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The Magdalene Frequency, by Adele Venneri

 The Magdalene Frequency: Become the Love You Are Not the Love You Seek, by Adele Venneri
Bear & Company, 1591435005, 192 pages, November 2023

The Magdalene Frequency: Become the Love You Are Not the Love You Seek by Adele Venneri was not at all what I was expecting, and in retrospect, I am so glad it wasn’t.

When I first received this book, I thought it was going to be another one of those self-help visualization books where you write affirmations to yourself and look yourself in the mirror to tell yourself how wonderful you are. However, The Magdalene Frequency is….something different. Deeper. More concentrated. It’s not about telling yourself you’re good enough. It’s about becoming the best version of yourself all the time. You become your best partner. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that?

Full disclosure: I know next to nothing about the lore surrounding Mary Magdalene and much less about the teachings that have been developed as a result of her influence. I thought she was simply a bit player in a religious book that I personally have shied away from for most of my life. Part of my reason for wanting to read this book was to find out what I was missing. I struggle with books that are heavy with religious overtones and undertones, and this book has plenty of those. But is it worth the discomfort? YES.

An expert in esoteric psychology and the expansion of consciousness, as well as a researcher and professional counselor, author Adele Venneri decodes the mythology and stories around Mary Magdalene and presents a whole new frame of reference. She offers the idea that Mary Magdalene (or Myriam as she is often referred to) is actually an ancient frequency of the soul that provides a blueprint for both accessing that frequency and working with it.

So what exactly is The Magdalene Frequency  about? In the introduction, Venneri explains:

 “In the pages of this book you will not find the story or the pseudo story of Mary Magdalene that during the centuries has been made up and altered, depending on the historical context or on the needs and interests of those who were writing. Mary Magdalene is a controversial figure, concealed and vilified by the occult power of the church with the goal of keeping hidden not only the secrets about who she really was, but also hiding the secrets of the history of humanity.”1

This is more of a spiritual journey that the reader takes with themselves in an effort to find their own specific resonance within the context of the universal framework surrounding the frequency. This isn’t something to be taken lightly; the work encompasses a great deal of personal introspection as well as practical reformatting around previously held beliefs.

Thirteen chapters delve into the mysteries surrounding Mary Magdalene. From the first chapter that details the author’s personal encounter and subsequent journey with the frequency to the final words that bring the book to a radiant closure, the information is presented in a way that encourages questions and rewards patience. There is an undercurrent of an invitation to go deeper if the reader chooses to, and that’s where the discomfort creeps in.

To be clear, this is not a book for someone who is casually interested in the esoteric vibrations of the universe and learning how to use those vibrations to better themselves. This is some really intense information that for some might not be easy to grasp. I found myself looking up terms and unfamiliar words only to find myself standing at the top of a rabbit hole so deep and dark that had I jumped in, I would still be going in circles in order to understand this book.

Would I recommend The Magdalene Frequency  to others? Yes, with the caveat that they have a pre-existing desire and thirst for the knowledge embedded in these pages. If you don’t know the topic and aren’t prepared to do the work needed to process the information contained in these pages, then I would respectfully invite you to pass.

Crystal Clear Oracle, by Nadine Gordon-Taylor

Crystal Clear Oracle: Loving Guidance from the Mineral Kingdom, by Nadine Gordon-Taylor
Bear & Company, 9781591434849, 40 cards, 166 pages, December 2023

With the Crystal Clear Oracle: Loving Guidance from the Mineral Kingdom, intuitive artist Nadine Gordon-Taylor has combined 44 well known crystals and minerals with beautiful symbols from plants, animals, elementals, and ancient symbols to provide unique guidance for our lives.

This deck is the third deck created by Gordon-Taylor, who holds both MFA and doctorate degrees in art.  She has taught for more than 30 years through lectures and workshops.  Her artwork has been shown in galleries and collections around the world. She owns a gallery called Third Eye Arts in Peekskill, NY.  Learn more about her through her website https://www.thethirdeyestudio.com/meet-the-artist.

As someone who has been studying crystals for over 20 years, I was immediately drawn to this deck. Unlike most crystal oracle decks, this deck also features many different symbols on each card. You can choose to focus only on the crystal or mineral for a quick message or add layers to the guidance by reading about each symbol featured. Here is just one example of the symbols on these cards. (I’ve added brief information from the guidebook, as well.)   

“CRYSTAL:  Hanksite
Moniker:  The Earthy Supporter
Key words: Cleansing, grounding, and heightened sense of reality
Mineral content: Rare potassium sulfate
Healing properties: Realignment of your etheric chakra system. Hold me over any area of your body that feels unbalanced and needs healing.

SYMBOLS:
Capybara: You function best with others.
Beaver:  Follow your intuition on new projects.
Tulips: Rebirth, and two tulips mean you might want to look for balance and partnership.
Honeybees:  Examine your productivity with dedication, hard work, and collaboration.
Full Moon:  There is new information and brilliant epiphanies for you.
Viaduct:  Watch for opportunities for transition and change.
Earth: Look to your home planet for support.
Shooting Star: Your wishes will inevitably come true!
Affirmation: I am on the right track to my spiritual destination”1

As you can see, Gordon-Taylor weaves lots of guidance and encouraging information about each crystal or mineral, as well as the symbols she has chosen for each card.

Each card is brilliantly painted in a very realistic style.  I’ve seen artists attempt to draw or paint crystals and miss the mark. This is not the case with Gordon-Taylor. Each one of her renderings of the crystals and minerals is as realistic as any photo. She is very talented when it comes to painting the crystals and minerals as they appear in nature. She uses fine detail, shading, and an authentic depiction of the crystal in a traditional shape to present each crystal or mineral. Two of my favorite depictions in these cards are fluorite and aquamarine. 

The back of the card box declares that the cards are “intricately illustrated,”2 and this is true! She also uses different border colors to accent the pictorial layouts. The cards are a large format, measuring 4” inches by almost 6” inches. The back of the cards features a magnified view of an iolite crystal. 

As I’ve mentioned with the example for Hanksite above, the guidebook contains a wealth of information, with two to three pages per mineral. The messages are written in first person, from the point of view of each crystal. For example for Hanksite she relates:

“I am Hanksite, a rare potassium sulfate mineral, and I connect you with the Earth.  I am commonly found beneath the surface, embedded in mud or drill cores.”3

Gordon-Taylor utilizes different colors for the type in the Table of Contents, as well as the passages for each crystal. This makes the various headings really pop! Each card is also shown in the guidebook with a small four-color photo. She ends the guidance with three affirmations for each crystal.

The Table of Contents is laid out in alphabetical order and includes the name of the crystal, the moniker, key words and page number. This layout is brilliant because you can open the guidebook and run your finger down the page and select a crystal randomly for yourself or others, without taking the cards with you. In the Introduction, Gordon-Taylor shares her long history with minerals and her goal for this deck: 

“The constructive and positive messages found in this book allow you to access new and loving energies that inspire, empower, and heal. These messages come directly from the crystals that appear in each image.”4

Gordon-Taylor also shares how to use the cards, including different ways to clear the cards, spreads for use with the cards and the use of a sketchbook as a journal. At the back of the guidebook, she includes a 30-page glossary with words and phrases about crystals and minerals, as well as spiritual terms. The cards are stored in a beautiful box with an indentation for the cards, ample room for the guidebook and a magnetic clasp. 

These cards arrived in the mail and I didn’t have the chance to glance through them before my husband and I left to attend a gem and mineral show. I came home with three crystals (mangano, calcite, septarian) and an ammonite tray. When I pulled out these cards the next morning for my daily draw, I drew the card Ammonite!

For my friend Ann, I drew the card: Chrysanthemum Stone. This stone is known as The Karmic Liberator and references intuition, optimism and akashic records.

Ammonite helps you release the past and welcome change, evolution, and personal growth. According to Gordon-Taylor, ammonite is “The Ancient Emancipator,” and aids in “adapting to a new, exciting timeline and a new version of yourself.”5

“You have chosen this card because you are a beautiful soul experiencing challenging situations. You also want to feel joy again. I can help you reset your energy grid. Hold me in your hands when meditating and burrow deep into your intuition . . . You are here at this time to work out issues balancing the mind and heart.”6

My friend has had some challenges lately, and just accepted a new temporary position with a hospital in another state.  She loved the encouragement that she received from this stone, as well as from the symbology of the eagles, groundhogs, cherry tree, infinity symbol and the ankh.  I sent her a photo of the card and the verbiage for even more support. 

Crystal Clear Oracle is great for any level of oracle reader or crystal student. With the depth of the information about each crystal or mineral, as well as the reference materials on the various symbols, anyone can benefit from the knowledge shared by Gordon-Taylor. You can focus only on the crystal or read further and integrate all the information for a complete guidance session. I can see myself using these cards to add a footnote to a client reading or pull a card for myself when I’m troubled by a situation.

The Madonna Secret, by Sophie Strand

The Madonna Secret, by Sophie Strand
Bear & Company, 159143467X, 608 pages, August 2023

A tale as old as time, the tragic story of lovers parted by fate, is what one might expect for a Shakesphere play, but the roots of Christianity? Not so much. Yet the tale artfully woven together in The Madonna Secret by Sophie Strand is by far the most epic love story I have read to date.

Strand is an enticing writer, drawing the reader slowly into the stories with descriptive words that bring the setting to life. Her website describes how her work “focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology” 1 These themes clearly come through in The Madonna Secret, which is a historic fictional novel based on the gospel through a feminist lens.

The story is centered upon Miriam of Bethany and her family, including siblings Lazaros (Lazarus), known for his resurrection by Jesus, and Marta (Martha). The family dynamics are centerfold for this story, highlighting gender inequalities and “norms” in both religious and social context. Miriam dances to the beat of her own heart, but struggles with finding her place when she doesn’t fit in with the women and yearns for the knowledge of scripture limited to men’s access only.

Through attending births with her housemaid Kemet, who is from Egypt, Miriam learns the secrets of herbal healing and that she, surprisingly, has the ability to heal people with her touch. However, she is also prone to fits and fainting, which others believe is from demon possession. Her ability and episodes sparks many questions as she seeks to know more about her healing ability – why can she heal some and not others? Is this a power from God or could it be used for harm too? How is she even able to perform such feats?

Despite her deep internal quest, Miriam’s life as a young woman of this time continues forward, and she becomes betrothed to a wealthy spice merchant. Yet when she suffers another episode, her family decides it’s in her best interest to seek healing. Miriam and Lazoros set out on a quest, and soon enough, they find themselves at the camp of Yochanan. Yochanan is not the only healer here though; much of the community also revels in the stories of Yeshua around the campfire. There’s a subtle undercurrent of a growing divide between the two men.

At this juncture, Miriam and Yeshua both feel the inexplicable pull of destiny as their paths cross more. However, now that she’s been healed, Miriam returns to her life in Bethany. Without giving too many spoilers into the twists and turns of their love story, I will say the rest of the story follows the passionate romance between Miriam and Yeshua. Their similarities and contrasts both, pulling them together and repelling them at the same time, shaping the fate of the world in the meanwhile.

Now that the general premise is outlined, and keeping in mind this is a 600-page book filled to the brim with details, textures, and revelation that my short synopsis hardly covers, I need to share my own feelings about the text: I have been permanently internally shifted, turned around, and rearranged after reading this book on the deepest level. The profound places Strand’s writing was able to take me within myself, uncovering buried parts of my psyche and cracking open my heart, has left me a new person. I know this might sound dramatic or perhaps an embellishment, but it truly is not.

Thus far in my life, as an avid reader, I have never experienced the afterglow I’ve been basking in from this book. All the sorrow, grief, and love bundled within have been pouring through me and silently working their magic. It’s been over a week now and I haven’t been able to move onto a new book yet because everything else feels shallow in comparison. The Madonna Secret has hold on me; the message of the story has sunk deep into my bones, activating my consciousness, allowing me to perceive the evolution of Christianity in a new light.

As someone who has studied Christianity through a feminist lens, nothing has tied pieces together for me more than this book. And I think it’s the power of narrative, which Strand has mastered, that is what propels shifts in consciousness. It’s one thing to read the actual gospel, another to read feminist theologian’s perspectives based on their academic research, but to take the source material and transform it into such a profound story is brilliance and talent beyond comprehension. I’m so thoroughly impressed by Strand’s writing ability and keen insight into how all these pieces fit together.

The Madonna Secret is a story that will continue to live on in my heart forever. Upon reading the last sentence, I quietly – and completely unconsciously – whispered to myself, “This is the best book ever…”. I had no words; the activation of my soul was in motion. I’ve done my best to string together cohesive thoughts in this review, yet even as I’m writing, all I’m feeling is the love within my body that has taken residence since bearing witness to Miriam’s journey. 

Strand has truly rewritten the narrative of Christianity in a way that makes sense and heals. I hope to see the activation of this book spread far and wide, which is why I have already gifted copies of it to those I know will be open to its message. Little by little these shifts in consciousness, which reconnect the material and spiritual, realigning humanity and nature, masculine and feminine, and the mundane and divine, is what will create a new world view. Strand is a pioneer voice, reshaping the mythos and landscape to give voice for those who need it most: the land, the animals, the outcasts, and the women!

As Miriam says:

“I am here for the trees. The women. The children. The birds. I am not here for the men who would hurt them all.”2

Magdalene Manifestation Cards, by Danielle Rama Hoffman

Magdalene Manifestation Cards: Create Abundance through Love, by Danielle Rama Hoffman and illustrated by Christine Lucas
Bear & Company, 9781591434801, 44 cards, 202 pages, May 2023

In creating the Magdalene Manifestation Cards: Create Abundance through Love deck, Danielle Rama Hoffman has brought keys and holograms for manifestation into the hands of everyone who chooses to work with these codes of light.

Hoffman is an author, channel, and coach, who has been on the leading edge of the evolution of consciousness for almost 30 years. Her clients are healers, coaches, and lightworkers. She has trained massage therapists, reiki masters, and Quantum Light practitioners, as well as led tours to Egypt and France.

Christine Lucas is the illustrator of the beautiful keys, holograms, and light codes. She assigns her lineage to the Ascended Masters Lineage of Thoth. Lucas worked closely with Thoth, the Magdalenes, the Codes of Love, and Danielle to bring these cards to life. Lucas is an intuitive artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, who also has a background in meditation. She loves nature, travel, photography, and music.

Initially attracted to these cards because of the Magdalenes. Then once I began to play with the energy of the cards, I really resonated with the light codes and glyphs that Lucas and Hoffman have created. The deck is divided into two sections: 1) Four Resource Codes and 2) Twenty Codes of Love. Within the Twenty Codes of Love, you’ll find a pair of cards for each concept. The total number of cards in the deck is 44.

Hoffman presents an extensive introduction to the cards, how they came to be created, and her almost 30-year journey with Thoth. She includes some of her journey entries from several different meetings with Thoth, both in France and Egypt. She also defines the Magdalenes:

“A group of love beings including Anna, Isis, Mary Magdalene, the black Madonna, and many galactic beings.”1

When she returned from Egypt in 2020 and the pandemic lockdown began, she started to transcribe more of the Magdalene Codes and work on creating this deck. In the introduction, she shares stories from clients and friends who worked with the codes to manifest incredible results in health, wealth, and business success.

Hoffman shares several ways to work with this deck, from simple one card readings to a tableau of 16 cards. I chose to work with a one-card reading for 3 days in a row. As Hoffman suggests, I pulled a card from the deck and then found its “pair” for a complete reading and activation of the love codes.

My first card was the key card: Ecstatic Bliss – Joyful Simplicity.

“It is a joy to be me. Bliss exists in every moment. Home in on what matters most to you. Simplify to amplify your results.”2

This card really hit home for me, in that we are in the midst of a Venus retrograde, which asks us to really look at what we value and what we really want, focusing on that and letting go of the rest.

Then, I looked through the deck for the second card, the pair to that key, and I found the hologram: Ecstatic Bliss – Signature Essence.

“The difference of you is what matters. Boldly shine your uniqueness for consistent, predictable manifestation.”3

This concept is also something I’ve really been focusing on over the past year as I’ve worked with a designer to revise my website and fine-tune my offerings to be more true to who I am. I am also learning to put myself out there more with my blog and other posts on social media.

The guidebook has even more guidance from the Magdalenes and Thoth for each card, such as this from the passage on Ecstatic Bliss – Signature Essence:

“Simple, elegant, streamlined. Steep in this hologram to reabsorb that which is no longer aligned with you so that it organically falls away, like leaves on a tree that know when it’s time to fall with grace, ease, and an exhale. What remains is Ecstatic Bliss.”4

Hoffman also includes what she calls an application for each of the hologram cards. This consists of some suggestions for integrating the message of the card. It may include a ritual, an exercise, or something to do in nature, among other things.

Next, I did readings for three friends with this deck. I pulled the cards and then sent them photos of the cards and brief messages from the guidebook. For one friend who was struggling with a recent move for her business, I drew Birthright of Love. The key card is Authentic Expression, and the hologram card is Openhearted Connection.

The guidance for the key card recommended that she bring in the energy of the four Resource Codes, so I sent her photos of those four cards, as well. The other guidance that she really took to heart:

“Take one loving action today, not because you have to, but because it is natural for Love to move through you.”5

From the hologram card, I read that it was time to call upon the Birthright of Love Code. This guidance was recommended for the start of a new project, which was relevant to my friend’s new location for her business. The guidance went on to suggest focusing on the following affirmation:

“I am loved. All my creations are loved. Love is a given in this situation.6

My friend loved the guidance from these cards and was planning to print out all six cards and use them in her workspace. She called me later to say she printed a second set of cards for her home!

The artwork on these cards and the colors selected are very beautiful. Jewel tones are used with bright colored accents, some of which are almost neon. Each of the pairs of cards share the same color scheme, which makes it easy to find the matching card within the deck.
For another friend, I drew two of the resource code cards: Yummy Money and Divine Relationships.

Her message was a combination of allowing money “do things for you and watch your mission thrive”7 and remembering that “you may require primary relationships with light beings, animals, nature and crystals.”8 The guidebook encouraged my friend to use the word “Yummy” or say “mmmmm” each time she said or thought about money. Doing so raises your vibration. My friend loved the guidance and loved the Yummy Money challenge!

In order to find the guidance, one must use the table of contents and search for the name of each of the Codes of Love. These are not listed in alphabetical order, which takes a little longer to find the correct code. Once you find the code, you’ll see that there is a number assigned to each pair. It would have been very helpful for the designer to incorporate this number on the cards.

Due to the complex nature of the cards, the guidance, and the system to use these cards, I feel that this deck is best suited to someone with several years’ experience working with either tarot or oracle cards. Or, someone who is learning light language or learning to work with Thoth or any ascended masters for manifestation or personal healing would also benefit from this deck.

Hoffman includes extensive information on how to best work with the cards, including the use of a 16-card tableau for what she calls “Multi-D Abundance.”9 She also includes directions for using the cards for both personal and professional relationships, changing your money story and enhancing your energy. I’ll look forward to utilizing Magdalene Manifestation Cards in some of my groups and with clients who want to change the energy around relationships, abundance or vitality.

Angel Abundance, by Belinda J. Womack

Angel Abundance: Revelations on True Wealth From the 12 Archangels, by Belinda J. Womack
Bear & Company, 159143498X, 272 pages, July 2023

Who doesn’t seek positive abundance? And what better entities to impart knowledge on how to live in abundance than the 12 Archangels? Angel Abundance: Revelations on True Wealth From the 12 Archangels by Belinda J. Womack is a book that came into my life at a time of immense self-questioning. You know, ask and it shall be given. I found myself “listening” intently to the messages from the 12 Archangels that came through Womack. Not only listening, but actually infusing my life and thoughts with the messages they were imparting.

Belinda initiates the reader to the concept of the Central Sun which is “composed of the energy we call love.”1 She writes about how we are living in the “Schoolroom Earth,” where we are learning and also remembering that we are divine beings. The Archangels seek to remind us to shift our vibration to a higher sort by letting go of fear and feelings of lack and unworthiness. All this to transform our lives and to move from suffering.

The Archangels remind the reader that their “words are infused with targeted healing energy that supports you or conscious mind in becoming aware of the negative thought habits giving you the message that you cannot have what you desire.”2 I add the caveat that we are giving what we desire if it is for our higher good because as the Rolling Stones reminded us, you can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need. They also provide us with an affirmative mantra:

“The Central Sun, through my own loving and generous Soul, will never deny me what I desire that is for my greatest good and highest joy.”3

The messages in the book go back to the concept that change works from the inside out. How we think and what we believe supports what happens to us physically, financially, emotionally, and yes, spiritually. Words and thoughts are powerful and the 12 Archangels offer a myriad of ways to shift negative self-talk and thinking to raise our vibration to “lighten up.” 

The messages in the book held my rapt attention. I read it slowly, letting the words of the Archangels act as a soothing balm. The book contains meditations meant to reconnect us to the infinite energy and love of Source. “What would life feel like if you were happy, safe, purposeful, and free?”4 Sign me up.

The Archangels show us ways to become aware of how we are controlled by negative beliefs that come in many different versions and strengths that shape our perceived self-worth. To Source we are all divine beings but in the Schoolroom Earth we tend to forget this. The Archangels show us the way to remembering and also provide us with tools to reconnect. 

They “speak” a lot of old stories we tell ourselves of suffering and unworthiness, of how the ego wants fast results. The meditations reconnect us with the wisdom of the divine child who lives within us, the divine child being our “true essence” who “vibrates at the frequency of undiluted love…”5

“When fear seduces you, say, no thank you, fear. I would rather put my energy into receiving abundance!”6

The 12 Archangels lovingly offer ways for us to conquer doubt, loosen the fear of lack of money, and remove blocks to financial abundance. It’s important, however, to follow their prompts, to do the exercises, and take time for the meditations. Why are we accepting less than what Source is offering to us? How do we lose negative familial patterns around money? 

As one who began reading this book at a time of self-questioning, I felt the wrap of angelic love around me as I read.

“Your Helpers in Heaven encourage you to practice letting go of questioning whether your train has been on the tracks or off the tracks for any part of life. Even when your train is derailed or parks itself for longer than you may like at the train depot, Soul is evolving through you.”7

The Archangels ask us to look at how we are earning our money and how we define wealth. Are we happy with the way we earn money? Are we using our unique talents (and yes, we all have unique talents) to bring forth our creativity in ways that support our growth and that of those around us? Are we living our purpose?

They work to help us with healing balance, to help us realize and then bring forth our unique purpose of being in the Schoolroom Earth. I loved that the book imparted ways for us to receive our wealth, create new financial realities, move from suffering, and transform. There are healing experiences imparted through meditations to help us rest, rejuvenate, and receive. 

I highly recommend Angel Abundance. Womack did an amazing job of imparting to us the love and wisdom of the 12 Archangels. The words were soothing but they also captured my rapt attention. I felt the loving support behind each and every word that I read. I truly believed that my highest good was at the forefront of what the Archangels were imparting. Who could ask for more? Ask – and receive. Amazing.

Ecosomatics, by Cheryl Pallant, Ph.D.

Ecosomatics: Embodiment Practices for a World in Search of Healing, by Cheryl Pallant, Ph.D.
Bear & Company, 1591434769, 224 pages, June 2023

A few weeks ago, I had an energetic anatomy healing with psychic healer Madison Lang. For over an hour, she scanned the energy of my physical body from miles away; Madison is located in Minnesota, while I’m in New Jersey. At times, she told me of symbolic images residing in certain parts of my body, such as a clock, representing influence from my maternal grandmother creating soreness in my arm. Other times, she focused her keen awareness on misaligned, extra, and stagnant energy in my body, clearing away blockages and rebalancing my physical body energetically.

The whole experience was phenomenal. And afterwards, I felt like a million bucks! Physical symptoms that had been lingering for months disappeared. My consciousness felt situated within my body again, rather than floating outside myself. My confidence improved, as I was more connected to myself from within rather than making judgements about myself from external standards or perceptions. Madison’s encouragement to release attachment to my pre-pregnancy body and attune myself to my current body– wider hips, a softer belly, and big nursing chest–help me to embrace where I am in life right now with gratitude.

It felt a bit synchronistic to begin reading Ecosomatics: Embodiment Practices for a World in Search of Healing, by Cheryl Pallant, Ph.D. shortly after my energetic anatomy healing, as though the Universe was encouraging me to continue to learn more about the connection between myself and my body. Dr. Pallant’s concept of ecosomatics, or “embodiment work for personal and planetary health”1, goes one step beyond the psychic healing experience I had and grounds it into the physical realm. It has been a wonderful resource on my journey of expanding my perception to be more attune to my body and cultivating my own somatic intelligence.

“For those who are attentive, my touching you provides information about you and the touch also provides you with information about me. The place of contact opens the gate to all sorts of information, especially for healers whose highly sensitive hands rest gently on the skin surface and in the subtle field of the body to detect heat, cool, tingles, pressure, and more. . . Every part of the body leads to a specific awareness, emotion, sensation, imagery, and/or memory, perceptible to those who notice.”2

In Ecosomatics, Pallant asserts that shifting consciousness through expanding one’s sensory perceptions and attuning to the natural rhythms of one’s body has the power to transform on both a personal and collective level. While modern social problems, inadequate healthcare systems, and ecological crisis are pushing humanity towards the brink of destruction, Pallant believes somatic awareness can be a source of healing that aids in the evolution of human consciousness.

As context for her point of view, Pallant goes right to the core of how bias and perception can influence belief systems. She acknowledges the safety of collective belief systems, but encourages readers to delve into discomfort and have the courage to expand their perception to be more inclusive of the intuitive and energetic aspects of ourselves not readily seen with our eyes. This integrative approach helps to release fears, anxieties, and limiting beliefs and opens a doorway for the evolution of consciousness through somatic intelligence.

Drawing upon her own career experience, which includes a Ph.D. in Somatic Writing, certification in Reiki and Healing Touch, and training in Process-Oriented Psychology, Authentic Movement, and yoga, Pallant provides first hand experience of her own journey of discovering the healing ability within herself. She also provides plenty of client anecdotes that aid readers in believing that this somatic shift in perception is achievable.

But her approach to this topic is not a subjective one; Ecosomatics is filled with explanations from fields such as psychology, sociology, quantum physics, and neurobiology. Pallant also expertly weaves together her personal experiences with insight from experts in other related modalities focused on integrating mind, body, and self, such as Healing Touch, 5Rhythms, and Body-Mind Centering, to give readers a wide-range of approaches to somatic healing.

“Common knowing privileges logic, reasoning, and head-centered knowing. Missing is a comprehensive sense of the body that includes intuition, embodiment, energetic, and spiritual awareness that is integrative rather than fractional. Missing is a place and appreciation for uncanny experiences and impressions that don’t readily fit into our belief system.”3

A key theme of Pallant focuses on is interconnection. My favorite chapter, “The Ecology of Self” discusses topics such as energetic resonance, how people’s energy and emotions can be projected onto others, the impact of both fear and love in our lives, and the concept of “we space”. She writes, “Nascent in our development are intrapersonal practices that contribute to coming to know what lives in our shared personal spaces.”4

I really enjoyed contemplating the idea of sharing energetic spaces and observing this energy exchange throughout the week in different places I went. At first, I noticed how much my energy felt scattered and seemed to change based on the vibe of where I was and the energy of those around me; I was losing connection to myself and trying to camouflage into the energy around me.

But by actually doing the “Try This” exercises Pallant offers throughout Ecosomatics, I began to ground back into my own body and become more aware of the somatic experience I was having instead of leaving/ignoring the sensations of my body. I’m still working on my embodiment, but through these exercises, I am coming to understand what Pallant means when she writes:

“By stepping embodied into the fullness of who we are, what takes place is a transformation and a coherence of personal well-being that extends to all sentient and insentient beings and marks us as responsibly partaking in the ecology of self and the planet. What takes place is alignment with the present moment, which reaches out infinitely.”5

The final chapter, “Embodiment Practices”, is one that I’ll definitely be returning to time and time again. Pallant provides different practices for the reader to do in order to cultivate their sense of embodiment. These range from transforming fear and worry into love to balancing masculine and feminine energy to aligning with one’s flow through creative expression.

The one practice I’ve done so far was intended to help develop my intuition, using what I’ve learned about embodiment to discern between fantasy and my intuition. As someone who is clairsentient, it is helpful to be able to feel embody when connecting to my intuition and learning where emotions reside within my body.

All in all, Ecosomatics is a wonderful resource for those interested in expanding their perceptions to be more inclusive of their physical experience. Pallant puts forth a compelling thesis for why embodiment is vital to the growth of our consciousness and does a great job teaching readers how it can be done. The healing potential is infinite. This read is sure to shift how readers perceive themselves in the world around them, awakening them to the experience of embodiment and as a result more acutely attuning to the surrounding energy.

The First Female Pharaoh, by Andrew Collins

The First Female Pharaoh: Sobekneferu, Goddess of the Seven Stars, by Andrew Collins
Bear & Company, 1591434459, 464 page, April 2023

Most people are familiar with the famous Egyptian queens Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and Hatshepsut, but few are aware that they were preceded by Sobekkara Sobekneferu, the first woman to break the glass ceiling and be crowned pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt. Sobekneferu (pronounced “sob-bek-nef-frew”) was the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty, which brought the Middle Kingdom to a close about 3,800 years ago. She may have been around 30 years old at the time of her accession to the throne, and she ruled for almost four years, between the approximate dates of 1798 to 1794 BCE. The circumstances surrounding her coronation and her untimely death are unknown.

I first learned of Sobekneferu by reading Egyptologist Kara Cooney’s work When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt (2018), and I was thrilled to review a book dedicated to this fascinating monarch. In The First Female Pharaoh: Sobekneferu, Goddess of the Seven Stars, author Andrew Collins (Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, 2014) does rigorous archaeological detective work, analyzing a variety of statues and beads honoring Sobekneferu, in an effort to humanize her and unravel the mystery of her life and death. This book also has a historical whodunit vibe, as Collins explores possible political intrigues that may have led to her rise and fall. It’s amazing how much information can be gleaned about her from so few inscriptions and artifacts, and Collins walks the reader through each exhibit, clarifying its context.

Collins begins his search for the enigmatic Sobekneferu in London’s British Museum, where he inspects a cylinder seal bearing her royal titles. He presents clear diagrams of the inscriptions on the seal, accompanied by translations of the hieroglyphs so the reader can examine the artifact along with him and imagine the feeling of this ancient stone bead rolling between their fingers. We learn from the seal that her throne name, Sobek ka Ra, means “Sobek is the soul [ka] of Ra,”1 and her personal name, Sobek neferu, means “Beauties of Sobek of Shedet”2

The ancient city of Shedet (known to the Greeks as Crocodilopolis), located in the lush oasis of the Fayum, was the cult center of the crocodile god Sobek, to whom Sobekneferu was devoted. Sobek was a manifestation of the solar deities Ra and Horus, and as Sobek-Ra he represented the sun’s nocturnal journey through the Fayum’s great lake, Lake Moeris, before being reborn at dawn every morning.  He was also connected with the divine right of kings to rule and the annual flooding of the Nile. Before Sobekneferu, the Twelfth Dynasty pharaohs, who ruled Egypt from the city of Itj-tawy in the Fayum, adopted the name of Amun or his consort Wosret. Sobekneferu’s identification with the fierce male crocodile god and her alliance with his local priesthood may have politically supported her claim to the throne.

Another seal in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo gives the grammatically masculinized forms of her names, suggesting that the gender of her royal epithets may have sometimes been changed to legitimize her rule. A headless quartzite bust of Sobekneferu in the Louvre Museum in Paris may have been smashed in an attempt to erase her from history. What remains of the decapitated statue depicts the striped lappets of the nemes-headdress worn by male rulers cascading over her shoulders, and although she is wearing the shoulder straps of a woman’s dress, she appears to have flattened breasts.3 Like the Eighteenth Dynasty Queen Hatshepsut, it appears that Sobekneferu masculinized herself to be accepted as pharaoh, and perhaps Hatshepsut was inspired by her predecessor’s images. Other statues Collins analyzes have also been defaced. He explains that iconoclasts broke noses off of statues in the belief that without them the soul of the deceased wouldn’t be able to breathe in the afterlife.

Sobekneferu’s Two Ladies appellation, Sat sekhem nebet tawy, meaning “Daughter of Power, Mistress of the Two Lands,” is a reminder that she inherited the throne from her father, the mighty king Amenemhat III.4 Sobekneferu further legitimized her reign through her divine patriarch by honoring his memory, completing his pyramid complex at Hawara, known as the Labyrinth. 5 She deified him there and made herself the high priestess of his temple cult, a suave political move that emphasized her reign being the will of the gods. 6

Her Horus name, Meryt-Ra, meaning “Beloved of Ra,” was feminized, and was a title often given to priestesses, indicating that she may have served as one before rising to power.7 Collins believes she may have served the goddess Hathor. 8 During the Twelfth Dynasty, it was trendy for queens and kings to be depicted as sphinxes. In doing so, the monarch embodied the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, the vindictive aspect of Hathor, whose name means “The Powerful One.”9

While Sobekneferu’s tomb has never been discovered, there is evidence that cult veneration of her continued long after she passed away. Graffiti left by visitors in the funerary chapel connected to the Theban tomb of a priestess of Hathor named Senat indicates that her burial site doubled as a place of veneration for Sobekneferu.10 Perhaps pilgrims were drawn to this location because it was the only Middle Kingdom tomb built for a woman.11

Sobekneferu’s older sister, Neferuptah, was heir to the throne, but she died young, and was buried in a small pyramid in her father’s temple complex. 12 Neferuptah was the first Egyptian woman in history to have her name inscribed within a royal cartouche, suggesting that her father may have been preparing her to rule after his death.13 Collins brings up the possibility that Neferuptah was murdered.14 Her cause of death is a mystery because her body unfortunately disintegrated due to groundwater leaking into her tomb.15

After Amenemhat III passed away, presumably from old age, Sobekneferu may have wed her brother Amenemhat IV upon his ascension to the throne and co-ruled with him, a position that had been intended for Neferuptah.16 Nine years later, Amenemhat IV died without a male heir to take his place, perhaps due to sterility resulting from generations of inbreeding.17 

In ancient Egypt, a woman could take the throne as regent, temporarily ruling on behalf of an heir who was perhaps too young to rule himself.18 Hatshepsut, for example, established herself as regent but did not relinquish the throne when the male heir, her co-king and nephew, came of age. After the death of her brother-husband Thutmose II, Queen Hatshepsut served as regent for her two-year-old nephew, Thutmose III 19. Instead of functioning as a placeholder who would step down when he came of age, by the seventh year of her regency (or perhaps sooner), she was officially coronated as king, assuming full pharaonic power through the religious authority of the oracle of Amun, which had declared her the rightful ruler. 20

In the case of Sobekneferu, when her brother died, there was no heir, and she took the throne without the pretense of regency, which is quite amazing. Collins suggests there may have been a nationalist plot to usurp Amenemhat IV and place Sobekneferu on the throne.21 Her brother’s “progressive ideologies” and open border policies would have been perceived as a threat to Egyptian nationalists, who were concerned about the influx of western Asiatic foreigners settling in northern Egypt and occupying positions of power, which no doubt paved the way for the Hyksos invasion a few generations later. 22 He was also allied with the priesthood of Atum in Heliopolis rather than the local cult of Sobek. 23

A controversial theory which Collins presents for the first time in this book is that the legend of Queen Nitocris, recorded in book II of The Histories by the Greek historian Herodotus in the fifth century B.C.E., is a dramatized account of Sobekneferu exacting revenge for her brother’s regicide. 24 According to the legend, Nitocris invited the Egyptian subjects who murdered her brother-husband to a banquet in an underground chamber and then drowned them by flooding the room with Nile water through a secret channel. 25 Afterwards, she committed suicide by throwing herself into a chamber of hot ashes in order to avoid retribution for her actions. 26

The Egyptian historian Manetho recorded that Nitocris was the last ruler of the sixth dynasty, but there is no evidence that she ever existed, and Collins believes that the twelfth dynasty ruler Sobekneferu is the best historical fit. 27 “The real Nitocris of legend was, I would argue, an abstract memory of the life and deeds of Sobekneferu,” Collins says. 28 He suggests that she may have collaborated with Egyptian nationalists to have her brother assassinated, then shifted blame onto her political opponents after she was placed on the throne. 29

Sobekneferu may have fallen out of favor due to low flood waters during the third year of her reign, which would have been disastrous for the cultivation of crops. 30 Since the failure of the inundation would have been perceived as her fault, Collins suggests that she may have been pressured by the priesthood at Heliopolis to take the role of sacrificial king and either commit suicide or be murdered. 31 

Collins has an intriguing theory regarding the method of her ritual death. He suggests that the serpent involved in Cleopatra’s suicide may have been symbolic for the ingestion of poisonous plants or the inhalation of their smoke, 32 which leads him to believe that the chamber full of hot ashes into which Nitocris threw herself may have been a room suffocated with mephitic fumes, and that this was how Sobekneferu committed suicide. 33

While the theories Collins presents are often pure conjecture, he clearly delineates between what is based upon concrete archaeological evidence and what is speculation, all the while acknowledging that we may never know the truth. Readers who are armchair archaeologists will appreciate his detailed analysis of artifacts, and those who want to learn more will find Kara Cooney’s book When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt, which Collins cites several times, to be an excellent companion text to The First Female Pharaoh

The figure of Sobekneferu is just as relevant today as ever because she presents an interesting historical perspective on gender stereotypes and public perceptions of women’s leadership abilities both past and present. Women in positions of power are still pressured by society to adopt masculine fashions in order to be taken seriously, such as the pant suits worn by modern female politicians and other professionals. One might argue that these suits have evolved to become gender neutral, but originally they were worn to project an air of male authority, and on a subliminal level, they still convey the same message. Appearing androgynous often requires women to minimize or conceal their femininity instead of embracing it, perhaps even blurring their perceived gender identity, as was the case with both Sobekneferu and Hatshepsut. 

Hatshepsut in particular depicted herself as a man towards the end of her reign, and in When Women Ruled the World, Egyptologist Kara Cooney says that rather than this being an indication of her own gender confusion, “Hatshepsut’s problem was that she was trying to inhabit a masculine role within a patriarchal system on a long-term basis while there was a male king already occupying the throne.” 34 Depicting herself as a man was a way of validating her right to rule. 

In modern times, Sobekneferu has reincarnated in pop culture as a dangerous Egyptian queen with supernatural powers who returns to the realm of the living by possessing a young woman’s body. The subtitle of The First Female Pharaoh: Sobekneferu, Goddess of the Seven Stars, invokes Bram Stoker’s Egyptian novel The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903), in which the daughter of an Egyptologist, a young woman named Margaret, is possessed by the spirit of Queen Tera.

Critics have perceived this as a Gothic horror personification of the New Woman movement of First Wave Feminism at the turn of the century. As the spirit of Queen Tera takes control of Margaret, she becomes more strong-willed and independent, putting up increasing resistance to the masculine authority of her father and love interest, perhaps serving as a cautionary tale about the dangers of female empowerment, since Stoker didn’t seem very fond of the movement based on his treatment of strong female characters. 

Collins believes that Stoker’s evil Queen Tera was inspired by Sobekneferu, 35 and that she in turn influenced the character of Queen Kara in the 1980 film based on the novel titled The Awakening, starring Charlton Heston. 36 Collins posits that Stoker’s source materials were two works on ancient Egyptian star lore and mythology by Gerald Massey (1828-1907) that featured Sobekneferu, associating her with an ancient “Mother-Goddess of Time,” the “Goddess of the Seven Stars,” identified with the constellations Draco and Ursa Major. 37

The enigmatic queen Sobekneferu has also made quite an impact on the occult community. Esteemed occult writer Kenneth Grant drew connections between Sobekneferu and an ancient Draconian cult in his Typhonian Trilogies (1972-2002).38 According to the Tumblr account of Pacific North Witches, Sobekneferu even has a feast day, which falls on July 23.39 

It seems this ancient queen has indeed been resurrected into the collective consciousness. Whether we view Sobekneferu as a high priestess of Draconian magic or as the ultimate embodiment of female empowerment, she has achieved the dream of immortality that all the mighty ones of ancient Egypt sought to attain, inspiring new generations with her mysterious legacy, nearly 3,800 years after her death.

Spirit Weaver, by Seren Bertrand

Spirit Weaver: Wisdom Teachings from the Feminine Path of Magic, by Seren Bertrand
Bear & Company, 1591434351, 256 pages, May 2022

Spirit Weaver: Wisdom Teachings from the Feminine Path of Magic by Seren Bertrand was balm for my aching soul. Recently, I have been rather withdrawn, tending to my inner world over making strides towards accomplishments in the external world. I’ve been quite content exploring and feeling into the changes taking place within myself as I enter a new phase of my life

But amid the soul-shifting happening, I was being quite hard on myself, lamenting about “not being productive” and chastising my need to remain in my domestic sphere, which has felt quite like my safe haven or nest during this time. It wasn’t until I spent two days in bed, switching off between deep-diving into the wisdom of this book, journaling, and napping, that I felt a very rooted, authentic connection to my own feminine magic was restored.

“We have to nest. Not to always be somewhere else.

Wild creatures know how to nest. They know how to leave–and how to return.

There is great spiritual power in pottering–in the garden, in the kitchen, just being around the house, the home. Tending the herbs in the garden, making a fresh-brewed tea, the sensual art of cooking. Or entering the prayer chamber of the sofa, lounging with God, in intimate conversations and occasional snoring.

Nowhere to go, nothing to do. No grand theories to unite. Just to relax and be.

Home brings us back down to Earth. It makes us real. It grants us “enrealment.”

It is imbued with Womb magic; the power of Earth, of life, of love, of the real.”1

Bertrand is a skilled spirit weaver and visionary creatrix, who has done so much research on the lost global feminine wisdom traditions. She has also co-authored Womb Awakenings and Magdalene Mysteries with her husband Azra. Both of these books were life-changing for me, and I highly recommend them as well for anyone interested in feminine magic.

What sets Spirit Weaver apart from these other two books though is that this one feels more personal and the wisdom shared can be easily incorporated into one’s life. Whereas Womb Awakening and Magdalene Mysteries are both 560 pages of historical, anthropological, and spiritual revelation, Spirit Weaver is about half the length and is based on Bertrand’s personal insight and heartfelt experience of living the path of feminine magic.

Her first-hand perspective really hit home for me, as it felt like an invitation to walk alongside her as she shares what she’s learned throughout her journey, much like listening to a friend. Her soothing way with words was a more creative approach to sharing the mysteries of this path, intuitively opening new chambers within my own psyche and soul to explore. And it’s definitely worth noting though she explores feminine magic worldwide, Bertrand’s personal narrative of her ancestry to her homeland of England is a prominent theme.

“Sitting at the heart of these essays I share with you is the story of my personal ancestral lineage at Mam Tor (Mother Mountain), in the Peak District of the Old North of England, once the grail lands of Maid Marian and Robin Hood and the ancient tribe of the Brigantes–who worshiped the goddess Brigantia, the ancien mother of the old north–who were once led by powerful queens. These lands are an ancestral soulmate within me, the earth placenta of my childhood.”2

The book is composed of 50 essays divided into five sections: “Spinning Our Web”, “Growing Our Roots”, “Weaving Our Healing”, “Dreaming Our Magic”, and “Enchanting Our World”. While the sections have essays relevant to the overall theme, each one stands alone as a unique, insightful reflective piece of writing. I choose to make my way through chronologically, but one could absolutely pick and choose the essays or sections that feel relevant to them in each moment.

One thing I loved about this book was the brilliant paintings throughout the book that was rich with symbolism, featuring images of women, animals, spirals, and more. It felt as though each picture was perfectly placed, inspiring revelation as I turned the page after reading a specific essay to see a creative expression of the essence, energy, and themes Bertrand is describing. Sometimes, I would end up staring at the imagery for a good five to ten minutes, sometimes contemplating its message and other times just admiring the beauty. Plus, there is variation in font color too, which adds to the beauty of the book; it’s not just black and white, but alive with color for visual appeal.

In addition to paintings, there’s also some photographs included too, such as wells, festivals, and even an ancestral photograph of Bertrand’s family. These pictures definitely made Bertrand’s writing more realistic because I could see exactly what she was describing, even if I haven’t visited these places myself or experienced the culture of the lands she describes, especially her homelands of northern England. Now I just want to go take a pilgrimage!

Another thing I really enjoyed about Spirit Weaver is how Bertrand offers ideas for self-reflection or advice about how to integrate what she’s just written about in her essay. For instance, following the essay “Feminine Archetypes: The Witch and the Priestess”, Bertrand invites the reader to reflect on which one is more resonant to them right now. Following another essay, “Rooted Power: Feminine Spiritual Path”, Bertrand shares a way to find the balance between one’s rooted power (embodiment check-ins) and their infinite love (affirmation). While not every essay has something like this at the end, these prompts definitely helped to integrate Bertrand’s writing.

Overall though, I think my absolute favorite thing about the book was the content. Bertrand delves into many aspects of the feminine with such insight. As someone who also walks the path of feminine spirituality, it felt like a homecoming to read Bertrand’s thoughts and reflections. I’m constantly vacillating between whether to call my path one of witchcraft or priestesshood, while also contemplating how to embody this practice in my daily life. Mary Magdalene and the Christ path has always had a special place in my heart, which is definitely not discussed much in witchcraft, so I loved soaking up Bertrand’s wisdom about that.

But the topics covered a wide range of feminine spirituality, such as Moon magic, Celtic traditions, Dankini magic, working with the shadow, romantic love as a spiritual pathway, the wisdom of Grandmothers, mermaids, and so much more. This might sound like a smorgasbord, but it wasn’t at all like that; it’s a rich tapestry of all aspects of the feminine skillfully woven together.

What I was most surprised at was her essay called “Lady Saturn: Lineage of the Cosmic Witch”. I recently did a whole astrology presentation about the feminine aspect of Saturn as Crone, and I was thrilled to read another’s perspective about the VERY overlooked female attributes of Saturn. Bertrand writes, “Lady Saturn is the darkness of wisdom, of Sophia. She is the grand cosmic witch.”3 This just set my passion ablaze and spurred me on in my own research!

I was also just overcome by what I read in the section “Epiphany: Three Wise Witchy Midwives” where Bertrand discusses the Christmas Witch La Befana. As an Italian-American, the past three yuletide seasons, I’ve been deepening my relationship with la Strega Noel, and Bertrand provided more information in this section than I had been able to find thus far. I loved learning about how “The sacred Christmastime of Epiphany was once the heartland of the feminine mysteries, celebrated by many feminine folk traditions.”4 Suddenly, it made a lot more sense why this has become such a special time of the year for me, as I walk this path.

All in all, Spirit Weaver is a treasure trove of wisdom about the magic of the feminine mysteries. I highly recommend this book to all who feel called to walk the path of the feminine spirituality, in whatever form this looks like for them. Bertrand covers such a wide-range of topics that each reader is sure to take away something meaningful for their own personal journey. Bertrand truly continues to do such a service to the feminine spiritual pathway, educating readers with her research and courageously sharing her own experience to illuminate the way for others. This is a book that I know I will be returning to time and time again, as I continue to weave my own way immersed within the all-encompassing divinity of the feminine.

The Empires of Atlantis, by Marco M. Vigato

The Empires of Atlantis: The Origins of Ancient Civilizations and Mystery Traditions Throughout the Ages, by Marco M. Vigato
Bear & Company, 1591434335, 416 pages, January 2022

The Empires of Atlantis: The Origins of Ancient Civilizations and Mystery Traditions Throughout the Ages by Marco M. Vigato is not an ordinary book about an extraordinary subject. And, it is most definitely not the usual fairy tale of mythology surrounding Atlantis and its fall.

Vigato dedicated the past fifteen years to documenting the evidence of ancient civilizations and their origins. This is most evident in the containers of the book and the detail in which the author goes towards supporting the theories around what he has uncovered, Where many other books focus on either the mythology and esoteric implications of ancient civilizations, in particular Atlantis and others seek only the archeological evidence, Vigato draws from a balance of esoteric philosophies and scientific and archeological evidence that offers a tried and tested timeline of historical events.  Vigato provides the reader with thirty-two pages of a Bibliography that is comprehensive and diverse in resources used to compile this treasure of a book.

The book is separated into six parts that set the reader on a journey beginning with our “Esoteric History:Part l”, “The First Time: Part ll” (including “The Mysterious Origins of Man”), “Twilight of the Gods: Part lll”, “Atlantis Rises Again: Part lV” (offering a look at “The Neo-Atlantean Empires”), “The Megalithic Odyssey: Part V”, and concluding with a discussion of “The Legacy: Part Vl” left from the Ancient civilizations, their cultures, and wisdom that has been lost on modern civilizations.

“The Epilogue: The Cycle Continues” provides a reminder that as a civilization we, as members of humanity, are part of a larger cyclical process that has defined and shaped our history and will most definitely weigh into our future. Dissolution of one cycle is a necessary prerequisite to the birthing and growth of another phase of existence. Despite the fatalistic sound of this concept, it is indeed one steeped in scientific evidence about the nature of evolution.

My recommendation to offset this reaction of “doom and gloom” would be that if the reader takes the time to “wade through” The Empires of Atlantis and give deep thought to the ample charts, timelines, graphics and more contained throughout, acknowledgement that cycles are organically part of the function of the cosmos become the reality of our existence.

Overall, The Empires of Atlantis is not an easy read, but well worth the effort for those who are fascinated by the spiritual underpinnings of humanity and the cosmology of the world. Ironically, this is one of the shortest reviews I have written for a book. This is not because it is lacking in content; in fact, it is entirely the opposite.

The skill with which Vigato has woven together cycles of humanity, evolutionary cycles of civilizations and the esoteric underpinnings that flow through all of it, is not easily reduced to simple quotes from a book and commentary on what information is being provided. This title is definitely worth exploring for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of our place as part of humanity and civilization’s natural evolution, regardless of your belief in the existence of Atlantis.

First Nations Crystal Healing, by Luke Blue Eagle

First Nations Crystal Healing: Working with the Teachers of the Mineral Kingdom, by Luke Blue Eagle
Bear & Company,  9781591434276, 264 pages, October 2021

Luke Blue Eagle shares ways to use thirty-eight different crystals and stones for healing in his book First Nations Crystal Healing. As he says on the back cover:

“Crystals and stones come from Mother Earth and indigenous medicine people have been using them to help and to heal for millennia. Their techniques, although simple, have proven effective through the innumerable healers who have handed down these teachings across the generations.”1

For over twenty-five years, Blue Eagle studied with elders from several indigenous tribes in the US and Canada.  He writes a blog that includes articles on many subjects, from animal totems such as the moose or coyote to crystals or the latest work on his fragrances or his original music.  He is also featured in several audio interviews online. His career spans over forty years as a healer and practitioner. A recent blog announces that he has retired from active work, having trained quite a few people to carry on these techniques.

This book is organized into five parts:

  1. Preparing for a Healing Practice
  2. Crystal Attributes and Correspondences
  3. Principal Practices for Crystal Use and Care
  4. Advanced Healing Practices
  5. The Stones and Their Properties

I have been interested in crystals and gemstones for more than twenty years, so this book really resonated with me.  When my husband and I began to study mediumship, we learned about a few crystals that can support spirit communication. From that time, I’ve loved to use crystals for channeling, healing, and energy clearing.  I was interested to learn more from Blue Eagle about indigenous techniques and practices.

In the initial section, I learned that the indigenous way of healing is truly “holistic” in that it works to treat the whole body system: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Crystals are a natural part of the healing journey, since they come from Mother Earth.  Blue Eagle reviews the foundations of Native American practices and provides some preliminary information, including his own fundamental laws of healing.

Next, he discusses the attributes of crystals, including form and structure and the colors of crystals.  In the third section, he reviews ways to care for and use crystals and this was my favorite section.  From consecrating a crystal to programming a crystal, Blue Eagle gives the reader step-by-step instructions. He shares:

The consecration ceremony is a twenty-seven-day ritual that will help you commune with your crystal and perceive its specific gifts and then apply them to healing situations.  We use this ceremony to consecrate the crystal to act in a specific way, and in specific circumstances, in a sacred manner. All healing has a sacred component to it, if you understand the notion of holistic healing. The best time to start a consecration ritual is on the new moon.  If not possible on the new moon, any other time will do.2

After he covers how to “program” a crystal, he also discusses the importance of creating “sacred space” for all healing.  I loved the “Heart Meditation” that he shared in the book, which is a three-part meditation and is the first practice he teaches in all of his classes.

In the center of the book are color photos of the thirty-eight crystals, including several of the clear quartz crystal, which is the primary crystal that he uses for healing work.  In the next section, he covers all of the different colors of crystals and how each color plays a role in healing. He does a brief introduction of the color, or “color ray” as he calls it, and then lists specific crystals in that color and shares information about working with that crystal.  

Throughout the book, Blue Eagle adds what he calls a “Teaching Story” that contains a specific reference to an experience he has had that relates to the crystal or practice or healing technique.  One of my favorites was the one shared about Clear Quartz, in which he put a crystal around the neck of a beginning student.  The woman was helping him in his booth at a wellness fair and was becoming overwhelmed by the energy of the many people coming through the booth.  After he put on the crystal, she was able to work the rest of the day with ease and no dip in her energy.3

I was unaware of the ability of clear quartz to be used in this way.  I decided to test it out and wore a necklace I have with a clear quartz crystal point one day when I was going to my granddaughter’s gymnastics meet.  That day, I was able to stay longer than usual and did not feel my energy dip after I had been in the large gym for four hours.  I can’t wait to test out more of his practices and techniques, including his distance healing techniques and many of the meditations. 

On the last page of the book, Blue Eagle shares what he calls “the three fundamental laws of healing: unconditional love, nonattachment and intention.  The philosophical foundations that countless elders have passed down through the generations have great validity.  We must meditate on them so that we tread on solid ground, protecting ourselves and others with insight and wisdom.”4

Blue Eagle’s writing style is very conversational, and I appreciate the depth of his knowledge and experience.  It shines through on every page. The structure of the book is well-conceived, and the “Table of Contents” is handy for reference.  He also has an index, which is always helpful later, when you want to find and review a specific idea. 

In this easy-to-read book, Blue Eagle provides lots of tools and techniques that just about anyone can follow.  He recommends that you read First Nations Crystal Healing from front to back to fully understand the Native American way of living in harmony with Mother Earth. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about crystals, as well know and understand Native American healing techniques and sacred ceremonies.