Reviews

 

For a comprehensive book-list, please see The Bibliography

Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism by Daniel A. Schulke
Three Hands Press, 2017

Having been long a Schulke fan, this book was met with more than a little anticipation.  I wasn't even the least bit disappointed.  Delving immediately into the Pathways, Schulke lays out a process by which one can map their growth as an occult herbalist, from purification, to affinity, to stewardship to hermitage and beyond.  Each Pathway focuses on a necessary discipline in occult herbal art; some that come naturally to the practice and those which require great dedication and personal commitment. Each Pathway also offers some inclusive and insightful philosophical ideology on plants, spirits, animistic faith and historical traditions regarding plant taboos.  I enjoyed The Pathway of Disappearance (Aphanismos) so much- it is more than poetic, it was personally inspiring as I've been focusing my personal time more on the necessity of solitary communion with the plant world.

"Besides direct observation of (and reliance on) the plants themselves, one awakens to unique 'languages' which interconnect flora, fauna, geology, and weather.  Such are in the ciphers of the Book of Nature, there to read if one dares."(p. 30)

Most of Schulke's work tends to be advanced, for people already well acquainted with both ethnobotany and occult medicine, but this one read as accessible to anyone who has set course for the green path, and frankly, it's so well rounded and all encompassing of the steps it would take to immerse in occult herbalism, I feel it should be required reading for anyone looking to round out their path and solidify the foundations of their practice  The language was accessible and easy to relate to, the chapters were both poetic and concise and he tackled important lore regarding the origin of divine herbalism as well as how the ancient world regarded the tutelary spirits and divine messengers who brought forth gnosis of herbal healing.  Five out of Five stars sheerly for the education I got from the first few chapters alone. I'm satisfied with my purchase and highly recommend Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism by Daniel A. Schulke, available now from Three Hands Press


Pagan Portals: Brigid: Meeting the Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Forge, and Healing Well by Morgan Daimler
Moon Books publication

An excellent piece of pagan literature! Daimler offers more than just a basic look at this quintessential Irish goddess; she delves into the poetry, prayers and history that give us real insight into how our ancestors may have seen this goddess. Small, succinct and well written, this is a must have in both a devotional sense and an educational sense for anybody curious about the nature of Irish paganism and Irish gods. I highly recommend this book for both beginners and advanced devotees. A must have for any pagan book collection.  (See original review on Amazon)


Leporcalia Tarot by unorthodoxCreativity  from Leporcalia Tarot and the Tin Can Forest

Kyrianne, thank you so much, and thanks again for keeping me updated during the bicoastal storms!  This deck is not only good quality design, but so interesting just to look at.  The style marries the modern with traditional art, has multicultural facets (everything from a mochi-making Moon rabbit to Mayan Lovers) and flows between classical, contemporary and everything in between a bit.  I was particularly happy with what I can only assume was a (awesome) nod to Watership Down on the Sun Card.   I was hoping that this wouldn't be another slightly cheesy animal-theme deck and was not disappointed- this is artwork, plain and simple, and each card looks like it had been well thought out before going into print.  It isn't too cutesy; if anything it gives me a bit of a Victorian tea-parlor feel, except far more worldly.  Lastly, the carrot "wands" suit was an adorable touch.


Tin Can Forest from Leporcalia Tarot and the Tin Can Forest (excerpt)  

A few months ago there was an occult book fair and conference at the UW which I was happy to attend.  I loved the rare literature, the cool and knowledgeable dealers, the talks, the atmosphere, but gods honest truth, the stand out was the art of Tin Can Forest.  I met one of the proprietors and immediately had to buy one of her prints.  I then spent a good deal of time lavishing compliments and practically begging her to consider creating a tarot deck from her stunning gallery. 

Tin Can Forest your work speaks to me.  It speaks to my magic, my circles, my rituals.  Every time I look up at your prints I'm reminded that the sabbat is more than real, because you must have been there yourselves to have captured its otherworldliness so succinctly.  We must have met there, over forest and fen, under thickets and in cabins and pits.  This style is like water and thorns, like fairy tale dreams and beautiful nightmares altogether.  You've got quite the aesthetic, TCF, and I'm all about you right now.


The Golden Thread Tarot from Tina Gong (2016, for original review see HERE)
I've owned a little over thirty decks in my lifetime as a reader. I've owned expensive, beautiful and one of a kind decks. But truly, nearly none compare to the masterfully crafted Golden Thread Tarot by Tina Gong. The unique and detailed design is ripe with symbolism and completely unique. When I first saw t the deck while surfing through the normal channels, I was instantly taken aback by how totally stylized it is without being cartoonish or juvenile. Its design is a mixture of sigilry and esoteric symbolism, well balanced and highly symmetrical. Beyond just the sleek and detailed designs which make readings easy and clear, the deck itself is well made. It shuffles smoothly and bends perfectly at the center- something I noticed the new wave of tarot s starting to lack. Unlike some of the new wave, these ones aren't cheap thick card-stock that creases when you bridge the cards, these ones bend and glide easily over one another. Without a doubt going to be a popular deck soon, it's just too well made and well illustrated not to catch the eye of serious tarotists.



This deck is a combination of rustic, feminine, botanical, natural, grave and sweet.  It is highly detailed and beautifully printed with golden edges and thin lines, presented in a smooth black illustrated box complete with a leaflet for basic reading (no reversals); I'm floored.... 
SEE MORE


I found this deck refreshing, odd (in the best way) and personable.  Not only is the artwork somewhat androgynous, gender bending and queer; it was diverse in sizes and shapes, it expressed femininity and masculinity in fluidity... I was really pleased with the style, and even more so with the detail of the artwork in every single card, no matter how simple it appears at first glance... SEE MORE