Category Archives: Reviews

Product Review: Natures Essences Inspiration Blend

I am a fan of the products produced by Charissa’s Cauldron.  The crystal essences I have worked with have been highly effective in helping me deal with health issues.  The few flower essences have been just as wonderful.  For me there really is something magical in these brews.

Today I am going to talk about the Inspiration blend by Charissa’s Cauldron.

Inspiration Blend

This blend is a great blend to work with.  I started to work with it when I was in a funk.  I couldn’t think of any new products or even different sets I could develop for the shop.  I was having difficulty thinking of blog posts.  Nothing was happening creatively for me.

Then I remembered that I had a bottle of this blend.  Once I applied some to my wrists and a few drops to my water I knew that it was what I needed.  I was able to come up with a long list of blog topics, product concepts, and much more.  This stuff if highly effective.  I still have only listed half of the kits and sets I came up with while using this blend and I’ve only touched on one or two of the blog topics I came up with.

If you are in college and working on a paper but can’t seem to get any where this product will help you out.  Its an amazing product.  Its great for creative people.  Its great for those who simply need a little help to get going when it comes to art and creativity.  I’m nearly out of my bottle and will need to get some more.
This product is  going to be involved in future products that I make.  I even have a few ideas on how I could use it.  No hints for you yet, suffice to say that there will be new products over the coming year and one or more of them may have this essence in them.

On a 5 start rating system 5/5.  very powerful and very potent.  A little goes a long ways.

You can get your bottle Here

Book Review: What Witches Do

What Witches Do

What Witches Do is an awesome introduction to the world of British Traditional Wicca.  The author wrote this book during his time as a first degree initiate till he earned his second and third degrees and became a High Priest of the tradition.  In many ways this book reflects part of the authors training as he explored the religion of Wicca from the inside out.

For those more familiar with Wicca as styled by Scott Cunningham, Edain McCoy or even Raymond Buckland this book takes some serious adjustments.  Most people forget that Wicca when it was founded by Gerald Gardner and then the Alexandrian Tradition founded by Alex and Maxine Sanders was a coven based religion and continues to be so today.

This book is a perfect text for those who are interested in Traditional Wicca but are not quite ready to contact a coven.  This text was my introduction to Traditional Wicca several years ago and remains to be one of my go to books when I need a refresher on Traditional Wicca.  There are several practices that are discussed in many books on Wicca that I feel this book covers the areas that are “missing”.

If you are interested in Traditional Wicca this book is perfect for you.  If you are looking to learn more about the early forms of Wicca prior to the solitary traditions this book will cover that.  If you are interested in what religious witchcraft looks like this book is for you.  If you are looking for instant initiation, solitary rituals and spells this is not your book.

There are some spells and rituals in the book.  In this book they provide context to how Wiccan coven rituals may run and what sabbat rituals could entail.  None of the rituals or spells within this book can really be performed solitary.  It comes from a coven based tradition so it will have a different feel than other books.

This book has so much more information than I remembered.  Every time I reread the book I learn something new.  It’s packed with information.  5/5

Book Review: Hoodoo Bible Magic

bible magic front cover - working 032314 v5

This book is an interesting book. It covers a lot of different aspects of working with the bible within the folk magic tradition of Hoodoo. As a witch I am interested in learning more about Hoodoo and working with the bible in their spells and rituals. That is one of the reasons why I bought this book. The other reason was so I could start to add Bible magic to my spell work and my personal practices.

This book is a very short read but packed full of information. It is very concise but covers many topics from how the bible entered the practice of Hoodoo to if working magic is even compatible with reading the bible and understanding its work. There are also several different examples of practical magic and ways to work with the bible in day to day life.

The book starts with covering how the bible enters Hoodoo. The authors made it clear that the use of the Bible in Hoodoo is directly tied into some of the hardest times for the Slaves and the African American’s in the south. It is also made clear that now today these practices are inseparable from Hoodoo in any real sense of the work.

Next they cover if magic is compatible with the Bible. Here we are given examples of scripture and texts from within the Bible that illustrate magical practices and that you can work magic from the Bible. In this section the authors cover a selection of different “Heroes” within the Bible that worked magic in some way shape or form.

Finally in the section of begining to understand the Bible and Hoodoo the authors cover Root Doctors and Rootworkers as spiritual leaders and leaders of the church. Several examples are given for how these workers were community leaders not only in magical work but spiritual needs as well.

The section section of this book is probably the largest and most important section. This is the section that teaches working with the Bible in magical works. This section is titled “Forget Not it’s benefits”. This gives the idea of just how important the Bible is as a text to Hoodoo workings.

The first section is about how the Bible itself is a magical text. Here we are showm just how much power is within the Bible. We are taught about making prayer papers and how each verse of the Bible has its own power. The most important lesson here I found was that of the respect for the Bible.

Some spells and workings in Hoodoo call for tearing out passages from the Bible. Here the authors make it clear that by writing the passages down on paper and tearing that paper you have the connection to the verse without needing to deface a Bible. The power for them is in the verse itself so simply writing the verse has power.

Other topics include a folk story about how in battle a Bible stopped a bullet from reaching a Solider, the Jewish Mizpah and the Jewish Protective Mezuzah, and several other small biblical charms.

The next part of this section was on scriptural uses of magic. Here the author goes into discussions about how there are other verses and books of the Bible that can be worked with for magic as well as the Psalms. The author included a lists of various Bible verses and how they could potentially be used in magic. The author also included a list of verses that explain that God does in fact listen to people. This part of the Scripture ends with a description of “pleading the blood pf Jesus” with scriptures giving examples to the practice and how it is used.

The largest section of the “Forget not it’s benefits” is a section on working with the Psalms. Here the authors do include a list of uses for every Psalm in the Book of Psalms. The author includes a passage on the “secrets of the Psalms” as well as how to find the sacred names within the Psalms. The most useful section of this chapter is the two lists of uses for the Psalms. One is a quick list by type of working listing the Psalms in order by number and the other is listing each Psalm individually with the uses next to them.

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most well known Psalms out there. After providing us with a list of Pslams and their uses the authors provide us with several different uses for the 23rd Psalm. There are examples of blessings, protection spells, and a succsess spell as well. The 23rd Psalm is one of the most versitile Psalms in the book of Psalms which is why these suggestions are great for getting to know and work with that Psalm.

This section ends with a list of Pslams for fighting your enemies and sending back or reversing evil sent to you. Both of those sets used together could create powerful spells for protection. These lists give you some ideas on working with the Psalms so you can then start to create your own spells and rituals with the Psalms.

The next section was on using the Bible for Divination. In essence this practice involves flipping through the Bible with your eyes closed. When you stop flipping through pages you read the verse that you fingers land on and contemplate it’s meaning. The other topic covered is the use of dream interpretation and dreams in the Bible as a source of oracles and divination practices.

The final section covering the uses of the Bible in magical practice is a section on Devotional Prayer. The authors cover how we should Pray and what prayer is. The author covers types of prayer and how you can use prayer to preach. This section ends with a sermon that was essentially a prayed Curse regarding Hitler.

Bible Spells Old and New comes after reminding us of the uses of the Bible. Here the authors provided several different types of spells and workings that use the Bible. The authors start with steady work and succsess, which is followed by returning people and lost goods, Love is next (covering love, family, and reconciling with loved ones). After love we get into Helping and blessing, Harming and Cursing, and we end with protection and Jinx breaking. These spells cover basically every need that comes up in most day to day lives.

The Book ends with a selection of Frequently asked questions regarding Hoodoo, the Bible and the many practices associated. These questions include how to choose prayers for specific works, asking about psalms or scripture verses for quick financial windfalls, and even making a payment to Jesus. These are questions that are found on my Hoodoo and Conjure forums so having a list and answers is a great way to get answers for questions you have that may have already been asked.

This book gets 5/5 stars as it covers so many different ways to work with the Bible. The authors provide several resources, contextual examples, and workings that we can use right away to get started. They cover most magical and spiritual needs within the book so it is an excellent resource for beginners.

Product Review: Money Powder by The Astral Bridge

money-draw-powder

Today I am going to be reviewing a magical powder that I have been working with for a few months. I have been working with the Money Draw Powder by the company The Astral Bridge. Working with herbal powders in spells is a central component to my personal magical practice so for me using this powder was a great way to work my magical practice.

On their website the shop describes the powder as such:

Do you need more money! Well use this powder to empower all your money draw workings. Sprinkle it on cash, roll an anointed candle, use some on yourself or in a mojo bag.

The wonderfully smelling powder has a cinnamon powder base mixed with powerful money drawing ingredients.

I have found that description to be fairly accurate. The powder does have a cinnamon base which works as cinnamon is a powerful herb with money drawing aspects. The only issue I have as a customer is that there is no other ingredients listed. While I can understand not wanting to disclose recipes to the public, there are issues of allergies and dangers to animals or small children to consider. So I would advise the business owner to disclose the other herbal components to their Money Draw powder.

As to the effectiveness of this powder I can say that it has worked. I have been using it in a money jar spell, I have used it in packet spells, and I have also simply sprinkled it over my products before events. When I have used these components together I have had more successful sales than other times. I will continue to use this powder until I run out of my supply and even after that I may buy some more.

This product is so effective that a very little bit goes a long ways. You only need a pinch around your candles and in your packets to be effective. Once the powder starts to work you will notice results. As a business owner the next thing I am going to try with this powder is dusting my table with it at an event and my work space at home to ensure continued sales.

To purchase your own visit: Money Draw Powder available here

Other products are available on their home website: The Astral Bridge

Book Review: Pictish Orthodox Druidism

Pictish Orthodox Druidism

This is is very interesting book that covers and obscure religious and spiritual practice.  This book is not like anything else on the market related to Celtic traditions.  This book is very unique, and while it does cover Celtic spirituality and Druidry it does some from the tradition of the Picts.  Most books on Celtic Paganism or Druidry cover Irish or Welsch traditions.  Very few touch on the Picts and their tradition.

The author covers this tradition from the way it was taught in his family.  In places where his family tradition had gaps the author did his best with research into history and lore to complete the tradition.  This book is his way of preserving his view and style of Pictish Druidry.

This book is not really broken into chapters but parts with related sections.  Aside from the introduction there are eight sections in the book.  Each section focuses on unique aspects of this tradition providing information on lore and history as well as theory and practice of ritual and magical workings.

In the Introduction the author starts by presenting several common terms and definitions used within the book and Pagan traditions and spirituality.  Next the author explains his approach to reconstructing religious and spiritual traditions.  This is essential to understand as the practices in the book are a mixture of reconstructed practices and traditions passed down in his family.   The introduction concludes with a summary of principles. Here the author also outlines what exactly he considers Pictish Tradition to entails.

The first section of the book is entitled Pictish Orthodoxy.  This section begins with an overview of Celtic spiritual traditions and the different forms out there.  The author presents an argument for Pictish Tradition origins and how we does have information to build a base on.  This section here is also where we are introduced to the Gods.

The section on the Gods covers a basic introduction to the world view.  It covers several of the spirit concepts as well as the type of Polytheism that Pictish tradition followed.  Here the author introduces the idea that the Picts would have adopted some Norse traditions.

Here the author covers information on the various Gods of the Pict tradition.  He gives their names and attributes.  The author covers three different “tribes” or types of Gods worshiped.  There are the Greater Gods, the Brethren Gods (Norse Gods), and the Tuatha DeDannan.  Through the categorization of the Gods we get a view for the complex syncretic path that is the Pictish Tradition.

The section ends with a discussion on the concept of the trinity and the sacred three.  Here we learn about the Celtic three other worlds and the Celtic Knot.  The author also explains through this sacred three why certain deities are seen as a Triad.  To tie in the Norse tradition with the exploration of the Celtic other worlds (3) the author lists the Nine Norse Realms.

The section part in the book is called Awen.  This section is about taking action and how worship is through action.  Here the author covers the sacred Holidays.  The section on the holidays is rather small.  It does present a few examples of how those sacred days could be honored through actions and activities rather than ritual.

The third part of the book is one of the most interesting.  This is the section on the Faerie faith.  Many spiritual traditions work with beings called the Fae.  This section is about the Pictish tradition and their take on the Fae.  Here we get a taste for ritual work and how the Picts dealt with contact with spirits.

This chapter had some of the most useful information.  It starts out by explains what the faerie spirits really are and how the modern view of fairy’s is actually quite far from the historical perspective.  The author explains that he believes this would have been the practice of the common folk and was less to deal with Gods and was more animistic in nature.

After giving brief examples of offerings and how the Faerie Faith may have been practiced the author begins to discuss the different types of Fae.  Here we see the variety of spiritual forces found within the Pictish tradition beyond the Gods.  The author gives several different types of fae including descriptions of Norse Fae.

Once we are familiar with types of Fae we get into the first practical bit of spiritual work within the book.  Here we are learning how to set up an altar to suit the practice of the Faerie faith.  The author covers three different types of altars to the Faerie people and the types of fae best honored at each.

The chapter ends with ideas on how to make contact with the Fae.  Here the author covers plant talismans and flowers in your garden that could attract the fae.  The author also presents a detailed guided meditation to use meditative techniques to meet fae and work with them.    In all reality the section on the Faerie faith could be a book in its own right.  The author does a great job of presenting information that gives an introduction to the practice within the context of this particular cultural view.

The fourth section of the book is about the priesthood.  Here we find out the authors view on Priesthood and why its not a mantle to be taken up easily.  The author covers the different types of priests and Druids in this chapter.   With each type of druid or priest the author covers the roles they had and how they worked for the Gods and the community. Here the author also covers the various Norse Priests that would have filled similar roles to the Druids.  The author makes it clear that for him priesthood and ministry are the same thing.

The fifth section is where we first get introduced to the practice of magic.  The practice of magic is one of the main draws to practices like Druidry, Shamanism, and witchcraft.  The idea of being able to perform rituals and take specific actions to create change in ones life is very appealing.  So it is important to cover the use of magic and the theories behind it.

In this section the author covers the hows and whys of magic.  Before getting into magical laws and theory the author outlines the phases and steps involved in spell casting.  He explains several magical laws and magical theories.  This gives you the basis to start exploring the magic discussed later.

The majority of the section on magic focuses specifically on the Druid practice of magic.  The author gives examples of types of magic he calls Low, Middle, and High.  In each section of low, middle or high there are examples of types of magical workings and practices that would fit within those concepts.

The chapter ends with a discussion on Druid rituals, tools and the organizations.  With the information on ritual and tools the reader now has enough information to create simple spells and workings within this magical paradigm.  It is here that we have really begun to be able to piece together a practice from the material presented.

The sixth section in the book is on Magical languages.  Here the author introduces Ogham and symbols that are used in magical ritual.  The author covers tattoos and scarification rituals as ways that the Picts used magical symbolism on their body.  The section on magical languages ends with a brief introduction to Runes and Runic magic.

The seventh part of the book is dedicated to Runes.  This is one area of the book that is entirely dedicated to a Nordic aspect of the tradition.  Here the author covers the Rune poems and the three different Rune systems.  He covers the use in magic and the use in divination.  The author even covers creating your own traditional Rune staves and doing traditional Runic readings.  This section and the Faerie faith chapter are the two section of the book with the most practical information and the most unique information.

The author ends the book covering a variety of related spiritual traditions.   The author begins the section by covering different Druid and Celtic traditions and organizations.   Here the author covers traditions like Shamanism, Wicca, and general Witchcraft.  This shows that the author not only respects these other spiritual traditions but he also sees how they are connected and possibly related to his own traditions and practices.

Overall the book provides great insight into this spiritual tradition.  There is enough information that the reader could decide to explore the practice for themselves personally.  The author gave enough information to form a workable practice without doing all of the work for you.  He allows the reader to start with this information and work with the spirits and Gods through personal work to develop their priesthood and their practice.

I would recommended this book to people interested in both Celtic and Norse Pagan traditions.  While I may not agree with all of the information presented on the Norse traditions, I feel that the author did an excellent way of presenting how the Picts would have adapted the Norse Gods and practices into their traditions.

Product review: Meadowlark Botanical Pain relief balm, Headache balm, Foot balm, & Hand cream

Product Review:

Holistic Balms from Meadowlark Botanical

Meadowlark full set

 

One of the resources I have been taking advantage of as a member of the Pagan Business Network is the use of trades.  I will trade some of my products with members of the network for some of their products and or services.  The other part of the exchange is that I write a review about my experiences with the products and then share it around.  The products in the above photo are some that I traded for and this is my review.

Customer service

Before I get into how the products worked for me and my experience with the products I want to spend some time talking about the customer service this company provides.   One thing I asked about was if they planned on getting different labels that included the ingredients on them.  They responded happily with a thank you for the suggestion and that it was something they had in fact been thinking of doing.  When I mentioned to keep the information insert as well they were happy to know that the information on the sheet was useful in educating people about the reasons behind why the herbs worked for this product.

The best experience I had with this business was when I asked about a specific product.  I get headaches frequently while I am working.  Its not just from the stress but also from my eyes, anxiety, caffinee and or lack of water.  So I wanted to have the balm with me at work.  When I opened it for the first time this balm was essentially liquid.  It exploded basically everywhere.  I lost a bunch to my clothes and the counter.

I asked the owner about this.  She was shocked to hear about it.  As soon as she was able to she sent me another batch of the balm.  This time when I opened it I could use it and it was solid.  The fact that she sent me a brand new free batch was great.  I was thrilled.  I tried it later that night and was happy with the results.  So I have to give them two thumbs up on customer service.

 

Pain Free Balm

Meadowlark Pain releif cream

At first I was disappointed in this balm.  It did not have immediate effect which is what I am used to.  A similar holistic product I use has an almost instant relief to it without needing a deep massage.  I decided though that I would give it an extended try.  During this extended trial I applied the cream with a massage to the very specific location rather than the general location.  Once I started applying it with a massage and to specific points rather than general points I was able to get the relief that I was used to.  It lasts for me about 4-5 hours.  After that I need to apply it again.

My issue with this item is that it stains.  Before I used this cream I had no yellow stains on my blanket.  This cream left stains on the blanket.  This was with me rubbing it and massaging the balm into my skin and the effected areas as much as I could.  Even then the little oil left on the top layer of skin still stained my blankets.  It also stained my underwear long the edges where my legs would have touched it.

The other issue I have was the strong menthol scent.  It was overpowering.  One day I applied it to my knees before work so I could be comfortable at work.  My fiance’ commented that the scent was too strong and to not use that again.  I have tried to use less, but the scent is still overpowering.  Yes it is effective but its stronger than the almost pure menthol product I buy for my fiance’ from the store.

You can get your Pain Free cream here

Foot Cream

Meadowlark foot cream

With my day job I am on my feet all day.  I run around the store helping customers find what they are looking for.  When not putting away stock, putting away put-backs /unpurchased items, or helping customers find products I am standing in place at the register.  My feet are sore after a days work.  This product here is a wonderful treat for my feet.

I have found that this helps relax my muscles after a day of working.  It doesn’t relieve the pain persay but it does help my feet to relax.  By rubbing my feet with this balm after a long day of work I also relieve some of my stress from the shift.  A lot of stress is held in the feet.

In order to relieve the pain I am feeling in my arches I typically add a small batch of the pain free balm that was mentioned earlier.  I’d actually like to see the two combined so you have stress and pain relief that can be applied to all muscles not just the feet.  Perhaps they will take that into consideration.

Get your Herbal Foot cream here

Headache Balm

Meadowlark Headache balm

This year I have started to deal with headaches far more often than I ever did before.  One of the main headache issues I have had have been sinus related.  This balm when I tried it in a liquid form was the only thing that has worked for my sinus pressure and pain without congestion. I applied a small drop to the bridge of my nose and felt instant relief.

The menthol and mint oils are high in this mixture so my eyes did water a bit.  My suggestion would be to find a variation on this recipe that uses a little less mint and menthol and maybe add a few congestion or sinus oils.  That way you can have a product for sinus headaches and sinus pressure as well.

The only other thing I have to say is that it works just as well for day to day headaches.  I apply a bit to my temples, the base of the neck, and my third eye.  For me this helps me release all my pressure for my headaches.  Often times they are in the front of the brain which is why I use the third eye chakra as a position to place the balm in.  I only use a little bit though as too much wil make your eyes water from the mint and menthol.

You can get yours Headache balm here

 

Lavender Hand Cream

Meadowlark lavender hand cream

This is an item that was actually a surprise for me.  It was not an item that I had asked for in the trade.  She included it as a free gift sample for which I am very thankful.  I will probably be ordering a batch of this for myself when my sample size is done.  I’ve had this sample for months and I am still working with it.  Its hard for me to find hand or body lotions that I can actually use due to my sensitive skin.  This is one of the ones I can use.  I’m glad I have it.  I will use it for a while longer.  Like I said it is one of the few lotions I have been able to find for myself that works and I enjoy the scent and feel of.

Get your Lavender rich Handcream Here

Conclusion & Remarks

Many of the issues I had are my own for not reading the directions as best as I could.  The owner of this business did send paper work on each of the products given to me.  While it doesn’t mention that the Tumeric in the pain relief cream can stain, it does mention its best applied to specific points rather than a general area.  Had I paid more attention to the entire paperwork I would have had faster results with the Pain Free Cream.  They also warned about the peppermint in the headache balm and not going near the eyes for that reason.

This business owner is very well educated on their products and services.  The information sheet goes into detail about the herbs chosen for the products and why they work.    In some cases they even mention this history of the herbs use in medicinal practices and from which cultures they were used in.  They know not only their products but their particular service well.  They are very professional and work hard to get their business seen and known.

If you are looking for vegetarian organic homeopathic products then this is the company for you.  Its well made and the containers are perfect for the product.  Packages are neat and professional looking.  Everything works as they say it does, just be sure to read the directions carefully or you may miss information like I did.

Check out the rest of their products here: Meadowlark Botanical

Book Review: Candle and the Crossroads by Orion Foxwood

The Candle and the Crossroads:

A book of Appalachian Conjure And Southern Rootwork

Candle and the Crossroads

This is one of the most powerful books I have read in recent history on spirituality in general.  While yes the book focuses on Rootwork and Conjure as the author knows them, the book is highly spiritually focused.  For me even if I don’t put all of the information into practice, the components of the book that made me question spirituality and what it means were well worth the investment.

So to begin my review I have to say that even if you don’t follow any magical spiritual path as a guide for spirituality any one of any path can get something out of it.  I would even recommend this book to Christians who are looking to deepen their personal spirituality and connection to their religion.  Everyone on any path in life can get something out of this book.  The connection to your own spirit that this book teaches us to develop is important for everyone and everything.

If you are looking for a book on spells you wont find them in this book.  There are several workings discussed but actual spell work for money, wealth, love, etc are not really seen in this book.  There are magical techniques for baths and creating mojos as well as connecting to spirits in this book.    So there is magic with in the book but not necessarily spells for luck, love or mney drawing as most people are familiar with.

The focus on this book is the spiritual component of Hoodoo and Conjure rather than the spells.  Too often people want to jump into the spells and workings of magic without the spirit component and thus they miss a huge part of the Southern Conjure traditions.  This book provides that spiritual information.  It is that focus which sets this book aside from others.

This is one book I am going to be referencing again and again.  There are several exercises, meditations, and self questions that I am going to be looking at periodically.  There are many things in this book that made me think and start to evaluate my personal path and practices.  For this reason I am going to be using this as a reference and guide to develop my own connection to my spirituality and my own personal spirit.

The first chapter in the book is all about the foundation of this practice.  Here we learn the authors experiences and his history with the practice as he knows it.  This is where we see how his experiences and lessons in life and explains the reasons why he wrote this book.  He mentions what the foundations of his personal magical practice are.  By knowing this information you can better understand the worldview and practices presented in the rest of the book.

The second chapter is about the starting of finding your paths to the spirit that is you.  The core teaching of this book is that humans are spirits as well.  We are spirits having a physical existence as humans.  In the teachings of this book and worldview if you start to realize this you will not only come into your own power but also start be be more whole yourself.    This chapter starts a basic discussion on types of spirits that walk with us as well as types of spiritual paths.  After talking about the paths there are also descriptions on how we are called to find our paths including symptoms of the different calls.

The third chapter is short but very important.  Here is where we get into the history of the actual practices that formed Southern Conjure as the author knows it.  The author mentions slavery and African traditions and their importance in the tradition.  Here we see what Conjure really is about and how it survives over the years.  There are warnings in this chapter about working with the spirits of Conjure and how powerful they are.  There is a quote that illustrates the power and spirirt of Conjure work very well that I am going to share with you here.:

“If you are not willing to cry for, be angry for, pray for, and ask help of its spirits, then stay away from this work.  These spirits went through hell when they first came to America in boats of flesh.  No one can change this root, and why would we want to?

If you want to find the root that cannot be bound, then then root spirit of conjure is for you.  If you want to grow your spirit from a place of truth and spirit power then conjure is for you.  If you want to reach deep and pray high, then welcome to this deep well of spirit and spiritual nuturance.

But come through the door blessing and praying for the ancestors that suffered.  This builds a bridge of grace to the spirit world and begins to establish the essence and flavor of the spirits that come when you conjure.”-Orion Foxwood Conjure and the Crossroads

The rest of the chapter focused on what the Root of conjure and the cultural mixtures that made up his conjure.  The author mentions honoring his own Roots and how he works with them.  After mentioning the spirits of African, Native American, and European folk practices who settled in that area he goes into the roles that Conjure played in that culture and still continues to play to this day.

The fourth chapter is about the Nature and Power of conjure.  Here the author gets into the fact that Conjure does have ties to Christian spirituality and Christian religions.  He addresses that many conjures use words like God and Creator and occasionally Maker.  Here we see the power in conjure comes from the source of creation and the power to create which resides in our own personal spirit.  The author gets into a few types of spirits that are connected to this power.  One of them being the God of Christianity and divine beings.  The author is specific in that for the reader and seeker that it doesn’t have to be the God of Christianity but it is the Source of all creation and all essence which is a spirit of sorts.

This is where we first start to actually get introduced into some of the techniques in this practice.  The author goes into several different ways that conjure works with spirit.  These include prayer, baths, blessings, healing, and cleansing.  After starting the basics on techniques we are introduced to a few of the different types of spirits that are worked with in conjure.

Chapter five was probably my favorite chapter in the book.  Its for me really the most important chapter in the book.  This is the chapter that focuses on growing our spirit.  The author had previously mentioned that working with ones own spirit and knowing ones own spirit was the most important thing in conjure.  Here we finally learn to address the spirit and work with our spirit.

The best part of this chapter was the checklist on the attumement to our spirit.   Not only does the author give a list of questions and symptoms of disconnect with our spirit but he provides remedies to help fix the situation.   For me this was really the way for me to start to see how connected I am to my own spirit and what I can do to fix it.  The author does mention that some of those ailments are actual symptoms of health issues (depression, anxiety and other mental health issues) and if you answered yes to many of them that you should seek professional help.  For me that disclaimer and statement shows the connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit and how mental health can effect spiritual health.

This section provided me with the most enlightenment.  It gave me tools to adjust and start working on my own personal spiritual path and development. One of the reasons I had started to explore Conjure and Rootwork was for a spiritual connection and a way to deepen and develop my spirituality beyond the basic 101 books.  Here I have tools to find what I was missing and develop my path.  The chapter ends with providing you with the steps to growing in your spirit which is what you need to do after you start the work of attuning to your own spirit.

Chapter six is about maintain spiritual health.  The main focus on this chapter is spiritual cleansing and cleaning.  The author explains how important is is to cleanse ourselves from the different forces in our lives that can cause spiritual clutter.  He told a story of a client that his mother had to illustrate the issue.  The author ends with a working for spiritual cleansing.   This provides the start of our practical conjure spirit workings.

Chapter seven is about fixing or attracting good spirits to you.  Here we learn how actions we take and the way we live our life sends signals to spirit.  One of the first lessons in this chapter is that often we focus on our lack of something when we want something then more often than not we are going to be stuck with more of what we do not have.  The author then begins to go into how we send images and messages to spirit so we can attract what we actually want.

The author then starts getting information on working on attracting the right spirits.  The first real focus is on a prosperity spirit.  The author provides a recipe or a ritual working outline to attract a prosperous spirit.  One thing this working outlines is that in Conjure everything is spirit and everything has spirit.  If you can accept that view and work with it then you are going to work conjure.

After the pot the author talks about maintain the spirit and provides steps and techniques to keep spirit alive.  The first part of this practice is the establishment of an altar.  The author continues with a ritual working for the altar set up and the consecration of the altar, yourself, and your home.  While the workings are not exact they provide you an outline to make the conjure your own.  In the end you must be the one to do the work.

Chapter eight was probably my second favorite chapter in the book.  One thing I have personally been interested in for years has been working with graveyards and various forms of graveyard magic.  This book is the first book I have seen that addresses this practice.  Its considered Taboo in many modern magical traditions yet many acknowledge that there is strong power in the graveyard.  Finding this chapter thrilled me to the core.  It started to lift the veil on these workings.

There is so much in this chapter that covering the techniques and information would be a review in itself.  I will say the author provides information on the power of the graveyard works and why we should work with graveyards.  He provides information on working with graveyard spirits as well as how to gather graveyard dirt and work with graveyard dirt.  The author spends the other half of the chapter talking about working with our ancestors and providing ways to honor them and work with them in our home and life.

Chapter nine is an interesting chapter.  It covers ways to enter into the spirit world as well as working with a spirit unique to his tradition and practice.  The technique discussed I found most interesting and will most likely try myself was the concept of tapping or knocking.  Its essentially like you are knocking on the door to the spirit world like you would a regular door.    After tapping and knocking he covers river magic as well as fire and candle access to the spirit world.  Here there is a working for river magic specifically outlined.

The last part of the chapter includes a ritual and a poem I am likely to work into ritual work.  Here is where the author teaches us about the Dark Ridder and gives us a way to introduce ourselves to him and work with him.  The spirit known as the dark rider had been mentioned earlier in the book as a traditional spirit but not much was told about him until now.  The author does make it clear that what he shows us is not the full formula for encountering this spirit.  The working he provides is an introduction to the spirit and nothing more.

Chapter ten is the final chapter in the book.  In some ways it works very much like a conclusion focusing on working the Root or working the spirit which is the force of Conjure and Root work. This is how the chapter starts anyway.  It is here we see the final outline of the techniques and practices covered in the book to develop and connect with our spirit.  The chapter ends with talking about a few specific plant spirits and with a formula for making a spirit bag.

This book provides several powerful tools for any spiritual tradition.  In the end this book illustrates not only the power of Conjure and Southern Rootwork but also the power of working from your own spirit.  The author provides an excellent introduction to the spiritual components of Rootwork and Conjure while also providing a few practical workings in the magical sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Trolldom: Spells and Methods of the Norse Folk Magic Tradition by Johannes Björn Gårdbäck

Trolldom

Over the last year and a half my magical practices have started to take a change towards more folk magic systems.  To me the lack of formalized ritual for spells is much more appealing than the need to invoke deities for every spell or magical action I perform.  In many ways folk magic traditions relate to me more than most of the modern witchcraft practices as they do not make magic separate from day to day life.  Magic in this instance was a tool for life nothing more or less.  Folk magic simply was and is The Magic of the people.

I’ve been focusing on Hoodoo which is an American system of folk magic created during the slave era and deeply tied into African American culture and Southern Culture in general.  I figured as an American I might as well look into a system of magic that was born here in this country.  Often times I get mixed views on my interest in Hoodoo as I am not Black nor am I from the south. I am a Northerner.  I am from Maine and I have never lived outside of Maine.  So for some of them I was participating in cultural appropriation.  Not being from the South or Black how could I understand all the intracices of the culture?  How could I honor those ancestors?

One common theme of advice I was given was to look into my own personal heritage and see what sort of folk magic traditions I could explore.  I’d be honoring my ancestors and I would be staying within specific cultural guidelines.  For this reason I looked up and did some searching on Germanic or Norse style of Folk Magic.  Trolldom was the topic that came up.  So when I was given an opportunity to read a book on my own ancestral practices and traditions I was all over it.  It felt right to be reading that book and to start looking at adding some of the workings into my own practice.

If you are expecting spells and forumulas that deal with the Norse Gods you wont find a lot in this tome.  Most of the spells either deal with a land spirit or they call on Jesus, God,Mary,The Holy Spirit, or the Devil.  Like most folk traditions alot of the pagan elements are still there but you will have a hard time to find specific workings with the Norse Gods.  There are plenty of books on the market for Nordic witchcraft and magic that deals with those deities.

This is the magic of the people.  We are lead to believe that all the magic died out when the Norse Culture became Christianized.  That is simply not the case.  In fact many of the old workings which dealt with the old gods were simply modified to deal with the spirits and the religion of Christianity.  Knowing this now I am still quite happy with the material in this book as I feel it still connects me to those ancestors.  Afterall my most recent ancestors would have been Christian.  So if they practiced this craft or if they  had a family style of Trolldom it is the Christian spells and spirits they would have worked with.

For the reasons above I have read and enjoyed reading Trolldom.  It took a long time to read.  This book is intense and full of information.  I spent a lot of my early days with the book just going back and forth with the glossary at the beginning of the book.  There were so many new terms and phrases to learn and understand.  The language component in this book is one of the most important elements but it is also one of the most difficult components to deal with.

The language barrier involved in this project is the reason there are two sections based on language.  You have a glossary (which is right after the dedication) and then you have a section on different terms for different practices within this particular set of workings and systems.  Trolldom encompass more than just Norway and Icelandic magic which is why the language issue is present.  This book actually ecompases quite a few different “Nordic” cultures.  It covers Norway, Iceland, Sweeden, and Finland as well as having a bit of Anglo-Saxon and some Lore preserved in Powwow or the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions.  For this reason the section for the glossary and on the terms is not only important to mark and return to throughout the book, but is an essential part of understanding this practice.

This book is broken into a few different sections.  First is the glossary which was the most difficult to get through.  The second section is about the History. Here the author showed how and where Trolldom survived.  I find it interesting to note one of the places visited and mentioned in the book is in my Home state of Maine.  Its not a town I have been to or near but it in some ways brings this book and its workings closer to home.  I feel better knowing that there are places in my home region where this practice was passed on in some manner.

After history you had the terms.  This section was about how different regions had different names for the practice of Trolldom and the practitioners of Trolldom.  Here we also got into the discussion about how one learned Trolldom and how you could become a professional in the art of Trolldom.  In this culture Trolldom was not just a practice it was an honored profession that many people would take advantage of.  You had your specialists and a few generalists each with unique skills and practices as well as a unique term for their practice.

The next section was on divination on the two different terms and styles mentioned.  For me the importance divination plays in Trolldom shows me a relationship with Hoodoo.  Trolldom has infact been called the Norse Hoodoo, so I would say that the use of divination in magical practices and how they dictate the works to be done is a key component in folk magic.  It seems today more and more people are just doing what ever type of working seems to be the best for them and their situation without taking the time to check the source of the problem or situation.

Finally we get into the workings or the methods.  These spells are called Formulas.  The book has many different sections from Health and healing, to hunting, protection, curses, and even a group of miscellaneous spells.  What I liked best about this section of the book was the fact that there was the English spoken components translated but you could also see the original language as well.  For me this shows just the amount of work that went into this tome.

I will say there are several spells and workings that are basically included only for historical accuracy.  Some items listed in spells like animal parts or human bones are not as easy to get a hold of as they may have been at one point in time.   There are some spells that mention digging up and harvesting things like bones of dead men or going to hanging sites.  Many of these practices are not readily acceptable in the world we live in today.  However if you wish to understand a tradition that has been around for centuries you really need to understand these historical spells.  There is enough material that you can find spells and formulas that are suitable for today’s society.

I hope that the author will continue the work and write a book just on the herbal charms and herbal uses in this book.  While you can find several herbs mentioned in the folk name as well as botanical and a common name, only a small selection of the possible herbal charms are even shown in this work.  For many people who practice folk magic Herbal magic is a huge part of the practice.  So I would encourage the author to work on an herbal trolldom book.

Product Review: Flippin Fibro/ MAGI balm set

Magic Balm and Flippin Fibro set

 

I love homeopathic products.  I love natural healing.  This company had great products that are easy to work with.  They smell nice and they are highly effective.  These two particular items are going on my favorites list and are used in most of my day to day life in some way shape or form.  In many cases lately I would not have been able to sleep through the night without one or both of these!

I got these two items for review.  I was looking for something to help with my bruises (I bruise very easily) and my restless legs.  I was sick of waking up every morning with new bruises on my legs from kicking myself in the night.  I was sick of getting strange looks and stares at my legs when I wore shorts or shorter skirts.    Most of all I was sick of kicking my fiance’ in the night and not knowing it.

Many people posted products and suggestions for me to try.  For some reason these were the two that spoke to me the most and now I know why.  They work!  They work great as a set and quite well individually.  I am really glad that I got to try these two items, and I know I will be buying this set myself.

Flippin FibroI use this for my restless legs and it works great.  When I first got the oil I used one dropper per leg every night for two weeks.  The restless legs basically stopped.  Now I feel like I no longer need to apply it to my legs every night.  I lie down in bed and if after 5 minutes my legs are settled and not restless I know I wont need to apply the oil.  If my legs wont stop moving or can’t seem to get comfortable then I know I need to use the oil.  In the two months I have had this oil I went from needing it every night to now once or twice a week maybe.  I can say that thanks to this I now have restful nights sleep 🙂  You can get yours here: Flippin Fibro Aromatherapy Oil

Magi BalmThe Magic balm is probably the most used out of the set.  As the balm says its great for muscle pain.  I use it on my feet and arches before and after work and it keeps my feet from being incredibly painful after shifts at my day job.  I’ve used it on my fiance’ when his legs were bothering him and it helped him quite a bit.  Which is great as his skin is incredibly sensitive and he has no reactions to this product.  So if you have sensitive skin then this product could work well for you.

What I did like was trying this to help prevent my heat rashes from developing.  Right in the underwire during the summer I tend to get bad heat rashes there.  They itch and they drive me insane.  The only thing I’ve been able to use in the past to help them is baby powder to keep them dry.  Well not any more.  Now I have this Magi balm.  I applied a small bit when the rash started and the next day it was essentially gone.

If you get rashes, have sore muscles, or have arthritis I suggest you get yourself some of this balm and try it our yourself!  You will not regret it!  Get yours today: Magi Balm

 

Product Review: August Box from Lady Chandra’s Witchy Subscription Box

 

Lady Chandra's Witchy box for August

One of the things that I love to do for other businesses is to review their products and services.  I get to try new things and they get exposure out there.  Its a great win for everyone.   I thought for once instead\ of reviewing a single or set of products from a company I would try something different this time around.  This time I asked if I could review one of these monthly themed boxes from Lady Chandra.  So I am.

One of the things I like about this subscription box is that the owner gives the profits back to charities that benefit children in need and families dealing with abuse and other situations.  There are many charities out there that help children and families dealing with all sorts of abuse.  This subscription box puts the profits from the box towards the charities. Sometimes its a direct donation and other times they buy items from the charity to put into the box for information.  Either way I am impressed with the fact that the creator of these unique boxes is not out to get money for themselves but to help charities and organizations in need of help.

The Charity of the Month of August was the Mama Bear Effect: Mama Bear Effect .  One of the reasons I appreciate the effort to support charities like the Mama Bear effect comes from my own personal history as a survivor of child sexual abuse.  So for this reason I am proud to be a vendor that has for the month of August sent some products to Lady Chandra and I will be sending in things again for future boxes.

This box was full of awesome goodies from shell candles and a charm to carry with you to oils and incense.  This box had a bit of everything.  I even got some soap and body wash to try and work with! As someone who loves to get samples or full sized products to try and work with this box is perfect for me.  There are all sorts of samples and goodies to work with.  many of the businesses will get some sort of review from me about their product they sent into the box.

As a business owner I am happy to see that these boxes are full of a large variety of products from many different types of businesses.  I am also happy to see that the owner puts in effort to make sure that there is something for everyone in the boxes.  My favorite item from this box is either the small broom (which needs a home now) or the Essence sent my Charissa’s Cauldron.

The last thing I would like to say about these boxes is that there are now three sizes.  You have your Mega Box which has several different items and is more expensive, your regular box which is the regular themed box, and you have the mini box which has an assortment of goodies but not necessarily a theme.

If you want to get your own box: Lady Chandra’s Subscription Boxes All of the September Boxes are sold so keep looking for October, November, and December

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