachings about lunar workings, correspondences, spell craft, ritual, and introductory astrology. Her writing makes the 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary accessible to the aficionados of lunar-forward planning and the witches who wants to incorporate powerful magick in their daily life.

The first 20+ pages are dedicated to the lunar arts and topics include elements and directions, spell timings and moon cycles, lunar energies and crystals, and the wheel of the year. The wheel of the year section is a very robust overview of the sabbats that is packed with readily-applied information on how the month’s energy supported the myriad ways of celebration.

The 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary is organized into the standard twelve-month, weekly format common to most planners. Additionally, each month offers a double page section highlighting a specific deity aligned with that month’s energy and an accompanying spell or ritual guiding how to call that energy into the month’s work. Beautiful graphics herald each month and a quick goal starter introduces the weekly pages. For those who are visually stimulated with the tasks of thinking out your goals, what’s and when’s will be happily committed to paper. The paper itself is strong, heavy stock with no bleed through. 

Would I Recommend?

What I omitted in the beginning of this review is that I am highly selective when it comes to my yearly planner. In fact, so much so that it is not unusual for me to have 5-6 different types and formats of these and still not settle on any one just because it doesn’t hit all my checkboxes.

With that being said, 2024 Lunar and Seasonal Diary by Stacey Demarco checks all of the boxes for anyone wanting a beautiful, functional, educational and “just feels right” 2024 diary.  This is a keeper and I am confident that I will be using it for the entirety of the year. 

About the Author Stacey Demarco

Stacey Demarco is The Modern Witch. Passionate about bringing practical magic to everyone and inspiring people to have a deeper connection with nature, she has been teaching witchcraft and mythos for many decades. This diary is now in its 14th edition and is published in both the southern and northern hemispheres. She is the author of The Enchanted Moon and The Priestess Path, which have been translated into other languages. Her oracle card decks include the bestselling Queen of the Moon, Divine Animals, Moon Magick, Elemental Oracle, Oracle of the Universe, and Deep, Dark and Dangerous. An animal activist, ethical beekeeper and dedicated adventure traveler, she lives in Sydney, Australia on a cliff by the beach with her husband and furry companions. Stacey provides private consults as well as teaching workshops, and leads the popular Wild Souls Retreats nationally and internationally.

Sage, Huntress, Lover, Queen, by Mara Banscombe

Sage, Huntress, Lover, Queen: Access Your Power and Creativity through Sacred Female Archetypes, by Mara Banscombe
Findhorn Press, 978-1644117934, 256 pages, July 2023

Sage, Huntress, Lover, Queen: Access Your Power and Creativity through Sacred Female Archetypes by Mara Banscombe has managed to bring a balance of self-reflection and immediate application to the mysteries of the Sacred Feminine. Reaching deeply into the core of what the nature of the sacred is, Branscombe has crafted a book that allows the reader to feel the power held within these mysteries. All the while, she coalesces what is truly soul-searching work into actions and thought processes that are accessible and resonant at every level for any reader.

This book has the structure of seven feminine archetypes: the Maiden, Mother, Sage, Huntress, Lover, Mystic and Queen. Each archetype has been given secondary assignations that are easily recognizable and immediately bring to mind visual experience of how these archetypes might appear in physical form.  

Branscombe describes the Maiden as the Underworld Explorer using the familiarity of the story of Persephone as template for that journey.

“To embody the Maiden archetype is to reclaim creativity, gather courage, restore faith in your biggest dreams, and live with a lust for life.”1

The Mother is the Earth Matrix that knows how to protect, guide, sustain, and create.

“The embodied Mother greets her masculine spark to enhance her feminine frequency. Embracing her inner child, she discovers the world with an awakened vision, choosing love over comparison, acceptance over judgment.”2

The Sage is the Water Healer gathering her power from the flow of deep waters of gnosis and wisdom.

“The Sage flows with change, while staying present to her evolving intuitive process.  She cultivates a peaceful inner life while sharing her visionary’s wisdom with the world. The sage does not sleep her life into being. Like the healing hands of the grandmother, she gathers her current materials and weaves them into her cloak of knowledge.”3

The Huntress is the Fire Generator that catalyzes and becomes the path towards right action.

“The embodied Huntress has the true spirit of the warrior and empowers herself and others to live life to the fullest. Her life purpose is fueled by her devotion to be in service to her impassioned cause. The Huntress teaches us how to ignite our true essence and share it unapologetically with the world.”4

The Lover is the Air Alchemist who teaches the lessons of self-love and acceptance to cultivate healthy and strong relationships at all levels of being.

“The Lover understands that self-awareness is her superpower inside any relationship. Her boundaries are clear, either refined or porous as needed. She is wild at heart and stays true to her mission; to source the pure frequency of love while going as deep into the realms of intimacy as possible in this lifetime.5

The Mystic is the Ethereal Time Traveler who remains rooted and anchored in corporeal existence because this is the path to cosmic understanding.

“The feminine Mystic’s power is expansive. Energy can be sensed within, above, below and all around. She uses this information to respond to her soul’s calling. Paying close attention to the sacred experiences coming alive in this human body is the work of the Mystic.6

And, The Queen as the Universal Thought Weaver who commands ultimate authority over self through experience and indomitable self-awareness and confidence.

“The Queen embodies wholeness. She is a clear channel of refined inner strength. She is both movement and stillness, wisdom and inquiry, surrender and activation.”7

This book is thoughtfully separated into eight chapters, a robust Introduction (“Evoking the Divine Feminine Way”), and “Revealing the Archetypes and Appendix: Rituals and Wisdom Practices to Embody the Archetypes”, which indexes the rituals throughout the book for quick reference. I really liked this addition of indexing and thought there was an abundance of opportunity in using it as a checklist, of sorts, to mark the highlights of your journey through the archetypes. 

Each of the chapters provides the reader with a bounty of information and techniques of approach and awakening the specific archetype of focus within the reader. Branscombe takes the reader through informed step-by-step creative practices, guided visualizations, rituals, and poetry to help the reader embody each archetype and activate a life of fulfillment and happiness

The journal prompts were spot on for each of the archetype chapters and rather than a one size fits all approach to the other self-directed work to be completed, each chapter contained just the right combination of foci and intention to really push the reader to examine more deeply and thus, effect change more deeply.

I was particularly drawn to “Chapter 6 – Awakening the Mystic: Truth Seeker, Vision Holder, Divine Space Explorer”. Typically, the term “Mystic” has been associated with spiritual practice that aligned more with Eastern philosophies and applications. The image of the Mystic has been that of one who has hermited themselves away from the world and immerses totally in the Divine. These are true, but Branscombe has also brought that term into Western practice and more specifically as an archetype of the sacred feminine. The first portion of this chapter answers quite nicely who the mystic is:

“Anchored to the earth and attuned to her inner voice, the feminine Mystic embodies an otherworldly, enigmatic presence. Drawn to the numinous, spirited, and ethereal frequencies, she imbibes the natural magic and shares it freely with the world…The modern Mystic trusts the power of Divine timing. She embodies a heightened awareness to what happens in the natural world and to the ordinary synchronicities in everyday life… The Mystic walks the earth sharing her gifts with all sentient beings while tuning in to the realm of the skies.”8

One of the underpinnings of this chapter, that I would say also is true of other archetypes and development of their potential, is that of illusion that can be found on any spiritual path, particularly one of self-growth.

“Go beyond the smoke and mirrors of certain spiritual practices. Be aware when you are following a spiritual teacher to fit into a mold or generate a false sense of security.”9

Would I Recommend?

Sage, Huntress, Lover, Queen: Access Your Power and Creativity through Sacred Female Archetypes is a treasure of accessible and inspirational content. Throughout the book the reader will find little gems of poem and inspired verse from Banscombe that provide yet another way of engaging those archetypes within self.  This book is a rich and self-empowering and deeply immersive journey into the many facets of power and expression that we hold as sentient beings. Reading this book is an opportunity for reclaiming of these archetypes that have inspired and catalyzed transformative change throughout the evolution of the feminine and HER mysteries. 

About the Author: Mara Branscombe

Mara Branscombe is an author, mother, yogi, artist, teacher, mindfulness leader, ceremonialist, and spiritual coach. Her mission is to amplify wellness and creativity while supporting others to live their best life. She is passionate about weaving the art of mindfulness, self-care, creativity, mind-body practices, and earth-based rituals into her life and work. Mara has been teaching and leading ceremony since 2000.

Ho’oponopono, by Ulrich E. Duprée

Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Ritual of Forgiveness, by Ulrich E. Duprée
Earthdancer Books, 978-1644118801, 112 pages, September 2023

“Ho’oponopono is a simple way to regain unity, inner peace, and harmony.”1

The quote above is a deceptively simple statement about a practice that in application is difficult for one to embrace, particularly in a society that is hyper-vigilant about who has done what to me. How can I retaliate when forgiveness is not part of the equation. Ho’oponopono: The Hawaiian Ritual of Forgiveness by Ulrich E. Duprée is a small, yet powerful book of self-healing and forgiveness so that we may offer the same state of grace to others.

“Ho’oponopono is a way of solving and resolving internal and external problems and conflicts while at the same time healing relationships: your relationship with yourself, with other people, and with your environment.”2

Ho’oponopono is separated into four main sections with an introductory portion entitled, “The Adventure Begins”. The reader immediately is drawn into the concept that the practice of Ho-oponopono is more than simply reciting special words, offering up specific emotions, and then going about your daily activities until the next “flare up” that needs forgiveness arises. It is indeed an adventure that requires self-reflection, honesty, and most importantly a continued stance of SELF love and forgiveness. Duprée gently reminds the reader throughout that the reconciliation at the level of self is first and foremost in the deeper meaning and success of the Ho-oponopono practices. 

The subsequent sections–“What is Ho-oponopono?”, “The Spiritual Laws-Ho’oponopono in Practice”, and “The Desire For Peace”– take the reader through the nuts and bolts of the history and evolution of the Ho’oponopono ritual and its application within any culture’s beliefs. Duprée also masterfully weaves core principles of living in harmony with all life, respect for all life, and the interconnectedness of all life.

I especially took note of the section, “The Core of the Simplified Ho’oponopono”. This core has been rendered down by Duprée into four statements:

As soon as something annoys you, whenever you feel like turning around and running away from a situation, and especially whenever someone is “pushing your buttons”, please join me in first saying to yourself:
I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you.3

He discusses each at length, and although the initial response of many would be that of feeling a contradiction to forgiveness towards the situation/individual that you feel victimized by, this speaks volumes to the verbiage of we are all connected and the actual implementation of recognizing that in the heat of the moment.

There are many exercises throughout Ho’oponopono that are brief in what is asked, but if used wisely, reveal and transform the reader’s perspective and view of themself, others, and our collective place in the world. 

Duprée covers multiple aspects of humanity’s existence and these are woven into the Ho-oponopono practices of restoring health, balance in work and home, global implications, and challenges and ultimately the desire for peace and everyone’s role in that aspiration.

Would I recommend?

Ho’oponopono is one of those rare books that looks by appearance to be a “light” read, suited more to those who have interest or personal resonance with Hawaiian practice and spirituality. But there is nothing “light” about this book, other than perhaps the enlightened state that is possible for those who take the time to read, self-reflect, and then apply. This should be a required read for everyone who has felt victimized, who desires harmony, who seeks to be the “change” we often speak of, who wants to remember that regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or geographical location, we all want to acknowledged, heard, loved and feel safe in giving love and forgiveness. Ho’oponopono is absolutely point-on for these troubling times. It’s definitely a keeper and a life-long lesson to be referenced frequently. 

About the Author:

Ulrich Emil Duprée is a spiritual seeker, visionary, and seminar leader. He has studied both Western and Eastern philosophy and lived in a Hindu monastery for four years. He has taught Ho‘oponopono, the ritual of forgiveness, since his mystical initiation by a Hawaiian Kahuna priest in 2009. The is also the author of Family Constellations. He currently lives in Germany.

Surfing the Galactic Highways, by Barry Goddard

Surfing the Galactic Highways: Adventures in Divinatory Astrology, by Barry Goddard
Moon Books, 978-1803410104, 216 pages, January 2023

“This book is aimed at anyone who has a little bit of knowledge of astrology upwards. Astrology is one of those subjects that enters your bones, and if it is there, then it is there, however much or however little you know. It is a primordial connection to the sky that many of us feel.”1

The quote above succinctly expresses the intention of Surfing the Galactic Highways: Adventures in Divinatory Astrology by Barry Goddard. The twenty-one (21) chapters cover an expansive and fresh perspective that differs from the usual books on astrology and often a more mechanical approach that forms a less intuitive structure for the reader. The visual appeal draws the reader in simply in the cover art work and the colors used and imagery, which exude a playful approach. It is reminiscent of the required dioramas that we crafted as children in elementary school. 

Lest, this playful first encounter set the tone for frivolity in the content, there is an abundance of practical and very relatable information within the pages of this title. To that point, “Chapter 1: The Power of Astrology” begins with the First Vaccination Chart reflecting the date when Margaret Keenan (UK), received the first dose of the COVID vaccine on December 8th, 2020. Using this as a starting point for the innate power of astrology as a predictive tool grounded in the present celestial events, Goddard creates the fertile space of return to inclusion of a sentient and accessible Universe as a tool of free will and intention…. 

“Astrology enchants the universe in an age when that enchantment has been replaced by the notion of a dead universe, that the universe is just a thing and we are just one more thing in it. We are the first people in history to entirely forget our roots in spirit, in the sense that consciousness is fundamental.”2

As you move through the chapters of this book, there is a sense of being part of an adventure in exploration of the astrological basics versus the academia of the subject matter. “Chapter 2: Keeping it Simple” exemplifies this approach beautifully. Goddard provides the reader and novice with just enough astrological information to make sense of the deeper explorations of the components of astrological practice. 

“I like to keep astrology simple, because it is then easier to remain close to the symbolism. When you are close to the symbolism, when you feel it strongly, it can speak through you. Anyone can learn the set of meanings of the planets and signs and put them together to read a chart. A computer can do that. But that is not astrology, because it is not the gods speaking through you, but the intellect, which needs to be the servant, not the master.”3

This simple approach is sampled in the reading of Barack Obama’s chart – only containing the Sun, Moon and Rising signs. The lesson here is one of using the highlights (Sun, Moon, and Rising) information as the starting points for analysis of an individual chart. The reader is reminded of the deep, albeit for many unconscious, knowing we have of the two largest celestial bodies of reference we have access to directly: the Sun and the Moon. This concept follows the idea of connection and symbolism and allows those very common things to speak through the astrological reading by way of what is already established as a connection to the reader’s ideology of what the Sun and Moon mean to them beyond astrological purposes. 

Goddard provides all of the usual information sought after by those looking to astrology with specific intentions. “Prediction, Political Astrology and Bad Astrology” (Chapter 3), “Relationships” (Chapter 4), “Astrology, Divination and Science” (Chapter 10) and “The Elemental Balance” (Chapter 11) are just a few of the highlights that would satisfy the more traditional approach.  But, the more interesting perspectives can be found in chapters such as these: “Trusting in Death” (Chapter 8), “Tweaking Our Creation Mythologies” (Chapter 12), “The Geography of the Underworld” (Chapter 21) and others that pique the reader’s curiosity about entwining astrological concepts into more expansive areas of consideration. 

Throughout Surfing the Galactic Highways, the underpinnings of a scientific approach to astrology are woven with the mythos of sign and planet and the symbolism becomes one infused with reality and intuitive creativity. Each chapter is primed with visual examples of charts that have been simplified in how much is contained within, allowing the reader to properly digest the concepts presented and create new pathways of understanding that can at a later date be expanded upon. 

Would I Recommend?

In Surfing the Galactic Highways, Goddard has successfully taken some very dry and often challenging principles of astrology and crafted them in such a way that makes them relatable to everyone at all layers of knowledge base. Goddard’s writing style is one that elicits an ease of reading that is similar to that of sitting and discussing a complicated subject with a patient and enthusiastic friend whose only goal is one of wanting to share their passion for that topic. All in all, this book is an excellent resource for those who wish to explore the many uses of astrological application and enjoy the journey of new awakenings. 

About the Author: Barry Goddard

In his twenties and thirties, Goddard was engaged in Buddhist practice, but for the last 25 years the main currents have been astrology and shamanism. He regularly writes blogs and Facebook posts about both shamanism and astrology, to which he brings a fresh and sometimes controversial perspective.

Horns of the Goddess, by Dolores Cannon

Horns of the Goddess, by Dolores Cannon
Ozark Mountain Publishing, 1956945210, 400 pages, March 2023

“At the beginning of time everybody was in tune with the mother Earth, for the souls had just begun their journey.  And they were but newly separated from her, and so they remembered how to be in harmony with her.   And they knew how to be in harmony with nature. And, so they observed the things they knew they needed to be observed in order to stay that way.1

Horns of the Goddess by Dolores Cannon is an interesting exploration of the concept of past lives, the use of past life regression hypnotherapy to gain access to the information of the past lives of clients, and the impact that information may carry within the greater scientific and spiritual communities of the present. The quote above was taken from a chapter taken from the transcription of a session of one of the three individuals who shared past lives during the time of the Druids and are the theme of focus for the title.

Cannon was a regressive hypnotherapist and psychic researcher who recorded the sessions of multiple clients and became one of the collectors of “lost” knowledge, much of which was verified by the findings of archeologists. This is an important factor of consideration as the reader moves through this title and recognizes the credibility of both technique and content Cannon brings to material that could be considered just another example of new age fluff. 

The content was compiled by her daughter, Nancy Vernon, and much of the information contained within was withheld in being made part of Dolores’ public research offerings because of the sensitive nature of the information shared by her subjects. Timing in the release of this information and its consideration as potential truths was very important to Cannon. Given the timing of Cannon’s passing while writing this book provided an opportunity for some of the more controversial information to be included.   

Horns of the Goddess is formatted into three sections with chapters of content within. Each chapter is structured as a question (from Cannon) with answer (from the individual’s past life self/ves) transcribed from the recording made during hypnosis. Dolores’ impressions and notes are interspersed throughout, giving additional insight and background to what the reader is taking in. 

The “Introduction: The Time Traveler” provides the reader with Cannon’s path that led her to the writings and research she committed herself to after her children were grown. She describes the refinements and adjustments she crafted to the techniques of hypnotherapy that allowed for a deeper level of communication between the client and past life memories and now are the choice of practice for past life regressionists. 

“Section 1: Life as a Druidess” begins the journey through timelines of Druidry and events leading up to the Inquisition. In “Chapter 1: The Druidress (Karen)” the reader is introduced to one of her subjects who offers insights throughout a good portion of the book through multiple past lives experienced.  She speaks of one of her subjects, Karen:

“During 1982 and 1983 I worked with Karen on a regular basis. I discovered the true meaning of time travel during my sessions with her. We eventually explored thirty different lifetimes, and the detailed information that poured out of her was phenomenal. She was able to so totally become the other personality that she supplied historical information as well as cultural and theological.2

“Section 2: Brenda’s Story as Astelle” is filled with some of the more controversial material and brings to light from the subject’s experiences the horrors of the Inquisition and the lengths taken by the church to tamp down the nature-based practices….

“In the beginning when she was describing the horrors of the Inquisition and the callousness of the Church, I told her in the session…… “They will hang me from the highest tree if I ….tell about the horrible things the church did in those days. They will never stand for hearing such things about their church fathers”…. There is too much explosive material contained within this story. It is probably the truth about the way the church really behaved, but I feel I must wait a while before I dare to write it.”3

The chapters contained within this section are the meat of the book and a wealth of information about how the “old ways”’ of nature based religious practices would have been carried out. Insights into the use of Pentagrams, signs, omens, communication with animals, the lore and legends of the magic of the Druids, and the inhabitants of greater earth such as the Fae, gnomes, giants, etc… are offered through the memories of Brenda/Astelle in her sessions with Dolores. Woven throughout these chapters are the specifics of how the church made use of these beliefs and the ultimate return of the Inquisition period. 

Rounding out the density of information in Section 2,  Dolores returns to her long time subject Karen and shares the impressions received as Karen travels through the subsequent time periods of her Druidic days and returns to past lives as a minstrel, a physician, a child who sees faeries and a Greek priestess. “Section 3: More Lives with Karen” provides the reader with ample opportunity to give consideration to the possibility of multiple lifetimes that are experienced by a singular consciousness/soul.   

In conclusion, I found Horns of the Goddess to be a fascinating and thought provoking read.  Regardless of your perspective on the veracity of past lives, reincarnation and the storehouse of the subconscious in maintaining information that there is no reasonable explanation for the individual to know, the content of this title is engaging and completely immersive in its reading. 

“Dolores opened our eyes to wondrous and mysterious worlds. She dared to go into the forbidden realms of what the mind contained. If it had not been for her insatiable appetite to want to know more and to ask the many, many questions we might never have known the lost knowledge she found with her sessions.”4