Posted in book reviews, witchy book reviews

So You Want to Be a Medium? by Rose Vanden Eynden

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For the most part, I really really enjoyed this book. The first half is filled with great exercises, advice and stories, as well as a very ‘down to earth’ approach to spirit work and mediumship. The author makes a point of trying to not involve religion, which while the attempt is nice, she ends up incorporating quite a bit of her Christian beliefs into it. No one is totally unbiased, after all. One thing I really appreciated is how she tried to be inclusive of LGBT and non-binary genders. She didn’t operate off the typical god/goddess binary. For the most part, it is a very good book and I learned a lot from it…at least, for the first half.

The main problem I had with this book was that she works with Indigenous and Native spirits. Specifically, that she works with them and calls them by their names in English. Like…Black Hawk. I’m sorry, but if you are going to work with a spirit from a closed culture, specifically a culture that your ancestors tried to wipe out, at least learn their names in their own indigenous tongue, or at least what tribe they were from. She treats Nativeness as a monolith, and it is so frustrating as a native person to see that. As I said in my Spirit Speak review, if you were a member of a culture that endured genocide, and you were woken up by someone who in your time period would have hunted you for sport, raped your women, slaughtered your children, burned your home and stolen your land, would you have a polite conversation with them? No, you would probably react violently or just laugh in their face.

So, while this book is, I believe, a very good resource on beginning medium work and spirit work, please please please remember to stay in your lane. Do not attempt to contact or work with spirits from closed religions and cultures, ESPECIALLY if you are white and that closed culture/religion is an oppressed minority culture and has endured a history of genocide by your ancestors. Just don’t do it. Respect those traditions and their people, as we are asking you to please not do this. As I have said before, was stealing our land and many of our practices and people not enough? Must they have our ancestors spirit’s and our sacred creatures too?

The other problem was that she talks about chakras. Please, please, unless you are a member of the closed religions and cultures that have access to that term, do not claim it. Respect them, but use the alternative term ‘energy points’.

So, while I do recommend this book to spirit workers at any level as it does have some good lessons in it, I also highly recommend that you read it with a grain of salt and do not follow in the author’s footsteps in regards to overstepping boundaries and appropriating/stealing/working with spirits that are part of closed cultures. Just…just, dont do it. Please.

Posted in book reviews, witchy book reviews

Spirit Speak by Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

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Spirit Speak: Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Angels and the Divine is definitely one of those books one should read with a grain of salt. While the majority of the book is good information, filled with personal experiences and exercises for the reader to try out themselves, the book is filled with very Wiccan approaches to the subject. The author writes about chakras, god/goddess binaries, ‘shamans’, and almost seems to encourage working with spirits that originate and are part of closed cultures and religions.

In my experience, as a native person, why would a person with colonizer/invader blood WANT to work with a native ancestor, spirit or creature? 9 times out of 10, that spirit will react violently. I mean, how would you feel if someone woke you up, someone who in their time period would have killed your family, probably raped your wife and set your house on fire, hunted your kin for sport, and stole your land, and then that person tried to have a polite conversation with you, or god forbid, ask you for a favor? It just would not happen. You would be furious, or laugh in their face.

So while much of this book I do think has valuable information and I did enjoy reading parts of it, it is so important to just remember to respect closed cultures and religions and try to work with spirits that are part of open practices. Instead of using the term ‘chakras’, try using ‘energy points’ instead.

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Palmistry by Roz Levine

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Palmistry: How to Chart the Lines of Your Destiny is a no frills, down to earth guide to learning the art of palm reading. It is straight forward, to the point and an easy read. The author, Roz Levine, gives us lovely color photos and glossy paper along with detailed descriptions of all the parts and secrets of hands and what they say about us, and about our futures.

I have nothing bad to say about this book, except that it is a very basic guide to the art of palmistry, but if you are a beginner or just looking to start palm reading, this is the perfect book for you. It is inexpensive, well organized and well written by an author who clearly knows their stuff. You can get it here!

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The Dreamer’s Almanac by Sasha Parker

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The Dreamer’s Almanac is a beautiful glossy, high quality, colorful book filled with easy to access information and lovely color photos depicting and explaining a wide variety of dream subjects. The beginning of the book briefly describes and explains the history of dreams, dream interpretation and the science behind sleeping and dreaming. The rest of the book is dedicated to listing and explaining different dream scenarios and what they could mean for our subconscious or for our future. This is easily my favorite book on dream interpretation, simply for how well it is organized, the beautiful photographs, and the easy-to-understand-no-frills-attached way that things are explained.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to find the meaning behind their dreams. This was a short review, I know. But I really don’t have anything bad to say about the book! You can get it here!

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The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto

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The Hidden Messages in Water is a delightful and beautiful book by Dr. Masaru Emoto. It takes a scientific approach to a spiritual subject–how water reacts to human emotions. The book is filled with beautiful high quality color photos of Dr. Emoto’s experiments, where he has documented the reaction that water crystals have upon freezing while being exposed to a specific emotional sentence or phrase. I really enjoyed this book. It is beautifully written and you can easily tell how passionate the Doctor is about the subject material.

The book is easy to read, not terribly long, and I believe very useful, specifically for those who work with water as an element. It is so fascinating to know that water is indeed sentient (something many of us already knew, haha, but now there is scientific proof!) and that it responds and changes it’s molecular structure to mirror emotions. How beautiful and amazing!

I would highly recommend this book and I can think of no critiques for it. And, the icing on the cake: the author is  a person of color! You can purchase it here!

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The Fortune-Teller’s Bible by Jane Struthers

The Fortune-Teller's Bible: The Definitive Guide to the Arts of ...

The Fortune-Tellers Bible is a book I picked up on a whim when I first started revitalizing my practice as a witch. I’m constantly trying to find books that are as free as possible of cultural appropriation, racism, gender binaries and sexism. Let me tell you, it is NOT easy! However, from what I have read of this book, all the information is presented in a respectful and educational manner along with lovely color photographs that illustrate topics and steps. I also really enjoyed just the writing itself, it is very easy to read and easy to follow.

The book is chock full of great information that any diviner or oracle would love. Runes, Tarot,  Scrying, Palmistry, Numerology, Face Reading, and both Western and Chinese astrology are some of the main topics of this book. This is actually my favorite book to consult on matters of palmistry and runes, which I used to really struggle with before I read this.

 I highly recommend that any witch, beginner or seasoned, should acquire this book. You can find it pretty cheap on ebay, amazon and barnes and noble if you buy it used. It is such an invaluable resource and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve used it. It sits on my shelf along with only four other books that I use regularly in my craft. I’m such a picky reader when it comes to witchy books, because the vast  majority of witchcraft authors are just so grossly prejudice and either sexist, racist, anti-lgbtqa, pro gender binaries, pro-cultural theft, etc. That’s why I started reviewing witchy books, really, is so that I can provide, you, my lovely readers, with good suggestions (or warnings!) in regards to the subject.

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The Weiser Field Guide to Vampires by J.M. Dixon

The Weiser Field Guide to Vampires: Legends, Practices, and Encounters ...

 For those of you who know me well and read most of my posts, you’ll know that my spouse is what most people would consider to be a ‘modern vampire’. That is to say that he was born with a damaged or broken energy field, and therefore must take energy from outside sources to feel healthy. I knew this about him before we even started dating, and find it fascinating since energy healing and energy fields in general are an interest of mine. He bought this book after finding it at our local metaphysical shop. I remember him saying that it was one of the rare books that actually wrote about vampires as a read phenomenon and not just a myth.

The book contains a chapter on the history of vampires in various cultures, the reality of modern ‘vampires’, the different kinds of feeding, the myths, and of course how to know that you are a vampire through symptoms and signs. I read the book twice now because I found it to be so informative and so…unbiased? It came at the subject from an educational standpoint, one backed by historical facts and scientific perspectives. I found it very refreshing.

The Field Guide itself is very well written and unlike many other kinds of paranormal books, isn’t dry or dull at all. The chapters are relatively short and everything is really easy to follow. I would say that it would probably qualify for middle school or late elementary school levels of reading. The book promotes the idea of consent and healthy relationships as far as ‘feeding’ on energy and such goes, as well as self care and self awareness. Overall, its a great book, especially for those interesting in the ‘paranormal’ and supernatural. I give it a 4/5.

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The Nightmare Dictionary by Adams Media

The Nightmare Dictionary: Discover What Causes Nightmares and What ...

Ever since I was little, I’ve had some of the worst nightmares. Not just nightmares, but night terrors. In college I went through a period of about six months where my night terrors were so bad that I would go days without sleeping, or I would never sleep more than thirty minutes because I would wake up screaming and crying. It was like a living hell. Thankfully, the night terrors have calmed down a bit and I’m back to just regular nightmares. I bought the above book in the hopes of figuring out why on earth I was dreaming about my teeth rotting and falling out or why random people from high school were in my nightmares.

The book is pretty fantastic. It doesn’t just have a comprehensive list of the most common themes in nightmares, but it also has good information on what causes nightmares, how to control nightmares, how to confront fears, the difference between phobias, nightmares and night terrors, and even a little section at the end where you you keep a ‘nightmare journal’. It is the only book I keep to help me cope with my nightmares, and I refer to it every time I have a bad dream that bothers me.

The book is easy to read and pretty well written. It was printed for Barnes and Noble, so it’s really well designed and put together from a variety of sources (all of which are credited on the copyright page of the book). I highly recommend it to anyone who is more interested in learning more about the meaning of their bad dreams and how to control them, instead of letting them control you. As far as a rating goes, I give it a 4/5.

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National Geographic’s Guide to the World Supernatural Places by Sarah Bartlett

Book- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S SUPERNATURAL PLACES ...

As I stated in my review of Jeff Belanger’s The World’s Most Haunted Places review, I have two main resources when it comes to haunted places and locations around the world. Belanger fell into my second place spot, and this book, Guide to the World’s Supernatural Places by NatGeo’s Sarah Bartlett is my definite number one. I have yet to find any other book that trumps this one. It is easy to read. It has beautiful, high quality colored photos and glossy pages. It has multiple locations from all around the world, over 250 of them, and it not only covers haunted places, but also other subjects such as UFO spottings.

The contents of the book are as follows: Haunted Places, Vampire Haunts, Witchcraft and the Dark Arts, Sacred Places, UFO Hot Spots and Myths & Legends. It has long, detailed descriptions of each location, along with its known history and what makes it so spooky. It is not just inclusive of places in America (which is hard to find as far as paranormal books go because often authors seem to think that the only haunted places are American. While a lot of really awful things have happened, such as the genocide and near extinction of Native peoples, on American soil, it is definitely NOT the most haunted country in the world.) and has places from across the globe, just as the subtitle of the book describes.

I really can’t find anything wrong with this book. I wish there was more stuff from Asia, but you can’t win them all. Hah.

I love this book because its just pretty. Its so easy to read, the writing is nice, well edited and well written, the photos are gorgeous, the paper is glossy, and its just a really great resource. Its my number one haunted location reference book, and I highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in the paranormal or supernatural. Obviously, it gets a 5/5 for me.

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The World’s Most Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger

revised edition of his bestseller, The World’s Most Haunted Places ...

For those of you who are interested in the paranormal, I have just TWO suggestions as far as guidebooks on places you may want to visit. This book, The World’s Most Haunted Places by Jeff Belanger, falls into my second place slot. First place goes to NatGeo’s Guide to the World’s Supernatural Places, which is a gigantic glossy hardback color-photo guide book. It pretty much as everything. This book, however, focuses on just a one or two places from different parts of the world that are considered the ‘most haunted’.

There are 33 chapters in this book and each chapter covers a different haunted location. Among the most infamous are: The Catacomb Museum, The White House, The 1891 Castle Inn, The RMS Queen Mary, The Whaley House, The Tower of London, Aokigahara Jukai, and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. It’s definitely a good read to anyone looking to plan a haunted vacation or a paranormal investigation. The accounts are all written really well, including history of the locations and in some cases personal experiences of the author. But, there is the downside to there only being a select number of entries, and that most of them are in America or Europe. Overall, it’s a pretty easy and interesting read, and well worth the money. It gets a 4/5 from me.