Category Archives: Non-Fiction

A Review of Merlin: Once and Future Wizard by Elen Sentier

Reviewed by Frank Malone

Elen Sentier’s latest book continues the fabulous Pagan Portals series from Moon Books. These brief volumes constellate an author’s accumulated wisdom on a specific subject. From my perspective as a psychoanalyst, I had heretofore approached Merlin as an archetypal image of the Wise Old Man. Amongst other things, Sentier is trained in transpersonal psychotherapy. She has opened my eyes so that I can begin to see the depth and complexity of Merlin. Furthermore, Sentier teaches us that Merlin is available to us now for relationship.

To my surprise, Sentier shows us that Merlin is the spirit of the land of Britain – and Brittany to boot! She thus explains the many (apparently) contradictory places in Britain and the Continent associated with Merlin in the legends. As spirit, he is far older than the figures in the stories. Sentier takes us through the divers guises of Merlin in literature. This includes, inter alia, the Green Man. The author discusses the light that these incarnations shed on Merlin as spirit.

Sentier is also one of the awenyddion (Celtic shamans). I was fascinated to learn about the Celtic way of journeying to the Otherworld. The trance-induction is different from the auditory-driven induction used in core shamanism, which is my training and practice. The author draws contrast between these two shamanic approaches. Additionally, the Celtic journey process described is, as she observes, “far closer to what Jung calls ‘active imagination’. It was also interesting to read how she integrates shamanic knowledge with her practice of psychotherapy.

I was delighted and grateful for her chapter on Nimue/Vivian. This was the most satisfying treatment of the topic I have seen. I enjoyed as well the integrated biographical material woven throughout the book. I appreciate authors who can be genuine and not hide behind an intellectual defense. The book is also infused with her gentle good humour. Sentier’s book is fun and informative, and I shall keep it around to refer to for years to come.

More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/pagan-portals-merlin

New Pagan non-fiction

I’ve been approached to shout out so many new Pagan books this month that I’ve had to split them into two groups. You can find the new Pagan fiction here. We’ve also got a new resident reviewer, do check out frank Malone’s review for The Norse Shaman.

Flower Face: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Blodeuwedd

By Jhenah Telyndru

Blodeuwedd. Flower Face. Keen-Eyed Hunter in the Night. Dwelling for centuries in darkness, flying on owl wings along the liminal boundary that straddles superstition and sacred symbol … this world and the Otherworld … archetype and Divinity… the essence of all that is Blodeuwedd is venturing once more into the light of consciousness. Simultaneously Flower Bride and Owl of Wisdom, Unfaithful Wife and Lady of Sovereignty, this complex figure holds many lessons for those who seek to know her, and through her, learn to shed the fragile petals of illusion wrought by the expectations of others, in order to birth the authentic Self that is able to see Truth with owl-wise eyes. Whether she is simply a legendary figure from Medieval Welsh lore, or is in truth a Sovereignty Goddess once worshiped in Celtic Britain, there is no doubt that Blodeuwedd is celebrated and honored in modern times as a Divinity in her own right.

Find the book here – https://www.amazon.com/dp/0978904591/

 

Celebrating The Seasons with Children
By Helen Royall

Celebrating The Seasons follows the seasons of Mother Earth. This wonderful treasury of stories enthuses children with the beauty of nature, engages them in creative activities and offers soul food for the imagination. Helen Royall describes vividly the ancient festivals of Samhaine, Imbolc, Beltaine and Lammas, each with fascinating stories, crafts, food and songs for us all to enjoy. She brings the ancient Goddesses alive, relating them to each season. Topics include: – The Celtic Festivals and Seasons – The Goddesses – Nature tables and crafts for the seasons – Year round rituals and rites of passage – Nurturing health, self respect, creativity and spirituality.

Find the book here – http://www.lulu.com/shop/helen-royall/celebrating-the-seasons-with-children/paperback/product-22966233.html

 

Mountain Magic : Celtic Shamanism in the Austrian Alps

By Christian Brunner

“Mountain Magic: Celtic Shamanism in the Austrian Alps” explores the traces the early Hallstatt Celts (and even older people) have left in lore and tradition in the Eastern Alps. This is a leisurely stroll through the mountains, building bridges to and finding parallels with lore found on the British Isles, and giving the reader ideas on how to weave these old traditions into modern magical practice.

Find the book here – https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Magic-Celtic-Shamanism-Austrian/dp/131299519X

 

The Witch’s Cauldron: The Craft, Lore & Magick of Ritual Vessels (The Witch’s Tools Series)

By Laura Tempest Zakroff

Explore the spellbinding history, tradition, and modern uses of the Witch’s cauldron. From blessing and using your cauldron in ritual and divination to practicing kitchen witchery with it, this easy-to-use book provides essential information for Witches of all ages and skill levels.

The Witch’s Cauldron shows you the ins and outs of one of the most iconic tools in Witchcraft. Learn about the cauldron’s role in lore and mythology, its development through the ages, and old-world witchery. Discover how to choose, personalize, and care for your cauldron, and find unconventional ones already in your home. This entertaining book also features advice and spells from well-known writers, helping you delve into the endless possibilities for using a cauldron in your practice.

Find the book here – https://www.amazon.com/Witchs-Cauldron-Magick-Ritual-Vessels-ebook/dp/B01LWKJSZA/

 

The Path of Paganism: An Experience-Based Guide to Modern Pagan Practice

By John Beckett

Paganism is a way of seeing the world and your place in it. It means challenging the assumptions of mainstream society and strengthening your relationships with the gods, the universe, your community, and your self. The Path of Paganism provides practical advice and support for honoring your values and living an authentic Pagan life in mainstream Western culture.

Discover tips for establishing or deepening a regular practice. Explore how your spirituality can help you deal with life’s inevitable hardships. Learn the basics of leadership roles and other steps to take as you gain experience and move into more advanced practices. With questions for contemplation as well as rituals to help you integrate new concepts, this book guides you through a profoundly meaningful way of life.

Find the book here – https://www.amazon.com/Path-Paganism-Experience-Based-Modern-Practice/dp/0738752053

Pagan Books for April

We’ve got two fine new books for you this month – a fiction and a non-fiction. Text here is taken from author/publishers sources, it’s a not a review, but as I’ve reviewed one of them, I’m including a link!

The Knowing, by Kevan Manwaring

Pagan fiction

Janey McEttrick is a Scottish-American musician descended from a long line of female singers. She lives near Asheville, North Carolina, where she plays in a jobbing rock band, and works part-time at a vintage record store. Thirty-something and spinning wheels she seems doomed to smoke and drink herself into an early grave, until one day she receives a mysterious journal – apparently from a long-lost Scottish ancestor, the Reverend Robert Kirk, a 17th Century minister obsessed with Fairy Lore. Assailed by supernatural forces, she is forced to act – to journey to Scotland to lay to rest the ghost of Kirk and to accept the double-edged gift she has inherited, the gift of Second Sight: the Knowing.

My review here – https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/the-knowing-a-review/

Buy the book here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knowing-Fantasy-Kevan-Manwaring-ebook/dp/B06XKKFGFV

 

Pagan Portals – Animal Magic, by Rachel Patterson

Pagan non-fiction

An introduction to the world of animal magic; how to find, recognise, connect and work with the power of animal magic.

Buy the paperback – AMAZON US AMAZON UK INDIEBOUND

Buy the ebook – AMAZON US AMAZON UK INDIEBOUND

New Pagan Books

Here’s a list of recent Pagan releases – not reviews, but blurbs taken from author and publisher websites. if you have a book you’d like including, do get in touch.

Pagan Portals – By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root

by Melusine Draco

A large number of poisonous plants have beneficial uses in both domestic medicine and magic. Needless to say, when utilising a toxic plant in magic, we are adding certain extra deadly or potent energies into the mix.

Buy the paperback – AMAZON US AMAZON UK HIVE INDIEBOUND

Buy the ebook – AMAZON US AMAZON UK HIVE INDIEBOUND

 

The English Runes: Secrets of Magic, Spells and Divination

By Suzanne Rance

You may be familiar with Runes, an old European lettering system. They can be found widely in literature and film; however, these Runes are usually the Elder Futhark. What people are less aware of is that the English have their own Runes, steeped in the heritage of an ancient land. Runes rooted in the culture of the early English and whose sound is part of the birth of the English language. Discover The Old English Rune Poem and, through this, find out more about the lives of the early English and their runes.

Buy on Amazon

 

The Minoan Tarot

By Laura Perry

Many Tarot decks come with a tiny booklet that offers snippets of meaning about each card and maybe a layout or two. The Minoan Tarot, in contrast, comes with a full-size, full-length book (176 pages) that describes the artwork and the meaning of each card in depth. It also includes detailed instructions for several layouts (including one designed just for this deck) as well as a Minoan Fool’s Journey, Elemental Journeys, and background information about Minoan culture and art.

Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other Amazon platforms as well as other good online bookstores.

 

The Naked Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 1)

By Wendy Steele

fiction: Lizzie Martin’s new boss has asked her to ‘bare all’ and become more corporate.

For Lizzie, swapping paisley for pin stripe is like asking a parrot to wear pea hen.

She has to choose between her job and her integrity, cope with an unexpected stay in hospital, monitor her fourteen year old daughter’s latest crush, continue seeking the truth about her father’s death and juggle two new men in her life.

There is hope though.

At the bottom of the garden is a little wooden shed that Lizzie calls Sanctuary. Within its warm and welcoming walls, Lizzie surrounds herself with magic…

Find it on Amazon

New Pagan books for January 2017

Here are the latest books we’re aware of that are likely to appeal to Pagan readers. These are not reviews, information is taken from author and publisher websites.

The Long Woman,  by Kevan Manwaring.

Fiction. An antiquarian’s widow discovers her husband’s lost journals and sets out on a journey of remembrance across 1920s England and France, retracing his steps in search of healing and independence. Along alignments of place and memory she meets mystic Dion Fortune, ley-line pioneer Alfred Watkins, and a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle obsessed with the Cottingley Fairies. From Glastonbury to Carnac, she visits the ancient sites that obsessed her husband and, tested by both earthly and unearthly forces, she discovers a power within herself.

Buy the book on Amazon.

 

Pagan Portals – Merlin: Once and Future Wizard, by Elen Sentier

Bestselling author Elen Sentier looks at Merlin in history and mythology and considers his continuing relevance for people today. Best known as the wizard from the Arthurian stories, Merlin has been written about for well over 1000 years and is considered to be both a magical and historical figure. Over the centuries many people have had relationships with Merlin and in this book the author brings him to life for us once again in yet another way and from yet another perspective.

Buy the paperback AMAZON US AMAZON UK HIVE INDIEBOUND

Buy the ebook – AMAZON US AMAZON UK INDIEBOUND

 

A Dance with Hermes, by Lindsay Clarke

Poetry. In a verse sequence that swoops between wit and ancient wisdom, between the mystical and the mischievous, award-winning novelist Lindsay Clarke elucidates the trickster nature of Hermes, the messenger god of imagination, language, dreams, travel, theft, tweets, and trading floors, who is also the presiding deity of alchemy and the guide of souls into the otherworld. Taking a fresh look at some classical myths, this vivacious dance with Hermes choreographs ways in which, as an archetype of the poetic basis of mind, the sometimes disreputable god remains as provocative as ever in a world that worries – among other things – about losing its iPhone, what happens after death, online scams, and the perplexing condition of its soul.

Buy on Amazon.

 

Pagan Portals – Gods and Goddesses of Ireland, by Morgan Daimler

A concise guide to the Gods and Goddesses of pagan Ireland, their history, mythology, and symbols. Rooted in the past but still active in the world today, the Gods and Goddesses of Ireland have always been powerful forces that can bless or challenge, but often the most difficult thing is to simply find information about them. This short introductory text looks at a variety of different Irish deities, common and more obscure, from their ancient roots to the modern practices associated with honoring them in, an encyclopedia-style book with entries in easy-to-use sections.

Buy the paperback AMAZON US AMAZON UK HIVE INDIEBOUND

Buy the ebook AMAZON US AMAZON UK INDIEBOUND

 

The Heart of the Goddess: A Handbook for Living Soulfully, by Nikki Starcat Shields

We all know that our society’s old ways aren’t working. Racism, sexism, violence, environmental destruction, and violence are the warped legacy of the patriarchy. It’s time to reconnect with the values of the Feminine Divine – compassion, creative expression, holistic health, intuition, respect for diversity, communion with Nature, spiritual connection, and collaboration.
A grand new awakening is taking place. The Earth is calling us home, and those of us who hear Her voice are Her priestesses and conscious co-creators. We are embarking on an epic journey to a place of balance, where the qualities of the Feminine Divine re-emerge into this world. By surrendering our attachment to control and power-over, we can learn to live soulfully, even in a world gone mad.

Buy it on Amazon 

New Pagan Books for December 2016

These are not book reviews, information on titles comes from author and publisher pages. We like to feature books written for and by Pagans, and books of likely interest, do get in touch if there’s something you’d like shared here.

Growing with Gratitude: a poetic journey of healing, by Janey Colbourne.

Gratitude is a most powerful force for healing. Whether it brings physical healing or not, it can be truly transformative in our lives. This book is the story of a healing journey told in poetic form. Janey shows us how her cultivation of gratitude transforms her experience of disability. Gratitude for the simple things in life carries her through the challenges of chronic illness and helps her to find the courage to face surgery. It is possible to find the source of inner healing, irrespective of the state of our physical health, and we can begin with the daily practice of gratitude. This book is intended to inspire you on your own path. Look around and see the gifts you have. The more you look the more you see, and the more you will create.

Buy from Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growing-Gratitude-Poetic-Journey-Healing/dp/1539833100/

 

Pagan Portals – The Urban Ovate. The Handbook of Psychological Druidry by Brendan Howlin.

Presenting Druidry in an easy-to-understand way, making the concepts open to everyone. Pagan Portals – The Urban Ovate, continues the process started by Brendan Howlin in The Handbook of Urban Druidy by moving deeper into the life of an urban ovate.

Buy online – Amazon US Amazon UK Hive Indiebound

 

Hopeless Maine – a graphic novel by Tom and Nimue Brown

(yes, this is one of mine!) A young experimental occultist, a witch, strange magic, uncanny creatures, crows, and a haunted island. It’s the perfect book for the goth in your life, for the young Wiccanette, and anyone who still has a lingering desire to be Wednesday Adams (guys included).

More here – http://www.slothcomics.co.uk/hopelessmaine.html

 

Pagan Portals – Pan, by Melusine Draco.
Dark Lord of the Forest and Horned God of the Witches. Historical, mythological and magical insight into the god Pan.

Buy online – Amazon US Amazon UK Indiebound

 

 

 

 

 

Gods & Goddesses Colouring Book

Take a journey across the pantheons of the world and allow your creative energy to flow, colouring in images and mandalas for some of the most interesting and inspiring deities.

Buy online – Amazon US Amazon UK Indiebound

New Pagan Books for November

Recently released Pagan titles – the details for these books are taken from author and publisher sites and are not reviews.

The Spirit of the Hedgerow by Jo Dunbar

Since the beginning of human history, our ancestral roots and those of the hedgerows have been intimately entangled. Now, often forgotten amongst the hedgerows, the ‘wild weeds’ still offer amazing medicinal opportunities, delicious sources of food and fascinating legends of our past. Many of the secrets of our history lie hidden in the stories of these plants. Our ancestors, living in harmony with the cycles of nature, knew how to prepare wild food, prepare remedies, make protective talismans and so much more. But we have lost our connection with the magic of nature…

Find the book on amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Hedgerow-Jo-Dunbar/dp/1910027162

 

The Goddess in America, an anthology

An anthology with contributions from nineteen writers, The Goddess in America is a book that identifies the enduring experience of Goddess Spirituality through a four-part discussion focused on the Native Goddess, the Migrant Goddess, the Goddess in relation to other aspects of American culture (Feminism, Christianity, Witchcraft etc.) and the Goddess in contemporary America.

Ebook – Amazon US Amazon UK Indiebound

Paperback –  Amazon US Amazon UK Hive Indiebound

 

The Broken Cauldron, by Lorna Smithers

At the centre of ancient British mythology stands the cauldron: the womb of Ceridwen, Old Mother Universe, symbolising inspiration, wisdom and rebirth. What happens when it lies shattered, the universe fragmented, the world out of kilter? These questions, for a post-modern age imperilled by global climate change and endless warfare, were posed by my deity, Gwyn ap Nudd, a ruler of Annwn and a guardian of the cauldron. In this fragmentary collection of essays, stories and poems, which seeks to mirror the broken cauldron, I present my response.

Buy the book here – https://lornasmithers.wordpress.com/publications/the-broken-cauldron/