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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Book Review: Hedge Witchcraft, by Harmonia Saille

Hedge Witchcraft” is written by Harmonia Saille, and published by Moon Books as part of their Pagan Portals series.

The description reads:
“This book will guide readers to read more about hedge witchcraft as a pathway, or are already following such a path and wish to progress. It only has a little about hedge riding as this book has too small a scope to include it. Please read the accompanying book in the Pagan Portal series, Hedge Riding.”

This is a really nice little book about traditional British witchcraft. It ties all the information together with personal accounts from the author which heavily adds to the readability of this book. I enjoyed the section about tree lore, and liked the healthy does of folklore that was included in it. I also really liked the section on "Spirit of Place". This is a topic woefully overlooked in lots of similar books, and Harmonia does a fantastic job of eloquently, but unpretentiously, describing this. 

However, I can’t help but feel quite disappointed with this book, simply because it isn't specifically about Hedge Witchcraft. As the description indicated, it made little mention of hedge riding, referring you to another book by the same author. Given that neither book is hugely long I don't see why they weren't integrated, especially given the importance of hedge riding to this path. Although it made the very truthful claim that all hedge witches will follow a slightly different path, it didn’t highlight the key points that unite them. 

If you are after a short guide to traditionally based witchcraft then this is a really interesting little read, it will provide you with a general overview of  pagan festivals, and examples of how they are practiced. It also goes into elemental correspondences, and how these tie the everyday world to the magical one. But, if you have a decent background knowledge of general traditional witchcraft and modern pagan spirituality, then you may be left feeling a let down by this title.

The book market really needs some good titles about true hedge witchcraft, and if can be in a small, easy to read format like this, then so much the better. Unfortunately I don’t think this book does that. It will however keep it’s place on my bookshelf, due to the traditional folklore facts, interesting personal antidotes, and the style of writing, with turns this from a reference book, to an enjoyable quick read.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Book Review: Trapped!, Lynn Chinnock

"Trapped!" is the debut children's book of Lynn Chinnock. It documents an adventure of Groucho and Tabby-Long-Tail, who end up having to save their friend Blackberry from mis-adventure. This is a good book for kids who have cats as pets as the behavior of the characters described in the book are relatable to real cat behavior.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Poem: The Minor Arcana Rhyme

I put this together for the Tarot - Part 2 course I hope to be teaching later on in the year - (need to get some Part1 courses done first, lol). It's not my best literary work... but am a little impressed with myself that I got the meanings to rhyme... well, mostly! lol

Cups is the emotion, the joy and the cares,
it's both our elation, and our fears.

1 of cups, is abundance and gain,
2 of cups, the joy of another's name.

3 of cups is joy and happiness,
4 of cups says beware, of it in excess.

5 of cups re-assess, after the good gone bad,
6 of cups the past, may be, re-had.

7 of cups speak of ambition and hope,
8 of cups is disappointment, but widen your scope.

9 of cups is about, peace and contentment,
10 of cups is all that but with added achievement.

The Knave of cups is helpful, the Knight a lover and bright,
The Queen of cups creative and the King brings insight.

Swords are actions, often needed the most,

they slay our demons and, chase our ghosts.

1 of swords, is about achievement and success,
2 of swords gain, from having much less.

3 of swords, a door opens, paths are clear,
4 of swords a rest, from what you fear.

5 of swords shows struggle, and defeat,
6 of swords sees you, back on your feet.

7 of swords show hurdles, be brave and careful,
8 of swords patiences over comes what you thought fretful.

9 of swords failure, be steadfast,
10 of swords disaster, but it will end at last.

The Knave of swords is often clever, the Knight is strong like a soldier,
The Queen of swords quick witted, and the King brings order.

Coins are what we do on this earth,
our house, our home, what's in our purse.

1 of coins is prosperity, to have and hold,
2 of coins says a disruption may unfold.

3 of coins brings achievement in the intellectual
4 of coins show wealth, says we'll be successful.

5 of coins, is financial disaster and ruin,
6 of coins is help, something to stand firm in.

7 of coins success, but please be careful,
8 of coins, hard work will see you successful.

9 of coins is wealth and achievement driven,
10 of coins says there will be a gift you're given.

The Knave of coins is sensible, the Knight is just and true,
the Queen on coins is generous, the King advises to you.

Wands is the need to change, it is our passions,
bringing our ideas into worldly fashions.

1 of wands is inspiration, sees something new begin,
2 of wands sees good luck finally come in.

3 of wands success from being brave,
4 of wands success, and the popularity craved.

5 of wands says there may be, a set-back,
6 of wands gives encouragement, gets your will back.

7 of wands shows things aren't as bad as they seem,
8 of wands sees you closer to your dreams.

9 of wands be strong ,and hold your ground,
10 of wands, struggles may make you frown.

The Knave of wands is lively, the Knight energy beckons,

the Queen is practical, the King a force to be reckoned.